Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #80-#76

Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time.  Loving making lists I’m all on this.  Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge.  This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences.  My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it.  Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list.  Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there!  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

#80: Music by 311

To me, 311 are just a damn good time and this album will forever bring a smile to my face. These guys also put one hell of a show bringing music fans from all walks of life together to jam on some crunchy grooves. Their debut, Music, will always be my favorite album by them with songs ranging from the ‘hazy’ and lazy “My Stoney Baby” to the funky, hard rocking styling of “In Your Face” all tied together with some great duel vocals bouncing between spacy sung vocals and old school hip hop vocals. I like the constant theme throughout the album of ‘just relax and take it easy, man’ (Story of my life ;) )

#79: Age of Winters by The Sword

I’ll never forget the first time I heard The Sword. Believe it or not, back in just 2006 MTV still showed music videos, rarely, but they still did show them. And the revival of Headbanger’s Ball was being shown at twilight hours. Needless to say I tuned in whenever possible. One evening the video of “Winter’s Wolves” got aired and I was greeted with an oldschool looking video as the bands logo dove through the screen and segwayed into this Black Sabbath sounding riffage and killer bluesy leads. It was love at first sight and needless to say I was at the CD shop the next day picking up the absolutely kick ass Age of Winters. Needless to say that from that day, this record still get plenty of spins.

#78: From Afar by Ensiferum

In the metal realm the word ‘epic’ gets thrown around too carelessly and too often and has lost some of its descriptive impact. But I think that word works with some bands and it fits Ensiferum’s sound perfectly. Listening to Ensiferum feels like going on a grand epic journey across the Northern frozen tundra engaging in grandiose battles and guzzling absurd amounts of ale in the down time. From front to back From Afar is a non-stop ride of huge, fast paced riffs, melodic leads, turbo charged drumming, beautiful keyboard soundscapes, and phenomenal song writing with plenty of songs you will be singing an/or humming along to for long after the last song of the album plays.

#77: The Frozen Tears of Angels by Rhapsody (of Fire)

Italian Cheeze-Whizards Rhapsody made their rise to fame in the late 90’s and early 00’s crafting some of the cheesiest and overly exaggerated Power Metal I’ve ever heard. Continuing story lines, songs about dragons, elves, dwarves, swords, and all that stuff the nerd in me loves about high fantasy. And then they got involved with Joey DeMayo of Man-O-War, released a lukewarm album working under him, and they he screwed them over. Well, when all the drama was said and done Rhapsody came back to the Power Metal scene in 2010 after a brief hiatus with the force of thousands of Urak-hai rushing from the gates of Mordor and with the grace of the elves there to counter them.

Between Rhapsody breaking new ground in the staling genre by upping the use of symphonics and including snippets from other genres such as Black Metal, Folk Metal, and Thrash and the inclusion of all things nerd (Christopher Lee!!!!) this album just sent my jaw directly to the floor. Not only is this by far Rhapsody’s best album, but I feel it is one of the best albums in the power metal genre altogether.

#76: Who Are We Living For? by Dispatch

If there’s one rock band I have mad respect for it would be Dispatch. Without a bit of radio/mtv/any kind of popular media advertising the became one of the biggest bands in the States, all by word of mouth. They went on to do multiple sold out shows a huge venues such as Red Rocks in CO., and Madison Square Garden in NYC. They also are cool humanitarians giving almost all their profits to various and worthy charities.

Of all their studio albums are quite stellar but the one that resonates the strongest with me is 2000’s Who Are We Living For?. With a little money in their pockets and a lot of experience under their belt they were able to craft some of their best material. I love the huge dearth of musical styles found throughout the whole record which ranges from funky reggae to soft-spoken acoustic ballads to hard rocking upbeat tracks. If there’s one thing that every song on this album has in common it’s the amount of passion poured into each track and they all exude a great positive energy.

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About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on 2012-08-06, in Matt's Top 100 Albums, Metal Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Cool list, especially the Ensiferum and The Sword…I have been listening to the latter a lot lately. I can’t wait for their new album to come out…same with Ensiferum. I still haven’t jumped on Rhapsody yet and never really heard 311. There is a lot going on with 311…hearing a bit of Chili Peppers in there…

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