I have a love/hate relationship with year-end lists. First, it requires more organization at the end of the year than I’d normally want to muster. Second, the very minute I ever publish a list, I find some other book or album that should go up on the list, rendering the whole thing obsolete. I’m still discovering albums from 2010 (and will be for months going forward) and thus any list I ever make will necessarily be incomplete. Finally, lots of people will want to fight with you about your list over what was “best” — I don’t ever pretend to make a “Best of” list, but rather a “this is some shit I enjoyed listening to last year” list.
Some Killer Shit I Enjoyed Listening To in 2010
Hail of Bullets — On Divine Winds
Sahg — III
Enslaved — Axioma Ethica Odini
Melechesh — The Epigenesis
Deathspell Omega — Paracletus
Kvelertak — s/t
Ludicra — The Tenant
Demiurg — Slakthus Gamleby
Satanic Warmaster — Nachzehrer
Heathen — The Evolution of Chaos
Diocletian — War of All Against All
Blasphemophagher — …For Chaos, Obscurity, and Desolation…
Of all of those, I think either Deathspell Omega or Enslaved is probably the “best” album (or at least those which tried to push the metal genre forward stylistically) released in 2010. Hell, the final track on Axioma Ethica Odini, “Lightening,” could pretty much single-handedly qualify that album for any best-of list. My two favorites, by far, were Hail of Bullets and Sahg — two albums which went on repeat from their release date until the present day. Heathen was a pleasant surprise: A classic-era thrash band that took a generation-long break and then came back with a vengeance. Ludicra are like a black-metal Slough Feg with a female vocalist, which is something I really dig. Diocletian and Blasphemophagher play filthy black/death metal.
I will update the list as I see fit. I just acquired 15 more albums from 2010, and although most of these will probably never make the cut, one or two might emerge victorious.