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Defrosted's AOTY 1990

You thought the madness was over and done with!? 90s tuesdays has brought me a lot of good times this year. I was 13 at the time these albums were released, so enjoy the adventures of prepubescent Dewi as he struggles to shed off his hair metal habits in order to get down wih the grunge and goth ladies.

Release date: June 30th
Label: Maze
Genre: Hardcore

Man, Biohazard were whack as fuck back in the day. Truth is they went on to release hardcore cornerstones like "State of the World Order" and "Urban Discipline", but their beginnings were rough, rough, rough. The band's debut stands on some strong albeit unmemorable riffs, but the cream of the crop is the gang rap, which has aged very, very badly. Being one of the protozoos of the nu-metal genre is enough to understand the amount of garbage that Biohazard helped to create. Truly, toxic residue.
99Cradle of Thorns
Remember It Day

Release date: January?
Label: Triple X
Genre: Gothic Rock / Darkwave

Cradle of Thorns were an obscure gothic rock outfit from California that peaked with this "Remember it Day", which granted them a pass to open for a plethora of important names like Rob Zombie, Korn and... Sugar Ray (?¿) After extensive touring and 3 albums they changed their name to Videodrone and got lost in the pile of new bands of the new millenia. They are far from being the best that the genre has to offer, but if you crave some Sisters of Mercy, less inspired Fields of Nephilim this would do the trick.
Extreme II: Pornograffitti

Release date: July
Label: A&M
Genre: Hard Rock with... funk

Extreme are probably one of the most annoying bands I've ever had the unpleasant luck to cross paths with. They really thought they were breaking ground combining funk beats with heavy riffs, I mean, "Get the Funk Out"... (facepalm) Not even Nuno Bettencourt's flourishing guitar technique could save this pretentious piece of shit from becoming an absolutely insufferable band. Or that's what I thought! Until one day, young dewi met this really hot chick, aaah young love my friends. At the time I could play stupid "More than Words" and sing it with a decent american accent, which granted me access to the heavenly doors of human pleasure at a tender age. I didn't lose my virginity, that's a story for another day, but I did touch a boob.
97Bruce Dickinson
Tattooed Millionaire

Release date: May 8th
Label: Columbia / EMI
Genre: Hard rock

Bruce Dickinson is like a father to me so it pains me what I'm about to write, but I have to admit that this album is not very good. In the same year Iron Maiden presented "No Prayer for the Dying" as the follow up to my all time favorite "Seventh Son...", Bruce added some salt in the wound with this, his first solo album. Aided by who would become Maiden's third guitarist, Janick Gers, Bruce produced a blatant rip-off of AC/DC, Van Halen and god knows what else, breaking his voice in the process and leaving behind a very forgettable effort only saved by the fact that I hate Extreme's guts and that's why it's placed only one spot above them.
96Baton Rouge (US)
Shake Your Soul

Release date: May 8th
Label: Columbia / EMI
Genre: Hard rock

Before Nirvana slayed hair metal, or so do the legends tell, (I think the genre just imploded) a good chunk of US bands spawned during the final years of the 80s, trying to get on the last wagon of a train that for many was already long gone. Such is the case of Lousiana's Baton Rouge, the home of prolific vocalist Kelly Keeling. In spite of being pretty decent musicians and having a few strong singles like opener "Doctor" and "Walks like a Woman", the band didn't reach the heights of other contemporaries like, for example, Winger or Slaughter. Kelly Keeling was an amazing singer, a cross between Kip Winger and David Coverdale, and later he went on to work with artists like Yngwie Malmsteen or John Norum, joining the ranks of Blue Murder or even touring with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but Baton Rouge ended being just a blurry memory.
95Sacred Reich
The American Way

Release date: February 16th
Label: Holiday
Genre: Thrash metal

In the shadow of the "Big 4" and in the same year than 3 of them released seldom albums, the thrashers from Arizona released their second album. "The American Way" didn't have the historical weight of "Rust in Peace", "Seasons in the Abyss" or "Persistence of Time", but it did its own thing and that's all Sacred Reich aimed for. Sacred Reich's sophomore is a fun album, with plenty of riffage and great production values, closer to the ranks of Anthrax and groove metal if anything, and far from the speedy thrash made by their brethren in the Bay Area. A decent album, definitely worth checking.

Release date: November
Label: Music for Nations
Genre: Sleaze metal

Several things were wrong with Tigertailz. First of all , they weren't American, they were British, where the glam metal wave wasn't as strong as in the US' west coast. Second of all, their second album, "Bezerk", was published way too late, where the movement was already dying out. I'm actually surprised they managed to tank through with some more albums, but then again, we still have Steel Panther. The boyz had so much libido that I don't know how Pepsi Tate and co. found the time to actually write songs. That cover haunted me whan I was young. I remember seeing on a Metal Hammer issue and always wondered how would it sound. I actually managed to avoid it until I checked it last month. With a bit more of preparation, the Tailz' would have indeed been at the tail of this list.
Into Darkness

Release date: Summer (I'm not kidding)
Label: Future Shock
Genre: Doom

A lot of people is used nowadays to sit through an hour of funeral doom ala Bell Witch or Primitive Man without blinking. That wasn't the case in 1990. In the year of transitions, where hard rock, thrash, hardcore, pop and many other genres were starting to branch out into a myriad of sub-genres, some bands started playing around with extremes. Winter played extremely slow for the time, that was their goal, to be the slowest band in the planet. "Into Darkness" was released through the defunct label Future Shock and the band disbanded a year after. 2 years later, Nuclear Blast recovered the recordings plus their 89' demo and re-released everything. Nowadays, "Into Darkness" has served as an inspiration to many great names in extreme metal, and listening to the album will leave no doubt of the impact it had on the bands that came after the NY doom masters.
Cause of Death

Release date: September 19th
Label: Roadracer
Genre: Death Metal

Floridian death metal in all its glory. James Murphy (ex-Cancer) had just left Death to join the Tampa crew. Together they forged a monster of an album. John Tardy's growls are among my favorite of the genre, and in spite of the homogenic nature of "Cause of Death" (once you heard one track you heard them all), this is a solid album. Thinking positively, if you like one song, you'll like the rest too!
Cherry Pie

Release date: September 10th
Label: Columbia / CBS
Genre: Hard Rock

Forver cursed with the joke track Jani Lane had to write to content some label executives that weren't happy with the lack of singles on the album. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was supposed to be the title track and theme of the album, and what a different story that would have been. But the late 80s were insatiable, and cocaine was expensive, hence "Cherry Pie" came to be, along with one of the most infamously horrible videoclips of the so-called hair metal era.
Aku no Hana

Release date: February 1st
Label: Invitation
Genre: Visual K

Every weeb aspiring to have a smidgen of self respect needs to be familiar with Buck-Tick. Now I'm not the biggest fan of the Visual-K pioneers, but I've learned to grant them a well deserved praise. Their dark cabaret inspired rock has influenced countless Japanese bands, and their influence is well felt in top sellers acts of the country. "The Flower of Evil" is the 5th release of their fruitful career and one I wasn't familiar with. I still have mixed feelings about it, but songs like "Love Me" are really good and the album has been growing on me lately. I do love a good show, so a band with the kind of theatrics of Buck-Tick is always bound to tear through my prejudices at some point.
89Kronos Quartet
Black Angels

Release date: June 29th
Label: Elektra Nonesuch
Genre: Modern Classic

Björk's version of "Hyperballad", performed with Kronos Quartet and included in her album of self-covers "Telegram" was my entry to the work of this string quartet from San Francisco. Since then, I've heard many of their collaborations with other artists, but never tackled a work of their own, well, almost of their own. "Black Angels" was composed by George Crumb in 1970 inspired, or maybe troubled, by the Vietnam war. As such, this is an unnerving record, specifically on its first minutes. There is beauty to be found, but "Black Angels" revels in its avant-garde nature, which Kronos Quartet represent with vivid detail. "Spem in Alium" is fantastic, and the second movement "Quartet No.8" is the most forgiving part of the album, but the self titled piece is quite a torment to sit through.
88Paradise Lost
Lost Paradise

Release date: February 5th
Label: Peaceville
Genre: Doom

Before redefining (or even creating) the foundations for doom metal, The 5-piece from Halifax had a very humble start in the form of "Lost Paradise". John Milton's favorite doom band barely keep up with each other on this album. There's a severe lack of musicianship and the production is a mess but you know what? This album is otherwise an amazing piece of work. Nick Holmes sounds viciously evil, the snare hits like a mace to the stomach, the guitars, weaving those malicious note transitions over and over create a sense of despair while flies come out of your mo... Ok, yeah you got it. Great debut.
87The Afghan Whigs
Up In It

Release date: April
Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Grunge? Alt Rock? Both? None?

The gradual change from dudes that looked like chicks to dudes that looked like didn't have a shower in a month had a few bands to blame. Mudhoney, Melvins, and many other. The Afghan Whigs were among them, practicing a brand of alternative rock that veered away from the hard rock of old that wasn't willing to die out. Dulli's lyricism and delivery wasn't like nothing his contemporaries were doing but the Whigs would still take a few albums to consolidate their identity.
86Mazzy Star
She Hangs Brightly

Release date: May 21
Label: Capitol / Rough Trade
Genre: Dream pop

See that stair in the cover? It leads nowhere, more or less like this album. Just kidding; Mazzy Star, the prodigal sons of dream pop did build a base for basically every budgie-core band today but may a lightning strike me down from the sky and cleave me in two if this album, their snazzy debut, doesn't mask a what is just a more than decent folk country rock band, elevated by the media in favor of that charming creature that is Hope Sandoval. The girl's voice is incredibly alluring, specially in songs like "Ghost Highway", which is, in my most unfunded suspicion, the secret wet dream of David Lynch.
The Razors Edge

Release date: September 21st
Label: Atco
Genre: Good question, actually...

You can never get rid of AC/DC, they are immortal, omnipresent, and even 2020 has seen them return in full display with an impossible line-up. 1990 wasn't an exception. "Thunderstruck" was everywhere at the time, everybody knows that. What is surprising though, is that the first half is among the best material done during the Brian Johnson area, with a frenetic "Fire Your Guns", a super sticky "Moneytalks" and a very dark (for AC/DC standards) title track. Unfortunately, the rest of the album, as in many AC/DC releases, is filler after filler, only enjoyable by die-hard fans of the Aussies, with maybe the exception of "Are You Ready", which is good fun too.
84Fleetwood Mac
Behind the Mask

Release date: April 10th
Label: Warner
Genre: Pop

First of, all who are these people in the cover? Who is Billy Burnette? Rick Vito? Where's Lindsey!? Mick... Mick!! What's going on!!!? Not even the shadow of Stevie Nicks (yep, she's actually here) could make sense out of this release. If I close my eyes and tell myself this is not Fleetwood Mac, but a cover band called Mickwood Flat I can actually enjoy some of the stuff here. And I say "enjoy" in the most shallow meaning of the word. "Behind the Mask" is not a terrible album per se, but one would expect much more from the band that made "Rumours".
83The Breeders

Release date: May 28th
Label: 4AD / Rough Trade
Genre: Slowcore / Albinicore

On paper, the project of Pixies' Kim Deal and Throwing Muses' Tanya Donelly should have been a dream come true for any grunge aficionado, more knowing that Steve Albini was behind the controls for this "Pod". I mean, a couple of tracks in and it doesn't get more Albini than this. The album has its moments, but is also quite tepid, at least musically. Nevertheless, and as everything that Kim Deal touches, the sound of The Breeders is strangely enticing, with special mention to the lyrics and Kim's delivery, which were pretty corrosive for the time. Not an album I have kept on rotation during the year though.
82Cannibal Corpse
Eaten Back to Life

Release date: August 17th
Label: Metal Blade
Genre: Death metal

I don't wanna know what goes through Corpsegrinder's head when thinking about those track titles. The Florida squad's debut didn't immediately position them at the top of the genre. The story of Cannibal Corpse has been a case of persistence and longetivity. "Eaten Back to Life" wasn't a showcase of originality when it was unleashed; riffs were taken from Slayer and grinded through the vile growls of Mr. Barnes, which were imported from, you could say...Morbid Angel, for example. Still, the good thing with CC is that you know exactly what to expect, and this debut is no different.
Better Off Dead

Release date: October 1st
Label: Steamhammer
Genre: Thrash metal

Sodom's follow up to their most succesful output "Agent Orange" just a year after didn't manage to shake the ground as much as its predecessor. It's plain to see why. "Better Off Dead" is a bit all over the place, with the Germans fired up on their usual and most welcomed speedy thrash in shots like "Shellfire Defense" and "Capture the Flag" , or letting their inherent obsession with Motörhead show in "Turn Your Head Around". Finally, let's not forget that (pretty awesome btw) cover of Thin Lizzy's "Cold Sweat". Might be too much variety for the average Sodom fan, but I felt it was good to have those light humoured tracks in between. I still gotta check the new one.
80Bjork and Trio Gudmundar Ingolfssonar
Gling Glo

Release date: October
Label: Smekkleysa / One Little Indian
Genre: Jazz

Oh sweet soul Bjork, what did you get yourself into this time. Three years before the Icelandic queen broke our hearts with that sugar-coated candy overload called "Debut", and after a dubiously true debut in the 70s by her younger self, Bjork teamed up with a jazz trio to deliver this "Gling-Gló", which is... well a jazz album where Bjork sings like she would sing in any other of her albums. Bjork's not the type that would adapt to the musical environment around her, instead she makes the environment adapt to her, In this case, Bjork's performance here is as good as you would expect, but you could have deleted her tracks and the album wouldn't suffer much either. A few songs is the right amount of this, a full album is straight up indigestion.
79Pretty Maids
Jump the Gun

Release date: April
Label: Columbia / CBS
Genre: Hard Rock

"Future World" was one of my favorite hard rock and heavy metal albums of the 80s but for some reason I hadn't checked this follow up. Well I know why though. Highschool happened, Nirvana happened, Metallica released the black album and I entered a whirlwind of identity confusion that only got aggravated with my first LSD trips a few years later. When it came the time to check it, during spring this year, I had very different ears, so it was nothing like that first time I heard "Future World". Who knows, back then, an album produced by Roger Glover, with the same space metal aesthetic... maybe the Danes would have had the same kind of impact.
Into the Mirror Black

Release date: February 27th
Label: Epic
Genre: Power Metal

Warrel Dane (RIP) will be remembered for two things: His truly amazing hair and Nevermore. Before the latter, he fronted Sanctuary, a power metal outfit from Seattle (Washington) that served as the base for the succesful Nevermore just a year after this album. Legends say that the reason Dane left to form Nevermore was because Epic, their record label, kindly suggested they'd adapt their metal style to the grunge wave that was storming the country. I really can't say how that was supposed to work (lol!) Dave Mustaine was a big fan of them, to the point he produced their debut and helped them sign to Epic, which I guess they would regret later. The album is a metal treasure.

Release date: March
Label: Capitol
Genre: Hard Rock / AOR

I'm pretty sure you remember that video of that chick driving at night that happens to pick up this very handsome, blue-eyed chap hitchhiking in the middle of nowhere, as rains pours down. Well, nothing short of homicide would normally come out of this situation but the happy couple ride into a motel and bang like there's no tomorrow. The man's sperm is worth of study because one shot is all he needs to have the girl present him a baby on a second random meeting, a baby carrying his same blue-lightning eyes. But here's the twist: the girl was married to another poor soul with a floppy trigger and so she just happens to ride around at night looking to get impregnated by the first stranger she can find. Great story, and one hell of a song. I don't remember the rest of the album. Oh yeah, "Estranged" is good too.
Twisted into Form

Release date: March 30th
Label: Combat
Genre: Thrash metal

Hailing from the infamous Bay Area, that San Francisco bastion which is home for some of the most important thrash metal bands in history, Forbidden were dead set in making something different from their peers from the moment they got together. Their brand of trash has strong influences of crossover and heavy metal, partly because of Russ Anderson's high pitch vocals. Rob Flynn of Machine Head fame was in this band during his high school years although he quit before the recording of this album. Drummer god Paul Bostaph, of Slayer, does play in this album and it's easy to hear how the man was destined for great things. Highly technical thrash, a mix between Watchtower and Death Angel, and the band's most interesting release.
In The Heart Of The Young

Release date: July
Label: Atlantic
Genre: Hard Rock

I should have put this on the list's tail cause this album is just so wrong, man. Hearing Kip Winger singing about 17 year olds haven't aged really well. "Seventeen" belongs to Winger's debut though, but as you would expect, Kip's libido didn't get any better and he displays it generously all across Winger's sophomore work with his usual pervert-approved lyricism. There's a reason I got this album here though, and that is basically "Miles Away". It's a soft spot, one of those songs linked to a time almost by accident that never fails to make me all teary and stupid. The albums includes some other really interesting tracks too, like "Rainbow in the Rose", which shows what Kip and co. are able to achieve when they focus, instead of writing songs like "Little Dirty Blonde", dick in hand. After all, they had the great Reb Beach on their ranks.

Release date: June 25th
Label: Roadracer
Genre: Death Metal

Deicide terrified me when I was a young mutton. The music, their imagery, it was terrifying. My family wasn't particularly catholic, although I was grown up in a Christian environment ,so seeing this gentlemen singing about communing with Satan, etc, wasn't something I felt particularly allured to. But it's 2020, and I'm hungry for knowledge, so I step into Deicide's debut expecting the holy grail of death metal. Turns out, it really wasn't. I admit that hearing Benton growl like a fucking demon is still upsetting, to say the least, and the album does its job in the riff department, but I believe this year had better options for death metal (or maybe I'm just still spooked, which is fairly possible).
73Vaya Con Dios
Night Owls

Release date: April 25th
Label: Ariola
Genre: Jazz... pop?

Drop me in the streets of Brussels, drunk like a sailor about to hit the local pub for a last shot of Jenever. This album takes you places ladies and gentlemen. The voice of Dani Klein is an ethanol lullaby to my ears, for some reason, this album makes me want to drink and dance like a retired ballerina on a cabaret strip club. Arwwwwwrrrrrrrrrwwwrrr pirates!!
72The Obsessed
The Obsessed

Release date: April
Label: Hellhound
Genre: Doom... Stoner?

If you have ever seen good ol' Wino speak on an interview you have noticed that he speaks unbelievably fast, which goes straight against the totality of the bands he has played in: Saint Vitus, Shrinebuilder, The Hidden Hand... The man even made an acoustic rendition album two members of Neurosis! Well, The Obsessed here were playing a particular brand of doom, not so slow, heavy and gritty as bands like Winter, or My Dying Bride, but more in the vein of Black Sabbath or what some bands like Pallbearer are doing nowadays. The Obsessed's debut is very hard to describe, more even considering the look they sold in the cover.

Release date: March 20th
Label: Dischord
Genre: Post Hardcore / Punk

Of the million times I've been told to check Fugazi on this God-forsaken site, this year I actually went ahead and checked them, for real! Turns out, this is a great album, folks. Born from the ashes of Minor Threat, the legends from Washington DC have remained faithful to their cred and never signed for the big bucks. Highly critical and politically flammable, Fugazi's brand of softened hardcore must have been quite revealing at the time, when every farmer's son dreamt of leaving the crops for the big city, signing for a major label and living the dream of Sunset Strip. Fugazi showed you could do all that yourself and still have time to go back home to take care of the crops, all while doing amazing music and moshing, and having heaps of fun.
70His Name Is Alive

Release date: June 25th
Label: 4AD
Genre: Experimental Dream Pop

I guess if you combine the words 90s and dream pop on a google search, results will vary from Cocteau Twins to Mazzy Star, and after going to page 10, something that literally no one does, His Name is Alive will probably pop up. Or maybe it's just me being really ill informed, but I swear I've never heard of these guys before. There's not much I can say about them, they are from Michigan (or were?), and they are amazing. First tracks sound like some neoclassical gothic thingy, which then devolves into glory chants through noise and samples, while an acoustic tune finds its way to you. There's a lot of stuff that reminds me to the latest Eartheater (although might just be intoxication since I reviewed it not long ago), due to that mix of noise samples and acoustics and the voice of Lovetta Pippen (I think is her) dominating the album. Good find.
Scumdogs of the Universe

Release date: May 31st
Label: Metal Blade
Genre: Punk metal thrash whatever

I remember this VHS tape I had when I was a kid. It was volume 2 I think from the Hard'n'Heavy vid magazine series, lots of rad stuff there, you can check some on YT. There was this life footage of GWAR which was absolutely fucking wild, the usual Oderus Urungus peeing on the crowd, moshing, enslavement on stage, viscera, all that stuff. They were playing this really cool song that went something like "gwar gwar gwar gwar" followed by a guitar solo... Well, the thing is, I thought it would be here but it's not, and that's extremely disappointing. This album is good fun though, nothing mind blowing, since it lacks the stage madness obviously, but it's good fun.
68Everything But the Girl
The Language of Life

Release date: July 31st
Label: Atlantic / Blanco y Negro
Genre: Pop

You can't really find any caveat in anything that features Tracey Thorn's voice, her singing is just out of this world, effortless and beautiful. This is not my favorite album from them, and I went in just knowing "Driving" and nothing else. Maybe too silly jazzy compared to their 80s stuff (nothing tops "Each and Everyone"), but it's a good chill time.
67Yngwie Malmsteen

Release date: April 11th
Label: Polydor
Genre: Hard Rock

Might not win the prize for best human being of the planet, not even best guitarist (yes yes, guitar hero, blah blah), but one thing is true, Yngwie knows how to write good tunes. I used to have a casette of "Trial By Fire: Live at Leningrade" and my God, what a collection of classics. This was released later. With Joe Lynn Turner gone I wasn't too sure about this and my hunch was partly correct. Göran Edman is a good vocalist, although he sounds like the average hard rock singer from the 70s, correct but colorless. Same goes for the songs in the album, nothing reaches the heights of "Queen in Love" or "You don't remember...", or my all time favorite "Heaven Tonight".

Release date: May
Label: Vertigo
Genre: Hard Rock

Big fan of Warlock here. Got "Burning the Witch" when I was little so Doro Pesch's voice has always been a memory implanted in my subconscious. I never followed her solo career, apart from "Force Majeure" which is an incredible album, so coming to this self titled was a bit of a gamble. There's some good stuff, like the opener, plus some embarrassing attempts of trying to reproduce the success of "All we are", and even some stuff that sounds like she's totally out of her element, but still... it's Doro!
The Privilege of Power

Release date: February 28th
Label: Epic / CBS
Genre: Heavy metal

With horns!! Riot's follow up to the all time classic "Thundersteel" sees the band led by Mark Reale experimenting with a wind section, surprisingly long interludes and less inspired stuff that the one included in what still is their best album. Some good speedy stuff, what Riot makes best, in tracks like the closer which is amazing, but not the Riot of the previous album. I mean, I have shared manly tears to "Bloodstreets". That didn't happen here. Plus... horns! No seal, either :/
Beg to Differ

Release date: March
Label: Epic
Genre: Thrash / crossover

Like only Prong can do. You basically Prong or you don't. I can't say I feel like jamming their brand of mechanical thrash with that great dose of humour, but I always come back to it in small bursts. They are one hell of an underrated band, that's for sure, because the stuff in "Beg to Differ" was pretty unique for the time, and not even today there are many bands like them. Also, if you disagree park will haunt your shoutbox. You've been warned.
Syzygial Miscreancy

Release date: December
Label: Wild Rags
Genre: Thrash

In their biography it is stated they toured a total of 4 nights in Texas. I guess that gives an idea of the magnitude of their work. It's a shame though, cause the trio excels in what they do. Thrash with blast beats and really crazy vocals. Really wild beats for 1990 and a record that probably deserves more that what it got.
62Psychotic Waltz
A Social Grace

Release date: November 26th
Label: Rising Sun
Genre: Progressive Metal

You all have been fanboying about their 2020 release but I took a step beyond boys and girls, and I did it for the team. I traveled back in time to the Waltz's first album only to find that hell, they played even better then than now! The stuff in "A Social Grace" makes my head spin, really, there's so much I can take of this in one sitting, it's almost hallucinogetic stuff. Overwhelming technicality and musicianship.
Art In Motion

Release date: December
Label: Noise
Genre: Heavy Metal

Treading a thin line between power and thrash metal, the German outfit were one special case. They were like the pretty boys of a style used to spike covered beer chuggers. The voice of Peter Dartin is an acquired taste but he had a great sense for melodies. That combined with some really inspired riffs make this "Art in Motion", the first of only 2 albums, a very special release. Shame they didn't last long.
60Love Club
Lime Twigs and Treachery

Release date: Sometime... in 1990
Label: MCA
Genre: Gothic rock

Tremendously underrated gothic outfit that released this album and vanished in the sands of time. Seriously, this is like if Siouxsee and the Banshees and The Cure had a baby and they baptized him in the blood of the 90s. They were from San Francisco, and that's all I know, so if someone from San Francisco is reading this please tell them to call. They forgot to make more albums.
Lock up the Wolves

Release date: May 15th
Label: Vertigo / Reprise
Genre: Hard rock

After leaving Black Sabbath a few years before, Ronnie James Dio, the madman goes on solo recruiting an 18 year old guitarist in the skin of Rowan Robertson (and jesus, the kid could play), the very busy Simon Wright (AC/DC) on drums, Great White's Teddy Cook on bass and releases the follow up to the all time classic "Holy Diver". The album is alright, great even if you are a die-hard Dio fan, and tracks like "Wild One" are hot but its length plays against it, with plenty of slow tracks that make it drag a little towards the end.
58Slaughter (USA)
Stick It to Ya

Release date: January 27th
Label: Chrysalis
Genre: Hard rock

Mark Allen Slaughter was one of the few that managed to hop on the hair metal wagon before it derailed and crashed with the release of Nirvana's "Nevermind" in 92. Many blame the Seattle trio for the death of hair metal, but in fact, the movement was already running out of control, after years of debauchery, skidding towards its last days of glory. Slaughter had two real bangers running for them, "Up All Night", which was almost as stupidly effective as Warrant's "Cherry Pie" and the wholesome ballad "Fly to the Angels". Their most obscure songs were quite decent too, with some hiccups, of course. Laurie Ann Carr, the hottie in the cover, is now 54 years old, and after having a role in Full House, they put her back in the wheel, where she remains up to this day.

Release date: October 15th
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Death Metal

"Hallucinations" has aged incredibly well. The debut of the tech death squad is honestly impressive, a very agressive form of death metal that goes beyond what bands like Death were doing on the same year, while sounding more refined than the stuff coming from Florida.
Heartbreak Station

Release date: November 20th
Label: Mercury / Vertigo
Genre: Hard rock / Blues rock

The evolution of Cinderella from being the absolute princesses of the hard rock machinery to become one of the most respected bands of the genre is an interesting matter of facts. After a very succesful debut with "Night Songs" and a round-up with its follow up "Long Cold Winter", the four-piece led by Tom Keifer enters the new decade with class. "Heartbreak Station" goes light on the glam and heavy on the blues, with Keifer playing anything with strings, from guitar to mandoline, to dobro and lap steel. Cinderella's also one of the few bands of this kind to include horns succesfully, which gives their work a whole new dimension.
55The Sundays
Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

Release date: January 15th
Label: Rough Trade
Genre: Pop

The opener "Skin and Bones" clicked with me instantly the first time I heard this album. That playful drum pattern, those simple guitar notes and Harriet Wheeler's highly intoxicating voice... Aaaah so good. The rest of the songs took a while to stick but at one point you realize this is really a brilliant record. They have a couple more albums, so I'm looking forward to jam when the time is right.
The Word as Law

Release date: August 25th
Label: Lookout
Genre: Post hardcore

Aaah humble beginnings. Even one of the best bands of the planet had rough edges . "The Word as Law" is a very aggressive, twisted and raw slab of corrupted hardcore, where the bass of Dave Edwardson feels like is gonna whip your ears through your headphones, not to mention his monstruous growls. Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till already show what they are a capable of, both on vocals and guitars, while Jason Roeder is unleashed here. A massive improvement over "Pain of Mind" and a huge step towards the album that really started to shape their sound, "Souls at Zero".
The City

Release date: December 7th
Label: Eastwest / Atlantic
Genre: Ambient

Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou had nothing to prove after giving voice to the world of Blade Runner. When going into "The City" I knew it was not gonna top said soundtrack, but I was surprised of the ability this man has to create vivid worlds, or more specifically urban soundscapes out of nothing. "The City" is an immersive listen, and the perfect warm-up for the hundreds of hours I'm about to clock in Cyberpunk 2077 as soon as my neck leaves the office today.
52Ozric Tentacles

Release date: June 25th
Label: Dovetail
Genre: Progressive rock

"Erpland" is the ultimate space rock jam of 1990. Sometimes I feel like these Glastonbury hippies have been trapped in a loophole for years just jamming it out, condemned to do it eternally. It doesn't matter which album you pick from Ozric, you'll feel you just opened the same door again and again, which is good if you actually love them. They are one of the few bands in the UK psyche rock scene that managed to traverse the 80s almost unscathed and that is worth the praise.
51African Head Charge
Songs of Praise

Release date: Depends...
Label: On-U
Genre: Dub

I love albums that bring me close to cultures I'm not familiar with. The project of UK producer Adrian Sherwood and African music guru Junior Moses, along a plethora of African musicians and conspirators all over the world is a good example. I can't say I'm the biggest fan of dub music, but this album is such a trip. A psychedelic voyage through the secret beats of the southern continent that even today feels ageless.
50Mark Lanegan
The Winding Sheet

Release date: May 1st
Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Singer songwriter

After a succesful run with the mythical Screaming Trees, Lanegan debuted with "The Winding Sheet", a superb collection of moody acoustic tracks that included "Where did you sleep last night", which Nirvana popularized in their emblematic MTV Unplugged performance. This stuff is one of the best things Mark has ever done, and God knows he has done a LOT. Well, that is until that track with Cult of Luna is released next year, which then will be the best thing he has ever done. Don't miss on this one.
Seasons in the Abyss

Release date: October 9th
Label: Def American
Genre: Thrash metal

For many, the last of the good stuff. Slayer had no rival during the 80s, but come the new decade and fatigue starts to show. We are talking about years after "Seasons in the Abyss" though, this album is far from being affected by lack of heaviness, although there's a noticeable drop in ideas throughout the record. "War Ensemble" and the title track are the clear highlights, with the rest being good ol' fast chunk chunk Slayer. It never gets old.
Against the Law

Release date: August 21st
Label: Enigma
Genre: Hard rock

At one point in their career, the Sweet bros ran out of demons and heretics to hunt. Their Christian metal axe was put to rest, and so were the yellow and black costumes. Now in Clark Kent mode, the 4-piece looked to have a break in the agonizing hard rock market with "Against the Law". They had it all to succeed: great musicians, good songs, and the eccentric voice of Michael Sweet but somehow not many Stryper fans were pleased with the change.
47A Tribe Called Quest
People's Instinctive Travels & The Paths of Rhythm

Release date: April 17th
Label: Jive
Genre: Hip Hop

Only 2 hip hop albums made it to the list, and the reason is not a lack of material during 1990, but my lack of familiarity with rap in general. I love this one mostly because of the jazzy beats, and I've jammed it mostly in the background during house chores and cooking sessions.
46Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
The Good Son

Release date: April 16th
Label: Mute
Genre: Singer songwriter

I arrived to Nick Cave pretty late, it was actually when I joined the site, back in 2016. He had just released "Skeleton Tree" which is an album I still hold dear since it taught me to be open minded with artists I didn't know or styles I wasn't comfortable with. "The Good Son" has a different vibe that everything Cave has done past "Skeleton Tree", and even if the titles suggest another heart wrenching release from the pale rider, I found this record to be much more joyful and uplifting than his recent works.
Remain Sedate

Release date:
Label: Vermiform
Genre: Post hardcore / Powerviolence

Cheers to park, who introduced me to these guys. I reviewed it but let his words carry this one: "this album is like if one of those post apocalyptic dudes from a voivod album cover walked up to you dragging behind him a lead pipe with rail spikes through it in each hand and outta nowhere just fucking clapped your head between em

again and again

until you started shitting and cumming all over the place"
44Sonic Youth

Release date: June 26th
Label: DGC
Genre: Noise rock

Feels strange to say I hadn't listened to Sonic Youth until very recently. You ask why? Look at how many hair metal and thrash albums are on this list and you will know why. A recent discussion about this being their best or not prompted a heated discussion in the album thread, where I was surprised to be the only one sporting a 4. I guess I have a long way to go with these guys. That been said, Kim's singing here is what captivated me since the first time I played it. That, and the opener.
Spiritual Healing

Release date: March 13th
Label: Combat / Under One Flag
Genre: Death metal (no shit)

I think I said somewhere before that some other band was doing better than these guys... Nah, for get about it, Death actually live up to their name. This is James Murphy's last release before he went on to join Obituary for "Cause of Death" on the very same year. I've read somewhere that the band toured Europe without Chuck, who didn't want to do the tour. They just went and played with another singer. Upon their return, Bill Andrews and Terry Butler were fired from the band to no one's surprise.
42Public Enemy
Fear of a Black Planet

Release date: April 10th
Label: Def Jam
Genre: Hip Hop

And the second of hip hop albums of this list. This is just irresistible. It's impossible to not bob your head to tracks like "Power to the People" or "Welcome to the Terrordome". The beats and samplings on this record are the work of a genius. Incredibly fun album from head to tail.
Blackout In The Red Room

Release date: February 22nd
Label: Columbia
Genre: Sleaze metal

Another band who found their mojo too late, at the turn of the new decade. Love / Hate blew up the crowd with the title track and the single "Why do you think they call it dope", sporting a crushing sound that no other band had in their league. This is the band you would go to see when Guns'n'Roses tickets were sold out. They were obliterated by the grunge wave in no time, but this album still remains as one of the most interesting releases that the sleaze branch had to offer.
Souls of Black

Release date: September 24th
Label: Atlantic
Genre: Thrash metal

Talking about "Souls of Black" for me it's talking about "The Legacy". Not only is the thrash ballad one my favorite Testament track, it's also the only Testament track until this year I realized I had never heard the rest of the album. It's obviously good, as Testament has always been considered the 5th of the 4 big names of thrash metal (the 4th for many I believe).

Release date: December
Label: Charisma
Genre: New Age

The ultimate AMSR experience before it was thing. The German producer will take you on a spiritual trip where Gregorian chants mingle with Indian rituals over a house beat. Some say he was ahead of his time, some say he was misunderstood, some slept to it forever and never got to have an opinion, but the truth is, this is one of the most relaxing albums of the 90s. Trance chill out beats perfect for studying or doing work.
38Mother Love Bone

Release date: July 19th
Label: Polydor
Genre: Grunge

The bridge between the hard rock era that dominated the 80s and those new disheveled musicians doing wonders with three chords had a harbinger in Mother Love Bone. The band that brought the hard rock sound and infused it with the new sound coming from Seattle was unfortunately short-lived, due to Wood's tragic death just before the release of the album. Two members of MLB would go on to form Pearl Jam, so all was not lost in the end. "Shangri-La" is nothing short of amazing.
37Judas priest

Release date: September 3rd
Label: Columbia / CBS
Genre: Heavy Metal

I remember being in love with that cover artwork and that killing opening monster that is the title track in my younger days. Scott Travis from Racer X brought the double kick to the band, which at the time was honestly mind boggling. Halford also left after this one to form Fight, killing the band for almost six years until they found a replacement in Ripper Owens. The album got grammy nominations and ultimately was snubbed by, obviously, freaking Metallica doing a cover.
36Lynch Mob
Wicked Sensation

Release date: October 3rd
Label: Elektra
Genre: Hard rock

Fans of Dokken hadn't seen much action at the turn of the decade. That's until George Lynch formed his own version of the band with unknown superstar Oni Logan on vocals to deliver one of the most rattling hard rock albums of the year. "Wicked Sensation" is as corny as you would expect from that cover but it features Lynch at his best, while presenting a solid collection of tracks with little filler.
Persistence of Time

Release date: August 21st
Label: Island
Genre: Thrash metal

The forever underrated Anthrax were still going strong towards the new decade. "Persistance of Time" features some of the best material of the band in songs like "Blood" or "In My World", while featuring a killing cover of Joe Jackon's "Got the Time". The only problem with Anthrax's fifth long play is how dense the first half is, with several tracks clocking at 7 minutes and a total runtime of little over an hour. And I just remembered I had this t-shirt at some point.
34Blind Guardian
Tales from the Twilight World

Release date: October 3rd
Label: No Remorse / Virgin
Genre: Speed metal

Probably the most influential speed metal band of all times. Even if this is not their first album I always considered it to be their real true first release. I am not a fan of the symphonic approach they took in later albums, but I love the rawness and speed of every track contained in this record.
33Iron Maiden
No Prayer for the Dying

Release date: October 1st
Label: EMI
Genre: Heavy metal

I always wondered what the hell happened after Iron Maiden released "Seventh Son..." How can you go from releasing a heavy metal masterpiece like that, to drying up all the magic and myth surrounding their music in favour of a video featuring Bruce Dickinson jumping on a flower field, Steve Harris playing football and Nicko McBrain driving a tractor. What went wrong? What did we do to deserve this? All in all, in recent listens I have come to the realization that this album is not so bad. I hated it for a long time, but if you manage to focus while keeping in mind the sound of the previous album, sometimes it aligns to a point where it makes, more or less, sense.
Left Hand Path

Release date: June 4th
Label: Earache / Combat
Genre: Death metal

This is an album that have remained unchecked for a long time for no logical reason, so I was really looking forward to give it a spin. It didn't disappoint. The HM-2 worship started right here, with those guitars downtuned to hell. The album has tanked so well through time that it actually made to the soundtrack of GTAIV. The song was "Drowned".
Rev It Up

Release date: April 1st
Label: EMI
Genre: Hard rock

Vixen deserves a special mention for being one of the few "girls bands" that made it big during the 80s. Furthermore, they managed to embrace the new decade with much more class and sound than many of the other bands still struggling to catch up with the new era. Vixen had amazing songs to back them up: "How Much Love" and "Streets in Paradise" are among the best hard rock tracks of 1990 without a doubt.
30Poison Idea
Feel the Darkness

Release date: Some time, some time
Label: American Leather
Genre: Hardcore punk

Late entry to the ranking, destroyed some poor hair metal band that probably no one has ever heard of. Cheers to widowslaugh for introducing me to this record. This shit is corrosive, heavy, fun, it's the perfect hardcore punk album. Turns out I already knew "The Badge" since Pantera covered it for The Crow's soundtrack. The cover was pretty great but when I heard the original... Ooook, so this is the real deal!

Release date: August 21st
Label: Epic
Genre: Hard rock

Should Firehouse had published their fierce debut a few ayears before and they would have enjoyed success for a longer time than they did. "All She Wrote" and "Overnight Sensation" are among the best hard rock tunes of the 90s, but what really boosted their popularity was the ballad "Love of a Lifetime", which I honestly don't enjoy much. CJ Snare's hyper nasal pitch could take a while to adjust to, but his vocal melodies are glue to the ears.
Dark Recollections

Release date: March 12th
Label: Necrosis
Genre: Death metal

Before Entombed took credit for the buzzsaw sound, a certainly young Michael Ammott in Sweden was already experimenting with this sound. Carnage was a one off that later evolved to Dismember, while Ammott would go on to join bands like Carcass, and Spiritual Beggas many years later, while also being a founding member of Arch Enemy. "Dark Recollections" could have been released yesterday and you wouldn't notice. Cavernous death metal that is hard to believe it came out in 1990.
27Ur Kaos
A Terrible Beauty is Born

Release date: March, I think
Label: Bauta
Genre: Avant-rock

Definitely the most obscure release of the year is this Swedish trio's third release. Imagine a less abrassive version of Daughters' latest album, a bleak, crunching take on post punk with mechanical beats and an asphyxiating atmosphere. I was surprised to see these guys have like 66 listeners on lastfm and there is almost no trace of them.
26House of Lords

Release date: August 21st
Label: RCA
Genre: Hard rock

The project of keyboard overlord Gregg Giuffria really started to shine when vocalist James Christian entered the fold. "Sahara" is a brilliant hard rock album with small dosis of prog and a fading eastern influence in the title track. It also contains a couple of covers, with "Can't Find My Way Home", originally from English supergroup Blind Faith, being the one that hit the charts. The production value of this thing is incredible. Having Gene Simmons listed as executive producer and names like Ron Keel or White Lion's Mike Tramp as background vocalists. Stellar album.
25The Sisters of Mercy
Vision Thing

Release date: October 22nd
Label: Elektra
Genre: Gothic rock

I haven't got into the Sisters until very recently. "More" was the only song I had heard from them until this year. It was through the music video feuturing masked ladies singing a gospel chant on top of a gothic rock riff. The video is mesmerizing, and so is the song. I'm not gonna lie though, seeing recent live versions of the song, with a bald Andrew Eldritch struggling to get the words out has been quite depressing, but at least I am glad the rest of the album is as good as the one song I had heard of them.

Release date: April 16th
Label: Noise
Genre: Viking metal

Very different from the 80s Bathory I had heard. This album is a time machine. The production by Börje Forsberg (aka Boss, aka the father of Quorthon) wouldn't help them to win a Grammy, but it's s so harsh and sharp that it feels like nordic blizzard cutting through your face. From the moment ""Shores in Flames" starts, I feel like sitting on a drakkar sharping my axe and getting ready to pillage the burning village in front of me. Lovely album.
23Napalm Death
Harmony Corruption

Release date: July
Label: Earache
Genre: Death metal

For me the real sound of Napalm Death starts here. If the Bay Area in San Francisco was churning out one great thrash metal band after the other, the same was going down in Tampa (Florida) with the death metal scene. Barney Greenway has moved from Benediction to join the ranks and his contribution is ket to the band's sound moving forward. Also, it's no surprise that the album features likes of Glen Benton from Deicide and John Tardy from Obituary on guest vocals.
22Black Sabbath

Release date: August 31st
Label: I.R.S.
Genre: Heavy metal

Not much of Black Sabbath is left in 1990. Tony Iommy keeps the band alive with superstars of the business like Cozy Powell (Jeff Beck, Blue Murder, Spirit) and Neil Murray (Colisseum II, Whitesnake) and hires an unknown Tony Martin to fill in the shoes of Ronnie James Dio. For many, this album was a disaster, not worth of the Black Sabbath name, but I don't agree. Tony Martin was an incredible vocalist, and even if the nordic theme of "Tyr" is a bit weird for Black Sabbath, you gotta think that it's 20 years since "Paranoid" and there's absolutely no reason for Tony Iommi to keep writing the same dark, heavy riffs over and over. Instead, you get a great heavy metal album, with stellar production that shows the outstanding musicianship of each of the members involved.
Flesh & Blood

Release date: June 21st
Label: Capitol
Genre: Hard rock / Blues rock

Yes, Poison. I'm as surprised as you are. In 1990, Brett Michaels and co. had toned down the make-up considerably and focused on writing good music. Yes, really good music indeed. "Flesh and Blood" pours out banger after banger, with excellencies like "Ride the Wind", "Valley of Lost Souls", "Unskinny Bop" or "Ball and Chain" to certify it. Poison showed they were more than a pool party act, and the new decade embraced them with grace.
20Alice in Chains

Release date: August 21st
Label: Columbia / CBS
Genre: Grunge

The birth of the legend. One of the most important names of the grunge tsunami foudn their way to the major leagues through a labyrinth of demo tales going around and phone calls between label executives, but eventually got the gig. Great timing for drummer Sean Kinney to record the whole album with a broken hand. Eventually, the album exploded and Alice in Chains began her road to stardom, way ahead of Nirvana who were still learning to play their instruments, just a few blocks away.

Release date: October
Label: Sire
Genre: Shoegaze

Ride passed through me during the 90s, never got a chance to get acquainted with them until this year. This album blew my mind from the moment that elastic bass line of "Seagull" starts, then the drum beat falls on it, reverse guitar melodies, distortion, twin vocals... aaaah shoegaze heaven, my dears. "Nowhere" is one those albums hyped on this site that deserves every bit of hype.
18Jane's Addiction
Ritual De Lo Habitual

Release date: August 21st
Label: Warner
Genre: Alt rock / Psychedelic / Surf / Tacos

Juana's Adicción had nothing to worry about at the turn of the decade. Under the wing of Warner, they could have released a turd that the big bucks would come throught their contract. But they didn't, they actually wrote a hell of a record. How many covers have you heard of "Stop"? Exactly, none (or at least not a decent one). Jane's Addiction were their own thing, nothing could match the voice of Perry Farrell. But that's not all, the madmen actually went ahead and wrote stuff like "Three Days", clocking in 10 glorious minutes. In fact the whole second half is a trip under the waves, in contrast with the direct feel of the first half. A classic.
Frizzle Fry

Release date: May
Label: Caroline
Genre: Primus

It's hard to think of "Frizzle Fry" as Primus' debut cause the band is virtually flawless. Les Claypool's bass play twisted the minds of critics and fans all alike, combined with the musical prowess of Larry La Londe and Tim Alexander, the only two musicians that could keep up with Claypool's music eccentricities.
16Dead Can Dance

Release date: June 11
Label: 4AD
Genre: Neoclassical

It's 1990 and the duo formed by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry has dried out the well of love but still manage to release one more fantastic entry in their catalogue. Their 5th album delves even deeper into middle age music of the XIV and XV centuries, sticking as always to the darker side.
15Morbid Saint
Spectrum of Death

Release date: September 2
Label: Avanzada Metalica
Genre: Thrash metal

One of the mysteries of the 90s, Morbid Saint's "Spectrum of Death". The band shots one of the most brutal thrash metal albums of the decade and then vanishes like nothing has ever happened. This record was released by a small Mexican label and re-released later by Grind Core two years later. Since then, it has seen countless re-releases by Century Media, etc. Their second album was distributed to "fans only" on cassette format (lol wut). It seems they reunited in 2009 but I have no idea if they are the same people that recorded this one.

Release date: January
Label: RCA
Genre: New Age

I reviewed this back when I though I could review an album a day (ha!). So click on the thumbnail if you wanna read it.
Cowboys from Hell

Release date: July 24th
Label: Atco
Genre: Thrash me...?

The messiahs of thrash for some, just a bunch of hillbillies from Texas for others, the truth is that at the time, there was nothing like "Cowboys from Hell". I was there folks, I remember hearing "Primal Concrete Sledge" and feel my head spinning with the record. Not to mention the arrow to the heart that is "Cemetery Gates", easily one of my favorite songs from ALL TIME.
12Suicidal Tendencies

Release date: July 3
Label: Epic
Genre: Crossover

I am not ashamed to admit that when I was 13 I used to air guitar a lot. Whenever I felt I just couldn't put in my head a single word more from the text book, I would abandon myself to rock'n'roll, kick the chair and air guitar that shit. The bed was my stage, the wall my audience and my mum the security guard that opened the door to find her son jumping on the bed like a fucking idiot. This album saw a lot of that, so all hail Rocky George.
11Killing Joke
Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions

Release date: Ummmm
Label: Noise
Genre: Post Punk? Industrial?

They blew my mind during my 1980 run with their incredible debut and they did it again 10 years later with this... very long title album. I can't talk much about because I got to it pretty late in the year and I wish I would have had more time with it before doing this list but Killing Joke's discography is proving to be pretty fruitful.
10Naked City
Naked City

Release date: February
Label: Elektra Nonesuch
Genre: Avant-garde / Jazz

Johnnybro recently wrote a better blurb that whatever I can come up with after a 10 hour work shift and a toothache. You all know the album, you all know the man. There's nothing else to be said.
9Heroes del Silencio
Senderos de Traicion

Release date: May
Label: Emi / Odeon
Genre: Gothic rock

Easily, the best Spanish rock band in history. After a breath taking debut, Héroes returns only two years later with one their best releases. "Senderos de Traición" is a gothic rock gem, limited by Enrique Bunbury's choice of singing in his mother tongue. It's a shame because Bunbury's lyricism is out of this world, same goes for Juan Valdivia delayed and echoed guitar arpeggios. In fact, this is a really powerful album with very scarce distortion. It's absolutely magical, and I thoroughly recommend it.
8Cocteau Twins
Heaven or Las Vegas

Release date: September 3rd
Label: 4AD
Genre: New wave

Bro, what the fuck are Cocteau Twins saying? The meme accurately represents "Heaven or Las Vegas" in all its magnificence. The hungover of dream pop after a decade of new wave debauchery and excess. Liz Fraser could be singing in Esperanto about anthropological theories and we would all dance the same.
7Death Angel

Release date: April 10th
Label: Geffen
Genre: Thrash metal

"Act III" might not be the best thrash metal release of the year. Many purists will get on my back for having this on top 10, but I basically grew up with this album. I still shiver when I listen to "A Room with a View" and I still go haywire when I jam "The Organization", or "Disturbing the Peace", or "Seemingly Endless Time". This is the pandora box of ultra-speedy riffs, with an Andrew Galeon on drums that is on fire, and Mark Osegueda making the best out of his particular voice tone.
6Fields of the Nephilim

Release date: September 24th
Label: Beggars Banquet
Genre: Gothic Rock

Two gothic rock albums on the top ten, huh? This year I started to understand where my age is taking me. Fields of Nephilim was my favorite discovery this year. Only one spin was what I needed to acknowledge how brilliant this band is.
5Angelo Badalamenti
Twin Peaks

Release date: August 31st
Label: Warner
Genre: Soundtrack

Probably Rowbro could write a better blurb than me, so I'm just gonna quote that time el_newg quoted on the album thread that vid of good ol' Angelo explaining how he wrote Laura's theme with Lynch at his side. To understand this soundtrack, you gotta first, watch the damn show, and second, watch that video.
4Depeche mode

Release date: March 19th
Label: Mute / Sire
Genre: Synthpop

Recent hall of famers, Depeche Mode are another band I came to know pretty late. I was familiar at the time with "Enjoy the Silence", but for hard rock obsessed young dewi, Depeche Mode were a mystery, an inexplicable stream of dark energy that was felt but somehow rejected by my simple mind. Aging sucks, but at least it helps you to appreciate all the things you missed for the most stupid reasons on your younger days, and this album is a good example.
Rust in Peace

Release date: September 21st
Label: Capitol
Genre: Thrash metal

And here comes the hot zone. I could basically interchange the three positions with any of the following albums. I loved them all, and they were played to exhaustion during the 90s. I saw Marty Friedman the other day on Japanese national TV, as a judge for a karaoke contest. He was speaking fluent Japanese and was judging the skills of a highschool student singing some Namie Amuro song, and it just felt like crossing to the other side but... yeah. Great album.

Release date: September 4th
Label: EMI
Genre: Hard rock

From the 80s, the 5-piece from Seattle had an amazing progression throughout the 80s, from being a carbon copy of Iron Maiden, to creating an all time classic of progressive metal like "Operation: Mindcrime" to evolving their sound into this hybrid of AOR and prog metal. Featuring one of the most corny lyricists of all time, and also one of the most gifted voices of the 90s, Mr. Geoff Tate's performance on this album is just unbelievable. I had the pleasure to see them live some 12 years ago. Hearing"Jet City Woman", "Empire" and "Silent Lucidity" live is an experience I will never forget. I was also going through a break up, but that's a story for another list.
1King diamond
The Eye

Release date: October 30th
Label: Roadrunner
Genre: Heavy metal

The king, the man the LEGEND. I would gladly call this my AOTY, with the permission of "Rusted in Peace" and "Empire", why not? After all, I do believe this is the album I've played more back in the day, countless air guitar sessions, highschool commutes, clandestine metal parties where we all had that first puff, that first sip, while the king was telling us the story of a nun being driven to madness by a malefic priest and a cursed amulet. Damn, 1990 was a good time.
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