2010 was one of the best years for metal in recent history, in my opinion. If you put my #1 album last year (Between the Buried and Me‘s The Great Misdirect) on this list, it would more than likely be only #6 or #7. That shows how great a year 2010 was. Let’s not waste any time, shall we? Let’s hit this list, starting with #20.
20. Through the Eyes of the Dead – Skepsis
I was rather suprised at the lack of publicity this album got. I found this album to be a rather great deathcore/tech-deathcore album. The guitar work was very adept, and the drumming was just spectacular. A great listen from beginning to end.
19. Motionless In White – Creatures
An absolutely spectacular post-hardcore release.
18. Melechesh – The Epigenesis
This album is amazing. So fucking heavy, yet so beautiful, with the two instrumentals in the middle to balance out the insanity. Ashmedi’s scream is amazing. And the record is so damn catchy.
17. The Contortionist – Exoplanet
You want to talk about epic, sweeping albums? Here you go. This album quickly became one of my favorites for quite some time. This would be MUCH higher if it wasn’t for all the great releases this year.
16. Veil of Maya – [id]
Was it original for Veil of Maya? Unfortunately, no. But was it one of the best albums of the year, and a standout in the genre of deathcore? You better fucking believe it.
15. Parkway Drive – Deep Blue
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for Parkway Drive. I find their guitar lines epic and they’re songs catchy. And with Deep Blue, they perfected their sound. Tracks like “Karma” and “Sleepwalker” was some of the most epic tracks I’ve subjected myself to all year.
14. Pin-Up Went Down – 342.
So unique. So beautiful. So fucking weird. A total winner.
13. Ihsahn – After
This album was the first great album of 2010. I remember listening to it over and over and OVER again. This album will be what Ihsahn is remembered for. None of his work in Emperor or his solo work compares to this album. And just for a personal note: Hearing the saxophone on “On The Shores” was one of the greatest music moments of 2010 for me.
12. Mutiny Within – Mutiny Within
Wow. Just wow. Operatic vocals, amazing guitar, great piano, and great drumming. The songs are amazing. I still listen to this album a ton, even though the album was released very early in the year. Just a testament to how powerful this album is.
11. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis
I don’t really feel like I need to say a few words about this album. We all know it’s amazing. Read the review, buy the album, and be amazed.
10. Shining – Blackjazz
I remember reading the review of this album on this website. It got a 5 out of 5. I’ve never heard of this band before this review, so I checked them out. Then I remember I only listened to Shining for about two weeks. It was that fucking great.
09. Amogh Symphony – The Quantum Hack Code
The best instrumental album of the year. Bar none. The story it tells, the absolutely wonderful music, and just overall epicness. Really is a compelling listen.
08. The Ocean – Heliocentric
What an album. Just wow. I love how versatile they are. I remember hearing “Ptolemy Was Wrong” and started tearing up. The most beautiful song this year. All of the songs have their own mood and style. When the album ended, I counted the days leading up to…
07. The Ocean – Anthropocentric
There is absolutely no reason why Anthropocentric is ahead of Heliocentric. Both albums are fucking amazing, and should be bought by all.
06. Deftones – Diamond Eyes
An absolutely beautiful album from beginning to end. “Diamond Eyes” is by far my favorite track off the album, with a beautiful 11/8 chorus. Chino Moreno has a beautiful voice. A must-have album for any rock and metal fan.
05. Orbs – Asleep Next to Science
We all checked out this band for the same reason: Dan Briggs plays guitar. And I’m proud to say the album is one of the best albums of the year. By far, my favorite rock album of the year. So spacey, absolutely amazing vocals, great production. Everything really is perfection.
04. Intronaut – Valley of Smoke
I like to consider Valley of Smoke this years Blue Album. In many ways, though, it surpasses Blue Album. The tracks are more memorable, complex (“Valley of Smoke” has two bass tracks and two drum tracks!), and overall better tunes. A must listen.
The Top 3(!):
03. Daath – Daath
This album has been replayed on my iTunes for a while now. Daath’s perfect album is here. Emil Werstler has the best soloing of any metal guitarist ever. Thank god for jazz. The screams are clear and crisp. The songwriting ability is awesome. There is genuinely nothing wrong with this album. It is near-perfection. As my good friend Jimmy has pointed out, this is a band you need to quit being a lazy dick about. Right now. After reading the next two, listen to Daath.
02. Periphery – Periphery
Misha “Bulb” Mansoor is an absolute beast. There is not a single bad track on this album. Every song is different, catchy, heavy as fuck, and the musical ability is through the roof.
01. Son of Aurelius – The Farthest Reaches
I remember finding SoA like it was yesterday. Saturday. Bored as balls. Searching youtube to find good bands. As I was subscribed to BlankTV, SoA popped up. I’ve never heard of this band, and it was a boring day. So I decided, “What the hell?”
Greatest decision ever.
This album is the best album of the year. It’s production is perfect. The songs are some of the best recorded songs of last decade and this decade. The talent these 5 men possess is astronomical. Everyone reading this must buy this album, give each and every track a listen, and be amazed. For if you are not amazed by this album, you have no soul and should subject yourself to being confined in a hole for 2 months with nothing to listen to but the worst music imaginable. It’s that fucking great.
There is the list. However, I feel that I should have some honorable mentions. Here are some albums that didn’t make the list, but deserve your attention:
This or the Apocolypse – Haunt What’s Left
Arsis – Starve For the Devil
Solution .45 – For Aeons Past
The Autumn Offering – The Autumn Offering
Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned
Manticora – Safe
Miss May I – Monuments
Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra
Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini
Fleshwrought – Dementia/Dyslexia
Also, I feel like there are EP’s which deserve mentions. They were not included in the main list because I feel the list should be full-length albums.
Tesseract – Concealing Fate
The Adviata Concept – Ontology
The Binary Code – Priest
Elitist – Caves
Fall of Enosis – Empty Throne
Cyclamen / Haunted Shores – Split EP
…and that’s all, folks. Goodbye 2010. Hope 2011 is as good as you were.