Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #40-#36
Posted by RiffRaff
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!!!
#40 Imaginations from the Other Side by Blind Guardian
What more could a metal head nerd ask for? A band that writes top shelf quality metal and sings about things such as fantasy, sci-fi, history, video games, and all other nerdish troupes. When a buddy mentioned that Blind Guardian was Lord of the Rings metal I knew I had to check them out and my introduction to them was by way of the classic Imaginations from the Other Side (which was their most recent album at the time). My teenage nerd brain was melted, not only were there high energy rockers on the album, but the band had been able to write some of the best metal ballads ever (which, at 15 years old, I wasn’t a huge fan of yet). The Arthurian “Past and Future Secret” and “Mordred’s Song” will go down as a pair of my all time favorite songs by the Bards and my neck still hurts from the copious amounts of headbanging done to “I’m Alive”.
#39 Frizzle Fry by Primus
Ever since I started using a computer to manage all my CDs one thing that has always cracked me up through all the different media programs that I use is that when you let the program auto-tag the music, the genre tag for Primus is always ‘Primus’. They have such a unique sound that they created their own genre! It’s well deserved, I can think of no other band that sounds like the bass driving psychedelia that Les Claypool and Co. brew up. 1990’s Frizzle Fry show Primus at some of their best. The opener “To Defy the Laws of Tradition” has such a sick metal groove and “Too Many Puppies” has so many memorable parts, especially that first opening crushing riff. Then there’s “John the Fisherman”, “Spaghetti Western”, “Toys Go Winding Down”, “Spaghetti Western”,…… Just so many kick ass Primus tunes on this record.
#38 Moving Pictures by Rush
One could argue that Moving Pictures is Rush’s landmark album with massive hits such as “Tom Sawyer”, “Limelight”, and “The Camera Eye” gracing its all-star tracklist. For me, it’s just a collection of some quality Rush music. This album has a bit of the ‘best of both worlds’ in it, with the hard rock style they churned out in the 70’s and the beginnings of the ‘synth phase’ they became so enamored with during the 80’s. Not much else to say other than Rush and Moving Pictures are some of prog rocks finest contributions to the world of music.
#37 Train of Thought by Dream Theater
After releasing a pair of masterpieces back to back (Scenes from a Memory & 6 Degrees), Dream Theater set the bar quite high for themselves. So, naturally my excitement for Train of Thought was quite high leading up to the days of its release. Initially I found myself a bit disappointed on my first couple of listens. I thought it was good and all, but when compared to the preceding pair, it just didn’t grab me like them. But over the years I kept finding myself coming back to Train of Thought more and more, eventually topping the amount of listens compared against 6 Degrees. It was a real grower and I think the part that really made me connect with the record is that it feels to be Dream Theater’s most ‘metal’ album. Now DT have always had a heavy ‘metal’ edge to them, but on this record that ‘metal’ side is brought forefront with heavy hitting tunes like “As I Am”, “This Dying Soul”, and “Honor Thy Father”. Then there’s the epic closer “In the Name of God”, which could possibly be my favorite DT song of all time (that solo at 8:35, hot damn, I never knew it was possible to dig a scale as deep as Petrucci did there). If you haven’t listened to this record in a while, break it out and give it a spin, you’ll be surprised how well it holds up.
#36 California by Mr. Bungle
Going from demonic circus metal on their self-titled major label debut to the WTF-filled jazz/death metal/funk/electro/acid trip album Disco Volante the sky was the limit for where Mr. Bungle could go next. And to the sky they took it. Somehow, for all the nutzoid moments throughout California, it remains quite accessible even though it embraces more musical styles than I can possibly name. Everything about this record screams avante-garde perfection (is that an oxymoron?). I got to see Mr. Bungle on tour for this record and it will go down as one of the most memorable shows ever as they were opening for System of a Down and the crowd just did not get the music at all booing and heckling the band (dressed as the Village People with a couple Hawaiian shirts in the mix) as Mike Patton came back with a snarky and hilarious remark for every jab thrown his way; then they proceeded to play some of the bands most out there songs, un-metal songs. I was in troll heaven.