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The Metal Excess Awards: 2010 Edition

I’m really surprised by how many albums I enjoyed this year. I have a pitiful memory so I had to go back through my blog to remind myself what came out this year but I was floored when my Top 10 list was changed to a Top 20 list, then to a Top 30 list! I knocked it back down to a Top 25 list to make it seem a tiny bit more exclusive.

If you haven’t checked out any of these 25 albums, I wholeheartedly recommend you do so. 2010 was an amazing year for rock & metal, much MUCH better than 2009. I don’t see how 2011 can compete!

I’ll keep it short and sweet with my awards. As always, check the links for full reviews.

Best Albums of 2010

1. Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare
2. Buckcherry – All Night Long
3. Scorpions – Sting in the Tail
4. Halford – Made of Metal
5. Slash – s/t
6. Black Country Communion – s/t
7. Avantasia – Angel of Babylon
8. Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony
9. Accept – Blood of the Nations
10. Hinder – All American Nightmare
11. Jettblack – Get Your Hands Dirty
12. Reckless Love – s/t
13. Bad City – Welcome to the Wasteland
14. Stone Temple Pilots – s/t
15. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
16. Krokus – Hoodoo
17. Helloween – 7 Sinners
18. Sister Sin – True Sound of the Underground
19. My Darkest Days – s/t
20. Stereoside – s/t
21. Y&T – Facemelter
22. Danko Jones – Below The Belt
23. Grave Digger – The Clans Will Rise Again
24. Jon Oliva’s Pain – Festival
25. Ratt – Infestation

Top Cover Albums

Seems like every year a few established artists like to cover a few *other* established artists, not to mention all those various tribute albums that small labels will slap together. Well, here’s my official ranking of the three cover albums I bothered to listen to this year. Luckily, all three albums were good fun and I think they all deserve another mention.

1. Jorn – Dio
2. Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila
3. Joe Elliott’s Down ‘N’ Outz – My ReGeneration Vol. 1

Top Live Albums

Again, I don’t buy a lot of live albums, but here’s how I rank what I listened to this year.

1. Dio – Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987
2. Heaven & Hell – Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell – Live In Europe
3. Megadeth – Rust In Peace Live
4. The Michael Schenker Group – The 30th Anniversary Concert: Live in Tokyo

Top EPs

1. Razorwyre – Coming Out
2. Skull Fist – Heavier Than Metal
3. DesDemon – The Awakening

Most Disappointing Albums

1. Ratt – Infestation
The album was good, don’t get me wrong. It landed at #25 on my Best Of list for Dio’s sake! But… most of the songs had trouble living up to the promise of “Eat Me Up Alive” and “Best Of Me”.

2. Armored Saint – La Raza
A bland album from a band that has done so much better. They seemed to be going through the motions (to which John Bush has basically admitted in regards to himself). Symbol of Salvation this ain’t.

3. White Wizzard – Over The Top
The High Speed GTO EP garnered this group a lot of hype and buzz. We all fell for it, I know reviews for this album have been positive and it’s not bad but I expected more. Hopefully a second album will get these guys where they need to be.

4. Raven – Walk Through Fire
The terrible cover art should’ve tipped me off that this album was nothing special.

 

Check out these other sites for even more lists and year-end awards:

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/

Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.wordpress.com/

Heavy Metal Addiction —  http://heavymetaladdiction.com

Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/

Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/

Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/

The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/

Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/

 

A List of Year End Lists

Yessir! It’s that time when every music site all over the world is going to be posting lists of what they consider to be the best and worst of 2010. Of course, I’ll be getting in on the action myself but in the meantime check out the sites below that will also be having their own year-end lists… some of them are already underway!

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/

Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.wordpress.com/

Heavy Metal Addiction —  http://heavymetaladdiction.com

Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/

Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/

Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/

The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/

Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/


OVERKILL – Ironbound

Overkill – Ironbound (2010, E1 Music)

1. “The Green and Black” … 8:14
2. “Ironbound” … 6:35
3. “Bring Me the Night” … 4:18
4. “The Goal Is Your Soul” … 6:43
5. “Give a Little” … 4:44
6. “Endless War” … 5:43
7. “The Head and Heart” … 5:13
8. “In Vain” … 5:15
9. “Killing for a Living” … 6:16
10. “The SRC” … 5:03

Band:
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – Vocals
Dave Linsk – Guitar
Derek Tailer – Guitar
DD Verni – Bass
Ron Lipnicki – Drums

Producer: Overkill

I don’t know whether something went wrong with mixing, mastering or maybe just during the album’s pressing but a buzz has built up online over many people hearing static throughout the songs. I held off on getting the album because of this problem yet other people say their copies are fine, so I eventually took a gamble and ended up buying it. I put it in my computer and it played fine. The next day, I put it in my car stereo and that’s when the static pops up. I check the disc and there’s tons of scratches on it. The static ranges from small crackles you might hear on a distant radio station to full-blown fuzz that totally dominates depending on the track you’re listening to. So then I get home and pop it in my computer again and it plays perfectly. My copy of Metallica’s Death Magnetic had a similar issue (with an entirely different car). What is going on ?!?

This is pretty annoying and I think there is no excuse, given technology these days, that an album is defective like this. Whether this problem began in the studio or at the manufacturing plant, someone is getting paid to catch mistakes like these and they obviously weren’t doing their job on this occasion. Luckily, it just so happens I listen to most of my music on my computer but it is still nice to have options, especially when the album is brand new and I want to listen to it whenever I can.

Despite owning this album since a few weeks or so after it was released and giving it a few spins, I couldn’t bring myself to review it. In my younger years, I was a bit more open and interested in thrash (even then I basically limited myself to the more accessible bands like MetallicaMegadeth and Anthrax) and it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve slowly been dipping my toes into thrashy waters once again with the likes of Overkill, Testament and Evile. Therefore, I don’t really consider myself educated enough in the genre to give a fully formed opinion on albums and bands I’m not already familiar with. Oh well, let’s try it anyway…

Basically, to my ears, this is pure old school thrash and that’s the way I like it! “The Green and Black” and ‘Ironbound” (my favorite song off this album — great middle part) especially bring to mind ’80s thrash and the first four songs in particular are all very good. I don’t know how this compares to the rest of the band’s catalog but as a first-time listener, I am very satisfied and will be seeking out more Overkill albums.

Also, I love Ellsworth’s voice. He’s like a really ticked off and rougher sounding Bon Scott and all of this comesafter having had a stroke! Just amazing.

Highlights: “The Green and Black”, “Ironbound”, “Bring Me the Night”, “The Goal Is Your Soul”, “The Head and Heart”

www.wreckingcrew.com
www.myspace.com/overkill

Looking Forward to in 2010…

2009 was good, can 2010 be better? With these albums penciled in for 2010 it looks like we’ll have another good year for rock ‘n’ roll because there’s tons I’m looking forward to! I’ve listed tentative release dates where I could.

Ratt – Infestation (March): Ratt is one of the best bands to spring from the L.A. metal scene, I can’t wait to hear some new music from that.

Scorpions – Sting In The Tail: Well, hopefully we’ll see some new Scorpions. They haven’t gotten a U.S. distribution deal yet, but in this day of the internet, I don’t foresee any problems getting my hands on an import. According to the band, they’re going back to their “early ’80s” sound and scrapping the modern style they had on Humanity: Hour I. That’s a shame because I remember Klaus Meine being pretty adamant about the band not writing anymore “eighties” songs and I like Humanity a lot (which seemed to imply there’d be a sequel). Oh well, I liked 2004’s Unbreakable a lot too (the band’s most recent attempt at having that classic Scorpions sound), so either style they want is good with me.

Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony & Angel of Babylon (April 3): Edguy’s Tobias Sammet, one of my favorite vocalists, is back with his side project and he’s got two albums coming at us at once on the same day. The Scarecrow was really good and Sammet has tons of guest musicians lined up again, I just hope he hasn’t spread himself too thin by releasing two albums’ worth of material.

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