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Best Of 2010 - 2011 Dangerzone

ARTIST: Best Of 2010 (Dangerzone
YEAR: 2011


Unlike previous years where I found it impossible to gather ten albums or more for an end of year list, I was actually able to for 2010- although barely it has to be said. As with previous years my attention to the current music scene was limited, as I endured time-consuming Army details which left little time for consumption of new music. When I was able to I found there to be a few highlights from 2010, more so than the last two or three years. That's not to say it was great by any means and I think we can all concur that the era of 'magical' years in AOR, Heavy Metal and Hard Rock have long since passed.

Many of the albums in this list continue to filter through my ears frequently, which shows a certain degree of longevity that is rare for me now days. There was still a multitude of duds released during 2010 of course, headlined by Iron Maiden's 'The Final Frontier' which I haven't given the time of day since the week it was released. Given that we are already four months into 2011 however and there's only one new album I've listened to in that time, Bullet's 'Highway Pirates,' I'm sure normal service will be resumed with the best of 2011 list.

In Summary
For now in no particular order here's my best of 2010:

Accept - Blood of Nations
This was my most played release of 2010, a brilliant comeback by the German metal legends, right on par with the best of their 80's work. The addition of Mark Tornillo has to be one of the most inspired selections for vocalist in decades and Udo was not missed at all. A true metal classic.

Exciter - Death Machine
For no frills, basic heavy metal it's hard to top the latest offering from Canadian veterans Exciter. Played straight down the line, fast and furious, with menace and heaviness, this rarely left my eardrums near the end of 2010. Right down to the songtitles and album cover, this is what heavy metal is all about, straight from the gutter.

Ratt - Infestation
After endless years of infighting, bickering and overall tepidness, this was a stunning return from the LA hard rockers. Amazingly Pearcy and co managed to conjure up the spirit of the 80's and return to their vintage sound without sounding dated. This ranks with their best work and unfortunately it appears the band is done again, making this even more precious.

Overkill - Ironbound
Like so many other bands in this list Overkill put the recent past behind them and returned with their heaviest album in eons. Thrash from start to finish, in the most frantic and brutal manner, this is one of the bands best efforts in a long career. Lots of credit has to go to Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth for not compromising his ideals and making other 80's era thrash bands looking positively pathetic as a result.

Krokus - Hoodoo
Reforming the classic 1982 lineup was a wise move by the Swiss legends and the overall result was a classic return to their sound from the heady days of the early 80's. Crunching hard rock with all the swagger expected of Storace and the lads made this one of my favourite releases by the band- and that's saying something.

Keel - Streets of Rock 'N' Roll
Yet another comeback of the highest order as Ron Keel finally returned to the bands vintage mid 80's heyday, proving they hadn't lost a thing in the years of dormancy. Classic North American rock, which when done right still has its place in the pecking order.

The Scorpions - Sting in the Tail
In what looks to be the final recorded statement from the enduring Germans, this was a great way to go out. This was a marked improvement over everything they had put out since 1993 and wisely the band returned to their hard rock roots, culminating in a worthy climax to their career.

Helloween - 7 Sinners
I can honestly say I never expected such a consistently heavy album from Helloween, one which managed to keep my interest which hasn't always been the case in years past. A great heavy metal statement which shows there's still plenty of life left in the German power metal greats.

Hatchery - Forced to Fight
There's still a ton of low-level thrash bands plundering the metal scene and somehow I stumbled upon this German act who blew me away with their traditional thrash approach. Devastating riffs and speed set this apart from the dozens of other similar bands I flirted with in 2010.

Halford - IV- Made For Metal
Great return to form for Halford following the 'Nostradamus' debacle of 2008. Here he returns to what he's best at, cornball heavy metal with every cliche under the sun thrown in. The heaviness is there also, giving this credibility, something the last four Judas Priest albums have been short on!

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#1 | MUSCLE on March 30 2011 11:04:48
check out the dave feinstein lp 'bitten by the beast' which was released last year. pure bad ass cornball heavy metal. also that new cavalera conspiracy un is a right thrash shit kicker. the track 'rasputin'...oh man the (c)rudeness! ride from siberia. he ride!lol
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