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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Metal Minute's 100 Metal Albums You Can't Live Without: Numbers 89 to 80

89: Manowar - Hail to England

Americans salute their forefathers in loud fashion. Manowar has never had any qualms in proclaiming themselves the heaviest band on Earth. At times, this declaration has played against them, but certainly Manowar is always prepared to back themselves up. This album is the mightiest in their catalog and certainly one of the mightiest metal records existing in the land.

88: Clutch - The Elephant Riders

Josh Homme may get most of the credit for the garage/stoner resurrection, but Fu Manchu and Clutch deserve a hand for being there ahead of the trend. The majority of Clutch's albums are worth getting your ears around, but The Elephant Riders is frequently mind-blowing and will force you to shake your ass if not your cranium.

87: Earth - Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method

The Deacon of Drone, Dylan Carlson. 'Nuff said...

86: Quiet Riot - Metal Health

Yeah, you can catch "Cum On Feel the Noize" on FM every damned day for the rest of your life, but Metal Health is a monster example of hard rock perfection. As slick as the black cadillac rumbling midway through the album, Quiet Riot may not have lived up to the potential of this album in later efforts (though Condition Critical has its moments), but they did record one hell of a catchy sumbitch in the beginning.

85: Dokken - Tooth and Nail

This choice is sure to piss off a few heavy than thou folks, yet at least for one album Dokken was louder than bombs. It's a shame the musical visions between the band's constituents took them down a less-bombastic path and inevitably split up the core parties.

84: Testament - The Legacy

One of the most revered thrash acts of all-time, and deservedly so. You could easily include Low, The Gathering and Demonic on this list as some of Testament's fiercest recordings. Still, here is where it all started, and though many fans peg The New Order as their favorite Testament album, The Legacy is a literal typhoon of speed metal.

83: Girlschool - Demolition

Girlschool's debut came shortly on the heels of The Runaways' break-up and it feels largely like one picking up the other's torch with the intent of honoring while pushing the boundaries even further at warp speed. Aggression, fortitude and loudness delivered by a pack of mean-assed mamas who get their dues nowawadays, but not always for the right reasons.

82: Death - Leprosy

Very hard to choose between Human, Scream Bloody Gore, The Sound of Perseverance and Leprosy as the one You Can't Live Without since each album deserves its place in your collection. Chuck Schuldiner left behind a blueprint of creative modes to execute death metal which has been consulted hundreds of times by bands coming up in the modern age. Human may be more progressive, but Leprosy is simply searing at every turn.

81: Satyricon - Nemesis Divina

Emperor may be the finest black metal group of all-time and Mayhem its most notoriest, yet Satyricon's Nemesis Divina proved that black metal, thrash and death metal could co-exist with sophisticated orchestral maneuvers. This album scorches and bleeds on each track, strangely producing emotions of rage and breathless passion. Nemesis Divina is sheer mind rape and you'll beg for more afterwards.

80: Neurosis - Souls at Zero

This is the reason the contrived term "post metal" was generated, though Neurosis is hardly contrived. Recorded in 1991, Neurosis had forsaken their punk origins and tapped into a haunted and claustrophic mode of sound sculpture which has been borrowed and sometimes equaled by Isis, Pelican, Tool, Rosetta and Mouth of the Architect.


Metal Mark said...

Hail to England is a little better than it's given credit for. Leprosy has always came across as a mess to me, easily my least favorite Death album.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I agree about Manowar. I know the later albums are heavier and denser, but HTE is full of the spirit that makes great, unforgettable metal. I sat in debate over which Death album to choose since the early to mid 90s albums are Schuldiner's best work. I chose Leprosy based on its historic value in the evolution of death metal. Messy, sure, but it was a pivotal album of its time.

Metal Mark said...

I think that Scream bloody gore established their early death metal sound. Leprosy didn't add much to that and the albums after that saw their sound evolve much more.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Agreed that Death evolved into something far more mathematic than this. Leprosy got more attention and press than SBG and since I hold both of those albums on an equilibrium, I went for the one that first put Death on the map.