2010 A Year in Review
By: Chris Davison
So, farewell then 2010. Another year closer to the grave, another year older though not particularly any the wiser. What to make of this past year from a metal perspective? Well, first and foremost, one of the most talented vocalists in metal history shuffled from this mortal coil in the form of Ronnie James Dio. So much has been said of the event by others (and generally in a more erudite way than I could manage) that I think I will leave it but to say that his talent will be hard to replace.
In other news, Dave Ellefson rejoined Megadeth (a.k.a. The Dave Mustaine Ego Project) in time to milk the emergent “playing our best album” fad tour, trading in any shred of dignity for cold hard currency. “We are friends, first and foremost,” Mustaine told a disbelieving metal press, before going to exclaim, “Oh and we are going to tour Oceania. Oceania has always been our friend.”
Peter Steele died, depriving the nostalgia circuit of the possibility of a Carnivore reunion while ensuring that, at least, the Type O Negative live performances wouldn't have been as awful as in the last couple of years. Meanwhile, Joey Belladonna was given the opportunity to rock the poodle cut to audiences of portly thirty and forty somethings attracted to their teenage fantasy of seeing the Big Four on the same bill. Of course, their teenage fantasy probably didn't have Megadeth as a pale shadow of their former selves, Anthrax as the most dysfunctional family since the Addams came to town, Slayer on the back of their fourth shitty album and Metallica apparently unable to write a convincing heavy metal song even at the threat of immediate execution. The resulting “all star jam”...
...was pretty much the biggest anti-climax since the Millennium bug failed to destroy Western civilisation. Fuck, if I wanted to watch saggy middle aged guys make a mockery of their early promise, I could stand in front of a mirror (though to complete the effect I would have to charge myself a hundred dollars and post a video of it on YouTube).
In fact, pretty much every major label band produced a massively crappy album. Dimmu Borgir followed up on a career highlight (In Sorte Diaboli), and produced Abrahadabra, an album which saw the amazing vocals of ICS Vortex instead replaced by the Wicked Witch of the West. With her feet on fire.
In an amazing proof of the law of diminishing returns, Six Feet Under released Graveyard Classics Volume 3, another selection of SFU cover tracks. In an amazing idea, Chris Barnes asked fans of the band on their official forum, “S'up fuckers! We just finished Graveyard Classics Volume 3, but we don't think we ruined quite enough of your favourite tracks! So post up your top ten metal tracks of all time, we'll play them (except with the solos completely fucking ruined) and with me burping over the top of them! Fuck YEAH!” I don't know about you, but I can't wait for Volume 4: paying tribute to the gods of metal by doing a metaphorical shit on Mount Olympus.
Volbeat continued to irk pedantic thirty-something metal purists by not being Dominus (DEN) and by being a shitty Elvis-loving joke rock band, while simultaneously grabbing hands full of awards from dumb critics. Opeth released their much awaited live CD and DVD set, The Sound of Paint Drying, with bearded wonder Mikael Akerfeldt being the first metal performer to produce a live performance so boring that watching the DVD carries a government health warning of sudden onset of coma and possible cardiac arrest. Triptykon continued Tom G. Warrior in his single handed quest to be the physical incarnation of the Emperor from the Emperor's new clothes. Quite how no one has figured out that he hasn't written a single song worth listening to since 1985 is one of life's true little mysteries. Somewhere in Switzerland, Tom laughs a little at you all listening to the sound of his bank balance swelling.
In other news, Live 4 Metal finally shut its doors, bringing a British heavy metal institution to an end, with mainman Steve Green concentrating on his flourishing (and time consuming) business, leaving an unlikely band of writers condemned for crimes they may or may not have committed. Now unwanted by the authorities, they survive as critics of fortune, a rag tag collection of Brits and Yanks combined in a mutual love of heavy metal, fine beers and wines, and a healthy disdain for organised (or any kind, for that matter) religion. Now, prowling the intarwebz of 2011 in an unlikely party van with only a TDK C90 and a tape deck (Slough Feg on one side, Angelcorpse on the other, mothertruckers) for company, they exist as bums-for-hire. Which is a horribly overblown way of saying we here at Metal Flows in My Veins (or, MFIMV as the hip kids are saying) look forward to another ridiculous, incredible year of heavy metal in 2011.
Remember, reader, take care of yourself. And each other. And listen to Slough Feg The Animal Spirits, for it was my album of the year...