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Brent Burton observed earlier in the week that critics seldom mourn the absence of metal from mainstream top 10 lists. I’d go a step further and say that the only bands that don’t get shafted are the ones that don’t need reviewing—bands like GnR and Metallica, for whom critics dutifully went out of their way to praise even though neither band’s album was as good as the releases below (IMHO).  With four exceptions—TV on the Radio, Be Your Own Pet, Thrice, and Longwave—my list is all about the heavy-ass gut-thumpers (many of them from my home state of Florida).

[Ed. note: Rise Records distributed three of my choices, and Vagrant distributed two—I can assure BPB readers that I was in no way compensated for my shameless whoring.]

1. The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IV, Thrice (Vagrant) Below: “The Sky is Falling” [media id=”103″ width=”350″ height=”50″]

2. Lost in the Sound of Separation, Underoath (Solid State)

3. Life Is Not a Waiting Room, Senses Fail (Vagrant) Below: “Ali for Cody” [media id=”104″ width=”350″ height=”50″]

4. Blessed Be Our Ever After, Burden of a Day (Rise) Below: “Sorry Seacrest It’s Casey’s Countdown” [media id=”105″ width=”350″ height=”50″]

5. Dear Science, TV on the Radio (Interscope)

6. Heart Is Long EP, Idiot Pilot (Reprise) Below: “Retina and the Sky” [media id=”106″ width=”350″ height=”50″]

7. Dance Gavin Dance, Dance Gavin Dance (Rise) Below: “Rock Solid” [media id=”107″ width=”350″ height=”50″]

8. The Tide, Oceana (Rise) Below: “The Accountable” [media id=”108″ width=”350″ height=”50″]

9. Get Damaged EP, Be Your Own Pet (XL)

10. Secrets are Sinister, Longwave (Original Signal)