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The best metal album production of 2010

Dawnbringer "Nucleus" liner notes detail; front: Sanford Parker

. . .

The next category in the Readers’ Choice Awards this year is “Best Album Production”.

(Voting on all the categories will occur next week.)

If you’re into mainstream metal, your picks might be produced by Andy Sneap, Tue Madsen, or Jason Suecof. If you’re into lo-fi black metal, you might not know what production is. And if you read this site, you might as well say “Sanford Parker” and be done with it. The dude had a hand in so many great and good albums this year. Even that awful Twilight record sounded great, thanks to him.

So, what’s the best-sounding metal record of 2010?

(Remember that this is independent of an album’s musical quality. A great album can sound bad, and a bad album can sound great.)

Here are the first five that came to my mind:

Krieg – The Isolationist
[producer: Sanford Parker]

Slough Feg – The Animal Spirits
[producers: Mike Scalzi, Justin Weis]

Intronaut – Valley of Smoke
[producer: Josh Newell]

Ludicra – The Tenant
[producers: John Cobbett, Justin Weis]

Unearthly Trance – V
[recorded: Sanford Parker, Rich Tapper, Jay Newman, Ryan Lipynsky; mixed: Jay Newman]

— Cosmo Lee

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