While I consider my Best Concerts list to be a pretty definitive guide to what concerts totally rocked socks in the DC area in the past year, I think that top album lists are a bit more vague and really only serve as guides to albums the reader may have missed. I am much more a theme-based best-of list maker. I usually don’t compile a best albums of the year list, but I have received several requests for me to do one this year.
I acquire music rapidly and without much regard to year. So really albums are not so much attached to years for me as they are tied to whatever genre or sub-genre kick I am on at a given time.* It was actually pretty difficult for me to put together my starting list. A lot of what I thought were 2010 albums were actually from ’09! That said I did put together a list of about 50 or so albums from this year that are worthy of mention. From that list I battled them down to a top 10. These are not the best albums of 2010, they are simply my favorite. Maybe you’ll find something new here to check out. Maybe you won’t. Readers you asked for it, you got it. My picks in reverse order (along with a taste of each) after the jump…
Last week I took the trip out to Jaxx in Springfield to catch the industrial-metal, throw-back, double-bill of Prong and Fear Factory. Motivated mostly by nostalgia for two bands that I was a fan of in the 1990′s, I trekked out to suburban VA’s, heavy metal, bunker, Jaxx to head-bang and mosh with one of the most aggressive and devout crowds I have seen in a decade. The entire experience felt like I had tripped into a space-time continuum hiccup and teleported back to 1995.
In 2010, Heavy Metal is still a hugely popular genre but inside the beltway its fans trend toward a more intellectual appreciation of the heavy stuff. I would say that I fall into this camp as I greatly enjoy post-metal bands and the more experimental and envelope-pushing a Metal band gets the more interested I become. Unfortunately, DC is also home to an enclave of hipster Metal “fans” who listen to the older stuff with sly ironic grins; a position I loathe because it seems to be more about mocking the music than appreciating it. While I have been enjoying the Metal experimental frontier for years, I believe a true Metal fan’s love of the genre must be founded in the classics of the genre; loud as an air raid, heavy as a ton of bricks, and finger-bleeding fast. Continue reading →