We asked all of the contributing writers here at Hellbound.ca to submit their Top 10 albums of 2010, which we then compiled into a master list, assigning points to all their choices (10 points for #1, down to 1 point for #10). After tabulating the results, we have created Hellbound.ca’s Top 20 Albums of 2010. For part two of our continuing series, here is albums #15 through 11…
15. ROTTING CHRIST –Aealo
(Season Of Mist)
Aealo fuses blackened metal with the haunting and mysterious spirit of the occult. The album’s overarching theme is that of a warrior in battle, his heart pounding to the beat of the band’s aggressive brand of Greek black metal. Shrouded in whispers, tortured screams and occult melodies, Aealo creates an arresting atmosphere that is both unique and unmistakably Rotting Christ. This album is a gem. It never fails to quicken my pulse. You’d be hard pressed to find another record that works as hard and delivers as much from the very first listen
14. LUDICRA – The Tenant
Black metal this may be, but The Tenant is best considered as a progressive album. What makes The Tenant so compelling is the manner in which introspection and explosion are combined; it would be too easy to alternate between the two and call it a day, but Ludicra manages to invest every moment with a fresh take on a flavour as delicate as it is destructive. Throughout, complex musical flavours are woven into exploratory musical structures, which are embellished with coruscating leads and hoarse screams. Ludicra takes up the mantle of progression in the most literal sense, with every moment pushing to new heights, every second caught in a cross-fire between the visceral and the intellectual, and every movement imposing a grand challenge upon its audience.
13. HOODED MENACE – Never Cross The Dead
Never Cross The Dead finds Finnish old school death/doom outfit Hooded Menace missing the proverbial sophomore slump with flying colours. Indeed, second time around rages just as hard as their debut, with the real main differences being a new label home (Profound Lore Records now instead of Razorback) and colour artwork on the cover this time around. And if you have seen the album cover on the vinyl version, you will know that this is one fucking serious album cover!
Musically, little has changed in comparison to Fulfill The Curse. Razorback’s Billy Nocera is still involved with the songwriting, the Templars are revisted in the lyrics again and this album is heavy as fuck, painfully slow at times and will appeal to those that love early Cathedral, Autopsy, Celtic Frost and the like. It is another must have album and assuredly one of 2010’s best.
12. KVELERTAK – Kvelertak
At the end of what amounts to extreme music’s fiscal year – many of these lists are actually compiled a couple months before the actual end of December – after I submit my year-end to the suckers who ask, I wonder about the coming year and if it will produce anything worthy of consideration. It’s like, even though I know there a plenty of good albums to come, I can’t help but wonder if this was the year metal collectively reached its peak. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes a band I’ve previously never heard of releases an absolute monster and takes top spot on my personal ‘best of…’. This year a bunch of gas-huffin’, garage-rawkin’ punkers obsessed with black metal, Norse legends and owls swooped in, blew a lot of minds. Mine included, and Kvelertak continues to do so. Faith restored (until next year)!
11. DANZIG – Deth Red Sabaoth
(The End Records)
It’s taken many years for genre luminary Glenn Danzig to get back to the prowess, vitality and energy of the early recordings bearing his surname. Still, with ninth studio effort Deth Red Sabaoth, he not only outshines the embarrassment of his 1996-2004 output, he obliterates it completely. Returning to the formative blues-influenced progressions bastardized by grinding chug, squealing accents and swaggering vocals on tracks such as anthemic opener “Hammer Of The Gods,” lilting “Black Candy,” eerie “Ju Ju Bone” and ballady “On A Wicked Night,” the album feels complete, confident and entirely within the realm of shuffling hard music we expect from Danzig. Essentially, when stacked up against its predecessors, Deth Red Sabaoth finally feels right, natural and like the missing link between 1992’s How The Gods Kill and, well, everything since.
Make sure to come back on Thursday for part three of the Top 20, which will cover albums #10 through to 6. See you then!