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Dangerdog Music Reviews Best Music of 2010
Dangerdog Music Reviews Best Music of 2010 album new music review

Miguel Blardony, Reviewer, Philippines
The Top 15
Triosphere the Road Less Traveled
  • Triosphere: The Road Less Traveled
  • Complete and utter perfection. What more is there to say?

  • Witchery: Witchkrieg

  • Killing Joke: Absolute Dissent
  • Wow. Diverse. Eclectic. Utterly insane. A unique musical experience unmatched this year.

  • Allen/Lande: The Showdown
  • It's Allen/Lande. How can this album not be great?

  • Star One: Victims of the Modern Age
  • Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a bloody genius. He's a classical Baroque composer reborn in our time to write timeless music.

  • Treat: Coup de Grace
  • Proof that AOR doesn't suck.

  • Ratt: Infestation
  • What is the musical equivalent of having sex with a totally hot porn star who looks like Megan Fox? The raunchy ride that's Infestation.

  • Sister Sin: True Sound of the Underground
  • The toughest rock album of 2010. This is gonna be a classic.

    Overkill Ironbound
  • Overkill: Ironbound
  • The metallest album of 2010. A crowning achievement from New Jersey's gnarliest band.

  • Black Label Society: Order of the Black
  • A welcome return to form from Zakk and the gang.

  • Airbourne: No Guts No Glory
  • You want to get drunk listening to this.

  • Masterplan: Time to be King
  • If only the rest of power metal were as talented as these guys

  • Accept: Blood of the Nations
  • Everyone though this wouldn’t work, but it did. Herr Dirkschneider has got a tall order to fill for his next UDO album.

  • Exodus: Exhibit B The Human Condition
  • Thrash, thrash, and more thrash. Thrashtastic!

  • Fear Factory: Mechanize
  • Killing machine efficiency mixed with molten wrath equals Fear Factory's finest moment since they threw in the towel at the start of the decade.

The Bottom 5
    Borknagar Universal
  • Borknagar: Universal

  • Freedom Call: Legend of the Shadow King
  • Everything that's wrong with power metal is on this album.

  • Gamma Ray: To the Metal
  • To the Metal? Really? No thanks.

  • Shadowside: Dare to Dream
  • How do you spell completely untalented? S-H-A-D-O-W-S-I-D-E.

  • Orphaned Land: The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR

Craig Hartranft, Editor-in-Chief, United States
My Top 25 for 2010

Once again, as last year, I skimmed the review archives, quickly picked 25 favorites (I could have picked another 25 more) and listed them in no particular order. New this year: I've added pithy comments.

    Concentric Immeasureable
  • Concentric: Immeasurable
  • Some of the most beautiful instrumental prog music you'll hear.

  • Wig Wam: Non Stop Rock 'N Roll
  • Yes, I confess I'm a Wigwamaniac.

  • White Wizzard: Over the Top
  • American youngsters making old school new again, and then they bust up. What?

  • Scorpions: Sting of the Tail
  • After atrail of mediocre stuff over the last decade and a half, the German legends find their mojo and go out with a great one.

  • Armored Saint: La Raza
  • This is not the Armored Saint that you know. What a surprise. Excellent!

  • Mattsson: Tango
  • A strong candidate for best progressive metal album of the year.

  • RATT: Infestation
  • Makes you wonder how or why grunge actually kicked hair metal's ass. Hardly skipping a beat from their Eighties reign: RATT rules.

  • Charlotte: Medusa Groove
  • Great long lost archival recording from another band good band that succumbed to Grunge. Kudos to Eonian Records for finding this one.

    Treat Coup de Grace
  • Treat: Coup de Grace
  • Call it AOR or simply European melodic hard rock, but call it amazing nevertheless.

  • Angeline: Confessions
  • AOR/Melodic Rock perfection.

  • Taking Dawn: Time to Burn
  • See Taking Dawn live this Summer: pure energy, showmanship, and kick ass rock!

  • Empires of Eden: Reborn in Fire
  • Possibly the most formidable collaboration of metal vocalists on one disc.

  • Avenged Sevenfold: Nightmare
  • Not everything that rises to the top in America is some variation of hardcore and death metal vocals.

  • Iron Maiden: The Final Frontier
  • Iron Maiden delivers their most intriguing album in 20 years.

  • Dead Men Dreaming: Last Call
  • A surprisingly entertaining dose of American melodic hard rock that doesn't sound like everything else.

  • The Sword: Warp Riders
  • Another great American band revitalizing old school metal for a new generation.

  • Accept: Blood of the Nations
  • I agree with Miguel on this one.

    Kamelot Poetry for the Poisoned
  • Kamelot: Poetry for the Poisoned
  • Hands down: THE best progressive metal album of the year.

  • Symphorce: Unrestricted
  • Technical and progressive, modern and melodic, and so very good.

  • Star One: Victims of the Modern Age
  • Again, Miguel nailed this one, too.

  • Forbidden: Omega Wave
  • Best pure thrash album of the year.

  • Tetrafusion: Altered State
  • Nipping at Kamelot's heels for best prog metal album of the year.

  • Crushing Blow: Cease Fire
  • Just one fine example of the New Wave of French Heavy Metal; in this case, solid melodic power metal.

  • District 97: Hybrid Child
  • Another great band chasing down Kamelot for best prog metal album of the year.

  • Texas Hippie Coaltion: Rollin'
  • The next great American heavy rock band? Listen to Pissed Off and Mad About It and get Rollin'.

Top Songs for 2010

As difficult as it is to pick the best albums of 2010, picking the best songs of 2010 is an exercise in pure futility. Nevertheless, here's a few great songs that belong on a road trip CD. No order recommended.

  • Pissed Off and Made About It from Texas Hippie Coalition's Rollin'
  • Talk Dirty from Combat Deluxe's True Religion
  • A Little Too Much from RATT's Infestation
  • Get Down from Pyscho Choke's Unraveling Chaos
  • The War Is Over from Treat's Coup de Grace
  • All In from Treat's Coup de Grace
  • Paper Tiger from Treat's Coup de Grace
  • Roar from Treat's Coup de Grace
  • Medusa Groove from Charlotte's Medusa Groove
  • It's Hard Being Me from UFO's Best of a Decade
  • Confessions from Angeline's Confessions
  • Time to Burn from Taking Dawn's Time to Burn

Ethan Hartranft, Reviewer, United States
My Top 10 for 2010

From the world of alt, indie, and modern rock.

    Motion City Soundtrack My Dinosaur Life
  • 1. Motion City Soundtrack: My Dinosaur Life
  • 2. Murder by Death: Good Morning Magpie
  • 3. Against Me!: White Crosses
  • 4. The Bouncing Souls: Ghosts on the Boardwalk
  • 5. Streetlight Manifesto: 99 Songs of Revolution
  • 6. The Damned Things: Iconiclast
  • 7. Black Keys: Brothers
  • 8. Coheed and Cambria: Year of the Black Rainbow
  • 9. Vampire Weekend: Contra
  • 10. OK Go: Of the Blue Color of the Sky
My Top Songs for 2010

In no particular order!

  • Holiday by Vampire Weekend
  • Boogie Woogie Downtown by The Bouncing Souls
  • Worker Bee by Motion City Soundtrack
  • Her Words Destroyed My Planet by Motion City Soundtrack
  • Howlin for You by The Black Keys
  • This Too Shall Pass by OK GO
  • Foxglove by Murder by Death
  • As Long as There Is Whiskey in the World by Murder by Death
  • Because of the Same by Against Me!
  • Farewell, Mona Lisa by Dillinger Escape Plan

Kees-Jan Stel, Reviewer, The Netherlands
KJ's Top 15 for 2010

In not particular order, here are my 15 favorite albums of 2010.

  • Vanden Plas: The Seraphic Clockwork
  • Vanden Plas The Seraphic Clockwork

    From day one I have been a great admirer of this band, but so far all their albums lost a few points down the line. But The Seraphic Clockwork is different. It's all there. No weaknesses. It rocks, entertains, amazes and impresses me time after time. I can't get it out of my rotation. How on earth are they gonna top this?

  • Sabaton: Coat Of Arms
  • These guys get better with each album. I adore that powerful and gripping (double) guitarwork throughout the entire album. The intensity of Uprising is as stunning as the lyrics in The Final Solution. A few tracks may be somewhat weaker but don't come close to spoiling the fun.

  • Pretty Maids: Pandemonium
  • Harder edged than we would expect from our Danish friends. Still the melody lurks in every track. The added keyboard player does wonders. The constant duel between keyboard and guitar are highly entertaining. Even the ballads rock harder than usual.

  • Fair Warning: Talking Ain't Enough
  • Best live recording of 2010 and maybe more. Trackwise there is nothing new under the (rising) sun, but the show is simply one highlight without fast forward moments and a few nice twists and turns. After the last track you cannot help yourself checking if these guys may pull of a gig in the neighborhood soon.

  • Masterplan: Time To Be King
  • Jorn Lande's voice is sometimes a bit overestimated. But he cannot turn ABBA tunes in metal classics and his voice needs the right umfeld. The good news is that with Masterplan he is back where he belongs. His voice fits this heavy and dark melodic metal like a glove and the band shows no sign of fatigue. No more leavin' all right Jorn?

  • Terry Brock: Diamond Blue
  • Terry Brock is a busy man considering his work with Giant, Strangeways and his solo stuff. But that's the reason he makes a double appearance in my list since the new Strangeways album is also represented. A damn good, guitar driven, melodic rocker that sounds a touch edgier than average. But average is a word that should not be associated with Terry whatsoever.

  • White Widdow: White Widdow
  • White Widdow

    Sparkling AOR debut from these Australian rockers. They turn back the clock 25 years in convincing fashion. If Australia starts pushing out this type of quality AOR the conclusion must be that not only AOR has a bright future, also the recently rather bleak Australian rock scene may come back to life again.

  • Axel Rudi Pell: The Crest
  • This Old German Rocker is often accused of making albums that sound similar. That may be true, but the good news is that in Axel's world similar means great. So I don't mind him putting out similar albums all the time. He never leaves his proven melodic, heavy and exhaustive formula and it still works. And let's not forget he has a great singer.

  • Edge Of Forever: Another Paradise
  • Italy is represented here since they seem to emerge as metal country more and more. Prove of that is this great combo of harder edged rock and melodic rock which is by far the band's best effort yet. Oh, before I forget, Edge of Life is one of the best tracks I have heard this year. What great guitarwork.

  • Strangeways: Promised Land
  • Underrated as far as I am concerned. More subdued and quiet then most people anticipated. But did we anticipate anything from this band anymore? I checked and many tracks here do remind me of the great stuff they threw at us in the eighties. A very welcome surprise this year.

  • Vega: Kiss Of Life
  • Melodic rock at it's finest. The Martin twins show once more they have a skill for writing catchy quality tunes. This one is almost as good as Khymera's latest. Beautiful arrangements and vocal harmonies. Where does the burst of great AOR/MR bands and projects from Frontiers all of a sudden come from?

  • Magnum: The Gathering
  • Magnum's first comprehensive overview of their impressive back catalog. Time consuming, since it takes considerable time to let 5 discs sink in, however worth every minute. And stuffed with many extra's. The Lights Burned Out from Disc 1 and The Word from Disc 2 show unmistakenly how good a singer Bob Catley is. But is there a single soul in the world who doesn't know that already?

  • Kissin Dynamite: Addicted To Metal
  • Kissin Dynamite Addicted to Metal

    I really thought I was so lucky to stumble upon a 'lost and forgotten tracks from the eighties disc' by Judas Priest when listening to this album. But I was wrong. They may not be Priest since they hail from Germany and their average age is less than half of the legends themselves. But Halford and friends can rest assured, their heritage is safe. And the list of uber-average German rockbands gets longer and longer and longer and longer ...

  • Treat: Coupe De Grace
  • Another major chapter in the 'bolder but better' story these days. Strong return to form from the swedish veterans. It took them 25 years to make this album and it shows, cause it might well be their best album to date. More poppy than I anticipated, but by means of A Life To Die For equipped with the best power ballad of the year.

  • Iron Maiden: The Final Frontier
  • Just on the brink of the list. It took more spins than usual and the album is not fully convincing. But the second half is great and makes up for the rest with ease. If this would have been a debut disc from whatever newcomer you would say they have a bright future. But who knows, a monumental past should not be in the way of a bright future. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

In Short

Dangerdog Music reviewers Miguel Blardony, Craig Hartranft, Ethan Hartranft, and Kees-Jan Stel wax eloquent on their picks for the best music of 2010.

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