1. Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons
2. Sadist - Seasons In Silence
3. Fear Factory - Mechanize
4. Enforcer - Diamonds
5. Metal Inquisitor - Unconditional Absolution
6. Overkill - Ironbound
7. Severe Torture - Slaughtered
8. Atheist - Jupiter
9. Forbidden - Omega Wave
10. Halford - Made Of Metal
11. Satanic Warmaster - Nachzehrer
12. Soilwork - The Panic Broadcast
13. Helloween - 7 Sinners
14. Iron Attack - Vampire Concerto
15. Abuser - Threats Of Fate
Biggest surprise this year was definitely Fear Factory. Let's face facts: Fear Factory's last good album came out in 1996. When I first read the news that Dino Cazares and Burton C. Bell were reuniting, I wasn't very excited, especially since they had released some pretty bad material with Dino in the band. However, I am very glad to say that Mechanize shattered my expectations and is easily on par with Demanufacture.
I have to go with Gamma Ray on this one. 2007's Land Of The Free Pt. II is one of my favorite power metal releases ever. I couldn't wait to see what they had in store for us in 2010. Turns out that what they had in store was a forgettable, bland, mess of an album that destroys all the momentum they had with Land Of The Free Pt. II. I know Gamma Ray have always been inconsistent but To The Metal was such a sheer drop in quality that I still can't believe that this is the same band that released LotF II.
"Good, not Great"
When I first listened to Enslaved's new album I was very into it. It felt like they reigned in some of the more "out there" elements of Vertebrae and returned to a more solid Black Metal foundation like on Ruun. Yet for some reason, every time I listened to Axioma Ethica Odini, I liked it less and less. I can't stop myself from being bored by it and zoning out completely. It's a solid album but in my opinion it's nowhere near flawless and failed to capture me the way Ruun did.