Posted by: Rites of Patches | February 2, 2009

10 Best Albums of 2008

I’m going to come right out and say it: 2008 was not a good year for music. An avid metal fan, I found this year’s crop to be suffering from blight and the boll weevils. The South hates boll weevils. Therefore, I love boll weevils. Therefore, I’ve digressed.

2007 was spectacular. If you are a rock or metal fan, there were eighteen must-buy albums. Eighteen. This year, there were five. Hell, I needed to add a couple mediocre albums just to make it to 10.

So, it is with great apathy that I present to you the 10 Best Rock and Metal Albums of 2008.

10. Shinedown The Sound of Madness
Seemed to get closer to Nickelback than the awesome combo of Zeppelin, Soundgarden, and more that infused their last, and far superior effort, Us & Them. Anything with Brent Smith is going to sound good, but the album bogged down severely following “The Crow and the Butterfly,” one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

9. In Flames A Sense of Purpose
Another solid album from one of the founders of melodic death metal. That’s pretty much it, though. It’s solid. More of a continuance of Come Clarity than a new album, A Sense of Purpose still manages to kick some ass.

8. Beardfish Sleeping in Traffic Pt. 2
One of the most bizarre albums to which I’ve ever listened. Beardfish is a modern combination of 70’s prog bands like Yes, Genesis, and Kansas. “South of the Border” is one of the weirdest, funniest songs I’ve ever heard.

7. Black Stone Cherry Folklore & Superstition
Rocks hard, is written well, and maintains a wry sense of humor while still touching on some deeper issues. This is a pure, fun album – frankly, what Southern Rock should be.

6. Protest the Hero Fortress
Awesome combination of punk riffs, punk-hardcore vocals, and progressive guitar sweeps. This album is difficult to explain or describe, but a real pleasure to listen to.

5. Sevendust Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow
The first must-own metal album of 2008. It’s Sevendust’s best album probably since Animosity. A great combination of angsty metal tracks, rollicking hard rock tunes, and gorgeous ballads. Guest spots from Myles Kennedy & Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge and American Idol guy Chris Daughtry blend seamlessly into an album that feels like just that. An album, rather than a collection of songs.

4. All That Remains Overcome
Another step forward for these metalcore stalwarts. They crank up the metal, slightly turn down the –core, and the result is another great album. Oli Herbert and Mike Martin are still the unparalleled leaders of the guitar solo in modern metal.

3. 10 Years Division
Much more varied and mature sophomore effort from these alt-rockers. The songs are more carefully crafted and make a much better listen. The key is in varying their delivery. Whereas their first album tended to settle into mid-pace, brooding alternative tracks, Division skillfully weaves in heavy rockers with touching ballads and the aforementioned mid-paced, brooding alternative tracks.

2. In This Moment The Dream
Generally, I’m not a fan of “chick rock,” which I classify as anything with a female lead singer. This album has stayed in my car for some time now. The music is pretty standard, but Maria Brink’s gorgeous, powerful voice sets this one over the top.

1. Opeth Watershed
I don’t know of another band that even sounds like these guys. Watershed is another spectacular album. Able to instantly transition from beautiful to brutal, and then back again, on the snap of a finger, Opeth is very possibly the most talented band in rock and metal today.

Dishonorable Mention:

Disturbed Indestructible: Not bad. Not any different from Ten Thousand Fists. But not bad.

Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy: An interesting mix of songs worth the wait and pure garbage.

Metallica Death Magnetic: A big step up from St. Anger, but not among their best.

Tantric The End Begins: The rest of the band is missed, but Hugo Ferreira is a spectacular enough singer to carry an album on his own.

If there’s anything I missed, let me know about it…But if you say Nickelback, I will ban your IP Address. Technically, I’m not sure that’s possible, but you get the idea.

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Responses

  1. I have no beefs since these are more on the rock side, but I think that Death Cab’s Narrow Stairs and Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts off the top of my head.

  2. But you know you always look cuter with something in your mouth.

  3. Unbelievable…

  4. The worst part about that song is that we both heard it on the way to work the other day and I had it in my head. Which sounds bad enough by itself, but when I get a song in my head, I tend to sprout of lyrics. I had to restrain myself around random students by NOT saying …well the line from above.

  5. all that remains, in flames and shinedown all the way man….

  6. […] I will remember 2009 as the year that rock and metal got back to kicking ass. If you read my review from last year, you know that I thought that 2008’s rock music was sorely lacking. In retrospect, […]

  7. […] me tell you how messed up this list is going to be. It’s going to be wrong. I promise. I started these at the end of 2008. I know music and I thought that would be enough to dazzle the masses with my […]


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