TOTD Year’s End Staff Picks 2008!

In a year that saw vast amounts of turmoil for many of us here at teethofthedivine as we made a transition from the previous site, one thing kept us going-the huge amount of great metal that was released. So here it is-the first annual teethofthedivine year end list! Feel free to comment and post your own year end picks, hurl insults at us or sell us Viagra!

by Staff


1. Opeth – Watershed
2. Enslaved – Vertebrae
3. Nachmystium – Assassins – Black Metal Meddle Part 1
4. Septicflesh – Communion
5. Cynic – Traced in Air
6. Anathema – Hindsight
7. Testament – Formation of Damnation
8. Samothrace – Life’s Trade
9. Dark Suns – Grave Human Genuine


1. Hail of Bullets – Of Frost and War
2. Equilibrium – Sagas
3. Krallice – Krallice
4. Withered – Folie Circulaire
5. Burst – Lazarus Bird
6. Decrepit Birth – Diminishing Between Worlds
7. Grayceon – This Grand Show
8. Origin – Antithesis
9. Bloodbath – The Fathomless Mastery
10. Samothrace – Life’s Trade

Honorable Mentions: Trap Them “Seizures in Barren Praise“, Impure Wilhemina “Prayers and Arsons“, Dismember “Dismember“, Hiedevolk “Walhalla Wacht“, Opeth “Watershed”, Kingston Falls “Armada On Mercury“, Book of Black Earth “Horoskopus“, Deadbird “Twilight Ritual“, Birushanah “Aki Yama“, Alestorm “Captain Morgans Revenge“, Protest the Hero “Fortress“, Evocation “Dead Calm Chaos”, Becoming the Archetype “Dichotomy”.

Best self released album: Iron Thrones “Visions of Light”

Stuff I heard in 2008 that would have been on my 2007 list if I had heard it back then: Lo-Ruhamah “The Glory of God“, Fall of Efrafa “Elil” and Finsterforst “Weltenkraft”

Biggest Disappointment: Deicide ‘”‘Til Death Do Us Part“, Asmegin “Arv”


Best album of the year:

Disillusion – Back to Times of Splendor
For years I had been living without knowing to long for this monumental release. Once discovering it shot itself straight to ‘best albums, ever’-list, thus becoming the most important album of 2008 for me.

Better (rock/metal related) albums of 2008

1. Sabaton – The Art of War
2. Warrel Dane – Praises to the War Machine
3. Steve Von Till – A Grave is a Grim Horse
4. Dekadent – The Deliverance of the Fall
5. Moonspell – Night Eternal
6. Gojira – The Way of all Flesh
7. Dark Suns – Grave Human Genuine
8. Daylight Dies – Lost to the Living
9. Thyrfing – Hels Vite
10. Testament – Formation of Damnation

Honorable mentions: Draconian “Turning Season Within“, Havoc Unit “h.IV+”, Dornenreich “In Luft Geritzt“, Coffins “Buried Death“, Communic “Payment Of Existence”, Soulfly “Conquer“, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter “Licht”, Agalloch “The White EP“, Hail of Bullets “Of Frost and War”, Birushanah “Aki Yama”, Medeia “Cult“, Amaseffer “Slaves for Life”

Disappointment of the year: Like every year, I still haven’t heard most of the albums which I should have. Give me a 48 hour day.

Top 10
1-Artefact – Ruins
2-Amon Amarth- Twilight of the Thunder God
3-Averse Sefira – Advent Parallax
4-Darkestrah – The Great Silk Road
5-Kampfar – Heimgang
6-Helheim – Kaoskult
7-Black Lotus – Harvest of Seasons
8-Horna – Sanojesi Äärelle
9-Belphegor – Bondage Goat Zombie
10-Unleashed – Hammer Battalion

Honorable mentions
Enslaved – Vertebrae
Alghazanth – Wreath of Thevetat
Ceremonial Castings – Salem 1692
Cor Scorpii – Monument
Krypt – Preludes To Death
Aguynguerran – Perverting The Nazarene Cult
Behexen – My Soul For His Glory
Elite – We Own the Mountains

Best album that will not make anyone else’s list
Striborg – Autumnal Melancholy

Best ep
Frostmoon Eclipse – I Am Providence
Best debut album
Elivagar – Heirs of the Ancient Tales
Best album after a very long absence
Cynic – Traced in Air

Best demo
Esugenus – Danse Maccabre

Most anticipated
Behexen – From the Devil’s Chalice

Best packaging
Behexen – From the Devil’s Chalice

Best Compilation
Darkthrone – Frostland Tapes

Best Cover Art
Celestiial & Blood Of The Black Owl – split

Best song on an otherwise unremarkable album
Equilibrium – “Mana”

Comeback of the year
Thyrfing – Hels Vite

Best back catalog album I didn’t hear til 2008
Wayd – Ghostwalk


1. King’s X – XV
2. Jorn – Lonely Are The Brave
3. Enslaved – Vertebrae
4. Apostle Of Solitude – Sincerest Misery
5. Harem Scarem – Hope
6. Pyramaze-Immortal
7. Opeth – Watershed
8. House Of Lords – Come To My Kingdom
9. Helstar – The King Of Hell
10. Testament – The Formation Of Damnation

2008 Favorite “Wussy Rock” Albums: Rick Springfield “Venus In Overdrive”, Khymera “The Greatest Wonder”, Bryan Adams “11”, Kip Winger “From The Moon To The Sun”

2008 Honorable Mention: My Silent Wake “A Garland Of Tears“, Iced Earth “The Crucible Of Man“, Draconian “Turning Season Within”, Starbreaker “Loves Dying Wish”, Daylight Dies “Lost To The Living”, Eden’s Curse “Second Coming”, Whitesnake “Good To Be Bad“, Pantheist “Journey Into Lands Unknown”

2008 Favorite “New To Me” Albums/Bands: In Flames “Lunar Strain”, Tenhi (in general), Empyrium “A Wintersunset…”, Beneath The Frozen Soil (in general)

2008 Disappointments: Yngwie Malmsteen “Perpetual Flame”, Metallica “Death Magnetic“, Def Leppard “Songs From The Sparkle Lounge”, Journey “Revelation”, Death Angel “Killling Season“, That U2 did not release an album…, Missing the King’s X/Extreme show in Charlotte…


1. Coffins – Buried Death
2. Russian Circles – Station
3. Gojira – The Way of All Flesh
4. Intronaut – Prehistoricisms
5. Havoc Unit – h.IV+
6. Cynic – Traced in Air
7. Spylacopa – Spylacopa
8. Don Caballero – Punkgasm
9. Tiles – Fly Paper
10. Outlaw Order – Dragging Down the Enforcer


I didn’t think last year could be topped. Maybe I’m just over enthusiastic, but I’d have to say 08 crushes 07. I feel my top 10 is much stronger, and my list as a whole is stronger than last year. Everywhere else I post a list, I do a top 25 with no Honorable mentions, so I though I’d carry that over here as well. Everything here is placed mainly for the sake of placement – I could have given AOTY honors to any of the first four. Their placement is ordered by how many times I listened to them. Metallica holds down #5 individually; 6-14 are interchangeable; likewise for 15-22, and the same goes for the last three.

BEST OF 2008:

1. Scar Symmetry – Holographic Universe, Nuclear Blast
Top notch musicianship, massive hooks, and holy-jesus-fuck-me-sideways Christian Alvestam!
2. Omnium Gatherum – The Redshift, Candlelight
It might not be very “metal” to say so, but this shit is just beautiful. Well written, memorable, and deep.
3. Death Angel – Killing Season, Nuclear Blast
This should have been their “comeback” album. The Art of Dying had it’s moments, but this is just a dumptruck full awesome thrash n roll.
4. Arsis – We Are the Nightmare, Nuclear Blast
My infatuation with the technical heightens more all the time. Especially when it can be made this damn catchy.
5. Metallica – Death Magnetic, Warner Bros
As to be expected, most are split on this one. I might be a fanboy of their older stuff, but I can still call a “turd” a “turd”. Fortunately, this is not one for the first time in many years. I still can’t believe my ears.
6. Opeth – Watershed, Roadrunner
I’m becoming a bigger fan with each release. Possibly my favorite of theirs.
7. Miseration – Your Demons Their Angels, Lifeforce
This is what most melodeath should strive to be. Holy-jesus-fuck-me-sideways Christian Alvestam!
8. Byzantine – Oblivion Beckons, Prosthetic
It’s such a shame they had to split up on their best album.
9. Into Eternity – The Incurable Tragedy, Century Media
Not as good as the prior two releases, but I admire the deeply personal aspect of this one, and the playing is still top notch.
10. Testament – The Formation of Damnation, Nuclear Blast
I expected this to be my AOTY hands down – arguably my favorite band ever returns after a 9 year silence. It’s an awesome album as expected, but it didn’t totally blow me away. Maybe my expectation were set too high after the incredible The Gathering – one of my all time faves.
11. Amon Amarth – Twilight of the Thundergod, Metal Blade
It’s Amon Amarth, and they’re still awesome.
12. Light This City – Stormchaser, Prosthetic
See my entry for Byzantine. Chuck Billy on guest vocals was a nice touch too.
13. Casketgarden – Incompleteness in Absence, Metal Age
Sounds like the missing link between At the Gates and The Haunted. Nothing too original, but superbly executed.
14. Dimension Zero – He Who Shall Not Bleed, Vic
As a fellow metal fan/friend noted, this is what In Flames should sound like today, rather than the garbage they’ve been peddling as of late. Melodic, yet still has balls – big balls.
15. In Mourning – Shrouded Divine, Aftermath
This debut caught me off guard. Doomy in places, melodic in others. Very Opeth-ish, and it’s very welcomed.
16. The Dying – Triumph of Tragedy, Eyespy
17. Hatchet – Awaiting Evil, Metal Blade
The best of this years young thrash wave. Maybe the best of movement period.
18. Misery Index – Traitors, Relapse
Brutal groove rules your face!
19. Psycroptic – Ob(servant), Nuclear Blast
The only band at this years Summer Slaughter that I wasn’t familiar with that made a good impression. Technical death metal that’s not too tech-y, and not too br00tal. A respectable fill-in for Decapitated during their tragic absence.
20. Zimmer’s Hole – When You Were Shouting at the Devil…, Century Media
Most parody stuff I come across I quickly lose interest in, but this is still awesome. SYL guys FTW yet again.
21. Destinity – The Inside, Lifeforce
22. The Scourger – Dark Invitation to Armageddon, Cyclone Empire
23. Evocation – Dead Calm Chaos, Cyclone Empire
24. Enforcer – Into the Night, Heavy Artillery
25. Martriden – The Unsettling Dark, Candlelight

Storm of Sorrows – Slave to the Slaves
This German thrash/melodeath band is brimming with potential – label needed ASAP.

Black Chapel – Dissecting the Mind
The bastard offspring of Dream Theater and Pantera.
By Any Means Necessary – s/t
Young, promising death/thrash.
Forced Evolution – Unveiled
Stellar musicianship. Some of it make me think of Dream Theater trying thrash.

Metallica – Death Magnetic
Read the entry in the tops list.

Nuclear Blast – just take a look at my list above.

Death Angel/God Forbid/Arsis/Light This City/Soul Descenders

Death Angel – I’ve never seen a band onstage with so much energy and enthusiasm.

Summer Slaughter – My main reason for going was Kataklysm, and they didn’t show up. I dig on The Black Dahlia Murder too, but this marked the third time this year that I saw them play. I’m not a big Vader fan, but it was cool to see them live. Psycroptic was a nice find, but everything else sucked, IMO.

In Flames – A Sense of Purpose
Complete and utter garbage. Come Clarity was my AOTY 2006 – a hopeful look of where they could be heading, after the atrocities of Reroute to Remain and Soundtrack to Your Escape. But alas, they chose to suck again.
Children of Bodom – Blooddrunk
Heavier and faster than their last one, but I can’t remember one stitch of it after 20+ spins.
All That Remains – Overcome
Their first three are all awesome. This one has a couple cool moments. Phil’s singing parts sound whiny, almost emo in places. And don’t get me started on that atrocious chorus on “Do Not Obey”.

Byzantine disbanding
The best could have still been to come.
Christian Alvestam leaving Scar Symmetry
Holy-jesus-fuck-me-sideways Christian Alvestam left Scar Symmetry! Luckily for me and the rest of us, he has about a bazillion projects going.
Light This City disbanding
They announced their split before the album was done, but sure didn’t slack off because of it. Stormchaser is their best yet.
Darren Cesca leaving Arsis
His drumming on We Are the Nightmare is exceptional, and will be sorely missed next time around.

Edge of Sanity – Purgatory Afterglow
Edge of Sanity – Crimson
Amorphis – Tales From the Thousand Lakes


1. Arkangel – Is your enemy
2. Hellbent Diehard – Self Titled
3. Cold World –Dedicated to the babies who came feet first
4. In Blood We Trust – On Thin Ice
5. Kraanium – Ten Acts of sickening perversion
6. Gorevent – Abnormal Exaggeration
7. Hybrid – The 8th Plague
8. Dysentry – From Past Suffering Comes New Flesh
9. Eldrig – Mysterion
10. Esoteric – The Maniacal Vale
11. The Red Shore – Unconsecrated
12. xDestroy Babylonx – By The Knife
13. xTyrantx – Prepare for devastation
14. Suffer the Living – War is all I know
15. Recon – Welcome to Viper City
16. Psycroptic – (Ob)servant

Not metal or hardcore but brilliant: Portishead “Third”, Mogwai “The Hawk is howling”, Death Cab for Cutie “Narrow Stairs”, Gregor Samsa “Rest”

Big Surprises: Metallica “Death Magnetic”, Bleeding Through “Declaration”

Disappointments: Winds of Plague “Decimate the Weak“, Guns N Roses “Chinese Democracy”, Blacklisted “Heavier than Heaven, Lonelier than God”


Another year passes as the hair on my head abandoneds my scalp and the forest on my ass grows rampant. Fuzzy asses aside, I thought 2008 was a way better year than 2007 for metal music. Lots of veteran acts showing why they have been around for so long and a few new names showing promise for the coming years. Here’s to stronger metal minds in 2009, and if you didn’t like that little rhyme then fuck you.

1. Opeth – Watershed
One of the only bands in existence who have never put out a bad album and actually keep getting better. What is even more astonishing to me is the fact that most of the original band has departed except for Mikael Akerfeldt. So, for them to put out what is basically one of their best albums not only makes Opeth number one in my book, it makes Mr. Akerfeldt songwriter extraordinaire. Completely and utterly magnificent music that a broad spectrum of people can enjoy.

2. Cynic – Traced in Air
3. Omnium Gatherum – The Redshift
4. Gojira – The Way of All Flesh
5. Arsis – We are the Nightmare
6. Kalmah – For the Revolution
7. Enslaved – Vertebrae
8. Esoteric – The Maniacal Vale
9. Equilibrium – Sagas
10. Bloodbath – The Fathomless Mastery

Honorable mentions: Metallica “Death Magnetic”, Withered “Folie Circulaire”, Keep of Kalessin “Kolossus“, Stormlord “Mare Nostrum

Most Disturbing Thing I Heard This Year: Necronoclast “Haven


1. Opeth – Watershed
Some moments on Watershed were darker, heavier and weirder than ever before, and yet Opeth still managed to turn out some of their most sublime pieces as well. From start to finish, an incredible journey that I took dozens of times.

2. Burst – Lazarus Bird
A renewed hardcore attack, increased technicality and hypnotic, shapeshifting songcraft made this one of the smartest, most cathartic releases of the year.

3. Artefact – Ruins
This no-longer obscure French band blasted out some of the best black metal compositions I’ve heard since Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk. If you haven’t heard this or their excellent back catalogue, start digging.

4. Stormlord – Mare Nostrum
The award for Most Improved goes to this Italian symphonic black metal band, who delivered an experience that was ferocious, triumphant and majestic. And that’s just the opening song.

(tie) Saint Deamon – In Shadows Lost from the Brave / Serenity – Fallen Sanctuary
Two outstanding power metal albums full of soaring vocals, catchy hooks and note-perfect melodies. Hard to pick between them, but they each got tons of playtime this year.

7. Dekadent – The Deliverance of the Fall
Although it’s more film score than black metal, this lush, original hybrid is like nothing else you’ve heard.

8. Scar Symmetry – Holographic Universe
Monstrous production, laser-sharp musicianship and Christian Alvestam’s amazing performance just confirm why this is one of the best melodic death bands on the planet.

9. Nachtmystium – Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1
A mash-up of 70s Floyd psychedelia and gritty black metal made this one very bad trip indeed.

10. Gigan – The Order of the False Eye
Chaotic yet cogent songwriting and an inventive, oppressive sense of groove and atmosphere made this my favorite tech-death release of the year.

Honorable Mentions: Arsis “We are the Nightmare”, Enslaved “Vertebrae”, Cult of Luna “Eternal Kingdom“, Krallice “Krallice”, Spite Extreme Wing “Vltra“, Septic Flesh “Communion”

Best 2007 releases I didn’t hear until 2008: Fist in Fetus “Fist in Fetus“, Gire “Gire”, David Galas “The Cataclysm

What the Hell Happened to You Guys?
In Flames – A Sense of Purpose
Satyricon – The Age of Nero

I Know What Happened to You Guys…and this Didn’t Change My Mind
Metallica – Death Magnetic


1. Skepticism – Alloy
2. Esoteric – The Maniacal Vale
3. Scar Symmetry – Holographic Universe
4. Falconer – Among Beggers And Thieves
5. Fist In Fetus – Fist In Fetus
6. Opeth – Watershed
7. Agalloch – The White EP
8. Earth – The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull
9. Asva – What You Don’t Know Is Frontier
10. Krallice – Krallice

Honorable Mentions: Keep of Kalessin “Kolossus”, Saint Daemon “In Shadows Lost From The Brave”, Enslaved “Vertebrae”, Gigan “The Order of The False Eye”, Threshold “Dead Reckoning”, Kayo Dot “Blue Lambency Downward“, Serenity “Fallen Sanctuary”, Ehnahre “The Man Closing Up


1. Suspyre – When Time Fades…
Being a big fan of Progressive Metal and Classic Art Rock, I find this album an amazing blend of old and new. I can listen to it hours on end and still find new and tasty details. Besides I have yet to hear such a prodigious use of saxophone in a metal band. Right now these guys are the best prog act from The USA

2. Seventh Wonder – Mercy Falls
These Swedes became one of my favorite Progressive Metal bands the moment I heard their sophomore album Waiting In The Wings in 2006. I was blown away by everything, from marvelous, highly melodic vocal work to impressive dynamics to extremely tasteful collaboration between the bass and the guitar. Mercy Falls is another proof that Seventh Wonder are still among my favorites and the force to reckon with. The best Progressive Metal band from Scandinavia if you ask me

3. Artefact – Ruins
I became familiar with this band due to some of you, guys. Thanks for the recommendation once again, as this band has become this year’s revelation for me. Ruins is a great Black Metal album that perfectly merges melody, progressiveness and aggression, even if it hardly offers anything groundbreaking.

4. Theocracy – Mirror Of Souls
5. Transcending Bizarre? – The Serpent’s Manifolds
6. Testament – The Formation Of Damnation
7. Saint Deamon – In Shadows Lost From The Brave
8. Eluvietie – Slania
9. Communic – Payment Of Existence

10. Perzonal War – Bloodline
11. Ihsahn – Angl
12. Scar Symmetry – Holographic Universe
13. Enslaved – Vertebrae
14. Unleashed – Hammer Battalion
15. Stormlord – Mare Nostrum
16. Equilibrium – Sagas
17. Avantasia – The Scarecrow
18. Ayreon – 01011001
19. Pharaoh – Be Gone
20. Thyrfing – Hells Vite
21. Omnium Gatherum – The Redshift
22. Kalmah – For The Revolution
23. Her Whisper – The Great Unifier
24. Blaze Bayley – The Man Who Would Not Die
25. Illdisposed – The Prestige
26. Before The Dawn – Cloudscapes Of Silence
27. Evergrey – Torn
28. Red Descending – Where Dreams Come To Die
29. Cloudscape – Global Drama
30. Headshot – As Above, So Below


1. Origin – Antithesis
2. Withered – Folie Circulaire
3. Ihsahn – angL
4. Nachtmystium – Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. 1
5. Cynic – Traced in Air
6. Opeth – Watershed
7. Decrepit Birth – Diminishing Between Worlds
8. Equilibrium – Sagas
9. Ayat – Six Years of Dormant Hatred
10. Bison B.C. – Quiet Earth
11. Amon Amarth – Twilight of the Thunder God
12. Bloodbath – The Fathomless Mastery
13. Jucifer – L’Autrichienne
14. Azaghal – Omega
15. Iced Earth – The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Pt. II)
16. Krisiun – Southern Storm
17. Hate Eternal – Fury and Flames
18. Coffins – Buried Death
19. Dartkthrone – Dark Thrones and Black Flags
20. Cradle of Filth – Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder



  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    My guess is Opeth woud have won out if I’d compiled the scores for a TOTD site album of the year, with Enslaved or Cynic coming in second.

  2. Commented by: Staylow

    Pfft…nothing but posers.


  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Artefact did pretty well this year too

  4. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    very very roughy It looks like the TOTD albums would be

    1 Opeth (clear winner)
    2 Enslaved (clear Second)
    3 Testament (clear third)
    4 Cynic/ Amon Amarth/ Equlibrium/SepticFlesh (tie)
    5 Omnium Gatherum, Gojira, Artefact, Nachtmystium, Bloodbath, Krallice (tie)

  5. Commented by: Mike

    Most overlooked albums:
    – Decrepit Birth (only 2 mentions?! This album is mind blowing)
    – High-quality tech death from Hour of Penance, Origin, Severed Savior, Deeds of Flesh, The Faceless etc..
    – Toxic Holocaust (one of the very few retro thrash bands worth caring about)
    – All Shall Perish (only deathcore band that does the genre justice. A brutal and excellently crafted album).
    – Heaven Shall Burn (ferocious metalcore that sounds rather fresh)
    – And a few others including Textures, Becoming the Archetype, Cavalera Conspiracy and Darkane

    Biggest flops:
    – Metalcore bands running out of ideas (Unearth, All That Remains)
    – In Flames (has its moments, weak vocals and lacks aggression)
    – The Haunted, Cryptopsy, Beneath the Massacre

    And the biggest overlooked album has to be obZen…a return to form, and not one single mention?

  6. Commented by: Dan

    Year end lists are tough for me. I get so much new music that I don’t even know what was a 2008 release anymore. But in the spirit of this gathering of opinons, here are my musical highlights from the past year or so.

    1. Ensiferum
    -I had never heard a note from these guys before I saw them open for Amon Amarth at the Palladium this year, but they stole the show for me. I bought their first two albums at the merch table and got the third a few weeks later. I’ve been hooked ever since. By far the best thing I’ve heard from the folk/viking genre. While alot of these kinds of bands rely on gimmicky folk instrumentation, Ensiferum deliver the speedy riffs in spades.

    2. Nachtmystium
    -Exploring these dudes back catalogue has been thoroughly interesting. Though I prefer ‘Instinct:Decay/Eulogy IV’ over ‘Assassins,’ there’s no denying that Nachtmystium is an interesting musical entity. As a writer, I appreciate something that requires a little more dissection than the usual parade of Unearth/Darkthrone/Neurisis/etc.. clones.

    3. Origin/Psycroptic
    I was pretty burned out on tech-death as is progressed in to ever more noodly, directionless territory (i.e: Braindrill) but these two brought me back to the fold with solid songs and some GODDAMN FOCUS!. Here’s to hoping Gorod (Jesus I still love ‘Leading Vision’) and Anata can keep up the trend.

    4. Swallow The Sun
    I still haven’t managed to digest ‘Plague of Butterflies’ but the reissue of ‘Out of This Gloomy Light’ that accompanied it is a real gem. These guys can work my heart strings like pro-puppeteers.

    5. Enslaved
    -I actually still haven’t heard ‘Vertebrae,’ but all the hubub surrounding that album spurred me to re-examine their back catalogue with a newfound appreciation.

    6.Circle of Dead Children
    -‘Zero Comfort Margin’ never clicked with me when I got it a few years ago, but one day it came on randomly and “OH SHIT! This is really fucking good!” Death metal with gore-grind ethics, CoDC are an interdisciplinary bucket of guts. Looking foward to their upcoming full-length.

    7. Misery Index make a comeback (even though there was really nothing wrong with ‘Discordia’ and the metal press just sorta shit on it for no reason)


    1. Amon Amarth: As an AA fanboy, Twilight was dissapointing. Two or three really awesome songs (Varyags of Miklagaarrd, Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags…Maybe the title track) do not make a great album worthy of like a bagillion top 10 lists and the assertion that it is in any way better than the MERCILESS BEAST that was ‘With Oden on Our Side.’ All I’m hearing is a return to the lazy, over simplified riffing of ‘Fate of Norns.’ I have higher hopes for next time. PS: I can’t remember where I read it, but which ever reviewer cited that “wicked old-school lick” in ‘Free Will Sacrifice”…Fuck you.

    2. No news from the Crescent Shield camp. :(

    3. Gorod: No new album+no more Sandrine on drums (the most tasteful/memorable tech-death drummer on the scene)

    4. Amoral’s new vocalist: The Finnish Idol winner? Some power metal dufus? Really? They haven’t even released anything but I know it’s gonna suck. Tsk tsk. So much potential squandered.

    5. Arsis: Darren Cesca’s drums are too loud, causes metal underground shitstorm of massive proportions, start calling the band ‘too technical’ while still spazzing out over Decrepit Birth/Brain Drill/a million other bands who use sweep arpeggios far less effectively.

  7. Commented by: Dan

    Oh, forgot one more highlight:

    Teeth of the Divine rises from the ashes of Digital Metal, kicks ass.

    Great first year guys!

  8. Commented by: xBenx

    Nice comments from Mike, lot of good points there, where’s swamp’s list?

  9. Commented by: Reignman35

    Yeah no mention of Obzen is an atrocity… that album could tap-dance all over a lot of the stuff that made these lists.

  10. Commented by: Staylow

    I thought Obzen was painfully boring. When they make another album as killer as Contradictions Collapse, then I’ll be happy.

    Dan – I didn’t think Cesca’s drums were too loud. In fact, that might be my favorite aspect of that album. And I hear you on Amoral – I love all three of their albums, and the announcement of that joker taking over vocals pissed me off. They said he’ll do some growling too, but it will most likely be far less than before.

  11. Commented by: Staylow

    Oh, and as far as Darkane goes, they’ll be on list this year. It’s not being released here in the states until February, so it’s an 09 release as far as I’m concerned. And yes, it is awesome. Maybe not the masterpiece that is Layers of Lies, but it’s damn close.

  12. Commented by: Sandwiches

    Ya seriously no meshuggah?
    1. Meshuggah – obzen
    2. Intronaut – prehistoricisms
    3. The faceless – planetary duality
    4. Textures – silhouettes
    5. Torche – meanderthal
    6. Mouth of the architect – quietly
    7. decrepit birth – diminishing between worlds
    8. Origin – antithesis
    9. Trap them – seizures in barren praise
    10. Hate eternal – fury and flames

  13. Commented by: QRV

    I really don’t think Messhugah will ever go back to its 90s sound. Which is a good thing, I think. obZen was as evolutionary as their previous records, and while it might not appeal for many metal fans, it’s still really nice and interesting music. can’t believe it wasn’t included in any lists, while that mediocre album Metallica did actually made it into some of them.

    tsk, tsk. shame on you.

  14. Commented by: LoftComplication

    that Birushanah album came out in 2007…… Still an amazing record.

  15. Commented by: Apollyon

    Really? Damned.

    As for Darkane, they’re an odd band. They put out great albums but after a while (few months of intensive listening), the albums kind of just disappear from rotation and revisits are rare.

    But when you go back to ’em, they’re still awesome yet they still disappear after a while completely. And the new album seems to follow that trend. Every time it’s actually on, it’s amazing but once you’re through, you completely forget it for days.

  16. Commented by: STIFFY

    Yes, we all know Meshuggah. Their albums just never stick with me. It was cool for a week and I’ll never listen to it again. Should have made the honorable mentions list I guess. Just not a fan really.

    I think its pretty awesome that Omnium Gatherum Made it so high on some lists. That makes me happy.

  17. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    The Birushanah originally came out in some tiny label in 2007 but Level Plane Released it worldwide in 2008

  18. Commented by: Anxiety Hangover

    Dead Congregation, anyone? This leads me to believe there isn’t a single death metal fan that writes for ToTD.

    Dead Congregation’s Graves of the Archangels is the best death metal album of the year, best metal album of the year and probably one of the top twenty death metal albums of all time; and that’s coming from someone who has been listening to death metal for almost 20 years. If you haven’t heard it, you’ve missed the heaviest, most evil death metal record since Onward to Golgotha.

  19. Commented by: BKaz

    My top 20:

    20. Andromeda – The Immunity Zone
    19. Hour of Penance – The Vile Conception
    18. Russian Circles – Station
    17. Bloodbath – The Fathomless Misery
    16. Mouth of the Architect – Quietly
    Honorable Mentions:

    15. Arsis – We Are The Nightmare
    14. Gojira – The Way of All Flesh
    13. Cor Scorpii – Monument
    12. Ásmegin – Arv
    11. Ihsahn – angL
    TOP 10:

    10. Intronaut – Prehistoricisms
    9. Cult of Luna – Eternal Kingdom
    8. Enslaved – Vertebrae
    7. Supercontinent – Vaalbara
    6. Mar De Grises – Draining The Waterheart
    5. Mogwai – The Hawk Is Howling
    4. Samothrace – Life’s Trade
    3. Cynic – Traced In Air
    2. The Faceless – Planetary Duality
    Best album of the year:


    -I did a full write up on the gauntlet forums with commentary and whatnot for each, check it out if you want!

  20. Commented by: Stiffy

    ^ Erik, I’ll leave this one to you.

  21. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    @ Anxiety-On my first list I actually had the Dead Congregation as a HM, but it just got bumped off. As far as TOTS writer not liking death metal, you ahve to realize as a whole as writers we get exposed to ALOT of music so our year end lists tend to be more varied and good death metal, might not make the cut. Thanks for reading and commenting though

  22. Commented by: ceno

    BKaz, nice to see someone appreciating the new Andromeda. It should have been on my list too, but I completely forgot about this album. Fucking sclerosis is just unavoidable when it comes to such a large number of good releases that I had to deal with last year. The Faceless, as number two, is also a good choice. Another album that I should have paid more attention than I did.

  23. Commented by: Staylow

    Apollyon –

    That doesn’t happen for me with Darkane. I never forget about those guys. Totally blow me away every time. It takes a little while though. I always start out thinking “this isn’t that great”, but after 6-7 spins, it really starts to sink in. Great stuff.

  24. Commented by: Apollyon

    Heh. Yeah. I’m just a bad listener ;)

  25. Commented by: BKaz

    Ceno –
    Yeah, the new Andromeda was pretty good. Unfortunately I don’t think it quite compares to Chimera or Extension of the Wish, but it definitely has it’s moments. I feel they could’ve put something out even better than this though, so perhaps my expectations were a bit high! hah. They are indeed fantastic musicians.

    And as for The Faceless, that album is killer. I feel there is still a huge percentage of metalheads who wrote off the faceless a while ago as a shitty deathcore band, when in reality they are unbelievably talented. Planetary Duality is sweet and they deserve some more respect from metalhead ‘elitists’.

  26. Commented by: Apollyon

    The thing I hate about Top of [something] lists is that they seem like an absolute. Got my hands on a few albums mentioned here and they’d most likely change my own list somewhat. For example, Esoteric’s “The Maniacal Vale” shot itself to the top ten for me.

  27. Commented by: Belgarath

    Yeah, there’s actually some stuff I somehow overlooked. ‘Obzen’ definitely deserves mention. Texture’s ‘Silhouettes’ is damn impressive. Artefact’s ‘Ruin’ should have been in my top 10 somewhere. And I know they’re not metal, but This Will Destroy You’s self titled record is one of the best albums I’ve heard in the past 10 years, let alone 08.

  28. Commented by: gabaghoul

    seconded on This Will Destroy You; I should have listed it anyway under a special sub-heading.

  29. Commented by: BKaz

    Yeah, The This Will Destroy You record is quite fantastic. I unfortunately got around to it in late december after i made my top 10 list, but yeah, it would have most likely clinched a top 20 position on my list. Excellent post-rock overall.

  30. Commented by: Leon

    Why didnt Hail Of Bullets get more props. That mutha fucka is a beast.

  31. Commented by: Justin

    only one of you fucks listed Bloodbath. same with Hail Of Bullets.

    get with it!

  32. Commented by: amon

    wheres the love for mourning beloveth???

  33. Commented by: Timmy

    After a lot of thought, I have settled on my top 10 for 2008!!! Here they are!!! See you guys in 2010!!!

    1. Dornenreich : In Luft Geritzt
    2. Virgin Black : Requiem – Fortissimo
    3. Warrel Dane : Praises to the War Machine
    4. The Drowning: This Bleak Descent
    5. Before the Dawn (: Soundscape of Silence
    6. Amon Amarth : Twilight of the Thunder God
    7. October Falls : The Womb of Primordial Nature
    8. Todesbonden : Sleep Now, Quiet Forest
    9. Pharaoh : Be Gone
    10. Flowing Tears: Thy Kingdom Gone

    Honorable Mentions: Krisiun : Southern Storm
    Soul Stealer : Soul Stealer
    Arsis: We are the Nightmare

    P.S. Why does Chris Dick only have 9 albums in his top 10?

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