I really just wasn't that impressed with the music output this year, so my lists are a bit short. Plenty of good stuff, but not enough that resonated with me personally.
01. Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
02. Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini
03. The Wounded Kings - The Shadow Over Atlantis
04. Horned Almighty - Necro Spirituals
05. NAILS - Unsilent Death
06. Deathspell Omega - Paracletus
07. Kvelertak - Kvelertak *debut album of the year*
08. Dark Fortress - Ylem
09. Solefald - Norren Livskunst
10. Watain - Lawless Darkness
11. Borgne - Entraves De L'Âme
Electric Wizard - Black Masses
There were plenty of other good albums this year, but I just wanted to point out that this sounds fucking great on vinyl and if I had experienced it this way earlier it would probably have made my list.
"I just don't get it" Album of the Year
I have to go with Sadist. I like the lofi keyboards, while I could give or take the mix of guitar styles at play here, but the singer just ruins any chance that I could enjoy it. His overdone thrash cum proto-death tone is too prominent in a pretty thin mix, and combined with the generally laughable lyrics (even accounting for English as a second language), makes it seem like this is a take on Gloomy Grim's humour that lacks all of the self-awareness. His vocals are also completely at odds with the dry, serious music, creating disparate planes of feeling that detract from each other. My reaction is a bit disappointing because I'm largely sick of generic death metal vocals and the lyrical premise at play here is promising, but I just can't find any value in it.
Top 10 Non-Metal Albums
Sanctus Daemoneone could go in either metal or non-metal, so I put it over here to make things simpler.
01. Sanctus Daemoneon - The UnaVOIDable
02. Lights Out Asia - In The Days Of Jupiter
03. Vex'd - Cloud Seed
04. Eleven Tigers - Clouds are Mountains
05. Dead Prez - Revolutionary but Gangsta Grillz
06. The Radio Dept - Clinging to a Scheme
07. MGMT - Congratulations
08. Delphic - Acolyte
09. Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - The Logic Of Chance
10. Salem - King Night
Kraken by China Mieville
I found this so engaging that I didn't do anything for two days besides eat and read it. A fantastic return to form after The City and The City's decent material.
This came out last year technically, but wasn't viewable outside Japanese theatres until this year. I think it's the only 2010 movie I saw, giving it a shoe-in for my choice, but it was also an instant favourite. Ignore the critics crying for it to be shortened - while I don't think the movie would be compromised to remove at least one of the brief side-stories, the pace is excellent. And, ignoring all other factors, the World's End Girlfriend soundtrack ensures that it's a movie to luxuriate in.