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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/

 

Stereoside – Stereoside

Stereoside (2010, Bieler Bros. Records)

1. “Trailer Park Scum” … 3:45
2. “Risktaker” … 3:21
3. “Black Sheep” … 2:55
4. “Walk Alone” … 3:50
5. “By Now” … 3:17
6. “Get On” … 3:05
7. “Life Goes On” … 2:59
8. “Amazing” … 3:31
9. “These Bones” … 4:12
10. “Crazy & Paranoid” … 3:28

Band:
Jeff Shields – Vocals
Ben Foster – Guitar
David Oliver – Bass
Chris York – Drums

Producer: Matt LaPlant and Stereoside

The Ocala, Florida-based Stereoside is a band that I’m surprised hasn’t taken off on radio yet. They have a sound very similar to Shinedown or 3 Doors Down, coming across as a  “post-grunge” band with some southern rock influences, the only difference is for some reason I actually like Stereoside. And I discovered them purely by chance. I happened to be browsing through some music on Amazon and this album came up as a recommend. I checked out a few samples and really liked what I was hearing.

This is the band’s third album (second with singer Jeff Shields, who has an amazing voice) but it was just released in August so I guess there’s still plenty of time for this album to “blow up” as the kids say. Probably with some major label support they could garner a larger following but the radio ready songs are already here from the rockin’ “Trailer Park Scum” and “Risktaker” to the slower paced “Crazy & Paranoid” to the ballad “Walk Alone”. Those are the four standouts to me as far as a single goes. Living in the south and being familiar with what gets play at least in my area, I can definitely see Stereoside having a following around here if people were made aware of them. The whole album is full of songs that would be good to kick back, relax and drink some beers to… it’s just too bad I don’t drink!

From top to bottom, there’s really no filler here. I can’t explain it! Usually I wouldn’t give music like this a second thought but for some reason Stereoside has grabbed me and isn’t letting go. I ordered this used off Amazon  for only a few bucks just wanting to try something new but not really expecting much and I have to say this is one of the year’s best surprises for me.

Highlights: “Trailer Park Scum”, “Risktaker”, “Walk Alone”, “Amazing”, “Crazy & Paranoid”

http://www.stereoside.com/
http://www.myspace.com/stereoside
http://www.facebook.com/stereoside

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