Between Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum, we’ve been wondering how guitarist Markus Vanhala sleeps. Omnium Gatherum’s latest effort, The Burning Cold, landed on #1 on one of our year-end lists for 2018, and Insomnium’s Heart Like a Grave reached #1 for 2019. This spring, both groups will embark on a North American tour as Omnium Gatherum recently announced Nick Cordle (ex-Arch Enemy) will be joining them as a “stunt ninja guitarist” for the trek as well as the group’s appearance on 70000tons of Metal Round 10. We wanted to know more about Vanhala as the guitarist shared his top ten albums of the decade (2010-2019).
As I’m too old school with my musical tastes, I thought it was going to be hard to pick a few favorites from the 2010 decade but somehow, it was surprisingly easy. Below are my top 10 albums of this past decade that I’ve been spinning nonstop.
01) Anathema, Weather Systems (2012)
This is my pick for THE album of the decade. There’s simply no other track that’s deeper and as emotionally touching as ”Untouchable 1&2”. That’s THE song of the decade for me. Ultimate emotions and feelings loaded inside this album.
02) The Nightflight Orchestra, ALL of their albums: (Internal Affairs // Skyline Whispers // Amber Galactic // Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough
NFO came out and helped save classic rock for party music. Nothing new, but the old recipe of good ol’ classic rock is presented here with awesome songs and stories. NFO is the band we typically spin on our (Insomnium) tour bus, as this is definitely traveling music and tour party music. Hail the Swedes! Salute AOR!
03) Ghost Prequelle (2018)
I never was a Ghost fan. I heard this album in my friend’s car when we were driving around Seattle the whole day and had to ask who he was playing. He said it was Ghost. I was surprised, as I had already decided that Ghost was shit. Well, this album isn’t, and this a genius gem. Surprise of the decade. Great songs and a great concept. It’s larger than life. How great music and artists should be.
04) Steven Wilson, Hand. Cannot. Erase (2015) / The Raven That Refused To Sing (2013)
I loved Porcupine Tree, but with these two albums Mr. Wilson refinished and widened the spectrum a lot. The Raven is more like 70’s prog made with a really and Hand takes more of an 80’s direction. Great music and emotionally loaded with awesome musicianship and songwriting involved! Steven Wilson is one of the few real songwriters of our time, not limited to any genre boundaries and definitely in his own level.
05) Moonspell, Extinct
Every now and then, it’s great when your old favorite bands strike back with a force. Moonspell definitely did the trick for me with Extinct. It’s all there where I fell in love with old albums as ”Wolfheart” and ”Irreligious”, and a lot more. A lot of old bands have been getting back their mojo by going back to their strong roots and finding their own identity from the past. So many great songs and soundscape on this album, made with charisma that only these Portuguese conquistadores can!
06) Soilwork, The Living Infinite (2013)
This is another old favorite. Soilwork lost their main songwriter and hired out David Andersson who wrote a double album full of great songs (not to mention that he is the main composer for Nightflight Orchestra too…), and definitely aided the band’s spectrum outside ”the usual melodeath” field. So hats off to Soilwork, who came back with a bang and gave the middle finger to all skeptic Peter Wichers songwriting fans.
07) Watain, Lawless Darkness (2010)
Had to add this one as the black metal album of the decade, beating out Satanic Warmaster’s Fimbulwinter. Though, Watain wins this title for me and truly respects the great legacy of Dissection with this one. After all Storm of the Light’s Bane is one of the best metal albums of all time. Only a few of the newer black metal bands have succeeded to build this mystical bad aura upon their name and Watain is certainly one of them. With Lawless Darkness they have really good songs.
08) Haken, Affinity (2016)
This one was a surprise for an old progmetal fan and came out of nowhere. Didn’t exactly like their earlier stuff, but this 4th album is a great combination of virtuosity, good prog metal, poppy choruses, djent, and 80’s vibe Miami Vice. This mixture doesn’t make any sense on paper, but somehow these guys got it working on this great album! Would love to see the band live someday, and see how this all works out in concert.
09) Gojira, L’Enfant Sauvage (2012)
One of the few ”newer” metal bands, that truly and really have their unique own style and approach to metal and they flawlessly perfected their art on this album.
10) Carpark North, Lost (2010)
Had to add at least one album outside of METAL. This album should’ve taken over the world with its great pop music and should be bigger than Muse. Great songs and soundscapes and a lot of hope. I’ve been getting a lot of influence from this album, especially for Omnium Gatherum writing.