This was a year of metal dreams come true. Things headbangers thought would never happened ... actually happened in 2010. Metalheads dreamt big and were rewarded for it this year. Several of these metal dreams come true revolve around the Big Four (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax), because they are the most essential bands in our beloved genre. And we felt like Dimebag Darrell riffed for us from the grave. What a year it was!
10. The Big Four Tour Europe
Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax did something none of them had ever done before: share a stage. The foursome played before audiences at Sonisphere for seven shows across Europe. While faraway lands like Bulgaria indulged in thrash's Big Four laying waste to the stage, Slayer's Kerry King hinted to Noisecreep that everyone would like to repeat the Big Four tour in America.
Metallica's James Hetfield, Megadeth's David Mustaine, Slayer's Tom Araya, and Anthrax's Joey Belladonna
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9. Joey Belladonna Rejoins Anthrax
After drummer Charlie Benante hinted to Noisecreep that Anthrax were regrouping with John Bush's second tour of duty -- after no-name Dan Nelson split before releasing 'Worship Music' -- the seminal band shocked fans when singer Joey Belladonna, who fronted the band during its pinnacle, was back in the fold for tours and a new record. You can go home again.
Larry Marano, Getty Images
8. Megadeth and Slayer Tour Together Twice
Megadeth and Slayer on one bill? Yes, it happened -- twice! The first was under the American Carnage moniker, although the titans of thrash had to cancel the initial trek when Slayer's Tom Araya had back surgery. They rescheduled for August with Testament in tow, took a few weeks off and went right back out -- this time with Anthrax, for the Jägermeister Fall Music Tour.
Slayer's Tom Araya and Megadeth's David Mustaine
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7. Clash of The Titans Part Two
Due to copyright issues, they couldn't call it 'Clash of the Titans' again -- which is the name Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax used when they toured together in 1991. But in September 2010, they got together again under the Jägermeister Fall Music Tour banner. The only thing that could have made this dream even dreamier? If Metallica had joined the bill.
Megadeth's David Mustaine, Slayer's Tom Araya, and Anthrax's Joey Belladonna
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6. Fear Factory's Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares Reunite
Cyber metal machinists Fear Factory were one of the most successful metal outfits of the late '90s. They split in 2002, with chief songwriter and guitarist Dino Cazares ousted. Fear Factory continued and sputtered without Dino -- until recently, when the group's former rhythm section left and Cazares came back. The chemistry between singer Burton C. Bell and Cazares is undeniable.
Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares of Fear Factory
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5. Alice Cooper Nominated for Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame
With Madonna and the Beastie Boys getting nominations, one wonders if 'rock 'n' roll' is the right term for this institution. That's why we throw two very enthusiastic thumbs up at the nomination of shock rocker Alice Cooper, who is still going strong.
Alice Cooper
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4. Joey Jordison Partners With Rob Zombie
Slipknot's Joey Jordison is one of the pre-eminent drummers in hard rock, so when Slipknot go on a between-album hiatus, he drums for bands like Korn and Satyricon. He sat behind the kit for Rob Zombie on multiple tours this summer, and both parties were energized by the partnership.
Slipknot's Joey Jordison and Rob Zombie
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3. The Hug Heard Around the World
The most heartbreaking scene in 'Some Kind of Monster' is the therapy session that takes place between Metallica's Lars Ulrich and Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, the latter of which was still troubled by his ouster from the band years prior. Singer James Hetfield was in rehab during this session, so when the three hugged on stage in Bulgaria, it felt like closure had finally been achieved.
Metallica's Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield and Megadeth's David Mustaine
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2. Pantera Release a New 'Old' Song
It was as though the late Dimebag Darrell was riffing from the grave when 'Will to Survive' -- a leftover song from Pantera's 'Cowboys From Hell' sessions -- was exhumed from deep within the band's vaults and included in the album's 20th anniversary reissue. We never thought we'd get a 'new' Pantera song of any kind, but this is pretty close.
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
1. Judas Priest Win a Grammy
It may not have been for their best song -- and it may have come from a live album -- but finally, the legends in Judas Priest got what they deserved with a Grammy win.
Rob Halford and Scott Travis of Judas Priest at the Grammys

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