Best Metal Albums Of 2010: Black Anvil, Black Breath, Withered, Down, Howl, More

With a handful of this year’s best metal releases dropping Tuesday, the timing feels apt for the Bad Penny to round up its favorite 2010 LPs – at least so far.

Below are the top 25, ranked in descending order of righteousness. Think some of these aren’t worthy? Notice one or more glaring omissions? Drop a comment.

1. Artist: Black Anvil
Album: Triumverate
Label: Relapse
Release date: September 28
Bad Penny’s two cents: They’ll soon be touring with fellow blackened-death-metallers Goatwhore – and might manage to upstage them. Black Anvil have even more melody, and their songs are even more infectious.

2. Artist: Shining
Album: Blackjazz
Label: Indie Recordings/ The End
Release date: January 25
Bad Penny’s two cents: album review
Asset:
• Bad Penny download: “Fisheye (Edit)

3. Artist: Priestess
Album: Prior to the Fire
Label: Tee Pee
Release date: February 2 (U.S. release; came out in Canada late last year)
Bad Penny’s two cents: Somehow, Priestess managed to improve upon the masterstroke that was 2006’s Hello Master. Their second record is Exhibit B in making the case that this is one of metal’s best bands of the past five years.
Assets:
• Stereogum download: “Trapped in Space & Time
• Brooklyn Vegan download: “Raccoon Eyes
• Spin.com download: “Ladykiller

4. Artist: Black Breath
Album: Heavy Breathing
Label: Southern Lord
Release date: March 30
Bad Penny’s two cents: Believe the hype. Rarely is hardcore-informed metal this tight.

5. Artist: Sweet Cobra
Album: Mercy
Label: Black Market Activities
Release date: September 28
Bad Penny’s two cents: Not to be confused with Southern Lord’s sludgy Black Cobra, these guys sound more like Torche at their best.

6. Artist: King of Asgard
Album: Fi’mbulvintr
Label: Metal Blade
Release date: August 17
Bad Penny’s two cents: These Amon Amarth apprentices sound almost as good their masters did when they were in their prime.

7. Artist: Hail of Bullets
Album: On Divine Winds
Label: Metal Blade
Release date: October 12
Bad Penny’s two cents: As fierce as a hailstorm … made of bullets.

8. Artist: Black Tusk
Album: Taste the Sin
Label: Relapse
Release date: May 25
Bad Penny’s two cents: What, is Savannah, Georgia, too small for more than one exceptional sludge band? Either way, these guys are getting criminally overshadowed by their hometown peers Baroness.

9. Artist: Unearthly Trance
Album: V
Label: Relapse
Release date: September 28
Bad Penny’s two cents: If you haven’t lost your mind yet, listening to this skin-peeling doom record should do the trick.

10. Artist: High on Fire
Album: Snakes for the Divine
Label: E1
Release date: February 23
Bad Penny’s two cents: “Frost Hammer” is arguably High on Fire’s strongest single to date. And could it be that all their songs finally don’t sound the same?
Asset:
• Brooklyn Vegan download: “Frost Hammer

11. Artist: Chambers
Album: Old Love
Label: self-released
Release date: June 22
Bad Penny’s two cents: album review

12. Artist: East of the Wall
Album: Ressentiment
Label: Translation Loss
Release date: July 20
Bad Penny’s two cents: Just about as fresh and adventurous as the first Yakuza and Burst records.

13. Artist: As I Lay Dying
Album: The Powerless Rise
Label: Metal Blade
Release date: May 11
Bad Penny’s two cents: Not as strong as An Ocean Between Us, but even when AILD don’t bring their A game, they’re still one of the best metal bands with mainstream appeal.

14. Artist: The Secret
Album: Solve et Coagula
Label: Southern Lord
Release date: September 28
Bad Penny’s two cents: At just under 35 minutes, this crushing record by the Italian band is more jolting than a bottle of Full Throttle.

15. Artist: Melvins
Album: The Bride Screamed Murder
Label: Ipecac
Release date: June 1
Bad Penny’s two cents: Nothing is certain but death, taxes – and Melvins.

16. Artist: Meshuggah
Album: Alive (CD/DVD concert set)
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release date: February 9
Bad Penny’s two cents: We’ve come to take Meshuggah for granted – but this live treasure is a reminder that we shouldn’t.

17. Artist: Barn Burner
Album: Bangers
Label: Metal Blade
Release date: February 16
Bad Penny’s two cents: album review

18. Artist: Aeternam
Album: Disciples of the Unseen
Label: Metal Blade
Release date: February 16
Bad Penny’s two cents: album review

19. Artist: Withered
Album: Dualitas
Label: Prosthetic
Release date: October 26
Bad Penny’s two cents: The perfect soundtrack to killing your neighbor’s cat.
Asset:
• Adult Swim download: “Extinguished With the Misery

20. Artist: Down
Album: Diary of a Mad Band (two-CD/DVD concert set)
Label: Down
Release date: October 5
Bad Penny’s two cents: There won’t be any need for a best-of-Down record after this pitch-perfect live document. And Phil Anselmo, as always, is banter-riffic.
Asset:
• Crave Online download: “Stone the Crow

21. Artist: Orphaned Land
Album: The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR
Label: Century Media
Release date: February 9
Bad Penny’s two cents: The Israeli band’s spiritual, socially conscious record could be the boldest metal album of the year.
Bad Penny interview: “Faith in Metal: Orphaned Land Push for Peace in the Middle East

22. Artist: Lamb of God
Album: Hourglass
Label: Epic
Release date: June 1
Bad Penny’s two cents: The demos are of negligible quality and for collectors only, but the golden “Another Nail for Your Coffin” and “Condemn the Hive” – previously available in Japan only – earn the anthology a place on this list.

23. Artist: Howl
Album: Full of Hell
Label: Relapse
Release date: May 11
Bad Penny’s two cents: A relentless flogging, this record will send fainthearted metal fans scrambling for their ear plugs. Very hard to believe Full of Hell is the Providence band’s first full-length.

24. Artist: The Ocean
Album: Heliocentric
Label: Metal Blade
Release date: April 13
Bad Penny’s two cents: The iconoclastic band is undertaking a two-album concept effort this year, and the results sound as ambitious as the task itself.

25. Artist: Powerglove
Album: Saturday Morning Apocalypse
Label: E1
Release date: September 28
Bad Penny’s two cents: The guiltiest of guilty pleasures, but only the coldhearted can deny Powerglove’s speed-metal rendition of the themes to “Batman,” “The Simpsons” and other toons.

Go here for the Bad Penny new music releases schedule.

More metal:

Extreme-Metal Word Search
An Extremely Long Conversation About Extreme Metal With Albert Mudrain
• Death-Metal-Parody Proposals For ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic
• 3 Inches Of Blood’s Cam Pipes Geeks Out On Tolkien, ‘Dungeons & Dragons’
• Mastodon’s Brent Hinds And Actor J.C. Quinn: Doppelgängers
• Isis’ Aaron Turner In ’02: Oceanic Is ‘The Best Material We’ve Ever Written’
• Isis’ Oceanic: Mystery Revealed?
In Flames Album Discography: Drummer Touches ‘Em All
• What, Dark Tranquillity Not Worthy? An Open Letter To L.A. Metalheads
• Wordle’d: At The Gates, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity Albums
• Apocalyptica’s 7th Symphony: Two Cent Review
• White Wizzard’s Over The Top: Two Cent Review
• Best Metal Albums Of 2007

More lists:

• Bad Penny MP3s: Best Of 2010, Part III – Superchunk, Lovers, Robert Pollard, Women, More
• Bad Penny MP3s: Best Of 2010, Part II – Trans Am, Damien Jurado, Masakari, Versus, More
• Bad Penny MP3s: Best Of 2010, Part I – Quasi, Xiu Xiu, Harlem, Album Leaf, More
• Top 10 Reasons Why Stone Temple Pilots Suck Even More Now Than Before
• Best Albums Of The 2000s
• Best Albums Of 2009
• Best Albums Of 2008
• Best Albums Of 2007
• Best Albums Of 2006
• Best Albums Of 2005
• Best Albums Of 2003
• Best Albums Of 2002
• Best Albums Of 2000
• Best Albums Of 1909

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2 Responses to “Best Metal Albums Of 2010: Black Anvil, Black Breath, Withered, Down, Howl, More”

  1. […] here, Metal Injection’s lists here, Deseee of TNOTB’s list here, Bad Penny’s list here and so on, so on. The lists are never ending. I posted my own list a few weeks ago (like a […]

  2. Also:
    Knut “Wonder”
    Astrohenge “s/t”
    Thou “Summit”

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