So 2008 is coming to a close, and what better way to end than with my picks for the best music of the year?
First I need to give an honorable mention to local group Before the Rise and their EP Seed to Soil. Some really good music, in fact some of the best I’ve heard from any band. And now, for the list:
10) Trapt – Only Through the Pain
Their latest album is a definite step up, a good solid effort. Standout tracks include “Contagious” and “Cover Up”.
9) Trivium – Shogun
Trivium returns a bit more to form with this one, bringing together a fusion of the screaming and melodic vocal styles. While it doesn’t live up to breakout album The Ascendancy, this is certainly a step back in the right direction. Standout tracks include “Down from the Sky” and “Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis”.
8) Buckcherry – Black Butterfly
Buckcherry releases yet another solid rock album. Consistency is not always a bad thing. Standout tracks include “Rescue Me” and “Too Drunk…”
7) Nickelback – Dark Horse
Nickelback’s 6th studio album is also one of their strongest. A good mix of dark hard rock with some good hooks. Standout tracks include “Just to Get High”. “Burn It to the Ground” and “If Today Was Your Last Day”.
6) 3 Doors Down – 3 Doors Down
Self-titling this album was quite appropriate, as it is almost like a new beginning for 3 Doors Down. A good rock album, quite possibly some of their best work in fact. Standout tracks include “Train”, “Citizen/Soldier”, “Pages” and “When It’s Over”.
5) 10 Years – Division
There’s no such thing as “sophomore slump” for 10 Years. Their 2nd album is stronger and more refined than the debut. I’m very curious to see where they go from here. Standout tracks include “Actions & Motives”, “11:00 AM (Daydreamer)”, “Russian Roulette”, “Drug of Choice” and “All Your Lies”.
4) Shinedown – The Sound of Madness
Shinedown’s 3rd album is easily their best yet. Harder and with more energy than either of their previous releases, a huge step forward for this band. Standout tracks include “Devour”, “The Sound of Madness”, “Second Chance”, “Cry for Help” and “Breaking Inside”.
3) Candlebox – Into the Sun
Candlebox returns with their first studio album in 10 years, and what a return! The band manages to stay true to their early grunge roots yet mature in such a way to create a truly excellent sound. Standout tracks include “Stand”, “Bitches Brewin”, “Underneath It All”, “How Does It Feel”, and what is my vote for Song of the Year, “Breathe Me In”.
2) Disturbed – Indestructible
Disturbed has been constantly experimenting with their sound, and for them the 4th time’s the charm. With this latest album they finally achieve a perfect harmony between the anger and intensity of The Sickness and the melody of Believe. An amazing record. Standout tracks include “Indestructible”, “Inside the Fire”, “Deceiver”, “Perfect Insanity”, “Enough” and “Divide”.
1) Metallica – Death Magnetic
Their first new album in 5 years is a true return to form for the metal gods. In short, this is the album the Metallica of old would be making today. It thrashes, has the melody, yet is also modern and progressive, an album that proves that metal is far from dead and so is this band. Standout tracks include “That Was Just Your Life”, “The End of the Line”, “The Day That Never Comes”, “The Unforgiven III”, “The Judas Kiss” and “Suicide & Redemption”.