Team Basick - Top 10 Albums of 2010 List
It’s been a great year for releases across the board and as the year draws to a close the Basick team had a tough choice in picking only 10 for their ‘Top albums of 2010’ feature. Only one album, Chimp Spanner - At the Dream’s Edge was featured on every single list. Check out what we chose below.
Barley - Top 10 Albums of 2010
1) Chimp Spanner - At The Dream’s Edge
From the first moment I heard this album all the way through, I knew it would be my album of the year. This is the sound of genius musicianship fusing in perfect harmony with sublime instrumentalism. Paul is at the top of his game right now, I cant wait to hear what he comes up with next.
LINK: Chimp Spanner – Under One Sky
2) Cloudkicker – Beacons
Much like Chimp Spanner, after a couple years of honing his craft, Ben totally nailed it with ‘Beacons’ this year. The song structures and aural layering on this record are just incredible. He manages to capture such an emotive sound on this record.
3) Ion Dissonance – Cursed
A true return to form for the worlds best technical grindcore band. Having been a fan of this band for many years, not only was it great to hear them pushing their musical abilities once again, but it was also an honour and my absolute pleasure to be able to release this album in Europe for them. No one does this stuff better. FACT.
LINK: Ion Dissonance – We Like To Call This One… F**k Off
4) Proghma-C - Bar-do Travel
It’s pretty rare these days that I go to a show and get totally blown away by a band I’ve never heard of before, but that’s exactly what happened with these guys at Euroblast in Germany earlier this year. Mixing up the timings of Tool and Meshuggah with some electronic soundscapes makes for some perfect songs.
5) Enabl.ed – Dips33
I’m still heavy in to my IDM and Electronica and this has to be one of the most beautiful and clever downtempo electronic releases I’ve heard in a good while. Anyone who can create raw heart-felt emotion from computer generated sounds gets the nod from me. Out now via the Concrete Plastic label, who are based in Brighton, UK. Go check this amazing label out.
LINK: Enabl.ed – Sibevick
6) Rosetta - A Determinism Of Morality
I’m always amazed at the depth this band manages to create on each of their records. For a 3 piece band with a vocalist, they just sound HUGE. If you like massively heavy space-rock with lashing of progressive feeling thrown in for good measure, then I suggest I check these guys out.
LINK: Rosetta – Wake
7) Tony Danza TDE - Danza III
I’ve know Josh for quite a while now, ever since he sent me demos of his old band When Knives Go Skyward a few years back. So when I heard he was joining Danza, I waited for the outcome with baited breath. Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. This record is just insane. Josh is creating things on guitar that are just light years ahead of anyone else in Metal.
8) Deftones - Diamond Eyes
The perfect band return with the perfect album. Even with all their trials and tribulations of the last few years, Deftones still manage to pull what is arguable the album of their career out of the bag. The songs on this album are just amazing and Chino’s voice have never sounded better than on tracks like ‘Beauty School’ and ‘Sextape’.
LINK: Deftones – Sextape
9) Foals - Total Life Forever
I didn’t think there was any way I could love another FOALS album as much as I loved their stunning debut a couple years ago, but Total Life Forever proved me wrong. Ditching a lot of their original frenetic math-rock in favour of a deeper more considered sound, this album is so well-rounded and just kills it on so many levels. The production is fantastic and songs like ‘Spanish Sahara’ and ‘Alabaster’ just make you want to curl up somewhere dark and warm in the foetal position.
LINK: Foals – Spanish Sahara
10) Intronaut – Valley Of Smoke
Why these guys aren’t as big (or bigger) as Mastodon I have no idea. Well I do have an idea actually, but I wont go into that here. This album is yet another example of why Intronaut are the kings of heavy progressive post-rock. The musicality is astounding at times and features some of the best bass guitar playing I’ve heard on a heavy record in ages.
LINK: Intronaut – Core Relations
James - Top 10 Albums of 2010
1) TesseracT - Concealing Fate EP
Well it had to be in here… didn’t it!!!
LINK: Concealing Fate Part 3 - Emotive
2) Tony Danza TDE - Danza III
Josh’s off the wall technical riffing is taken to a new level on this record. Spazzy, crazy and fucking heavy!
3) Chimp Spanner - At the Dream’s Edge
A real journey of an album. Incredible (bedroom) production, great riffing, highly intelligent musicial composition and the most tasteful cheese you’ve ever heard
LINK: Chimp Spanner – Far From Home
4) Terror - Keepers of the Faith The best record to break stuff to this year. End of.
LINK: Terror - The Struggle
5) Kylesa - Spiral Shadow
Great sludgy riffs and edgy melodies are as expected, although the song writing is definitely some of the band’s best yet.
LINK: Kylesa - Tired Climb
6) Periphery - Periphery
Technical riffing that will impress even the most technically proficient guitar players out there. What a debut this is!
LINK: Periphery - Icarus Lives
7) Ion Dissonance - Cursed
The heaviest thing I have ever heard. Seriously, nothing is heavier than this. NOTHING!
LINK: Ion Dissonance - This is the Last Time I Repeat Myself
8) Cloudkicker - Beacons
A beautiful instrumental record - ethereal atmosphere, big guitars, lush melodies, djizz.
9) Fear Factory - Mechanize
What a return to form from these metal pioneers. Dino rules, nuff said.
10) Anathema - We’re Here Because We’re Here
Anthemic, atmospheric, beautiful.
Lisa - Top 10 Albums of 2010
1) Chimp Spanner – At The Dream’s Edge
Every time I hear this album it makes me feel so comfortable, it’s like the soundtrack to your best ever day. I wrestled with my top 3 as all of them could have easily taken the top spot for album of my year but I chose Chimp Spanner because the production is immensely beautiful and behind that massive wall of sound is just one lovely guy pumping out stunning music.
LINK: Chimp Spanner - Supererogation
2) Pin-Up Went Down – 342
This album has stayed on constant rotation on my playlist for months. French avant-garde mentalists Pin-Up Went Down managed to capture an absolutely perfect moment in time with this album, granted it’s a schizophrenically twisted moment of metal, opera, j-pop and lullabies but the merging of styles results in one of the most interesting and beautiful albums I’ve heard, ever.
LINK: Pin-Up Went Down - Aquarium
3) TesseracT - Concealing Fate EP
TesseracT are one of the few bands who can produce such a huge sound on record and still sound that huge live. This EP is packed full of stunning musicianship coupled with some of the best vocals I’ve heard and it’s so good in places that it makes my face numb. A great appetiser for the full album which is due out next year. 7.53 on the track below. OOFT.
LINK: Concealing Fate Part 1 - Openings
4) Levi / Werstler – Avalanche of Worms
Best enjoyed as one long track, this instrumental album from guitarists Emil Werstler and Eyal Levi is a progressive odyssey that perfectly combines crushing areas of heaviness with technicality and musicianship. If you like bands such as Animals as Leaders and Scale the Summit then definitely check this one out.
LINK: Levi / Werstler - Casting the Molten Sea
5) East of The Wall – Ressentiment
Beautifully unpredictable, this album took a few spins to fully register its beauty but once it did, it unleashed a rainbow of organically proggy post-metal bliss. An engaging and complex slow burner of an album.
LINK: East of the Wall - Salieri
6) The Dillinger Escape Plan – Operation Paralysis
I saw these guys at Damnation Festival in November when they destroyed the place and are easily one of the best live bands I’ve seen. Dillinger are back - harder, faster, sharper and entirely fearless with Operation Paralysis, an album which shows their evolving brand of skullfuckery shows no sign of slowing down.
LINK: The Dillinger Escape Plan - Farewell, Mona Lisa
7) Proghma-C - Bar-do Travel
It’s rare for Barley and I to agree on music but on this occasion I’m glad I listened. Polish band Proghma-C have delivered a compelling album of hypnotic atmospheric prog rock and its one of the stand out albums of the year for me. Yes it reeks of Meshuggah and Tool but as a debut it’s a gem and if this is what album one sounds like, lets skip ahead in time to album no.3 and pat ourselves on the back shall we?
8) The Crinn – Dreaming Saturn
The Crinn sound like they’re playing their instruments with very talented feet. I don’t know what else to say about this other than it’s good. Heavy good. Heavy, fast, brutal, technical and for the most part unique. A technical headfuck of spazzmoid proportions.
9) Humanfly – Darker Later
Humanfly appeared on my radar in November at a gig in Leeds. Since then I’ve practically worn out the CD from listening to it it’s now obscene as to how many times I’ve listened to the closing track ‘Heavy Black Snow’ which clocks in at an impressively proggy 17 minutes. Humanfly deliver a punishing, dense, sludgy but beautiful sound - littered with the ghostly echoes of Black Sabbath, Mastodon, Flaw, Pink Floyd and Neurosis.
LINK: Humanfly - Heavy Black Snow
10) Oceansize - Self Preserved Whilst the Bodies Float Up
Oceansize aren’t supposed to sound like this. In fact every time I put this album on I have to check it actually is Oceansize. They came back from touring with Faith No More with some gargantuan bollocks and fired their collective manjam into what has turned out to be one of the most stunning albums of the year.
LINK: Oceansize - Part Cardiac
SEAN - Top 10 Albums of 2010
1) Chimp Spanner - At the Dream’s Edge
What can be said about this album that’s not already been said by the others? Not much so just listen!
LINK: Chimp Spanner - Harvey Wallbanger
2) Cloudkicker - Beacons
It’s always great to see and hear a band progress and for that reason this year has been great for both Cloudkicker and his legion of fans. Beacons sounds like a natural step forward with his music and I hope Ben continues this and follows in Chimp Spanner’s footsteps and one day will take his music from the bedroom to the stage.
3) Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Not only one of the best metal albums released this year, this is arguably Deftones at their best too.
LINK: Deftones - CMND/CTRL
4) Ihsahn - After
An instant winner from the first time I heard it. The arrangements, composition and sheer musicianship on display on this album is stunning. This is a wonderfully diverse album and one which I will not get bored of any time soon.
5) Ion Dissonance - Cursed
Crushing. The first word I used to describe the first track I heard off this album and I stand by it. The whole album is just fucking crushing!
LINK: Ion Dissonance - This is the Last Time I Repeat Myself
6) Jónsi - Go
The percussion on this album is one of my favourite things about the layered and textured music which the Sigur Rós frontman provides on his debut solo effort. Not only is this one of my favourite albums of the year but his live show was one of the best I’ve seen all year and is one of my all-time favourites. I rarely use this word, but ‘epic’ sums this band up nicely.
LINK: Jónsi - Animal Arithmetic
7) Oceansize - Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up
I have nothing but unadulterated love for this band. I was lucky enough to get this album 3 days before it was released in an indie store in Glasgow and upon first listen I knew it would be in this list. This album has everything you love about Oceansize and more.
LINK: Oceansize - Superimposer
8) Orbs - Asleep Next to Science
I first heard this album in August 2008 but it wasn’t officially released until August of this year so it can now make it onto my Top Ten! Amongst others, Orbs features members of Between the Buried and Me and Fear Before The March of Flames. I love the progressive and experimental blend of their music as well as Adam Fisher’s approach to the vocals and lyrics, there’s really great lyrics throughout the album.
9) TesseracT - Concealing Fate
I only put this on here because James made me. All kidding aside this is just a glimpse into what lies ahead for one of the UK’s most exciting bands and I can already say that next year’s album is sure have a place in my Top Ten of 2011.
LINK: Concealing Fate Part 2 - Deception
10) The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza - Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events
An incredible mix of groove-laced, technical guitar playing provides the back bone for Tony Danza’s third effort. The fact that this can be accomplished whilst at the same time being so unapologetically ear destroying is remarkable. Turn the volume up to 11 and press play.