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2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009

2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 10, 2009, 09:26:00 PM
Best Heavy Metal Albums of 2008



Legion of Doom - The Horned Made Flesh (Zyklon-B)

This Greek band take their acerbic traditional metal and slowly meld in symphonic keyboard elements, making an album that is easy to appreciate but surpasses most others in artistic vision.



Motorhead - Motorizer (SPV)

Lemmy and Company rarely go completely wrong, and so they wing another one down the middle. Like all Motorhead, most songs are cut from similar patterns and the drone wears thin, but riffs remain cutting and rhythms compelling.



Neuraxis - Thin Line Between (Prosthetic)

We all know metalcore as a genre is like an omelette -- throw everything in and hope the flavors carry a lowest common denominator mix. Neuraxis attack metalcore like a metal band, using melody and rhythm to centralize, to great effect.



Deeds of Flesh - Of What's to Come (Unique Leader)

Getting experimental, this brutal technical death metal band play with some new ideas but deliver solidly resounding songs as they try to wrap their old school metal around metalcore technique.



Hellhammer - Demon Entrails (Noise)

Three bands formed this genre: Hellhammer, Sodom and Bathory. This re-release of formative material from the first of that triumvirate shows us again how mind-blowing it must have been to be there as it happened.



Gridlink - Amber Grey (Hydra Head)

Blurring grindcore with absurdist technical elements, Gridlink make an album that upholds the best traditions of thrash mixed with speed metal and technical death metal, and by keeping it short, don't wander outside their content zone.



Averse Sefira - Advent Parallax (Candlelight)

This rarity upholds old school black metal and infuses it with classic death metal. Like Morbid Angel from the Convenant era colliding with Graveland from the time of Thousand Swords, this band makes vicious but beautiful music.



Bahimiron - Southern Nihilizm (Moribund)

Imagine early Impaled Nazarene and Gorgoroth combined: fast, melodic riffs with a tendency to deconstruct everything they touch. Although slightly confused in ideals, Bahimiron deliver music that does not compromise aggression or darkness.



Intestine Baalism - Ultimate Instinct (No Colours)

Swedish death metal fanatics make an album in tribute to all three eras of Swedish death metal -- the initial surge, Gothenburg and NWOSDM, combined. It's an improvement over their last and most things coming out of Sweden.



Master - Slaves To Society Re-Release (Ibex Moon)

Evolving from their early primitive roots, Master present us an album that is rippingly fast like Slayer and uses melodic fills to good effect, but never compromises the driving roadhouse rhythms that pound this music forward.



Skepticism - Alloy (Red Stream)

Lush ambient doom surges resoundingly throughout this album, like dye in a pool tracked by the motion of carp. It is meditative, powerful and insightful, but prefers not to state these explicitly, rather letting you absorb them from the resonance.

Best Heavy Metal Albums of 2008

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 10, 2009, 09:38:36 PM
Totally agreed on Motorhead and Hellhammer. Deeds of Flesh, Averse Sefira and Bahimiron were listenable, but...

I am very eager to check out Legion of Doom, Master and Skepticism.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 10, 2009, 09:42:26 PM
I partially agree on the Gridlink release, musically excellent, but the vocals turn me off. I'll endeavor to check out more of what is on this list.

As a personal note, I thought that Dead Congregation's "Graves of the Archangels" was a definite high point of 2008, mixing in Incantation style riffing and rhythm with the dissonance of Immolation, and some doomy moments courtesy of Asphyx and the like. Also, Revenge's "Infiltration. Downfall. Death." was worthwhile, although it was much in the vein of previous releases (and a tad too long). It showed the band comfortable in the style that they have embraced, and the band pummels through each track with confidence.  

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 10, 2009, 11:04:02 PM
as deadite pointed out, both Dead Congregation and Revenge had good albums last year. Arghoslent's was worthwhile, although its "coolness" far outweighs its goodness. Helstar's was the only heavy/power metal album i can repeatedly enjoy on a personal level, although Manilla Road, Exmortus, and (as noted)Motorhead all had works of more-or-less equal caliber. Weapon's two-song EP was another of the year's few high points in metal - something akin to a Blasphemy/Archgoat aesthetic retooled to move in a direction similar to that found in Varathron's earlier works. S.V.E.S.T.'s half of their split with Deathspell Omega is something i like personally, but can't yet tell if it's objectively qualitative in addition to being enjoyable - point being that it is, even in the worst-case-scenario, worth hearing, even if only to judge. Der Sturmer's compilation album succeeded where Absurd's failed.

Bahimiron? i'll listen to it a few more times, because i could be wrong, but so far the only reaction i've had to their album was lol. Intestine Baalism's seemed OK at best, but again, i'll give it more play time. haven't had time to hear Master's yet, and i'm completely unfamiliar with Legion of Doom and Gridlink. as for the rest, good calls; Skepticism's was great, even potentially iconic. a lot of people seem to find Averse Sefira's rather "meh," which makes me wonder if something's wrong with me because every time i listen to it i'm awed. and Hellhammer demos just go without saying.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 11, 2009, 12:31:10 AM
Averse Sefira's 2008 album is the best black metal since....

Deeds of Flesh is playing right now, and I'm still bored to death by this style, however well they play it.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 11, 2009, 02:55:33 AM
As a personal note, I thought that Dead Congregation's "Graves of the Archangels" was a definite high point of 2008, mixing in Incantation style riffing and rhythm with the dissonance of Immolation, and some doomy moments courtesy of Asphyx and the like.  

I agree strongly with this! While no one would accuse them of charting an inch of new territory, yet it still sounds fresh and interesting to me and is just a damned solid effort imho. Should get an "honorable-mention" at least.   

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 11, 2009, 06:01:49 AM

I agree strongly with this! While no one would accuse them of charting an inch of new territory, yet it still sounds fresh and interesting to me and is just a damned solid effort imho. Should get an "honorable-mention" at least.   

Indeed, well put.

I should also add that I absolutely LOVE the chanting in the intro of the title track. Sounds just like Greek church choirs (being Greek and having been to several traditional churches in Greece, I recognized them immediately). What an excellent idea. I'm hoping that these guys will churn out another album of similar quality.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 12, 2009, 09:39:27 PM
Father Befouled seemed to get quite the glowing review, but not good enough to make the best of the year?

EDIT:  I take that back.  I re-read the review and I see your fundamental criticism of the album.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 13, 2009, 02:53:01 AM
Father Befouled is "in process." I say look to future releases for the best of that band.

I'll revisit the Dead Congregation. It inspired me at first, but then seams showed.

Other CDs were not included for reasons best left to the reviewer. It's never personal, nor does it mean the music was hated.

I would recommend paying particular attention to:

* Master
* DOF
* Averse Sefira
* Skepticism

I personally like the Bahimiron, and think it deserves a second listen.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 13, 2009, 10:19:53 AM
I personally like the Bahimiron, and think it deserves a second listen.

Interesting...no offence DMBM, I respect your comments 99% of the time, but after deciding to check out their music via mygayspace and seeing this grand write up by the members;
And I copy/paste.
...."Bahimiron are a malignant vile whiskey drenched hate squad, composed of 10-15 year veterans of the black metal scenes in Texas and in France... Grimlord is the de facto Commandante of this group - it was through him we were all handpicked to lead this assault on those of virtuous nature and unsoiled black metal panties - Violence is the reason we plod forward with Bahimiron, as members in the band have spent time in the local housing for criminality..well.. for... less then xtian axts against society..The music is now the outlet for massive random columbine style/bank of america robberies feelings some band members feel (blaash in particular). On a side note, I, blaash, am fuggin disgusted with myspace, but in losing a whiskey drinkin' contest with the other three members, it shall exist.. Grimlord, original singer for Imprecation goes back to the 80s for his inclusion... Krag Dagon, the fucked up satanic country boy, is early 90s.. JenOside is a witchdeamon I brought back from fuggin' france. I, blaash, piss and puke on this pathetic attempt at swapping pictures of persons in hopes that snipers will see them and use them on this site... otherwise, tally ho!, and do mind the latest releases out and about on labels..."

I wasnt particularly impressed. This write up makes them sound like a BM ARE YOU TALKIN TO ME?. Then I listened to the songs available and cried at the shame of allowing it to be heard.
Pure pus. It made me want to try out Gaahl's new fashion line.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 13, 2009, 09:18:33 PM
Quote
I'll revisit the Dead Congregation. It inspired me at first, but then seams showed.

I had the same experience.  Riff craft is excellent, and they're trying to do something far more interesting than most contemporary bands.  But, as with a lot of second-tier artists, they seem to struggle sometimes at stitching things together into a coherent whole.  There's a real tendency to overuse the same transitional patterns.  A theme is introduced and repeated once or twice, then the same theme is played again, but the pulse rate in the percussion is either doubled or halved.  Then, a new theme is introduced at the second tempo, rinse, wash, repeat.  As a result, the songs bleed together and the album has a structurally mechanical feel that is wildly at odds with the basically organic atmosphere they clearly seek to evoke.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 13, 2009, 11:13:45 PM
  the album has a structurally mechanical feel that is wildly at odds with the basically organic atmosphere they clearly seek to evoke.

wow, I see exactly what you're saying.  you explained that well.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 13, 2009, 11:44:43 PM
I listened to approximately one minute of any of the albums on this list of which I could find songs on the internet.

Evidently, 2008 was a bad year for Metal.

Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 14, 2009, 12:07:31 AM
Quote
I'll revisit the Dead Congregation. It inspired me at first, but then seams showed.

I had the same experience.  Riff craft is excellent, and they're trying to do something far more interesting than most contemporary bands.  But, as with a lot of second-tier artists, they seem to struggle sometimes at stitching things together into a coherent whole.  There's a real tendency to overuse the same transitional patterns.  A theme is introduced and repeated once or twice, then the same theme is played again, but the pulse rate in the percussion is either doubled or halved.  Then, a new theme is introduced at the second tempo, rinse, wash, repeat.  As a result, the songs bleed together and the album has a structurally mechanical feel that is wildly at odds with the basically organic atmosphere they clearly seek to evoke.

That's probably a pretty fair criticism. Nevertheless, I find these particular "faults" relatively minor and can still get lost in the riff-craft, atmosphere and overall "1992" of it all...which is agreat deal more than I can say of many, nay, most modern DM releases. Perhaps their next effort, should one materialize, will prove more mature and fully fleshed-out. Either way, I remain impressed thus far. 


Re: 2008 albums you'll want to still own in 2009
February 14, 2009, 01:01:12 AM
I listened to approximately one minute of any of the albums on this list of which I could find songs on the internet.

To be honest, most of the albums on the list need more than one minute to display their respective qualities, unless you're some sort of a clairvoyant.

The mechanical vs. organic old-school vs. new-school death metal paradox was even more apparent on Necros Christos' "Triune Impurity Rites", in many ways a similar album, than Dead Congregation's one. At first that band even sounded boring but when I realized that was just the aesthetic, I was in for a delightful experience. Besides, the various intros, classical guitar interludes and rites on that album, though judged by some to be disruptive and cheesy, also brought in some organic power.

I listened to some of the stuff on the list previously unheard, and I must say that the Master and the Skepticism ones are mastery undeniable by the most severe of skeptics.