|My all-time favourite (metal) albums|
I had the luck to hear out The end complete and Butchered at birth in the early 90s from a neighbor that had them on casette and I got hooked to metal from a very early age. Onwards in the late 90s I got into Paradise Lost's, Sepultura's, and Burzum's early albums as well as the output Napalm Death was putting forward at the time but as well stuf I meanwhile stirred away from like Nirvana and RATM. Later on, in the 00s, I stayed within the same variety of genres but as access to music became way easier I could get into much more bands, digging under every rock for new gems (which is what I still do and the reason why I'm here). The 10s brought with them an expansion in my genre variety with Doom (mainly funeral but also a bit of drone and traditional), stoner and sludge (that are also quite doomy as well:)).
Embrace the Death
This has some of the greatest Asphyx riffs but what really sets it apart for me is the cavernous atmosphere brought by an unmatched production. I had the chance to see Asphyx live, not sure they played anything from this one though unfortunately.
It took me surprisingly long to get into this. It was praised by so many but I just could not get into it. It became one of my favourites right after it clicked. And onwards I had the chance to experience the whole album live, a night to remember for sure. Too bad what happened happened.
I know this is not a fan favourite. Back in the 90s I had this purchased as my first Burzum casette expecting a full blown Black Metal album. I tried a bit to get into it but ended up giving it away for free to a high school colleague. Things changed with time regarding my perception of this, I am definitely going through a journey every time I hear it and against all odds I prefer this to the excellent pre-jail outputs.
Talking about non fan favourites this is the unlikely all time all bands favourite album for me. I find this from a totally different era, so genuine, so memorable, whilst the vocals are probably my favourite from Varg.
Catchy, catchy, catchy. The creativity peak for cc, vocals are over the top but work so well, the hooks are absolutely killer and the bass is fat, warm and ridiculously headbanging indussive.
A Blaze in the Northern Sky
The quality of this album is still making all the copy cats wonder how to grasp it. Just stellar atmosphere and excellent set pieces under an attack of excellent riffs and jaw-dropping vocals.
Under a Funeral Moon
In recent months this grew so much on me that it moved from 3rd to top favourite Darkthrone album. The hooks on this are fantastic, the production quality (in terms of being organic, I hate the polished style trending these days) is superb, magnificent output.
In my perspective this is more trance inducing than the stoner greats. Also this is one more proof that oftentimes more is less, everything is layed out simply but very very effective. Masterpiece.
This is really mindbugging. Despite being from an era where most genres started with 'proto' (if we consider when most of the ideas behind it were put together) it is extremely creative, catchy and experimental. And yes, I admit, I absolutely love the 'female' vocals Fenriz' delivers in style.
Dark Thrones and Black Flags
Despite being a big fan of the Great 3 I am not at all ditching or ignoring the rest of the discography which I also appreciate a lot. From it I find this the most inspired, catchy and well crafted one.
Among the Ranks of the Unconquerable
Not sure why this is so underrated, some of the best vocal and drum work in black metal is showcased here and I have nothing bad to say about the guitar work, on the contrary.
Put together in 93-94, only released in 98 because no one wanted to take a shot with this absolutely insane work of art. In my view it remains the weirdest good album to date despite all the efforts followers have put in meanwhile. Bass particularly shines through while I cannot get enough of the vocals either.
I am usually not so happy to hear bands venture in portraying varous cultures. I think they usually fail, not the case here: Gorguts going for Tibet's spirit works out very well with a top quality mix of riffs , atmosphere and richness of emotions.
I had the chance to see Moonspell live opening for Sepultura. I paid little attention to them as 'I knew' I did not like them despite giving them plenty of listening time throughout the time given that they were often associated with Paradise Lost in terms of style. Well, about half time through their setlist I was starting to become a bit interested and moreso very interested at the end..Alma mater that is if I recall correctly. I hope I will get the chance to see them again, I will certainly pay attention:) Of course, this album is incredible, everything flows so well, super inspired, very unique in every way.
Absolutely brilliant album. Almost all songs stick in your head (or probably just mine, this is actually incredibly underated), it is not depressive as one might expect but somewhat proud, resilient, insightful, witty and powerful.
A big grower for me, very theatrical, magnificent build-ups and excellent songwriting. Ribeiro is also delivering top notch vocals here.
Amazing atmosphere , very unique, quite impossible for me to describe. Barney's best vocal performance on display here as well IMHO.
Time Waits for No Slave
Their best album. Fantastic riffing, excellent modern production (did I just say that?!). Very memorable Grindcore (did I just say that too?). Absolutely glorious, extremely headbangable, cannot get enough of it.
One of the few bands from which I prefer more the nowadays output versus the earlier days. Lots of creativity and experimentation here and also an aggressiveness and commitment level on par with the band's early days.
'N Crugu Bradului
4 lenghty songs full of a sense of mistery, nature focused, one of those that need repeated listens to fully sink in although not a complex, over complicated one. Might be biased here (these guys are my co-nationals, saw them 3 times live, I have casettes and CDs with them from the early days) but I find this primal, beautiful and absolutely masterfully crafted.
It is said that this is showing signs of what is to come. I actually like it in itself quite a lot, brutal and sweet at the same time with excellent crushing riffs and beautiful leads.
A huge grower for me, it took me some 20 years to understand its greatness.
Shades of God
Very slow, exquisitely crafted, a true doom masterpiece.
Symbol Of Life
Their catchiest, part of a disrespected era, it sure has all my admiration for how heartfelt this is.
The Plague Within
Best Holmes' (raspy) vocals, very crunchy and subtle. Outside of that I have a hard time explaining why I love this as much as I do.
This is the most diverse, deep and complex Paradise Lost album. It has instantly enjoyable songs and also huge growers. I am sure this will age like wine.
The Gathering Wilderness
Brilliant, in a league of its own. Vocal and drum work are amazing, riffing simple yet magnificent.
Redemption at the Puritan's Hand
Clearly underappreciated, filled with amazing songwriting and a feel of proud, magnificent despair.
The Great Mass
That's how you should use an orchestra on a metal album. Very diverse, vocals come from 2 of the best voices in the game. Makes you raise your fist, makes you meditate and gives you chills at the same time.
Beneath the Remains
An infectious riff frenzy filled output for the ages, can never get old, excellent production complementing the mastery of this album.
My favourite Sepultura album, the first casette I had from them, I have listened to this soooo much and it still feels fresh and I get a big punch and feel of admiration for it even now.
Their most diverse by far yet super inspired, has some excellent tunes and came as a big surprise after their very homogeneous back catalogue.
Reign in Blood
Genious songs to start and end with, great bangers in between, a classical anthem for thrash and metal in general.
South of Heaven
Masterful, Slayer's most carefully crafted album from my perspective.
This is my first Slayer on cassette and my first Slayer on cd, so probably I am subjective in considering it their best album but it is their most atmospheric and 'taking you places' whilst the sometimes contested production (even by band members) and drumming are top tier in my book.
This has bulldozed its way in here with top energy; very punchy but also very smart and so so catchy.