Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Autothrall's Best Metal Albums of 2008

The Top 20 Metal Albums of 2008

01. Darkthrone (Norway) - Dark Thrones and Black Flags
02. Pharaoh (US) - Be Gone
03. Hammers of Misfortune (US) - Fields/Church of Broken Glass
04. Esoteric (UK) - The Maniacal Vale
05. Gojira (France) - The Way of All Flesh
06. Lifelover (Sweden) - Konkurs
07Falconer (Sweden) - Among Beggars and Thieves
08. October Falls (Finland) - The Womb of Primordial Nature
09. Stormwarrior (Germany) - Heading Northe
10. Enslaved (Norway) - Vertebrae
11. Septic Flesh (Greece) - Communion
12. Ofermod (Sweden) - Tiamtü
13. Protest the Hero (Canada) - Fortress
14. Opeth (Sweden) - Watershed
15. Paradox (Germany) - Electrify 
16. Spite Extreme Wing (Italy) - Vltra
17. Cult of Luna (Sweden) - Eternal Kingdom
18. Evilfeast (Poland) - Lost Horizons of Wisdom
19. Valient Thorr (USA) - Immortalizer
20. Cynic (USA) - Traced in Air

Not only the year this blog started, but a surprisingly strong year for metal in general. Two 10/10 scores sit at the top, especially the Darkthrone which was perhaps their most brilliant (and strangely divisive) in terms of sheer songwriting. The Pharaoh record was brilliant progressive/power metal and I still listen to that in its entirety all the time when I want some melody. A lot of excellent and eclectic black metal from groups like Ofermod, Spite Extreme Wing, Lifelover, and October Falls, plus a bunch of interesting progressive records, like the Hammers of Misfortune hitting their peak with this Floyd-like double album, the dextrous Protest the Hero and a welcome return from Cynic. When I think of all the great albums I had to leave off this list, tears start to well up. A lot of the reviews linked here are not mine, so they aren't necessarily the scores I'd have given, keep that in mind if you're clicking.

In October of the year I launched From the Dust Returned, as I had been out of writing reviews for a few years, and decided to improve upon the rather skimpy write-ups I had done in the past. Of course, the earlier critiques here (from myself and others) were themselves on the short side. I've bulked up in the ensuing years and thousands of reviews, but it was still a pretty positive start.


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