Aaaah, it's 2009 according to the Gregorian calendar but according to the Russian Orthodox calendar, it's still Christmas. So that's a quick cop out for being so late with coming up with a list. Anyhoo, here are my top 10 albums of 2008:
1. Nachtmystium-Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1
Definitely the most adventurous release of the year. If the members of Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, Bathory and Ulver did an all night jam session, this would be the fine product, covered in hash smoke and colorful lights.
2. Disfear-Live the Storm
The punkest release of the year. And this band has two of Death Metal's OG's, Tomas Lindberg of At The Gates and Uffe Cederlund, formerly of Entombed. Think Motorhead on steroids.
3. Coffins-Buried Death
Death Metal these days is all about how much your BPM is and how many time signatures can be applied to a song, coupled by clean production polished by Pro Tools. Coffins from Japan doesn't give a shit about that. They put on the back to basics old school Death Metal, pure evil riffage, and what's important the most: putting the death back in Death Metal.
4. Trinacria-Travel Now, Journey Infinitely
A total mind fuck of an band, Trinacria sounds like Vikings who stumbled upon an icy grave, only to be cryogenically thawed a thousand years later in the year 2008. Vikings who then later discovered how to use synthesizers and distortion pedals along with the electric guitar and percussion sections. Features members of Norwegian noise muses Fe-Mail and Viking Metal vets Enslaved.
5. The Gates of Slumber-Conqueror
One of the most overlooked albums of the year, Conqueror is a concept album that recalls Conan the Barbarian and Kull the Conqueror's epic storylines mixed with very thundering riffage inspired by Manilla Road and Cirith Ungol.
Torche never ceases to impress me. They can be really massively heavy while being able to harmonize and concoct those catchy riffs. If stoners smoked weed and ate a lot of cotton candy, this might be the end result.
Boris are definitely the torch bearers of psychelic doom-tinged Experimental Metal from Japan. "My Neighbor Satan" is my favorite song title of the year, and this album is a weird mix of punk and colorful doom pyschedelia.
Enslaved manages to make albums that don't sound alike, and do it in a very impressive way. The perfect soundtrack to watching the Northern Lights while enjoying some Mead in Bergen, Norway.
9. Plague Bringer-Life Songs in a Land of Death
Grindcore has always been either politically correct or just obscenely gross. Plague Bringer brings down all those conventions with Grindcore that comes from the heart. A digital testimony against the continued digitalization of the human existence.
10. Toxic Holocaust-An Overdose of Death
Thrash got so milked out really dry in 2008. So many bands are trying to sound like Exodus or Testament did back in 1987. Toxic Holocaust started the Thrash throwback in 1999 though, back when these bands were either still grade school or playing in nu metal cover bands. Toxic upends these young upstarts with a blackened Thrash attack that can make Hellhammer and Sodom proud.
Check out these wonderful albums if you haven't yet. Looking forward to a great year with more great Metal to come!