|The Staff's Top Picks of 2008|
(8240 total words in this text)
(Click on each writer's name below to go directly to his list.)
Summarized List Of The Top 50 CDs, From All Of The SoT Staff
PETE PARDO's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
The Top 100 of 2008
It was a great year, mostly for progressive metal (which seemed to have made a
comeback this year, especially from some of the younger bands in the genre) and
death metal, especially of the more technical variety. Progressive rock fell
somewhat short of expectations this year, though there were still some strong
releases in the genre, as there was for instrumental prog/jazz-fusion and black
metal. Some fantastic comebacks from veteran bands also helped make it a very
memorable year in music. Not wanting to leave out any of my favorites from 2008,
here's my Top 100 of the year, though the Top 25 or 30 really stood out and kept
in regular rotation throughout the year for me. Kudos to Opeth, Zero Hour, and
Meshuggah, all three releasing perhaps their best material to date.
1) Opeth-Watershed (a masterpiece, combines death metal & prog to perfection)
2) Zero Hour-Dark Deceiver (a classic of technical progressive metal)
3) Meshuggah-obZen (the Swedes return to a more song based format, and it
4) Into Eternity-The Incurable Tragedy (concept album inspired by tragedy, but a
5) Seventh Wonder-Mercy Falls (wonderful melodic & technical prog-metal, easily
their best release yet)
6) Enslaved-Vertebrae (nobody mixes prog & black metal like these veterans)
7) Souljourners-Mind Control (best new progressive metal band of the year, hands
8) Tomorrow's Eve-Tales From Serpentia (German band releases their magnum opus)
9) Presto Ballet-The Lost Art of Time Travel (Kurdt V. and Co. mimic that 70's
prog style with a touch of AOR-great stuff!)
10) Decrepit Birth-Diminishing Between Worlds (killer technical death
metal-expect great things from this band in 2009 and beyond)
11) Suspyre-When Time Fade (truly "progressive metal" in every way-a winner!)
12) Uriah Heep-Wake the Sleeper (easily the comeback of the year-plenty of
Hammond & guitar from the Heepsters!)
13) Gojira-The Way of All Flesh (wow, completely crushing and memorable)
14) Cynic-Traced In Air (candidate #2 for comeback of the year, more technical,
proggy & jazzy than before, but even better)
15) Testament-The Formation of Damnation (best old school thrash album of the
year, hands down, and just a great return to form)
16) Evergrey-Torn (the Swedes are back on track with another dark yet melodic
17) Martriden-The Unsettling Dark (future leaders of the death metal
genre-crushing, melodic, and progressive)
18) Whitesnake-Good to Be Bad (comeback contenders #3-rousing early 80's styled
stuff, and plenty of guitars!)
19) Ayreon-01011001 (can't go wrong with Arjen these days, another star-studded
concept album winner)
20) Psycroptic-Ob(Servant) (monstrous technical death metal from these
21) Metallica-Death Magnetic (comeback contender #4-the thrash kings are back!)
22) Mercenary-Architect of Lies (not quite as strong as their last two, but
still plenty good)
23) Iced Earth-The Crucible of Man (this ones a grower, and it's great to have
24) Scar Symmetry-Holographic Universe (once again, catchy, heavy, and lots of
25) Children of Bodom-Blooddrunk (the Bodom come up with a winner yet again)
26) In Flames-A Sense of Purpose (they might not be much of a death metal band
anymore, but damn this one is filled with memorable tunes)
27) Journey-Revelations (Arnel Pineda is quite the vocal find-a great release of
catchy hard rock and pop songs)
28) Cradle of Filth-Godspeed On the Devil's Thunder (their best in years)
29) Beneath the Massacre-Dystopia (release #2 is even more furious and brutal
30) Keep of Kalessin-Kolossus (watch out Dimmu, there's a new black metal player
31) Arsis-We Are the Nightmare (technical blackened death metal masterpiece)
32) Bigelf-Cheat the Gallows (totally retro, and loving every second of it)
33) Origin-Antithesis (another marvelous technical death metal find this year)
34) Biomechanical-Cannibalised (bombastic futuristic death/thrash metal)
35) Ihsahn-angL (the genius returns with another proggy black metal feast)
36) Hands-Strangelet (prog legends still have what it takes)
37) Cloudscape-Global Drama (melodic & memorable power metal)
38) Bloodbath-The Fathomless Mastery (old school styled Swedish death metal
doesn't get any better than this)
39) Xystus-Equilibrio (epic, orchestral progressive metal)
40) Todd Rundgren-Anthem (Todd returns with plenty of hard rocking guitar pop)
41) Protest the Hero-Fortress (lots of guitar pyrotechnics here, a technical
42) Brain Drill-Apocalyptic Feasting (brutal, crushing, technical death metal)
43) Brainstorm-Downburst (power metal veterans can do no wrong)
44) The Red Masque-Fossil Eyes (the most unique band in prog)
45) Krisiun-Southern Storm (Brazil's best return with another platter of brutal
& technical death metal)
46) Abigail Williams-In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns (fantastic US symphonic
47) Sothis-De Oppresso Liber (more great US symphonic black metal)
48) Unearth-The March (thrash & metalcore combine for one killer release)
49) Byzantine-Oblivion Beckons (shame they broke up, awesome release)
50) Heaven Shall Burn-Iconoclast (Part 1: The Final Resistance) (German's come
51) Fish-13th Star (the former Marillion frontman's best in years)
52) Dominici-O3 A Trilogy-Part 3 (extremely solid prog-metal from the former
Dream Theater singer)
52) Communic-Payment of Existence (another winner from the prog/power metal
53) Canvas Solaris-The Atomized Dream (an instrumental delight)
54) Neuraxis-The Thin Line Between (strong technical death metal with a touch of
55) Steve Stevens-Memory Crash (one of the best instrumental guitar albums of
56) Hate Eternal-Fury and Flames (they still know how to pummel)
57) Firewind-The Premonition (melodic power metal veterans strike big yet again)
58) Ohm-Circus of Sound (more brilliant instrumental jazz-fusion from the former
59) Andromeda-The Immunity Zone (not their best, but still solid prog-metal from
60) Unifaun-Unifaun (lovely Genesis styled prog, a real labor of love)
61) Garaj Mahal-wOOt (killer jammy instrumental jazz-fusion)
62) Nation Beyond-The Aftermath Odyssey (concept piece that really worked)
63) Eluveitie-Slania (fantastic pagan/death/black/folk metal hybrid)
64) Zimmers Hole-When You Were Shouting At the Devil
We Were In League With
Satan (miss Strapping Young Lad? This is most of the band and pretty similar
65) Slipknot-All Hope Is Gone (great mix of the brutal and the commercial)
66) All Shall Perish-Awaken the Dreamers (solid technical death metal &
67) DFA-4 (Italian band once again delivers excellent fusion & prog)
68) Simon Says-Tardigrade (fun modern progressive rock with a 70's flair)
69) To-Mera- Delusions (still jazzy & proggy, but plenty of metal too)
70) Woods of Ypres-Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues (red hot Canadian black
71) Pyramaze-Immortal (two shots of Matt Barlow this year is a great thing!)
72) Misery Signals-Controller (one of the best metalcore bands around)
73) Burst-Lazarus Bird (another winner of psychedelic & proggy metalcore)
74) All That Remains-Overcome (more melodic this time around, still good)
75) Planeta Imaginario-Biomasa (great Zappa styled instrumental progressive
76) Yngwie Malmsteen-Perpetual Flame (his best in years, and with Tim "Ripper"
Owens in tow!)
77) Deeds of Flesh-Of What's to Come (excellent technical death metal)
78) Expedition Delta-Expedition Delta (great prog, AOR, and a touch of metal)
79) Magenta-Metamorphosis (epic prog all the way)
80) Mindwarp Chamber-Delusional Reality (a new player on the prog/power metal
81) Dismember-Dismember (old school Swedish death metal from these innovators)
82) Empyrios-The Glorious Sickness (industrialized progressive metal from Italy)
83) Intronaut-Prehistoricisms (more experimental this time around)
84) Farmakon-Robin (very Opeth sounding progressive death metal)
85) Unleashed-Hammer Battalion (the masters of Viking metal impress as always)
86) Oceans of Sadness-The Arrogance of Ignorance (progressive metal with a touch
of black and death on top)
87) The Acacia Strain-Continent (brutal as always)
88) Burning the Masses-Mind Control (teenagers erupt on the technical death
89) Soul Secret-Flowing Portait (solid new prog-metal from Italy)
90) Uli Jon Roth-Under a Dark Sky (not enough guitar, but a fun symphonic
91) Equilibrium-Sagas (masterful pagan/folk/black metal)
92) Jeff Loomis-Zero Order Phase (shredderific solo release from Nevermore
93) Death Angel-Killing Season (thrash legends return)
94) Kataklysm-Prevail (Canadians once again deliver)
95) Avantasia-The Scarecrow (Tobias Sammet's all star cast once again impresses)
96) Spaced Out-Evolution (instrumental Canadian outfit once again wows)
97) Cavalera Conspiracy Inflikted (better than recent Soulfly or Sepultura)
98) Soniq Circus-Soniq Circus (wonderful blend of classic & modern progressive
99) Nathan Mahl-Exodus (so happy to see these Canadian progsters back again)
100) Queen + Paul Rodgers (I really dug this hard rocking set)
Flops of 2008
1) Jarboe/Justin K. Broadrick-J2 (horrible, horrible stuff, and virtually
2) Judas Priest-Nostradamus (liked it as first, but with repeated spins it's
just dull and ponderous-they should have kept it to a single CD)
3) Neal Morse-Lifeline (still love the voice and some of the arrangements, but
the lyrics are finally starting to alienate me)
Top Live Albums of 2008
Between the Buried and Me-Colors Live
King Crimson-The Collectable King Crimson Vol 3
Jeff Beck-Performing This Week
Live at Ronnie Scott's
Kansas-Two For the Show (remaster)
Gorgororth-True Norwegian Black Metal-Live in
The Moody Blues-Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
Bloodbath-The Wacken Carnage
David Bowie-Live Santa Monica '72
Ozric Tentacles-Sunrise Festival
Magnum-Wings of Heaven Live
Joe Lynn Turner-Live in Germany
Best Concerts of 2008
1) Opeth, Nokia Theater
2) Journey & Heart, Bethel Woods Center
3) Progressive Nation Tour (Dream Theater. Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, and
Three), Terminal 5
4) Trans Siberian Orchestra, Izod Center
5) Symphony X, Epica, and Into Eternity, Nokia Theater
6) Gigantour (Megadeth, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Job For a Cowboy, and High
On Fire), Hammerstein Ballroom
7) Amorphis, BB Kings
8) Iron Maiden, Izod Center
9) King Crimson, Nokia Theater
10) Liquid Tension Experiment, BB Kings
11) Down, The Chance Theater
12) Lynyrd Skynyrd & The Outlaws, Bethel Woods Center
13) Robin Trower, BB Kings
14) Uli Jon Roth, BB Kings
15) In Flames, Gojira, and 36Crazyfists, Terminal 5
MICHAEL POPKE's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
Top 16 CDs (in alphabetical order):
Neil Diamond: Home Before Dark
Dominici: 03-A Trilogy: Part 3
The Flyin' Ryan Brothers: Totality
Jelly Fiche: Tout ce que j'ai reve
Fish: 13th Star
King's X: XV
Neal Morse: Lifeline
No-Man: Schoolyard Ghosts
Presto Ballet: The Lost Art of Time Travel
Theocracy: Mirror of Souls
Tiles: Fly Paper
Unitopia: The Garden
Top 12 Live/Reissues (in alphabetical order):
Black Sabbath: The Rules of Hell (Box Set)
Cheap Trick: Budokan!
Dream Theater: Chaos in Motion 2007/2008
Dream Theater: Greatest Hit (
and 21 other pretty cool songs)
Genesis: 1970-1975 (Box Set)
David Gilmour: Live in Gdansk (2 CD+DVD)
Billy Joel: The Stranger (30th Anniversary Edition, 2CDs+DVD)
Kansas: Two for the Show
Sister Hazel: Before the Amplifiers-Live Acoustic
U2: Under A Blood Red Sky (CD/DVD)
Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue
Within Temptation: Black Symphony (CD/DVD)
Top 5 DVDs (in alphabetical order):
The Brandos: Town to Town, Sun to Sun
Genesis: When in Rome 2007
Neal Morse: Sola Scriptura & Beyond
Rush: Snakes & Arrows Live
Spock's Beard: Live
Box Set I Wish I Owned:
Marillion: Early Stages-The Official Bootlegs 1982-1987
DUNCAN GLENDAY's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
It was a strange year for me . I've been extremely busy, so my CD
intake and my reviewing rate have both plummeted. My only new years
resolution is to fix that in 2009! The list below is the best of
those CDs I've heard ... with the caveat that there are dozens that
I'd probably include in the list if I'd heard them.
2 Amaseffer--Exodus-Slaves for Life
3 Jupiter Society--First Contact - Last Warning
6 Cynic--Traced in the Air
8 Black Noodle Project--Eleonore
9 Thieve's Kitchen--Water Road
10 Beardfish--Sleeping In Traffic Part II
11 Brighteye Brison--Believers And Deceivers
12 Votum--Time Must Have A Stop
13 Presto Ballet--The Lost Art of Time Travel
14 Moth Vellum--Moth Vellum
15 Zero Hour--Dark Deceiver
16 Moongarden--Songs From The Lighthouse
17 Frost--Experiments in Mass Appeal
18 Suspyre--When Time Fades
19 Bigelf--Cheat the Gallows
20 Baku Llama--Eris
MURAT BATMAZ's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
Favourites for 2008
Opeth - Watershed
--Perhaps not Opeth's best, but this one is among their most diverse works ever,
and possibly Mikael's greatest vocal performance to date.
Zero Hour - Dark Deceiver
--They are simply put among the greatest technical progressive metal bands ever.
Garden Wall - Aliena(c)tion
--The most underrated Italian prog band. Quite a change from their past two
releases, but still weirdly addictive.
Warrel Dane - Praises to the War Machine
--Just what a solo album should be. There is no one out there that sounds
like Warrel Dane and this record proves the guy can also write
non-Nevermore-like tunes. Amazing production as well.
Hail of Bullets - Of Frost and War
--Best death metal debut of the year. Best death metal album of the year. No
keyboards, no junk, just straight-up old-school death metal. Bone crushingly
Meshuggah - ObZen
--Another addition to one of the most creative bands in the universe. You either
get them or you don't.
Amaseffer - Slaves for Life
--Fantastic production. And Mats Leven's finest hour vocally. Interesting
concept, great songwriting. Look forward to the sequel already.
Cynic - Traced in Air
--After 15 years, a new Cynic album. The follow-up to the revolutionary Focus
album. Different, more polished perhaps, but still mesmerizing.
RPWL - The RPWL Experiment
Neverland - Reversing Time
Ayreon - 01011001
Quidam - Alone Together
Votum - Time Must Have a Stop
KEN PIERCE's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
The Best CDs of 2008:
Slania Eluveitie (Nuclear Blast Records): Pagan/Folk Metal of resounding
proportions. I loved this one and played it quite a bit.
Obzen Meshuggah (Nuclear Blast Records) Reminding us with every groove and spine
crushing riff that they are one of the most powerful Metal bands on the planet.
Revelation Journey (Columbia Records): New singer, new album, new versions of
classic material & a DVD concert. Truly a standout release from the Rock
Good To Be Bad Whitesnake (SPV Records): Its as if no time had passed by and
this CD came out after the juggernaut self-titled album from the eighties. Great
Songs From The Sparkle Lounge Def Leppard (Universal Music): I havent liked a
Def Leppard album in years and was set on giving them up entirely until this one
came out and showed us that they still had it in them.
The Dream In This Moment (Century Media Records): I knew I was seeing something
special when I first caught them as an opener for Kittie, and this release shows
musical and compositioinal growth from their killer debut that raises the bar. A
must have album that offers much for wider scopes of fans. Trust me.
Antithesis Origin (Relapse Records): Clearly one of the most powerful Extreme
Death Metal records released this year. This is smoldering stuff that moves at
break neck speeds.
Colossus Keep Of Kalessin (Nuclear Blast Records): A band who has chosen to walk
in the path of Dimmu and see what storms they can cause themselves is a worthy
addition to the Metal collection. Kiler stuff here.
13th Star Fish (Chocolate Frog UK): A return to form for the singer who once
fronted Marillion. His strongest release in years and a must have.
The Rules Of Hell Black Sabbath (Rhino Entertainment): Collecting the four
albums that Sabbath recorded with Dio and remastering them after many years of
waiting, this was a must have release. Nicely packaged and eventually released
individually for those fans who didnt want the complete set.
Watershed Opeth (Roadrunner Records): Master of Progressive Death Metal deliver
once again after Ghost Reveries. Clearly the new label has cost the band their
style. They put out a deluxe edition that gave you some more treats if such
things enticed you more.
The Incurable Tragedy Into Eternity (Century Media Records):
Progressive Metals favorite opening act deliver a concept album about the
terrible topic of cancer. Its well thought out and based on personal loss that
the band experienced. Nice work gentlemen.
Vertabrae Enslaved (Nuclear Blast Records): Black Metal meets Progressive for a
stunning release from one of the most important bands in the darker genre.
Death Magnetic Metallica (Warner Bros): Thank the Metal powers
that be, the Thrash Titans have returned to form with a solid record.
Much better than the last three releases and once you hear it you will agree.
Holographic Universe Scar Symmetry (Nuclear Blast Records): This
won me over instantly with ripping guitars and thunderous drums.
Double vocals from Christian makes me wonder how this band will do without him.
The Perpetual Flame Yngwie Malmsteen (Rising Force Records):
Combine the guitar technique of Yngwie with the vocals of Tim Ripper
Owens and you have a winner on track after track.
Killing Season Death Angel (Nuclear Blast Records): An album that showed us how
good old school Thrash can be in todays Metal scene.
Dead Again Special Edition Type-O-Negative (SPV Records): TON was back and now
with a live DVD there was more than enough reason to repurchase this one.
Ghost Opera The Second Coming Kamelot (SPV Records): The initial release was a
2007 fave and now with bonus tracks, artwork and a live CD deserve a place in my
Live In Santa Monica 72 David Bowie (Virgin Music): A vintage concert from
Bowies most influential period in a stunning collectable box. Kick ass.
Black Ice ACDC: Back at what they do best comes an ACDC great.
Nothing over the top flashy here just pure Rock & Roll that makes them a
Hole In The Sun Night Ranger (VH1 Classic): Proving they were more than just
Hard Rock balladeers, Night Ranger gives us a rocking return.
Sagas Equilibrium (Nuclear Blast Records): Symphonic Pagan Folk Metal that is
Mother Earth Within Temptation (Roadrunner Records): A re-release of the bands
killer CD now available to a wider audience. Not a bad tune on it, and some
Motorizer Motorhead (SPV Records): Much like traditional ACDC, with Motorhead
you get what you pay for and this one is a rocking ride with Lemmy and company.
The Formation of Damnation Testament (Nuclear Blast Records): Bay Area Thrashers
back in command for a throttling new Metal regime.
Twilight Of The Thunder God Amon Amarth (Metal Blade Records): The Vikings have
returned to pillage and destroy anything in their path and their newest is a
driving force without question.
The March Unearth (Metal Blade Records): Raising the bar to be followed by
Metalcores elite, Unearth show there is a lot more in the way of dynamics to be
displayed on this one.
The Best DVDs of 2008:
Roadrunner United Various Artists (Roadrunner Records): Filmed concert with
Heavy Metals finest celebrating the record labels 25th anniversary. Lots of fun
The Roundhouse Tapes Opeth (Peaceville Records): Filmed during the Ghost
Reveries tour and a follow up to the CD released last year.
Live At The Astoria Twisted Sister (Demolition Records): The SMFs from NYC
remind London and the world about why they are a Metal super power to this very
Black Symphony Within Temptation (Roadrunner Records): A stunning live concert
performance that pairs the Dutch sensations with a full orchestra. This is an
amazing show. Audio CD included.
Live After Death Iron Maiden (Universal Music): Never before on DVD this classic
Iron Maiden show from the Powerslave tour, this release was loaded with extras
and is listed as required Metal.
Walk With Me In Hell Lamb Of God (Epic Records): This documentary took the
viewer on a three year trek with the band and was insightful, entertaining and
sometimes jarring in its honesty. Great job guys.
The Invaluable Darkness Tour Dimmu Borgir (Nuclear Blast Records):
The giants of Norwegian Black Metal have their tour captured on DVD for more to
enjoy. A great set with a ton of features.
Paris Moon Blackmores Night (SPV Records): A great concert from the Renaissance
Rockers. Bonus CD included.
Live In Texas ZZ Top (Eagle Vision): There is nothing like the Blues-Rock of ZZ
Top to make a day fun. This film captures all of their hits and offers up some
Black Mass Krakow Gorgoroth (Metal Mind Productions/MVD
Entertainment): Visual villainy at its most notorious. This film finally
surfaces and shows why Gorgoroth is one of the most feared of the Black Metal
Wacken Carnage Bloodbath (Peaceville Records): Brutal and uncompromised live set
from this Death Metal supergroup. A CD comes with it.
The Best Concerts of 2008:
Metal Masters Tour - Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell, Motorhead & Testament
(Sony/Rhino Entertainment/SPV Records/Nuclear Blast Records) at PNC Bank Arts
Center: Pairing Judas Priest and H&H together would have made this an amazing
show, and adding Motorhead and Testament to the mix just upped the ante. It was
a fanastic display of Metal power.
Paganfest USA Ensiferum, Turisas, Tyr & Eluveitie (Candlelight Records/Century
Media Records/Napalm Records/Nuclear Blast Records) at B.B. King Blues Club:
Luminaries of Viking and Folk Metal all touring under one banner made for an
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Lava Records) at Izod Center: The TSO is a yearly
tradition for me, and this year they added Savatage numbers and brought out
special guest Steven Tyler. I was on my feat more than in the seat that night.
Always impressive and something that finally needs to be on DVD.
Helloween & Gamma Ray (SPV Records) at B.B. King Blues Club: Two bands that are
closer knit than most others on the same stage. This was an exillerating Power
Fish (Chocolate Frog UK) at B.B. King Blues Club: It was great to have Fish
touring in an intimate venue and for the NYC show we had 3 as the opener. A
At The Gates at Fillmore NY (Earache Records): Reunions were popular
this year and this one presented the legends of the Gothenburg sound.
A killer show without question.
Carcass at Nokia Theater (Nuclear Blast Records): Carcass endeavors gave the ok
to new forms of Metal and their reunion tour was an amazing experience. It also
brought Suffocation and 1349 among others along and was to be talked about for
Opeth at Nokia Theater (Roadrunner Records): You cant go wrong with the power of
Opeth in concert. They are raising the Metal bar with each and every show. High
On Fire and Nachtmystium helped out as support.
Apocalyptica at Nokia Theater (Zomba Music): The four cellists of Metal
delivered the goods to a scaled down Nokia Theater where everyone had an amazing
time. I love how these guys do their thing and recommend you see them at least
once if not more.
Dethklok at Nokia Theater (Williams Street Records): The animated juggernauts in
a live concert Yes it can and was done. An amazing time and lots of fun watching
the crowd mosh to a giant movie screen band.
Ace Frehley at Nokia Theater: The Space Ace was back in the New York Groove and
not much more needs to be said on that.
Iced Earth at Nokia Theater (SPV Records): Much to the delight of Metal fans,
Matt Barlow is back in Iced Earth and all is right in their world. Into Eternity
opened up and delivered a crushing set as well.
Symphony X at Nokia Theater (SPV Records): Prog-Metal will never be the same now
that they are finally getting their due. They brought Epica and Into Eternity
along for the ride and I love both of those bands as well.
Trail Of Tears at B.B. King Blues Club (Napalm Records): The ToT had never
toured the US before and since they brought Unexpect, The Agonist and Echoes Of
Eternity along we made sure to join in. Sadly it was ill attended but those who
came loved it, and thats all that matters.
Twisted Sister at Nokia Theater (Razor and Tie): It's a Twisted Christmas
Charlie Brown!!!! Dee and the boys really made the holidays a hoot and a half
with this show that pulled out all the stops and upped their game from the
previous year's Fillmore NY gig. Guest star Lita Ford made this all the more
Kamelot and Edguy at B.B. King Blues Club (SPV Records & Nuclear Blast Records):
The yearly Kamelot show has been a welcome part of my Rock and Roll year as they
always deliver. This year they brought EdGuy along and the fun just was upped a
Sonata Arctica at Nokia Theater (Nuclear Blast Records): Sonata Arctica stepped
up their game when Nightwish had to cancel due to illness, and as result this
show was a blast of Melodic Metal that showed just how good these guys are at
what they do. New fans were made this night without question.
Other shows that needed to be mentioned and also kick ass included Candlemass,
Grave Digger and Iron Savior but sadly these shows had what I considered a
pathetic level of attendance as opposed to full rooms. Its not a reflection on
the bands because they rocked everyones socks but it seemed to be more a case of
there being other larger events happening at the same time that forced the Metal
legions to choose one or the other. Those who attended were entertained while
those who missed out without good reason very simply missed out.
Interesting Reads of 2008:
Reckless Road by Marc Canter: This book delivered early photographs of Guns N
Roses from their pre-signed days and offered set lists and commentary from the
people involved during their climb to the top. A must for Guns historical buffs.
Heavy Metal Painkillers by Martin Popoff: Popoffs book about the history of
Judas Priest is very similar to his Black Sabbath one and features a ton of
amazing photos and delivers a year by year, album by album synopsis of one of
the worlds greatest Metal bands. It even focuses on the Ripper years and
Halfords solo work all the way up until the reunion.
The Worst of It All in 2008:
C U La Tour Ministry & Meshuggah (13th Planet Records/Nuclear Blast Records) at
Fillmore NY: Yes this was Ministrys final tour but performing behind a chain
linked fence in limited light on top of giving Meshuggah a dark stage and 30
minutes to perform made this a suck fest for me. Legends or not, this show could
have ruled and instead made me stare at my watch. Lucky for those interested,
Meshuggah returns and headlines a tour next year.
Chinese Democracy Guns N Roses (Universal Music): Wow, the wait is over and
everything I heard via the streaming version made me say who cares. I couldnt
bear to spend money on it being as under whelmed as I was by this Axl Rose solo
Saints Of Los Angeles Motley Crue (10th Street Entertainment): I expected much
more from these guys especially with such incredible
releases from their 80s Metal peers coming out around the same time.
Not completely awful but really not impressive either. Luckily this year saw the
re-release of a complete remastered catalog for the Crue and that impressed me.
Nostradamus Judas Priest (Sony Music): Maybe its not fair to line it out as a
worst release, but it was too epic and hence too ponderous for many listeners. A
single disc could have made this a more focused and interesting listen. If they
tour this full album they will be playing to empty sections without question.
Fans want Priest to rock and not be something meant for the Broadway stage. It
was hard to place this here after eventually liking the CD.
J2 Jarboe & Justin Broderick (The End Records): Sound effects, and atmospheric
drech was par for the course with this unlistenable piece of music. No matter
how you sliced it, this was an arduous listen.
Ikons" & "Playlist Plus" KISS (Universal Music): It almost pains me to list a
KISS album as a flop in any sense and this is not as much their fault as it is
the fault of Universal for continuing to
re-package the same stuff that we have had them issue over and over.
Yes the label owns the KISS back catalog, and I love that they gave us remasters
a few years ago, but I am sure that unreleased stuff that is under their control
is somewhere to be released. Please give us that and no more Greatest Hits
packages. We KISS fans will buy it anyway and in today's economy you are killing
Top 100 Metal Guitarists by Joel McIver (Jawbone Press): Some might like this
one but the book left out far too much for me and my own views were in massive
disagreement with the author. You might like it, I didnt.
ELIAS GRANILLO's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
Best Of 2008
Tangerine Dream View From A Red Train
Emerson, Keith (Band) featuring Marc Bonilla Keith Emerson Band featuring Marc Bonilla
Project Moonbeam Project Moonbeam
Klotet En Rak Hoger
Time Traveller Time Traveller
Rush Snakes & Arrows Live
Saga 10,000 Days
Lindh, Par (Project) In ConcertLive In Poland
Thin Lizzy UK Tour '75
Bigelf Cheat The Gallows
R-U Kaiser Ocelos
Koepper, Jeffrey Sequentaria
Giallo! One Suite For The Murderer
Tricantropus Recuerdos Del Futuro
Healing Road, The Timanfaya
Best Of 2008: Reissues
Kansas Two For The Show
MacKay, Duncan Chimera
Planet P Project Pink World
Carey, Tony Some Tough City
Carpenter, John with Alan Howarth Prince Of DarknessComplete
Wright, Gary The Light Of Smiles
Vangelis Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary
Bigelf Closer To Doom
Hawkwind Warrior On The Edge Of Time
Blue Oyster Cult Imaginos
Mellow Candle Swaddling Songs
KERRY LEIMER's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
MUSIC: New Releases
In principle, ranking works is an artificial sort of endeavor. Too subjective,
with no suitable framework of measures and outside the professional world of
actual and informed criticism typically laboring under the illusory notion of
some fixed aesthetic which always proves to be, of necessity, highly variable
anyway. But in my mind at least, 2008 had one release that stood out above the
rest for a number of reasons.
Gavin Bryars's The Sinking of the Titanic (1969 ) importantly revisits and
reinterprets that seminal new music work first presented close to forty years
ago. Performed at the storied Teatro Malibran in Venice, Italy, Bryars, with
ensemble Alter Ego and Philip Jeck on turntables, makes the statement that there
can be a living repertory of New Music, free of the often slavish dogmas that
have determined the presentation of the Canon of Western Art Music for several
centuries; that the now old idea of "newness", driven principally by commercial
concern to sell art as product, need not be a guiding principle; that the reuse
of original material can extend far beyond the modest and commercially expedient
cult of "remix"; that new compositional techniques, such as those used to
originate The Sinking of the Titanic are both durable and reliably flexible,
demanding discipline and the recognition that any and all expression remain
open-ended. Besides, it's incredibly beautiful, by any definition.
The others, alphabetically
Ryoji Ikuta: 1000 Fragments
In the slipstream of Robert Henke, an engineering expert applying new
technologies to generating music, 1000 Fragments compiles aspects from a
multitude of installment and performance pieces created over that past decade.
oRSo: Ask your neighbor
Strangely strange but oddly normal mostly acoustic highly-polished naοve
Steve Peters: Three Rooms
An outstanding example of sound art for installation, translated successfully to
Kate Rusby: Awkward Annie
For anyone who admires Sandy Denny, and would appreciate the slowest, most
controlled vibrato ever heard, Rusby's latest release is an immaculate rendering
of traditional and contemporary English folk.
Russian Circles: Station
Set Fire to Flames: Sings Reign Rebuilder
The next-gen God Speed You, Black Emperor! Takes the shape of a wide-ranging
ensemble, uninterested in every notion of genre.
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra La La Band: 13 blues for
Another large scale ensemble incorporating the electric, electronic and acoustic
into that monumentally understated and often uncomfortable sound of Musicians
Thinking Out Loud.
Willits + Sakamoto: Ocean Fire
Sakamoto's collaborations are uniformly remarkable, remarkably diverse. His
ability to impart musicality to the most amusical preoccupations. A singular
ambient / electronic collection.
Wire: Object 47
Another stage artifact derived from ever-changing / ever-constant movement.
The past seemed ready to overtake the present in 2008 (in any number of ways),
and there were many worthwhile reissues. Still, the remastering seemed of
dubious quality for much of the category. Perhaps none were as disappointing as
the Genesis box 1970 - 1975. To my mind, the only worthwhile music the band
offered came during this period, yet the remastering does little to dissuade me
of the opinion that from 1970 - 1975 Genesis suffered some of the worst
production values of the period. But, hey, at least two worthwhile groups were
again granted UPC codes:
The entire catalog was remastered and reissued. On the margins, but for their
humor and invention, Supersister should be in every prog rock library.
Darryl Way's Wolf
Same story: less even and at times awkward (vocals and lyrics, as usual) Way
made a strong case for the violin in rock, though never quite as compelling as
High Tide or the LTA edition of King Crimson, Wolf was better and worse than
many of us might hope.
Breathless and Pierrot le fou
It's about time Criterion got busy with the Godard catalog: great films, lovely
in their restoration and disarming in their frankness.
That Haneke chose to remake his own film is almost interesting enough: but
discomfort that is both social and unsettling in form. The original is
incrementally better, being free of celebrity and all...
Margot at the Wedding
So good that despite have stars does not seem like a movie with stars.
Unflinching and dark in humor and pathos.
Julian Barnes: Nothing to be frightened of
The novelist and Francophile presents a meditation personal essay form on
living and it's guaranteed end. Some concise insights on art and the
Richard Brody: Everything is Cinema, The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard
Encyclopedic film-by-film appraisal of the genius of the French New Wave.
Robert Scheer: The Pornography of Power
First, very happy to see the word "pornography" applied to the Pentagon. A
short, thorough and damning report on the self-serving nexus of politics,
weaponry and the mass-death business better known by the sobriquet of "defense".
Jacob Weisberg: The Bush Tragedy
BUTCH JONES's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
CD's of the Year
1. Meshuggah-"Obzen": It's MESHUGGAH, enough said. The
beginning to "Bleed" is completely sick!!
2. Leatherwolf- "World Asylum": A tremendous return from the 3
guitar threat of the '80's. Super heavy & totally fierce.
3. Byzantine- "Oblivion Beckons": Another band that just NEVER
disappoints. They just keep picking up from where they left off.
4. Opeth-"Watershed": Breathtaking!
4. Mudvayne-"The New Game": Another band picking up where they
left off. Great record
6. Testament "The Formation of Damnation": Fantastic ANGRY
comeback record. Chuck Billy at his meanest in years!
7. Richie Kotzen-"Live in Sao Paulo": What a KILLER. Kotzen is
one of Rock's greatest talents that no one really even knows. What a VOICE &
he's no slouch on guitar, either.
8. Dub Trio- "Another Sound Is Dying": An incredible band that
is truly one of a kind. Amazing stuff.
9. Mercenary- Architect Of Lies": These guys never disappoint!
10. Iced Earth-"The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked Part
2)": Welcome back Matt Barlow and full steam ahead for the machine that is Iced
Earth. Great new installment to this continuing story.
RYAN SPARKS's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
NoMan -- Schoolyard Ghosts
ALEX TORRES's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
The Pineapple Thief -- Tightly Unwound
Greg Sherman -- The Road Home
Deadsea -- Deadsea
Kings X -- XV
Journey -- Revelation
Metallica -- Death Magnetic
Opeth -- Watershed
Whitesnake -- Good To Be Bad
Airbourne -- Runnin' Wild
Motorhead -- Motorizer
Neal Morse -- Lifeline
Agalloch -- The White EP
Peter Primamore -- Grancia
Time Traveller -- Chapters I & II
Ascend -- Ample Fire Within
Simone Weissenfels / Adam Smith -- Arrival
Bosch's With You -- Dreams That Come A Thing
Orthodox -- Amanecer en Puerta Oscura
Actual Music Quartet RSM -- Actual Music Quartet RSM
Arghoslent -- Hornets of The Pogrom
Ahkmed -- Chicxulub
Riversea -- The Demo EP
Shade Empire -- Zero Nexus
Stebmo -- Stebmo
My Top 25 Albums of the Year
The ones I adore
The Pineapple Thief - Tightly Unwound
Mostly Autumn - Glass Shadows
Believe - Yesterday is a Friend
The Reasoning - Dark Angel
Klaus Schulze & Lisa Gerrard - Farscape
No-Man - Schoolyard Ghosts
I Am Kloot - Play Moulah Rouge (singer-songwriter with backing band,
faint hints of a young John Lennon)
Natty - Natty (Anglified reggae infused with light folk influences)
And the ones I have a few reservations about
Frost - Experiments in Mass Appeal (fairly recent release and I'm not
sure how it will hold up with time, but is very promising)
Nosound - Lightdark
Simon Collins - U-Catastrophe
Siena Root - Far From the Sun
Gary Moore - Bad for you baby
Opeth - Watershed
Blandbladen - I Grevens Tid
Nayo - African Girl (sweet sexy soulful)
Eternal Wanderers - The Door to a Parallel World
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
Very enjoyable and worthy of a mention
Van der Graaf Generator - Trisector (not quite the same without David
Guillemots - Red (pop crossover with world music written by a progressive
Billy Sherwood - At the Speed of Life
The Kooks - Konk (21st century Kinks)
Panic Room - Visionary Position
Combination Head - Progress?
Il Baccio Della Medusa - Discesa agl' inferno...
EPs Worthy of a Mention
Mytho - Mytho
After My Own - Psychotropic Annotations of the Lights Unreceived (which
also receives my award for the whackiest title!)
DVD of the Year
Neal Morse - Sola Scriptura and Beyond
Biggest disappointment of the Year
Neal Morse - Lifeline
JON NEUDORF's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
Best CD's of 2008 in no particular order:
Magenta Metamorphosis (excellent female vocals and outstanding progressive
Coldplay Viva La Vida (well executed progressive flavored pop, there strongest
album to date)
3rdegree Narrow-Caster (excellent melodic rock/pop with a strong progressive
Seven Steps to the Green Door Step in 2 My World (great melodies and a variety
of styles made this release one of my favorites)
Ayreon 01011001 (probably my favorite this year, another superb rock opera
from the master himself)
Don Airey A Light in the Sky (the Deep Purple keyboardist's solo album is a
real treat for the ears, fans of Deep Purple cannot go wrong with this one)
Cast Originallis (classic sounding symphonic rock in the tradition of the
Evolve IV Decadent Light (for me, an exciting new find of 2008)
Jelly Fiche Tout ce que j'ai reve (fantastic French progressive rock with a
nod to Pink Floyd)
D Project, The The Sagarmatha Dilemma (a classy slice of 70's style Pink Floyd
Nosound Lightdark (moody, atmospheric music at its finest)
Serenity Fallen Sanctuary (symphonic and progressive metal fans should love
Talisma Quelque Part (another highly enjoyable French Canadian band making
high quality instrumental music)
Simon Says Tartigrade (if you are interested in 70's influenced classic
symphonic rock this is the cd for you)
Asia Phoenix (one of their best in years, a definite return to form)
Avantasia The Scarecrow (an excellent offering from Tobias Sammet and should
appeal to fans of hard rock, metal and prog)
Neal Morse Lifeline (probably his most personal album to date and one which I
enjoyed very much)
Best concerts of 2008 in no particular order:
Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Credit Union Center, Saskatoon (a prog metal
Australian Pink Floyd Show at T.C.U. Place in Saskatoon (they did not miss a
note, an excellent show)
Progressive Nation Tour at MacEwan Hall, Calgary (Dream Theater, Beneath the
Buried and Me and Opeth did not disappoint, unfortunately I missed the band
SCOTT JESSUP's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
1.Scar Symmetry - Holographic Universe - Stellar performances from all those
2.Into Eternity - The Incurable Tragedy - Frantic ride on this fantastic concept
3.Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls - This album was a great surprise.
4.Thy Majestie - Dawn - This band haven't disappointed me yet.
5.Opeth - Watershed - Can't fault this one, another fine cd.
6.Testament - The Formation Of Damnation - My favorite 80s Thrashers with
another fine album.
7.Iced Earth - The Crucible of Man - Something Wicked Part 2 - Great album from
one of the best.
8.Cavalera Conspiracy - Inflikted - Another surprise my favorite release
involving Max since he left Sepultura.
9.Almah - Fragile Equality - Is this the new Angra? Maybe not, but what an
10.Zero Hour - Dark Deceiver - It' heavy, it's complex and it's fantastic.
Some Of My Other 2008 Favorites
Theocracy - Mirror Of Souls
Harmony - Chapter 11 - Aftermath
Stormwarrior - Heading Northe
Powerquest - Master Of Illusion
Pyramaze - Immortal
Avantasia - The Scarecrow - Good album, better than Edguy's latest.
Psycroptic - Ob(Sevant)
Opeth - Watershed
Messhuguh - OBZEN
To Mera - Delusions
Firewind - The Premonition - I just skip the Maniac cover now.
Viron - Ferumm Gravis
Soulfly - Conquer
Brainstorm - Downburst
Warrell Dane - Praise To The War Machine
Jeff Lomis - Zero Order Phase
Alestorm - Captain Morgan's Revenge
Ayreon - 0101101
Live DVD/CD releases From:
Gamma Ray, Within Temptation, Dream Theater, Therion, Firewind and Dream
Biggest Let Downs
Metallica - Death Magnetic - Besides the sound issues, it pales in comparison to
the other heavy albums this year like those from Testament and Calvalera
Judas Priest - Nostradamus - Too long for it's on good.
Revolution Renaissance - New Era - Wish it was.
Children Of Bodom - Blooddrunk - Been going downhill for me since Follow The
Musical highlight of 2008
Finally seeing Dream Theater live, it was a great show and of course joining
the Sea Of Tranquility team.
Most looking forward to
New albums from Dark Moor, Pagan's Mind, Mystic Prophecy, Dream Theater and
Redemption DVD amongst many other rumored releases. If they all come out 2009 is
SCOTT WARD's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
These are the albums that for whatever reason kept creeping back into the CD
player. They are in no particular order:
Souljourners Mind Control (One of the best debut albums ever)
Chaos Theory The Art of War (Johnny is the best screamer there is)
Lava Engine Lava Engine (Great progressive metal debut from Sweden)
Mind Warp Chamber Delusional Reality(Majestic Metal Masterpiece)
Keep of Kalessin Kolosuss (Black Metal at it's best)
Uriah Heep Wake The Sleeper (It is about time they do another album!)
Jon Oliva's Pain Global Warning (Must have album period)
Crematory Pray (Death metal with soul Cool stuff)
Winters Dawn The Winter is Dawning (A gem of symphonic power metal)
In This Moment The Dream (Maria Brink Enough said)
Ulysses The Gift of Tears (Just fantastic music and story)
Testament The Formation of Damnation (Comeback of the year?)
Motley Crue Saints of Los Angeles (Nikki does The Heroin Diaries for the band)
Meshuggah obZen (Butch gave it 112 stars out of 5 Not enough!)
Kivimetsan Druidi Shadowheart (Can't understand a word but who cares)
Rod DeGeorge Cosmic Playground (Great instrumental guitar)
Deadsea Deadsea ( Just kick ass metal)
Disturbed Indestructible (Their best)
Alice Cooper Along Came A Spider (Who else could put a slasher movie to music)
Avantasia The Scarecrow (Tobias with Alice Cooper guest starring)
Firewind The Premonition (WOW! This is power metal to the max)
Another Black Day Another Black Day ( Powerhouse metal, dynamite vocals)
Judas Priest Nostradamus (It grows on you)
Strange Karma Volume I (Just plain old fashion rock and roll)
Marco Sfogli There's Hope (Monster guitar shredder Amazing!)
Opeth Watershed (You Have To Love This Album)
Cynic Traced in Air (What a great album 15 years in the making)
Communic Payment of Existence (Outstanding Metal)
Esoteric The Maniacal Veil (Moody, dark and captivating)
Eyefear The Unseen (Aussie metal at it's best)
(un)SAID The Initial Transition ( This is a surprise winner)
Amaseffer Slave For Life (Very different and compelling)
Pop Evil Lipstick on the Mirror ( Rock & Roll's newest stars)
Amon Amarth Twilight of the Thunder Gods (They finally put it all together
Great Viking metal album Epic and bombastic Almost perfect!)
Wykked Wytch Memmories of a Dying Whore (Melodic Death Metal)
Eluveitie Slania (Swedish Folk Metal-Tour Edition has bonus live material)
Poisonblack A Dead Heavy Day (Finnish heavy metal Their best to date)
The Sundial Transition (Russian gothic metal)
Brave Monuments (Great female fronted metal from Washington D C )
Lanfear X to the Power of Ten (German melodic power metal)
Live and Reissue Best of 2008
Kansas Two For The Show (30th Anniversary Edition)
Dream Theater Chaos In Motion (Live)
David Gilmour Live In Gdansk
The Clash Live At Shea Stadium
Jeff Healey Mess of Blues
David Bowie Live in Santa Monica '72
Rush Snakes & Arrows Live
Firewind The Premonition Live
Warren Zevon Warren Zevon (Collector's Edition)
Meshuggah Destroy Erase Improve Reloaded
Dennis Wilson Pacific Ocean Blue & Bambu
The Moody Blues Live at the Isle of Wight
Spock's Beard Live
Dream Evil Gold Medal in Metal
Gamma Ray Hell Yeah!
Black Sabbath The Rules of Hell
Therion Live Gothic
Marillion Early Stages
Jeff Beck Performing This Week
Live at Ronnie Scott's
The Doors Live at the Matrix 1967
Jon Oliva's Pain, Circle II Circle, Manticora, Halloween, Justdefy at the
I-Rock, Detroit MI
Five Finger Death Punch, In This Moment, Bury Your Dead, Another Black Day at
the Emerald Theater, Detroit MI
Halloween, Chaos Theory, 2 Days Out, In His Image, Mindcryme at the Ritz,
CHRISTIAN BERNIER's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
Best of 2008 list in no particular order
Neal Morse -- Lifeline
Karmakanic -- Who -- s the Boss in the Factory
Opeth -- Watershed
Ephart -- No One -- s Words
Meshuggah -- ObZen
Brighteye Brison -- Believers and Deceivers
The Mars Volta -- The Bedlame in Goliath
My Morning Jacket -- Evil Urges
Steve Stevens -- Memory Crash
Edensong -- The Fruit Fallen
Neal Morse -- Sola Scriptura DVD
Muse -- HAARP DVD
DENIS BRUNELLE's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
CD's of the Year
In no particular order :
Dark Suns - Grave Human Genuine
Black Altar - Death Fanaticism
Mφrker - Hφstmakter
Nachtmystium - Assassins: Black Meddle Pt.1
Empty - The Last Breath of Thy Mortal Despair
Fimbultyr - Gryende Tidevarv
Tiamat - Amanethes
Nucleus Torn - Knell
Celestia - Frigidiis ApotheosiA: AbstineciA GenesiiS
Heorot - Ragnarφk
Folkearth - Songs of Yore
Lantlτs - Lantlτs
Moonsorrow - Tulimyrsky
Infestus - Chroniken Des Ablebens
Ars Diavoli - Pro Nihilo Esse
Striborg - Autumnal Melancholy
Darkestrah - The Great Silk Road
Might is Right - Nordic Warchants II
Kerbenok - O
Hellveto - Neoheresy
Cold Northern Vengeance -Domination and Servitude
SCOTT BORRE's TOP PICKS FOR 2008
1. Voyager - Univers : It was a 2008 release for the US so I'm counting it.
This album affects me in a wonderful way. I only recently got it, but it has
become a favorite of mine. Daniel Estrin has an incredible voice. He can channel
the gothic tones of Peter Steele, the emotions of Duda, Englund, and Kakko, as
well as a pure rock/metal voice. The album is progressive, though mostly absent
of solos. Each song is distinct and strong. There are no weak songs on this
2. Captain Cutthroat - s/t : One of the few quirky albums I've enjoyed this
year. I'm not sure why it ranks so high, I guess it just fits me well. I think
its highly overlooked, but hopefully their next album gets the press and
distribution they deserve.
3. Biomechanial - Cannibalised : I still can't figure this album out. Its
pure madness. Its hard to listen to at times, yet I've listened to it more than
any other album this year.
4. Sabaton - Art of War : I tire of the quotations, but otherwise its great
metal. I've listened to this secondmost this year. Its wonderful.
5. Pharaoh - Be Gone : I don't know what true metal means anymore. I don't
like to call this true metal, because while it probably is, it doesn't sound old
like everything else people put that label on. This has some of the best rhythm
and melody of any album I've heard this year.
6. Hammers of Misfortune - Fields/Church : I still haven't fully absorbed
this album. At times I love it, at times my mind wanders a bit too much. I think
I need another 6 months to really appreciate it. Scalzi brought an energy level
that is absent without him. But musically, compositionally, this album has so
many strong moments of pure bliss.
7. Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward : The eponymous song is one of my
favorites this year.
8. Sculptured - Embodiment : An early favorite for me. I don't have much to
say about it.
9. Protest the Hero - Fortress : Its full of energy. I turn to it when I need
a kick in the ass.
10. Zimmer's Hole - When You Were Shouting at the Devil... We Were in League
with Satan : I'm a Devin fan. He produced this. It feels like he was a member of
the band. Fun album. I haven't listened to it too much yet. I've heard that it
loses its greatness after a while. I'll see.
11. Jeff Loomis - Zero Order Phase : I can understand claims from people that
this feels like it should just be a Nevermore album. However, that's not true
from song to song. Cashmere Shiv is one of, if not the,
SUMMARIZED LIST OF THE TOP 50 CDS, FROM ALL OF THE SoT STAFF
In Approximate Order Of Preference
1. Opeth - Watershed
2. Meshuggah - ObZen
3. Zero Hour - Dark Deceiver
4. Testament - The Formation of Damnation
5. Cynic - Traced in Air
6. Ayreon - 01001101
7. Bigelf - Cheat the Gallows
8. Amaseffer - Slave For Life
9. Presto Ballet - The Lost Art of Time Travel
10. Iced Earth - The Crucible Of Man
11. Avantasia - The Scarecrow
12. Scar Symmetry - Holographic Universe
13. Eluveitie - Slania
14. Firewind - The Premonition
15. Into Eternity - The Incurable Tragedy
16. Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls
17. No - Man - Schoolyard Ghosts
18. Jelly Fiche - Tout ce que j'ai reve
19. Neal Morse - Lifeline
20. Brighteye Brison -- Believers And Deceivers
21. Nosound - Lightdark
22. Warrell Dane - Praise To The War Machine
23. Frost* - Experiments in Mass Appeal
24. Souljourners - Mind Control
25. Theocracy - Mirror Of Souls
26. Ihsahn - angL
27. Suspyre - When Time Fades
28. Mercenary - Architect of Lies
29. Uriah Heep - Wake the Sleeper
30. Psycroptic - Ob (Servant)
31. Keep of Kalessin - Kolossus
32. Byzantine - Oblivion Beckons
33. Dominici - 03 - A Trilogy - Part 3
34. Brainstorm - Downburst
35. Simon Says - Tartigrade
36. Magenta - Metamorphosis
37. Dark Suns - Grave Human Genuine
38. Elephant9 - Dodovoodoo
39. Fromuz - Overlook
40. Gavin Bryars's The Sinking of the Titanic
41. The Pineapple Thief - Tightly Unwound
42. Journey -- Revelations
43. Arc -- Fracture
44. Leatherwolf -- World Asylum
45. The Reasoning -- Dark Angel
46. Dawn -- Loneliness
47. Garden Wall -- Aliena(c)tion
48. Jupiter Society -- First Contact - Last Warning
49. Tangerine Dream -- View From A Red Train
50. Karcius -- Episodes