[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s guest post comes to us from Dan, who apparently is now called The Artist Formerly Known As Dan. Dan is an American temporarily transplanted to Adelaide, Australia. He has a list for you.]
So, I realize it’s cliche to make one of these lists (and maybe a bit premature?), but they’re usually useful for several reasons. Firstly, it allows me to shamelessly plug the bands I like and push my agenda on you. Secondly, it allows you to post lists of the records I forgot and tell me why my first list was wrong. I can then subsequently go back to the records I may have forgotten or never owned in the first place. Everyone should theoretically win here, since there is always music overlooked or forgotten about throughout the year. So, let’s begin.
10. The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza – Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events
Technical, but so brutal. A perfect recommendation for someone who listens to too much vanilla-breakdown deathcore (and, for some of you, “too much” implies listening to any deathcore at all). I highly recommend seeing them in concert; they bring tons of energy. Yippie-Kay-Yay-Motherfucker.
(more after the jump . . .)
9. Arsis – Starve for the Devil
Hands up if you forgot about this one. I got a copy back when I saw them on tour with Exodus and Arch Enemy in February and loved it. Nick Cordle has seamlessly integrated with James Malone and it shows in the guitar work on the album. The video for “Forced to Rock” is also hilarious.
8. Cloudkicker – Beacons
This guy is awesome. He doesn’t need a label because he can already do everything he needs to by himself. And he’s beyond talented. A must-have if you are into instrumental djent. Islander wrote a better review (with audio sample) here.
7. As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise
Ok, I might get some flak for this one, but hear me out (or…read the rest of this paragraph, whichever makes more sense). These guys wrote a legitimately well-sorted metalcore record and I’m not afraid to say that I thought this was one of the best albums of 2010. The guitars sound big and the drums give it a rock solid backbone. But what really makes this album for me is Tim Lambesis. His vocals have definitely gotten stronger as they’ve put out more records and I would argue that The Powerless Rise is his best performance. [NCS reviewed the album here.]
They also put on a sick live show with tons of energy – a definite winning combination. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s an uninspired stage performance, but these guys are phenomenal live. Try to put aside any qualms you might have with them being Christian or their obvious At-The-Gates influence and just enjoy the sweet sounds:
6. The Ocean – Anthropocentric
Ok, even though I haven’t heard the whole album (comes out November 9th), I had to include this band on the list. They are admittedly one of my all time favorite bands, but the song featured below and this song tell me the whole album will be great. Additionally, they were recently robbed of all their merch sales while on tour in Europe and they really need financial help right now. Even if you don’t like them, it’s a shitty thing to get robbed of over $8200.
5. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
It’s no The Number of the Beast, but that’s like complaining about free pizza or refusing to eat a steak that costs less than $50. Sometimes, it’s unfair that their absolute masterpieces are behind them because we’ll inevitably always compare them to their glory days. But this is new Maiden, and hey, the album is pretty damn catchy.
4. Veil of Maya – [id]
Sumeriancore at its finest. These guys are truly great artists, and put on a really good live show. Can’t recommend them enough. Also, their guitarist samples himself during the live show and loops it so he can then play the other parts – if you want to talk about musical skill, Marc Okubo has it in spades.
3. Daath – Daath
These guys just keep writing quality metal albums. Last year they released The Concealers, which was sick, and their self-titled release this year does not disappoint. The drumming is tight and the guitars are incredible. If you dig them, you should check out the instrumental album the guitarists released, Avalanche of Worms. Anyway, Daath are friggin’ great and I’m not sure what else to say, other than listen:
2. The Crown – Doomsday King
If you don’t know who The Crown is, go check them out immediately. No, I’m not going to question your metal fanhood, but this is one of those bands you should definitely know about. So go listen now. They are everything that is right with metal today. Simultaneously, you can read a far better and more in-depth NCS review by Andy Synn at this location.
1. Kvelertak – Kvelertak
You: “Aw man, what the fuck, The Artist Formerly Known as Dan, your number one album isn’t even a metal record!”
Me: “I don’t care, this album fucking rocks.”
Seriously, if you like rock music at all, you’ll like this. The music is infectiously good, even if I can’t understand the Norwegian singer (who definitely shows some black metal influence in his singing). The songs are all just so fun. The music is also exceptionally good for listening to while driving fast. I challenge you to listen to this music and not enjoy it.
Deftones – Diamond EyesAfter the Burial – In Dreams (comes out November 23rd, so I haven’t heard more than one song, but I’m betting it will be good).White Wizzard – Over the TopConducting From the Grave – RevenantsIron Thrones – The Wretched SunTrap Them – untitled as of yet, and I’m not sure if it’ll actually be out by the end of 2010, but I know it’s going to rip shit apart.
And there it is. Yes, having an honorable mention column is a cop-out. Please discuss.