This was a surprisingly good year in metal. The metalcore and deathcore scenes became completely overrun and ruined, but that’s ok because we don’t care about them anymore anyways. We, or at least I, saw a huge resurgence in straight up metal, and black metal didn’t have a bad year either. This was a good year, and I feel I am missing some titles in the top list which is good to know, since last year there wasn’t much past the 11 I mentioned.
10. Powerglove “Saturday Morning Apocalypse”
Genre: Power Metal/Video Game Music?
All I really need to say here is this is fun, unique and extremely interesting. When I got it I thought it would be entertaining but bore me 1 or 2 songs in. Definitely not the case, this is some amazing work and I look forward to hearing more in the future.
9. Deftones “Diamond Eyes”
Genre: Hard Rock
The Deftone’s have been churning out unique hard rock for 15+ years and, with the unfortunate events with Cheng’s car accident, many thought the Deftone’s might not be able to go on or would be completely different. “Diamond Eyes” to me was a rehash of what the Deftone’s did best between “Adrenaline” and “White Pony.” They also appeared to be at their most coherent writing form ever, fans of the Deftone’s know what I am talking about.
8. The Breathing Process “Odyssey (un)Dead”
Genre: Heavy Metal/Deathcore
The Breathing Process appears to be a band that can actually harness the fact that they have a keyboardist and use them well. That alone should get them in some list. “Odyssey (un)Dead” is one of the most unique and inspired deathcore/death metal albums I have heard and it needed to be mentioned. Each song on this album is crushing in its own right.
7. Decrepit Birth “Polarity”
Genre: Technical Death Metal
After 2008’s amazing “Diminishing Between Worlds” I couldn’t wait to see what direction Decrepit Birth went. From start to finish, this album packs as strong of a punch as any; this 3-piece sure knows how to kick ass. If death metal for the new age of metallers is what you are looking for, start here!
6. Integrity “The Blackest Curse”
Genre: Hardcore Punk
Did anyone expect not to see an Integrity album not on this list? It has been how many years since we got to listen to some of the best dark, moody hardcore punk you can get. This album stands up to each one of their albums and crushes anything else in the hardcore world. Simply put, one of the best hardcore punk bands putting out one of the best hardcore punk albums.
5. The Ocean “Heliocentric”
Genre: Post-Metal, Sludge, Progressive
I have been a fan of The Ocean Collective for years, and I was leary with the annoucement of a new vocalist for “Heliocentric.” Mike Pilat had a great range and solid voice for TOC, and it’s a tough member to lose. Loic Rossetti joined up, and instead of following in the footsteps of Mike actually took TOC in a different, softer direction. I am still not sure what TOC I like better, but both have their strengths and weaknesses. The musicianship is amazing throughout “Heliocentric” and once I grabbed hold of the new direction Loic brought them, I went full steam ahead!
4. Kvelertak “Kvelertak”
Genre: Hardcore Punk/Progressive Metal, Rock
As a first album this self-titled release is amazing. The range of musical talent is phenomenal and the 11 tracks will not be left un-listened for years. This album could at some point become a best of the decade and I hope this band continues to grow. I can’t pinpoint the sound, but what you need to know is they are a Norwegian punk/black metal band.
3. Agalloch “Marrow of the Spirit”
Genre: Folk/Doom Metal
Any band that sometimes uses the skull of a deer as an instrument has my vote. In all seriousness, “Marrow of the Spirit” and the next 2 band’s albums are all number 1s and this was extremely hard to decide on. This 4 piece Folk/Doom/Black metal American band is extremely talented and knows how to make beautiful music. I won’t describe this anymore, just buy it and listen to it.
2. Holy Grail “Crisis in Utopia”
Genre: Power Metal
This debut album is nothing but fun, to quote Hook in Mouth, “This album would make Iron Maiden and Judas Priest proud.” Holy Grail has combined old school metal riffs with the occasional thrash element to keep the fan boys happy. Straight up fun, technically sound power metal.
1. Alcest “Écailles de Lune”
As a two man band, French artist Neige (bass, vocals, drums, guitars) is one amazing musician. The album is beautiful and is an extreme emotional journey from start to finish. This is the best of 2010, and I think this is its proper place.