Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #30-#26
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!!!
#30 King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime by Faith No More
While the bulk of King for a Day… features the heavier material that FNM are known for Mike Patton, Billy Gould, Mike Bordin, and Co. took more deviations from their metal/hard rock roots. The uber-smooth crooning in “Evidence” makes me feel like those girls in those famous Beatles videos, the Tom Jones/Las Vegas inspired “Star A.D.” make me feel like a high roller, and “Caralho Voador” make me feel like I’m chilling on a nice tropical beach (with Satan). Then there’s the heartfelt ballads. “Take This Bottle” is a sweet little country inspired rock ballad and “Just a Man” with it big soul back up singing, fat grooves, beautiful lyrics, and amazing vocal performance by Mike Patton easily sends shivers down my spine. And then there is the heavy metal and groove filled end to the record with nutzoid tunes like “Cuckoo for Caca” and “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”. With so much substance and diversity on this record, it has always boggled me why this record never received the accolades that FNM’s earlier work did.
#29 2112 by Rush
Even if 2112 consisted of its title track it would still have made my list. The song “2112” is simply prog rock perfection. Alex Lifeson’s high-flying guitars, Neal Peart’s famous drum skills, and Geddy Lee’s smooth bass and soaring vocals are all in top form on this tune. Then there’s the high concept of the tune about the outlaw of music set to a sci-fi/fantasy backdrop. As it passes through its many movements Rush explore a dearth of moods and atmospheres and in the end create one of the best prog rock epics of all time. The 5 other songs on the record are a bonus of even more great Rush tunes with “Passage to Bangkok” rocking my socks off and “Lessons” giving homage to the great Led Zeppelin. This is probably Rush’s most famous album, but its accolades are more than well deserved. I wonder how many cassettes I went through of this album as a youngster. Say thankya for CDs!
#28 Images and Words by Dream Theater
And here begins my love of prog metal. I had made a switch from a Catholic grade school to a public high school and doing so had separated me from almost all the school friends I used to chill with, so during my first days I was a Lone Ranger. Luckily making friends wasn’t as hard as my teenage brain had made it out to be. Very quickly a classmate took note of my Iron Maiden t-shirt and conversations and diatribes on heavy metal and music began. One of the first conversations we had been how I needed to listen to Dream Theater because I loved both Rush and Iron Maiden and my new-found friend promptly made me a cassette of Dream Theater’s Images and Words. Needless to say I was blown away by the record, it was like nothing I’ve heard before. I had kick ass metal parts but also more chill moments that I enjoyed a lot too. The 20 years I’ve had this album in my possession I have yet to grow tired of it, each tune is engaging and well crafted. And against what every DT hater says, this album has tons of passion and positive energy.
#27 Kivenkantaja by Moonsorrow
Taking a page out of Bathory’s book, Moonsorrow took the Viking metal sound Quorthon started and just ran with it adding their own ‘heathen’ touch to it. The result is the finest bit of folk metal on the scene today. Kivenkantaja features not only some of Moonsorrow’s most crushing work, but also some of their most beautiful. Every track on this album will take you on a journey through bloody battles, frozen tundra, vast snow storms, green pastures, and into the heart of the battle-weary warrior. Grand male choirs, massive yet non intrusive symphonies, thundering riffs, and both ‘Predator’ and clean vocals give so much power to every note on the record. Even though the entire record is sung in Finnish, Moonsorrow craft such expressive music one can listen to a song, not comprehending a single word, and have the scenes the band is trying to paint conjured up in their head. If you have the slightest interest in Moonsorrow or blackened folk metal, do not pass this album up. Simply a masterpiece.
#26 Enjoy Incubus by Incubus
Bearing next to no resemblance to Incubus’ current output, the E.P. Enjoy Incubus is 30 minutes of catchy, silly, funk metal mayhem. Why the band completely abandoned this side of their sound will always remain a mystery to me. Within the 6 songs on this E.P. they created a CD that has to be one of my most spun of all time. To this day I still can’t get enough of the smooth sounds of ‘You Will be a Hot Dancer’, the headbanging frenzy of ‘Shaft’, the quotable ‘Take Me to Your Leader’, and that turbo happy whistling intro in ‘Azwethinkweiz’ (my favorite Incubus song ever). And as the little stoner I was during high school, I never missed an opportunity to be ‘Hilikus’. While I enjoy Incubus’ albums up to and including A Crow Left of the Murder, they have never matched the pure awesomeness of this little E.P.