I got too lazy to keep working on this
Anyways, I just now finished my Top 20 List for 2010, because at this point I don't care to do all 40 or whatever.
Here's my list:
20. Hour of Penance - Paradogma
Brutal Death Metal from Greece. These guys are as heavy as can be. This is a sheer blast attack the whole way through. You can tell they took alot of influence from Morbid Angel and Behemoth. This album killed my car speakers, seriously.
Favorites: Paradogma, Thousands of Christs, Incestuous Dynasty of Worms, Caged into Falsehood
19. Barren Earth - Curse of the Red River
Barren Earth is a Finnish "supergroup" featuring members of Amorphis, Swallow the Sun, Kreator, and Moonsorrow. It basically has the same vibe that alot of those bands have, but creates its own progressive/folk feel. The songs are beautiful at times, and just downright heavy at others.
Favorites: Flicker, Our Twilight, The Ritual of Dawn, Ere All Perish, Curse of the Red River
18. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
What can I say that hasn't already been said? While I don't think this one is as good as Brave New World or AMoLaD, I think it's a very solid offering. It has an interesting feel to it that Maiden has never had, I think, and the songs are all pretty memorable.
Favorites: Starblind, When the Wild Wind Blows, Coming Home
17. Weapon - From the Devil's Tomb
Black/thrash/death from Canada. Not too much to say about this one other than it's just thrashin' piece of black/death metal. Highly recommended for fans of the genres.
Favorites: Sardonyx, Furor Divinus, Vest in Surplice and the Violet Stole, From the Devil's Tomb
16. Ghost - Opus Eponymous
Satanic pop/rock/metal. Sounds good to me. While this one didn't grab me at first, the groove eventually won me over. I like the 'danceable', fun feeling on this record. I always find myself yelling the words to this when I'm jamming to it in the car, it's just so catchy.
Favorites: Ritual, Stand By Him, Elizabeth
15. Acid Witch - Stoned
This one is just pure tripped out, stoner/death-doom/kick ass rockin' fun. The riffs crunch along to create death/doom-rock heaviness, with some of the deepest vocals imaginable soaring on top. Some of the stuff on this is so brilliant it's ridiculous.
Favorites: If Hell Exists, Live Forever, Stoned to the Grave, really the whole album.
14. Darkthrone - Circle the Wagons
Darkthrone, the self proclaimed "World's Most Hated Band", continue in their metal/punk direction with Circle the Wagons, and I have not one complaint. The classic metal vibe mixed with the crust punk influence and ever so talented voices of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto compliment each other very well.
Favorites: I Am the Working Class, Those Treasures Will Never Befall You, Eyes Burst At Dawn, I Am the Graves of the 80's, Circle the Wagons
13. Alcest - Ecailles de Lune
French Shoegaze/Post-rock/black metal. Beautiful, serene, peaceful, tranquil, desolate, lonely, winter. All words that come to mind when I think of this album. The six songs on the album flow flawlessly, and keep the listener captivated through the whole thing.
Favorites: Percees de Lumiere, Ecailles de Lune Part 1, Ecailles de Lune Part 2
12. Lightning Swords of Death - The Extra Dimensional Wound
Definitely one of the heavier black metal albums I've heard. The bottom end on this is just massive. LSoD's brand of blackened death metal is thick, crunching and bludgeoning. Vocalist Autarch has some of the best vocals in the current black metal scene, and bassist Menno is an absolute monster. This album incorporates all different kinds of black metal influence, such as Bathory/Celtic Frost influence, second wave, and black/death such as Blasphemy and Behemoth, and combines it all really well.
Favorites: Damnation Pentastrike, Invoke the Desolate One, Paths to Chaos, Nihilistic Stench, once again, really the whole damn album.
11. Orphaned Land - The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR
A Progressive/Folk Metal masterpiece from Israeli band Orphaned Land. This is a long one, as it clocks in at over an hour, but throughout the hour the listener is carried on a middle-eastern adventure, set forth by the epic arrangements and varying moods that pass through the songs on this album. The softer moments are all emotional, and the heavy moments speak loud. Looking forward to see what these guys are doing in the future.
Favorites: From Broken Vessels, The Path - Treading Through Darkness, The Path Pt. 2 - The Pilgrimage to Or Shalem, The Warrior, Barakah
10. Blind Guardian - At the Edge of Time
I'm no power metal fan, but I've always loved Blind Guardian. Something about their 'technical', progressive, yet thrashy, epic and emotional nature has always connected with me well, and continued to do the same with this release. The symphony (or whatever) is very prominent on this one too. Just thinking about the massive chorus of Sacred Worlds makes me want to give it a spin right now.
Favorites: Tanelorn (Into the Void), Ride into Obsession, Wheel of Time, A Voice in the Dark
9. High on Fire - Snakes for the Divine
Another blistering effort from the mighty High on Fire. I don't really know how else to describe this album, but I'm sure you all get the point. It fucking rocks.
Favorites: Bastard Samurai, Snakes for the Divine, How Dark We Pray, Frost Hammer
8. Cough - Ritual Abuse
In the past year I really got into doom, and after checking out alot of stuff in the current Doom scene these days, Cough take the cake for one being one of the best. I could say that they sound like a mix between older Electric Wizard and Burning Witch. The instruments and the tortured screams/clean vocals make all the songs absolutely monumental and evokes a feeling of hopelessness at points. Definitely worth checking out.
Favorites: A Year in Suffering, Crooked Spine, Crippled Wizard
7. Ihsahn - After
This was the first album I checked out in 2010, and it was a good one to start with. The new song structure and progressive natures of Ihsahn could potentially make this Ihsahn's masterpiece. At times it's very emotional and mystical. The presence of the saxophone is very intriguing, as well.
Favorites: After, Undercurrent, Frozen Lakes on Mars, On the Shore
6. Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones
Metal God Tom G. Warrior returns with what is arguably one of his greatest works ever. Eparistera picks up right where Celtic Frost's doom metal masterpiece Monotheist left off, but is instead even more dark and massive.
Favorites: Abyss Within My Soul, The Prolonging, Goetia, A Thousand Lies, Desecendant
5. Electric Wizard - Black Masses
My favorite doom band, Electric Wizard, have done something very incredible with Black Masses. Deep down it still contains the classic Wizard sound, but has a vintage 70's rock vibe to it. A vibe that is so dark and menacing, while it's rockin' and trippy.
Favorites: Patterns of Evil, Turn Off Your Mind, Venus in Furs, Satyr IX
4. The Sword - Warp Riders
This album was my introduction to The Sword, and a fine one at that. This album is so progressive, and so doomy, yet it's still rock'n'roll as fuck. The Sword provides the listener with a trip through space most rockin' way possible.
3. Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle Part II
When this came out, I was a casual Nachtmystium fan. I loved Assassins and was highly anticipating the sequel. Before it came out, I knew it was going to be weird as hell, but when it did I was absolutely floored, and not long after I was 'addicted'. This one barely sounds anything like their previous work, sans the core Nachtmystium sound. Punk, industrial and psychadelic influences are present here more than ever. To me this album just evokes the feeling of addiction, the helplessness, the self destruction, the hope, and the sorrow that comes with it. I still listen to this all the time.
Favorites: Addicts, High on Hate, No Funeral, Nightfall, Every Last Drop, Ruined Life Continuum, Blood Trance Fusion
2. Watain - Lawless Darkness
Watain really hit the nail on the head with this one. This is nearly an hour of pure Black Metal right here. From the opening note of Death's Cold Dark to the closing solo of Waters of Ain, there's not a single flaw. A modern Black Metal masterpiece, in my eyes.
Favorites: Total Funeral, Malfeitor, Reaping Death, Hymn to Quayin, Four Thrones
1. Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini
Enslaved are one of my favorite bands, so there was absolutely no debating that this was my number one album of the year since the minute it was released. There was a solid month or two where this was the only thing I'd listen to, and I'm still in love with it. On Axioma we see Enslaved moving a little bit away from the sound on Vertebrae, and a little bit back to the ways of Below the Lights, while incorporating some new progressive elements, of course. As the album goes on, things just get more and more epic until the masterpiece of a finale that is Lightening. While this isn't really my favorite Enslaved album, it had no problem earning it's place among the ranks of Isa, Below the Lights, and Frost. Enslaved can do no wrong in my eyes.
Favorites: The whole damn album.
1. Ethica Odini
4. The Beacon
8. Night Sight
Don't worry Nat, at least you didn't wait as long as I did