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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/

 

Jettblack – Get Your Hands Dirty

Jettblack – Get Your Hands Dirty (2010, Spinefarm Records – UK Import)

1. “Slip It On” … 3:31
2. “Two Hot Girls” … 3:55
3. “When It Comes To Lovin’” … 3:08
4. “Fooled By A Rose” … 4:32
5. “War Between Us” … 4:43
6. “Get Your Hands Dirty” … 3:27
7. “Not Even Love” … 5:15
8. “Mother Fucker” … 3:53
9. “Sleep” … 3:28
10. “Holding” … 4:19
11. “Innocence Is Mine” … 7:37

Band:
Will Stapleton – Vocals, Guitar
Jon Dow – Vocals, Guitar
Tom Wright – Bass
Matt Oliver – Drums

Producer: Dan Weller, Justin Hill and Jettblack

I’ve been on a modern hair metal high lately. After thinking the well was beginning to dry up, in the past few months I’ve come across great bands like Reckless Love, Bad City and now the London-based Jettblack. All three bands have an obvious love for glammed-up ’80s rock/metal but all display that love in different ways. While Reckless Love dives head first into the cheesy AOR side of ’80s metal and are content to keep a completely retro sound, Jettblack (much like Bad City) does the glam thing while balancing it with a modern hard rock sound.

The album starts off with the fantastic “Slip It On”, which is pure ’80s pop metal. “Two Hot Girls” features the typical lyrics you’d expect from a band that has been influenced by glam metal and “When It Comes To Lovin'” is a fun song talking about nailing your friend’s sister. Numbers like “Not Even Love”, “Sleep”, “Holding” and “Innocence Is Mine” show a heavier, modern and sometimes moodier side of the band that’s equally as cool, melodic and catchy as any of the more nostalgic sounding songs. Unlike the band Endeverafter, somehow Jettblack manages to pull this pop metal/modern hard rock blend off perfectly. The album never comes off sounding disjointed or like it was recorded by two different bands. I’ve read some reviews disagreeing with me on just how well the album plays as a whole but you can’t please everyone, I guess.

Of course, a song like “Slip It On” is NOT going to get played on the radio in 2010 (well, not in America at least) but “Not Even Love” and the slow-burning “Innocence Is Mine” could easily find their place on the mainstream rock stations and be hits if only someone would give the band half a chance. Of course, the first step is getting this album a distribution deal in the States, which hasn’t happened as of this writing. I had to track down a used copy on Amazon and ended up paying $13.95 for it but it was worth the price as in the 5 or 6 spins I’ve given this album, it’s become one of my favorites of the year.

Highlights: “Slip It On”, “When It Comes To Lovin””, “War Between Us”, “Not Even Love”, “Sleep”, “Innocence Is Mine”

http://www.facebook.com/pages/JETTBLACK/34390681646
http://www.myspace.com/jettblackuk

Coming Up…

Knowing me, it’s probably going to take two (maybe three) weeks to get through all these albums but I just wanted to let the world know that, yes, there are more NEW music reviews on the way!

The latest from Dio, Helloween, Death Angel, Exodus, The Sword, David Rock Feinstein, Jettblack, Skelator and Evestus should all be popping up soon. So keep checking back!

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