Thumbs up: +5
OK, let's get this straight right now: THIS IS NOT A LIST OF MY FAVOURITE ALBUMS. Neither is it a 'Best Of' list in any shape, manner or form. And it is also not a list of albums I consider to be important in Metal history in general (though many of them assuredly would be considered so).

What this list is:
I started thinking about why I listen to Metal, and why I listen to certain bands and not others. And how my tastes have changed enormously in the approx 15 years I've been, as one might say, a Metalhead. I thought it would be interesting to look over my collection and pick out those albums I consider to be landmarks in my listening career and write a little bit about why each is significant to me. Significant either in the sense that I thought they were amazing first time around (and in some cases still do), or that they opened the Left Hand Path to a new wavelength of the metal spectrum. This will start out small, but I'll add more albums once I've thought about it properly. There is no order at present.

Also keep an eye out for Part 2, which will be much more about my current listening habits.

Discussion is always appreciated, so feel free to comment.

EDIT: I will try and update one album a day, sort of like one o' them blog thingies, if anyone gives a fuck!
EDIT MK II: Clearly I'm too lazy to do one a day, so we'll aim for a couple or three a week!

Created by: LordFezzington | 22.04.2012

1. Anathema - Judgement
If Judgement and Alternative 4 were boxers, they would slug it out right to the bell in the 12th round, both bleeding profusely and having knocked each other down twice. Judgement would then win in a split decision. Anyway, hate boxing, love Anathema. Judgement only really comes out above Alternative 4 in my affections because I got it first. "Fragile Dreams" (on Alternative 4) was the first song of theirs I heard and is an amazing cut, but "Make It Right (F.F.S.)" was what persuaded me into buying Judgement as soon as it was released (alongside Slipknot's debut, bizarrely!). No album affects me emotionally like this one. No album. None. It's probably a 10 now, a decade and change later. Amazing. Tracks that got me hooked: Deep, Make It Right (F.F.S.), One Last Goodbye, Judgement.
2. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
I'd just started to get properly into Rock, via obvious starting points like Nirvana, RHCP, Foo FIghters, Green Day and, of all things, Meatloaf. Like any good music fan does, I started reading up on my history. Sabbath are the pioneers of Metal in many ways, so I rented (yes, rented - no YouTube or Spotify in the mid-90's!) Paranoid from my local library. I was hooked from the instant War Pigs came on. The album was immediately copied onto cassette (sort of like a mp3 player, but with wheels and an uncanny ability to get tangled up!) and still remains one of my favourite albums to this day. Tracks that got me hooked: War Pigs, Paranoid, Iron Man, Fairies Wear Boots
3. Cradle Of Filth - Midian
I first heard Cradle in 1998, just as they put out Cruelty And The Beast. The closer from that album, "Lustmord & Wargasm" appeared on a Metal Hammer compilation. I listened to it and thought, "I like the music here, it's dark, melancholic, fast, blah, blah, blah...but wait...what the FUCK is that god-awful screeching?! Sorry, that's the singer, you say? Jeez..." So Cradle were cast aside for a time. Then 2-3 years later, I saw the video (a recurring theme, you may notice) for "Her Ghost In The Fog" on Scuzz and was sufficiently blown away to buy Midian and give 'em a second chance. I found it really hard to get into at first; in fact, I was still so green in terms of extreme music at the time that I found some of the lyrical content a little disturbing - "Lord Abortion" in particular. I now think it's CoF's strongest album hands down, and it opened the gates (of Midian!) for me into the sinister world of Black Metal. Dani still sounds like a stuck pig though... Tracks that got me hooked: Cthulhu Dawn, Death Magick For Adepts, Her Ghost In The Fog
4. Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger
Other Metal Storm veterans may well remember with some fondness the old "Follow The Storm" compilations the site used to offer for free, as well as a host of short song clips to whet the aural appetite. One of those song clips from back in the day was of the title track from everyone's favourite album-recorded-in-a-washing-machine, Transilvanian Hunger. "What's the point of a 60-second sample of that?" you may ask. Well precisely. A download from my Uni's servers swiftly followed, resulting in a slightly unhealthy desire to avoid sunlight and screech incomprehensibly at unsuspecting passers-by. My love of the record has faded a bit with time (I tend to find it a bit TOO samey), but it's still a genre-defining classic. Now, where's my corpsepaint? Tracks that got me hooked: Transilvanian Hunger.
5. Def Leppard - Hysteria
Bearing absolutely no relation to metal in any shape, manner or form and boasting production so glossy you could play Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on its surface, you could be forgiven for wondering what this album is doing on this list. The answer is simple: This is hands-down, no doubt, the best stadium rock record ever committed to tape. No, seriously. One of the first rock albums I ever really heard, this album has so many hooks it could keep Abu Hamza supplied with prosthetics for the rest of his life. Essentially an album of singles (6 were Top 20 hits on both sides of the Atlantic), it nevertheless is a record where some of the album tracks, such as "Gods Of War" and "Run Riot" more than measure up, though "Excitable" and "Love And Affection" are best described as the runts of a very strong litter. And to be honest, the production is glorious to listen to if you like accessible music of any sort. Hysterically good. Tracks that got me hooked: Women, Animal, Armageddon It, Gods Of War, Run Riot, Hysteria.
6. Dream Theater - Awake
Hands up if you've ever bought an album simply because of the cover art. Keep your hand up if this resulted in you buying one of your favourite albums of all time. My hand is still up. I was trawling a rack of sale CDs and came across this and A Change Of Seasons. I don't think I'd heard of DT at all at the time, but I DO remember thinking the cover of Awake was seriously impressive and the track names were pretty cool. When I put Awake on at home, I admit to being a little bemused by the inane Irish rambling at the start of "6:00", but persevered and was absolutely gobsmacked by the rest of the record. I don't own many records that exhibit the range of moods, styles and musicianship as this, if any. Kevin Moore's presence on this one is a big plus point, but more so is DT's ability to write amazing songs without wanking all over the place as they have tended to do in later years. No sticky white mess here! Still a classic now, and I still find "Space Dye Vest" completely heartbreaking. Tracks that got me hooked: Innocence Faded, Voices, Lifting Shadows Off A Dream, Space Dye Vest
7. Fear Factory - Demanufacture
"HUH!, DA DA DA DA DA DA DA, DA DA DA DA, DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA, DA DA DA DA, DA DA DA DA DA DA DA, DA DA DA DA, THERE IS NO LOVE!" Someone played me the intro to "Replica" and that was it, I wanted this album bad. To a 14 year old me, everything about this album was huge, from the riffs, to Ray Herrera's machine-like drumming, to Burton C. Bell's by turns growled then soaring (no-doubt with a liberal dose of studio 'magic'!) vocals. This is still one of my favourite all-time albums, and it still sounds monolithically heavy (a bit like Dino...) to me now. This remains an object lesson in combining aggression, melody and industrial rhythms without sounding pathetic at any point. Tracks that got me hooked: Demanufacture, Zero Signal, Replica, Pisschrist
8. Iron Maiden - Powerslave
It took me a long time to 'get' Maiden, and yet eventually they became far and away my favourite band for many years. I'd tried Best Of The Beast, and only enjoyed the live cut of 'Fear Of The Dark' on it. Then I tried Virtual XI (admittedly an awful starting point), which was new out at the time. Still nothing; they just weren't heavy enough for my Slayer & Fear Factory attuned ears! But then I watched a VH1 recording of a Slayer show I'd been at, which also happened to feature the video for 'Aces High'. I went out and bought Powerslave later that week, and a love affair was born! I remember listening to this album and Piece Of Mind, bought at the same time, for weeks on end. Tracks that got me hooked: Aces High, Two Minutes To Midnight, Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
9. Helloween - Better Than Raw
You know when bands have hyper-hyper critically acclaimed über-classic albums that everyone holds up as not only the paradigm of their output but of entire genre? You immediately start your listening with those albums right? Wrong! Another discovery through cover-mounted CDs (Metal Hammer this time), Better Than Raw is an album I picked up relatively early on in my metal oddysey. "Midnight Sun" was the guilty party this time - a track which had me hooked instantly and I still love to this day (probably Helloween's best song actually). The rest of Better Than Raw is perhaps Helloween's most versatile, yet consistent record, since - whilst there is a huge amount of 'fun' to be found on the album - there is a decided absence of the downright silly material that mars some of their other work. I personally find it hard to find a genuinely weak moment from the opening of the ludicrously named yet delightfully composed "Deliberately Limited Prelude Period In Z" to the closing of "Midnight Sun". Quite frankly, you can Keep your Seven Keys... Tracks that got me hooked: Push, Falling Higher, Hey Lord!, I Can, Lavdate Dominum, Midnight Sun
10. Katatonia - Tonight's Decision
I think I'd heard both "Murder" and "Teargas", neither of which appear on here incidentally, while at Uni. I was sufficiently intrigued by both tracks to pick up Tonight's Decision and Last Fair Deal Gone Down for about a fiver each in HMV. I was going through a "depressive" period - which for me means listening to stuff like MDB & Anathema, I don't actually get depressed I don't think! Hence, Katatonia fit nicely at the time. Both are pretty good albums, but this was the one I came back to most and therefore the one I consider more influential upon developing my taste. Still love "Right Into The Bliss" and "A Darkness Coming". Tracks that got me hooked: Right Into The Bliss, This Punishment, A Darkness Coming, Fractured.
11. Machine Head - Burn My Eyes
The drum intro to Davidian. That is all.... No seriously, that's the sole inspiration for me picking this up. Well actually, I saw the video for Davidian on a VHS (yes, like a cassette, but with pictures!) compilation from Roadrunner (Drilling The Vein I believe) but arrived somewhat circuitously at this album via The Burning Red (again, an album that has faded with the harsh passage of time) which I bought on release and loved. I'm still staggered at just how jaw-dropping this album is for a debut AND how thrashy it is for a popular mid-90s release. Still sounds modern now and infinitely less contrived than, for example, Unto The Locust (a good example of getting carried away with a surprise success and trying too hard to replicate it) and significantly more energetic to boot. And back then I didn't realise Robb Flynn was a total jackass. I guess he talked less.... Tracks that got me hooked: Davidian.
12. Metallica - Metallica
So we come to perhaps the most controversial album ever released in the world of metal. Ok, so that might be something of an exaggeration, but this does seem to be an incredibly divisive record. Now, I've been listening to Metallica for long enough to be physically sickened with disappointment at just how bad St. Anger was when it came out - I've still yet to make it through that abomination in a single sitting in nearly ten years - but not long enough to have experienced the Black Album's release (I bought it circa 2000. At the airport). I can relate to being disappointed that it wasn't another Puppets or Ride, but I really cannot understand how anyone can dismiss these 12 tracks as being rubbish. Honestly, I think it's one of the best hard rock albums ever to come out of the States, and, as far as I'm concerned anyone who 'hates' this album is either incredibly narrow-minded, elitist or possibly entirely deaf. St. Anger on the other hand....yeesh. Tracks that got me hooked: Enter Sandman, Sad But True, Nothing Else Matters, Of Wolf And Man, The God That Failed
13. Soulfly - Soulfly
By total coincidence, "Tribe" was on the very same Metal Hammer CD as the Cradle cut mentioned above. The difference being that I loved "Tribe" immediately. This would have been back when my album collection was in its infancy and I had to save up to buy the occasional disc from my paper round money ('bout £10 a week - not much!). When Soulfly came out, I was still paying my parents back weekly for fronting me the cash for a Nintendo 64 (An amazing console, I should add, but that's another story...). The album was £13 (Yes I do still remember the price, I'm afraid. Sad.) in my local record store - which, of course, no longer exists. If I'd paid my instalment for that week, I'd have had to wait at least one more week to purchase. Pleading ensued, and I successfully negotiated an extension so I could buy it. This was my favourite album for quite some while as a teenager, not so much anymore. Has a lot to answer for in terms of introducing me to heavy music though. Tracks that got me hooked: No Hope = No Fear, Tribe, First Commandment, Umbabarauma, Quilombo
14. Blind Guardian - Live
Details pending...
15. Iced Earth - Alive In Athens
Details pending...
16. Megadeth - Countdown To Extinction
Details pending...
17. My Dying Bride - As The Flower Withers
Details pending...
18. Opeth - Damnation
Details pending...
19. Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power
Details pending...
20. Porcupine Tree - Deadwing
Details pending...
21. Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime
Details pending...
22. Rhapsody Of Fire - Legendary Tales
Details pending...
23. Sepultura - Arise
Details pending...
24. Slayer - Diabolus In Musica
Details pending...
25. Stratovarius - Visions
Details pending...
26. System Of A Down - System Of A Down
Details pending...
27. More To Follow - Keep watching...

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by LordFezzington ]


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Comments: 10  
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Oaken - 14.05.2012 at 21:29  
Cool list. At first, I wanted to stop listening to metal after sometime, but Maiden's awesomeness was the thing that kept me hooked in.
LordFezzington - 20.05.2012 at 22:35  
Written by Oaken on 14.05.2012 at 21:29

Cool list. At first, I wanted to stop listening to metal after sometime, but Maiden's awesomeness was the thing that kept me hooked in.

Thanks. Updated a couple of new entries for your reading pleasure!
JohnDoe - 21.05.2012 at 02:01  
Great idea for a list, a lot of great albums there (and also some I don't like).
LordFezzington - 30.09.2012 at 23:57  
So, finally I've dragged my ass round to updating this. See Metallica & Burn My Eyes for those interested...
LordFezzington - 20.10.2012 at 00:19  
Shameless bump: Updated with Def Leppard - Hysteria and Helloween - Better Than Raw. Enjoy!
Big-Al - 09.11.2012 at 16:28  
Mr. Doctor - 09.11.2012 at 20:49  
As The Flower Withers truly is My Dying Bride's best album to me... A haunting one which has all the elegance which is a classic feature from them but there's a strong sense of morbid beauty in their debut that didn't appear again.
AndMetalForAll - 17.11.2012 at 02:58  
Some great names in the list, other names that I don't like. But thumbs up!
AndMetalForAll - 23.12.2012 at 02:00  
Cool list!
LordFezzington - 23.12.2012 at 02:06  
Written by AndMetalForAll on 23.12.2012 at 02:00

Cool list!

Thanks. Will be updating it some more over the holiday season!

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