To get the ball rolling on our look back at the year, here are my favorite albums of the year (in no particular order):
“Option Paralysis”-The Dillinger Escape Plan
“Option Paralysis”was definitely my most anticipated album of the year. Having quickly become one of my favorites bands after hearing Miss Machine back in 2005 and being blown away by Ire Works, I had high hopes for “Option Paralysis”. My excitement and high expectations were rewarded with an instantly classic album that blew me away from the first moment I gave it a spin. I had this blaring from my laptop for weeks and weeks and still find something new to love about it with every listen. With such killer tracks as “Gold Teeth on a Bum”, “Farewell, Mona Lisa and “Widower”, this was an easy choice for my top ten albums of 2010.
“Stream Inwards”-Mar De Grises
I had never heard of Chilean doom metallers, Mard De Grises before this year. It was only while sitting on my throne and reading Terrorizer that I read an interview with them and saw a review of “StreamInwards” trhat my interest was piqued. Immediately after my session on the throne, I checked out Mar De Grises MySpace and was instantly blown away by their beautiful version of doom metal. The emotion in the music was incredible and the atmospheres created by the music were unlike anything I had heard before. It sounded like a movie soundtrack, so powerful was the music. Since then, I have checked out Mar De Grises great back catalogue, but its on “Stream Inwards” that all the pieces seem to have fallen into place for these guys. The track “Shining Human Skin” is my favorite metal song of the year and is sure to leave you gobsmacked by how powerful it is. Mard De Grises are definitely a band to watch in the future. I predict great things from them.
I have always been intrigued by black metal but could never really call myself a fan of it. I had listened to Emperor before but just couldn’t get into them. I had listened to some of Ihsahn’s previous solo stuff, which I did prefer to the Emperor stuff, but I couldn’t say I was a huge fan of his. That was until I gave a listen to “After”. “After’s” ambitiousness really blew my mind. I mean,on how many metal albums are you gonna find a saxophone so heavily used?! If you like your metal challenging and interesting, then definitely give this a spin.
Probably my most listened to album of the year, “Re-Traced” was my soundtrack to the majority of my travels this year. I don’t know what it was but I always found that when I put on this album, I could just close my eyes and fade away into my thoughts. The songs are almost meditative and flow effortlessly into one another. If you need a good mellowing out, then close your eyes and play this album through from start to finish.
“Evil Power”-Lair Of The Minotaur
While the majority of my favorite albums this year seem to be almost artsy and avant garde, I still loves me a bit of meat and potatoes, heavy as fuck metal. And Lair Of The Minotaur deliver this in force on “Evil Power”. With riffs and breakdowns that are sure to have cause a healthy number of bloody noses and broken bones in pits throughout the year and some of the coolest and most violent videos of the year, “Evil Power” is a necessary soundtrack for anyone who needs to unleash their anger and kick the shit out of something!
There my picks for the moment. There’s plenty of other albums I enjoyed this year but it was these guys that really stood out for me. Below are those who caim close to making the list!
The Obsidian Conspiracy-Nevermore
Exhibit B: The Human Condition-Exodus
Misled By Certainty-Cephalic Carnage
High on Fire-Snakes for The Divine