Link to my larger post.
My Top 10 that year was as follows:
10. Nocturnal Fear: Code of Violence
9. Holy Moses: Agony of Death
8. Septicflesh: Communion
7. The Gates of Slumber: Conqueror
6. Hail of Bullets: ...Of Frost and War
5. Lair of the Minotaur: War Metal Battle Master
4. Toxic Holocaust: An Overdose of Death
3. Mictlantecuhtli: Warriors of the Black Sun
2. Eluveitie: Slania
1. Grand Magus: Iron Will
So, let's talk about some different albums then.
CYNIC: TRACED IN AIR
Cynic came back after 12 years on hiatus. The band would have been an excellent example of a band for my One and Done series had they not decided to reunite, but they did and this album was released to a ton of hype in 2008. It was worth the wait. While abandoning their death and thrash metal roots, Cynic still managed to put out a great album with this effort. The music is actually surprisingly mellow, so much so that my fiancee really liked this release.
The great Emperor frontman released his second solo album in 2008 and built upon the ideas from the first solo release. What resulted was a fine progressive metal album with some black metal influences. He is a fantastic multi-instrumentalist and a gifted songwriter. Of course we already knew all this from his days with Emperor. This album simply emphasizes his gifts.
METALLICA: DEATH MAGNETIC
Possibly the comeback album of the year, with only Cynic as any real competition. This is unarguably the venerable band's best release since The Black Album. I actually kind of prefer it to that one. Songs like "All Nightmare Long" definitely call to mind some of the material from that classic mainstream metal album. Metallica still has a distressing tendency to write overly long songs, but the songs are still enjoyable.
NACHTMYSTIUM: ASSASSINS: BLACK MEDDLE PT. 1
Nachtmystium is one of the more well-known black metal bands from the United States, but this album goes in much more of an experimental and almost psychedelic direction. The title is a reference to Pink Floyd and that band's musical influence can be clearly heard on this release. The band is at its best when they combine their rawer black metal influences with the Pink Floyd-isms.
PHARAOH: BE GONE
A vastly underrated American power metal band, Pharaoh is much more similar to groups like Twisted Tower Dire than to Blind Guardian. It is American power metal, not overly melodic frilly European power metal. Metal that actually has power. Pharaoh crafted a fine album with this release. It's melodic, but not overly so, catchy and it has balls. I am looking forward to the next one.
Since I did a full write-up earlier for this year and subsequent years, I will not do the Honorable Mentions or Bands that Formed. Most newly formed bands from these years have not made much of an impact at this time anyway, with some exceptions.