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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/

 

KROKUS – Hoodoo

Krokus – Hoodoo (2010, Sony Music)

1. “Drive It In” … 3:32
2. “Hoodoo Woman” … 3:37
3. “Born To Be Wild” … 3:34
4. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Handshake” … 3:56
5. “Ride Into The Sun” … 5:03
6. “Too Hot” … 3:45
7. “In My Blood” … 3:33
8. “Dirty Street” … 4:27
9. “Keep Me Rolling” … 4:12
10. “Shot Of Love” … 3:31
11. “Firestar” … 3:43

Band:
Marc Storace – Lead Vocals
Fernando Von Arb – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mark Kohler – Guitar
Chris Von Rohr – Bass, Backing Vocals
Freddy Steady – Drums

Producer: Chris Von Rohr

I have owned The Definitive Collection, a Krokus compilation album, for a number of years. I liked it but never got around to checking out their catalog. As a whole, judging by critics, the career of Krokus has been a mixed bag and that may be partly why I have never checked them out further. Honestly though, once news hit of Hoodoo coming, I added a number of their albums to my CD Universe wish list but still never got around to buying them.

I’m not sure why but despite my inexperience with the band, I had a good feeling that Hoodoo was going to rock. I knew 2006’s Hellraiser was universally praised so I figured they would be able to continue the momentum. It’s a bonus that this album is a reunion of the Once Vice at a Time line-up from 1982 (longtime singer Marc Storace is the only holdover from Hellraiser).

This is easily one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year. It rocks from beginning to end. Krokus may be veterans in the world of rock ‘n’ roll but you wouldn’t know it here. The sounds are full of energy and the band is fired up. Of course, you can’t mention Krokus without talking about the obvious AC/DC influence. My woman came home the other day while I was listening to this and asked me why I was listening to AC/DC (since I usually don’t buy or play many of their albums). The similarities with AC/DC seems to be one of the main causes for the flack the band has caught over the years but so what if they sound like AC/DC? Like that’s a bad thing? Especially when this album sounds like the Bon Scott era?

“Drive It In” is a great opener but it’s when “Hoodoo Woman” hits that you know Krokus isn’t playing around. It’s an infectious song. One of the band’s calling cards is doing covers. Well, they did it again by covering Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild”. I’ve never been a fan of song but I like Krokus’ version. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Handshake” is my favorite track, some great riffing to be found here and the next track “Ride Into the Sun” is my second favorite song and is a slow burner similar to “Screaming In The Night”.

At the album’s half-way point “Too Hot” is up and it reminds me of KISS’ “Lick It Up”. “In My Blood” is another highlight for the album, “Dirty Street” is probably the bluesiest rocker of the bunch. “Keep Me Rolling” and “Shot Of Love” are the two weakest tracks on the album but still pretty good, so I’m not knocking them and “Firestar” is a powerful and spirited closing track.

I can’t imagine this album not making many top ten lists come January 2011. Hoodoo is full of bluesy hard rock anthems that are sure to please and it has definitely convinced me there’s no time like the present to check out their earlier material.

Highlights: “Hoodoo Woman”, “Born To Be Wild”, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Handshake”, “Ride Into The Sun”, “In My Blood”, “Dirty Street”, “Firestar”

http://www.krokusonline.com/
http://www.myspace.com/krokusonline

Buy it at Amazon.com
Buy it at CD Universe

KROKUS – The Definitive Collection

Krokus – The Definitive Collection (2000, Arista Records)

1. “Ballroom Blitz” … 4:01
2. “Long Stick Goes Boom” … 5:13
3. “Bad Boys, Rag Dolls” … 3:48
4. “Playin’ the Outlaw” … 4:01
5. “American Woman” … 3:38
6. “Midnite Maniac” … 4:02
7. “Nightwolf” … 4:11
8. “Headhunter” … 4:31
9. “Eat the Rich” … 4:14
10. “School’s Out” … 3:17
11. “Bedside Radio” … 3:19
12. “She’s Got Everything” … 3:59
13. “Heatstrokes” … 4:02
14. “Screaming in the Night” … 6:39
15. “Stayed Awake All Night” … 4:42

Featuring:
Mark Storace – Vocals
Fernando Von Arb – Guitar
Tommy Kiefer – Guitar, Vocals
Mark Kohler – Bass, Guitar
Chris Von Rohr – Bass
Jeff Klaven – Drums
Freddy Steady – Drums
Steve Pace – Drums

I stay away from greatest hits packages these days because often its the “deep tracks” that are most worthwhile, but as a sample platter, they’re worth a spin to find out if the band is your taste.

I do like this album, but I’ve yet to ever get around to picking up any of the Krokus’ other albums, for whatever reason. So not being familiar with Krokus (outside of the hits), I’m not sure how “definitive” this release is, but it works for me even if their covers of “Ballroom Blitz” and “American Woman” are horrible. That’s not really their fault though, I hate the originals too. They do a decent cover of “School’s Out” though.

Highlights: “Long Stick Goes Boom”, “Bad Boys, Rag Dolls”, “Playin’ the Outlaw”, “Eat the Rich”, “”School’s Out”, “Screaming in the Night”, “Stayed Awake All Night”

krokusonline.seven49.net
www.myspace.com/krokusonline

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