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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/

 

Y&T – Facemelter

Y&T – Facemelter (2010, Meanstreak Music Company)

1. “Prelude, On With The Show” … 1:39
2. “On With The Show” … 4:09
3. “How Long” … 4:24
4. “Shine On” … 4:59
5. “I Want Your Money” … 4:42
6. “Wild Child” … 4:08
7. “I’m Coming Home” … 5:12
8. “If You Want Me” … 4:52
9. “Hot Shot” … 5:03
10. “Blind Patriot” … 4:07
11. “Gonna Go Blind” … 4:26
12. “Don’t Bring Me Down” … 4:21
13. “One Life” … 4:19

Band:
Dave Meniketti – Lead Vocals, Lead guitar
John Nymann – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Phil Kennemoore – Bass, Backing Vocals
Mike Vanderhule – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Producer: Y&T

Y&T is one of those bands that had a lot going for them musically but couldn’t catch a break with commercial success. Their late ’80s attempts to chase the almighty dollar with a more mainstream melodic rock sound ended up alienating the fan base they had build up since the late ’70s and then it wasn’t too much longer before their style of rock went out of style. That was then and this is now! In more modern times veteran rock bands are experiencing a renaissance in terms of live events and top quality albums.

While I can’t vouch for the live shows, Y&T definitely has delivered with a brand new studio album that hearkens back to the ’80s heyday for this style of hard rock. The only Y&T album I’ve owned before purchasing Facemelter was Ten. It was okay but nothing special so despite always reading praise of the band’s earlier works I wasn’t sure whether this album was going to be any good. I saw a few mixed reviews for it online but decided to try it out for myself after listening to some samples and a number of songs immediately stood out to me… I even enjoyed the intro!

The general consensus amongst Y&T fans now seems to be that this album is good but doesn’t compare to the albums like Meanstreak or Black Tiger. Of course, you’ll hear that about most new releases from an “old” band. For my money, going in oblivious to what Y&T had done in their early days, I’m loving this album. “On With The Show”, “How Long”, “Shine On”, “I’m Coming Home” are all great melodic hard rock numbers and David Meniketti’s voice is just as strong as ever and his guitar playing is superb. There’s also a great ballad on here called “If You Want Me” and then the bluesy “Gonna Go Blind” is a really cool number featuring lyrics about masturbation that would make AC/DC proud. The album closes with “One Life”, which is a really good instrumental.

Facemelter delivers for fans of melodic hard rock. Maybe Y&T aren’t as fast or as heavy as they used to be but c’mon their first album was released in 1978! Cut’em some slack! Easily one of my favorite albums of 2010 and well worth seeking out.

In fact, the only gripe I have is the album cover which looks like something from the animated movie How To Train Your Dragon. I must admit though that it’s pretty cool Y&T recruited the same artist that they used for some of their early albums.

Highlights: “On With The Show”, “How Long”, “Shine On”, “I’m Coming Home”, “If You Want Me”, “Gonna Go Blind”, “One Life”

www.yandtrocks.com
www.myspace.com/yandtrocks

Summertime!

June 1st. Summer is here. I don’t care what the calendars say, Summer has also started on the 1st of June, in my mind. So relax, grab some lemonade, sit down on the porch, and play this video to trumpet in the sights and sounds of Summer…

Y&T – Ten

Y&T – Ten (1990, Geffen Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Hard Times” … (5:14)
2. “Lucy” … (4:43)
3. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” … (4:51)
4. “Girl Crazy” … (4:01)
5. “City” … (5:37)
6. “Come in from the Rain” … (6:03)
7. “Red Hot and Ready” … (4:18)
8. “She’s Gone ” … (4:17)
9. “Let It Out” … (4:46)
10. “Ten Lovers” … (6:06)
11. “Goin’ off the Deep End” … (4:32)
12. “Surrender” … (5:22)

Band:
Dave Meniketti – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Stef Burns – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Phil Kennemore – Bass, Backing Vocals
Jimmy DeGrasso – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Muscians:
Jeff Paris – Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Produced by: Mike Stone

A lot of Y&T fans don’t care for this album. I didn’t get into the band until early 2007, but this album works for me. It’s not going to knock your socks off, but it’s still pretty enjoyable, even if it is (as some Y&T fans complain) very slick and polished and some songs are have borderline generic 80s hard rock sound.

Highlights: “Hard Times”, “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”, “Come in from the Rain”, “She’s Gone”,  “Ten Lovers”, “Surrender”

www.meniketti.com
www.myspace.com/yandtrocks

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