Best Albums of 2010
by: Pedro Azevedo

Back in 2006, Agalloch were beaten only by Katatonia and Drudkh in the race for CoC Album of the Year. At that time, they had to settle for third place with _Ashes Against the Grain_, but _Marrow of the Spirit_ would not suffer the same fate in 2010: it outscored every other release, and was also the most consensual choice among the CoC staff. While it is true that there was nothing from the two most historically successful bands (Primordial and Katatonia) in the competition this year, that takes nothing away from what is an outstanding win for Agalloch.

In Mourning and Kalmah were not far behind however, in a hotly contested Swedish battle between two bands who had never featured in a CoC Top 10 before. For the first time ever in the CoC Album of the Year rules, this year each writer had a few bonus points to scatter around his list; and this turned out to be the deciding factor in awarding second place to In Mourning rather than Kalmah.

After two previous sixth place finishes in 2005 and 2007, Deathspell Omega once again did very well in 2010 to grab a personal best fourth place with _Paracletus_, which becomes their third consecutive release to achieve a top 10 spot. However, they had to share that fourth place with impressive CoC AotY debutants Year of No Light and their _Ausserwelt_.

The top 5 albums of 2010 were clearly in a league of their own in terms of staff consensus, while the bottom 5 of the top 10 had to depend on the aforementioned bonus points novelty. This allowed the likes of Malevolent Creation, Solefald, Anathema, Cough and God Dethroned to find their way into the overall list despite being rather more individual recommendations.

Alcest, Enslaved, Ghost, Withered, Exodus and October Tide all narrowly missed out on a place in the top 10. Enslaved and October Tide were particularly unlucky however, as despite gathering enough staff consensus to suggest a well placed finish, they were never ranked higher than sixth in the individual lists and ultimately failed to make the cut.

From doom to black, death and avantgarde, there should be something for almost everyone in this year's list. Enjoy...

CoC Writers' Best Albums of 2010

1. Agalloch - _Marrow of the Spirit_
2. In Mourning - _Monolith_
3. Kalmah - _12 Gauge_
4. Deathspell Omega - _Paracletus_
=. Year of No Light - _Ausserwelt_
6. Malevolent Creation - _Invidious Dominion_
=. Solefald - _Norrøn Livskunst_
8. Anathema - _We're Here Because We're Here_
=. Cough - _Ritual Abuse_
=. God Dethroned - _Under the Sign of the Iron Cross_

Pedro Azevedo's Top 10

1. Agalloch - _Marrow of the Spirit_
2. Anathema - _We're Here Because We're Here_
3. Kalmah - _12 Gauge_
4. Deathspell Omega - _Paracletus_
5. Barren Earth - _Curse of the Red River_
6. October Tide - _A Thin Shell_
7. Alcest - _Écailles de Lune_
8. Immolation - _Majesty and Decay_
9. Enslaved - _Axioma Ethica Odini_
10. The Dillinger Escape Plan - _Option Paralysis_

Aaron McKay's Top 10

1. Malevolent Creation - _Invidious Dominion_
2. In Mourning - _Monolith_
3. Withered - _Dualitas_
4. Lustre - _A Glimpse of Glory_
5. Immolation - _Majesty and Decay_
6. Agalloch - _Marrow of the Spirit_
7. Drudkh - _Handful of Stars_
8. Daath - _Daath_
9. Exodus - _Exhibit B: The Human Condition_
10. Overkill – _Ironbound_

Kostas Sarampalis' Top 10

1. Deathspell Omega – _Paracletus_
2. Solefald - _Norrøn Livskunst_
3. Sigh - _Scenes From Hell_
4. Mar de Grises - _Streams Inwards_
5. Negurã Bunget - _Vîrstele Pãmîntului_
6. Twilight - _Monument to Time End_
7. Nachtmystium - _Addicts: Black Meddle Part II_
8. Pain of Salvation – _Road Salt One_
9. Kalmah – _12 Gauge_
10. Drudkh - _Handful of Stars_

Aly Hassab El Naby's Top 10

1. In Mourning - _Monolith_
2. Year of No Light - _Ausserwelt_
3. Exodus - _Exhibit B: The Human Condition_
4. Misery Index - _Heirs to Thievery_
5. Intronaut - _Valley of Smoke_
6. In Vain - _Mantra_
7. Toundra - _(II)_
8. October Tide - _A Thin Shell_
9. Barren Earth - _Curse of the Red River_
10. Agalloch - _Marrow of the Spirit_

Mark Dolson's Top 10

1. Kalmah - _12 Gauge_
2. God Dethroned - _Under the Sign of the Iron Cross_
3. Nightfall - _Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants_
4. Desultory - _Counting Our Scars_
5. Istapp - _Blekinge_
6. Enslaved - _Axioma Ethica Odini_
7. Algaion - _Exthros_
8. Ihsahn - _After_
9. October Tide - _A Thin Shell_
10. Hooded Menace - _Never Cross the Dead_

Jonathan A. Carbon's Top 10

1. Agalloch - _Marrow of the Spirit_
2. Cough - _Ritual Abuse_
3. Ghost - _Opus Eponymous_
4. Year of No Light - _Ausserwelt_
5. Alcest - _Écailles de Lune_
6. Nachtmystium - _Addicts: Black Meddle Pt II_
7. Enslaved - _Axioma Ethica Odini_
8. Dimmu Borgir - _Abrahadabra_
9. Decrepit Birth - _Polarity_
10. Slough Feg - _The Animal Spirits_

(article submitted 27/1/2011)

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