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  1. 3 points
    Depraved

    All Time Top 20 Favourite Metal Bands

    Remembered I still haven't updated this, so I'm doing it now, because it's 6 AM and I can't sleep haha. There are many bands I believe I could exchange in the bottom ten on this list, but I'm sticking with what I have here. Some of these depend on whether I've been listening to them recently or not, but most, especially top ten, are solid. I could, however, substitute any number of bands - Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Dark Funeral, Candlemass, Dream Theater, and so on and so forth. So these 20 are not quite written in stone as favorites, except the top 6-8. Anyway. 20. Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil I like the Crue, although I must admit I have to listen to glam with a grain of salt. I believe this is their best album, it's by far their heaviest, and pretty much every song on here feels iconic of the LA scene in the early 80s. It's also got my favorite guitar work from Mick Mars, who in my opinion is one of the most underrated guitarists ever. 19. Scorpions - Love at First Sting Sort of the same deal here as with Motley Crue. This is the kind of stuff I listen to in the background at work. Heavy enough to keep my interest, but for the most part, completely non-threatening and free of any introspective feelings or ideas like most of the music I listen to is more or less completely immersed in. It's just fun to listen to and the band sounds great. 18. Immortal - At the Heart of Winter I could say this or Pure Holocaust is my favorite, depending on my mood. The riffs on this album are massive, but Pure Holocaust is their best work overall, in my opinion. Immortal is not my preferred black metal, although I do find myself listening to this album sometimes, when I still want to listen to black metal but want a small break from the completely grim and serious. 17. Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime Or, as I like to call it, Operation Mindfuck. One of the most underrated bands of the 80s, and I think it's unfortunate they have been saddled at times (inaccurately) with the "glam" or "hair band" labels. Right out the gate with their self-titled EP, these guys are a sonic punch right in the face. Geoff Tate's vocals are so unique and powerful, and I love how they build intensity in their songs. Honestly, I probably could have picked any album as a favorite up to and including Empire, but Operation Mindcrime, lives up to its positive reviews in just about every way. 16. Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind Similarly, I could probably pick just about any Maiden album up until Fear of the Dark as a favorite. For a bands that's been around since what was essentially the birth of metal, they're pretty damn consistent from album to album, although I can't say I enjoy their later albums with the same zeal. There are just so many classics in their discography, and Piece of Mind is probably the album I've listened to the most cover to cover. 15. Suicidal Tendencies - Lights...Camera...Revolution! I love how these guys meshed thrash metal with hardcore punk without becoming some bullshit metalcore band. Love the guitar work on this album, lyrics are ultra relatable. Some of my favorite music to listen to when I'm pissed off. Mike doesn't mince words about stupid people and fucked up society, a great way to put things back into perspective when I'm made to feel like I'm the crazy one. Just great, ass-kicking music. 14. Death - Symbolic Ah, Death. I'm much more on the black metal side of things, but I have a soft spot for Death. Not only were they such an innovative band, and with this album specifically, but the misanthropic themes on Symbolic really speak to me, and there are few bands I can say can express this theme with the same level of fury and honesty. "Empty Words" and "Crystal Mountain" are timeless classics and personal favorites of mine. 13. Gorgoroth - Antichrist I prefer Gaahl-era Gorgoroth (Incipit Satan is pretty damn hard to beat), but Antichrist just has a certain atmosphere about it which I find especially enjoyable. I'm not sure if it's the production, or perhaps because they almost approach doom metal at times (especially the closing track), but this is exactly the kind of thing I love to listen to on a cold, rainy night. And, I mean, it's Frost behind the kit, can't go wrong there. 12. Moonsorrow - Voimasta Ja Kunniasta Black metal with a heavy dose of folk influence? Yes, please! I typically have to be in a certain mood to listen to this sort of thing, but this album is so good, every song on here is equal parts beautiful and aggressive. They're also not as annoying as a lot of other similar bands can sometimes be. Rarely, if ever, do I feel compelled to quit listening to them halfway through an album. 11. Korpiklaani - Tales Along This Road I don't listen to this band as much as I used to, and in retrospect, a lot of what they do is just the same regurgitated tropes (though still good fun in the right setting). I do, however, still really like this album, especially "Tuli Kokko", which may well be my favorite "folk metal" song ever. 10. Turisas - Battle Metal Again, not a band I listen to as much anymore, though their much smaller discography makes it easier to revisit them over the course of an afternoon. Battle Metal and The Varangian Way still hold up and I still like them, Battle Metal being, in my opinion, groundbreaking in its own way. Sadly, I think this band has fizzled out after a rather short career. 9. Finntroll - Jaktens Tid I won't lie, I love Finntroll. I love every single album they've ever done. Not a 100% serious band, nor do I believe they ever were, but I like what they do. Really difficult for me to pick a favorite, and all of their albums get equal rotation from me, but there's an intangible about Jaktens Tid which bumps it just a bit higher than the others. 8. 1349 - Hellfire I'm not entirely sure if this band would rank as high on my list if they had a different drummer, but I still love their sound and aesthetic regardless of Frost's genius. I appreciate that they continue to maintain an authenticity to black metal when so many others have for the most part abandoned the genre. Again, tough to pick a favorite album, but I tend to listen to Hellfire the most. 7. October Tide - Rain Without End October Tide itself, is not what I would say have been a terribly influential or groundbreaking band by any means throughout its existence, given the fact that this genre was already sort of established at the time, but goddamnit do I love this album. It's like the extra early Katatonia album (more on that later) with such a perfect atmosphere, memorable riffs, beautiful lyrics, great vocal performance. An obscure jewel of an album. 6. Darkthrone - A Blaze in the Northern Sky Okay, here's where we're getting into what I would call something like "The Most Untouchable Metal Bands in Depraved's Humble Opinion". To say this album was hugely influential and still such a classic is an understatement. They really mastered and perfected the sound, and to think it was one of the first Norwegian black metal albums ever recorded, really speaks to its importance despite the direction the band began to move in after Transylvanian Hunger. Simply put, it's one of the most perfect Norwegian black metal albums ever written. 5. Paradise Lost - Draconian Times Where do I begin with them? I believe they're the quintessential gothic metal band, whose influence was quite far-reaching, more so than was probably originally thought. What they became after this album I believe was a travesty, despite their efforts to redeem themselves in recent years, but their earlier material - and this album especially - are untouchable. Some reviews I've seen say it's a little cheesy or compare Nick Holmes's vocals to James Hetfield (???) which I don't agree with at all (actually never drew any connection with Hetfield until I read that and I guess I can kind of see why some people would hear a similarity, but still sounds nothing like a "gothic Metallica" or some other stupid things I've read). Paradise Lost did everything right with this album, the songwriting, the lyrics, the clean tones, the artwork, even the samples. There is something inexplicable about this album - which is usually a great sign when it comes to music - which can't be expressed in words, but this album creates such a specific mood. This album takes me alone to a graveyard in autumn in the rain, that sort of quiet, internal sorrow and existential introspection. It's that feeling, in musical form. 4. Opeth - Orchid I know I'm an outlier for choosing Orchid here, but early Opeth, up until Still Life are some of my favorite albums ever written. Opeth was actually the first metal band I really listened to, and so maintain a certain special place in my heart, and at one time I would have told you they're my favorite band. That's not exactly the case anymore, but I still thoroughly enjoy their early material whenever I revisit it, and Orchid is probably the only album of theirs toward which my feelings still haven't changed. Like Draconian Times, it's difficult for me to put my finger on what it is specifically about this album that I love so much. The riffs, that goes without saying, but it's something more than that. The structure of the songs, while unconventional and sometimes meandering even by Opeth standards or those of progressive metal as a genre, is very unique, in a way that makes each piece feel like a journey. The acoustic parts are beautiful, too. Some people might say it's a bit of an amateur effort, but I don't really see it that way. For whatever little they lack in technicality, they make up for in scores with passion and innovation. 3. Satyricon - Nemesis Divina Somewhat underrated compared to their contemporaries, but Satyricon's first three LPs really capture the atmosphere and meaning of the genre. I absolutely love Dark Medieval Times and The Shadowthrone as well, but Nemesis Divina is their magnum opus in my opinion and a culmination of their earlier creative efforts. Listening to these albums is like a mesmerizing, dark, grim fantasy, which no other band has seemed to be able to recreate in quite the same way. I believe this is due, in part, to the use of piano and acoustic bits here and there where they're least expected. Something about that, combined with the rawness of the riffs and Satyr's demonic vocals, makes this album such a great listen and is one of the best black metal has to offer. I've already mentioned Frost a couple of times in this post, so I don't really need to talk about him again (wait - what am I saying?) If this album was already perfect for its riffs and melodies, Frost's drumming puts it over the top. His style is so aggressive, urgent, and complex and really fits with the mood of the album. He's one of my all-time favorite drummers - if not my favorite - and some of his best work is showcased here. 2. Katatonia - Dance of December Souls They're almost number one on my list and they may well be tied for that spot. Such an original sound, heavy and melancholic without sacrificing melody. I could fanboy for hours about their early material and it almost makes listening to their later output sort of bittersweet, simply because it's always felt overshadowed by their first two LPs. My first introduction to them was Brave Murder Day, and I didn't think metal could get much better than that, but then I listened to Dance of December Souls and I was completely blown away. I'm not sure what it is, and it feels foolish to attempt to express how I really feel about this music in words, but I think these guys demonstrate better than anyone else the very definition of artistic expression through music, all while (in the early-mid 90s, at least) pushing the boundaries of creative license. I don't think I'll ever be able to quit talking about Dance of December Souls. It's so haunting and beautiful and gut-wrenching all at the same time. Kingpins of doom/death for sure. 1. Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas I'm not sure what I could possibly say about them that hasn't already been said. De Mysteriis... is, in my opinion, black metal's finest hour. Dead's lyrics, Euro's riffs, the aggression and atmosphere this album creates...the only thing which could have made it better is if they had been able to record it when Dead was still alive. I'm not a huge fan of Attila's vocals, but it's not like they ruin the album or anything. Perhaps the reason these guys are at the top of my list is mainly because of their legacy and influence, but the early material still blows me away. I don't think anyone who came after has been able to touch them, as many good black metal bands as there have been. Mayhem's classic lineup just had something intangible about them; the perfect storm gone horribly awry, but it's the lyrical themes and hair-raising guitar tone that keep me going back to their debut full-length.
  2. 3 points
    Athame

    What Are You Listening To?

    Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell
  3. 2 points
    Depraved

    What Are You Listening To?

    Queensryche - Rage For Order
  4. 2 points
    True Belief

    What Are You Listening To?

    Mötley Crüe - Dr. Feelgood.
  5. 2 points
    MaxFaust

    What Are You Listening To?

    Meshuggah. This will take some time.
  6. 2 points
    Requiem

    What Are You Listening To?

    Various dark metal hits on a playlist on my phone, including: The 69 Eyes Katatonia Sentenced Looks like it’s Finnish dark rock night. Excellent.
  7. 2 points
    FatherAlabaster

    What Are You Listening To?

    The Ruins Of Beverast - Foulest Semen Of A Sheltered Elite Satyricon - Dark Medieval Times
  8. 2 points
    Excellent and unique album. It might be a bit amateurish, but it's creative, consistent, and sincere, and I wouldn't change anything about it.
  9. 2 points
    Depraved

    What Are You Listening To?

    Katatonia - Dance of December Souls Fuck I love this album so much. I know so many people write it off because it was early but no other album sounds like this. I love how all the reverb (intentional or not) creates such a haunting and dreamlike atmosphere. And those heavy riffs and twinkly keys. Nothing like it. Blackened roses in the cradle of sleep, whisper "our death is eternal". AUURRGH!!!
  10. 2 points
    Athame

    What Are You Listening To?

    Deicide - Once Upon The Cross
  11. 2 points
    Crimson Glory - Transcendence
  12. 1 point
    MacabreEternal

    What Are You Listening To?

    Memoriam 'Requiem for Mankind' - what a triumph this is. @Thrashman you were right.
  13. 1 point
    MacabreEternal

    What Are You Listening To?

    Tomb Mold 'Planetary Clairvoyance'
  14. 1 point
    Not to mention Chrome and Dispossession... So many good tunes on that album. Even "We Must Bury You", kind of a clunker on the recording with the programmed drums, but live it was amazing.
  15. 1 point
    The Future of Speach; Passing Bird and the amazing Sweet Nurse not memorable to you?
  16. 1 point
  17. 1 point
    Wormed 'Metaportal'
  18. 1 point
    It’s made my top ten albums of the 21st century in the thread o’er yonder. NP: Nocturnus AD 'Paradox' - I admire the effort here and the musicianship is exceptional at times, but it just feels really clunky (albeit after one listen). The internet loves this but I can't fight the felling of it being a little forced. We shall see what further listens glean. Barbarian 'To No God Shall I Kneel' Mayhem 'Wolf's Lair Abyss'
  19. 1 point
    True Belief

    What Are You Listening To?

    Ratt - Invasion of Your Privacy
  20. 1 point
    VincentEnd

    Howdy

    I am Vincent. According to this I am a Neophyte. Neat.
  21. 1 point
    Depraved

    What Are You Listening To?

    1349 - Liberation
  22. 1 point
    Krieg 'The Black House' Rippikoulu 'Musta Seremonia'
  23. 1 point
    Nightbringer/Acherontas 'The Ruins of Edom' Destruction 'Release from Agony'
  24. 1 point
    Bathory - Nordlands II Ah is there anything quite as wholesome as Viking Metal?
  25. 1 point
    Balor

    What Are You Listening To?

    The split with Der Sturmer and Reek of the Unzen Gas Fumes was awesome. Their full length was great too.
  26. 1 point
    Thrashman

    What Are You Listening To?

    Slayer - Hell Awaits
  27. 1 point
    True Belief

    What's on your mind?

    3 minutes is your limit in so many ways...
  28. 1 point
    Athame

    What Are You Listening To?

    Paradise Lost - Frozen Illusion Demo
  29. 1 point
    Depraved

    What Are You Listening To?

    Yeah, exactly. I would almost go as far as to say the somewhat amateurish aspects of it only makes it better. The imperfection of it makes it sound raw and real. Same with the production. Definitely in my top 5 favorite metal albums ever written. It never gets old and it's one of the few albums I can sit through in its entirety only to turn around and listen to the whole thing all over again immediately. It's got some of the most beautiful, most memorable riffs I've ever heard as well.
  30. 1 point
    Requiem

    What's on your mind?

    Ah True Belief. More dollars than sense. Last time I spent 3 minutes out of the house in my underwear I was arrested... Also, go England! So glad they won the World Cup, although it would also have been good for New Zealand to win. God bless her Majesty and her 11 gentlemen sportsmen.
  31. 1 point
    MacabreEternal

    What Are You Listening To?

    JS Bach Various tracks Marduk 'Those of the Unlight' Unanimated "In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead'
  32. 1 point
    Tortuga

    What Are You Listening To?

    Lita Ford - Back to the cave In a mellow 80's mood to night.
  33. 1 point
    Kilian_Leon

    What Are You Listening To?

    Sun Kil Moon - Alesund
  34. 1 point
    MacabreEternal

    New Purchases/Acquisitions

    Marduk ‘Dark Endless’
  35. 1 point
    MacabreEternal

    What's on your mind?

    The “judiciary” have issues with me using fire. Like that is my biggest threat to society! Sometimes it is like the upholders of the law don’t even know me.
  36. 1 point
    Thrashman

    What Are You Listening To?

    Kreator - Enemy Of God
  37. 1 point
    FatherAlabaster

    What's on your mind?

    I'll take a week in the tank, please.
  38. 1 point
    Depraved

    What Are You Listening To?

    Rainbow - Rising
  39. 1 point
    True Belief

    What Are You Listening To?

    Had this on last week on the way to work.
  40. 1 point
    Athame

    What Are You Listening To?

    Mayhem - Deathcrush
  41. 1 point
    MacabreEternal

    What Are You Listening To?

    Marduk Those of the Unlight
  42. 1 point
    MacabreEternal

    New Purchases/Acquisitions

    Marduk Those of the Unlight 100 Requiem points for me.
  43. 1 point
    Requiem

    What Are You Listening To?

    Satyricon - 'Nemesis Divina'
  44. 1 point
    Hello at 10 and 11 P.M
  45. 1 point
    RelentlessOblivion

    1349

    They are one of the most promising modern black metal bands out there. Yes they have had a missed step or two along the way but which band hasn't? Their sound pays homage to what has come before without losing any originality. They sound like a contemporary of bands like Emperor, Mayhem, and Darkthrone rather then a band hero worshipping them. Really should get more of their albums.
  46. 1 point
    Benjaminc81

    1349

    Been on a 1349 kick lately and i'm busy revisting all their albums at the moment. To me 1349 is one of the few bands that is keeping Norwegian black metal spirit alive. Their sound is just so utterly relentless and brutal like a jackhammer to the skull. I first started listening to them, like most people probably, because Frost is in the band. I really like the way they are heading with the newer material. The last two albums were a little bit more melodic and not just non stop blast beats. I even love the much hated "Revelations of the Black Flame" album. I can understand why many fans dislike it but there are some really atmospheric songs on that album. But regardless these guys have been improving with each album in my opinion. The new single also sounds quite promising and makes me look forward to the new record which will hopefully follow soon. I had the pleasure of seing them live back in 2014 in Oberhausen, Germany while they were doing a small club tour through Europe. It was without a doubt one of the best and most insane performances i've ever seen. Ravn had a stage presence like i've never seen before screaming like a maniac and looking like he was ready to beat up the front row audience. Also Frost did his fire breathing act at the beginning of the show and lit the ceiling of the club (more like a basement actually) on fire which was covered with those cardboard eggboxes which of course caught on fire. The first two song were just chaos while half the audience was choking on smoke and the fire extinguisher powder 😂 After the show i managed to snag a poster which i had signed by the band. I only recently got it framed for a place in my man cave.
  47. 1 point
    Will give you a spin and buy your albums if I like it. Do you have physical releases?
  48. 1 point
    In no particular order, aside from number one, here's my stab at a top 20 "all time favorites" list: Opeth - the only place for this band is at the top of my list. I was lucky enough to catch them kind of early on, at a formative time for my music taste and songwriting ideas. Tranquil melancholy, intuitive melodies, and dark aggression were held together by abstract songwriting that always had a sense of grace and clarity. I don't care for their last few recordings, but their first eight albums are all gold in my book. The first one I heard, and the one that had the biggest impact on me, was Morningrise. Katatonia - although they've covered a good amount of stylistic ground in their 20+ years of development, from the raw, blackened melodic doom (dark metal, you say?) of their early albums to the polished modern prog-gloom sad rock of their latest, their heartfelt sense of melody remains a constant. Hard to pick one album out of a pretty big and somewhat varied discography; if forced to do so, I'd pick the one that won me over: Tonight's Decision. Type O Negative - Gothic rock, punk aggression, 60s psychedelia, sprawling song structures, sarcastic humor, sincere explorations of shame and abandonment issues. Nobody else had Pete's voice; nobody could write songs like Pete. RIP Pete. Desert island album: World Coming Down. My Dying Bride - another unique combination of aggression and melancholy melodies. I'm sensing a theme here. Doom-death with a growing gothic tinge, evocative guitar lines, long songs full of weird and often awkward transitions. I don't love every single album, but they're still doing good work. The definitive classic: Turn Loose The Swans. Rush - my first "favorite" band as a kid, and one I've grown to appreciate even more as I get older. I've consistently enjoyed these guys since I first heard them almost thirty years ago. Their musicianship gives us all something to aspire to; Geddy Lee's polarizing vocals stand guard at the gate, keeping out all but the true seekers. Or something. The archetypal ur-text of prog rock in my internal mental library: Moving Pictures. Soundgarden - ah, Chris Cornell. This guy could put anything from a delicate, intricate melody to a furious howl over pretty much any clunky odd-meter riff or weird chord change, and make it sound natural. Matt Cameron could make it groove. Kim Thayil could write it to begin with. And Ben Shepherd could... well, he played the bass. (Ok, sorry, he wrote stuff too, and also sang backup, and really helped expand their sense of what was possible in songwriting when he became Hiro Yamamoto's permanent replacement in 1990-91.) These guys could - and did - make memorable themes out of almost anything. One of the big superstars of "grunge", with a wide-ranging willingness to explore. Even the dad rock of their comeback album had a lot of great moments of genuine inspiration. Cornell's suicide hit me like a ton of bricks. Most unique statement: Superunknown. Alice In Chains - while we're on "grunge", the story of my life wouldn't be complete without the nihilistic, drug-laden emotional rollercoaster of AIC's early albums. Honest riffing, clear and deceptively simple songwriting, and a raw, fiery edge to their trademark dual vocal attack, opening a door on the inner conflict hinted at by their cryptic lyrics. Anger, sadness, boredom, and the occasional epiphany, always with the sense of something horrible lurking around the corner. Hardest gut punch: Dirt. Swans - primitive, abrasive fury? Proto-industrial bludgeoning? Spiteful declamations? Lush, reverb-drenched atmospheres? Gothic anthems of the bombastic or meditative natures? Unnerving soundscapes? Pains and pleasures to frighten the uninitiated, magic carpets to transport the half-awake, blankets to smother the enlightened? Anyway I like this band a lot. They've been all over the place since their inception in the early 80s, and one can't encapsulate that kind of career in a single album; but if one wants to try, one might listen to Children Of God. (If one wants to forgo the theatrics and just hit things for fun, one would be advised to listen to Filth instead.) Enslaved - A couple teenagers from Norway in the early 1990s like the sound of black metal, but would rather write about Viking stuff than Satan. One of them turns out to be a prolific songwriting genius who develops a unique fusion of black and folk metal with psych rock and 70s prog, over the course of fourteen albums and counting. There's a mysticism in this music, the sense that you're going on a journey, or that the world is going on a journey around you; and energy is always present, even if it bubbles under the surface. Favorite mystical journey: Below The Lights. Death - one of death metal's pioneers since their demo recordings (as Mantas) in the early 80s. Various lineups (including some serious A-list talent) under the direction of guitarist/songwriter/frontman Chuck Schuldiner put out seven influential and increasingly eclectic albums in an eleven-year period, before "disbanding" to focus on new music with a different vocal style. Chuck's distinctive riffing and soaring melodies helped define prog death for me, and probably a generation of other metalheads. A difficult choice between any of the last four albums for me, but the one that first opened my eyes was 1993's Individual Thought Patterns. Isis - another band that opened me up to a new way of thinking about songwriting. Big, open structures, layers of different textures, lush atmosphere, and carefully considered dynamic shifts across a spectrum from sparse post-rock to harsh, abrasive sludge. When you don't know what to call it, call it "post-metal"... I was a fan of the early, noisy stuff, but they really hit me with 2002's Oceanic. Akercocke - blackened progressive death metal with tons of great melodies, varied and passionate vocals, and tasteful synth/electronic elements, at the service of enjoyable, memorable, cohesive songs that often pull together my favorite parts of disparate influences as if by magic; what's not to love? Their early stuff is vicious, and their comeback album from a couple of years ago was stellar, but the one that cemented them in my head as a favorite was 2005's Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone. Gorguts - a dark, uncompromising death metal powerhouse, from their enjoyable early albums through their idiosyncratic, twisted late 90s/early 2000s material to the gorgeous intricacies of their newest recordings. This band tried things few others had even thought of, and managed to succeed. I absolutely love what they've done since their new lineup formed, and in a vacuum I might prefer to listen to it, but in the context of an "all time favorites" list, my pick has to be 1998's seminal Obscura. Amorphis - a cold wind blew down from Finland when I was fourteen, carrying with it a sense of other possibilities in death metal aside from the meat-and-potatoes pummeling I'd gotten into - stark, angular melodies, slower rhythms, brooding gloom, cultural context. They'd shift gears pretty quickly, leaving death metal - and me - behind, but (for my taste) their debut is one of DM's pillars, wrapping most of what I love about the Finnish scene into a simmering yet catchy package: The Karelian Isthmus. Queensryche - those vocal melodies! Those memorable riffs. That tasteful lead guitar work and skillful songwriting. I've loved their music since I was ten or eleven, I like their first three albums as much as anything above, and I used to jam the shit out of even the two after that. Hugely important to my musical development. And yet I don't care much for the vast majority of what they've done, including nearly everything from the past thirty years, and a full two-thirds of their output is steaming turds. Ah well. Forget that they didn't break up in 1990, and focus on their cinematic narrative concept prog-metal masterpiece, Operation: Mindcrime. Cradle Of Filth - years of actual filth can't obscure the ambition and brilliance of their early stuff, particularly the second, third, and fourth albums. Interesting melodies, intense drum work, detailed and wide-ranging songs that turn on a dime, topped off with Dani's unique shrieks and dense lyrics. Almost a toss-up here, but I have to go with the grandiose, impressively well-realized black/death/gothic/symphonic synthesis of Cruelty And The Beast. Nevermore - this band had great technical chops and real chemistry, which tends to get a little lost in the modern polish of their recordings. Jeff Loomis could (can?) write a mean riff, and he's one of the few flashy soloists whose playing I not only admire, but actually enjoy. Warrel Dane's haunting vocal tone, forceful delivery, thoughtful lyrics, and highly personalized melody and harmony ideas were the centerpiece of their songwriting. Brilliant inflection points were scattered throughout. Even their weaker music was accomplished and engaging; at their best, they were transcendent. Most heartfelt and cohesive album: Dreaming Neon Black. Meshuggah - their influence on modern metal, and on me, can't be denied. It's easy to think these guys had that one idea, that one time, and figured out how to make a career out of it. Their big chunky polyrhythms and half-tone/whole-tone lead lines gave rise to a lot of tiresome ripoffs; I have to admit that I hate most of the bands they directly inspired. I don't play their stuff much these days. But when they first hit their stride, they sounded like nothing else, pulling together rhythms and textures with a sense of purpose that blew teenage Alabaster out of the water. Often imitated, never duplicated. For clarity, textural variety, and focus in songwriting, the untouchable gem in my book is their second album, Destroy Erase Improve. Dark Tranquillity - for a little while, DT was my favorite melodic metal band in the world. Well-differentiated songs full of awesome guitar harmonies, and bold twists and turns that may as well have leapt from the head of Zeus. It couldn't last; they "streamlined" their third album into a passable answer to contemporary At The Gates before making a career out of music that I can't stand. They almost shouldn't be here. But their second album is my favorite thing to come out of the Gothenburg scene, and it's still relevant to me today: 1995's majestic The Gallery. Metallica - ugh, I really have to put Metallica on this list. I don't want to; like a few of the other bands I listed, and to a greater degree than most, they went tits up, jumped the shark, shat the fucking bed. Not only that, but I hardly ever listen to them anymore, maybe once every year or two. And yet. And yet. Wow, these guys were a bolt of lightning. They put out the first metal album I owned, and they were the first "heavy" band I liked. They wrote the first guitar part I figured out by ear. They played the first concert I went to. I saved up money working all summer to buy legit tapes of their albums and a stereo to play them on. The riffs, the vocals, the songs... it's all there at the foundation of my musical journey. Maybe the most important band in my library. That's probably true for countless other people as well. Out of the albums I still enjoy, I'd have to choose 1988's bitter, intense, sometimes unexpectedly personal ...And Justice For All. _____ In a different year, under different lighting, any of the following bands might have made the list: Pantera Suffocation Rotting Christ Deicide Cannibal Corpse Beyond Dawn Fear Factory Faith No More At The Gates Darkthrone Satyricon Ulver Deftones Hedningarna Sisters Of Mercy Joy Division Deine Lakaien King Crimson Celtic Frost Anathema Demilich Ulcerate Obituary
  49. 1 point
    Went for a walk today....ran into 91,000 other people on the way.
  50. 1 point
    Fairy Glen today. Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
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