79: Thin Lizzy - Johnny the Fox
It's been debated whether Thin Lizzy is a pure heavy metal act. Well, yes and no, but they've been criminally overlooked for their frequently thunderous contributions which deserve a special award of merit for metal in evolution. Jailbreak is an album you can't live without, but Johnny the Fox is more adventurous, equally catchy and just a hair more aggressive, despite the couple syrupy ballads which are still damned fine tunes.
78: Chthonic - Mirror of Retribution
Seediq Bale is a mandatory listen for the sheer experience of feeling like you've been sucked into a black metal vortex. Still, Taiwanese black thrashers Chthonic have proved to be one of the most innovative and extreme bands on the planet right now. Their merge of traditional erhu strings entwined within their reckless speed usually creates tempests of sorrow worth submitting yourself to. Mirror of Retribution, however, showed a brilliant new dimension to Chthonic with dynamic change-ups and exhilirating melody within their portals of chaos. This is also a band not to be missed onstage.
77: Judas Priest - Hell Bent for Leather
A mega chunk of this list should be dominated by the Priest, but for the interim, let's take Hell Bent for Leather as one of their most perfect displays of rowdy tunefulness. "Delivering the Goods," "Evening Star," "Take On All the World," "Running Wild" and the title track...all imprintable classics. Let's not forget the mammoth "Green Manalishi," requested ad infinitum by every serious metalhead at a Priest show.
76: Whiplash - Power and Pain
There are plenty of thrash bands that were more popular than New Jersey's Whiplash, but seldom few speed metal albums hold equal measures of blazing insanity and street cred as Power and Pain does. A raw and chunky album, Power and Pain still impresses in this day with its gusty velocity and gutsy musicality.
75: Warlock - True as Steel
"All We Are" from Triumph and Agony may be considered Warlock's calling card anthem and in some respects, their preceding album Hellbound is a hair better, but for its place in metal history, you can't go wrong with True as Steel. A bit slicker than it needed to be, this one still rocks hard and introduced the metal world to its future queen, Doro Pesch.
74: Mercyful Fate - Don't Break the Oath
One of the most horrific metal albums in history, period. Forget the brackets of black and death metal, which Mercyful Fate easily hedges into. The legacy of King Diamond began with Mercyful Fate in an unforgettable plunge straight to Hell.
73: Saint Vitus - Born Too Late
Doom metal is attributed to Black Sabbath, of course, yet it was Saint Vitus who dared to resurrect the form, and they received no thanks from an early-on metal public split between thrash and death metal sanctions and the hairball partyheads. Vitus found their audience strangely amidst the punkers, who revered Black Sabbath nearly as much as the headbangers. Saint Vitus are now well-heralded, but they might've been born too early, in this case.
72: Pelican - The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw
Though this album betrays a few squawks and flubs, Pelican developed a powerful infrastructure of explorative drone metal and schematic progression. Similar to Isis' modes of tone building, when Pelican hits a climax on this album, the results range from beauteous to cataclysmic.
71: Sweet - Desolation Boulevard
Some considered Sweet a glam band and there are certain parallels, yet the bottom line is Desolation Boulevard is a beast of a hard rock album. It's chocked full of driving animals such as "AC/DC," (one of the first rock songs to roast bisexuality) "No You Don't," "Sweet F.A." and of course, its better-known tunes, "Ballroom Blitz," "Set Me Free" and "Fox On the Run." The latter were covered by the likes of Krokus, Heathen, Ace Frehley and Girlschool.
70: Candlemass - Nightfall
The greatest non-Sabbath doom album of all-time. Not much else needs to be said other than Nightfall is the standard to which all doom bands must answer to.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
79: Thin Lizzy - Johnny the Fox