1) Amon Amarth – Twilight of the Thundergod
2) Opeth – Watershed
3) Sabaton – The Art of War
4) Ironsword – Overlords of Chaos
5) Guns ‘N Roses – Chinese Democracy
6) Into Eternity – The Incurable Tragedy
7) Metallica – Death Magnetic
8) Motorhead – Motorizer
9) King’s X – XV
10) Dragonforce – Ultra Beatdown
11) Testament – Formation of Damnation
12) Zero Down – Good Times at the Gates of Hell
13) Cradle of Filth – Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder
14) Unearth – The March
15) Kalmah – For the Revolution
16) Bob Catley – Immortal
17) Avantasia – The Scarecrow
18) Pyramaze – Immortal
19) Crom – Vengeance
20) Brainstorm – Downburst
Best New Band
Crom – Vengeance
I’ve been waiting for this since being stunned by 2004’s Fallen Beauty E.P. and I am not disappointed. Vengeance is every bit as powerful as expected and hopefully serves as a wake-up call to the metal world.
Best DVD – N/A
Disappointments of 2008
Zero Hour – Dark Deceiver
Checking in with the band for the first time since 2001’s mighty Towers of Avarice, I was crushed to hear a band more widdly and riffless than ever. This is the stuff that non-fans point to when hacking on prog-metal.
Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus
Count me among the minority the actually loved Rocket Ride. Call that album a joke if you will but the real joke is this “return to form”. Not bloody likely – this is embarrassing!
Iced Earth – The Crucible of Man
We all thought that bringing back Barlow (yay alliteration!) was going to “fix” Iced Earth. Pfft. Ripper was not the problem – it’s Schaffer’s uninspired writing. After the “woohoo Barlow” reaction wears off, the bland music is all that’s left. They still kick ass live though.
Not having the chance to hear new albums by Helstar, Swallow the Sun, Evergrey, and Pharaoh.
Greatest Hopes for 2009
1. New album from Slayer
2. New album from Heaven & Hell