Editorial : Brad Barratt's 7 Best of 2010

I’ve never done one of these lists, and to be honest, there weren’t too many releases that caught my ear in 2010. For this reason, I have chosen 7 of the best albums (in no particular order) that crossed my desk—most from the stoner rock, doom, and NWOBHM genres.

Monster Magnet – Mastermind
The minute I heard “Hallucination Bomb”, I knew that this was going to be something I would spin often on my show. Honestly, I had never been much of a Monster Magnet fan until I heard this album, but Mastermind marked a welcome return to form for Dave Wyndorf & company.

Holy Grail – Crisis in Utopia
As I stated in my review, “White Wizzard‘s loss is Holy Grail‘s gain”—these words rang true through Crisis In Utopia. Holy Grail took NWOBHM worship to a new level, and in the process, made White Wizzard look like 90lb weaklings. I’m sure that Jon Leon is still kicking himself for letting James Paul Luna, James J. LaRue and Tyler Meahl go.

Acid Witch – Stoned
I must admit I laughed at the cover artwork for this album, but I wasn’t laughing once I finished listening. Acid Witch took a theme that was slightly cheesy and used it to showcase the best parts of doom metal—it could have easily have gone the other way. They even paid tribute to the Witchfinder General with the song “Wytchfinder Finder.”

Arson Anthem – Insecurity Notoriety
I was intrigued by the idea of Philip Anselmo, Mike IX Williams and Hank III jamming together in the same group, and was blown away by Insecurity Notoriety. With nods to Negative ApproachChrist On A Crutch and Social UnRest, this is a must-listen for any fan of old school hardcore. I also enjoyed interviewing Mike IX Williams himself!

Kayo Dot – Coyote
I honestly did not know what to make of this album when it crossed my desk. It challenged my knowledge of genres and threw me for a loop with each track. Kayo Dot embraced the concept of discordance, which resulted in an aural landscape full of vibrations and rich textures.

Riotgod – Self-Titled
Maybe I shouldn’t list this album because it features Jim Baglino and Bob Pantella of Monster Magnet. However, I could not help but gush over the way they channeled the spirit of bands like Hawkwind, Steppenwolf and even Sonic Youth to craft their grungy psychedelic rock.

Dio – At Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987
I decided to include at least one live album here. I was proud to review the first release on Niji Entertainment Group, the label started by the late Rock icon. While I prefer the 1983 disc with its excellent versions of “Children Of The Sea”, “Holy Diver” and “Heaven and Hell”, all Dio fans need this excellent double-disc multiple-year release.


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