Tag: Heavy Metal

1996, Music

Morningrise (1996) by Opeth

Yet again, I am moving through a band’s discography backwards. (In this case, starting in the middle and then moving backwards.) I don’t know whether it’s increased familiarity or the records themselves, but I find myself liking Opeth more the earlier I go in their history, which is definitely not the regular take.

1996, Music

Swansong (1996) by Carcass

Apparently the Carcass’ shtick, at least in their first iteration, was to change it up every record. And that’s too their credit, if indeed it’s true. (This is only my second Carcass record I believe.) I want to commend any band that doesn’t want to make the same record twice. I’d much rather listen to …

1996, Music

Load (1996) by Metallica

I must say that I couldn’t have cared less about this album when it came out, I was only vaguely aware of Metallica as the band responsible for those videos from The Black Album. (I did not know it was The Black Album.) I wasn’t aware that they were now playing the kind of music …

1991, Music

Slave to the Grind (1991) by Skid Row

The first album from any genre to go #1 on the US album charts is often not what it “should” be. A genre usually has to percolate for a while before it becomes mainstream enough, especially something like “Heavy Metal,” which is not obviously appealing and perhaps deliberately unappealing to most people. But, supposedly this …

1986, Music

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986) by Candlemass

The search for the “beginning” of a particular genre can be really fraught with difficulties, from the sheer effort of figuring out which albums might be the best candidates, to the inevitable bickering over alternatives or whether or not the artist is close enough to that genre. Given that no genre was ever invented whole …

1991, Music

Blessed Are the Sick (1991) by Morbid Angel

So yes, I’m listening to this without ever having heard Altars of Madness. That is likely a mistake but I have a good reason: despite its reputation within the metal community, mainstream critical appreciation isn’t really there, so I missed it in 2019. As a result, I’m likely going to say something stupid.

2001, Music

Blackwater Pater (2001) by Opeth

I’ve been struggling with Opeth for years now, trying to reconcile their reputation with what I hear on record. My biggest issue on earlier records has been the categorization of them as “progressive metal” when I’ve felt like I’ve been hearing “melodic death metal.” Now, that might seem like I’m picking nits but, as a …

1996, Music

The Jester Race (1996) by In Flames

So this is the third album of the holy trinity of Gothenburg-style melodic death metal. It is third because it is the last to be released, a full three months after Slaughter of the Soul and slightly less than that behind The Gallery (which came out a week after the former). I can’t believe I …

1970, Music

Kingdom Come (1970) by Sir Lord Baltimore

I spent some time in a weird corner of the internet where people argued that this record and Warpig’s self-titled debut were just as important as music by Zeppelin, Purple and Black Sabbath. Before I get to the actual music on this record I do want to point out the following:

2000, Music

Dopethrone (2000) by Electric Lizard

This is, from some accounts, the quintessential British doom metal record. I have no idea whether or not that’s true because I honestly didn’t know there were separate regional doom metal scenes before I read this album’s reviews. But, listening to it, I think I understand why.

2000, Music

Close to a World Below (2000) by Immolation

Like others, I am surprised that this record is considered such a classic. There is a tendency in internet criticism to get pretty excited by a band’s best record – or even just a band’s best record in years – and decide it is therefore a “classic”. I know nothing of Immolation but I do …

1995, Music

The Gallery (1995) by Dark Tranquility

This is the other supposed epitome of the Ghothenburg melodic death metal scene. (Actually that’s not entirely true – there are three of them.) But I like it more than Slaughter of the Soul. It is slightly less acclaimed so I find myself just slightly out of step with the critics on this one.

1985, Music

Spreading the Disease (1985) by Anthrax

I have both come to Anthrax backwards – having heard a later record before this one – and come to Anthrax last among the Big 4. That makes it harder to appreciate them. But worse, I’ve been listening to Seven Churches, a way more brutal, way more innovative metal record, released the same month as …

1985, Music

Seven Churches (1985) by Possessed

One of the conventional narratives about the invention of death metal is that it is so named because of the band Death, who supposedly pioneered the genre. Now, there were other bands in other places that also either claim credit or have been retroactively given credit, but Death’s claim is pretty good simply because they …

1980, Music

Lightning to the Nations [The White Album] (1980) by Diamond Head

There are a couple NWOBHM bands that sound a little closer to the thrash metal they would inspire and, from their debut album, Diamond Head appears to be one of them. Nowhere near as dirty and punk as Motorhead, they’re still (at times) grittier and heavier than some of their contemporaries.

1980, Music

Blizzard of Ozz (1980) by Ozzy Osbourne

Metal was evolving in 1980, maybe not as much as it would in, say, 1983-1984, but still it was evolving. But, like his former band, Ozzy doesn’t seem to want to evolve in the way the younger performers were. Rather, on his debut, he’s chosen a different kind of evolution, the kind that I would …

1990, Music

Persistence of Time (1990) by Anthrax

I have heard so much about Anthrax but somehow never heard them until today. I still remember reading about their debut in my Billboard book when I was a kid (or a tween), about how it was the fastest metal album ever (supposedly…according to Billboard) and not even knowing what metal was, just sort of …

1990, Music

Facelift (1990) by Alice In Chains

Alice in Chains are, to me, the least immediately appealing of the big Seattle grunge bands. I think that’s because they have the least catchy songs – though Cantrell is a good songwriter he is not necessarily a writer of particularly catchy songs. Though I do wonder how much of my experience of this band …

1990, Music

Cowboys From Hell (1990) by Pantera

I know the legend of Pantera but I don’t know their early music. Regardless, it’s hard to believe this band was once a glam metal band. I guess you can hear touches of it here and there if you’re really, really paying attention but, if you listened to this first, and then were told their …

1990, Music

Lights…Camera…Revolution (1990) by Suicidal Tendencies

Back in 2012 I heard Prime Cuts and I was pretty damn impressed. I’d never heard the band before and I was thinking “Where has this been all my life”? But it took me a really long time to hear some more of their music and I must say that I might have grown out …

1990, Music

Left Hand Path (1990) by Entombed

The early history and evolution of death metal is controversial. Like many genres of music, it’s possible that it was invented in two different places around the same time. (Or, rather, the sounds that came to be called death metal appeared in two different countries around the same time.) I’ve always found this evolution nebulous …