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  #1  
Old 12-05-2008, 10:56 AM
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My Top Ten Songs of 2008

Here we go. My "Top 50 Albums" won't be done until early January I don't think, but enjoy this for now if you will:

Fleet Foxes- “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” (from Fleet Foxes)
Great American folk songs are never arranged complexly or produced bombastically. Many consist only of a few chords, great lyrics, and some incredibly memorable singing. With “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song”, Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold has joined the ranks of his heroes Bob Dylan and Judee Sill in perfection by way of simplicity. Gentle acoustic picking is joined by his bare bones vocal, building to a deceivingly strong climax. The denouement is as beautiful as the buildup, with Pecknold’s solitary humming fading the song back to the silence from whence it sprouted, organically, like the forest it so eloquently evokes.

Mouth of the Architect- “Hate and Heartache” (from Quietly)
While the album wasn’t nearly as crushingly moving as its predecessor, The Ties That Blind, the live staple produced by Quietly is an elegant, concise study in doing post-metal the right way. The Network clip that introduces the song is a rare example of a movie sample that is used with noble intention and to useful ends. As soon as Howard Beale finishes telling us that he wants us to “get mad”, the song kicks into full gear: syrupy sludge riffs, funereal keyboards, and shouted-from-the-next-room vocals drive the song to its peak, and the pounding drumming of Dave Mann takes it to its violent conclusion. “I will destroy it all,” indeed.

The Mars Volta- “Wax Simulacra” (from The Bedlam in Goliath)
The Mars Volta captured the frantic nature of their new album in two-and-a-half minutes, but decided to write an eighty-minute album anyway. The record may be exceedingly long, but “Wax Simulacra” is the rose among the thorns, the “something to shake by the roots”. The bizarre vocalization of Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Zoot Horn Rollo-esque guitar of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez isn’t annoying on this song; rather, it’s charming and demonstrative. The saxophone that snakes through the track at the end actually adds something to the piece instead of simply making an appearance. If the Mars Volta plans on writing with the high-octane approach of their latest record, they should stick to the short songs, because this is one of their shining moments as a collective.

Metallica- “That Was Just Your Life” (from Death Magnetic)
Alright, alright; so no one’s going to mistake this for “Creeping Death” or “Master of Puppets,” but the lead-off track on the newest Metallica album (and their indisputably best one since …And Justice for All) almost single-handedly makes up for the twenty years of torture they put their loyal fans through. The main riff is actually a thrash riff, and Hetfield’s vocals are as aggressive as they’ve ever been since he cut his hair. Kirk plays an honest-to-God solo, Trujillo is audible, and Lars doesn’t do anything too stupid behind the kit. Count this one as a giant success, and bang your head like it’s 1988.

Warrel Dane- “Lucretia My Reflection” (from Praises to the War Machine)
Whether in Nevermore or on his more straightforward solo debut, Warrel Dane knows how to do a cover version. He realizes that the point of a cover song is not to play the original song, note-for-note, but rather to reinterpret the song in the context of his own style and with his own creative vision. This is more evident on this version of the Sisters of Mercy classic than anywhere else in his career. The lyrics and driving bass line of the original remain intact, but the reinvented vocal melodies and guitar work create an entirely new song, and one that is arguably even more powerful than the original.

Made Out of Babies- “Stranger” (from The Ruiner)
Noise rock is a time-honored NYC tradition, but Made Out of Babies have an entirely unique perspective on the grimy craft, thanks mostly to eccentric frontwoman Julie Christmas. On “Stranger”, her shrieks and moans and cries and pure honey-throated singing intermingle among snaky riffs and the guest keyboards of Mouth of the Architect’s Jason Watkins. The song’s lyrics are the highlight, however, and likely the best lyrics of the year. Sung from a feminist perspective by an omniscient observer, they aim for the gut and leave you broken. If the line “dirty strands to veil the face; small tattoos name big mistakes” doesn’t make you shiver, you’re a stronger man than I am.

Genghis Tron- “Board Up the House” (from Board Up the House)
The Philadelphia-by-way-of-Brooklyn electronic grind trio served up their finest record yet this year with the equal parts blistering and beautiful Board Up the House, and the eponymous song moves through hip hop beats, progressive rock keyboards, and modern grindcore in its six minutes with unmatched precision. Seeing them live is quite an experience: two-thirds of the members hunch over keyboards and one runs their light show from an onstage Mac. The band’s ethic is to achieve perfection through rawness and visa versa, and this song sees them achieving just that.

Opeth- “The Lotus Eater” (from Watershed)
With each successive record, Opeth bring in a few new elements to their finely honed sound while maintaining all that makes them unique. On “The Lotus Eater”, the switches from clean vocals to growled vocals are quicker and more efficient, and new drummer Martin Axenrot plays the first blastbeats in Opeth history. Mikael Åkerfeldt’s clean vocals and lyrics are as good here as they ever have, and ex-Arch Enemy guitarist Fredrik Åkesson brings some shredding guitar solos to the table. Even for a band as off-the-wall as Opeth, this is an incredibly diverse song, and possibly their most diverse in a career of over a decade.

Edguy- “Ministry of Saints” (from Tinnitus Sanctus)
The German metal stalwarts hyped their latest album as a return to their more serious power metal roots, diverging from the more comical style they had adopted on their previous record. With the first track and lead single from the record, they craft one of the catchiest choruses of their career. Lead singer Tobias Sammett has gotten an increasingly rougher edge to his voice over the years, and the verses of the song beautifully reflect this transformation. By the final chorus, you’ll be ready to play the song again, just wanting to hear “Tonight a thousand angels fall, heaven’s up against the wall and change is holding sway/We can make you anyone, by the morning we’ll be gone/A ministry of saints” one more time.

This Will Destroy You- “They Move On Tracks of Never-Ending Light” (from This Will Destroy You)
In a year checkered with dozens of big-name post-rock releases, some excellent, some average, some putrid, the Texan quartet rose to the top of the heap with their self-titled full-length debut. “They Move on Tracks of Never-Ending Light” has the classic post-rock crescendo, building to a climax that is not characterized by heavily-struck major chords, but by the introduction of synthesizer-affected drums. The vaguely hip hop-sounding beat carries the song to its denouement, and as it fades quietly into the ether an eerie silence hangs over the sonic space, inviting the listener for introspection.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:00 AM
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The first 2 choices are dope, definitely think though that "All Nightmare Long" is the standout from Death Magnetic, I mean it has the only real retardedly awesome riff of the whole album.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:01 AM
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DethMaiden DethMaiden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADD View Post
The first 2 choices are dope, definitely think though that "All Nightmare Long" is the standout from Death Magnetic, I mean it has the only real retardedly awesome riff of the whole album.
These are roughly ranked, so yeah, those would be the top two.

And I dunno, the bass intro on that song is pretty lame I think. But "That Was Just Your Life" pumped me to hell.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
Edguy- “Ministry of Saints” (from Tinnitus Sanctus)
The German metal stalwarts hyped their latest album as a return to their more serious power metal roots, diverging from the more comical style they had adopted on their previous record. With the first track and lead single from the record, they craft one of the catchiest choruses of their career. Lead singer Tobias Sammett has gotten an increasingly rougher edge to his voice over the years, and the verses of the song beautifully reflect this transformation. By the final chorus, you’ll be ready to play the song again, just wanting to hear “Tonight a thousand angels fall, heaven’s up against the wall and change is holding sway/We can make you anyone, by the morning we’ll be gone/A ministry of saints” one more time.[/font]
TONIGHT A THOUSAND ANGELS FALL
HEAVEN's UP AGANST THE WALL
CHANGE IS HOLDING SWAY
WE CAN MAKE YOU ANYONE
BY THE MORNING WILL BE GONE
THE MINISTRY OF SAINTS!!!!!!
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:53 PM
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The first 2 choices are dope, definitely think though that "All Nightmare Long" is the standout from Death Magnetic, I mean it has the only real retardedly awesome riff of the whole album.
And this is why
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:26 AM
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powerslave_85 powerslave_85 is offline
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Is that the music video (I can't get on YouTube at work)? If it is, then YES. One of the best videos I've seen in years, although it's really just a mini film with the song playing over it. Still, it's BADASS.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by powerslave_85 View Post
Is that the music video (I can't get on YouTube at work)? If it is, then YES. One of the best videos I've seen in years, although it's really just a mini film with the song playing over it. Still, it's BADASS.
No it's a clip of Trujillo playing it
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:01 PM
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I was thinking of this recently so here's a quick little list of my top 10 songs from 2008:

1.) Across Tundras - "Carrion Crow" (from Western Sky Ride)
2.) Disfear - "Deadweight" (from Live The Storm)
3.) Torche - "Healer" (from Meanderthal)
4.) Bible Of The Devil - "Ol Girl" (from Freedom Metal)
5.) Russian Circles - "Harper Lewis" (from Station)
6.) Graveyard - "Lost In Confusion" (from Graveyard)
7.) Brant Bjork - "Born To Rock" (from Punk Rock Guilt)
8.) Fleet Foxes - "Ragged Wood" (from Fleet Foxes)
9.) Valkyrie - "False Dreams" (from Man of Two Visions)
10.) Birds Of Prey - "Show Him The Ground" (from Sulfur and Semen)
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:16 PM
overkiller overkiller is offline
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8.) Fleet Foxes - "Ragged Wood" (from Fleet Foxes)
That might be my favorite from that record too. It crept up behind "White Winter Hymnal" and "He Doesn't Know Why".

If I can, I might try to do one of these lists as well. It might be too hard, as usual.
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:11 PM
overkiller overkiller is offline
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Ugh yeah, so hard. This is a ROUGHLY ranked list of 15 of my favorite ones, with Rome being at the top. It was really hard to pick only one song per album, but doing otherwise would make it impossible to make a small list; half of the songs on many of my albums would be on here if that were the case.

Rome - "Das Feuerordal"
Cynic - "The Space for This"
Fleet Foxes - "Ragged Wood"
Nas - "Hero"
M83 - "Skin of the Night"
Sigur Rós - "Gobbledigook"
Vampire Weekend - "Walcott"
Agalloch - "The Isle of Summer"
Lil Wayne - "3 Peat"
Nachtmystium - "Assassins"
Roma Amor - "Next"
Opeth - "Heir Apparent"
No Age - "Sleeper Hold"
Amon Amarth - "Free Will Sacrifice"
Satyricon - "Black Crow on a Tombstone"

Last edited by overkiller; 01-07-2009 at 07:13 PM.
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