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


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26. Sadus "Swallowed In Black" 1990

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Those of us old enough to be fortunate to have been listening to metal in 1990 will remember what a fucking crackin year it was for albums. Among all the obvious choices like Judas Priest "Painkiller", Megadeth "Rust In Peace" and Danzig "Danzig II:Lucifuge" sit some lesser recognised gems and high on that list is Sadus "Swallowed In Black". This was pure ripping thrash that to this day sounds as ferocious and intense as the first time I heard it. However there is more to this album than just an all out balls to the wall assault, throughout the entire record the mastery of Steve DiGiorgio on the (fretless) bass is breathtaking and he compliments the guitar work perfectly. One of the most technical players of his time his contribution on here is nothing short of superb. Blend the wondrous complexity of the music with Rob Travis' harsh and scathing vocal style and you have a near perfect combination for one of thrash metals best ever records. There's a tech death edge throughout most of the riffs on SIB and its delivered with all the speed and fervor you'd expect from such a release as well. The songs are well composed and show a real maturity from the writers which compliments the musicianship perfectly.

 

 

 

 

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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

  • 4 weeks later...

27.AUTOPSY "MENTAL FUNERAL"(1991)

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Whilst DM was getting more and more brutal as the early 90s ticked on, only Autopsy really had that truly ugly, clumsy and clunky edge to their sound. It wasn't just nice legs but a crying shame about the face ugly either. Autopsy's sound fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down before rolling down the ugly hill and drowning itself in the ugly lake at the bottom. "Mental Funeral" was a perfect title for this horror show of a record. Unapologetic in it's punk mentality and the unholy delivery of some very heavy death doom riffs, "MF" is a raw assault on the senses with its filth infested lyrics and relentless pace. From the punky riffs that open "Twisted Mass Of Burnt Decay" through to the slow doom leading into spazzing frenzy of "Slaughterday" the album is full of little time changes and twists that shine through the evil atmosphere perfectly whilst helping drive it along at the same time. Reifert is not only superb vocally he is on top form on the kit also. Call it sick if you like but it's an absolute bonafide DM classic. P.S BUMP for one of the best threads on here.

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28. Evoken - Embrace The Emptiness (1998)

Our first funeral doom album and a most deserved one at that. Most funeral doom fans know Evoken - their bleak gut-wrenching sound is immediately identifiable even on this, their debut. With such an impressive catalogue to choose from any one of their albums would sit comfortably here. So then we come to the obvious question: what makes Embrace The Emptiness so special? Few bands find the sound that defines them early in their career. Evoken manage this in spectacular fashion and Embrace The Emptiness features some of the most crushing riffs in Evoken's discography. From the atmosphere building "intro" which lasts over three minutes to the final moments of this album you will be gripped by the dense guitar tone that seems to carry a physical weight and tortured vocals well suited to the bleak musical approach of Evoken. It is a remarkable achievement for a band to capture exactly what they are about on their debut and for that Embrace The Emptiness earns it's place as one of the must-hear albums for any metalhead.

 

 

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29. Immortal "At The Heart Of Winter"

 

 

Listen back to "Pure Holocaust" or "Battles In The North" and you simply cannot deny the cold, harsh and blistering fury of the pace across those records.  Relentlessly executed and delivered with real venom each time, they are quite rightly bona fide classics in any BM collection.  What "At The Heart Of Winter" brought was a less frenzied, much more calculated assault.  With it's immediate use of melody from virtually the word go (check out album opener "Withstand The Fall Of Time" from about 3 mins in for 30 seconds or so as a fine example of how things were going to pan out on this record), measured perfectly by those awesome riffs and thunder toms, man!

 

This was never a case of Immortal wimping (or selling) out.  This album was a point in time for Immortal and at that point they were at the top of their game not just musically but also in the quality of the songwriting.  Each track is an epic foray into Abbaths' nightmarish, frozen world only this time there is no searing, ice-cold wind stinging your eyes; instead you have Immortal as the fiery dragon scorching out of the blueish haze, standing proud and stoic over their realm.

 

The pace isn't doom by any stretch and that is one of the key successes of this album.  It might be a change of sound but it is still so very obviously Immortal, Abbath is unmistakeable in his vocal delivery but this time the band are building structures around them.  Take second track "Solarfall" and listen as it swoops in and out of fast paced riffs and more melodic passages that help buld the imagery behind the song title brilliantly.  Nowhere is this more apparent than on the "Tragedies Blows At Horizons", with it's measured development and well reined pace punctuated superbly by dreamy plucked strings and big, bold and plodding riffs.

 

Of course I am going to mention the artwork too.  It's up there with Emperor "In The Nightside Eclipse" in terms of epic, fantasy artwork doing great justice to what lies beneath.  It is one of those records that if ever owned on vinyl I could sit gawking at the cover for hours.

 

By the time you get to the oddly titled "Where Dark & Light Don't Differ" the sense of controlled aggression is all the more evident here with the thrashing riffs and astonishing drum work of Horgh combining perfectly.  Then from nowhere we have a solo.  YES an actual solo on a BM record - and it is actually quite good (although Steve Vai needn't feel too threatened).

 

If you haven't figured out by now that the title track is going to be awesome then its opening foray of picked strings and haunting keys should be enough of a wake up call.  It is a whole 2 minutes before that riff crashes in and Abbath's grim croak establishes itself.  Again there is variety galore in terms of riffs, melody and drums on this one track alone.  The track gallops along with riffs leaving horseshoe imprints on your forehead as the mighty Immortal beast thunders on.

 

By the time you reach "Years Of Silent Sorrow" you are still just as exhausted as you were at the end of "Pure Holocaust".  Only this time you Immortalised brain has had to come to terms with a melodic style of BM that retains all the harsh, cold and scathing darkness of the genre yet it has been somehow packaged in a solid structure of accessible and thoughtful songwriting.

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30. Sacramentum "Far Away From The Sun"

In terms of melodic black metal as a sub genre you could probably count the bands included up on one hand or certainly label them as a cross between BM and melodic DM.  We aren't talking the symphonic stabbings of Emperor here we are talking about the retention of the bleakness and the harsh coldness of traditional BM but adding accessibility with effective use of melody that although was key to the sound, did not water down the whole too much.  Dissection are often championed as one of the great acts who achieved this, "Storm Of The Light's Bane" being a fine example of such work.  However, whilst that album is (rightly) recognised as classic release, for me there is another album that overshadows it.  An album that not only combines the familiar bleak atmosphere of BM with some marauding melodies, but one that also contains some sterling instrumentation to boot.  The artist being Sacramentum and their 1996 release "Far Away From The Sun" being the album in question.

From the off it is clear that "Far Away From The Sun" is different.  There's no (mandatory) cold wind or crackling fire in a blizzard intro here, nope opening track "Fog's Kiss" just charges straight in and immediately sets out its stall of structured riffs and progressive melodies as it plods and jars its way through nearly 5 minutes of perfection.  Blink and you will miss the move into track 2, "Far Away From The Sun" as the soaring melody from the end of the opening track blends seamlessly to begin the title track.  Dripping in dense and unshakeable atmosphere from the beginning to the end the album is all held together by a perfect arrangement of rhythms, laid with such precision and thought it is a pleasure to listen to.

The galloping rush that starts "When Night Surrounds Me" is breathtaking but there is no time for recovery as Nisse's evil voice echoes around you like wraiths whispering in both of your ears at the same time.  They tell of a darkness that will be all enclosing, that will spare none from it's path.  "When Night Surrounds Me" has the capacity to make you believe 11am is 11pm such is the dark emotion that writhes within its varied and ravaging 6 minutes. Also hear you start to notice (well if you have ears you will have already noticed) the superb performance going on at the skins.  Nicklas Rudolfsson plays every bit of his kit on "Far Away From The Sun" and plays every possible, fill, blastbeat and pattern whilst he does so.  His drumming is the rumbling stomach of a hungry giant, the scaffold poles and posts to the rising structures that unfold on the album but also the furious warrior galloping across the battlefield slaying all in his path.

Sacramentum - Far Away from the Sun

 

To be able to balance all that melody alongside the intense rush and sweeping majesty of the furious BM takes talent and it is a very well produced album across all 9 tracks.   You never feel any let up in intensity throughout the album and with each listen you pick up something you missed before.  It is recorded proof of beauty in dark places, of order in chaos and of variety in rhythmic familiarity.  It has been a great week rediscovering this.

 

Edited by MacabreEternal
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31. Incantation - Onward To Golgotha (1992)

 

The late eighties and early nineties were an incredibly fruitful period for death metal. We were treated to many classic albums, staples of the genre, albums whose energy, high tempo, and remorseless riffing makes them both infamous and instantly recognisable. You might imagine then that all death metal bands adopted such an approach. You would be mistaken. Many death metal bands opted for the slower approach but none, not...one, did it like Incantation. Onward To Golgotha was revolutionary - murky, mid-tempo, death metal almost totally dovoid of melody. Tones so dense they almost carry a physical presence. Vocals so low it's astonishing to think of a human uttering them. The opening track "Golgotha" gives a very clear indication of what Incantation brings to the table. It is a revolting appetiser and a sign of the horror to come. Once this monstrosity has you in its grasp there can be no escape. Many death metal bands treat you to their interpretation of hell - a seething, bubbling, boiling pit of molten metal. Incantation offer a far more disturbing realm. A fetid, reeking, disgusting sewer where every ghastly step is accompanied by vile sounds and the foulest of odours. This journey into the very bowels of hell is not for the timid but you know after a while it doesn't seem so bad down here

 

 

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31. Incantation - Onward To Golgotha (1992)

 

The late eighties and early nineties were an incredibly fruitful period for death metal. We were treated to many classic albums, staples of the genre, albums whose energy, high tempo, and remorseless riffing makes them both infamous and instantly recognisable. You might imagine then that all death metal bands adopted such an approach. You would be mistaken. Many death metal bands opted for the slower approach but none, not...one, did it like Incantation. Onward To Golgotha was revolutionary - murky, mid-tempo, death metal almost totally dovoid of melody. Tones so dense they almost carry a physical presence. Vocals so low it's astonishing to think of a human uttering them. The opening track "Golgotha" gives a very clear indication of what Incantation brings to the table. It is a revolting appetiser and a sign of the horror to come. Once this monstrosity has you in its grasp there can be no escape. Many death metal bands treat you to their interpretation of hell - a seething, bubbling, boiling pit of molten metal. Incantation offer a far more disturbing realm. A fetid, reeking, disgusting sewer where every ghastly step is accompanied by vile sounds and the foulest of odours. This journey into the very bowels of hell is not for the timid but you know after a while it doesn't seem so bad down here

 

 

DM Classic!!!

The atmosphere on that album is so thick you can slice bits off it and toast them.  Good call!

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DM Classic!!!

The atmosphere on that album is so thick you can slice bits off it and toast them.  Good call!

It is a classic, but I feel like Mortal Throne of Nazarene is their pinnacle. It kind of makes Onward sound rudimentary in comparison, like the pioneering of that sound versus the realization of it. Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
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31. Bathory - Hammerheart (1990)

 

1990 was an incredible year for metal. Across most subgenres one need not look far to find something spectacular. You might imagine, therefore, that it would be difficult to find one album amongst the pack that clearly stands out. Hammerheart proves this is not the case. After four stellar black metal albums Quorthon created something the like of which had never been heard before. He created the majestic entity that is Viking Metal. Everything here from the lyrics to the incorporation of traditional folk instruments screams epic. If you let it this record conjures images of brave Viking warriors doing battle, of mighty Thor wielding his great hammer, of the great halls of Asgard. This album is powerful and beautiful - a rare mix indeed and remains the standard by which all Viking Metal albums are measured to this day. Listen or face the wrath of Odin!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNU9oQWe7cc

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eebjasQGaE0

 

PS: What happened to the usual embed protocol? dilatedmind?

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32. Edge Of Sanity - Crimson (1996)

Crimson is something truly special. It is an album-song - that's right there's one song spanning the entire length of this masterpiece. Melodic, progressive, death metal demonstrating both remarkable musicianship and songwriting is what you get here. No riff outstays its welcome and the album never seems to stagnate. Even when riffs are repeated they somehow feel fresh and different. Words can't really do justice to this masterpiece so I'll just let you listen for yourselves.

 

 

PS fixed what I could here but one of you other mods will have to work out how to change the text in Macabre's post for At The Heart Of Winter.

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33. Death - The Sound Of Perseverance (1998)

Death is a difficult band to nail down. All of their albums are of a very high quality and all offer something slightly different. That is to be expected from a band whose style evolved from thrashy and furious to the controlled chaos of progressive death metal. That sonic progression ended, sadly all too soon, with this album.

 

The Sound Of Perseverance offers technical prowess and progressive songwriting without losing any of Death's trademark aggression along the way. If anything Chuck's raspier, black metal like, vocals seem to amplify that barely contained fury. From album opener Scavenger Of Human Sorrow it is clear this is a Death we haven't seen before. The guitar tone is incredibly heavy - like Death on steroids - and we are met with Chuck's aforementioned shriek. We also see a change in the songwriting approach as this album draws influence from rock and ties it in seamlessly with the familiar death metal approach.

 

All of these elements make The Sound Of Perseverance a unique and varied listen. What makes it a must-hear album you ask? That it is Death at their most experimental, and most creative, and yet everything still fits perfectly. It is such a far cry from previous albums yet this is still immediately identifiable as being Death. That is a feat many bands struggle to accomplish when transitioning into a new sound. Death, however, did so previously but never with greater prowess then their final album.

 

 

 

 

 

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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 of all others by many black metal fans. Few bands, however, have managed to capture so perfectly the heart of Norway quite like Ulver. Bergtatt is an epic journey through the snowy wilderness of Norway.

 

Lyrics tell of one who has become lost in that cold, lonely, isolated expanse and what may be encountered therein. These themes are accompanied by a blend of haunting clean vocals and of course the unholy shrieks one might expect from this era of black metal. Encompassing all this, in the most astonishing way imaginable, is an intricate blend of majestic melodies both clean and distorted. Everything about this album combines to craft images of frozen wilds and snow capped mountains.

 

At the time nothing like this existed in black metal. To this day few have come close to the majesty and strange beauty displayed here. This is an album which transcends its genre. More then a black metal classic it is a masterpiece. A rare and precious metal which should be admired by all.

 

 

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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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