Monday, November 24, 2008

5 Albums That Changed My (musical) Life

Computer-rendered depiction of the quiet moment when I decided to come up with this list.

My life in the world of metal has been a long one, at least it feels that way to me. Looking back on my years involved in metal, it's sometimes all a blur. I've attended lots of shows, concerts, and fests as an audience member. I booked bands, and helped my brother run his tape distro. Yes, there was a time when bands put out tapes. I saw Entombed at a strip club during their first US tour. I was part of the Wild Rags Records street team, and I was a pen pal of sorts with members from Hellwitch, Impetigo and other not-so-seminal bands. My brother and I did a radio show for many years, and played 7 minute Carcass songs so we could go to the bathroom which was roughly a mile away from the studio where we did the show from, and still get back in time to give out the call letters by the end of the hour. I played in bands, and got my double bass 36th notes to sound damn good and even. I've collected records, I've collected cassettes, and VHS tapes. I've driven long distances to see bands, and I've even waited to outside a tour bus to have an Obituary drumstick autographed. Okay, that last one still makes me cringe, but it was 1992 for god's sake! Anyway, because it's all a blur, I sometimes like to set some quiet time aside to think about it all. Just me, an Enya CD, a cup of tea, and nature. It's during these quiet moments (see image above) that I most effectively manage to reflect upon my life in the world of metal. Below is the product of my last quiet moment of reflection, a list of albums that changed my life. I've tried to be as truthful as possible in compiling this list, and as such the albums may not be as impressive or obscure as some I could have come up with. But this is the truth, here for all to read. These were albums that I encountered by chance at some point in my life. In one way or another, these recordings changed my view of music at that moment, and more often than not, sent me in a significantly different musical direction thereafter. School's in bitches. Let us begin.


I was a little kid when my brother and I received this album as a gift from our uncle. While many would argue that getting Unmasked as a gift is just as bad as getting smallpox infected blankets for your birthday, I have to tell you that I love this piece of garbage album to this day. In a way, I love almost anything that Kiss has done actually, best exemplified by Gene Hoglan's Balls and I singing "Hard Luck Woman" at a kareoke place just this weekend. But back to Unmasked. When I tell Kiss fans that this is my favorite Kiss album, they look at me exactly as you'd look at a retarded kid that just crapped his pants. A mix of disgust and sadness. What can I tell you, at such a young age, I had no idea that Kiss hadn't always been a disco-tinged pop disaster, but rather an awful talentless theater show. How was I to know? The album had enough songs with a harder edge to make it my favorite for many years, at least prior to my age jumping into the double digits. As a matter of fact, this was the only album that my brother and I listened to for most of our childhood. As a result of my youth, at one point I really did believe that Kiss may have actually been connected to satan, if only in a minor way. You see, my mom always told me to put my Kiss record away, (along with all my other toys) before going to bed. One day, I didn't listen to her and went to bed, leaving both the sleeve and the record sitting on the carpeted floor by my bed. In the middle of the night, I woke up to go to the bathroom, slipped on the record and hit the back of my head on the edge of my bed so hard that I nearly threw up from the pain. I remember getting a bump in the back of my head that was roughly the size of a hard boiled egg cut in half. After that day, I was always careful with the record, and kinda thought it really did have evil powers. As it turns out, the only evil power the record had, was making money for Gene and Paul for what basically amounted to third rate disco bass lines. I know, I was an idiot, but I was also like four. I loved the record, and while other kids in school were listening to silly kids music (perhaps one step up from "row, row, row your boat.."), I was listening to Kiss, and I felt like a bad-ass. This album basically set me up to continually keep looking for music that was harder, and more extreme than what the rest of the kids around me were listening to. Humble beginnings, I know, but in 1982, and this is all I had access to. About 8 years ago, my brother and I ended up at a taping of the David Letterman show. We sat right above Anton Figg, who was the session drummer for Unmasked. The whole time, I kept yelling at him to play "Torpedo Girl", which is my favorite song in the album. After the twentieth time, he kinda looked up, and shook his head. Yes, I had basically been told I was an asshole, but I had been told by the guy who laid down the groove on Torpedo Girl! So I was a happy man.

Iron Maiden-Live After Death

Many years after Unmasked, my brother and I received dubbed copy of Live After Death from my sister's boyfriend. We were amazed by the whole tape. It was harder and faster than Kiss, and the cover (which we got a poster of) was way more evil! Eddie's shirt is all ripped, and the screw keeping his forehead shut was getting hit bit lighting! Holy shit! Sign me up! Soon after getting the tape, we watcged the home video version, and we were in love. I didn't speak any english then, but I could still be heard yelling out "scream for me long beach!" through the halls of my school. Can you believe that I still wonder why girls were repulsed by me? Maybe the bleached rat-tail, and the Brut Cologne didn't help, and I'm sure my wearing sweatpants constantly didn't make it any easier either. It's as though I was daring the oppostite sex to not throw up when looking at me. So, a couple of years after owning the tape, and playing it thousands of times, it became worn out. Another mishap with the TDK-60 dub of this album was that my sister's boyfriend had left the tabs in, so I mistakenly hit "record" twice while attempting to press "play" to listen to the tape. Because of this mishap, our beloved cassette had two blank spaces in crucial moments of songs. Actually, they weren't blank spaces, but spaces with ambient sound of my room back then, picked up by the small microphone in my Sony boombox. Having heard Maiden, the world of bands like Helloween, Metallica, Testament, and even Whiplash was open to my brother and me. I was like a fatty with an insasiable hunger for metal...and the pages of Metal Hammer magazine were my all-you-can-eat buffet. It was also around this time that we were introduced to some other very extreme bands, ones that bordered on grindcore, but they were small local bands that no one would know I'll skip those. Moving on...

Slayer-Reign In Blood
, Venom-Black Metal

I count this one as one album, since it came to me as a single cassette. You see, one of our neighbors came to our house one day, asking if we'd buy one of his dubbed cassetes for five bucks or so. In retrospect, I think he wanted money to buy some wacky-tabbacky...but I'm not sure. He was older than my brother and me, and he was hella' metal. The tape he sold us was a 90 minute cassete with Reign In Blood on one side, and Black Metal on the other. While we liked Venom, it was Slayer that captured our imagination. Sadly, this was the first Slayer album I encountered. As I've stated before, South Of Heaven is my favorite...but life has a funny way of leading you down a path. Anyway, soon after hearing this tape, we got a dubbed copy of the Ultimate Revenge home video, and we were both hooked. Clearly, we didn't speak english then...otherwise we would have noticed just how insanely stupid Slayer comes off in that video. Luckily, we were clueless. Having heard Slayer, Metallica started to seem a little tame to us. We finally realized that Kiss was a disco band at one point. We were shocked. We still loved Maiden, but we knew that there were more extreme bands out there, and we had to find them. Destruction, Kreator, Cryptic Slaughter, Crumbsuckers and Bathory made sense to us after having owned this tape.

Napalm Death-Peel Sessions

My friend's mom was going to England for work in 1989, and he asked my friend what he would like her to bring him back from England. Being a smart dude, he quickly called me and asked me for the names of the most extreme bands I could think of, so she could buy those tapes while in England. My brother and I compiled a list, but I don't think that Napalm Death was on it. We had heard of other early Earache bands through reviews in Metal Hammer, but I don't think we even knew about Napalm Death. I should mention that Metal Hammer back then was made up of endless articles about AC/DC, small features about Metallica, a cover story about Triumph or Uriah Heap, with small reviews of actual metal bands. To give you an idea of how behind the times we were in our beloved backwards country, the Metal Hammer issues we were buying at the supermarket for a good bit of money, were literally three years old! I'm not kidding! Imagine my shock when I found out that Cliff Burton had not only died, but they had already replaced him and were well on their way to sucking full-time! In any case, back to the story about my friend's mom.... she came back with the Peel Sessions tape from England. We heard it, and as you can expect, we were shocked. Now Slayer sounded like Bon Jovi and Def Lepard. It blew our mind, and I think it took some time for it all to sink in and make sense. Having heard this tape, the world of death metal, grindcore, punk, crossover and noise was open to us. Though some bands could be heavier, nothing seemed faster and more extreme than this recording for many years. I have to say, while many were bummed when Napalm Death released Harmony Corruption, I actually liked it...even if it sounded tame compared to Peel Sessions. It's still one of my favorite death metal albums of all time.


Living in south-Florida during the formative years of American death metal was a great experience.Chuck Schuldiner lived in a storage space near our apartment, guys from Obituary were dating girls in my brother's high school, member of Cynic hadn't started to play in salsa bands in cruiseships...those were the days! It should come as no surprise then that I still feel that those early years of death metal were by far the greatest as far as musical output. Shortly after the Death album "Human" came out, I bought it and loved it instantly. Actually, I didn't buy it...I got this kid who I completely used for his money back then to buy it for me...but that's another story. Human was catchy and highly melodic, two qualities that were somewhat rare in other death metal bands back then. Yes, you could remember the general melodies to Deicide songs, but Death had taken it a step beyond. It reminded me of Iron Maiden, and that was a good thing. Perhaps that's why so many people grew to hate them. Another aspect of this album that blew me away was its complexity. In retrospect, the album is not THAT musically complex, but it opened my eyes to the possibilities. I know many people hate the fact that bands like Cynic or Atheist opened up Pandora's Box, and that inside that box was Fusion and Jazz...but I loved it. While Human was not as complex as some of Atheist's music or Cynic's, this album connected with me and showed me that complexity could be metal, prog could be metal...hell Jazz could be insanely enjoyable. Sadly, like many great moments in music, I believe that albums like Human, and most Swedish death metal are to blame for letting in a fair number of short haired beardos into metal. But what can you do? That's not Chuck's fault! Go blame the beardos! You gotta crack some eggs in order to make an omelet.

That's it. I guess since 1991 I've had no musical breakthrough moments in the realm of metal. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows or understands my taste in music. I've had plenty such moments outside of metal, but I guess in my eyes, little has been done that matters in any way since 1991 within metal. Yes, I've listened to some bands after then and liked them a good bit...but I have not heard anything after Human that sent me into a different branch of the metal tree, if you will. I'm sure some of you disagree, but this is my opinion. An opinion that sounds an awful lot like the old man who is still going on and on about how The Beatles were the last great band, or the Greatful Dead fan who refuses to acknowledge the mere existence any musical output after 1972. I guess I've joined their club...and to tell you the truth, that's just fine with me.


  1. reign in blood


    angel of death
    raining blood

  2. I also like Post Mortem, Criminally insane and Epidemic from that record.

  3. Nearly agree except you left out POST MORTEM unforgivable! screw the rest of the album just stick that on repeat and my neck would collapse in on itslef like that fat dude!

  4. completely agree. as i've stated before, south of heaven is my favorite slayer record...and yet i didn't encounter it until years later.

  5. uuhh..

    scorpions - some third copy live tape
    irom maiden - number of the beast
    slayer - reign in blood
    death - scream bloody gore
    paradise lost - gothic (hee melody!)

    and 1000 other non-metal stuff
    i'm i a poser?

  6. Kiss - Hotter Than Hell. That was my first, then Aerosmith, Ozzy - Diary of a Madman, Van Halen and Sex Pistols. Iron Maiden had its moments, but it just seemed they took themselves too seriously for how stupid it really was, plus I got sick of a friend of mine drawing Eddie on F'N EVERYTHING!!!

  7. scorpions, maiden, slayer, paradise lost...pretty similar list to mine. as such, you are not only not a poser...but one rad dude.

  8. your story about anton fig reminds me of when i saw shelter in 1998 or so. they had some extra time, so ray cappo asked if there were any requests. naturally, since i am an asshole i started screaming old songs like "united nutmeg," "skate straight," and "dancefloor justice." after the 20th time or so, he looked at me and said "ok bro, calm down. we're not going to play any old songs," and was visibly annoyed. after that, he dove into the crowd and i grabbed his balls.

  9. The Cure was the first good band I heard. It was when I was 9-10, in 1986, when they were just changing from being really dark, to a bit happier, but the songs I loved the most where the depressive ones. The fact that the rest of the kids at my school didn't have any idea of their existence (they were still listening to music for kids), made me feel even better.
    I heard some Maiden at that time and ACDC, Ozzy, Kiss and some other stuff on tv (videos tv shows), but I didn't get into them, though there were some Maiden songs that I really liked, but didn't become a fan. Then, I had to wait until 1991 (when I was 14) to get into metal. And the first album that really got my attention and made me look for heavier stuff was...Nevermind from Nirvana! Well, as you can see, even though some people think that that moment in time was the death of metal, for me it was the beginning (and I know, they are not metal, but they sounded loud, at least for me at that time). The thing is that after one month of listening to that album, I got to know the Swedish Death Metal movement, the American one (I like both, but the one that got my total attention was the Swedish one), and Grindcore. In 1992 I heard Gothic from Paradise Lost and that got me ready to buy and listen as many doom metal albums as I could find. It was like listening to my beloved band from when I was a kid, The Cure, but heavy! What else could I ask for? Finally, the last thing that happened that got me into another scene was Thy Mighty Contract, by Rotting Christ, and that opened the gates to Black Metal (that was around 1994-1995). Ah, and I forgot, in 1993 Death Metal was getting boring. There were bands everywhere, and a lot of them suck, so when I heard Desultory and their Death Metal with melody and At The Gates, I really loved them. I felt it was a great idea at that point (and I still like those bands), but now you have all these idiots stealing from At The Gates that suck (all those American core bands), but well, Lucho already mentioned this, so I won't go there again (but I think Desultory does not enter in this category, they had no followers in my opinion, and their death metal with melody doesn't sound like Goteborg Death Metal). Well, that's it. Of course there were also place for Thrash Metal, and some Punk Hardcore-Crossover stuff, but still, the ones that I mentioned are the most memorable for me.

  10. Sergeant D is always grabbing balls, you have to watch out for that guy.

    The Cure is an interesting entry into music and metal. We all have unusual stories. i guess mine is somewhat direct. i took the semi-express train...some people take the local and there are a million weird stops along the way...but isn't our experience in metal richer for it? i think so.

  11. by the way, porcell was totally cool about it when i talked to him afterward. he said he thought it would be a lot of fun to play some project x songs.

  12. I to ended my most intense relationship with metal in 1991 but of course in never ends.

  13. ironically your list almost mirrors mine in parts:

    1983: Bark At the Moon

    1986: Master of Puppets/Spreading the Disease (same thing as your Slayer/Venom dub except my cousin dubbed these 2 for me instead)

    1990: Harmony Corruption

    1997: Morningrise

    1998: Bonses Junges Fleisch by Wumpscut

    and honorable mention:
    1999: document #5 by pageninetynine

    these aren't necessarily my fave records (most are actually worn thin for me/i can barely listen to nowadays), but they were instrumental in leading me to some of my faves...

  14. Maiden: Seventh son of a seventh son
    Obituary: Cause of death
    Death: Spiritual healing
    Paradise lost: Gothic
    Tiamat: Wildhoney

    ...and many others...

  15. Mine would go like this:

    1) Black Sabbath- We Sold Our Souls for Rock and Roll (this made it okay to listen to more than just Queen and Ugly Kid Joe for me back in 6th grade, or whenever).

    2) Metallica- Kill 'em All (the first Metallica record I got, which definitely primed me for faster, more thrasy stuff. I would listen to The Four Horsemen and Motorbreath over and over and over and over and over again, especially on Sunday nights before I had to go back to school the next day).

    3) Slayer- Reign in Blood (same deal- a friend made me a tape of this. I was raised super catholic and when I heard the part in Altar of Sacrifice where "SATAN" echoes and fades out I could actually FEEL my life change. It was like "holy shit... they're right. Satan RULES!").

    4) Misfits - Collection I (not exactly metal, but another real paradigm shifting record for me back in junior high).

    5) Neurosis - Through Silver in Blood (this is actually my LEAST favorite Neurosis record now, but when I heard it back in late high school when it came out it blew my narrow mind. I couldn't write it off as lame industrial, it was definitely metal, but it was just so heavy and mean.).

    There are more recent ones, but albums that change your musical life stop being as fun after high school.

  16. You re all posers

    Amebix -Arise!

    Ordered by accident from AT

    still blows my mind

  17. Hmmm, I seem to be a bit older than most MI readers, but a bit less jaded. I heard KISS when I was very young also, but they failed to connect with me. Coulda been my over-sexed 16-year-old cousin 'Debbie' ranting about how they were the "greatest band on Earth". Coulda been that I was only in 3rd grade...

    Now first I gotta say I've never considered Metal to be inherently superior to other less EXTREME (fuck! I hate that word) forms of music. It's always just been another branch on the tree.

    The first cassette I bought was actually 'Point of Know Return' by Kansas. This was in 1979. And yes, it is still a favorite. The second milestone was hearing the first Iron Maiden album in 1980. I didn't immediately love it, but I thought it was pretty cool. Think of it as the gateway drug. #3 would have to be Rush's 'Exit Stage Left', 1981. The next thing would have to be Black Flag, also 1981. And the coveted fifth spot (as much as I want to say Voivod's 'Killing Technology', cuz it was a MAJOR player) goes to 'Ride the Lightning'. That's one ferocious album, you gotta admit.

    There have been many other breakthrough bands/albums along the way. I hope I never lose that sense of wonder in hearing something exciting. I feel sad for you guys who stopped evolving.

  18. i'm amazed that more than one person was so affected by Paradise Lost, that's great...its just odd how they had no effect on I just enountered them at a different time in my life. someone could be surprised that I never liked Scorpions as a kid or something like that too...just the way the cookie crumbles i guess.

  19. In my case, Steven, I'm still looking for new bands. I still love metal and listen to music all the time. But it rarely happens that a new band grabs my attention. Maybe that's a sign I'm getting old. But I still look for old bands that I didn't get to know at their time (or albums I didn't hear from a band I knew at the time), and I'm still finding some great albums that keep me interested in searching for more. For example, I didn't get to know Molested (death metal from Norway) until last year. I can't believe their material was edited in the 90s and I didn't even know. That band is awesome. Also, this year I heard Fatal, the death/thrash band from Michigan. Another awesome band. And one more that I just found like a month ago, and I'm still listening almost all days, Sarcasm, death metal from Sweden. I just have one demo from this band, and they recorded a couple more, but that demo is perfect. Anyway, now I'm looking for the rest of the stuff they recorded. Those are things that keep my interest at the same level it was when I was young.

  20. "The Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor that song enabled the guitar/metal switch in my head... the rest is history.
    the cure only had 2 good songs "a forest" & " killing an arab" the rest is sadly just too homo-erotic, not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just a sign of possible homogenes that will eventually lead to mascara and hairy man love.

  21. At 21, I'm one of the younger commenters/fans of the Inquisition dudes, so the significance of these albums have no relation to their release date.

    Iron Maiden- Powerslave. When I was 12 and had a tape player for Bar Mitzvah practice, I was on a bus on a school trip to Oregon. A new friend of mine had this mixtape that opened with "Aces High" and I knew right then that whatever the hell this was, I loved it. Long story short, I hunted down the album and it's still my number one.

    Coroner- No More Color. The only thrash I really listened to before these Swiss dudes was the first three Metallica records and maybe some Slayer thrown in here and there. Coroner were a little hard for me to absorb (no pun intended...get it? The Punishment for Decadence song?) at first, but once I got past the gruffer vocals I couldn't get enough of everything that made the band great-- Tommy's riffing, Ron's Tom Warrior-inspired singing and fantastic supportive bass playing, and some oft-good, sometimes bad, and always bizarre lyrical content from Marquis Marky.

    Atheist- Unquestionable Presence. Coroner kinda opened the door of technicality to me, and Atheist splashed it with acid. This record throws down whole new styles of the tech-death musical martial arts form. It's calculated without being clinical and proudly odd without being pretentious. But most of all, Atheist were RESTRAINED. They never needed to write a 10-minute overly technical wankfest about some convoluted storyline-- all their stuff is for the most part short, powerful songs that serve their purpose and then end.

    Opeth- My Arms, Your Hearse. A soundtrack to the shitty raininess that embodied most of an aggravating senior year in high school. Fucking love this band. While MAYH isn't their best, it's still my favorite of the "old" lineup.

    Carcass- Heartwork. My death metal initiation, albeit in polished, overtly melodic form. I learned here to fully, truly get down with extreme vocals.

    Celtic Frost- To Mega Therion. Had no idea what a few impoverished lads could do with minimal musical knowledge and dedication to their ambitious ideas.

    I've left out a LOT of the non-metal that's had a tremendous impact on me over the years-- ie Siamese Dream, Loveless, Who's Next, the Third Eye Blind s/t and a bunch of punk records, but eh...this isn't MUSIC Inquisition, haha.

  22. Kiss - "Alive" The first album I ever bought. It's difficult to describe how incredibly fascinating Kiss was to a 10 year old in the 1970's.

    Motorhead - "Ace Of Spades" The album that gave me musical clarity. After that I knew what I was looking for, which was faster, louder, darker, more brutal & etc. A path which eventually led me right here.

    "Decline Of Western Civilization" - not that "Metal Years" shit, I mean the first one which featured L.A. hardcore bands like Circle Jerks, Fear, Black Flag & etc. The point when I realized nothing was too obscure or offensive for my tastes.

    Venom - "Welcome To Hell" Ditto above. Sure it's quaint in retrospect but bear in mind that back then no one was doing that sort of thing yet. It was pretty wild for the time & about the most "underground" thing available up to that point.

    Obituary - "Cause Of Death" the album that brought be back into the fold & snapped me out of the cock-rock/alt-grunge phase I narrowly avoided being sucked into.

    Really there are a lot of others I could name that have already been discussed adequately above. These just immediately spring to mind.

  23. Man, that incident with the tapes, that happened to me too, hahaha. I erased two seconds of a tape I had, in which I recorded Metallica's Garage Days Re-Revisited, back in 1990. I still have it, a BASF tape, such a relic.

    Anyway, here goes my list:

    1º A cassete copy of Deep Purple's "Deepest Purple", a best of.

    2º "...And Justice For All"

    3º "South Of Heaven"

    4º "Electric", The Cult.

    5º "Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables", Dead Kennedys.

  24. 'Live After Death' was my gateway drug into metal. still one of my favorite albums after all these years.

  25. Paradise Lost launched all the death/doom/gothic bandwagon.
    When I listened to "Gothic" first, I was immediately caught, I've never listened to something like that in my life.

    Other very significant record:

    Entombed "Left hand path" my first original tape, then my first picture disc!
    Entombed "Clandestine"
    Death "Leprosy"
    Napalm Death "Harmony corruption"
    Slayer "Seasons in the abyss"
    Megadeth "Rust in peace"
    Sentenced "Down"
    Candlemass "Nightfall"
    Testament "The legacy"
    My Dying Bride "The angel..."
    Tiamat "Clouds"
    Alphaville "Forever young"!

  26. 1984 Kiss Creatures of the Night

    Like many others Kiss was the band that got me into hard rock/metal. I was 6 years old when my brother borrowed this album from a friend, and of course both the visual aspect and the music got me hooked right from the start.

    1985 Iron Maiden Number of the Beast / Live After Death

    Although Kiss was still my favorite band for several years to come I had soon left the other glam bands (Crüe, Twisted Sister) behind and started listening to more classic metal (Dio, Priest, Helloween, Ozzy).

    1991 Metallica The Black Album
    A short but dark era when I watched MTV and listened to stuff I now can't stand at all, like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns n Roses and Metallica (although I soon realized their older albums were much better)

    1992 Rainbow Richie Blackmores Rainbow

    This album got me interested in the classic 70s hard rock bands - Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath (I actually didn't really get into them until now), Rush, old Priest...

    1994 Tiamat Astral Sleep
    Got me into the dark and doomy musical path

    It's hard to choose which album from this era was the one which started it all, but I'll say Tiamat in competition with Paradise Lost - Lost Paradise, Cathedral - Forest of Equilibrium, Candlemass - Nightfall, etc.

    From this time on I discovered the different subgenres of doom metal (and through doom/death I indirectly for the first time started to see the good points with death/black metal), goth metal, melodeath, etc.

    Since then my metal taste hasn't changed so much. I still prefer classic 70s/80s metal as well as the doomy and the gothic (although I am not a fan of Nightwish and the like).
    Still waiting for the next revolution in my metal life, but I guess I am too old now...

  27. Megadeth - So Far, So Good
    Iron Maiden - Live After Death
    Metallica - Ride the Lightning
    Slayer - Reign in Blood
    Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman

  28. Re: "Unmasked"

    My first cassette was Slade's "Rogues Gallery" in 1985. Second: The Who "Live At Leeds".
    Long live power pop!

  29. ''member of Cynic hadn't started to play in salsa bands in cruiseships''

    WHAT???' :O

  30. Five metal albums that changed my (musical) life were as follows:

    "...And Justice For All", by Metallica

    Having heard "One" on the radio when I was about 12 (mind you, this is 1997) or so was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with metal...though "Master of Puppets" ended up being my favorite and didn't leave my CD player for months on end, "...And Justice" still kills

    "My Arms, Your Hearse" by Opeth

    I was awestruck after hearing "April Ethereal" on my local metal radio show. Absolutely beautiful album.

    "Black Seeds of Vengeance" by Nile

    I had honestly never heard anything so extreme AND well executed up until the point that this came out. Nothing else mattered for months.

    "Focus" by Cynic

    This one was definitely hard for me to absorb at first, but it was the last metal album I have heard (circa 2004...yea, I know) that truly changed by musical life

    "Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire and Demise" by Emperor

    "Anthems..." is by far my favorite Emperor album (and one of my top metal albums of all time) but "Prometheus..." was just a complete shock to my system when I heard it.

  31. Napalm Death's Peel Sessions are probably the heaviest shit ever recorded.

    Absolutely annihilating.

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