has once again delivered a fantastic album. "The Final Frontier" is full of great tracks that will become singalong classics at future Maiden live shows. With three songs over 11 minutes long, they have shown they're not afraid of writing epics, nor performing them. Bruce Dickinson's vocals are still surprisingly powerful for his age, and the guitars are spot-on as usual. It's no Powerslave, but it's still a superb album.
The Sword's "Warp Riders" came out last month and has quickly become one of my favorites. The concept album is effortlessly heavy and full of killer hooks that you can't help but nod your head or tap a foot along with. At times sounding like Mastodon, at others KISS, The Sword draw on the previous 40 years of heavy metal styles and sounds in order to produce an album that is classic and unique at the same time. Really good stuff that flows straight through with 10 excellent songs on a 10 track album.
While these albums have all been well above average in quality, Blind Guardian's "At the Edge of Time" stands head and shoulders above the rest as my favorite album of the year so far. Whenever I put on a song from this album, I have to listen to it the whole way through, and then find another to follow it with. If one comes up on shuffle, I have to pause shuffle and just play the album, it's that damn good. Powerful vocals, fast and powerful guitars, and an epic orchestra drive the music to heights I've never heard Blind Guardian reach. I enjoyed their last few releases, but this one blows them away. It's going to be really hard for anyone to top "At the Edge of Time" this year, but if anyone does, I'd love to hear it.
Any suggestions for stuff I may have missed or failed to pick up in 2010 so far? Anything coming out in the next three months that's gonna kick ass? Think I'm full of shit? Let me know in the comments.