Sunday, January 2, 2011

Meta's Top Metal Albums of 2010

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.    

The Mandatory...11
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

Honorable Mention
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

Best Book

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.

Best Movie

Air Doll
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.

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