Mike's 2008 Top Tunes
Here's a detailed writeup of my list. I included track listing, album art, and a youtube song. Note that youtube songs have shitty sound quality so the real thing sounds a lot better. Songs are listed from #1 to #10 in descending order. I meant to post this earlier but I've been too busy playing games on my new computer.
Dr. Livingdead - Thrashing the Law:
These guys are king. This is their second EP release. Their music AND attitude is exactly what metal needs nowadays. I mean I like melodic death metal but everywhere I look I see that being hailed as “troo metal”. There needs to be more metal bands like Dr. Livingdead. Everyone I've played their music instantly enjoys it. I played a few songs on the ride to see Maiden in the summer and everyone had a big smile on their face. If that's not enough to give them #1, well they made a song called Kerry Burger King. Thanks to them a song with that title now exists!
Kerry Burger King!
You're Not The Law
I Need Thrash (Not You)
Dr. Living Dead
Kerry Burger King
Caught Somewhere In Time intro (hidden track)
Sample: (it's actually from their 07 release but whatever) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kifd5oecwo
Gama Bomb - Citizen Brain:
Some people voiced their dislike for this band already, but I don't understand what they've got against them. I think this is pretty fun music to listen to, and decent thrash at that. I'll agree that a lot of New Wave Thrash is shit, but this band isn't. Sure this isn't going to rival anything the likes of Taking Over, but that doesn't mean it sucks. If you find yourself scrutinizing the lyrics in this type of music then you just don't “get it”. Black Metal is known for being cheesy as hell too, but it's still awesome. Anyway, Irish thrash band, sing about retro 80's stuff and booze, fast drums, riffs, all good stuff. Some really catchy songs on here. Some favorites would be Time Crime (“Hitler and Cesar and Stalin and Nero are building a robot SO DON'T BE A HERO!”)
Zombie Blood Nightmare
Sentenced to Thrash
Return of the Technodrome
In the Court of General Zod
Eluveitie – Slania
When I first heard of these guys my initial reaction was to dismiss them. I thought “oh great, more generic growling vocals, and they're trying to act all cool by throwing in a bunch of obscure instruments” but after my pessimism subsided and a few listens I changed my mind. This really is great music and I'm glad I gave them another chance. The band is pronounced el-vey-ti, and they come from Switzerland calling themselves “New Wave Folk Metal”. Huh, seems everything is “new wave” these days. They remind me a lot of Finntroll, so if you like their music you'll enjoy this too.
Gray Sublime Archon
The Somber Lay
Calling the Rain
Samon (acoustic version)
Lair of the Minotaur – War Metal Battle Master
Here's a band with some of the guys from 7000 Dying Rats. This is some thrashy grind metal with lots of great riffs in it. Vocals remind me of Vader in a way, although still different. The whole album, lyrics and music, are beyond awesome. I probably would've ranked this higher up if I had more time to listen to it. The masterpiece here would have to be the 10 minute Doomtrooper, with it's Sabbath-style guitar tuning and doomy bombastic drums. Otherwise it's a pretty solid album. I really only have good things to say about this, and because I don't want to sound like an infomercial I'll cut this short.
Horde of Undead Vengeance
War Metal Battle Master
When the Ice Giants Slayed All
Slaughter the Bestial Legion
Black Viper Barbarian Clan
Assassins of the Cursed Mist
Don Caballero – Punkgasm:
This is great music. Very chill at times and with some great jams thrown in. Vocals are nonexistant, and the tracks are constantly changing. Stuff all to be expected from the math rock pattern. What I like about this type of music is the way you can just leave it on in the background of whatever you're doing and it feels right.
Loudest Shop Vac in the World
The Irrespective Dick Area
Shit Kids Galore
Celestial Dusty Groove
Pour You in the Rug
Why is the Couch Always Wet?
Slaughbaugh's Ought Not Own Dog Data
Who's a Puppy Cat
Awe Man That's Jive Skip
Sample: (couldn't find a decent sounding recording of any '08 stuff so you'll have to settle with an older track) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnhIMINED8U
Anthony Braxton/William Parker/Milform Graves - Beyond Quantum:
This is basically a jazz supergroup here. The three artists gathered and put their taletns together and came up with 5 amazing tracks. Each one has some special something that either reminisces from past era jazz songs or introduces something new. Not much more I can say because I don't think there's many other people here who listen to jazz, but you should!
Sample: NO SAMPLES POUR JOO!!
Volbeat - Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood:
This band is what you get when you mix Johnny Cash and the Misfits together. On top of that this is a Danish band, which is amazing because they've got a very “country” feel to them, who would've thought some guys from Europe would want to make country music? Apparently the people over there are eating this up because they've placed pretty well on the charts. But then again this isn't really country music because the guitar tuning is very heavy and some songs actually have great riffs to them, then there's the rapid fire drumming to keep the pace. In short, what this band did was take Americana music and inject European metal influences. In a way they really sound like Metallica at times. Who needs Death Magnetic? We've got Volbeat! I suppose if you're a fan of country music and metal this is right up your alley.
Intro/End of the Road
Guitar Gangsters & Caadillac Blood
Back to Prom
Mary Ann's Place (feat. Pernille Rosendahl)
Maybellene I Hoftenholder
Light A Way
Wild Rover of Hell
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams cover)
A Broken Man and the Dawn
Find That Soul
Making Believe (bonus)
Rebel Monster (live)
Soulweeper 2 (live)
Sample: (from '07 album) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mV_HHL-h6g
(from '08 album) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1BD81m26Ac
Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams - The Great Unravel:
I first saw this band live in '05 at a local music fest and bought their album afterwards, they were even nice enough to sign it for me. Well they have a new release in '08, and it wouldn't feel right unless I rep them a bit. This band has been described as sounding like “Hillbilly Pink Floyd” and do a great job mixing psychedelic rock with a bluegrass style. Personally I liked their previous album (Flapjacks From the Sky) better, but hey, it's still good. I'm not really sure how they came up with this name, but it's certainly original. I've got to say though that this is a Live band, their music really doesn't have the same punch unless you're actually attending their show.
Pushin' Up Dasies
Tink (I Know It's You)
The Great Unravel
Bobby's Kinda Dumb
Everyone Has a Broken Heart
Light A Way
Forever & A Day Like This
Naniwan (hidden track)
Rotten Sound – Cycles
Grind band from Finnland here. Rotten Sound does 18 crusty songs at about 1-2 minutes each. A very aggressive, very fast wall of noise. If you're looking for the musical equivalent to an explosion then here you go. Blastbeats are present but they don't make up the entire drumming like in a lot of other grindcore bands. Get it and enjoy it, or get it and use it to annoy someone, preferably both.
Praise the Lord
Days to Kill
Austrian Death Machine - Total Brutal
WELL.... yes, this is seriously going on my list! Let me introduce you to the genre of arnoldcore. When I first stumbled upon them I thought it was the most hilariously ridiculous band I've ever seen. Bands always get bonus points for making me laugh, and that's why this is on my list. So basically it's just Tim Lambesis form As I Lay Dying playing all the instruments and singing, and some guy doing Arnold voices in the background. Seriously, I still can't really believe this album exists. Time spends no time trying to make you believe this is serious, the album is full of self mockery with lyrics like “I am a war machine, don't try to change me” and Arnold saying how As I Lay Dying sucks. There was also single released called “A Very Brutal Christmas” which had two tracks, Jingle Bells and a cover of Hell Bent for Leather. In short “epic lulz” to be found here. I should add that there's a band called ArnoCorps that was around before this, but I had never heard of them before, and apparently they have a fan base who for some reason go around whining in every youtube video because they believe ArnoCorps is the only true arnoldcore band... I guess there will always be dorks who can't take a joke in even the most obscure nooks and crannies of life.
Get to the Choppa
Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers
All of the Songs Sound the Same
I Am a Cybernetic Organism, Living Tissue Over (Metal) Endoskeleton
Come With Me If You Want To Live
What It's Like to Be a Singer At Band Practice
Who Is Your Daddy, and What Does He Do?
You Have Just Been Erased
Broo-Tall Song Idea
Here Is Subzero, Now Plan Zero
So Far, So Good, So Let's Talk About It
Screw You (Benny)
If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It
It's Not a Tumor
Not So Hidden Track
Sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdZYvPZhT1c & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1j6AYwP__Y
Here's some albums that pissed me off enough to make me write something negative about them. There's other '08 albums I've listened to that didn't make my list, but these deserved something special said in honor of their epic failure.
Judas Priest – Nostradamus:
What can I say about this that wasn't said by me back when it was released? I think this album is incredibly pretentious and boring compared to what we all know Priest for, and the only reason I bought a hard copy was for the free concert ticket, I don't think I've actually used the CD once. Infact I forgot I had even purchased it up until a couple days ago.
Bonded by Blood - Feed the Beast:
I can't begin to describe the level of disgust this album left me in. This band has the unique ability to put me in the mood of a good time being ruined. Every song follows the exact same fucking pattern. The songs start out with some cool riffing, and you think to yourself “hey this might be enjoyable” but then the drummer and vocalist come crashing through the door and just ruin shit for everybody. It literally drowns out the guitars so you can't make out the riffs. The drumming is just flat out repetitive and agitating, while the vocalist just makes me picture some 14 year old with a backwards baseball cap on trying to sound “hardcore”. They try to earn back some bonus points at the end by covering the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song. Nice try but that's not gonna cut it, not even close. Learn how to mix your music or don't bother releasing an album you uncreative assholes.