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06.30.09 Top 10 Avenged Sevenfold Songs02.03.09 Most Anticipated Albums Of '09
01.05.09 Top 10 Albums Of 200812.22.08 Worst/most Overrated Bands Of 2008

Top 10 Albums Of 2008

2008 for me was honestly a year of disappointment when it comes to music, at least for me. Going into the year just looking at how many metal heavyweights were going to release albums it looked like to be quite a year, but most of my most anticipated albums fell flat and in some cases fell flat then were compacted into the ground by their own weight *cough The Human Abstract cough*. But anyways, 2008 still brought us a couple of musical gems and these are some of my favorites.
1Protest the Hero

Coming out at the start of 08 it's easy to forget about Fortress, Protest the Hero's most recent, spectacular, endeavor. But when assembling this list there just wasn't really much else on here that I was particularly over-enthusiastic about other than Fortress. It's technical as all hell, their song writing has tightened up enormously from Kezia, and have you not seen the sick album art?
2Blessed by a Broken Heart
Pedal To The Metal

This one really came out of left field for me. I've never been a fan of Blessed By A Broken Heart. I vaguely remember being shown them back when metalcore was at the peak of the genre's popularity and being generally bored by them. But Pedal To The Metal is, thankfully, a radical departure from their old material. They've ditched nearly every part of their old sound save for the occasional breakdown and injected a little bit of 80's glam metal into their sound in place of all of the -core elements. Yea some of the songs sound similar, but this is unlike anything else you've heard this year and just really fun, catchy metal.
3Avenged Sevenfold
Live in LBC & Diamonds in the Rough

I know I'm going to catch some flak for even having this somewhere in my top 10, but I love Avenged, no matter how "gay" or "unmetal" they are written off to be. The live dvd portion of this release is excellent quality, but honestly the most interesting part of this package are the songs that were left on the cutting room floor of the band's self-titled album they put out in 2007. Most of the songs on here are actually better than the material on that album and is a real shame that some songs like "Demons" and "Tension" weren't heard sooner.
4The Faceless
Planetary Duality

Planetary Duality came close to being my 1st or 2nd in this list, but unfortunately only a little less than half of this albums 9's tracks are merely short instrumentals that segue into the following song. BUT what content is on this album ranks among the best songs The Faceless has in their arsenal especially "Legions of the Serpent" and "Xenochrist."
5At Dawn
Undead EP

Most will probably have to go look this one up since At Dawn is a relatively unheard of band, but for only having an EP which was put out this year their material is unusually strong. Their sound could best be described as Technical Metal with the rare breakdown thrown in seemingly just for kids to dance to. But instead of going for a darker sound more akin to Necrophagist or Arsis, most of At Dawns riffage is borderline fruity sounding. It's incredibly fun to listen to and for a band so young and so new they have immense talent
6Jason Becker

I had hoped to have this at the top of my list this year, but Jason has let me down a little bit. Unfortunately most of the material on Collection is old tunes, none of which being his adrenaline-fueled neo-classical assaults from the back part of his catalog of songs, but he has composed a few new tunes for us to listen to. The new songs, although great, are very laid-back sounding similar to everything on the rest of the album. Still an amazing collection of Jason Becker's work, but only half of Jason's sound is here.
7Guns N Roses
Chinese Democracy

The Axl Rose band finally releases their album! Any jokes aside, Chinese Democracy was a pleasant surprise. I've never been a big GNR fan but I really did enjoy a lot of the tunes on the album. People say it's over produced. I love it. People say you can't have GNR without Slash. I don't care. Chinese Democracy is just a varied collection of genuinely good music.
8 Russell Shaw
Fable II (Original Soundtrack)

Lionhead Studio's virtually unknown in-house composer Russell Shaw was apparently listening to a lot of Danny Elfman when writing the music for this game, because you will be hard-pressed to guess that this isn't some of Danny's work. It ranges from enchanting to creepy to quirky in sound and is one of the better soundtracks to come out this year
9All Shall Perish
Awaken The Dreamers

Generally, I really don't like Deathcore, or most genres ending in core for that matter, but All Shall Perish is one of the few bands I can tolerate and "Awaken The Dreamers" is one of the best things to happen to the genre. Vocally is where ASP has most improved though. Gone are the obnoxious pig-like gutturals and in their place are legitimate clean vocals in addition to your normal highs and lows. It's still deathcore at the end of the day, but a mature and more tasteful take on it nonetheless
10Bleeding Through

I've always thought of Bleeding Through as a generally decent listenable band, but would never have imagined their new album being one of my favorites of the year. Declaration is epic and heavy as fuck with a lot more black metal influence this time around. It's easy to just to want to pass on listening to this album just for being metalcore, but you'd be missing out on one of the better metal albums of the year.
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