Scott Adams’ Platters That Mattered – 2010
10. Barn Burner – Bangers [Metal Blade]
Not, as some assumed, an album about the sausage industry, Bangers was a rampaging slab of sludge/stoner/doom metal that, whilst failing dismally in the originality stakes, scored highly in the demented hair flailing/wailing along like a dog with distemper awards this year.
9. Terry Brock – Diamond Blue [Frontiers]
Terry Brock lent his undeniable vocal talents to three albums this year – almost certainly too many in terms of quality control, song-wise – but he had the good sense to save the best ones for this, the only one of the three released as a solo outing. Pure AOR class.
8. First Signal feat. Harry Hess – First Signal [Frontiers]
Harry Hess once sang with hair metal no-hopers Harem Scarem – First Signal deletes all nasty memories of that band in three quarters of an hour of hard rock mayhem that touches all the required bases whilst never coming across as tired or hackneyed.
7. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier [EMI]
Not the all-conquering return to the mid-‘80s many fans had hoped for but still the best thing they’ve done this century, and in Coming Home they penned the song of the year, in any genre.
6. Issa – Sign of Angels [Frontiers]
Classy hard rock from a relatively unknown Scandinavian songstress of seemingly limitless talent. Every song is a winner, and every chorus will have you singing along like a crazed karaoke king or queen– the whole point of a song, surely?
5. Killing Joke – Absolute Dissent [Shock]
Displaying a shocking amount of fire and passion for middle-aged ‘rock stars’ seemingly in their dotage, Jazz Coleman and co. showed all the young punks how it’s done in 2010 on this album.
4. Kvelertak – Kvelertak [Indie Recordings]
An utterly exhilarating record, mashing up punk fury, black metal ludicrosity, rock ‘n’ roll swing and, most importantly, damn fine tunes in one huge, unholy shitstorm. Hair-raising. Brilliant.
3. Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony [Nuclear Blast]
For pure, unadulterated pomp few can touch Sammet’s Avantasia imprint, and here the likes of Jorn Lande, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, Klaus Meine and Russel Allen are given songs of pure gold to warble over.
2. Auras – New Generations [Frontiers]
Brazil? AOR? Two words together, as Dave Mustaine might have said, that don’t make sense. But New Generations, with its perfect synthesis of Journey, Toto, REO Speedwagon and Survivor, makes perfect sense. Oh yes sir.
1. Allen-Lande – The Showdown [Frontiers]
When I reviewed this album for BMA earlier in the year I tried to award it a six out of five rating, such is its beyond-perfect nature. The ‘powers that be’ wouldn’t let me. So I’m doing it now. ******