SonicAbuse Writers’ Top Ten Albums Of 2010

This year has seen any manner of amazing releases. It’s difficult, on any level, to critically evaluate one album against another, particularly over such a wide range of genres, so in order to judge our top ten we looked simply at the albums that we played the most for the simple pleasure of hearing them again. Albums such as Anathema’s wondrous ‘We’re here because we’re here’ which has been played ad nauseam here at SonicAbuse certainly deserve a mention as does Filter’s mighty ‘the trouble with angels’ or Novels’ ‘Savior’ because these are the albums that we came back to time and again over the course of the last twelve months.
There will, of course, always be those who disagree with these lists – and that’s cool, music is, after all, a highly subjective thing – we love it because it rules our hearts and there’s never any logic behind the records we love or hate (unless your obsessed with maintaining some sort of fictitious credibility within one scene or another) so rather than flaming this post, why not submit your own top ten in the comments box below – we’d be happy to see what you guys are listening to out there. In the meantime have a great break and we hope to catch you with a load more noise in 2011. All that remains is to say a heartfelt thank you to our readers, contributors and to all the artists and labels who submitted their music to us – it has been a pleasure to hear so many amazing releases and to see the site develop over the last six months.


Phil – SonicAbuse Editor

• Anathema – We’re here because we’re here
“This is an astonishing record that is without doubt the best work this phenomenal band have produced and which ranks as one of the greatest records to have been produced on this island ever. Subtle, beautiful, simply perfect in every detail, this is Anathema’s masterpiece…”
• Swans – My father will guide me up a rope to the sky
“For those who lived in hope of a Swans reunion, this is everything that they could have hoped for; for those who have yet to experience the sheer power of their music, this is a perfect introduction – quite simply this is an astonishing, heavy, punishing, raw, emotionally honest, towering giant of an album that is unlikely to be equaled and there is no doubt that the new songs will excel in the live arena utterly unbowed by the excellent material already residing within the band’s back catalogue. This is everything a Swans fan could have hoped for: a sublime achievement”
• Believe – World is round
“A flawless gem, Believe should be greatly proud of this stunning album.”
• Novels – Savior
“…this is a remarkable record which will be in my player for a good long time and which oozes quality, emotion and astonishing musicianship.”
• Filter – the trouble with angels
“Bravely ignoring the ignorant nay-sayers, Nuclear Blast recognised the potential and the result is ‘the trouble with angels’, a bold, beautiful, savage record that is socially aware, lyrically intelligent and sonically huge. Filter are back with a vengeance and now we in the UK just have to hope for live dates soon to cement this victory. A wonderful record with no clear flaws, ‘the trouble with angels’ is an essential purchase.”
• Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra
“A storming tour-de-force, this is the moment when the world sits up and takes notice of Dimmu Borgir as never before and that notice is richly deserved. Ambitious, stunning and often even beautiful, this is a fantastic metal album that deserves to sit on the shelf of any serious fan of the genre. Staggering.”
• Furze – Reaper subconscious guide
“A throw back to the wonderful, organic records of the seventies when samples were unimaginable and band’s relied upon imagination and creativity to get the sound they wanted, this is a fantastic record that will comfortably grace the shelves of heavy metal, doom and black metal fans alike. Utterly unfettered by fashion or the need to deliver singles, Furze are a pure, elemental force in heavy rock that need to be heard.”
• Intronaut – Valley of smoke
“Certainly in the top ten albums of this year, this is a remarkable achievement and a worthy addition to the shelves of any metal fan. Astounding – this is almost a perfect record with every track a gem that stands on its own merits – intronaut have created a masterpiece.”
• Young hunting – attachment in a child and the subsequent condition
“The music ranges from the lush pastoral soundscapes of Jesu through to the coldest, most paranoia-inducing industrial imaginable and back again – always interesting and never over long or over the top. While it is unlikely that this will find itself to a mass audience, fans of unique, intelligent and innovative music will find much to admire in this fascinating release.”
• Black Rainbows – Carmen Diabolo
“A heavy, passionate, innovative rock band with balls and precision in equal measure who happen to have the nous to produce themselves with a clarity that many bands with a considerably larger budget would envy and the talent to stand tall amidst the very masters of the stoner rock scene such as Kyuss, QOTSA, Electric Wizard and more. Dark, well written and with intelligent lyrics this is an essential purchase for fans of heavy music and a masterwork form a band who deserve to be heard far and wide.”


James – Head of SonicAbuse London

• Mose Giganticus – Gift Horse
“The only way to be more metal would be to involve Dio in some way…an incredible record.”
• Monster Magnet – Mastermind
“Monster Magnet have always looked, acted and (most crucially) sounded like the biggest and best rock band that have ever, or will ever, existed. ‘Mastermind’ confirms this, and can stand proudly next to its older brother ‘Powertrip’. This is the return of Monster Magnet in the form of the Spacelord – ‘Mastermind’ is Magnet distilled, condensed, concentrated, exaggerated and amplified.”
• Fear Factory – Mechanize
“The sound of a thousand grown men weeping as the impossible happens and Fear Factory return all guns blazing.”
• In Mourning – Monolith
“An Utterly mesmerizing take on  the Gothenberg Sound, Opeth style psychedelic folk-death, and Progessive metal in General”
• Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra
“Dimmu Borgir proved about a decade ago that they had the strength of vision and onstage presence to leave black metal and its prohibitive rules far behind. ‘Abrahadabra’ and its attendant tour shows that they are also now striving to leave their own legacy, and any expectations we have of them far behind as well.”
• Red Shore – Avarice of Man
“A fantastically Brutal and Technical Death Metal record- proof you CAN overcome tragedy and come back stronger.”
• Grave Digger – The Clans will Rise again
“It might not be historically accurate, but it’s as fun, and epic as anything Manowar could do. It’s Powermetal taken with absolute sincerity”
• Seventh Void – Heaven is Gone
“I’d simply call it hard rock. There’s a bit of grunge too. Sort of like Soundgarden, but with tighter focus, or Alice in Chains, but with less heroin. With some old-school Sabbath, because, well, you know……
• Nachtmystium – Addicts (Black Meddle)
“It’s not just the best US Black metal album ever, it’s from a band leaving BM in general so far behind they’re pretty much now in the ‘visionary’ category”


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