Friday, December 24, 2010

Top Albums 2010

This year I'm cutting my list down to 10 instead of 20. It felt more appropriate, though I'm not sure if that's because I haven't been putting as much effort into finding new music recently, or if there just really weren't as many awesome releases this year, or maybe I'm just feeling picky and leaving off a bunch of albums that I still like a lot and/or forgot about. Both Megadeth and Iron Maiden made new cds this year! Neither made my list - they weren't terrible or anything, just not top-10 material in my opinion.

(I'll try to use this as an excuse to actually post some new music soon too!)

Sigh - Scenes From Hell
  • This album takes everything that I liked about their previous full-length and gets rid of all the garbage, leaving a truly excellent avant-garde black metal album with a very strong brass section that I like even more than Imaginary Sonicscapes.
Menace Ruine - Union of Irreconcilables
  • The shockingly good Canadian duo return with an album that blends the psychedelic drone of The Die Is Cast with the black noise of Cult of Ruins, bringing the amazing vocals a little forward in the mix (which might be good or bad, I still go back and forth :) ).
Ludicra - The Tenant
  • San Francisco black metal with a bit of a post-rock feel. Shame on me for not listening to this band years ago.
Dessa - A Badly Broken Code
  • This actually includes a few songs I don't like, so it's a little surprising I'd find it solid enough to go this high on my list. But the songs that hit me hit hard, and the awesome Doomtree group concert probably influenced me as well. Dessa is America's best female rapper by far.
Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. II
  • I like this follow-up quite a bit more than Assassins. And I still think the title is a clever pun several layers deep, though I really wish the Pink Floyd reference wasn't the only thing anyone ever says about the band anymore. There are other psychedelic/progressive rock bands to compare to guys!
Kylesa - Spiral Shadow
  • Kylesa seems to be the most popular crust-rooted sludge metal band, and with this release I think I'd agree they deserve it.
Paper Tiger - Made Like Us
  • Doomtree producer Paper Tiger's first solo album; it's about what I'd expect, which is to say really great electronic music except for one or two only-OK vocal-centered pop songs.
Electric Wizard - Black Masses
  • Stoner doom metal heroes Electric Wizard still rock. So heavy, so fun.
Lazerbeak - Legend Recognize Legend
  • Doomtree's other producer also made an album this year, it is actually not at all what you might expect (unless you saw the Doomtree tour, which once again was amazing). He sings, he plays simple guitar riffs, it's all rather catchy.
Preface to the Dead Sea - Preface to the Dead Sea
  • Another crust-based, sludgy, post-metaly band; this one you probably haven't heard of if you aren't from Russia. But it's high quality, and wins the best new band name award!