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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/

 

WHITE WIZZARD – Over The Top

White Wizzard – Over the Top (2010, Earache Records)

1. “Over the Top” … 5:08
2. “40 Deuces” … 4:35
3. “High Roller” … 4:35
4. “Live Free or Die” … 5:35
5. “Iron Goddess of Vengeance” … 7:33
6. “Out of Control” … 4:01
7. “Strike of the Viper” … 4:05
8. “Death Race” … 4:21
9. “White Wizzard” … 6:58

Band:
Wyatt “Screaming Demon” Anderson – Vocals
Erik Kluiber – Guitar
Chad Bryan – Guitar
Jon Leon – Bass, Guitar
Giovanni Durst – Drums

Producer: Ralph Patlan

White Wizzard is a band based in L.A. that is a part of the whole “retro metal” scene that basically tries to relive the 1980s. Is there anything with that? NO!!! The type of style they played is heavily influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. This is the band’s first album, though they had a self-titled EP released in 2008 which was later re-released in 2009 as High Speed GTO.

With the release High Speed GTO, that’s when myself and many others first began to notice the band. The song “High Speed GTO” was, dare I say it, a high-octane heavy metal song which helped the EP garner some high praise. I didn’t buy the EP though because I was holding out for Over the Top thinking “High Speed GTO” would be included.

This is actually the second incarnation of White Wizzard with the band’s founder, Jon Leon, being the sole holdover from the EP sessions. He had fired the original band and then decided to carry on with an all-new White Wizzard after “High Speed GTO” made it’s way onto an Earache metal compilation. Honestly, I much prefer Wyatt “Screaming Demon” Anderson’s vocals over their previous singer anyway (who wasn’t a bad singer at all), so it all works out.

The band doesn’t break new ground, this is entirely retro with no attempts to modernize NWOBHM. These guys are fans of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, NWOBHM in general and it shows. “40 Deuces” and the epic “Iron Goddess of Vengeance” sound like Iron Maiden and the bass heard throughout some of these songs definitely is reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris.

This is a very good traditional heavy metal album by a very good and young metal band. Hopefully they can sustain the momentum High Speed GTO started for them and stick around for years to come.

There’s a limited edition featuring two covers: Cloven Hoof’s “Gates of Gehenna” and Judas Priest’s “Heading Out to the Highway”. I didn’t realize there was a limited edition until buying this version but I checked out “Heading Out to the Highway” on YouTube and it’s good and faithful to the original.

Highlights: “Over the Top”, “40 Deuces”, “Iron Goddess of Vengeance”, “Strike of the Viper”, “White Wizzard”

http://whitewizzard.net/
http://www.myspace.com/whitewizzard

CLASSIC ROCK – The New Wave of Traditional Metal

Classic Rock – The New Wave of Traditional Metal (June 2009, Future Publishing)

1. “Girls Made of Heavy Metal” by Hysterica … 3:09
2. “Chained Up In Chains” by Cauldron … 5:09
3. “Stuka Squadron” by Stuka Squadron … 7:24
4. “High Speed GTO” by White Wizzard … 3:57
5. “Dig Your Grave” by The Green River Project … 4:33
6. “Like the Oar Strikes the Water” by Grand Magus … 3:14
7. “Celtica” by Celtic Legacy … 4:29
8. “Silver Bullet” by Powerdrive … 5:57
9. “Raise Your Fist Evangelist” by Powerwolf … 4:00
10. “The Heavens Cry Out” by The Devil’s Blood … 5:22
11. “Born of Thunder” by Destroy Destroy Destroy … 3:53
12. “If Crimson Was Your Colour” by Witchcraft … 3:49
13. “We Are The Hammer” by Savage Blade … 4:36
14. “Fake” by Crowning Glory … 4:49

With bands hand picked by legendary rock journalist Geoff Barton, this is a free compilation CD that came along with June 2009 issue of the UK magazine Classic Rock and it absolutely is well worth the $9.99 cover price. If you have trouble trying to force yourself to spend $10 on a magazine, just imagine you’re spending that ten bucks on a GREAT compilation and you get a complimentary magazine to go along with it.

I’ve been aware of Classic Rock for some time, but never read it. Magazines just cost too much these days and the internet always has the quick fix for info and articles, but I took a chance on the magazine this month (I guess B&N is a bit behind on issues?). Luckily, Barnes & Noble had ONE COPY left where the CD hadn’t been peeled off the cover yet.

I’m enjoying just about all of these songs. As you might have guessed from the title, these bands have a more old school heavy metal sound that’s rooted in NWOBHM and ’80s metal in general. Perhaps “NWOTM” will become the new buzzword in the metal world (it was coined by Classic Rock’s sister publication Metal Hammer). If these bands are indeed a part of this “new wave”, then I’m ready to hang ten! Yes. That was very cheesy of me.

Seriously, I know this was a free sampler CD, but I’m loving it and I intend to track down more info and songs from each and every one of these bands (though I was already familiar with Cauldron and White Wizzard).

Highlights: “Girls Made of Heavy Metal” (The beginnings of a GMOHM movement?), “Chained Up In Chains”, “High Speed GTO”, “Dig Your Grave”, “Like The Oar Strikes The Water”, “Silver Bullet”, “Raise Your First Evangelist”, “Fake”

www.classicrockmagazine.com
www.myspace.com/classicrockmagazine

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