Top Albums of the decade

Tue, 28 Jan 2020 - Posted by Steviepunk

This didn't come in for the end of the year, however better late than never! With the usual caveats - I’ve not listened to everything released this decade, it’s purely my opinion and I’ve probably forgotten more that should be on this list (though I’d also argue that if I’m not still listening to it, then chances are it wasn’t “Album of the decade” material), here is the list in no particular order.

3Teeth – Metawar (2019)
The 3rd, and so far best, album from Industrial Metal band 3Teeth. I only became aware of them after the release of their 2nd album (shutdown.exe) and I really dig their sound.

AC/DC – Iron Man 2 soundtrack (2010)
Basically a collection of some of AC/DC’s greatest hits wrapped up as a movie soundtrack. Works for me!

Anthrax – Worship Music (2011)
It had been 8 years since Anthrax had released an album and while I didn’t get my hopes up prior to release, once I heard it I was impressed. This is thrash metal, refined. An album I still listen to frequently.

Biohazard – Reborn in Defiance (2012)
Always a band I had a soft spot for, so it was great to see them back again and the title, Reborn in Defiance, said it all. The opening track, Vengeance is Mine, set the Hardcore tone. Killing Me and Come Alive are two other tracks that stand out and linger in my head!

Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare (2010)
Nightmare continued the run of great albums from Avenged Sevenfold and despite some great albums that followed, Nightmare remains the album that I find myself listening to time and time again, with the first two tracks on the album, Nightmare and Welcome To The Family, being particularly infectious.

Burning Witches – Burning Witches (2017)
An album I came across by chance and I’m certainly feeling glad of that – with a blend of 80s metal and some modern thrash the songs are energetic and infectious.

Black Veil Brides – Set the World on Fire (2011)
I discovered this band through the video game Rock Band when “Rebel Love Song” was released as DLC – I loved that song in the game and went on to purchase the album it came from, Set The World On Fire. I loved the album as well, with “New Religion”, “Set The World On Fire” and “Youth and Whisky” adding to “Rebel Love Song” as the stand out tracks.

Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist (2011)
Despite this being the bands third album, this was the first one that I had heard and it struck a chord right away. It was straight forward fast and aggressive metal – just one of those albums that get you at the right time and takes a hold

Fear Factory – Mechanize (2010)
I’ve been a long time fan of Fear Factory and Mechanize represented a return to the original style of the band – with the Man/Machine theme, aggressive pace and strong industrial metal sound showing the band at their best.

Hatebreed – The Divinity Of Purpose (2013)
A band that just click with me, I love the intense and fast hardcore sound and The Divinity Of Purpose does not disappoint. “The Language”, “Indivisible” and the title track “The Divinity of Purpose” illustrate the relentless tone of the album.

Iron Maiden – Book of Souls (2015)
Their output may not be the highest, but they are certainly going for quality over quantity, Book Of Souls is sure to satisfy any Iron Maiden fan – with the song being distinctly “Iron Maiden”, the depth of the songs are match by their length, this is nothing short of an epic album with 3 songs reaching a runtime of over 10 minutes (and the shortest just shy of 5 minutes). If you know Iron Maiden then you’ll know what to expect, and you won’t be disappointed.

Korn – The Paradigm Shift (2013)
This was a stand out album for me, illustrating Korn’s signature styling while at the same time pushing their sound in new directions. “Never Never” stands out as a more melodic but still retains that distinct deep Korn sound and stands as an example of how Korn vary their style from album to album.

Machine Head – Unto the Locust (2011)
The follow up to The Blackening, Unto The Locust met the high expectations set upon it. It was heavy, aggressive and pushed the band in new directions, with the likes of I Am Hell and Who We Are providing different approaches to the sound The Blackening.

Megadeth - Dystopia (2016)
Of all the big 80s metal bands, Megadeth has remain among the most prolific with their album releases over the last couple of decades. I was a big fan of 2009’s Endgame, though I didn’t feel as strongly about the follow up albums Thirteen and Super Collider – however Dystopia got in my head and stuck with me. The album is typical Megadeth, so if you know Megadeth then you’ll know what to expect, with “The Threat Is Real”, “Dystopia” and “Post American World” being ones that I frequently find myself going through in my head.

Slayer – Repentless (2015)
The final studio album from Slayer and they went out as they began, brutal and aggressive. Legends to the end.

Powerflo (2017)
Debut album from a new band comprising of a number of metal and rap veterans, and it’s a blast. A definite hardcode sound with a heavy rap influence.

Metallica - Hardwired... To Self-Destruct (2016)
With such a wide variety of fans Metallica will probably never get an overall consensus on what would make a good album these days, some loved Death Magnetic while some felt it didn’t deliver, likewise Hardwired seems to have fallen into the same trap – it’s fast and varied and delivered with great energy but it does have its detractors that think it just doesn’t have the energy of their classic 80s albums.

Motorhead – Bad Magic (2015)
The final album from the band as lead singer and heavy metal legend Lemmy died a few months following its release – he certainly went out on a high. While it can be argued that every Motorhead album sounds the same (which means they are all awesome!), Bad Magic does stand out in its own way with tracks like “Victory or Die” and “Electricity”, however I personally love the final track of the album, a cover of the classic “Sympathy for the Devil”. Rock on Lemmy.

Rancid – Honor is all we know (2014)
11 years since their last album, punk legends Rancid returned in style with “Honor Is All We Know”. Punk through and through, this album illustrates some of care free punk style in the likes of “Already Dead”, while a slow more considered style is demonstrated with “Evil’s My Friend”. Definitely a must for any Rancid fan.

Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe 2 (2010)
Sequel album to Rob’s classic debut album, which returned to the overall tone and theme of the original with a new round of songs with “What?”, “Sick Bubblegum”, “Mars Needs Women” and “Werewolf Women” standing out in particular.

Sick of It All – Last Act of Defiance (2014)
Hardcore through and through, Sick Of It All continue to impress with Last Act Of Defiance and show no sign of slowing down after 30 years on the scene. Last Act Of Defiance (which is not their last act…) is relentless from beginning to end, no slow down here.

Slipknot - .5 The Grey Chapter (2014)
One of the most impactful bands in metal for the last 20 years, Slipknot have continued to produce the results and demonstrate the talent that lies behind the masks. Although their output has slowed in the last decade, what they have released has been fantastic – it was a close call between “.5 The Grey Chapter” and 2019’s “We Are Not Your Kind”, however this one clinches it for me, probably down to my preference for faster music, with great tracks like “Skeptic”, “The Negative One” and “The Devil in I”.

Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake (2016)
These thrash metal heavy weights continue to impress with their 12th album. It’s heavy, fast and intense, with enough variety from song to song to keep everything interesting all the way to the end.