Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #45-#41
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!!!
#45 Warp Riders by The Sword
The Sword just keep getting better and better with each album as they constantly refine their style of sludgy stoner metal. For 2010’s concept album Warp Riders they took a step outside of the frozen tundra of Norse lore and sounds and went full on sci-fi and gravitated towards a more rock and roll feel. Everything about this record is near perfect, fat riffs, groovy rhythms, catchy lyrics, and proggy space opera songs. If their previous albums were their Lord of the Rings, Warp Riders is their Star Wars. When I listen to this album I want to jump into my space Winnebago, kick it into ludicrous speed, and go plaid as I fly around outer space exploring uncharted planets and nebulae (making sure to make a special stop at the Mos Eisley Cantina to check out that in-house band I’ve been hearing so much about). With the track record The Sword has been following ever since their debut, it’s no wonder I’m so hyped for their upcoming record.
#44 Adrenaline by Deftones
In the midst of the nu-metal explosion of the mid-90’s the Deftones burst onto the scene with their debut album Adrenaline. Since bands like Korn and Limp Biscuit were all the rage in the popular metal world and Adrenaline and the Deftones got lumped in with the nu-metal crowd. But anything like nu-metal they were not, eschewing the simplistic nature of the genre crafting groove filled, ambient tinged, pulse-pounding metal ripe with complexity. Maybe because their sound was so unique and difficult to classify under that metal umbrella, but really at the end of the day it’s all metal. While the Deftones’ large catalog of albums has been quite stellar and boundary pushing, this debut will always remain my Deftones record of choice, and it’s not the nostalgia talking. Chi Cheng’s groove-tastic bass playing, Chino Moreno’s abstract and poetic lyrics and his voice that seamlessly floats between ethereal and crushing, and the sick drumming of Stephan Carpenter is got on point on Adrenaline. Every troupe the band is known for was already honed and perfected on this debut and like every great record, the test of time has proven that Adrenaline has become a timeless metal classic (in my book at least).
#43 Blood Mountain by Mastodon
Man, did Mastodon hit the nail on the head on Blood Mountain. Combining their signature style of sludgy yet driving metal with a deep love of prog rock this album simply kills from front to back. Almost every song on this record has a moment that just sends chills down my spine when I revel in its mastery. The concept of the record is pretty neat as it tells a tale of a dudes journey up a mountain in search of the crystal eye and he meets Ents (walking trees for non-LOTR fans), flying lizards, and other perilous obstacles. With the release of Blood Mountain, Mastodon blew up big time achieving insane amounts of success in both the popular metal/music culture (lots of people who didn’t particularly enjoy metal were raving about this record, it still boggles my mind) and their fans grew even more hard core. Mastodon is gargantuan and Blood Mountain is an album no metal head should miss.
#42 River Runs Red by Life of Agony
This tragic concept album about a misguided NY teen is one of the saddest of all metal concept records, but it is also the most striking and memorable. Looking deep into the mind of someone who is suicidal, the music and lyrics are just emotionally staggering in how well they convey the protagonist’s emotions. The thick grooves and aggressive hardcore music, and catchy, fist-pounding vocals do alleviate some of the intense themes of the record slightly, but never take away from the harrowing theme; they make it possible to frequently return to such a heavy album. If you can reach the end of this album and not feel emotionally drained, you are a stronger person than I.
#41 The Sound of Perseverance by Death
Like many, my big introduction to the ‘really heavy stuff’ came by way of Death since Human was played for by a friend. Since then I have been a fan and many doors into extreme metal were opened up (namely Death led to my appreciation for black metal). Their swan song, The Sound of Perseverance, is by far my favorite Death record showing the band at their most introspective and musically progressive. Chuck just absolutely kills on everything he touches on this record putting every ounce of his being into the music. And the beautiful and chilling “Voice of the Soul” is one of the most emotionally charged instrumentals I’ve heard. Front to back every song on this record slays. R.I.P. Chuck.