Music Mondays: top 30 hard rock & heavy metal albums of 2009 is featuring their annual top 30 hard rock & heavy metal albums of the year. It's a pretty good list from a very good year. I like their list because it mixes mainstream and extreme very nicely, with Cheap Trick & Kiss on the same list as Immortal and Napalm Death. It was a pretty good year for me as I have 5 of the 30 albums listed (Chickenfoot, Mastodon, Heaven and Hell, Slayer and #1 Megadeth with Heaven and Hell as my favourite of the bunch) and I'll probably end up getting a few more as well.

Let's take a look at the top 10, in descending order to #1:

  • VOIVOD - Infini (Sonic Unyon/Relapse)
  • HEAVEN & HELL - The Devil You Know (Rhino)
  • ALICE IN CHAINS - Black Gives Way To Blue (Virgin)
  • NILE - Those Whom The Gods Detest (Nuclear Blast)
  • HYPOCRISY - A Taste Of Extreme Divinity (Nuclear Blast)
  • BEHEMOTH - Evangelion (Metal Blade)
  • SLAYER - World Painted Blood (Sony)
  • NAPALM DEATH - Time Waits For No Slave (Century Media)
  • IMMORTAL - All Shall Fall (Nuclear Blast)
  • MEGADETH - Endgame (Roadrunner)

I have to say I was a bit surprised not to see Them Crooked Vultures on the list as I thought it was a pretty strong debut.

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I have none, I guess I'm slipping :(

JohnV, I have better years and worse years in terms of picking up newer stuff. One thing that's made a big difference for me is that my younger son (14) is really into hard rock and metal music, so it's something that we're bonding over and is helping me keep up-to-date.

The only one of these I have is Heaven & Hell, but despite being a huge Ronnie Dio fan from way-back-when I just couldn't get into it at all. The last Dio track I actually got a kick out of was the cover of Aerosmith's Dream On he did with Malmsteen. This follows in the same rather dreary rut he seems to have been in since Angry Machines, and Iommi just sounds as if he's going through the motions of churning out intechangeable slow doomy riffs for Dio to growl over.

csrster, I hear ya.

But I think this is one of those YMMV cases. I like the rumbly, doomy, dark noise that Dio, Iommi and co are producing -- and I actually really like a couple of their new H&H songs. Sure, they've all done better but you have to admire their dedication to actually putting out new music when a lot of other guys of their vintage are just doing greatest hits tours.

It's interesting to see so many old familiar names on the list. One thing I've always liked about rock/metal its loyalty to the older acts. It's not just that Megadeth, Slayer etc. can still sell tickets to their concerts but that they can still pull in younger fans.

Although I don't get much from Ronnie Dio's recent stuff I appreciate the fact that he's doing what _he_ wants to be doing. Even though I didn't particularly like the music, I thought Angry Machines, which was his real turn away from the melodic side, was a brave record for a guy his age. I'd like to imagine he still has one great melodic metal album insider him, but as he must be pushing about 70 by now I guess I'll probably have to make do with relistening to Holy Diver and Rainbow Rising instead.

In general, I haven't really gotten much new music lately. I used to download quite a bit, and then end up buying the things I really liked. But I haven't downloaded anything really since I quit paying for a USENET subscription.

csrster, yeah, I think the whole rock/classic rock/metal community is pretty open-minded, sort of becoming like the jazz/blues world. In fact, I like to think one of the things that's happening with the whole music scene, with iTunes & downloading, is that everyone is becoming more open minded, that we're becoming less focused on only a couple of types of music. When I look at my sons (14 & almost 17) they like stuff from all eras in a way that would have been inconceivable to me when I was their age.

I actually haven't listened to Angry Machines in a good long while, I should dig it out of my CD archive.

JohnV, yeah, I go through spells like that too where I'm not that engaged in new music as much.