Thumbs up: 0
Essentially I composed this list as a note-to-self not to take my negative first impressions so seriously. Most of these tend to be works I initially rated a couple points (/10) lower, because the music didn't seem all that great to my ears. Again, most, tend to have increased value once I delved into the lyrics - sometimes entirely away from the music. Yeah... normally I couldn't care less whether you're singing about clown-phobias, alien invasions, SC battles, real war on Earth or alternative uses for vacuum cleaners. Oh, and on that note: Acid Reign (ensure Bandcamp-player is enabled in your user Settings) - is that another band's music entirely?

Regardless, it's wack.

Created by: Syk | 06.01.2014



1. Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
1973 - this album rocks. After my first couple spins I was somewhat baffled as to how its rating here on MS reached and remained so very high. (Like 'The Last in Line'... though, sad to say, I have kinda given up on that Dio album.) But here, Alice's band gives an amazing run through tracks 3 to 5, I can't give 'em enough credit for those great songs they came up with over 40 years ago. Tracks 1 and 7 took a while for me to grasp, their sentiment seemed too alien but they've finally clicked with me (nice mouth-harping, yes). I still like to skip past Raped and Freezin' cos I have no sense of humour... the last pair are nice odd ditties, though. And then the band blew up...
2. Anthrax - Stomp 442
1995 - I won't quite say this album rocks, but like Sabbath's long-hated and formerly-final album released the same year, it's actually not that bad once you pay some decent attention to the lyrics. 'Forbidden' is actually a decent point of reference, as the band's trademark thrash(/doom) has been all but culled out of the music leaving an awkward half-way hodgepodge of [hard] rock and the heavy metal in vogue at the time, yet some of the classic "feeling" is still there to be found if only you go looking for it. Some decent half-thrash breaks transpire and there's a nice honest ballad at the end (plus cover of one of Maiden's best songs if you're lucky). Potentially Metallica's trajectory for 'Load' could be "blamed" on the direction of this release [and its predecessor? I'm not sure], although unlike Anthrax they didn't get Dimebag Darrell to lay down some cool guest lead-work. "In a Zone" is my favourite cut from Stomp.
3. Cathedral - Kingdom of Ends
1992 (not the British magical [doom] metal juggernaut put to rest last year) - I latched on far more readily to the heavier/more confident/aggressive-sounding 'There in the Shadows', put out a year or two later by this overlooked American prog outfit. The tracks here aren't too definitively metal... a few references to Broadway, maybe, but it's still very nice and rocking. Just... not as much as TitS. Many classy memorable lines... just, not as m... ...you know. "Seldom Seen" + "So Far from Home" win here, though "Psychotic" between them is growing on me as we speak
4. Hypocrisy - Catch 22
2002 - started out on 5/10 as initially only "Another Dead Man" seemed interesting, convincing, forceful enough to redeem tracks 1 & 10 (which I would have pulled completely). Basically this is Hypoc's 'St. Anger' (with a few solos on top), as the unique approach taken in previous recordings was replaced with a stripped-back, more basic, explicit and somewhat to-the-point sound, along similar lines to how Maiden switched things up (or down) on 1990's 'No Prayer' (which incidentally, also saw lukewarm reception from many old fans). I now find tracks 9, 2, and 4-7 more enjoyable than I did, but most songs still feel ...not quite right, like they're missing something. I haven't bothered with the V2.0 re-recordings from 2008, although Peter T was probably right with the reasons/justification he gave for taking a second stab at this ol' set
5. Intruder - Psycho Savant
1991 - originally slapped with a 7 thanks to the killer guitar-work (largely acrobatic thrash à la AJFA/contemporary Artillery/Forbidden/Heathen, though not entirely) and dled wonderfully free from the band's website 76.25 months ago, this came to join the ranks of some of my all-time favourite metal that just happened to be released in '91. "It's a Good Life" is the only one I come close to struggling with... the vocals are a bit wild right through the album and certainly the loosest element presented by the band, but they're fun, passionate, and maybe a little campy. "Final Word" has thoughtful lyrics about abortion and some brilliant non-4/4 riffing I always love to sing along with (yeah, I sing guitar lines like Van Canto far more often than words) while the other tracks named near the top of my 1990s list are just packed with instrumental genius. ...and pure, unadulterated passion? You could say that... ...Think I'd even take this over 'Twisted into Form', now (and that's saying something)
6. Jethro Tull - A
1980 - I was really expecting to be let down spinning 'A' due to the renowned low score this is often given in relation to the rest of the band's catalogue, but it may have been a simple case of sour grapes thrown at Scots-born IA as he took JT in a harder-rocking, slightly less folk-sounding, more new-wave-influenced direction with his attempted solo debut. The ever-reliable Martin Barre and Eddie Jobson stopped by to drop some fantastic guitar and electric-violin lines; in particular "Batteries Not Included", "Fylingdale Flyer" and "Black Sunday" which I'd heard a bit thanks to the Slipstream video my dad used to play 20 years ago. Extremely fortunately, the remastered reissue of 'A' came with a DVD perfect for being re-thrilled by the "Sweet Dream" video and "Aqualung" live, complete with iconic giant pink balloons. So close to the greatness of "My Sunday Feeling" which kicks off the 1968 debut :D
7. Kataklysm - Victims of This Fallen World
1998 - of course just about anything will pale in comparison to the sheer madness Sylvain Houde, Nick Miller and (what? he's still there? you're kidding me) guitarist J-F Dagenais brought to the Northern Hyperblasters' early efforts, although they channelled similarly-focused strength in songwriting and concept on 2002's 'Shadows & Dust'. I took a while to warm to 'Victims'' simpler musical direction, vaguely more ordinary lead vocals from former bassist Maurizio, and what seems like a punk/metalcore tack in the 'we stand together, stronger than all' kind of lyrical bent which I found laughable in later releases 'Prevail' and 'Heaven's Venom'. Eventually I found the desire for strength, to be better as displayed in tracks like "Courage through Hope" and "I Remember" relatable, the latter also opening with a somewhat unique violin-in-DM melody. On top of that (if you can get through tracks 4-6's vocal approach), there's still some relatively boss riffs to be found such as in "A View from Inside", "Embracing Europa" and the passable sequel to "World of Treason"... still, everything here is mauled by Darkthrone's "Grave with a View" from the beginning of the decade. Naturally...
8. Kekal - Acidity
2005 - first few tracks? Alright, a bit "out there"; a rather good representation of what's to come then we get to the middle, the innards, the heart & soul of the album, tracks 4-7 and I'm pretty much in heaven. The last few are far more than fine, too... click the album title and scroll down to Comments. Trust me. Risk-free :) This has quickly risen up to be about as strong IMO as Intruder's one, above
9. Korn - Take a Look in the Mirror
2003 - mainly here for "Play Me', thanks to rhymes spat by Nas. Love track 6... just wish other songs were a liiittle more effective. Also, the last 14 minutes of music and empty space presented here - room for improvement...
10. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II
1969 - I certainly prefer most other LZ albums (still not 'IV' nor 'Presence') but "Ramble On" has become a firm favourite - despite my near-zero grasp of LotR - and "Moby Dick" is undeniably great fun, along with "Lemon", "Maid" and "Bring It On Home". Those I've not named are fairly good songs too... It must be said, though, I do easily tire of, often can't wait to skip over the... indulgences of the famous opening track
11. Megadeth - So Far, So Good... So What?
1988
12. Megadeth - Countdown to Extinction
1992
13. Metallica - Re-Load
1997 - I even like "Lyric", now. "Slither" is still a sticking point - I feel it sounds too alike to Sandman, but every other song here has basically become more enjoyable with each blasting. From the pop ("Fuel") to the weird (Memory), the middling (Better/"Attitude") to the twisted blissful (Unforg2, Carpe Diem, "Prince Charming"), and the dreamy & greatly representative "Where the Wild Things Are". IMO it's simply not as strong as 'Load', but it's different, and good. Certainly deserving of more time than many so-called MetalliCats give it
14. Metallica - Garage Inc.
1998
15. Morbid Angel - Covenant
1993 - in a bit of a twist on this list's title, the standout (and perhaps best) songs on 'Covenant' are the two written long before '93, "Angel of Disease" and "The Lion's Den". Repetition (often on TV) of the first and last numbers from the album probably helped to breed LESS contempt (from me, anyway) as I grew to love them, along with the well-written "Sworn to the Black". Go ahead and check out the two vids if you haven't already - although, this is amongst the biggest-selling DM CDs of all time...
16. Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
1995 - like 'BDB' above, I denied my affinity to (or the quality of) this music for a long time (actually a number of years). Difference is, here it was likely intentional due to the alt.rock (codeword, Brit-pop) orientation... but really, this may house even more classic gems than 'Billion'. Should indeed not be missing from the collection of any (not-too-energy-intensive) rock fan, almost to the extent of...
17. Rush - 2112
1976 - no, don't rush, that's the whole point of this list! *cough* From the first spin I thought this was great, thanks to the opening and closing masterpieces. Further listens to the quieter tunes revealed the whole album to be pretty much perfect!
18. Tool - Lateralus
2001 - I still skip over a couple of the interweaving interludes on here (though they can certainly serve a purpose when in the right mood - experiment with the tracklist, try searching online for suggestions of the "real" order) but there are songs on here that simply must be heard dozens of times through any given lifespan. Many already know and love "Schism" + "Parabola" with their amazingly artful videos, but Tool/'Lateralus' doesn't end there... "Ticks & Leeches" is a masterclass in drumming and song-writing, and once those eight minutes come to an end - behold, the title track. One of the best songs the group's done in their 20+ year existence. Well... it nearly beats the Para- pair.
19. <- Insert here yet another image of a human likeness or four. Haha



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



Post comments

Login or register to post here.



Hits total: 223 | This month: 1