The list of my top 10 albums of 2010. This year I added a review to each album.
1. The Gaslight Anthem
- American Slang
The sound of The Gaslight Anthem can be described best as something like a young Bruce Springsteen playing in a punk band. To be honest, the songs on this album are so hooky that the the verses sonds like choruses and the choruses themself are likely to be stuck in your head forever. There's not a weak moment here from the first powerchord to the last fading tunes. With Brian Fallons brilliant, passionate lyrics about growing up and big city streetlife, this should be the anthem for the american youth for years to come.
- A Final Storm
Wow. This is an absolutely outstanding follow up to 2006's "The Second Wave" (the best album ever released by a swedish artist, imo). A trained ear can hear influenses from bands like Tool, Radiohead, Isis, Nine Inch Nails and swedish countrymates Kent and Cult Of Luna. But most of all, Khoma has developed a unique sound of thier own with an intense mixture of sweeping melodies and roaring guitars. So dark, so emotional and just so goddamn beautiful this is. Bang your head to "Osiris" and "Army Of One", feel the shivers run down your spine when "Harvest" start playing and let yourself be mezmerized by killer tracks like "The Tide" and "All Like Serpents". This is not not music for your average fm-radio-listener. This one is for music lovers who really want to loose themself in music. Give it time, and you will find one of your new favourite bands. A masterpiece.
- We're Here Because We're Here
What a beauty. Heavenly pop melodies meets the progressive peacefulness of Pink Floyd's guitar work. More piano based then anything Anathema has ever made in the past, still the rock elements are strong. I love the female vocals on this album. With the musical mastermid of Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) being the producer of this album, Anathema just couldn't go wrong. Easily one of the best albums in Anathema's already excellent catalog.
4. Avenged Sevenfold
Fuck the haters. In the loss of thier drummer The Rev, Avenged Sevenfold buckels up and makes the, by far, best album in thier carreer up to date. Nightmare is a tasty soup of sound mixed up of key ingredients influensed by Pantera, Metallica and Guns n' Roses. You'll find machine-gun-riffs, sweet melodies and sweeping solos here. A couple of filler tracks won't change the fact that this is one of the best albums of the year. American metal is not dead.
5. Hardcore Superstar
- Split Your Lip
The party anthem of the year. This is the fourth brilliant release in a row from the swedish sleeze metal masters. On the first five tracks, Hardcore Superstar puts the pedal to the metal and delivers some of the best songs of thier carrer. The two downtempo tracks (beeing the acoustic "Here Comes That Sick Bich Again" and the closuring piano ballad "Run To Your Mama") are wonderful songs where Jocke Berg really puts his heart on his sleeve and does his vocals with such intensity and passion that even Axl Rose would've surrendered. So crank up the volume, pour yourself a cold one and get ready to sing out loud. Irresitable.
/ROCK N' ROLL
Debut album of the year. Thiese norwegian metalheads manage to mix the best parts of rock history into thier sound, often in one single song. You'll find recognizable tunes from such broad inspirations as Jerry Lee Lewis and Converge. The norwegian lyrics just makes it all sound even more unique. The melodies here shine like a norwegian snowscape on and bright winter day. This makes for some irresistable song on this album. The best (and first) hardcore-punk-black metal-pop-rock n' roll-thrash-rock album ever made.
Scandinavian metal is facing an very interesting future. As we say back home: Jävlar, vad det svänger!
7. The Radio Dept.
- Clinging to a Scheme
Lot's of swedish acts on my list this year, but I just cannot help it. Thiese distorted pop melodies made my fall 2010. Nothing was more relaxing and soothing than putting on this ablum after a cold, gray day and just have a cup of coffee and drift away. The melodic feeling and harmonies of Clinging To A Scheme is amazing. You just can't find great pop music like this on the radio anymore. Unless you're tuning in the right department, that is.
8. Iron Maiden
- The Final Frontier
The last album by Iron Maiden? The Final Frontier is not an easy exploration, to say at least. Studio album number fifteen is more complex and progressive than anything Maiden has ever done in the past. Six of the ten tracks on the album are longer than seven minutes, wich make the structure of The Final Frontier seem more like Dream Theater album than a classic Maiden. Thier signature sound of the 80's; raw, punky and based on fast guitar riffs is as good as gone. Instead, we get progressive monsters with i.a. Hawkwind-intros and synthesizer arrangements.
Still this album amazes me. It takes time, sweat and patiensce to really get into The Final Frontier. But when you do, you'll find some of the best songs of the year. The epic album closure track is a must-mention here. Despite a few filler tracks, this is still a great addition to the legendary discography of Iron Maiden.
9. High on Fire
- Snakes for the Divine
So much great metal music was released in 2010, although Snakes For The Divine distinguished itself from the crowd. Opening with the absolutely outstanding title track and then never really hit the brakes, this album is a trip worth taking. This is Mastodon-riff-metal at it's very best. Greg Fidelman makes sure his mixing sound from Metallica's Death Magnetic reutilizes one more time. The sound is heavy, dirty, ugly and extremely distroted. Just the way I like it. You dirty bastard (samurai)!
- Beyond Hell/Above Heaven
Yeah, that really is a genre. Heavier than ever before, danish Volbeat returns to the stage with the follow up to 2007's brilliant "Guitar Gangsters & Caddilac Blood". And once again, they manage to deliver a collection of songs that impresses me. This time around, some of the songs are more trash metal-riff based than the usual Elvis-meats-Social Distortion tunes we're used to. The sond and production of this album is monsteruus and it sounds amazing being played loud in my strereo.
Volbeat has grown huge the last couple of years, but they still manage to live up to thier hype. There's enough great songs on this album to keep the train rolling and satisfy thier fans. If you're a rock fan and have not yet discovered Volbeat, you will now be pleased find one of the best new rock act out there today.
If you have Spotify, you can listen to my list here: http://open.spotify.com/user/matber/playlist/4d345dnizYcKOihbIyhzaS