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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Metal Minute's 100 Metal Albums You Can't Live Without: Numbers 79 to 70

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.

5 comments:

Metal Mark said...

So the trend is that you are putting one female act or female fronted band in each set of ten.

Good pick with Whiplash. They were overlooked in the 80's.

Good call on Born to late too although I may have gone for the debut, sorry Wino.

I would have "Don't break the oath" waaaaaay higher, but at least you included them.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

LOL, it's not a conscious trend, Mark, but a funny coincidence.

Whiplash is simply essential if you care about thrash at all. Yeah, the Vitus debut is awesome too, but I was going for transitional relevance.

Also, I really wouldn't worry about the numbering system. I know it comes off like a ranking system, but it's more a marginal list of the best of the best or 100 of the most important metal albums, in my subjective opinion, that is. The only ranking I ever figured was number one, which has also been in my head since deciding to do this list for kicks.

The thing that sucks for me is certain bands have a whole slew of great albums that won't appear because I feel the spectrum needs to be as broad as possible, though a select few bands get multiple picks.

Metal Mark said...

I would guess Powerslave will be your number one. Going by the logic that it's your favorite Maiden album and you have said before that Maiden are your favorite metal band.

Metal Mark said...

If I did lists along these lines I would probably break them down and do top tens by genre. It's easier rank that way when you comparing bands of the same sub-genre.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

A very good guess and you're correct with Maiden and Powerslave being favorites of each. In this instance, I can say it's not number one, but it's way up there. My number one is actually more in the interest of all fans and not just me.

Lists are subjective but fun. I didn't intend this to be a heavily critical scale to scale analysis. Hence, I sub-categorized it as "Pointless Lists." :)