Br00tal-lists

BOB COCK’S TOP FIFTEEN METAL ALBUMS OF 2010

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1. Gypsyhawk, Patience and Perseverance (Creator-Destructor)

I’ve listened to this band a ridiculous amount of times. Like, “Oh, last song… watch should I put on next? Well, let’s just hit play again!”-style. Amazing musicianship, solid songwriting, and beyond hummable melodies (right after this solo!) make for an amazing debut.

2. Kylesa, Spiral Shadow (Season of Mist)

For some reason some folks bagged on the last Kylesa outing [COUGH Decibel COUGH]. Thankfully, my colleague Sammy O’Hagar dug it almost as much as I did. They did that amazing thing that Torche did with Meanderthal — they incorporated pop into metal with still being metal. But, Sammy… come on, four horns? Should have been five.

3. Blind Guardian, At The Edge Of Time (Nuclear Blast)

Before I start, let me adjust my glasses. Regardless of the dork quotient, Blind Guardian is amazing each and every time, be it live or on record. They’ve had a few hiccups here and there, but the end product is consistently grand without being overly grandiose. At The Edge is no exception — it’s almost flawless.

4. Rimfrost, Veraldar Nagli (Season of Mist)

Think Immortal with more thrash. Cool with you? Cool with me.

5. Enslaved, Axioma Ethica Odini (Nuclear Blast)

A hundred years and 42 albums in, Enslaved still makes amazing records. How they do it, we might never know. Are we glad they do it? Hell yes.

6. Slough Feg, The Animal Spirits (Profound Lore)

For me, this one came out of nowhere and blew my socks off. Great musicianship, top-notch songwriting, slay-riffic solos, and an Alan Parsons cover in the span of 38 minutes of non-stop fun makes this dude a happy guy.

7. The Funeral Pyre, Vultures At Dawn (Prosthetic)

The Funeral Pyre mixed it up this time around with a lot of experimenting, as cliché as that is to say about music. Vultures was definitely a turning point for the band, and let’s hope they follow up with material in the same vein next time around. Knowing them, though, they’ll throw a wrench into the works and mix it up again to mature measurably.

8. Withered, Dualitas (Prosthetic)

9. Yakuza, Of Seismic Consequence (Profound Lore)

Taking a step back off the spastic stuff, Bruce Lamont and company stepped up the game on Yakuza’s fifth record and raised the standard on their Barrett-meets-Coltrane-meets-Slayer formula. Aside from being one of the best albums of the year, it makes this guy want to hear the Lamont solo album that comes out next year that much more.

10. Monster Magnet, Mastermind (Napalm)

Great band, great album (again), and no surf rock like on God Says No! It’s a shame to see Ed Mundell leave after so many years, but Mastermind is a soulful send off. Now please, please, play shows in America again!

11. The Dillinger Escape Plan, Option Paralysis (Season of Mist)

Calculating Infinity inshminity. I enjoy Dillinger more each record. Cry “Mike Patton” all you want, I have no problem with what these cats are doing.

12. Watain, Lawless Darkness (Season of Mist)

Dissection doesn’t exist anymore, sadly, so I’m fine with Watain picking up the reins. Another solid album after Sworn To The Dark. Let’s just hope they speed up the recording process this next time around.

13. W.A.S.P., Babylon (Demolition)

Catchy, heavy, scummy… Sure some of Blackie’s decisions can be called into question, but the W.A.S.P. songwriting can be called to testify — it speaks for itself. And so does Babylon.

14. Cloudkicker, Beacons (self-released)

I was late to the train on this one, but this kid won me over quickly. Vocals? We ain’t got no vocals. We don’t need no vocals!

15. Beneath The Massacre, Marée Noire EP (Prosthetic)

This band is so good that it’s silly. So are their riffs. And vocals. And drumming. If it weren’t for the short length, it’d be way higher up on this list. But it’s good to see they’re keeping with the EPs here and there, like on their Galy debut. New full-length, stat!

Close calls:

All That Remains, For We Are Many (Prosthetic)

Hey, it sounds good on record. Catchy, proficient and devoid of the too-many-soaring-choruses bug that bit Killswitch like three records ago, they’re the band that makes it okay to sing along to metal.

Angra, Aqua (SPV/Steamhammer)

I’ve only gotten a few listens of this one (late season pick up to the proverbial roster), but I’m glad they came back onto my radar after the long four years since Aurora Consurgens.

Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare (Warner Bros.)

I don’t even own a copy of this, but the roomie listens to it so much that I hum along while playing video games or reading downstairs as he’s blasting it. That has to mean they wrote  memorable songs.

Black Breath, Heavy Breathing (Southern Lord)

Gritty and grimy it may be. Weird on Southern Lord? Yeah, but that doesn’t mean they can’t write a mean riff.

Christian Mistress. Agony and Opium (20 Buck Spin)

Good ol’ fashioned heavy metal. I mean, it could be longer… but why split hairs?

Early Graves, Goner (Ironclad)

Really solid follow-up to We: The Guillotine that pairs up riffs with rage.

Gamma Ray, To The Metal (earMusic)

Dorky power metal, but these Germans are rarely off-target and are still one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.

Helloween, 7 Sinners (The End)

See: Gamma Ray.

Holy Grail, Crisis in Utopia (Prosthetic)

It’s good to finally see a full-length from these trad-metallers  — and they didn’t disappoint… Fight to ki(iiiiiiiiiiiilllll)ll, indeed!

Istapp, Blekinge (Metal Blade)

Folky black metal that doesn’t consist of eight-minute songs? Catchy, heavy, AND well-done? Sign me up!

Jakub Żytecki, Demos or whatever you want to call them (self-released)

Records I still haven’t heard:

Too many to count. I’m getting too old for this heavy metal stuff. Mumble, mumble, mumble…

-BC

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