Monday, August 11, 2008

Who Decides: Top 5 "Must Own" Metal Albums

So just what are the best of the best metal albums? Well obviously, it's purely subjective. But I am going to give you, what I consider, the best metal albums ever. These are the must own metal albums. If you consider yourself a fan of metal, these albums should be in your collection.

1. Metallica: Master of Puppets - Is there really any explanation needed here? This is their masterpiece. It all came together on this album. The heavy riffs, melodies, solos, and the progression in the song writing. It's as if the stars aligned perfectly for this one.

2. Megadeth: Rust in Peace - This is Megadeth's shining moment for me. It was the debut album of the "classic" line-up and they brought their A game. From the start it's apparent that this isn't going to be another So Far, So Good, So What. Production is better, lyrics are more politically charged, and the guitar work between Dave and Marty is so great they still haven't been album to reproduce it. I know everyone knows Hangar 18 from Guitar Hero, but this entire album could be made into a Guitar Hero game...simply insane.

Now, people will argue about these two albums. In all honesty, the first 4 albums from both Metallica and Megadeth are metal classics and should be owned by any metalhead. These are my favorites and show the best of what 80's/90's thrash was all about.

3. At the Gates: Slaughter of the Soul - This is melodic death metal at it's finest. Bands are still trying to duplicate the sound and style on this album. Whether it be Tomas' vocals or the Iron Maiden-esque guitar work, they are still trying to get it right. This was my first "death metal" album and I was blown away by the overall thrash feeling I got from it. What also makes this album a "must own" is the fact that the band broke up after they released this album. Imagine Metallica breaking up after MoP...yeah just like that.

4. Into Eternity: Buried in Oblivion - If you were to combine the first 3 albums on this list, you would come close to creating the sound of Into Eternity. A band that really created it's own genre, combining thrash, death metal, progressive metal, and some soft rock thrown in for fun. Now when this album was made, Into Eternity had 3 vocalists...yes I said 3, screamer, death growls, and a clean singer. The vocal harmonies alone are a reason to own this album, but there is a ton more. Do you want the guitar harmonies or solos which are insane or do you want the quick hitting tempo changes? Most songs you know whats coming next, but the first time I played this album everything hit me from out of nowhere. Perfect example, after an entire album of controlled chaotic metal, in come a ballad that sounds like it was left off of Peter Cetera's solo album...seriously, but it works - perfectly.

5. Killswitch Engage: Alive or Just Breathing - huh? a metalcore band? Yeah, a metalcore band. Just like At the Gates, KsE created a genre which bands are trying to copy to this day. Stop me if you heard this before, brutal drumming, screaming vocals, heavy riffs with clean choruses and some breakdowns...sounds like every metalcore band in the last 5 years. Well, it all started with KsE and no one has been album to beat them at it. I will never forget the first time I heard the verses being sung with such anger and forcefullness and then...such beauty in the choruses. This band, along with Shadows Fall, helped bring metal back to the mainstream after the disaster that was nu-metal.

There they are...5 must own metal albums.

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