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It is time to rock on

Kartikeya Ramanathan takes stock of the rock albums that graced the scene in 2008. Some may just go on this year too



Crescendo! (From left) James Hetfield of Metallica, AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson and members of Nickelback. (Bottom) lead vocalist of Judas Priest, Rob Halford

The year 2008 was an especially fruitful year for rock fans across the globe as no less than 10 noted rock bands released their albums. The melodic death metal band, In Flames was the first to get off the mark with their ninth studio album, “ A Sense of Purpose.”

There is still a lot of controversy over the genre of “A Sense of Purpose” with critics feeling that the album has a combination of melodic death metal, alternative metal, metalcore and even classic metal. However, according to Bjorn Gelotte, on guitars and backing vocals, this album is “pretty much in the same vein as the others… it’s just a matter of small experiments in different songs.”

September to November was especially entertaining for rock enthusiasts worldwide with six bands releasing their albums, starting with Metallica with their eagerly awaited “Death Magnetic.”

Metallica released their ninth album, “Death Magnetic” , which somewhat makes up for the debacle that was their previous album, “St. Anger”, with critically acclaimed songs like “The Day that Never Comes” and “Unforgiven III.” The actual date of release was meant to be September 12, but a store in France began selling the album 10 days ahead of the scheduled date, which prompted the band’s UK distributor to release the album two days ahead of schedule. However, far from being upset, drummer Lars Ulrich was ecstatic over the incident, calling it “from 2008 standards, a victory”.

The topper


AC/DC released their 16th album , “Black Ice”, their first album since 2000, on October 17.This was also the Australian band’s longest album ever. The origin of the name, according to guitarist Angus Young, comes from his memories of playing gigs in his native country of Scotland. “Black Ice” has created history by being on the top of the charts in 29 countries and is, according to vocalist Brian Johnson, their best ever album since “Back in Black”

The Norwegian band Satyricon released their seventh album in November , and though not as famous as some of the other bands , there is a special place in my heart for this band, since it recently played in India. The black metal band played some songs from their new album, “The Age of Nero”, including “Black Crow on a Tombstone” here.

Nickelback released their sixth album, “The Dark Horse” also in November . The Canadian band seems to have picked up from where they stopped in their last album, “All the Right Reasons”, with “The Dark Horse” reaching the number one slot in the US billboard Top Rock Albums.

The year 2008 was also special for rock fans in India with some of the best bands in the world performing on Indian soil.Megadeth and Machine Head, performed in Bangalore, Iron Maiden and Ensiferum, performed in Mumbai and Jethro Tull and Satyricon, performed in Delhi. Their concerts saw fans from all over the country queue up to get a glimpse of their favourite artists. In fact, the members of Megadeth, after their performance in Bangalore, were so smitten by the response that they promised to be back soon.

Looking forward, 2009 too promises to be a great year for rock, especially in India, with Swedish heavy metal band Opeth and British metal powerhouse Iron Maiden scheduled to perform here , that too in the next two months Lets keep our fingers crossed, who knows, maybe Metallica may come to India next.

  • Rock Albums out in 2008 In Flames: A Sense of Purpose Disturbed: Indestructible Judas Priest: Nostrodamus Walls of Jericho: The American

    Dream

  • Metallica: Death Magnetic The Rasmus: Black Roses Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force:

    Perpetual Flame

  • AC/DC: Black Ice Satyricon: The Age of Nero Nickelback: The Dark Horse

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