THE BEST METAL ALBUMS OF 2010, AS CHOSEN BY METAL MUSICIANS THEMSELVES — PART I
FEATURING MEMBERS OF ARCH ENEMY, SUNN O))), MADBALL, FUCK THE FACTS, DOMMIN, DARK CASTLE, IMBROGLIO, EXHUMED, AND THAT METAL SHOW
For 2010, we decided to do something special as part of our regular end-of-year festivities here at MetalSucks — namely, ask musicians from across the vast spectrum of the metalsphere (or, in a few cases, the almost-metalsphere) what their favorite albums of the year were. Death metallers, thrash metallers, black metallers, stoners, grinders, and djenters alike graciously contributed lists to MS, and we’ll be running them in groups of ten to eleven musicians at a time twice a day for the rest of the week.
After the jump, check out the first group… we hope you enjoy seeing what some of metal’s heaviest hitters were into this year as much as we have!
(And please note that these are musicians and that they, um, have a lot on their minds. So some of ’em named albums that actually came out last year. Please don’t freak out.)
ANGELA GOSSOW, ARCH ENEMY
1. Spiritual Beggars, Return To Zero
2. Grand Magus, Hammer Of The North
3. Behemoth, Evangelia Heretika
4. Atheist, Jupiter
5. Amebix, Redux
6. Sodom, War In Pieces
7. Arsis, Starve For The Devil
8. Christopher Amott, Follow Your Heart
9. Nevermore, The Obsidian Conspiracy
10. Exodus, Exhibit B: The Human Condition
1. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
2. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
3. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
4. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
5. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
6. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
7. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
8. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
9. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
10. Seijaku, Mail from Fushitsusha (Doubt Records)
At least this month. Haino rules.
1. Black Anvil, Triumverate
2. Soilwork, The Panic Broadcast
3. Terror, Keepers Of The Faith
4. Iron Maiden, The Final Frontier
5. Comeback Kid, Symptoms and Cures
6. Cruel Hand, Under Lock And Key
7. All That Remains, We Are Many
8. As I Lay Dying, The Powerless Rise
9. Sick Of It All, Based On A True Story
10. Bullet For My Valentine, Fever
TOPON DAS, FUCK THE FACTS
1. Kill The Client, Set For Extinction
2. Unearthly Trance, V
3. Bongripper, Satan Worshipping Doom
4. Magrudergrind, Crusher
5. Greber, Hometown Heroin
6. Alaskan, The Weak & The Wounded
7. Biipiigwan, God’s Hooks
8. Torche, Songs For Singles
9. Street Meat, Dick Party
10. Mekehaya, At the Cross Roads of Chaos & Solace
1. Magrudergrind, S/T
2. Bongripper, Satan Worshiping Doom
3. Vilipend, Plague Bearer
4. Kvelertak, S/T
5. Knut, Wonder
6. Blacklisted, No one Deserves to be Here More than Me
KRIS DOMMIN, DOMMIN
1. The Birthday Massacre, Pins & Needles
2. Dommin, Love Is Gone :-D
3. Sia, We Are Born
4. Johnny Cash, American VI: Ain’t No Grave
5. Oomph!, Truth Or Dare
6. Rob Zombie, Hellbilly Deluxe 2
7. Airbourne, No Guts, No Glory
8. Jimi Hendrix, Valley of Neptune
9. Sade, Soldier Of Love
10. Hans Zimmer, Inception Motion Picture Soundtrack
DON JAMIESON, THAT METAL SHOW
1. Accept, Blood Of The Nations – I guess if we said it’s the metal album of 2010 on “That Metal Show,” I have to say it here. Happy for fellow NJ-er Mark Tornillo for kicking ass & taking names in Udo’s spot.
2. Dio, Live At Donnington – We lost one of the greatest voices in rock this year. Luckily there are two discs of amazing live music from the man himself. He will live on forever.
3. Fireball Ministry, Fireball Ministry – Ok, seriously, genius.
4. Stone Sour, Audio Secrecy/ Murderdolls, Women & Children Last – Great side projects from Corey & Joey from Slipknot. Sad that we lost Paul Gray, but in the meantime, great music from the driving forces of that band.
5. Danko Jones, Below The Belt – Always loved this band. If Cheap Trick had a threesome with AC/DC & Thin Lizzy and the condom broke, this band would be born! Look for me in the video for “Had Enough” with Ralph Macchio & Lemmy!
6. Zodiac Mindwarp, We Are Volsung – Mainly picked this cuz I really like it, but also cuz I doubt anyone else will have this on their list. Long live the Tatooed Beat Messiah!
7. Overkill, Ironbound – If you wanna talk about thrash bands still making great music after 25 years, look no further than Blitz & the boys still laying down the metal better than ever!
8. Exodus, Exhibit B: The Human Condition – Ditto above, but for West Coast thrash!
9. Kingdom of Sorrow, Behind The Blackest Tears – Put the groovy sludge of Kirk Windstein’s Crowbar & the powerful vocals of Jamie Jasta’s Hatebreed in a blender with a bottle of Jack and you have one of the heaviest albums of 2010.
10. Don Jamieson & Jim Florentine, Terrorizing Telemarketers Vol. 5 – The hilarious prank call cd from myself & Jim available on iTunes, Amazon.com & Best Buy. Hey, I hadda do it!
Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare – congrats on a #1 album, Portnoy!
Black Label Society, Order Of The Black – best disc since Mafia!
Hellyeah, Stampede – Always love the groove that VP lays down!
John 5, The Art Of Malice – An instrumental album that makes you HAPPY there’s no singer!
Scorpions, Sting In The Tail – A great going away present from a legendary band!
STEVIE FLOYD, DARK CASTLE
Top 10 + 1 (since we are going into 2011)… in no particular order…
1. Burzum, Belus –– Rather than explain why this is my number one, I am just going to quote Varg and how he envisioned this album….
“This album has been made according to my heart and spirit, and not to fit into any particular genre or category, or to live up to anyone’s obvious expectations. Inspiration for this album comes from fairy tales and myths, classical music, from memories of what once was, from traditional music, from fantasy, from wind and weather, from deep forests and running water, from the sky and sunset, from misty mountains, from yellow leaves falling and from old trees. If I can make you dream while listening to this album, I believe I have done a good job.”
I believe he did.
2. Portal, Swarth — This band just blows my mind, period. They completely and totally create a Portal with their music, a time Portal that takes you inward to the darkest place inside of yourself that you never wanted to confront. I feel like this band… especially on this album uses every element of metal to its fullest capacity. They definitely push black and death metal farthur than I think I have heard anyone do. It is a symphony of the most decrepit scales, chords and time signatures that stimulates all five senses and pulls feelings out of you that you didn’t know were there. I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around it, and that is why I love it so much.
3. Salome, Terminal — When it comes to writing a solid doom album, this is it… in it’s most primitive form… and it doesn’t get much better. Kat is hands down the best female vocalist to ever enter the metal world… and one of the best all time vocalists in general. A huge influence of mine and a beautiful human being. Rob and Aaron write some of the most driving and powerful riffs and rhythms. If you ever get a chance to see this band live, don’t miss it.
4. Ahab, Divinity Of Oceans — Funeral Doom at its finest. Other than My Dying Bride, this is it as far as I’m concerned.
5. Drudkh, Handful of Stars — For a band that doesn’t ever play live, do photos or interviews… I am amazed at the impact they have on me, sort of brings the same feelings to the surface as when I listen to Lifelover or Warning. It is such beautifully dynamic and progressive music with the rawest authentic heart felt vocals in the foreground. The contrast is what makes this album so epic, and embedded under my skin. With so many releases and how long they have been around, to keep reinventing black metal over and over just leaves me speechless.
6. The Body, All of the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood — The Body is so under rated… Not only do they know how to pull off being a 2 piece better than anyone, but Lee and Chip are 2 of the coolest people I know. They are not afraid to try anything… for starters, the album begins with a 30 piece woman’s choir?? There are a lot of loud bands but I’d have to say they are the loudest. Period… and they are smart… the guitars have the lowest of the low ends I’ve ever heard, and Chip’s vocals are so high that he doesn’t even need a microphone for them to cut through. The contrast of the highs and lows cuts you to the core.
7. Twilight, Monument to Time End — The combination of the people on this album really bring all of the elements to the surface. It has the ancient soul of black metal, from N. Imperial (Krieg), Blake Judd (Nachtmystium) and Wrest (Leviathan, Lurker of Chalice), with some underlying industrial psychedelic synth from Sanford Parker (Minsk, Byried at Sea, Circle of Animals)… who also recorded this album. I am always a fan of anything that he is apart of. The additions of Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom), Robert Lowe (Om) and Stavros (Atlas Moth) added ethereal layers of vox and guitar that gave this album dimensions of flowing dream like states that really take you on some messed up sci-fi, never ending story type journey. It is an addicting album for sure that you listen to over and over. At least for me.
8. Circle of Animals, Destroy the Light — Yet again another Sanford Parker creation, along with Bruce Lamont (Yakuza). The concept behind this album is monumentally genius. It is sort of a tribute to the underground Chicago Industrial movement, and it is so well done. Sanford even had Chris Connelly (Ministry) do some vox… along with several different drummers to record and form the skeleton of the songs. These drummers brought a range of different beats to loop and base the songs off of… but still were “live drums” from rad drummers… Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Dave Witte (Municipal Waste/Burnt By The Sun), John Herndon (Tortoise), John Merryman (Cephalic Carnage) to name a few. You get the same raw roots of industrial, like if you were listening to Ministry, Skinny Puppy or Throbbing Gristle, with the beautiful ranges of Bruce’s vocals over it, along with some saxophone from him as well, middle eastern parts, vintage synth, and, somehow, harmonica. It is heavy, intense and hypnotic as hell… a unique concept that has never been done before, and for that alone I love it.
9. U.S. Christmas, Run Thick In The Night — After being completely addicted to their last album, Eat the Low Dogs, I had high expectations… and they were exceeded by this heavy album. I truly feel like USX is our modern day Pink Floyd. Psychedelic to the extreme, but still so dark and heavy. They come from the mountains of Hickory, NC. and it is very apparent in the music. With lagging drawn out rhythms and violins that make you feel like you’re watching a sunset, but in the midst of a thunder storm simultaneously. Nate’s vocals are of rustic truth. His lyrics tell a story from the depths of the deep… slowly unraveling only for you as the listener… They pull you into their music and make you feel as though its some little secret that only you get the pleasure of hearing.
10. Zoroaster, Matador — I am and have been a huge Zoroaster fan for a while, and I love all of their albums, but I’d have to say this one blows the others away, which is an enormous thing to do as a band in my opinion. Every album climbing and growing to new depths but still keeping the integrity of the music and what its about. It really captivates their live performance on record and lets you grasp how big their sound is. The variation of layered vocals swirls around in your head like a dark dream. Not to mention these dudes just rule in general.
11. Yakuza, Of Seismic Consequence — Yakuza always kills me with how many different styles of music they wrap and fold into one album with smooth transitions and flow. It is not an easy project but they some how do it with seamless effort. Bruce’s vocals are honest and genuine, up front and raw, derived from the purist source possible… and they will bring tears to your eyes watching him sing live. How he’ll then just pick up the saxophone and throw in the saddest melodies with the tremello picking guitar and double bass is beyond me. Super technical parts transitioning straight into driving riffs… flowing organically into ambient soulful interludes… It’s just such a beautiful album that directly puts you into the present moment.
NATE HARRAH, IMBROGLIO
1. Electric Wizard, Black Masses — This album speaks for itself. One of the best stoner doom bands out there, period.
2. Rotten Sound, Napalm EP — One of my favorite bands that has not disappointed me thus far. Napalm is full of everything you would expect from Rotten Sound and more.
3. Bongripper, Satan Worshiping Doom — Soundtrack to the apocalypse. Possibly one of the heaviest doom albums of the year.
4. Cough, Ritual Abuse — Ritual Abuse is by far Cough at their heaviest. This album sounds like a miserable, drug induced anxiety attack.
5. Seven Sisters of Sleep, Demo — I fell in love with this band the second I heard them. Think His Hero is Gone but slower and you’re getting close.
6. Clinging to the Trees of a Forrest Fire, Songs of Ill Hope and Desperation — This band has been my soundtrack to every bad day I’ve had all year.
7. Phobia, Unrelenting — A clusterfuck of ferocious grindcore.
8. Deathspell Omega, Paracletus — French Black Metal. The drummer for this band is what really got me. Going from vicious blasts to equally intense off-time fills that blow my mind.
9. Trash Talk, Eyes and Nines — Honestly, I don’t know what to say about Trash Talk other than “pissed as hell.”
10. Magrudergrind, Crusher EP — The last song on this album, “Cognition,” is one of the most pissed songs I’ve heard all year. I do not recommend listening to this album while driving. You will want to hit people.
1. The Budos Band, III — Funky shit that could be the soundtrack to any James Bond movie. Far and away my favorite album of this wretched year.
2. Bonobo, Black Sands — Music to boff your lady to.
3. Torche, Songs For Singles — Music to boff your bro to.
4. Nails, Unsilent Death — ass-ripping “hardcore.” Fourteen minutes of furious ear-fucking.
5. Massive Attack, Heligoland — More gay music for shitheads.
6. Animals As Leaders, Wave Of Babies — Only because the LP actually came out last year and that shit seriously whips ass.
7. Kill The Client, Set For Extinction — Are you happy, you assholes?
8. Hans Zimmer, Inception OST — Yeah, yeah, fuck you. If you’re at work and you play this, it makes everything seem hella crucial.
9. D.I.S., Critical Failure— I ran out of shit I actually liked this year, so this and…
10. Murder Construct, S/T —…will have to fill in the fucking gaps.
Both of these albums suck hard.