Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #55-#51

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!!!

#55 La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1 by White Zombie

Thanks to one of my perennial favorite T.V. shows, Beavis and Butthead, I got my first taste of White Zombie with the song “Welcome to Planet Mother Fucker”. What more could a teen ask for, a Beavis and Butthead approved metal band with a sick groove and a love for the same cheesy horror and sci-fi movies I was so into at the time (and still am ;) ). This record stood the test of time still rocking hard and feeling fresh after 20 years (damn, has it been that long, I feel old). To this day I have yet to hear a newer band reciprocate White Zombie’s recognizable brand of metal, which makes this record something even more unique.
I love this video for “Thunder Kiss ’65”, can anything get any more ’90’s?

#54 In Absentia by Porcupine Tree

When it comes to good ol’ prog rock Porcupine Tree is definitely on the top-tier of the modern bands making that style of music today. While I highly enjoy their other albums, none of them have blown me away at first listen like In Absentia did, it also gets points for being the first PT album I heard, so I guess that factors in a bit. What really gets me about this album is amid all the prog rock goodness, there is heavy pop sensibilities. At the same time they can be a band that could be a successful radio band as well as appealing to the fickle tastes of the most discerning prog rock lover. In essence I like to say that PT is like a modern Rush. If you have any passing interest in prog rock and want to hear something that is both accessible and challenging, I can not recommend In Absentia (as well as the rest of PT’s catalog) enough.

#53 The Alchemy Index by Thrice

Released as 4 E.P.s named after the 4 elements, Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, they combine as a whole to make an album that shows Thrice at their most exploitative. Each element has its own unique style, but each element feeds of the other making the 4 one complete entity ebbs and flows with its counterpart perfectly. Within the hour and a half of music contained within the collection you will hear metal, post-rock, folk music, and hints electronica. Every song is drenched in those huge and beautiful atmospheres that I love so much and the lyrics are deep, introspective, and poetic. Another thing I like about Dustin’s lyrics are that, while many songs are based around his faith, he writes them in a way that can be interpreted to pertain to anyone of any faith (or lack of one), never coming off as preachy. This was a pretty dividing album among fans as it showed the band taking a further step away from their harder hitting post-hardcore roots following a natural progression from their previous record. I think it’s pretty obvious what side of the fence I am on with Thrice’s progression decision.

#52 III: In the Eyes of Fire by Unearth

I do give breakdown heavy metalcore bands a lot of shit, but if there is one band that knows how to do the breakdown laden metalcore correctly it would be Unearth, so they get my stamp of approval. With thrashy and technical riffing and rhythms, driving vocals, and some great intuition on the perfect place to place the breakdown and perfect length of said breakdown, the band just kills. Front to back III:ITEOF is pure, unadulterated adrenaline shot directly to the vein. No, only if all metalcore bands could deliver the substance that Unearth does (did :( I was less than impressed with they’re more recent offerings). Also, great live band, they like to jump off of, constantly.

#51 Prime Cuts by Suicidal Tendencies

A greatest hits album as my favorite record by ST even though I own their entire catalog. Yup. If there is one thing that bothers me about the earlier (read: best) ST albums is the lack of good recording techniques. I still love them to death, but the sound is always flat, and it irks me. What can I say, I’m a whore for good sounding recordings, mixing, etc. On Prime Cuts not only is everything either remastered and remixed, many songs are recorded with the lineup ST had at the time in ’97, so some of the thrashier songs took on some heavy hints of funk (I think I’ve expressed my love a good groove here plenty). Since this record landed in my hands 15 years ago, its been my go-to ST album when I don’t have a specific album of theirs in mind to listen to and just want to jam out to some ST. Suicidal Forever!!!

<<EDIT>>

Oops!  I just realized I goofed with my excel file (where I have no idea) and it seems my list was off by one between 100-51, so I’m going to enter in an honorary #51 to get everything on the right track. It’s an album I felt really guilty about leaving off my list and the more I think about it, it really deserves this spot as well as a spot on my list, given how much I’ve been listening to it since it came out last year (it’s one hell of a grower). So, the spot goes to Plains of the Purple Buffalo by *shels. If you fancy yourself a fan of post-metal/rock, this is a do not miss record. Every time I need some good chill out and get lost in the clouds music, this album is always a prime selection and the album opener, “Journey to the Plains”, was by far my favorite song of 2011. Simply mesmerizing.

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About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on 2012-09-10, in Matt's Top 100 Albums, Metal Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Some cool choices there. Can’t go wrong with a bit of PT, for starters. If I had to pick a fave then it’s be a close call between LS and FoaBP, but IA has some choice cuts, not least of all the sublime Trains: the breakdown with the banjo and the handclaps followed by the heavy guitar kicking in at the end is just genius. PT are definitely a band where the whole catalog is essential ‘cos Wilson does so many styles so well.

    And good to see Thrice getting a mention, too. TAI is a great set, with a good mix of rockers and more atmospheric tracks. Superficially, a rock record with the ‘4 Elements’ theme sounds kinda cheesy but these guys really pull it off with an intelligent, arty sensibility that sounds fresh and timeless. The only other disc of theirs I own is TAITA, which is more of a straightforward Rock/Metalcore vibe, though the songwriting is pretty top-notch imo.

    TAI gets a mention in one of my posts last year touting some of my favourite modern concept albums (inspired by Coldplay, of all things – not very Metal, I know) here:

    http://musicbugsandgender.wordpress.com/?s=coldplay

    (Out of curiosity, your pic of the TAI album sleeves show four separate covers in four different colours. I bought mine as two sets of two eps – is this a different version with 4 separate eps? Maybe a US print? Rock trivia, y’know ;-) )

    I’m not very familiar with *Shels but I like what I’ve heard (quite possibly via Metal State…) so they’re lurking in the bowels of my ‘must check out more’ list.

    • Trains is my all time favorite PT song. I seriously get chills every time I hear it, especially the section you mentioned.

      Thrice is a great band, I’ve been following them since TAITA and love how well their sound has matured and evolved over the years. (List spoiler)There will be 1 more album of theirs to pop up here, and it is a must listen by them. The CDs I have for TAI is 2 volumes with 2 disks in each (probably the same you have). The 4 covers you see are from the vinyl release. I wish they did the same packaging for the CDs, but I guess you gotta give the vinyl collectors something special.

      Dustin Kensrue (singer/songwriter of Thrice) has a couple solo releases out that are quite good if you like folk music. He did a Christmas album with a lot of original Christmas tunes as well as some traditional ones that I’m very fond of playing during the season. Here’s a clip (Pouges cover):

      If you’d like to preview *Shels here is a link to listen to the Bandcamp stream of Plains of the Purple Buffalo. The music does tend to meander a bit, but when you get past that, it really sinks its hooks into you.

      http://shelsmusic.bandcamp.com/album/plains-of-the-purple-buffalo

  2. I always enjoy some ST and I think I may have at least one on my list. Currently in the mood for a Pepsi ;)

    I haven’t listened to White Zombie in a while and this is definitely the incarnation of Zombie I prefer. Like Guls I haven’t listened to *shels much except for what has been featured here. That is another one on my “to-listen” list. In Adsentia is the only PT album i have so far…and I stress “so far.” More to follow in the future regarding PT. TAI i have never heard before until now…a touch of Radiohead going on there?

    • Hey, Reggie, if you’re keen on checking out some more PT might I recommend the ecellent ‘Anesthetize’ DVD/Blu Ray release. You get the whole of Fear of a Blank Planet plus another hour of assorted live goodies from various albums. I’ve found most of it up on YT: here’s a sample

  3. p.s. my favourite PT song:

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