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Best Of 2010 - 2011 Gdazegod

ARTICLE: Best Of 2010 (Gdazegod)
YEAR: 2011


2010 was a funny old year. The start of a new decade, in with new, out with the old. I was kind of indifferent to the 2010 year in general, and found much more pleasure in tracking down old rarities rather than acquiring anything that was new. Labels such as Rock Candy, Avenue Of Allies and Retrospect continued to release classy albums, not to say that industry heavyweights Frontiers didn't, because they too released a cluster of super releases, some of which made my year end list. I found things were relatively quiet on the prog metal front, or maybe I wasn't in the zone enough to notice what was going on. Certainly many of my favourite bands were inactive during the year, some of whom are now starting to get ready for action in 2011.

As far as the industry goes, well all I can say is that it's pretty much fucked. Still, the big majors have no idea how to operate in the new world with an outdated business model. Facebook and YouTube seem to have supplanted one and all, leaving the likes of MySpace to cough up blood in their dust. How long this will last is anyone's guess - until the latest and greatest online music portal arrives on the scene. Exploit it for all it's worth, then get the hell out when everyone is clearing off. Will the CD format last a few more years? I'm not sure. Personally, I opt for mobility and portability, and would like to take my music anywhere and everywhere. Having moved house a number of times, I can tell you: boxes of LP's and CD's is not fun to move, nor is it fun to put them back together again like a lego set.

Who was driving music in 2010? Excuse the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and all the hip-hop/rap brigade. In the hard rock set, American rock seems to have hit a creative impasse with every major new band sounding like each other. Though melodic, outfits such as Taking Dawn, Adelitas Way, Bad City and My Darkest Days are not really a good barometer of what's happening in hard rock circles. I guess that's why many of us still cry out for all the oldies to make a comeback and return music to the way it once was. Music is cyclic after all.. In the 2010 washup, this is what landed on the shore at high-tide..

In Summary

Like pretty much everyone else that cast their opinion on this, it's one of Treat's strongest efforts and a huge comeback by the band that announced their return at 2006's Firefest 3, though only in 2010 did they actually release anything. 'Coup De Grace' is indeed a fitting and welcome return.

Marci Free announced at the start of 2010 that she would be involved with the new Unruly Child album. Released at the tail end of the year, 'Worlds Collide' is a very cool record, and though Free only appears on this one and the debut, I think that all the UC albums are worth getting.

Another album released at the end of 2010 was the fantastic Vega album. Nick Workman and the Martin brothers keep UK AOR alive and well.

One of my favourite albums of the year is in fact a reissue. Kristina Nichols is/was held in goddess like esteem back in the late 80's, and with a voice like hers, it's a wonder we didn't hear more from her at the time. A great selection of tunes, 'Sweet Surrender' could possibly be one of Retrospect's finest releases.

Many contributors came to the fore for Amos and Pierpaolo Monti's Italian project Shining Line. No two ways about it, this is AOR Central, and one of the shining lights of the Avenue Of Allies label.

Without doubt, the West Coast album of the year: State Cows. Fans of Airplay and David Foster should get a load of this.

I really enjoyed the Melodic Rock Records release by young Swedish outfit Degreed. Some choice songs on here, and combined with flash, style and energy, this is one band to watch out for.

With every year passing, you just gotta add a Finnish band to the list. This years addition is Reckless Love. I love what these guys bring to the table, but undeniably this is very melodic, and a heap of pointers to the 80's. Tracks like 'Romance', 'Beautiful Bomb' and 'One More Time' do it for me big time!

The third Flag album 'Perihelion' got a lot of airplay from me during the year, though I can say that the album didn't get out into the public domain a great deal. Still, Arthur Offen is a very talented man (some say genius) and without hesitation 'Perihelion' makes the list.

Somewhere in the list, a true metal band has to be factored into the equation, and this years addition for me is Accept and their slamdunk reunion 'Blood Of The Nations'. Somehow, these German legends have been given a new lease of life, and with former TT Quick singer Marc Tornillo in the frame, how could you say no?

Pretty Maids - Pandemonium
Issa - Sign Of Angels
First Signal - First Signal
Ratt - Infestation
Steve Morse & Sarah Spencer - Angelfire
8 Is - Frame Of Us
Crazy Lixx - New Religion
Mastercastle - Last Desire
White Widdow - White Widdow
Elvenking - Red Silent Tides
Lincoln Brewster - Real Life

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#1 | Eric on March 28 2011 12:06:05
Flag was a good one, great cover that screams pomp/ prog...
#2 | dangerzone on March 28 2011 12:34:52
Accept was my number one of 2010 ... I should compile my list before it's 2012!
#3 | george_the_jack on March 28 2011 13:45:35
Treat along with Unruly Child and Push UK are my top 3 for 2010. Great list George.Pretty much agree with several parts of it.
#4 | englandashes on March 28 2011 21:39:01
Great to see the wonderful Elvenking getting a mention,...still time to get you into Moonsorrow! George.

I was quite surprised how good Crazy Lixx was, and Vega should had really got an honourable mention on my listing.
#5 | sabace on July 31 2012 19:06:18
it took a while but I finally got the STORM ' SWEET SURRENDER' CD and yes it's great stuff! amazing they were never signed . Thanks for heads up George .
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