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gibsonfan159

Five Metal Albums That Blew Your Mind

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A thread for the metal heads to share some of their most influential albums.

Trying to avoid the common masterpieces (Black Album, Ozzy, etc), my list is more about non-mainstream albums that took me to the next level in some way.

1. Morbid Angel- Formulas Fatal To The Flesh. In my early teens I was still hung up on classic rock and the common heavies like Metallica and Megadeth, but was definitely yearning for a stronger drug. I'd heard the term "death metal" tossed around all through school, but never actually indulged in it myself. I'd heard some Cannibal Corpse but found it overdone and uninteresting. I bought this album based strictly on the album cover and band name, but was mentally rearranged after a few listens. The muscle, the power, the confidence, and next-level musicianship was like nothing I'd heard before. This was like going from smoking some weed on the weekends to mainlining coke and heroin. The guitars were Eddie Van Halen on steroids. The drums were....well, I found God in Pete's merciless, flawless beats. The lyrics pumped enough adrenaline through me to tackle a fucking grizzly. I know the Vincent era is the defining sound of the band to some, but this album has no equal as far as I'm concerned. The first four tracks alone still make me feel invincible.

2. Samael- Ceremony Of Opposites. I'd first heard these guys on a sampler I received from their label, and I immediately found the next level of heaviness I'd been yearning for after becoming accustomed to the likes of Metallica and Megadeth. "Black Trip" was the guitar muscle I'd been missing. "Into The Pentagram" was just devastatingly heavy. From start to finish, the guitar riffs are merciless and relentless, sharp as a razor. The drums were in your face and dynamic. And above all, there was a strong sense of melody. The later albums were ok, but this one really hit home with me.

3. Iced Earth- Something Wicked This Way Comes. I'd heard the tracks "Burning Times" and "My Own Saviour" and quickly realized this is a band I identified with. Barlowe's impeccable, powerful vocals combined with those riffs was an awakening to a level of metal musicality I had been subconsciously looking for. It was classic metal that wasn't cheesy. It was the perfect combo of power and melody. Songs like "Melancholy", "Watching Over Me", and "Blessed Are You" had me in a metal euphoria for months and I was a fan instantly.

4. Blind Guardian- Nightfall In Middle Earth. The closest I ever got to power metal was the classics- Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, until I stumbled upon this gem. Though this was lacking in my usual fix for gigantic riffs and aggression, it made up for it with blazing guitar solos and melody that couldn't be matched. It was like a metal Shakespeare play. Just as Morbid Angel's "Formulas" opened my eyes to Death Metal, this album broadened my horizons on the other side of the spectrum. Powerful, emotional vocals, layered guitar, and an endless flow of melody and intricate song structure. And Tolkien. "Into The Storm", "Nightfall", "The Curse Of Feanor", and "Blood Tears" were jaw-dropping.

5. Nile- In Their Darkened Shrines. I'd gotten Nile's first album "Amongst The Catacombs" on a whim when reading the description "Egyptian Death Metal". I was looking for something to satisfy the need for extra-heaviness that Morbid Angel had created and that was intriguing enough to get me interested, but I just didn't dig it. The atmosphere was there but the album sounded terrible to my ears, over fuzzy guitars and a dull sound. Now this time around they hooked me. "Sarcophagus" and "Unas, Slayer Of The Gods" was the exact, adrenaline pumping sound I was looking for. The guitar crunch was unbelievable and the drums were absolutely insane. Going from full speed onslaught to extremely slow chugging riffs and impossible solos for 6-8 minutes was hard to wrap my mind around, and to be honest it took me a few listens to fully take on what was happening. Then it's like a door opened up and I just "got it". Still one of the absolute heaviest albums I've ever heard.

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Well, most of the metal albums that blew my mind were the common masterpieces...Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, etc. Most modern metal I find laughable and barely last a few songs before I get bored with the blast beats and shrill guitar and cookie-monster voices (or the Geddy Lee on helium alternative).

But aside from the Sabbath, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Priest, Motörhead classics, there are really only a few albums that blew my mind and woke me up to a new band and a new brand of metal.

1. Accept "Restless & Wild" 1982

First time I heard this was when I was in Germany in 1982. "Fast as a Shark" ripped my head off. I don't think I had heard a band play so fast and hard before. I made cassette copies and immediately sent them to all my friends back home in the U.S. Accept was the rabbit-hole which led me to Slayer, Metallica, Anvil and all those thrash bands.

2. Budgie "Budgie" 1971 

Discovering Budgie was simultaneously revelatory and sad. I mean, this Welsh band had literally no airplay to speak of in the U.S. during the 1970s. Which is a damm crime when you consider all the jabroneys radio tried to force feed us back then...Journey, Foreigner, Angel, Leo Sayer, .38 Special, Grand Funk Railroad, all that crap. Just about every band in the NWOHM was influenced by Budgie but it would have been nice for the band to have received some love and attention during the time those albums were first released.

3. Ministry "Land of Rape and Honey" 1988

"Stigmata" was the song that turned me on to these dark bastards. Had that jam on constant repeat that year.

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15 minutes ago, Strider said:

 

2. Budgie "Budgie" 1971 

Discovering Budgie was simultaneously revelatory and sad. I mean, this Welsh band had literally no airplay to speak of in the U.S. during the 1970s. Which is a damm crime when you consider all the jabroneys radio tried to force feed us back then...Journey, Foreigner, Angel, Leo Sayer, .38 Special, Grand Funk Railroad, all that crap. Just about every band in the NWOHM was influenced by Budgie but it would have been nice for the band to have received some love and attention during the time those albums were first released.

 

First band I ever saw. "If I were Britannia I'd waive the rules" Summer 1976

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1 - The Stooges self titled. Not sure if they're metal or punk or just The Stooges, but the song "1969" blew me away when I first hear it, and still does to this day. The rest of the album is great, too:

2  - Electric Food - Terrible name, great band. A precursor to the mighty Lucifer's Friend. Early '70s hard rock with keyboards.

Gun - Self Titled. "Devil's Gun" is the best known song from this late '60's debut. Lots of good stuff on the rest of the album

Dust - Self Titled. Just awful cover art, but a hard rockin' album. Starts with "Stone Woman" and picks up from there:

 

Sir Lord Baltimore - "Kingdom Come".  Similar to Budgie in that they cranked out chunks of molten rock that not enough people heard. 

 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, SteveZ98 said:

1 - The Stooges self titled. Not sure if they're metal or punk or just The Stooges, but the song "1969" blew me away when I first hear it, and still does to this day. The rest of the album is great, too:

 

I always considered them just rock or hard rock. Later the punks adopted Iggy as their godfather but I never considered the Stooges as part of the metal brigade. But a brilliant ripping album, for sure.

Edited by Strider

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Posted (edited)

Riot - "Fire Down Under". Yet another great album with a terrible cover. An American band who had the same vibe, sound, and energy as the better known NWOBHM bands. This came out in 1981 and deserved a wider audience than it got. Here's the title track:

And something more recent, the debut by Graveyard. Hard to pick my favorite track as they're all stellar. This track, "Evil Ways", starts slow and builds until you think you're speakers might burst into flames. 

 

Edited by SteveZ98

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Strider said:

I always considered them just rock or hard rock. Later the punks adopted Iggy as their godfather but I never considered the Stooges as part of the metal brigade. But a brilliant ripping album, for sure.

Sounds like Mick Jagger fronting the Yardbirds.

I was never a Metalhead, but when I first heard this, it blew my mind:

 

 

 

Edited by The Rover

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I don't like the term Heavy Metal, it's so unclean, something to be avoided. I refuse to accept that anything I  listen to falls in that category. For instance "Black Sabbath", never tell me that the Osborne years were Metal, they were Hard or Heavy Rock. The Dio years on I don't give two fucks, call 'em what you like I've no interest. That's my early morning not long woken lack of caffeine rant over...

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3 hours ago, JTM said:

The Dio years on I don't give two fucks, call 'em what you like I've no interest.

Ouch, right in the feels. 

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Fully agree w/Accept's  Restless and Wild.  Trouble's self-titled album and Run To the Light are classic doom metal.  The Polish death metal band Vader has a lot of good stuff, straight-ahead but worth checking out.

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Also agree w/the first Metal Church album.  The Eyes of God by Today is the Day is pretty intense metal.

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