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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 —

Bring Back Glam —

Hair Metal Mansion —

Hard Rock Hideout —

Hard Rock Nights —

Heavy Metal Addiction —

Heavy Metal Time Machine —

Imagine Echoes —

Layla’s Classic Rock —

The Metal Minute —

Metal Odyssey —

The Ripple Effect —


Bad City – Welcome to the Wasteland

Bad City – Welcome to the Wasteland (2010, Atlantic Records)

1. “Showdown in Central Park” … 4:40
2. “Take Me For A Ride” … 3:43
3. “Do You Believe In Rock N Roll” … 3:44
4. “Wildlife” … 4:17
5. “Fire In The Pouring Rain” … 3:56
6. “Call Paul Stanley” … 4:38
7. “Heatwave” … 3:34
8. “Look Out!” … 4:55
9. “Touch” … 3:36
10. “Straight To The Grave” … 4:01

Josh Caddy – Vocals
Max Perenchio – Guitar
Tom Schleiter – Guitar
Jake Serek – Bass
Kevin Kane – Drums

Producer: Johnny K

This band was completely under my radar until just a few weeks ago. You know the major labels are in trouble when they’re actually signing bands that sound like old school arena rock. I can’t believe Atlantic Records released this album in 2010! Let me state that this album is not a complete throwback to the ’80s though. The sleaze rock, pop-metal, power pop and stadium rock influence is felt throughout this album (check out those gang vocals and huge choruses!) but there is also a modern and alternative  rock/pop sound to the group as well.

Put it this way, both Paul Stanley AND Billy Corrigan are championing this band and album as the best things to come along in rock music for quite some time, so that should tell you their sound doesn’t swing one way or another completely but what is complete about this album is the addictive hooks and infectious melodies. This album should appeal to a variety of rock fans. Songs like “Showdown in Central Park”, “Wildlife” (sleazy pop metal at its finest) and “Do You Believe in Rock and Roll” are for the ’80s rock/metal fan, “Call Paul Stanley” is a great rock ‘n’ roll anthem that would go down well in front a huge arena/stadium crowd, “Fire In The Pouring Rain”, “Touch” and “Heatwave” will appeal to fans of modern rock/pop.

Bad City is definitely a new band I intend to keep an eye. It’s a shame this album almost passed me by! I only discovered the band because someone posted a link to their “Wildlife” song on a message board. Typically for this kind of music these days, the album isn’t exactly burning up the charts but hopefully they’ll be around for years to come. Chock full o’ hooks and anthems, Welcome to the Wasteland is one of 2010’s best releases and sadly it will be ignored for the most part. Someone like KISS or Bon Jovi or Motley Crue need to have these guys open for them so they can get exposed to the right market and build a solid following.

Highlights: “Showdown in Central Park”, “Wildlife”, “Fire In The Pouring Rain”, “Call Paul Stanley”, “Heatwave”

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