Best albums of 2008 + singles


22. Dez. 2008, 1:57

A little dull this year, with not many new artists. But this is how it goes sometimes.

Best 10 albums of 2008:

1. Opeth - Watershed
Strangely enough it would take me all the way until 2008 before I really discovered this swedish prog death metal band. But then, Watershed isn't the worst album to begin. Not at all, in fact. It's beautiful and terrifying all at once, and for a "prog band", it's wonderfully free from the pretentious lyrics, playing and arrangements that you may find on some prog albums. Magnificent.

2. Torche - Meanderthal
Well here's a surprise. I want to thank Danko Jones for making me discover this band. Like the crazy, but likeable, little brother of Mastodon, this Florida metal band has some really great SONGS. Just listen to "Across The Shields". What drive, what melody, what energy. Yes, yes, yes!

3. The Gaslight Anthem - The ‘59 Sound
Everyone needs an album like this. An album that puts your spirit back to positive, by churning out nostalgic, but energetic songs about life on the streets. Like a mix of Springsteen, The Cure and The Clash, these guys from New Jersey brings the rock into punk and the punk into the indie rock. It's like drinking that first cup of wonderful coffee in the morning: It's good, refreshing, wakes you up and gets you going.

4. Airbourne - Runnin’ Wild
Really a 2007 release, but released in Europe in 2008, so it gets on my list. Obviously, because aussies (of course!) Airbourne made the album AC/DC should have released between "Stiff Upper Lip" and "Black Ice". If they were 25, still hungry and energetic and waiting to take over the world. I know a lot of bands that play straight forward rock'n'roll based on the formula by AC/DC (hey, I sing in one myself), but thw flaw that most of them have, is the lack of good songs. Airbourne hasn't got that problem. Because it's the songs that makes them stand put. I'm not sure that Airbourne can top this debut ever again, but I sure hope they try.

5. Testament - The Formation Of Damnation
Another thrash metal band that gets back to their roots and joins the new wave of thrash that is washing over the world right now. For me, thrash is the real METAL and by getting almost all their original members back together to make an album again, Testament proves why they were almost up there with Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax back in the eighties. Great songs.

6. She Said Destroy - This City Speaks In Tongues
Being norwegian, I hadn't really heard of She Said Destroy until 2008. But this Oslo based metal band should quickly get to be known now. Or rather have an impact on the metal scene. This album is total madness and beauty, all at once. Chaotic and destructice, but still somehow positive and energizing, with great vocals and instrumental handling. It's not an easy album, but very rewarding when you really plunge into it and go deep.

7. El Cuero - A Glimmer Of Hope
The second of three norwegian bands on my list this year, and deservingly so. Root rock? Yes, I believe you can call it that. With big guitars, terrific melodies and great arrangements. A real quality band that very clearly knows their music and what it should sound like. The released an album last year that was almost this good, so this is progression in a truly good way. More people should check out El Cuero, right now.

8. AC/DC - Black Ice
The masters of true rock are back. I haven't been that fond of their albums for the last...20 years, but "Black Ice" is a great collection of basic hard rock, like only AC/DC can do it. Powerful, yet with those great hooks and melodies. You cannot have an AC/DC song without a great chorus, and here they deliver. "Rock 'N Roll Train" is the ultimate comeback single and the songs just keep on coming. Welcome back! And I can't wait to see them for the first time in February. :)

9. Lukestar - Lake Toba
Lukestar from Oslo, Norway, was a wonderful surprise early in 2008. Hailed by almost every critic around the country, deservingly so, but now forgotten by the same critics as we all are summarizing 2008. It's a shame, because "Lake Toba" is still a great little album. Listen to those melodies and that sweet voice sung in high pitch. It's enduring and beautiful indie rock.

10. Metallica - Death Magnetic
The masters of thrash metal are back. The second big comeback (I do not count the G'N'R album as a comeback, as it's not G'N'R) of 2008, if you can call it a comeback. But yes, it is a comeback, because Metallica finally proves that they still can rock. This is, as I said bak in 2003 with "St. Anger", a crucial album for the band. This is the album that had to prove that Metallica still had it in them. And they have proved it. Flawed, dynamic and powerful, just like Metallica should sound like. I cannot get my head around those people that says that Metallica doesn't play as well as modern metal bands. No, and they shouldn't! It's what makes Metallica what they are! Keep 'em coming boys!

Not rated:
The Bronx - The Bronx III
Funeral For A Friend - Memory And Humanity
Amon Amarth - Twilight of the Thunder God
Beautiful Memories Last Your Whole Life Long - Beautiful Memories Last Your Whole Life Long
The Hellacopters - Head Off
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cardinology
Deadends - Pulling The Punches
Dunderbeist - Second Hand Theft
Flight Of The Conchords - Flight Of The Conchords
M83 - Saturdays = Youth
Legion Of The Damned - Feel The Blade
Motörhead - Motörizer
Nachtmystium - Assassins: Black Meddle Part I
Nada Surf - Lucky
Rumble In Rhodos - Intetions
Weezer - Weezer (The Red Album)
Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours
Danko Jones - Never Too Loud
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life
Division Of Laura Lee - Violence Is Timeless
Dungen - 4
Lindsey Buckingham - Gift of Skrews
Death Angel - Killing Season
Brant Bjork - Punk Rock Guilt-Promo
Brazilian Girls - New York City
Parts & Labor - Receivers
Trivium - Shogun
Mates of State- Re-Arrange Us


Best singles of 2008:
1. Cut Copy - Lights and Music
2. AC/DC - Rock ‘n Roll Train
3. Danko Jones - Code of the Road
4. The Gaslight Anthem - The ‘59 Sound
5. Lukestar - The Shade You Hide
6. Rumble In Rhodos - Flavoured Envy
7. Mates of State - The Re-Arranger
8. Nada Surf - I Like What You Say
9. Weezer - Pork and Beans
10. Santogold - L.E.S. Artistes


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