IT’S that time of year when it is time to look back – that is the end of the year – at what the past 12 months provided. And in metal terms it was a bumper 2008. A host of fantastic gigs, a bumper crop of songs and a superb basketful of albums.
It would be a tough task to gather all the highlights, but rather than bore all the constant readers, better to focus on one – our take here on the top 10 albums of the year. After all, every magazine, TV channel and radio station picks their top 10.
So below is our choice of Top 10 albums of 2008. We’re sure to have left one or two out, maybe left out your favourite platter of the year. Or you might think we’ve gotten it all wrong. Anyway, enjoy the choice and leave your comments.
Number One: Metallica – Death Magnetic.
After years of seeming wilderness twiddling the kings retook their throne at the top of the global metal tree. Only Iron Maiden are on a par. Death Magnetic was both a return to the progressive thrash roots and an evolution. Complex changes and simple riffing sit side by side, but above all it is simply a damn fine metal album.
Number Two: Amon Amarth – Twilight of the Thunder God.
Amon Amarth promised much in the past, but inconsistent albums hindered them. Twilight is a different proposition. If Vikings sounded like this then no wonder they kicked medieval ass: a surging triumph of battle metal that knows its thrash heritage – fearless and victorious.
Number Three: Airbourne – Runnin Wild.
Hell – small Australians, the Young brothers, Angry Anderson, and now the O’Keefe led Airbourne show that small Aussie rockers know how to provide a soundtrack for a good time. Runnin Wild is a soundtrack to a good time.
Number Four: Slipknot – All Hope is Gone.
The Nine aren’t the most optimistic bunch of extreme metallers. All Hope is Gone is a slavering beast of noise. Intermittent melody mixed with brutality. Simply superb.
Number Five: Cancer Bats – Hail Destroyer.
Swinging, angry, humorous, demons flying – Cancer Bats delivered a hilarious and nasty album, replete with anthems and irate tirades. But above all it was a chant-a-long party of metal.
Number Six: Trivium – Shogun.
Okay – it has been fashionable to slag off the Floridian crew, but Shogun finally saw Trivium throw off the training wheels. Approach this album with an open mind and you’ll find melody and aggression coupled with musicianship of the highest quality.
Number Seven: Dragonforce – Ultra Beatdown.
Only included here because it always makes us smile: yeah it isn’t much different from any other Dragonforce but it is fun as hell to listen to
Number Eight: Cavalera Conspiracy – Inflikted.
When the Cavalera’s got together they delivered a brutal, back to basics sound storm of riffs and primal beats. Not easy on the ear, but damn fine metal listening.
Number Nine: Alice Cooper – Along Came A Spider.
Vincent Furnier’s alter ego delivered a tasteful tale of murder and slaughter, all with his usual poignancy and evil take on life – who said the son of a preacher man couldn’t rock out.
Number Ten: AC/DC – Black Ice.
Much overdue DC provided us with a reminder as to what straight forward hard rockin’ is supposed to sound like. And this was it. More bluesier in some parts, and even with a singalong anthem in Anything Goes.