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Friday, 18 December 2009

A time for reflection

What a year it's been, eh? The metal festivals were epic, the gigs were astonishing, and the nutters at MetalasFuck, BorninBlood and Rock Radio decided to publish the bollocks that I write. I joined Twitter, drank alcohol to the point of vomiting several times, got punched in the face twice and slept on a bench once. I had the worst year in history at work but aside from that, 2009 has been alright to be honest.

But what kind of blog would this be if I didn't do a "Top stuff of 2009" list? All bored of reading them yet? Unlucky.

So here's my top ten for this year, and a brief explanation why as I'm sure you can't be fucked to read pages and pages of justifications:

10. Malefice - Dawn of Reprisal
The second album keeps up the momentum of their debut. Malefice proved to the metal world that the UK does it fucking hard and fucking heavy

9. Suicidal Angels - Sanctify The Darkness
Greek thrashers take organised religion and slap the shit out of it. Hardly ground breaking but hugely compelling and full of brutal honesty

8. Milking the Goatmachine - Back From The Goats
The most ridiculous thing I heard all year, this album takes grind to a new level of stupidity. It's great fun and painfully harsh on the ears. Perfect for making sweet love to your lady down by the fire...

7. The Black Dahlia Murder - Deflorate
Highly anticipated and rightly so, Trevor Strnad and the boys pulled an absolute blinder with this. Heavier than a constipated bi-polar elephant and the only music to listen to if you're off out for a scrap

6. Amon Amarth - The Crusher Reissue
The music may not be as polished as with later albums but this reissue gives newcomers to the Amon Amarth brand a chance to hear where it all started. Plus, the live CD of the entire album is a-fucking-stounding

5. Outloud - We'll Rock You To Hell And Back
Without doubt, the most fun album of 2009. 80's cock rock is done often and it ain't always done right but Outloud absolutely nailed it. Just the right amount of cheese makes this a worthy addition to the ol' collection

4. Trigger The Bloodshed - The Great Depression
New drummer, new vocalist, new boot up the arse of the critics. Based on The Great Depression, there is no doubt that TTB are spearheading the new wave of UK death metal. Expect a lot more from these boys in 2010

3. Austrian Death Machine - Double Brutal
Heavy as hell metal based on Arnie's films which is piss your pants funny from start to finish; it has a song called I Need You Clothes, Your Boots and Your Motorcycle, for Christ's sake. Buy it.

2. Lamb Of God - Wrath
LOG have been producing consistently exceptional music for years but Wrath raised the bar. With Randy Blythe's tonsil-rupturing vocals and some of the tightest musicianship in the metal world, this album ripped my balls off and shoved them down my throat. Absolutely fucking excellent.

1. DevilDriver - Pray For Villains
This won't be a surprise for those of you who know me. It was a tough call between Pray For Villains and Wrath but I had to go with the 'Driver. The Last Kind Words, the predecessor to Pray For Villains, is one of my albums of the decade and as such, was a tough act to follow. But Dez Fafara et al combined personal struggles, insane drumming, pounding grooves and catchy as fuck choruses to produce a savagely good piece of work. They got a lot more fans on the back of this album and after a killer performance at Download 2009 and their own headline tour, DevilDriver is a deserving winner for me.

"But MADman, you crazy cock face, what the fuck happened to Rammstein and Megadeth? Are you some sort of cunt?" Yes, yes I am. However, I've not included these guys in my list as although both are excellent, this is my personal opinion. So please dry your eyes, but feel free to give me some shit if you feel it necessary.

I also got to talking to Sa-da-Ko this year, who remain my unsigned band of choice for 2009. Hopefully we'll get an album from these guys in 2010 and I've plenty of faith that it'll make a loud, unpleasant, face-melting noise within the UK metal scene.

So that's me. I hope you lot have enjoyed reading Metal Harmony this year - if you come back in 2010, I'd gratefully appreciate it. And tell your mates. And send me money. And gifts.

Have a fucking brutal Christmas and New Year. Eat, drink, and listen to heavy metal.


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