|Autobiography In 21 Albums|
What better way to tell one's life story than with a list of life-changing albums?
Shout at the Devil
This was the first album I bought with my own money at the age of 8. Thanks to the older kids in the neighborhood, I got an early start in the world of heavy metal. Though this album is difficult to go back to, the openning riff of "Looks that Kill" will forever remind me of the day I realized the electric guitar is the coolest instrument in the world.
Among the Living
This was around age 12 - the first album I heard that went beyond the "hard rock" category. I loved Anthrax's punk attitude towards thrash metal. They were an amazing band, and no other album catches their strengths like this one. I AM THE LAW!
Master of Puppets
I remember road trips with the parents at 12-13 years-old listening to Master of Puppets on my walkman in the backseat. I must have listened to "Orion" about 25 times straight on one occasion. This band would eventually fall from grace and be one of my most hated, but it doesn't get any closer to heavy metal perfection than Master of Puppets.
Around Junior High I started diving into the more extreme metal, starting with this band. The guitarist (Mike Scaccia) remains one of the most influential musicians in my own music. This album changed the way I looked at metal, and probably music entirely. Of all the albums on this list, this one probably had the most profound impact, particularly the guitar playing on "The Haunted," and "Six Feet Under."
Scream Bloody Gore
My first death metal album was fittingly the first Death album. I wear this fact like a badge of honor: I was there at the ground floor. This album changed metal for everyone, and created a genre (at least in Florida) that continues to thrive today. The openning of the title track was one of the heaviest things I had heard up to this point.
|6|| ||Various Artists|
This was a Earache Records compilation with the first tastes of Carcass, Morbid Angel, Entombed, Napalm Death, etc. This album became the bible and the default shopping list when we would go to the record store.
The first non-metal entry was my first significant entry into the punk genre - about 8th/9th grade. The harmonies on this album, combined with the sheer punk speed, made me realize there may be more to life than metal. I followed this band for quite awhile, but I can't believe they're still making albums - they sound pretty tired now.
About 9th grade now - Primus was the first band I can remember noticing the drummer in. Prior to this, I only paid attention to the guitar, the drumming on this album is absolutely amazing, and it's still a classic today
I hated this album the first time I heard it. I sounded off key and confusing to me. Luckily one of my best friends loved this band and convinced me to give them a second chance. This is one of the most important albums for me because it openned my mind to new possibilities in music.
The first album with no guitar in it. Skinny Puppy is an amazing band, they are industrial, but they are so over-the-top progressive that each listen is a rewarding experience. I saw them live this summer, and they still rock.
Going into 10th grade - I had been listening to Faith No More for quite a while, and I heard the singer had "another band." Mr. Bungle is a genre-shifting musical master piece that served to open my mind even further than before. This is also the album where I realized Mike Patton was a god.
I realize this is a cliche to put this album on this list, but I cannot deny the impact this album had on everyone in my grade. I was in 10th grade when Nevermind hit, and Kurt killed himself during my senior year. In a way, my high school years and Nirvana will be forever linked.
Necroticism:Descanting The Insalubrious
Carcass was the next step in extreme death metal for me, and this album blew me away. The openning drums of "Corporeal Jigsore Quandry" are immediately kick-ass and the guitar work in this album is nothing short of amazing.
Altars of Madness
To be truthful, this album really scared me. Years after worrying about what my parents knew about what I listened to, this sounded like something I shouldn't be listening to, so of course I couldn't stop listening to it.
Seasons in the Abyss
I had been into Slayer before this, but "War Ensemble" on Headbanger's Ball was a pivotal moment for me - I suddenly understood why everyone yelled "Slayer!" at shows I went to.
Saying you're into Tool earns you instant cool points because Tool is so insanely respected in Alt Rock circles and metal circles alike. This album has some amazing vocals on it and the lyrics actually have meaning to them...this was new for me.
|17||Nine Inch Nails|
The Downward Spiral
I missed the boat on "Pretty Hate Machine," they were "too poppy" for me back then, but I remember when this album came out - that all changed. "Closer" was an unbelievable radio hit given its chorus - but somehow Trent made it work and became incredibly successful with it.
|18||The Butthole Surfers|
Hairway to Steven
When I was in college, I had been playing in live bands for several years, but I had just purchased my own 4 track recorder. With guitar, bass, drum machine, and $50 microphone, I becamse my own band and recorded hours apon hours of music that tried very hard to be as cool as The Butthole Surfers. This album in particular has the perfect blend of good songwriting and annoying irreverant noodling, an instant classic.
I Care Because You Do
A buddy of mine introduced me to Aphex Twin in college - I had never heard music even close to this before. I had always thought electronic = techno, Aphex Twin shows that this is not the case with a ahead-of-its-time "electronic listening music" album.
Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
Shortly after college I caught the Black Metal bus (very late in the game I realize now). This album stands out as the harmonies and guitar work are very "emotional" for lack of a better word. The blastbeat part in "Master of Disharmony" is one of those harmonies that just "gets me" everytime.
Again, late in the game - Opeth has been the most significant band for me most recently. While going through their catalog, I return to this one the most often, again - because of the guitar work (which is a running theme). Absolutely a master work.