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Rexorcist's 100 Metallic Masterworks


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It's finally here, my top 100 metal albums of all time!  I understand that most people have a hard time keeping a consistent top 100 and it usually changes depending on mood.  Thankfully, I have a system for keeping it consistent!  This list is based on a system I devised for assigning a ranking score to every album I listen to, every movie I watch, every game I play and every book I read.  The system is simple: don't just pick 100 random albums based on mood, but don't let the critics tell you what to love.  This keeps me from just randomly picking 100 power metal albums with the occasional thrash or black album.  This way, I can judge every album fairly not by what I want the album to sound like (which is pretty unfair, since I can't expect that from every band I'm recommended), but what IMPRESSES ME the most based on what they're trying to accomplish.

I ask myself four questions with every piece of art I subject myself to.  For the sake of the thread, let's just use albums:

1. What is the goal of the album?  Genre is usually taken into account for this, but other factor can be issued in.  Examples: does the album have a concept?  Is it just dicking around?  Is this an effort to sell out while still being enjoyable?

2. Does the album meet that goal?  Not every album meets its goal.  Some music tries to be super heavy, but occasionally the production ruins them.  Some try to be more melodic, but the melodies suck.

3. What mistakes were when trying to meet the goal?  This question takes things like forgetting decent production or including filler or halfassing lyrics.

4. Did the better aspects of the album make up for the mistakes? Usually it doesn't.  However, this list is specifically for those albums that either didn't have mistakes or were able to make up for the mistakes.  Example: British Steel by Judas Priest did NOT make the list because the style was a bit more generic than previous Priest albums, but the tunes were still very catchy, but that didn't quite make up for the mistakes to the point that it would make the list.

This top 100 is based on what impresses me the most.  I'm more interested in seeing what the bands can do with their own genres rather than just sticking with my favorite genres, so this system helps me explore more genres and get into more moods.  This is a top 100 based entirely on my opinions, but I made sure the list was all-inclusive.  And don't worry: these definitely are the 100 metal albums that impresses me the most, and there are a few brutally unconventional choices scattered throughout the album that I'm excited to talk about.

HOW THIS THREAD WORKS:

I'm gonna do this Movieforums-style.  For the sake of maximizing discussion, I will only post five albums at once, going from #100-#1, so as to allow time for people to discuss the album choices.  Each album will have the cover and genres posted with a short commentary on why I believe it should go on my list.  I will either do this once or twice in a single day depending on whether or not I'm working mornings.  And after each five, I'll let you know if there are any surprises or typical choices in the next five.

Well, I hope you enjoy the list!  Numbers 100-96 will appear shortly.

SPACE RESERVED FOR RECOUNTING THE ALBUMS.

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#100. Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

Genre: Heavy / Hard Rock

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I know this is pretty low for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath to appear, I just don't think it quite reaches the heights advertised by the metal community.  Still, the decision to steer further into hard rock melody while keeping that keen sense of creativity boasted on other Sabbath albums was an excellent way to start keep their career going after Vol. 4 didn't really meet the mark.  With complex songwriting and a strong traditional metal feel, SBS proved that they still had some valuable breath left and that they weren't devolving into just another marketable rock band just yet.

Black Sabbath Count: 1

#99. Slayer - South of Heaven

Genres: Thrash

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Reign in Blood was a pure exercise in raw heaviness and punk energy, and South of Heaven took a different approach: tone that down a little in place of a little melody and more metal diversity. As a result, it's just as notable of a metal album and continues Slayer's golden age with a whole new outlook later shown on Seasons in the Abyss as well.  As a result, it's got a few more tricks up its sleeve than blasting out a bunch of short songs with incredible heaviness, not to talk bad about Reign in Blood.

Slayer Count: 1

#98. The Ocean - Precambrian

Genres: Prog Sludge / Atmo-Sludge

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Right from the get-go, lemme say that I value this album as a sludge masterpiece more than Panopticon by Isis. It's true, Panopticon and Oceanic layed the groundwork, but the textures of Precambrian are just as beautiful, and the progressive elements make it even better.  It has a slightly weaker section after the first half, but that only lasts about a fifth of the album.  Otherwise, it's a constantly surprising album with a perfect balance between The Ocean's signature heaviness and their later post-metal atmosphere which takes slight influence from a bunch of genres, including jazz and classical.

The Ocean Count: 1

#97. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Irony Is a Dead Scene EP

Genres: Mathcore

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Normally, avant-garde style punk albums are a serious risk, because most bands just focus on the energy and the music suffers.  Not Billinger.  Coninuing where Calculating Infinity left off, Irony Is a Dead Scene makes for another extremely wild punk metal hybrid that focuses more on making sure the rage and the weirdness compliment the music, and that the heaviness stays at its peak.  The only VERY SLIGHT problem with this album is that it doesn't offer very much in the vein of originality in comparison to Calculating Infinity, but the short runtime keeps it from feeling drawn out.  Now you can either be an experimental mathcore band who does whatever you want and likely fail like so many punk bands I've heard through Bandcamp EP's, or you can think about how to make the avant-garde work and bring out the best of your headbanging behavior as a metalhead.

Dillinger Escape Plan Count: 1

#96. Immortal - Sons of Northern Darkness

Genres: Traditional Black

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Immortal's output of albums had a tendency to fluxuate in quality, but Sons of Nothern Darkness is one of the clear highpoints. Songwriting-wise, they had reached a level that most traditional black metal bands couldn't keep up with, and the music was still incredibly brutal.  It follows in the footsteps of At the Heart of Winter, incorporating strong melodic and thrash elements, but it also finds a stronger balance between the evil signature sound of black metal and more straightforward heavy metal songwriting.

Immortal Count: 1

There's the first five.  The next five is going to be entirely made up of metal essentials, but there's also quite a bit of diversity between them.

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Well, looks like nobody commented.  Hopefully this next five will make up for that.

#95. Therion - Theli

Genres: Symphonic

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Despite the fact that this album cover is one of the shittiest things I've ever seen, Theli did a masterful job cementing that symphonic sound that the band was known for.  While that sound is sparing here, and not as bloated as Vovin, its proggy and Gothic approach make for something just as effective.. Some of these riffs and melodies are absolutely phenomenal, mostly overcoming a one track mind when it comes to style.

Therion Count: 1

94. Melvins - Houdini

Genres: Sludge / Stoner

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This is the manliest album on Earth. As soon as Hooch's guitar riff starts up, your testosterone raises. The crunch of the sludge metal they invented is at full force, and the Beefheart-style lyrics are still fun to mouth. One of the most headbang-inducing albums in the world, and one of their most cleverly-riffed.

Melvins Count: 1

93. Nightwish - Oceanborn

Genres: Symphonic Power / Symphonic

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Speaking of clever riffage, some of the most beautiful power metal melodies are boasted on Oceanborn.  Nightwish are like Symphony X in the sense that they needed a couple of albums to perfect their craft. Once they did, they were no longer just notable for having a female vocalist who sounded like an opera singer. Many of these riffs and melodies are dense, beautiful and outrageous to the point where you're practically sucked into the album's mythos; perfect for the cheese fan and purely magical in essence.

Nightwish Count: 1

92. Suffocation - Pierced from Within

Genres: Tech Death / Brutal Death

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A TINY BIT longer than it needs to be but perfect otherwise, Suffocation's signature album displays a level of brutality that even Cryptopsy has difficulty reaching, but they never let that brutality get in the way of the music itself.  The progressive and twisty guitar riffage is a lot to handle, but it's all worth it.  Essential for any death metal collection.

Suffocation Count: 1

91. Mastodon - Blood Mountain

Genres: Prog / Sludge

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There was barely any fluctuation in quality between Mastodon's second and fourth albums./ Blood Mountain provides a completely surprising and powerful in-between where the strengths of the album are the same as Leviathan with only the slightest drop in quality, so light it's barely noticeable. Mastadon's classic era amazes me more than most prog bands ever did, even Opeth and Dream Theater.

Mastodon Count: 1

 

So far, the bottom of my top 100 is a real mishmash of many classic metal genres with little overlap.  The next five will be posted later today, and it will mostly be power metal, including one very controversial choice that ironically has its own cultish following.

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It's no trouble or anything. However, I did join to have some metal discussions, and I know a couple of users here have been waiting for this, so commentary isn't required, obviously, but it is appreciated.

Btw, I had to get up very early today for work, but I'll post the next five in a few hours when I get back from work.

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#90. King Diamond - Abigail

Genres: Heavy / Metal Opera

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More beautiful and progressive in its own evil atmosphere than Mercyful Fate, Abigail is a shocking, weird and perfectly told metal story with some of the finest instrumentation a heavy metal album had back in that day and age. Diamond outdid himself. In fact, I'm sometimes at odds as to whether or not the metal fan in me can stomach going through that story again, which means it worked too well.

King Diamond Count: 1

#89. Lost Horizon - A Flame to the Ground Beneath

Genres: Power

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The second and final album of one of the best power metal bands ever, this one just slightly tops the debut with a heavier focus on everything that made the debut so good: the badassery and the melody.  These guys gave it their all and it showed.  It might be a little samey near the end, but it certainly isn't frontloaded.  This album is a STANDARD set for the rest of the power metal world.

Lost Horizon Count: 1

#88. Blind Guardian - A Night at the Opera

Genres: Melodic Power

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Controversial among diehard Blind Guardian fans for being overproduced, this doesn't change the fact that this album has some of the best tunes Blind Guardian ever produced.  Though a little frontloaded, this is their most operatic and unpredictable release without steering too far into pretentious territory like Rhapsody-knockoffs around the world do.

Blind Guardian Count: 1

#87. Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrup Human Love

Genres: Blackgaze, Post-Metal

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This is the most diversified atmo-black metal album I've ever heard.  Even though it's doesn't quite reach the level of beauty of other blackgaze albums I can name, it never runs out of new tricks and the ambiance always has something new to add, say or express.  It doesn't drown itself in heaviness like most blackgaze albums, even though a couple parts COULD be slightly heavier.

Deafheaven Count: 1

#86. Rhapsody - Power of the Dragonflame

Genres: Melodic Power / Symphonic Power / Metal Opera

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It's true that as far as theme goes, this album doesn't really offer anything new.  Instead, it focuses on what Rhapsody had already set up and let the focus shift to making this the perfect ending to a five-album series of a fantasy opera.  The bombast never gets in the way of the musical technicality, which allows the classical / neoclassical aspects to blow out at full force.

Rhapsody Count: 1

 

15 down.  The next five is going to be heavier and more progressive, largely in different ways.

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4 minutes ago, Rexorcist said:

#90. King Diamond - Abigail

This is my favorite King Diamond album, and the one that actually made me a fan of both his solo stuff and Mercyful Fate. Something about the title track finally made his music click for me, and I listened to it over and over again, though I'd say "Arrival" has probably become my favorite song on the album

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Just now, SurgicalBrute said:

This is my favorite King Diamond album, and the one that actually made me a fan of both his solo stuff and Mercyful Fate. Something about the title track finally made his music click for me, though I'd say "Arrival" has become my favorite song on the album

I prefer his solo stuff over Mercyful fate.  The band's musicianship is fantastic, but Diamond screams way too much.  Also, the metal operas are a bit more progressive and a little more eerie.

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7 minutes ago, Rexorcist said:

I prefer his solo stuff over Mercyful fate.  The band's musicianship is fantastic, but Diamond screams way too much.  Also, the metal operas are a bit more progressive and a little more eerie.

I don't know that I prefer it over Mercyful Fate. "Don't Break the Oath" is an especially un-fuck-withable album, but yeah..musically they're trying to do two separate things. Fate is clearly meant to be a much more standard heavy metal band, while the vast majority of KD's solo stuff are concept albums. That kind of requires a broader range of influences by default because he's trying to create specific moods and atmospheres as the album goes along. The music was always great though, it was his vocals that used to put me off, so it took a few tries before they really started to work for me

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#85. Opeth - Blackwater Park

Genres: Prog

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Some albums just get emotion just right, and make it look effortless.  Opeth has a long and repetitive history, stylisitcally speaking, but that doesn't mean they aren't any good.  Blackwater Park captures them at their roughest and their most distressing.  With death metal foregrounds and the blackgrounds of black metal, Opeth create an addicting journey into man's deepest fears and distresses.

Opeth Count: 1

#84. Neurosis - Souls At Zero

Genres: Atmo-Sludge

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This is where Neurosis found there calling after their punk days weren't working out.  Having gone experimental and sludgy, the band creates an ultimately rough, nasty and even eerie look on metal that sends shivers down my spine.    The opening track's title, "To Crawl Under One's Skin," says it all.  On this album, Neurosis has a stronger sense of melody and atmosphere, giving into the post-metal tropes while still keeping the slightest bit of their punk vibes, beating Melvins at their own game and adding an epic feel to it.  But that doesn't stop it from leaving enough room for jamming out.

Neurosis Count: 1

#83. Tool - Aenima

Genres: Alternative / Prog

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Tool's stylistic history can be seen as gradually going less alternative metal and more prog rock.  This is the album where they started to experiment, and as a result we have something truly surreal to add to the overdone alternative metal genre, as a thematic and thought-provoking contrast to the Korn wannabes and Primus fanboys of the late-90's and the 2000's.  This piece of work is loaded with new ideas and never gets old.

Tool Count: 1

#82. Blind Guardian - Live

Genres: Melodic Power

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You get the best of Blind Guardian from every angle: the speed metal early days, the modern symphony and the melodic riffage of the era between Twilight World and Nightfall.  The band plays with total ferocty, and they capture the spirit they displayed on their albums perfectly.  The only real flaw is that Hansi Kursch starts getting soft and melodic during the choruses too often so the audience can sing with him, so the heaviness is a little damaged.

Blind Guardian Count: 2

#81. - Oranssi Pazuzu - Mestarin Kynsi

Genres: Black, Psych, Avant-Garde

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This is the most surreal ride metal has ever given me.  Not only is there plenty of time to explore the strangest new worlds imaginable, but the heaviness never suffers under the multi-layered weirdness.  Honestly, I have trouble deciding whether or not to recommend it to metal noobs because it has a lot to offer, but it might even be too much.  But Oranssi Pazuzu ultimately outdid themselves, and it's gonna be brutal seeing them try to do it again because I'm not sure they can.

Oranssi Pazuzu Count: 1

 

Well, that's the new five.  The next five is gonna be a mixed bag of genres, but there's a lot of heaviness and melody.

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Currently trying to make the most of a kinda shitty bottle of berry lemonade soda I purchased by combining it with some Coppola pinot noir.  That fixed it, for the most part (you'd think Sunkist would actually know how to make a soda taste like the advertised flavor).  Listening to the third Heavens Gate album while I put this together.  Anyway, there's a small chance I'll get two posts out of the way today.  Small.  And if not, definitely tomorrow.

#80. Mastodon - Leviathan

Genres: Prog Sludge

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I think this was the first Mastodon album I ever heard, and I was not disappointed.  Mastodon are heavier than most bands out there, and this one one of their heaviest releases.  And despite running out of stylistic ideas by the end of it, the progressive structures never cease to amaze.  And I'm not using the word "amaze" lightly.

Mastodon Count: 2

#79. Death - Symbolic

Genres: Death / Technical Death

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Aside from having one of the coolest fucking album covers ever, Symbolic boasts an incredible level of brutality and ferocity, but the ironic thing is the cystral-clear production and the accessibility.  With clearer lyrics, the messages are much more thought-provoking, making the incredible tech-riffage much more engrossing and intriguing.  This is a perfect gateway into the world of the metal genre this band created and is named after.

Death Count: 1

#78. Ensiferum - Ensiferum

Genres: Folk Metal / Viking Metal

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For those who can't have enough medieval badassery, Ensiferum's debut probably has too much of it.  Despite its viking metal status, it boasts a power metal attitude and death metal heaviness, making for a perfect combination of metal genres around the spectrum to attract many metalheads, and having the rhythmic, melodic and technical skill to back it all up.

Ensiferum Count: 1

#77. Vektor - Terminal Redux

Genres: Tech Thrash

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When most bands make a 70-minute album without any shifts in genre or style, they run a terrible risk of monotony and unoriginalty.  Not Vektor.  Vektor was always a pretty insanely fast-moving and technical band, but Terminal Redux cranked it up to the max, making for the most batshit evil thing you're ever going to hear.  Even if it gets slightly tiring near the end, this level of tech/prog originality is rare, and it makes up almost completely for the length.

Vektor Count: 1

#76. Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2

Genres: Power / Heavy

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This was the first power metal album I ever heard, and it was always a favorite of mine for its raw anthemic energy. It acts as a perfect sequel to the melodic beauty that preceded it, improving on all of the original album's strengths the same way Terminator 2 did.  Most of the songs are absolutely kickass, and even any filler is a lot of fun to jam to.  Songs like "I Want Out" are so spirited that they're almost impossible to emulate.

Helloween Count: 1

 

That's today's five.  The next five is gonna be REALLY heavy, but the styles diversify greatly, especially for one album which touches up on a little jazz.

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There's a strong chance two sets will be posted today.

#75. Megadeth - Rust in Peace

Genres: Thrash / Speed

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My ONE tin problem with this album is that Hangar 18 kind of switches from one inferior song with no rhythm to an incredible instrumental, and it just feels awkward.  Otherwise, this forward-thinking mish-mash of riff after riff and rhythm after rhythm is one of the most metal things on Earth.  The rest of the songs all amaze in their own special way, whether they're super-technical thrash songs or short speed metal jams.  Lots of effort went into this and it paid off.

Megadeth Count: 1

#74. Helstar - A Distant Thunder

Genres: Power / US Power / Speed

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The album already starts out great, but it's also the kind of album that gets better as it goes along.  On top of that, not only does it improve on all of the strengths of the previous albums, but it's also one of the more diversified and unique power metal albums out there, and yes, this includes the Scorpions cover.  How the flying fuck do you cover Scorpions?  It's predominantly a speed / power album, but it also includes carefully places elements of thrash and prog.  The only problem I have is that the midtro to "Whore of Babylon" felt a little pointless, and that is the full extent.

Helstar Count: 1

#73. Blut Aus Nord - The Work Which Transforms God

Genres: Atmo-Black

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Blut Aus Nord already made their mark on the world as one of the better atmo-black acts of the modern age, but they weren't really all that unique.  The Work Which Transforms God changes that, as it marks the start of an era of experimentation with more maniacal behavior, diversified emotions and industrial sounds.  This album feels truly black in every way imaginable, and the weirdness makes it somewhat thought-provoking.  Easily an atmo-black album I'd return to, and there aren't many of thoise in the overdone atmo-black genre.

Blut Aus Nord Count: 1

#72. Atheist - Unquestionable Presence

Genres: Tech Death / Prog Death

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This was the second death metal album I've ever heard, and yes, I think this is better than Symbolic.  Why?  Because it's short enough to keep every magnificent riff and technical achievement work, and not bloated in any way despite how many great ideas it has.  The heaviness and energy is just flat out menacing, but the album is all the more intriguing because of it.  If you've got 30 minutes to spare and you want some of the wildest and heaviest music imaginable, you gotta find this piece of work.

Atheist Count: 1

#71. Helloween - Better Than Raw

Genres: Power / Heavy

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Sorry, but I don't think a Kiske album is the best Helloween album.  Sure, he had the best ERA.  But pioneering a genre and perfecting it are two different things.  By taking a more metallic approach and focusing on diversity and riffage, the Deris-era puts out something truly perfect.  Every song is a total jam, so there's no filler, and this metallic behavior keeps the album strong for its entirety.

Helloween Count: 2

 

The next five is going to have a couple seriously heavy albums that defined their respective genres, and a couple of surprises, one of which is extremely obscure to the point where practically no one's heard of it.

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Like I said there was a good chance I could get two of these done today, and the second one is here.

 

#70. Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk

Genres: Symphonic Black

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The first band ever to play and perfect the symphonic black metal sound, there sophomore work takes the sound they created on their debut and improves upon the symphonic sounds and the dark atmosphere.  Although monotonous, the album's short enough to stay completely original by staying true to its roots and delivering one unexpected surprise after another, whether it be an evil and eerie presence or a beautiful operatic extravaganza told through total despair.

Emperor Count: 1

#69. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity

Genres: Metalcore / Mathcore

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Metalcore and mathcore are such overdone genres.  Dillinger Escape Plan can't possibly do enough, though (especially now that they've broken up).  This is mathcore perfection.  The erratic behavior of the band is only met by one other band: Converge, and their level of technicality is absurd, and they always make it work.  The whole album, I was going, "They did NOT just do that!"  And I bet I'm not the first.

Dillinger Escape Plan Count: 2

#68. Symphony X - Paradise Lost

Genres: Prog

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Symphony X may have strayed from the path of the neoclassical genre they pioneered, but they never forsook it, nor did they lose that same incredibly melodic and masculine spirit that drove them.  This is easily their most progressive, and yet their most accessible album.  By touching up on what people love about metal as a whole, they're able to give the fans what they want and attract new ones without losing their spirit.  The musicianship is still at peak level, delivering incredible riff after beautiful melody with powerful vocals, indomitable spirit and a more metal presence than before.

Symphony X Count: 1

#67. Disfiguring the Goddess - Deprive

Genres: Slam Death

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Don't be fooled.  The cosmic-ass album cover describes the album COMPLETELY: the best riffs I've ever heard in a slam album are present here, largely because this short album is more focues on weird surprises and a powerful fear factor, telling a psychotic story of its own through the instruments and effects alone.  This is some of the most creative death I've heard, as creative as Unquestionable Presence.  It's an incredibly shame that DTG is so obscure.

Disfiguring the Goddess Count: 1

#66. Solstafir - Svartir Sandar

Genres: Post

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Post-metal is another overdone genre full of cheap atmosphere, but the production on this album is out of this world.  Straying farther away from their cheap-ass black metal days, Solstafir found ways to accurately portray their deepest emotions and keep things unpredictable along the way.  This is one of those albums that feels so incredibly, for lack of a better word, human.

Solstafir Count: 1

 

The next five is going to start with a VERY unconventional choice, maybe even problematic.  But the other four are essentials in their own fields.

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#65. Utsu-P - Renaissance

Genres: Alternative / Melodic Metalcore

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OK, I understand that weebish high-ptiched vocals aren't exactly metal, but if someone can make it work, it works.  For Utsu-P, it's worked for years, despite his albums being drawn out and repetitive.  But he occasionally tried different things, and Renaissance is ALL ABOUT new ideas.  In a shoprt 36 minutes, Utsu-P released a plethora of diverse tracks combining the weeb singing with black metal voclas and effects, never once breaking concentration, consistency or feeling.

Utsu-P Count: 1

#64. Rainbow - Rising

Genres: Heavy / Hard Rock

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It might not be a Sabbath album, but its lyrical fantasy imagery and beautiful solos and melodies put it on the same level as Sabbath.  Rainbow's magnum opus evolves their hard rock sound into new territory, perfectly capturing the early metal spirit and adding a very strong mythical flair.  And I don't need to tell anyone that Ronnie James Dio does a flawless job on the vocals.

Rainbow Count: 1

#63. Dream Theater - Images and Words

Genres: Prog

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Accessible prog is NOT something that can be easily done, but Dream THeater managed to make it work.  Not only is everything twisty and surreal, but unique in the sense that the genewral lack of heaviness is made up for by a keen sense of rhythm and a surprising level of variety.  You'll even sense influence from 80's pop in here, and it only makes the respective tracks that influence appears on better.

Dream Theater Count: 1

#62. Esoteric - Metamorphogenesis

Genres: Funeral Doom

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The problem with most Esoteric albums is that thet feel the need to drag things on for way too long.  Thankfully, they got it right on Metamorphogenesis, where they take their best ideas during their more surreal era, and combine them in a never-wavering 40-minute epic of three tracks that is so otherworldly you'd feel like you explored the whole universe by the time it finishes.

Esoteric Count: 1

#61. Machine Head - The Blackening

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What an appropriate name for this album.  Even though its predominantly a combination of thrash and groove, the ferocity of black and death metal is all too apparent, even to the point of scariness.  Starting off with a ten-minute epic that switches influence from the surreal opening to the heavy thrashing to a speed metal solo and back and forth, the rest of the album follows in this incredible vein as the album never runs out of fresh and ferocious ideas.

Machine Head Count: 1

 

Tomorrow's gonna start off with a VERY controversial choice, one that may even disgust users here.  The rest are 3 obvious choices and one unexpected one which may not be talked about often, one by a fairly long-running band who just broke up.

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#60. Korn - Issues

Genres: Nu / Alternative

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This is only one of three nu metal albums I ever gave a five-star rating.  But Korn, who invented the genre, and are one of the few to make it work, achieve something incredible here.  They capture all those negative emotions they've been singing about with a perfect, but controled, sense of atmosphere, and the avant-garde quirkiness has been morphered into light experimentation thanks to its faint industrial sound.  This is what nu metal strives to be and consistently fails miserably.

Korn Count: 1

#59. Neurosis - Times of Grace

Genres: Atmo-Sludge

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Neurosis once again perfect the genre they pioneered with more raw despair, anger and depression attached, only this time they're backed up by the flawless production of Big Black's Steve Albini, who understands Neurosis perfectly enough to keep producing for them, and matches perfectly with the included post-hardcore sounds.  Once gain, Neurosis are able to drift a metalhead away into a mystic nothingness for more than a full hour without wavering.

Neurosis Count: 2

#58. Falconer - Among Beggars and Thieves

Genres: Melodic Power

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Falconer usually draws out their albums longer than necessary, but Among Beggars and Thieves boasts a level of creativity that they hadn't even come close to reaching before, so the fifty minutes are packed with a collection of vibes that matches the power metal spirit from several angles: the adventure, the mythology, the folk and the evil to be fought against.

Falconer Count: 1

#57. Motley Cure - Dr. Feelgood

Genres: Heavy / Glam

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Yes, there's a glam metal album here.  True, I don't think of glam as real metal, but Crue were always a heavy metal act as well, and here on Dr. Feelgood they recapture the spirit of Shout at the Devil but steer into some of heavy metal and hard rocks roots as well.  There's more necessity for variety and ever song, even the filler packed an indomitable spirit perfect for any fan of hard rock.

Motley Crue Count: 1

#56. Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle-Earth

Genres: Melodic Power / Metal Opera

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Blind Guardian have practically left their speed metal days behind and pioneered the symphonic sound that would influence bands around the world.  They manage to bring out the best of the Tolkien spirit with some of the catchiest melodies and most powerful instrumentation power metal had seen up to that point.  Kursch, as usual, sings his beloved heart out, and his vocals probably work best on this album than any other.  And if you're not annoyed by all the segues, then I seriously recommend this.

Blind Guardian Count: 3

 

The next five are coming today, and it'll start with some really heavy music, and include one very unconventional choice, especially for fans of that band.

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1 hour ago, KillaKukumba said:

Motley Crue is Heavy/Glam?

Hair metal maybe. Chicks with Dicks, sure. But not heavy.

Motley falls under my minimum requirement of heavy metal necessary for the tag.  And only one other album in this top 100 will meet that minimum standard.  Plus, I know a few really stuffy people who get real purist about glam metal being hard rock who admit that Dr. Feelgood, Shout and Too Fast are heavy metal.

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#55. Suffocation - Human Waste EP

Genres: Death / Brutal Death

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Damn... I thought Pierced from Within was brutal.  It's kinda hard to believe that they toned down once they started recording studio albums, and yet, here we are.  This is easily top 5 death metal albums for me because the level of brutality is simply inhuman, and they still manage to make the songs catchy and technical somehow?  And since the album is so short, there's no worry of getting drawn out.

Suffocation Count: 2

#54. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

Genres: Metalcore / Mathcore

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Everything an extreme hardcore fan could ever want is present in this album.  COnverge put out yet another absolutely batshit insane release after building their career on that sound.  Whoever said punk can't be an artistic genre needs to be flogged, because this level of creativity in one of the world's most overdone and repetitive genres is rare, almost as rare as the brutality and force.

Converge Count: 1

#53. Gris - Il était une forêt...

Genres: Depressive Black, Atmo-Black

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I've heard a fair bit of the depressive stuff on my black metal binges, and most of them struggle to capture depression as opposed to sadness, even Shining.  But Gris made it effortless.  It's like every single negative emotion you've ever felt is the way the two members have lived their lives.  Every song does its own thing, making the 59 minute runtime a series of surprises as well.

Gris Count: 1

#52. Killing Joke - Killing Joke - Extremities, Dirt And Various Repressed Emotions

Genres: Industrial Rock / Industral Metal / Post-Punk

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Kind of a mix between rock, metal and post-punk, the album's attitude, heaviness and general tension make it metal enough for consideration (besides, this has been included on metal sites before, like Metalstorm).  The album perfectly describes everything the band was doing before, and has a lot of new tricks up its sleeves to set up future albums, much like the behavior of Led Zeppelin IV.  And it's the least samey of their catalogue.

Killing Joke Count: 1

#51. Windir - Artnor

Genres: Melodic Black

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Artnor isn't just another beautiful melodic black metal album.  Its intrumentation flat-out sucks you into the world it creates.  Without sacrificing very much heaviness, the melodies are absolutely stunning.  Every time I hear this album I'm taken aback by how clever it is.

Windir Count: 1

 

The next five is going to be super heavy and diverse, whether it be the slower genres or the faster ones, and one of them is a lengthy live album!

 

AND THAT'S THE FIRST HALF OF MY TOP 100!  Any thoughts?

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#50. Sleep - Sleep's Holy Mountain

Genres: Stoner Doom / Psych

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Sleep's collection of total jams captures several spirits at once and shifts focus slightly between them all throughout each track, be it the slow and monstrous doom, the jamming blues, the twisty psychedelia and more.  It might be more of a standard album than Dopesmoker, but it works very well because it's not taking a major risk with Dopesmoker's monotony.

Sleep Count: 1

#49. Helloween - Helloween

Genres: Power

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I know I'm gonna look like a major fanboy with this choice being above Keeper, Pt. II, but this album is a real grower, and once it fully grew on me, I realized that this album may not be doing anything new, but it's recalling an entire history with some truly incredible songs.  Aside from having the band's best album cover, the self-titled doesn't let up on any of the band's strengths, and all three singers flow perfectly well together, making up for any mistakes such as Kiske's aged voice.

Helloween Count: 3

#48. Shadow of Intent - Primordial

Genres: Deathcore / Melodic Death

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Believe it or not, this album's considered to be the worst of the four Shadow of Intent albums released so far.  I'm of a very different opinion.  This is the album where they cover a lot of ground in the death metal spectrum without risking the monotony that's blatantly obvious on the other three albums, and the lack of the Halo influence that's present here makes the band lose their signature and their identity overtime.  Basically, this is the least like so many other deathcore albums and the songs are largely intriguing, super-heavy and purely astral at times.

Shadow of Intent Count: 1

#47. Metallica - Live Shit: Binge & Purge

Genres: Thrash / Heavy

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This album IS Metallica.  Every metallica album up to that point is a little different, and this live album captures the best of those differences with MAYBE a slight drop in quality in the arena.  The thrashing is still phenomenal and the melodies are just as fine.  This may be a three-hour long album, but all three hours are worth it for Metallica fans.

Metallica Count: 1

#46. Electric Wizard - Come My Fanatics

Genres: Stoner Doom / Psych

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On effort number two, Electric Wizard not only cemented their style, but perfected it.  It's a perfect balance of pure heaviness, evil presence, psychedelia and diversity.  It's a more balanced album than Dopesmoker and it's able to overcome its own monotony with incredible compositions.

Electric Wizard Count: 1

 

The next five is going to carry on the doom present in this five, but still have a lot of unique albums.

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After a 24-hour break from several different things (and the fact that I got to work at 5AM yesterday), I'm back on board with the top 100.  We're in the second half of the list now, and almost every kind of metal on earth is represented.

#45. Gorguts - Colored Sands

Genres: Tech Death, Dissonant Death

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Not only is this one of the danrkest and heaviest albums I've ever heard, but it's also one of the most intriguing and mysterious.  Every piece of instrumentation is absolutely mind-blowing, and it never steers into pretentious instrumental wankery the way Obscura does.  In this album, Gorguts isn't trying to be like anyone else.  They've finally defined who they are despite the fact that they had been a great band for several albums before this one.  Now Death.  No Zappa.  All Gorguts.

Gorguts Count: 1

#44. Wuthering Heights - Far From the Maddening Crowd

Genres: Melodic Power / Prog Power / Folk

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Not many bands can capture the raw essence and feel of real folk music through metal.  Usually it's just a combination with similar elements.  But through the proper melodies and the right twists and turns, Wuthering Heights manage to create a powerful and energetic metal masterpiece that sucks you into ancient medieval culture with no straining.  The album feels so realistic towards this approach that it's a wonder how the human mind was able to accomplish such a twist.

Wuthering Heights Count: 1

#43. Alice in Chains - Dirt

Genres: Alternative / Grunge

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This was one of the first metal albums I ever heard, but I discovered it through my first grunge binge.  Alice in Chains were able to display the raw emotion of early manhood and all the struggles they went through with the most convincing kind of atmosphere imaginable.  Every emotion from pure rage to depression is present, and AiC's sense of instrumentation, Staley's incredible voice and the combination of grunge and metal deliver it all flawlessly.  And the fact that every song is an absolute jam that makes it hard to pick favorites is just as impressive.

Alice in Chains Count: 1

#42. Stormwarrior - At Foreign Shores: Live in Japan

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Stormwarrior are the kings of pure speed metal.  Their riffs are some of the most mindblowing on Earth, and the spirit with which they perform and sing their songs of war, bloodshed and adventure is overpowering.  And the best part is that all of these songs are either as good as their studio versions or even better.  This is exactly what a live album needs to be, and hyper-energetic albums like this, especially with outstanding metallic force, prove that it's a serious shame that Stormwarrior is not more well known, especially since this live album is super rare.

Stormwarrior Count: 1

#41. Trouble - Psalm 9

Genres: Traditional Doom / Christian

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Sorry to that one guy if you're a pure stonerhead who's a little peeved that a Christian doom album is right above the druggy satan ones like Electric Wizard's Come My Fanatics (Believe it or not, it's not common but those people exist).  But there's a REAL reason for this choice.  Out of all the doom albums I've heard, this is probably the least monotonous.  Furthermore, the album is an excellent exercise in Black Sabbath influence and brings out the doom metal spirit perfectly, even though they're singing Christian messages.  The fact that they could even combine those two is impressive on its own, but the riffs are the real treasure of the album.  Phenomenal stuff.

Trouble Count: 1

 

The next five is gonna have a couple of under-appreciated classics, as well as a few key choices for any metal collection.  And every album has different styles, and are considered some of the better albums in those vein.  All of them are classics in one way or another.

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