In 2008 I have been listening mainly to folk (influenced) metal. From the genre, the artists that I scrobbled most include Equilibrium, Amon Amarth, Lumsk and Heidevolk. More recently I have "discovered" the doom metal genre, mainly dominated by artists such as Ahab, Funeral, Evoken and Isole. Like always there has been a fair amount of power and progressive metal that has been playing in between the happy folk tunes and gloomy doom musings.
Top played artists
Top played albums
Top played tracks
As you might already have noticed from the charts in the above section, I didn't play much from 2008 compared to earlier stuff. It wasn't such a good year, even though there were releases from some major bands such as Amon Amarth, Equilibrium and Eluveitie. And even though Heidevolk's Walhalla Wacht is my most played of the albums that did make the top 15 of most played albums, I have not been playing it on a regular enough basis to crown it as 2008's best. Still, the same is true for the other albums from this year and that doesn't influence my choice for 2008's best album. I want to mention two releases though, and I shall begin with the runner-up for my 2008's best release.
Runner up for 2008's best metal release
It was an album that nobody expected, from a band nobody had heard of (and still many people are in the dark about it) from a place that is not known for its metal scene at all. I present to you Orphaned Land little brother: Amaseffer, who released the debut album Slaves for Life.
Amaseffer - Slaves for Life
Like Orphaned Land, Amaseffer concentrates on Jewish mythology. Slaves for Life is a concept album telling the tale of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt - in the style of progressive metal with added atmospheric and symphonic elements reminiscent resulting in a progressive metal film score sound. The album features songs with diverse emotions, but all passionately delivered by it's musicians and a very impressive vocalist. If you have never heard about this album, this is your cue to check it out now.
2008's best metal release
It doesn't show up in the album charts, but it does in the track charts - thank you very fucking much for your consistency, last.fm.
Equilibrium - Sagas
Since the first time I've heard Equilibrium I have been playing their music over and over again - and with such a big stretch between their debut album and Sagas, Turis Fratyr has been slowly creeping to the top of my most played albums of all time - where it now occupies the number one spot. But then came Sagas, which is basically the same concept as Turis Fratyr but also so much more. Sagas is a masterpiece because it is layered with folk instruments, atmosphere ánd symphonic elements, without drowing its relentlessly raw metal sound. Each song is an up-tempo bashing festival of sound, and the album is topped with an epic fourteen minute instrumental song with so many movements it sounds like an album of its own.