My Top Albums of 2010

I've been pretty into music this year, so I figured I would do at least a top 5. I'm into rock and metal, and don't listen to much else, so expect this list to be pretty on dimensional genre-wise! It was actually quite tough for me to nail this list down. That said, here are my picks for favorite albums released this year: 
5. Mushroomhead - Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children
 Just when I had all but forgotten about the band I used to be quite into, they release an album out of nowhere, and I almost didn't even know about it! The album is very much different than past albums, offering a unique and interesting twist to their iconic sound. The track Holes in the Void is definitely my favorite on the album because it feels very dark yet meaningful. The album won't help or hurt the band's public popularity, but it is definitely an important album for the band's career.
4. Disturbed - Asylum

What? Yeah, I'm pretty surprised at this album making an appearance on my list, too, since I'm not a Disturbed fan whatsoever. I've found it difficult in the past to take this band seriously, due to the singer's antics on most of the tracks, but upon a bit of de-brainwashing in that reguard and listening through this album, I became hooked. There are a wealth of very catchy tracks, both musically and vocally. My favorite on the album is Another Way To Die, but there is plenty to love throughout the entire album.
3.  Slash - Slash
This one came out of left field for me. I'm not nor have I ever been a fan of gun 'n roses, so a Slash album was completely off my radar. Fortunately, Slash's collaboration with Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows got my attention, and peaked my interest in the rest of the album. This album is a very cool and eclectic mix of every aspect of classic rock and metal, and will get you bobbing your head and tapping your feet to vocalists from bands you would never even consider to listen to otherwise. Kid Rock anyone? 
2. Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare
There's no secret about my love affair with this band over the past year, and their latest album is exciting and very unique compared to the band's past work. There are perhaps a few too many light songs than my liking, but overall there is a special quality to most of the tracks on the album. Being my current favorite band, I'm perhaps a bit biased, but according to just my recorded iTunes play counts, I've listened to the track "Nightmare" alone 147 times. Very important album to the band and one of my favorites for sure.
1. Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns 
Oh, hello there album of the year! I've been a casual Linkin Park fan since their inception, but band aside, never has a complete album experience had a mark on me like this one. From beginning to end, the album plays masterfully between ambient and dialog tracks to emotion riddled song after emotion riddled song. There's a song on the album called Robot Boy that I feel would be a crime of humanity if it didn't appear in a movie or trailer at some point in time. My absolute favorite track on the album, however, is Waiting For The End. I get chills every time I listen to it and it just gets me so amped up and engaged whenever it plays. Do yourself a favor and check the album out, even if you aren't a Linkin Park fan, as it is truly a unique and transcending experience in music.
As a bonus, my top 10 songs of the year
10. Sevendust - Splinter 
9. Mushroomhead - Holes In The Void
8. Avenged Sevenfold - Lost It All 
7. Linkin Park - The Catalyst
6. Avenged Sevenfold - Buried Alive 
5. Slash - Promise (Featuring Chris Cornell)
4. Slash - Ghost (Featuring Ian Astbury)
3. Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare
2. Linkin Park - Waiting For The End
1. Slash - Nothing To Say (Featuring M. Shadows) 
Special Mention
Soundgarden - Telephantasm 
While this is only a "greatest hits" type album for the band (minus the one previously unreleased track, Black Rain), it has had some of the most playtime (if not the most of any entire album) of the year for me. I've always been a fan of Chris Cornell's music endeavors, and this is his him in his prime. Favorite tracks include Birth Ritual, Spoonman, and Rusty Cage. Unfortunate omission: Holy Water from their Badmotorfinger album. That is one of my favorite Soundgarden tracks for sure, and it would nice to have it in this package along with everything else. 
That's it! Bring on 2011--you have your work cut out for you, music industry!