As 2010 comes to a close, we look back on all that has happened in metal in the past year. For good or for bad, it has been one crazy year. Great releases, untimely deaths, amazing shows, reunions and break-ups, just about everything has happened in the past 365 days. This is the time that we revisit all that has occurred in 2010; remember the good times, reflect on the bad times, and simply listen to all the kick ass music that has been penetrating out ear drums. These are some of the biggest moments of metal in 2010.
One of my most anticipated returns of 2010 was that of Polish death metal dynamos Decapitated. This band originated back in 1996 when most of the band was in their teenage years. Undoubtedly no one would realize that this young band would create some of the heaviest death metal ever to have the pleasure of demolishing the world’s aural sensibilities. They created some of the most technical death metal without sounding snobbish and simply noodling all over the place. Back in 2007 tragedy struck; a car accident occurred that killed the 23 years young drummer Witold "Vitek" Kiełtyka and put singer Adrian "Covan" Kowanek into a coma. Most thought that there was no way that the band would continue. However, through perseverance, the band has reunited with a new drummer and vocalist to bring the masses untold brutality. They played shows in the UK, Australia, and the US and completely destroyed everyone in their path. The world anticipates new music from this uncompromising and goal-driven band.
Tragedy plagued the world when on May 16, 2010, one of the leaders of metal, one of the originators, possibly the greatest vocalist of all time, Ronnie James Dio passed away as a result of stomach cancer. Truly one of the saddest days of my life was when I heard of Dio’s passing. Truth be told, I had been drinking the night before and I read rumors on the internet of his passing and I simply did not believe it. When I told my friend that night of what I read, we both scoffed and treated it as simply another internet rumor. However, when I got up in the morning and started to see all that was written about Dio and his passing, it all started to hit home. I called my friend and informed him of the tragedy and was beside myself. Holy Diver did not leave my stereo for days because I wanted to breathe in all that I could from one of metal’s masters. From his days with Black Sabbath, to Rainbow, to his own self-titled bad Dio, he has consistently put out great music and never lost his vocal abilities, even in his later years when most vocalists do. The world truly mourned when they heard of his passing, and they still do to this day.
Another metal legend passed away this year, one month before Dio did, Type O Negative lead singer, bassist, and composer Peter Steele. He helped create and continue goth/doom metal that even lead its way to the mainstream as most people have at least heard of Type O Negative. With hits such as “Black No. 1” and “Christian Woman,” doom metal and gothic music combined and invaded the mainstream. Peter Steel became a star and made a subculture popular. As a result of heart failure, he passed away on April 14, 2010, and left an indelible mark on the world of heavy music.
One of the biggest pieces of news of the year was the fact that the Big Four of thrash were finally going to play shows together. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax were four of the seminal bands that started thrash metal and they were finally going to play shows together after almost 30 years of playing as bands. They each have had their own moments of brilliance and have stood alone on their own merit. Across the board they have all been deemed as standards that new bands today try to live up to. To a lot of people this was fantastic news, those people all lived in Europe, because that was the only place they were going to play. Even though all the bands are from America, none of their announced shows were in the US. There is still hope though as they announced that there will be more shows in the summer of 2011. Even though they are in Europe again, there is a glimmer of hope that they will put together some shows here in the United States.
On Tuesday, December 7, the world was told that one of the originators of heavy metal, a constant heavy hitter of power metal, Judas Priest announced that they will soon be retiring. They told the world that there will be one final world tour and that would be the last we will ever see of this amazing band. There are plenty of skeptics that believe this is one of those farewell tours that are not as they seem. Some people think that the band will reunite in a couple years to do more shows because the world does not seem the same without JP. Even so, we all need to go out and see these shows in order to give these titans of metal a proper send off. Long Live Judas Priest \m/
Nergal, main man of the Polish blackened death metal titans Behemoth announced that the band would take a little hiatus from touring and recording due to a tragic health scare. This leader of the darkness has been brought down to earth from the debilitating disease leukemia which ravages a person’s white cell count in their bone marrow. However, through the power of the metal community, awareness of this disease has spread and a great deal of money has been raised. Marrow drives have been organized and one metal fan found out that he was a perfect match to donate blood marrow to Nergal. Rumor has it that a successful surgery has been undertaken and Nergal is resting comfortably.
Announcing their return to the metal world this year was Swedish thrash trio Coroner. This was huge news as they had been retired since 1996. Coroner released such legendary albums as Punishment for Decadence and No More Color. Having been around since 1983 Coroner began at the same time as most of the seminal thrash bands of our time and their reputation as an unrelenting tech-thrash band lives on today. The metal world rejoiced news came that they would reunite for France’s legendary Hellfest music festival. Coming shortly after that announcement was the news that they would hit the shores of the US for more tour dates such as playing Maryland Deathfest.
This has truly been a diverse year for metal with legends passing, great bands reuniting, amazing albums being put out, and any many intense tours. For a list of some of those great albums check out our favorite albums of the past year. Let’s hope that 2011 brings us as much joy as 2010 did by getting much more great new albums and tours. Be sure to support the scene by buying the albums, going to shows, and buying the merch. Be sure to continue to follow us here at NW MetalHead Productions presents \m/ All Metal All The Time \m/ as we will be sure to bring you new music, more reviews, and more metal fun. We hope to add new features to the site in order to give you all a better place to get all your metal news.
Keep those horns up !!!!!