12-09-2008, 07:58 AM
Top 10 Albums of 2008 (as of 12/09/08. Numbers 4-10 are all possible for change, only the top three are definite.)
1) Moonspell - Night Eternal
Favorite Tracks: At Tragic Heights, Shadow Sun
2) Ihsahn - angL
Favorite Tracks: Misanthrope, Unhealer
3) Zonaria - The Cancer Empire
Favorite Tracks: Crowning King Cancer, Damnation Dressed In Flesh
4) Sabaton - The Art of War
5) Pain - Cynic Paradise
6) Jeff Loomis - Zero Order Phase
7) Keep of Kalessin - Kolossus
8) Warrel Dane - Praises to the War Machine
9) Falconer - Among Beggars and Thieves
10) Eluveitie - Slania
Best New Band
Inmoria from Bollnäs, Sweden
A sort of Power/Thrash Metal supergroup comprised of current and former members of Morgana Lefay, Tad Morose, and God Awful Machine. They were only formed in April 2008, so they're still very new to the scene - they've got six premixed tracks up on their Myspace & website, including a video for one of them ("Come Insanity"), but the full-length is expected sometime in 2009! Definitely a band to keep an eye out for.
12-09-2008, 08:54 AM
Top 10 Performances (On account of things constantly getting in the way, I only WENT to 10 shows, so we're going with the favorite performances instead of shows as a whole)
10) Soilwork, Upstairs @ The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts, 3/15/2008
These guys were only a support band for this show (supporting Throwdown, blegh), but they made the most of it even if the only pre-NBC song they played was Bastard Chain. It was, however, on my birthday, so that made the show more enjoyable. Got a poster signed later in the night during Throwdown's set.
9) Sonata Arctica, The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts, 8/30/08
Supporting Nightwish, I went in unsure how to think of Sonata Arctica. They were the weakest headliner at ProgPower USA VIII (though I admit the competition was tough), and I felt like that set had been bogged down too much by the new material. This time was a complete turn around. It was an amazing set, really fun to see for the time given to them. I've been convinced that PPUSA was simply an off night (or maybe they just couldn't live up to Pagan's Mind before them, my favorite performance ever). The third-ever performance of White Pearl, Black Oceans... in full, as well.
8) Turisas, The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts, 4/27/08
The Paganfest USA bill was absolutely raped by squeezing it into part of Day 3 of the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, making it so that each band only had between 20 and 30 minutes to play. However, each band made the best of their respective US debuts, especially Turisas. They put on a very entertaining set and I'm convinced they won over the crowd. After the DragonForce tour they're on right now, I'm sure they're going to be getting bigger and bigger very fast.
7) Ministry, The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts, 4/27/08
Ministry's C U LaTour bill did not get the same rape treatment that Paganfest USA did - both Ministry and Meshuggah were allowed the time they normally played on the tour, as they were the headliners for the night (though Ministry DID cut the Covers Encore from their set, something I was not at all complaining about - I'd prefer my last live memory of Ministry to be "Thieves" sung by Al as opposed to a cover). Probably the loudest performance I've ever witnessed (both of my friends, who weren't smart enough to bring earplugs, spent the entire set with the hands over their ears), but a great way to say farewell.
6) Helloween, The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts, 9/20/08
I'd waited some time for the Hellish Rock tour to hit the US, and when it finally did, I made sure I was there come hell or high water. Definitely a memorable show with just them and Gamma Ray playing, especially the final encore of the night with both bands on stage for Future World and I Want Out (plus the blow-up pumpkin beach balls being thrown around in the crowd)
5) Iron Maiden, Comcast Center, Mansfield, Massachusetts 6/20/08
Another band I had waited some time to see. Thunder roared all through Lauren Harris' set, but seemed to let up during Iron Maiden's set - until Odin let loose his approval during Powerslave and Rime of the Ancient Mariner by soaking us all on the lawn.
4) Gamma Ray, The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts, 9/20/08
Helloween was great at the show. Gamma Ray was better. I had heard before that GR was out-performing Helloween every night, and this night was no different. They just held the crowd in the palm of their hands from the first notes of Into the Storm to the final moments of Send Me a Sign.
3) Ensiferum, The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts, 4/27/08
Despite the absolute injustice at making Ensiferum's U.S. debut be a shortened set, it was still one of my top three performances of the year. There's just no way to deny it. They took the stage and played five songs that absolutely crushed us from beginning to end - and I got to witness it from the rail, directly infront of Petri Lindroos. Unfortunately, my cries for Blood is the Price of Glory were not answered until months later in October, but that and the set-time are the only problems I can find about this set.
2) At the Gates, The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts, 7/11/08
Words can't really describe this concert. On the rail for one of the bands I never thought I'd ever see get together for a reunion tour, nevermind actually play a show so close to where I live. Got my right shoe signed by Jonas Bjorler and Martin Larsson after the show, as well. It was absolutely amazing, and for a month and a half I didn't think anything would beat it. I was wrong.
1) Nightwish, The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts, 8/30/08
This was the best performance of the year for me. I had just got some crushing news the day before, and I needed a musical escape more than anything - I got it the next day in Worcester. After Sonata exited the stage, I decided to see how close I could get. I ended up on the rail right infront of Tuomas (one of my musical idols). Then it was just an hour and forty minutes of some of my favorite songs, including two songs I hadn't been expecting that night from seeing previous setlists ("Come Cover Me" and "Ever Dream"). Needless to say, I walked out of that show exhausted, with my mind completely off of what had been bothering me.
Best Live DVD will be decided in January. Haven't gotten many from this year to be able to decide yet.
You live in Mass apparently. To think if I had stayed there I could have caught damn near all these shows.
12-09-2008, 09:10 AM
Rhode Island, actually, but Worcester is only half an hour from where I live.