The late aughts are kind of a weird time in extreme music, even as someone who was first introduced to the genre back then. By 2008, the metal scene was solidly divorced from its nascent ’80s and ’90s days and the New Wave of American Heavy Metal had all but come to an end. The health of the scene is undoubtedly more than fine now, but it’s interesting to look back and see what was well-received (and what wasn’t!) that year.
Instead of breaking out your copy of Amon Amarth’s Twilight of the Thunder God, try these records you may not have realized hit a milestone this year.
Blacklisted – Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God
Philly crew Blacklisted were part of the shape of hardcore to come when they released their sophomore album, Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God. Melodic hardcore wasn’t a new thing—Modern Life is War had already perfected the genre with 2005’s Witness—but Blacklisted’s approach caught on and had a clear influence on the Deathwish Inc. sound.
Disfear – Live the Storm
The Swedish crust stalwarts’ last full-length to date (they released a split with Doomriders the same year) is a fast and claustrophobic effort produced by Kurt Ballou. The presence of Entombed guitarist Uffe Cederlund adds a little death ‘n’ roll action and makes it a supergroup of sorts.
Children of Bodom – Blooddrunk
At the time, Blooddrunk was seen as a lower point in Children of Bodom’s career. There are certainly songs that don’t work on the album, but with time and the loss of Alexi Laiho, a revisit may be in order. Blooddrunk is thrashy and heavy on the extreme end, a change they would end up walking back before they called it a day, giving it a unique feel in the Bodom discography.
Toxic Holocaust – An Overdose of Death
Toxic Holocaust introduced countless metalheads to their consistently-consistent brand of blackened thrash metal with “Nuke the Cross,” the lead single on An Overdose of Death. The Joel Grind outfit never sounded so confident in their groove/speed/thrash/black mixture, delivering anti-religion lines and describing the horrors of war over mosh riffs.
Various Artists – This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 1
Just look at the fucking tracklist for this behemoth. Weekend Nachos, Kill the Client, Maruta, Insect Warfare, Total Fucking Destruction, Chainsaw to the Face, Magrudergrind and Brutal Truth all make appearances on This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 1, in addition to six other bands. This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 1 was released on Relapse and is a great reminder of some of the antifascist grind and powerviolence bands that came before.