The Best Metal and Punk Albums of 2008!
EDITORS NOTE: I wrote this originally for my other blog, Angry Young And Poor, and never posted it here for some odd reason.
1. Amon Amarth - Twilight of The Thundergod
Album of the year. Period. Back in 2006, I bought "With Oden At Our Side" after hearing a lot of hype and I wasn't very impressed. Nevertheless, I decided to give them another go. and I'm glad I did! Twilight of the Thundergod is a viking/melodic death metal epic. The album is melodic and heavy, and becomes an epitome of what extreme and heavy music should be.
2. Cavalera Conspiracy - Inflikted
I didn't get a chance to buy this album until recently, but it was well worth the wait! The album sees, for the first time in 12 years, the Cavalera brothers are together again to give you an album that rocks where Chaos AD left off. Gone is the failed experimentation with an overt use of Brazilian tribal music and instead we get a return of a great combination of thrash, extreme metal, and the same Brazilian tribal music sound is there, this time is great moderation. A brilliant album by two incredible musicians.
3.Wednesday 12 - Skeletons
This album was sold only at Hot Topic and on his tour, as well as available for download only. This may discredit it in the eyes of many a cynical metal head, but they are missing out on something brilliant. Consider Wednesday 13 this generations Alice Cooper and, to a degree, Marilyn Manson. He uses horror-punk to create a more rock-and-roll combination that adds incredible hooks to an album that mixes personal skeletons with real ones. "Great American Massacre", "Not Another Teenage Anthem", "Scream Baby Scream", and "With Friends Like These" are the highlights on an incredible album that will make you think twice about the man and the band.
4. Metallica - Death Magnetic
There is one, and only one, reason why this album isn't #1 and didn't score higher: The production. The production on this album killed it. the fact that they decided to try in vain to make it "louder" instead of sound "good" shows a lack of quality control on the part of the band. But the writing on this album still shines through, showing a level of toughness and refreshed sense of purpose that make it worthy of being a great album in the Metallica canon.
5. Meshuggah - Obzen
Meshuggah? Accessible? Could those two words be put into the same sentence and still make sense? Could they be combined and yet still make it a Top 10 album? YES! Meshuggah's latest album, Obzen, may be their most accessible piece yet, but the heaviness and brilliance is still there in leaps and spades. Tracks such as "Combustion" and "Bleed" are heavy yet catchy, even in a disjointed sort of way. The math-metallers strike again!
6. In Flames - A Sense of Purpose
This one is high on my list because the cover booklet for this album helped A LOT. The album is basically what it's called, "A Sense of Purpose". From the first note to the last, your put in a mysterious ride that takes you all over the mind of Anders, lead singer of In Flames, and shows you the nightmarish world it is. The album is a journey, and to listen to it is pure bliss.
7. Motorhead - Motorizer
I'm convinced that if Lemmy wrote an album that was better than The Beatles "White Album", it would still be rubber-stamped "Another classic Motorhead release that doesn't vary much from Lemmy's formula!" Oye. "Kiss of Death" was Lemmy's best album since Bastards, something I've said about all his albums since 2002's "Hammered", and this was the first time I actually stopped that. "Motorizer" doesn't try to be a metal release; instead, it's a hard rocker of an album with tracks such as "Runaround Man" and "Teach You How To Play the Blues". "Rock Out" is the lone single on here and, really, it's a damn good solid album that kicks ass. Better than 99% of the crap out there and if your put next to a Coldplay album, it'll melt it!
8. Hanzle Und Gretyl - 2012: Zwanzig Zwolf
If there was ever a band that I would consider "The greatest band you never heard of that's still around", Hanzle Und Gretyl is IT! Their combination of industrial and thrash metal is incredible, and Gretyl is none-other than a former member of The Cycle sluts From Hell, a little-known-group famous for "I Wish You Were a Beer". After releasing "Oktonfest" late last year, my hopes were high for this album; sadly, the two best songs on here are on that EP. Or are they? After some time, and as an album itself, thsi disc holds up pretty damn well! "Fukken Uber Death Party" will bring down the house, "Number 1 In Deutcschland" will say "Heil!" to the homeland, and "Heil Hizzle Mein Nizzle" is enough to make you laugh your lederhosen off!
9. Deicide - Till Death Do Us Part
This is a bit of a departure for Glen Benton; Instead of writing a blackened death metal album or a death black metal album or whatever, he instead.... did both? Well, what can I say, getting divorced can do things to a guys mind, and in response, Glen has released a fairly straight-forward death metal album that simply destroys and demolishes everything in it's way.
10. Zimmers Hole - While You Were Shouting At The Devil... We Were in League With Satan
When Strapping Young Lad dissolved last year, there was a collective sense of both anger and understanding as to why. Devin Townsend decided that that period of his life was over and decided to end the band on a high note. At the same time, the rest of the band weren't. Enter a band created in 1991, Zimmers Hole. The band was, and is, a sort of "joke-band"; in a sense, Dethklok from Metalocalypse before they existed. This self-awareness works; The title track rips and tears at the posers, "Devils Mouth", and "The Vowel Song" all help to seal the deal. Now, this was a last-minute addition to my list because I forgot it came out this year and it was a OK disc. At the same time, this is an album made, really, for metal heads. It's a sort of "in-joke", as it were, and it's worthy on being on a Top 10, if not Top 20.
Slipknot - All Hope is Gone
All hope is gone? Yes, for you. After releasing Volume 3 in 2006, showing that they could do more than their nu-metal shtick with the help of Rick Rubin, they went back to their roots to release a disappointing album.
Judas Preist - Nostradomous
Rob Halford: OK, we've got 2-discs worth of material here! What do you suppose we do with it? Release it all?
K.K. Downing: No, Rob, I say we only release the best stuff! Give the people the best Priest album ever!
Rob Halford: ....no, let's release all of it. We can charge more for it.
Venom - Hell
Yes, I was disappointed by a Venom release. After "Metal Black" came out in 2006, I wanted to see what the bad boys from the UK could come up with as a follow-up. Sadly, we got a few good songs and a lot of "Meh".
Dragonforce - Ultra Beatdown
After kicking so much ass with "Inhumane Rampage" and taking the world by storm, can you blame me for expecting them to step up to the plate and dominating their next album? Can you? You can? Damn... I owe you a coke.
Bullet For My Valentine - Scream Aim Fire
These guys are incredibly talented and good. Being able to write death metal vocals for the masses while still writing catchy melodies isn't easy, and after hearing "Hand of Doom" and "The Poison", I wanted them to go far. While it's still a good album (The title track ia amazing, so is "Eye of the Storm") and borrows from the modern extrme metal movement, it fails when it does a song like "Forever and Always".
Opeth - Watershed
Gojia - The Way of the Flesh
Testament - The Formation of Damnation
Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy