Heavy Metal: A Year in Brief – 2010

The Year 2010 will forever be etched in the memories of fans of heavy metal but unfortunately not only for the quality of music being released. It was sadly also the year that many iconic artists lost their lives. It was still a very strong year in terms of album releases but the year as a whole was tinged with a hint of sadness.

2010 was a very quiet year in terms of band formation with just one band officially classified as forming. That band was American black metal band Deafheaven. Despite the slow arrivals of new bands, there was a very large amount of bands reforming. 2010 saw the reformation of Autopsy, Battleaxe, Exhumed, Voivoid, Murderdolls and, of course, Soundgarden.


Despite the small list of new arrivals, current bands were going strong and there were some magnificent albums released in 2010. Some of the highlights include Dream Evil’s In The Night, Orphaned Land’s The Never Ending Way of ORWarriOR and Overkill’s Ironbound. It was also the year that Rob Zombie released Hellbilly Deluxe 2 and that Meshuggah released Alive.
Not bad so far right?
Well there is much more as 2010 also saw the release of Pro-Pain’s Absolute Power, Sabaton’s Coat of Arms and also Soulfly’s Omen. Ozzy Osbourne also released Scream and Kvelertak released their excellent self-titled debut album.


Mastodon released their EP, Jonah Hex: Revenge Gets Ugly and just before completely forgetting who they were, Korn released their latest album, Korn III – Remember Who You Are. Blind Guardian brought out At the Edge of Time while Avenged Sevenfold released their latest offering, Nightmare. It was also the year that Iron Maiden released The Final Frontier and The Devil Wears Prada released their EP, Zombie. Volbeat released Beyond Hell/Above Heaven and Bring Me the Horizon tried to win an award for longest album title with There is a Hell, Believe me, I’ve seen it. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret.
A strong year indeed but to add a final couple, and there were plenty more, it was also the year that Cradle of Filth released Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa, Dimmu Borgir released Abrahadabra and the year that saw the release of the exceptional Mechanize by Fear Factory.


With such a strong release schedule, inevitably there were some amazing tracks being listened too for the first time. Such fantastic tracks as Fear Factory’s Difference Engine, Orphaned Land’s The Warrior and Pro-Pain’s Stand My Ground are some of them.
It was also the year that we got to first hear Blind Guardian’s Wheel of Time and Valkyries
2010 was the year we all first go to hear Volbeat’s Thanks and 7 Shots as well as the year we were listening too Dimmu Borgir’s Ritualist and Gateways.


Cradle of Filth’s excellent Lilith Immaculate also got it first, of many, listens on my music system as did Sabaton’s The Final Solution.
Outside of album releases though, the real reason for remembering 2010 happened with the sad loss of many great artists.
Debbie Abono dies in May, aged 80. Trevor Fleming, from Sweet Savage died in October and Steve Lee from Gotthard also passed away in October.
Peter Steele, frontman of Type O Negative passed away in April, aged 48. Ronnie James Dio then also passed away in May aged 67 and then, also in May, Paul Gray, from Slipknot also died bringing a collective sadness and mourning to the metal family.
Behemoth frontman, Nergal, was hospitalised due to advance Leukaemia putting the band onto an understandable hiatus.
Heavy metal was also vilified, again, firstly with Rammstein being banned from entering and playing in Belarus for “morality” reasons and then Thomas Gurrath was fired from his job as a philosophy trainer for also being the frontman of a metal band, Debauchery.


Despite the great albums and tracks released, 2010 will always be remembered just as much for the loss of so many artists. In a family as tight as the fans of heavy metal, a loss is felt by everyone and many a glass was raised in memory.

If nothing else though, we will always have their music and it will, and did, drive future and current bands on to try to achieve greater things, something that was definitely noticed in the years that followed 2010.

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