Children of Bodom's followup album to 2005's Are You Dead Yet took a more thrashier approach than previous releases from the band. Nevertheless the album still manages to pack together a decent bunch of songs from the group whilst still maintaining to show off their technical prowess. It fails to have the kick of previous albums and few songs here will become live staples but it's still worth a listen.
Listen To: Blooddrunk; Tie My Rope; Banned from Heaven
All Hope Is Gone
All Hope Is Gone is rumoured to be the last album from this Iowan nine piece and after listening to this album it looks like they won't be missed much from me anymore. Whilst the album has an absolute blinder in the form of lead single 'Psychosocial' and another decent followup single 'Dead Memories' the rest of the album just seems like a set of filler tracks. As much as I hate to compare the band with Corey Taylor's alter ego Stone Sour, it seems to spill through on tracks like 'Sulfur' and the sub-par power ballad 'Snuff'. Whilst the album still has its highlights it fails to deliver as much Slipknot as you would expect from the band.
Listen To: Psychosocial; Dead Memories; Butcher's Hook
8. Guns N' Roses
The last Guns N' Roses album of original material was released when I was the ripe old age of 1. Now at 18 the followup to Use Your Illusion has surfaced. A lot of hype has been circulating the album over recent years with internet arguments such as 'There is no album' and 'It's not the original Guns N' Roses'. My response? Shutup and stop complaining. The original Guns N' Roses will not be reuniting anytime soon, Slash always was overrated and Axl Rose is a pretentious perfectionist. Anyway opinions aside this isn't a bad album. Well the second half of it is but the first half is a decent batch of songs. When opener Chinese Democracy kicks in it doesn't deliver the knockout blow most people were expecting but still satisfies. Follow up track Shackler's Revenge sounds messy and over produced initally but it settles in to become a pseudo industrial mash up with a catchy hook. Although the stand out track on this album without question is track three Better. A pounding rhythm, schizophrenic riffs and the catchiest chorus on the album blows away any song on this album. Overall whilst the rest of the album dips downhill into piano led ballads and more industrial references it seems like the album would have had delivered more of a blow if it was actually released in 1999 when the music seemed to be relevant, nevertheless it's not a total disappointment and Axl's songwriting still shines through. Here's hope for the next album now he gets the chance to start from scratch again.
Listen To: Chinese Democracy; Shackler's Revenge; Better
Not many bad words to say about this album. It's been one of the few albums released this year where I can listen to it from start to finish without getting bored and sticking another album on. That's pretty much the only reason it's in my list this year. And the fact that its the first set of Motörhead songs that have put me off 'Ace of Spades'
Listen To: Runaround Man; Teach You How to Sing the Blues; When The Eagle Screams; Rock Out; English Rose
6. Kid Rock
Rock N Roll Jesus
Kid Rock was hailed as the most surprising success story of 1998 when he burst onto the scene then disappeared. He then became the most suprising success story of 2008 aswell, with his hit summer smash 'All Summer Long' which was the soundtrack to many a people's summer this year. Although due to this he has become a one hit wonder with many a people who didn't give the album a listen, but quite frankly who can blame them? Still the first half of this album is packed full of songs such as 'Amen' and Roll On which showcase Rock's songwriting credibility. The second half of this album is an absolute let-down considering all the decent tracks on the first half. Unfortunately after this fluke of an album I can't see Kid Rock coming out with anything to top even this album again.
Listen To: Rock N Roll Jesus; Amen; All Summer Long; Roll On; So Hott
5. Bullet for My Valentine
Scream Aim Fire
Overlooked in many critics album of the year lists this year due to the album being released so early on in January. Around this time last year I believe. This album was a joy from start to finish bar the song 'Take It Out On Me' which to me sounded like the band were trying to write their own version of 'Domination' by Pantera. As soon as the title track 'Scream Aim Fire' kicks in we can see that this album means business and the album thunders through a relentless punding of drums, riffs and insane solos. Pausing for the bands two slow points 'Hearts Burst Into Fire' and 'Say Goodnight' which shows the boys don't need to play fast to sound good. An overall success for the band and after listening one can only wonder how they will manage to top this.
Listen To: Eye of the Storm; Hearts Burst Into Fire; Waking the Demon; Deliver Us From Evil; Say Goodnight
4. Bring Me the Horizon
To sound horribly clichéd, if you told me this time last year that Bring Me The Horizon would make my Top 10 list this year I would laugh at you, before I shoved my boot up your arse and shaved your fringe off. However this album exceeded every single expectation I had of it (none) and the band have finally found a strong tight sound that doesn;t sound messy. Even the vocals have started to clear themselves up a bit. Opener 'The Comedown' oozes Slipknot influence as does most of the rest of the album. And endless barrage of extreme riffery, breakdowns and nothing messy like their previous examples have shown. A vast improvement on previous album 'Count Your Blessings' which was the third most horrible CD I have ever let myself listen to. What's that? What was second? Their first EP 'This Is What The Edge of Your Seat Was Made For' which was the most horrible mashup and instruments i've ever heard. It sounded like a bunch of 5 year olds were given an instrument each and someone clicked record. Due to the critical acclaim of their new album they have risen in popularity leading to a lot of unhappy emos and scene kids on the internet spurning phrases like 'Yeah well I liked them before they were this popular'. Not realising that if they did like them before this album came out they obviously have a shoddy taste in music. What? The worst album i've ever heard? The new Oasis album 'Dig Out Your Soul'.
Listen To: The Comedown; Chelsea Smile; It Was Written in Blood; Football Season Is Over; No Need For Introductions, I've Read About You On The Back Of Toilet Doors
3. Mötley Crüe
Saints Of Los Angeles
Like the new Motörhead album I have few bad words to say about this album and also have the ability to listen to this all of the way through without switching it off which is always a plus. Not a return to form for the Crüe but still a great album. Most bands at this point in their career release shoddy album after shoddy album which is clearly not the case here. Great album full of great tracks and nothing else much to say.
Listen To: Face Down In The Dirt; Saint of Los Angeles; The Animal In Me; This Ain't A Love Song
Trivium's last album The Crusade wasn't necessarily a bad album but compare it to Ascendancy and it seemed bland and lacked the kick in the nuts that a Trivium album needs. Shogun delivers everything the last album missed out on whilst maintaining it's technical proficiency. Opener 'Kirisute Gomen' (roughly translated as 'please stand still whilst I slice your head off) kicks off the album with a tidal barraging of riffery and soloing. The album is a wide scope of the heavy 'Insurrection' and the melodic 'Into The Mouth Of Hell We March'. After 'Ascendancy' people were wondering how Trivium could possibly top it...well they didn't with 'The Crusade', but they definitely did with 'Shogun'. It begs the question again...how can they top this?
Listen To: Kirisute Gomen; Down From the Sky; Into The Mouth Of Hell We March; Shogun
Wow! Wow! Wow! Well to be honest I knew this would be number one in my list this year when I heard the demo riffs of a song which would later become 'Cyanide'. Very few albums seemed to get me as excited about music again as this one has. Most people say you can tell whether you are going to enjoy an album or not after hearing the first few seconds of the opening song. Well when this song was put into the car stereo and I heard the slow heartbeat of opener ' That Was Just Your Life and then hearing the track progress into a labyrinth of riffs I can hear that the ghosts of 'St Anger', 'Load' and 'Reload' being abolished and Metallica returning to their trademark sounds. Seemed a bit of a prediction after only hearing the first track but then End Of The Line seals the deal. A bouncy groove kicks off the song leading to the return of Mr Hammets mad soloing abilities although the 'wah' is overdone a bit. The rest of the album compliments the band perfectly. They move into old school Metallica ballad territory with 'The Day That Never Comes' and their first instrumental track since '...and Justice for All' with 'Suicide & Redmption'. The only sub-par tracks on this album are still colossal with the track 'The Judas Kiss' which despite its length and its ability to eventually get a bit boring despite it having one of the best choruses on the album. 'My Apocalypse' the closing track lets the whole album down. It's boring and even Hetfield sounds like he's not putting the effort into this one...and this was the track nominated for the Grammy...typical.
Listen To: That Was Just Your Life, End Of The Line, The Day That Never Comes, Cyanide, The Unforgiven III
Worst Album of the Year
This album is a steaming pile of turd. I had some hope for this album from the fact that it was Judas Priest and that 'Prophecy' sounded quite good live. The album is the cheesiest thing ever made...not even the good cheese like Rick Astley or Journey, the mouldy cheese like Spinal Tap. I have been criticised in the past for not listening to an album all the way through to give it a chance but exceptions can be made here as I have never made it past track five without wanting to do a Van Gogh and cut my ears off or do a Cobain and shoot myself. What? Two Grammys? Go Figure...
Listen To: British Steel