TeethoftheDivine.com’s Staff picks of 2010

It’s that time of the year again, when it’s time to take a look back at the previous year and figure out what the end score was. And as it is with things over here at Teeth of the Divine, this thing is legen-waitforit-dary…but none the less open to debate. So take part in the fun and post your top 2010 lists too! Without further a due, 12 pages of all things 2010 (and more or less, metal). Enjoy!

by Staff

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For me, 2010 was a year of unheralded firsts, a year where many new and often unsigned acts cut a swathe through my top ten list and the usual big name stalwarts were left glaring in the wings. And for me, black metal was surprisinglyprevalent. Entrails? Arkheth? The Makai? Norse? Aiumeen Basoa? Who the fuck are these guys? Well, get to know them, as they produced some of 2010’s best metal.

1. Entrails Tales from the Morgue

This album is so retro, I lost 80lbs and grew my mullet back. Filled with songs that were actually written in the heyday of 90s Swedish Death metal, Tales from the Morgue sounds like a long lost gem unearthed from is dusty tombs rather a neo throwback or lazy homage. Tracks like “Voices” and “Euthanasia” are pure Stockholm brilliance, with a guitar tone sent from God himself.

2. Arkheth IX & I: The Quintessence of Algaresh

There’s ambitious and then there’s the second album from this Aussie duo: 2 CDs, 10 songs, 2 fucking hours of the most epic, regal yet organic and mesmerizing symphonic black metal of the last 10 years. It almost makes the scrotum bearing, man-goat rape on the cover worth while.

3. Deathspell OmegaParacletus

I’m pretty sure that Paracletus was not meant for human ears. Like a dog whistle, its on audio levels, mere mortals cannot comprehend. Somewhere in hell, every time this CD plays, a demon bangs his head. The fact I only owned this 3 days before my year end list was due and it comes in as an instant top 5 album shows its dynamic, twisted, hallucinatory savagery.

4. Agalloch Marrow of the Spirit

I tried not to be vogue with this pick, but to be honest up until Ashes Against the Grain, I always considered Agalloch to be pretentious and over-rated. And with 2010 being the year I returned to nature, their form of Grey metal topped other excellent like minded releases by Winterfylleth, Nechochwen, Ironwood and Negura Bunget. Like a walk in the woods after a snow storm, the brisk and harsh elements meld with elegant, organic and introspective musings. Complete with frosty breath and Perniosis.

5. The Makai Embracing the Shroud of a Blackened Sky

Here’s a release I could have submitted as a couple of other things; best vinyl release, best song, best EP- whatever. Consisting of one brilliant 27 minute song that culls from black metal, metalcore and post rock, “Embracing the Shroud of a Blackened Sky” remains one of the most epic pieces of music Ive heard in the last few years. its a shame those without LP players wont get to hear it until it’s (hopefully) released as a CD at some point in 2011. Then Ill wait for all the “HOLY SHIT ERIK- you were right- I want your babies!!!!” emails to pour in. Listen to this.

6. Aiumeen Basoa Iraganeko Bide Malkartsuti

Auime–what? Iraqanko bide- huh? I’ve owned this album for 6 months and still have no idea what these Basque folk/black metallers are talking about. Needless to say though, when you beat out the likes of Equilibrium, Kivimetstan Druidi, FInntroll, Heathen Foray and Heidevolk for the years best folk metal album, who cares. Brilliant, ambitious and beautiful this new act is sure to stay on my radar for the next few years.

7. Norse Hellstorm

Who would have though that an Australian unsigned black metal act who took nearly two years to record their searing debut would unleash the most perfectly title album of the year? That’s not a black/death metal album- THIS is a black/death metal album. Yes, that ‘s a Crocodile Dundee reference.

8. Nightbringer Apocalypse Sun.

This paranoia inducing slab of discordant filth came very close to stealing Deathspell Omega‘s thunder. As it stands its simply one of the best , most disturbing and truly evil USBM records of the last few years without traipsing in the woods or delving into post rock trends. Sick and cathartic, I’m still paying for therapy.

9. Iron Thrones The Wretched Sun

Another self released gem, the second album from Iron Thrones proved the No Label Needed contest winners did not in fact need a label. Mixing sublime Opeth textures with elegant Burst, Isis and Callisto crescendos, ebbs and flows, The Wretched Sun is a near perfect listen with “I Once Had the Crown” simply being one of the best songs of the year in any genre.

10. Jaldaboath The Rise of the Heraldic Beasts

Thats right, you cant keep my British lineage down. Yes, a tongue in cheek folk metal, heraldic Templar rock, Monty Python core album from a crusty old guy that was in The Meads of Aspodel made my top ten. I grin from ear to ear whenever I hear “Hark the Herald”, “Bash the Bishop” and “Axe Wielding Nuns”. Lets hope the left over, more serious The Meads of Asphodel hues are filtered out for the next album. Hey nonny nonny!

11. Rotting Christ Aeolo

12. Negura Bunget Vîrstele Pămîntulu

13. Decrepit BirthPolarity

14. Nechochwen Azimuths to the Underworld

15. The Red Shore – The Avarice of Man

16. Black Breath – Heavy Breathing

17. Shadow of the Colossus Shadow of the Colossus

18. Woe Quietly, Undramatically

19. Hail of BulletsOn Divine Winds

20. Equilibrium Rekreatur

21. Heidevolk Oit Oude Gronde.

22. Amia Venera LandscapeThe Long Procession

23. Heathen Foray Armored Bards

24. G0d DethronedUnder the Sign of the Iron Cross.

25. Wuthering Heights Salt.

Best Songs: Entrails “Voices” + “Euthansia”, Iron Thrones “I Once had the Crown”, Jaldaboath “Hark the Herald”, Heidevolk “Beest bij Nacht”, Svartsot “På Odden af Hans Hedenske Sværd”, The Acacia Strain “Impaler”, Rotting Christ “Aeolo”, Arkheth “Faint Whispers in the Heart of Orion”, Keep of Kalessin “The Divine Land”, Aiumeen Basoa “Aintzinako Guduen Oroimenak”, Dimmu Borgir “Dimmu Borgir”.

Albums that might have made this list if I had more time to listen to them : The Meads of Asphodel The Murder of Jesus the Jew, Winterfylleth The Mercian Sphere, Ihsahn After, MelecheshThe Epigenesis, Sigh Scenes From Hell, Weapon From the Devils Tomb, Withered Dualitas, 1349 Demonoir, Journal Unloria.

Stuff I heard in 2010 that would have been on my 2009 year end list: Painted in ExileRevitalized EP, Cormorant Metazoa, Sickening HorrorThe Dead End Experiment, The Ruins of Beverast Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite, Hull Sole Lord.

Best non Metal album – Eminem Recovery

Best Reunion/Comeback Atheist Jupiter, Fear Factory Mechanize.

Best EPs – Nails Unsilent Death, Fleshgod ApocalypseMafia.

Biggest Surprises – New Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth albums not sucking.

Best Free, Digital Release – Contaigeon Death at the Gates of Delirium

Biggest Letdowns –Arsis,  Ov Hell,  Iron Maiden, Cephalic Carnage and Dawnbringer

2011 releases that are going to be on this list next year: Fen Epoch, Mitochondrion Parasignosis.

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  1. Commented by: Bourbon Barrel

    Another amazing year for heavy music, another year of thoughtful, well-written reviews, captivating discussions, and excellent overall journalism. I have been a religious reader of TOTD for a long time, (since well before it was TOTD in fact), and this is actually the first time I have commented, replied, posted anything. I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, thank you, FUCKING THANK YOU to all of the staff. Thank you from the darkest corner of my heart for your diligent and relentless pursuit of the music that I love. Without you, I would be lost.

  2. Commented by: SRK

    Thanks to TOTD for another year of excellent metal reviews.

    Nice lists – some stuff in there I haven’t yet heard and, by the sounds of it, will need to.

    Just to add my two cents, here are the albums which didn’t appear on any of the TOTD lists, but which I had in my best-of:

    Adversarial – All Idols Fall Before The Hammer
    Ascension – Consolamentum
    Bloody Sign – Chaos Echoes
    Diocletian – War Of All Against All
    Galar – Til Alle Heimsens Endar
    Immolation – Majesty And Decay
    Svart Crown – Witnessing The Fall
    Witchrist – Beheaded Ouroborus

    Looking forward to the rest of 2011!

  3. Commented by: Plasmaterial

    Thumbs up to Larry’s list. Actually contains metal bands I’ve heard of. Really shocked but surprised at the mention of Lyzanxia and Universum (considering it was self-released towards the end of December). Also agreed on the Arsis and The Crown picks — compared to Deathrace King, Doomsday King was just a load of poorly produced uninspired crap.

  4. Commented by: Zykloner

    Thanks again TOTD for another year ful of great reviews and helping steer some of us who are out of the loop in the right diretion for good music. The only thing I thought this list was mising was probably the greatest release of 2010 and that is Enslaved’s “Axioma Ethica Odini”, a MASTERPIECE which cannot be surpassed.

  5. Commented by: krustster

    I’ve been going through the lists and it’s really interesting how varied they are, in fact some people have listed as their favorites albums that other have listed as disappointments. Frankly I’m surprised that everyone hated Ozzy’s new one so much, I thought it was over a billion times better than his last few. I honestly like every song on there except “Let it Die”. Maybe I’m in a weird niche or something.

    To Benjamin, I saw that you had Blood Calls We Die on your list and I have been looking for their album EVERYWHERE to no avail. I couldn’t even find a place to buy it other than some Japanese site. Where or how did you get this tape??? I gotta have it!

  6. Commented by: Arthur von Nagel

    Thanks for listing Metazoa. Sorry we didn’t get it out to you sooner! :-)

  7. Commented by: xbenx

    Krustster, I’ll put you in touch with the label guru, give me a shout at – bsdeblasi@gmail.com.

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