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1001 Metal Albums You Should Hear Before You Die [Metal Forum Edition] Updated 29th March 20


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37. Cradle Of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast (1998)   Yes, yes, I know Cradle of Filth are a much maligned band. Rightly so their catalogue is for the most part sub par. It is further testame

44. Monstrosity - Imperial Doom I just happened to be listening to this album while reading through the thread and see no reason why I shouldn't go ahead and give it praise now. Most Me

35. Ulver - Bergtatt (1995)   Norway. It is a country synonymous with top notch Black Metal. So much so, in fact, that the Norwegian Black Metal sound and scene is revered to the exclusion o

 

18. Exhorder - The Law (1992)

Groove metal. Thrash. Post-thrash. Whatever the fuck you wanna call this album, it's heavy and brutal as fuck. One thing that most groove metal bands don't seem to get right is that they lack a certain dynamic energy that carries you through from track to track, making all but the best albums boring halfway through. Pantera often fails at this. Machine Head does as well. Exhorder do not. Their thrash roots allow the heavy-as-fuck riffs to remain enthralling from beginning to end. As far as I'm concerned, when I'm in the mood for brutal death thrash, this is usually my first stop, followed by Morbid Saint and Devastation and Demolition Hammer and etc. Simply one of the most badass metal albums of all time. And just check that Sabbath cover, dude. Fuck yeah. Also, just to stick up for Pantera -- while they're not my fav band by any stretch of the imagination -- the idea that they ripped off Exhorder is nonsense. If they ripped them off then just about every thrash/death/black/etc metal band in existence are nothing but rip offs. Not to mention pretty much the entire NOLA sludge scene would likewise be thieves. Influence does not equal ripping off.

 

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19. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath (1970)

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Clearly this list is going to be incomplete until someone mentions Sabbath. Might as well start at the beginning; the beginning of Black Sabbath and metal as we know it. Many disagree on what is their best album, but for me it's always been the debut. It's B-sdie is far weaker than the A-side -- many bands from back then liked to throw in jams at the end of their albums, but this was clearly not Sabbath's strong suit -- but the first four songs are brilliant enough that they outweigh the strengths of every album they released afterward. The falling rain at the beginning of the album, making way for that evil tri-tone riff is the beating heart and soul of everything that is metal. It took me a while to truly appreciate how amazing the title track was, but when I did I was a fan for life. The production is another one of my favorite things about the album. It's not nearly as bass heavy as later albums, but that thinner sound just gives it this phantasmagorical blues atmosphere that they never even came close to again. Why they lost interest in that aspect of their sound I don't know, but I truly miss it.

 

 

 

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Hammerfall is a band that I still don't like though' date=' despite those songs sounding better than many of their others that I've heard. It just sounds tepid and stale, and not because I don't like that style of metal, but it just sounds lifeless and indifferent. I guess that's why Amon Amarth refers to them as a cover band, it sounds like they're covering material from better bands without any of their own gusto to propel the songs, they're just checking the boxes instead of trying to make some fucking ass kicking metal.[/quote'] Forgot to respond to this. I can understand people not liking Hammerfall, but I could listen to them all day. They may not be a forward thinking band, and they may not have done anything but combine all the things they liked about 80s melodic metal, but they did it so well that it just doesn't matter to me. "Hearts On Fire", "Way of the Warrior", and "Riders of the Storm" are just too infectious to be denied. They're cheesy as all fuck, but just like Manowar, it's all part of their charm.
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Forgot to respond to this. I can understand people not liking Hammerfall' date=' but I could listen to them all day. They may not be a forward thinking band, and they may not have done anything but combine all the things they liked about 80s melodic metal, but they did it so well that it just doesn't matter to me. "Hearts On Fire", "Way of the Warrior", and "Riders of the Storm" are just too infectious to be denied. They're cheesy as all fuck, but just like Manowar, it's all part of their charm.[/quote'] The difference is that their performance and songwriting are incredibly dull compared to the bands they're aping, or even their contemporaries in bands like Dream Evil. I don't mind unoriginal sounds, but at least do it with conviction and make it sound like you really are playing your ass off, as opposed to sounding like you're having to reign things in to fit a certain sound.
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The difference is that their performance and songwriting are incredibly dull compared to the bands they're aping' date=' or even their contemporaries in bands like Dream Evil. I don't mind unoriginal sounds, but at least do it with conviction and make it sound like you really are playing your ass off, as opposed to sounding like you're having to reign things in to fit a certain sound.[/quote'] Well they're not going for complexity or raw energy. They clearly want to go for anthemic stadium metal, as evidenced by their albums "evolving" over the course of their first few to become ever simpler and more pop-oriented. And questioning their conviction is absurd. Their entire sound is a love note to trad and power metal; and their lyrics are about nothing but paying homage to metal in general. They are one of the most passionate bands around. They're just not necessarily passionate about things that aren't goofy. Just take this song. First time I ever heard it I couldn't believe they'd thrown such a laughably sappy love ballad into one of their albums (it was my first Hammerfall album so I wasn't aware they did this on all of them). Then I realized it wasn't about a woman. It was about metal. It was a sappy ballad lamenting what had become of metal after grunge and nu metal "killed" it. It's (charmingly) dumb as shit, but to claim that it isn't passionate is to miss the point.
 
 
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Well they're not going for complexity or raw energy. They clearly want to go for anthemic stadium metal, as evidenced by their albums "evolving" over the course of their first few to become ever simpler and more pop-oriented. And questioning their conviction is absurd. Their entire sound is a love note to trad and power metal; and their lyrics are about nothing but paying homage to metal in general. They are one of the most passionate bands around. They're just not necessarily passionate about things that aren't goofy. Just take this song. First time I ever heard it I couldn't believe they'd thrown such a laughably sappy love ballad into one of their albums (it was my first Hammerfall album so I wasn't aware they did this on all of them). Then I realized it wasn't about a woman. It was about metal. It was a sappy ballad lamenting what had become of metal after grunge and nu metal "killed" it. It's (charmingly) dumb as shit, but to claim that it isn't passionate is to miss the point. XBaLsh5H6WM
Saying that you love metal is one thing, making someone feel it is another. I've known many who have paid lip service to liking metal, punk, jazz, or whatever, but then don't listen to much of it if at all. They have made a career out of it, so I'm not saying they're false or anything, but their music just doesn't seem to have any drive to it. It's almost like they missed the point of what their idols were getting at, replicating their actions without any kind of purpose to back it, which comes across as just empty hero worship.
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20. Morbid Angel "Blessed Are The Sick" 1991

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Staying power is important if we are talking about 1001 albums that are "must listens". "Blessed Are The Sick" is still as relevant now as it was 24 years ago, with its sonic wizardry, beefed up guitar sound (when compared with its predecessor at least) and the furious thunder of Sandoval on the drum kit driving forward this beast of a record. The complimentary lead work of Richard and Trey (Richard and his more melodic moments to temper Trey with his swarming, chaotic and sonic shredding) works superbly and you get a real sense that this is band much improved ability wise from their previous outing. The maturity is evident and the whole package has a more serious edge to it with the album artwork grotesque and twisted like the sound of the considerably darker music within. The intro is a perfect opener with the almost engine like noise of some hellish machine made from crying children and grinding bones being revved up to floor the accelerator and destroy all in its path. By the time it gives way to opener proper "Fall From Grace" you are sat bolt upright waiting for the assault to happen and your are not going to be disappointed as the track smothers you in glorious low end marauding DM. The build up to the title track is varied with each track managing to stand out as individual points of brilliance. The fury of "Brainstorm", the sudden slowed technique of "Rebel Lands", the horror film soundtrack keys of "Doomsday Celebration" and the frantic pace of "Day Of Suffering" all cement the foundations of the stairway up to "Blessed Are The Sick/Leading The Rats". The title track is a slower but epic descent into the bowels of Hades themselves the bottom end of every note pulling you further down into the darkness before the flutey ending adds a bestial cherry to the top of the hellish cup cake! The title track acts a central pin for the whole record, it is not that this is the peak of the album as what follows it is just as intense and powerful as the rest of the album so far, but the title track does exactly what it is supposed to. It is the pillar running through the atmosphere, direction and experience of the whole album. This brings me on to the structure of the album as a whole, the already mentioned intro starts things off perfectly but the changes of pace are brilliantly scheduled, the haunting beauty of "Desolate Ways" with its picked acoustic strings is like a beautiful woman with an underlying darkness lay in field of scarred and twisted corpses and it stays with you long after the album has finished. "In Remembrance" is the perfect ending to the album, an acknowledgement that although the chaos is over things won't be the same again as a result of it.

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21. Cryptopsy - None So Vile (1996)

Death metal was well established by the time Cryptopsy released their sophmore album None So Vile but seldom had it been played like this. The furious pacing, intense riffing, technical musicianship and some of the most deranged vocals you will ever hear (courtesy of the grotesque Lord Worm) make this a horrifying album. None So Vile offers no chance to catch your breath, no mercy, no escape from the relentless sonic bludgeoning. Album artwork depicting the beheading of John The Baptist should be warning enough: this album is not for the timid listener. Even for long term fans of extreme metal None So Vile can be a challenging listen. It is, nonetheless, a must hear album if only to observe just how blurred the line between music and noise can become.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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22. Marduk - Panzer Division Marduk (1999)

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Many black metal purists don't like this album, as A.) it's heavy influenced by death metal, and B.) it has relatively clean production. These people suck, as this is quite possibly the most intense black metal album I've ever heard, and it gives even the most brutal of death metal bands a run for their money. I guess you could call this war metal for its black/death approach, but whereas most of those bands have pretty muddy production, this album has a much fuller sound, which really lets the aural assault hit you with full force. All the songs sound the same, but who the fuck cares? Extra points for the greatest song name in all of music: "Christraping Black Metal". Honorable mention: "Fistfucking God's Planet".

 

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23. Asphyx - Last One On Earth (1992)

Last One On Earth is the sophmore album from Dutch death metal band Asphyx. Taking the mid-tempo style employed by Obituary (among others) and running with it Asphyx craft a truly crushing, riff oriented, sound that is totally unique. Last One On Earth is an album which will slowly, methodically, grind you into the dirt with absolutely no remorse. There are few albums in any genre which can match the heaviness displayed here. Last One On Earth will leave you a broken, bloodied, mess but you'll somehow manage to squirm back for another listen.

 

 

 

 

 

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22. Marduk - Panzer Division Marduk (1999)

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Many black metal purists don't like this album, as A.) it's heavy influenced by death metal, and B.) it has relatively clean production. These people suck, as this is quite possibly the most intense black metal album I've ever heard, and it gives even the most brutal of death metal bands a run for their money. I guess you could call this war metal for its black/death approach, but whereas most of those bands have pretty muddy production, this album has a much fuller sound, which really lets the aural assault hit you with full force. All the songs sound the same, but who the fuck cares? Extra points for the greatest song name in all of music: "Christraping Black Metal". Honorable mention: "Fistfucking God's Planet".

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I don't really hear any death metal in the album, just relentless and somewhat monotonous blasting black metal. I dig The Abyss' production jobs and love how present the bass is in the mix, and I really enjoy the album overall, but it wouldn't be my first choice from Marduk. That's probably because that blasting "norsecore" sound isn't my favorite side of black metal, but Marduk still did it in a way that sounded like them, and it's vastly superior to similar efforts by bands like Dork Funeral or Enthroned.
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I don't really hear any death metal in the album' date=' just relentless and somewhat monotonous blasting black metal. I dig The Abyss' production jobs and love how present the bass is in the mix, and I really enjoy the album overall, but it wouldn't be my first choice from Marduk. That's probably because that blasting "norsecore" sound isn't my favorite side of black metal, but Marduk still did it in a way that sounded like them, and it's vastly superior to similar efforts by bands like Dork Funeral or Enthroned.[/quote'] I see the death metal in the approach. The album is concerned only with relentlessly beating your ears into submission like a brutal death metal album (and like many "war metal" bands), rather than creating any sort of atmosphere like a Darkthrone or Mayhem album. And I definitely agree it's monotonous. It's an artless album that I imagine most bands would have the common sense not to release. They'd try to insert moments of uniqueness or creativity, but that would interfere with the mindless aural assault. I don't want a bunch of bands doing what Marduk did with this album, but I'm happy that someone did. Norsecore also isn't my fav form of black metal. I'm a first waver through and through, and after that I prefer the more experimental stuff that evolved from the early Norwegian scene. It's why I didn't choose earlier Marduk albums. Opus Nocturne is cool and all, but it's an album whose quality is outstripped by better bands, and is not unique enough to be required listening. Panzer Division Marduk's monotony, along with its production, actually makes it unique in a weird way.
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I see the death metal in the approach. The album is concerned only with relentlessly beating your ears into submission like a brutal death metal album (and like many "war metal" bands), rather than creating any sort of atmosphere like a Darkthrone or Mayhem album. And I definitely agree it's monotonous. It's an artless album that I imagine most bands would have the common sense not to release. They'd try to insert moments of uniqueness or creativity, but that would interfere with the mindless aural assault. I don't want a bunch of bands doing what Marduk did with this album, but I'm happy that someone did. Norsecore also isn't my fav form of black metal. I'm a first waver through and through, and after that I prefer the more experimental stuff that evolved from the early Norwegian scene. It's why I didn't choose earlier Marduk albums. Opus Nocturne is cool and all, but it's an album whose quality is outstripped by better bands, and is not unique enough to be required listening. Panzer Division Marduk's monotony, along with its production, actually makes it unique in a weird way.
The relentless composition is the reason for the norsecore label, Scandinavian style black metal that is more blasting and punishing ala grindcore. It's a pejorative and one that I don't agree with, as there are few cases of actual death metal or grindcore entering the sound, but I use it because most people know what I'm talking about, and many bands in the field deserve the derogatory connotation. It is like brutal death metal, in the way that it focuses on one small aspect of death metal's sound and exploits one of its stereotypical characteristics, but in doing so it narrows the scope and distances itself from the roots of the sound. This doesn't mean that bands who do this are inherently bad, but they tend to have more of an uphill battle ahead of them by painting themselves into a corner.
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24. Crimson Glory - Transcendence (1991)

Transcendence is the sophmore album by Crimson Glory (notice a trend yet). Whilst their self-titled debut was good Transcendence shows a band who have matured as musicians. The blend of power and progressive metal, the mix of softer and heavier songs, Transcendence is a perfectly balanced album. Matching the excellent musicianship are some of the most powerful vocals in the genre. Midnight, who would tragically commit suicide not long after this album's release, had a unique tone and high notes which will shatter your ear drums. Transcendence offers a fun, rewarding, listen whilst maintaining strong progressive elements, a recipe many of their contemporaries could do worse then follow, and the replayability factor is high; Couple this with plenty of catchy, sing-along inducing, choruses and you end up with one of the finest prog/power releases ever.

 

 

 

 

 

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Good call on the Cryptopsy album' date=' relentless. Crown of Horns was the first Cryptopsy song I heard, nothing better than the Worm years. I dig that you put Asphyx on the list too, but I gotta say I'd pick The Rack over any of their albums any day.[/quote'] The Rack is awesome, but is a bit uneven compared to the nonstop punishment of Last One On Earth. The Rack collected a lot of older songs with some different tones, where as Last One On Earth is cohesive in its destruction, and may contain MVD's best vocal performance.
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25. Artillery - By Inheritance

This album is a true gem of thrash metal, an absolute goldmine of riffs, and is probably my favourite thrash album, it is an absolute joy to listen to from start to finish, you'll find yourself headbanging uncontrollably. I love Flemming Ronsdorf's vocals, I don't really know how to describe them, but I think they suit the music so well. In my opinion this album is essential for every thrasher to have in their collection.

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  • MacabreEternal changed the title to 1001 Metal Albums You Should Hear Before You Die [Metal Forum Edition] Updated 29th March 20
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