|UserReviews 5Approval 64%Soundoffs 1News Articles 1Band Edits + Tags 4Album Edits 290Album Ratings 1510Objectivity 85%Last Active 04-08-09 3:03 amJoined 11-26-08Forum Posts 1Review Comments 856
It took a little longer than I expected, but I finally managed to listen to over 250 albums from last year. So, here's my list of the best albums released in 2008, sorted by genre:
Spires over the Burial Womb
Ambient/darkwave. Nothing else in the genre that came out this year was half as great, but even so:
Runners-up, from best to least-best: Lapis Niger, Lacus Somniorum, Empire Auriga
Black metal. Hellhammer's release is a tie, but since it's a remastered compilation of old demos, it doesn't "really" count as a 2008 release. This is top 5 of the year material.
Runners-up: S.V.E.S.T., I Shalt Become, Der Sturmer, Nyktalgia
Core. I find it very difficult to find anything worth preserving in this umbrella-term for several different sub-genres, but even I have to say that this album is, at bare minimum, not bad.
Runners-up: Trenches, Johnny Truant
|4|| ||Deeds of Flesh|
Of What's to Come
Death metal. Despite Dead Congregation's freshness and Arghoslent's pure energy, the maturity and creativity displayed on Deeds of Flesh's album remains unparalleled in '08.
Runners-up: Dead Congregation, Arghoslent, Weeping Birth, Neuraxis
Doom. This could be one of the most iconic releases to come out in the specific style of funeral doom, as well as probably being the album of the year.
Runners-up: Esoteric, Mourning Beloveth
|6|| ||Sunn O)))|
Drone/atmospheric black. Mystifying, and more than enough to convince me to look more into their catalogue.
Runners-up: Darkspace, Coldworld, Moss
Soundtrack to a Vacant Life
Electronica. Wonderful, picturesque epic of life itself. Few works in the genre can compare to this for pure narrative ability.
Runners-up: Flying Lotus, Bersarin Quartett
Experimental. Absolutely fantastic, a work that forces you to listen for the music that's not being played. One of the year's best.
Runners-up: Son Lux, Pyramids (Texas), Fuck Buttons, Experimental Dental School
|9||Sun Kil Moon|
Folk/indie. Kozelek's best work under the Sun Kil Moon moniker, and one of the year's understated masterpieces.
Runners-up: Lambchop, Drive-By Truckers, Fleet Foxes, Dust Congress
The King of Hell
Heavy metal/power metal/thrash metal. Pure old-school greatness by a band that's been around for(seemingly)ever.
Runners-up: Manilla Road, Exmortus, Motorhead, Urn
|11||Cult of Luna|
Post-metal/sludge. Another sub-genre that holds very little appeal to me; but this release is very good.
Runners-up: Mouth of the Architect, Burst, Blacktusk
|12||Lights Out Asia|
Eyes Like Brontide
Post-rock. I had a very brief interest in this genre, long ago, and then got bored once I realized how much it replicates itself. This may be why I found this album to be a breath of fresh air - it manages to be unique.
Runners-up: Beware of Safety, pg.lost, sgt., My Education, The Angelus
|13|| ||My Brightest Diamond|
A Thousand Shark's Teeth
Pop. Really, a worthwhile pop album? Yeah, really.
Runners-up: Coldplay, Elbow
|14||Thieves and Liars|
When Dreams Become Reality
Rock. Throwback album to Zeppelin/Floyd days, with plenty of swirling noise and energetic build-ups to stand out from a morass of same-old rock releases.
Runners-up: Foals, The Dodos, Marnie Stern
Symphonic metal. Generally a retarded and ultra-gay sub-genre, Mirrorthrone's release is good only because of the obvious compositional talents displayed, which supercede anything else in the genre.
Runners-up: Septicflesh, Equilibrium, Terra Impressionum
Para Bhakti... Salvation
War metal/bestial metal. Hardly a genre, and more of a style invented by Blasphemy and Sarcofago, it nevertheless produces a good work every blue moon or so. This one, despite its brevity, is one of the year's best.
Runners-up: Revenge, Proclamation
|well mirrorthrone is still pretty ultra gay|
|^what he said.|
No Hail Of Bullets... in the War Metal section?
|hey, dude who rates a lot of awesome albums with 2.5s, nice list. from what I've listened to here, 5 and 15 are awesome, 16 is great and 3 has it's moments.|
|I've never heard Hail of Bullets, although from what I understand they're fairly straightforward death metal.|
Out of this list I'd primarily recommend the releases by Hammemit, Autechre, Thieves and Liars, and Weapon, as their popularity here isn't even close to being on par with their quality.
As for my low ratings, they're based on whatever artistic value I can perceive in the albums. I can still enjoy an album that I don't find artistically significant, just as I can enjoy Jack in the Box's meaty breakfast burritos even though they're nutritionally horrible. A 2.5 rating can indicate an album that is fun, but not something I'll be listening to over a year from now.
|your rating scale is great man don't let these boobfaces drag you down|
|I noticed you have an extensive interest in the great composers of symphonic/orchestral music. I tend to wonder if your overall dissatisfaction with symphonic metal has something to do with the possibility that you might be comparing the two?|
Props on looking into Terra Impressionum and Lacus Somniorum. Even if you them both a 2.5, I appreciate you giving them a shot at least.
Also, other albums from '08 you might want to look into based on what's here:
For 5: Darkflight - Perfectly Calm. Beautifully majestic and classy death/doom interlaced with piano and hints of black metal.
For 11: Monolith - Eclipse. Superb post metal. This Monolith is from Philladelphia, PA, not to be confused with the many other Monoliths out there.
Overall, an interesting list although out of order, in my opinion.
|Oh, it's not in order of quality. I forgot to mention that - it's in alphabetical order of the genres listed. Ranked by quality, it would be:|
With the rest being second-tier, except perhaps for Helstar's album.
You *could* say my dissatisfaction from symphonic metal stems from that, but it would be a bit inaccurate - I compare everything I hear to the best. If it doesn't stand up to the best, it doesn't get the same score as the best. This applies to music regardless of what genre it's in - I don't care about how it sounds, just how it's composed. This is why I find a lot more worth praising in something like Gorguts than I do in something like Les Fragments de la Nuit - the latter "sounds" more like the greats to a non-judgmental ear simply because of the similar instrumentation, but the former actually is a lot closer to Brahms and Mozart in the complexity of its composition(Les Fragments is extremely simplistic one-dimensional stuff that sounds like it came from a film soundtrack - bloviated and straightforward).
I intend to listen to Lacus Somniorum a few more times, it has potential for being a 3 to me. Like I noted, however, be sure to listen to Hammemit - it's one of the few pieces of music that has managed to really give me a sense of dread. I gave Terra Impressionum a 2.5 because it really does seem average to me - i.e., it certainly isn't bad; but it's nothing special, either.
|16 and 8 are mad albums |