It’s a brand new year full of limitless possibilities and perhaps some of the greatest music ever recorded. Who knows what the next 12 months will bring! But while we sit and wait with baited breath for our favourite bands to start releasing new records, we’re going to cast our minds back ten years to the year 2008. You remember 2008, right? The Dark Knight was the highest grossing film, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends sold a squillion copies and Grand Theft Auto IV kept everyone glued to their sofa.
But what was happening in the world of metal? Well let’s take a look, shall we! Here are ten of the biggest and best metal albums of 2008.
Bullet For My Valentine – Scream Aim Fire
After the runaway success of The Poison, the pressure was on Bullet to produce a follow-up that could confirm their position as the UK’s most successful metal export of the 21st century. Scream Aim Fire did that and then some, with tracks like Waking The Demon and Hearts Burst Into Fire catapulting the Welsh metallers into bigger venues and show-stealing festival slots the world over.
Metallica – Death Magnetic
While time has perhaps painted Death Magnetic as something of a mixed bag overall, the elation most Metallica fans greeted it with at the time is understandable, the likes of All Nightmare Long, Cyanide and the vastly underrated The Day That Never Comes still sounding electric on the occasions they’re dusted off live.
Trivium – Shogun
AKA The Album That Should Have Come After Ascendency, Shogun erased The Crusade’s cynical misstep with eleven bursts of building-shaking metal majesty. Heavy, urgent, varied and metal as fuck, for many it still stands as Trivium’s finest moment, with Down From The Sky still an essential live staple.
Amon Amarth – Twilight Of The Thunder God
16 years into their career, Amon Amarth achieved a long deserved breakthrough with their seventh album, an absolute monster that thrilled critics and fans alike. From its epic, explosive title track onwards, Twilight… was the sound of true metal diehards hitting their creative stride. They haven’t looked back since.
Meshuggah – ObZen
Returning from the weird and rarefied realms of 2005’s Catch Thirtythree, Meshuggah went for a relatively accessible approach on ObZen. But with tracks like Bleed, rippling like a five-dimension centipede, the Swedes proved they were still way beyond reach of the competition whilst hatching a host of lasting live favourites.
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Satyricon – The Age Of Nero
Reflecting on current conflicts in the world, Satyr chose the title to reflect civilisation’s ruin in the times of Roman Emperor Nero. The result was sparse, dark, yet accessible – an album for the modern age.
Gojira – The Way Of All Flesh
Blending bewildering, clinical precision with pained, cosmic musing, Gojira’s fourth album smashed into the metal landscape like a higher, alien intelligence trying to come to terms with the wanton self-destruction it was witnessing. If From Mars To Sirius was their breakout album, The Way Of All Flesh signalled far and wide that the French four-piece were a permanent presence.
Bring Me The Horizon – Suicide Season
Bring Me The Horizon’s second album kept the deathcore of their debut but was a massive step up in terms of quality and songwriting. It’s by no means as accessible as their latest material, but you can’t fuck with the choruses of Diamonds Aren’t Forever and Chelsea Smile. This is ground zero for a band looking at the metal scene with fire in their eyes and blood on their breath.
Slipknot – All Hope Is Gone
The final Slipknot album to include Paul Gray and Joey Jordison, and the first that really saw the Nine move toward a more melodic sound. Still heavy and packing gargantuan tunes like Psychosocial, but leaning toward the more melodic end of the scale with tracks like Dead Memories and Snuff. Of course when it goes hard, it really goes.
Opeth – Watershed
Melding their distinctive death metal with some of the more progressive elements first explored on Damnation, Opeth started down a path they’ve since continued to follow. A brilliant balance of their yin and yang.