69: Black Sabbath - Mob Rules
Both Mob Rules and Heaven and Hell should be in your collections and perhaps Heaven and Hell is slightly more dramatic and polished, yet Mob Rules is a cataclysmic and relatively brutal experience when you step up to it the first time. Ronnie James Dio, as ever, is metal divinity on this heavier reinvention of Black Sabbath that deserved longer nurturing. Glad they had the opportunity to give it a final crack before Ronnie left us.
68: W.A.S.P. - s/t
One of the heaviest of those metal bands of the eighties which gained more press than the others. Hardly a mainstream band, but Blackie Lawless and Chris Holmes' antics and the band's notorious stage presence gave W.A.S.P. a ton of coverage. Over the years, W.A.S.P. has settled into a songwriting scheme that seldom deviates, but they get that rare pass like the Ramones, AC/DC and Motorhead because at their best, this band torches. Try and snag a copy of the self-titled debut with the once controversial "Fuck Like a Beast" bonus tagged to it.
67: Annihilator - Never Neverland
When stepping up to the molten shredding of Jeff Waters and Annihilator, make sure you don't just settle on Alice in Hell. Never Neverland is superior and is Annihilator's creative masterwork. Though Waters was considered a maverick in the middle years of Annihilator's career, he has left a mostly respectable catalog of albums, albeit Never Neverland supercedes all of them.
66: Deep Purple - Burn
The MKIII era of Deep Purple was one of its best, especially on Burn. The frontal attack of David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes might've been underappreciated back in the day, but history reveals this tag team to have produced a legendary quasi body of work together under the Deep Purple name. Burn is as good as any of the MKII Deep Purple albums and well deserves your attention. The subsequent album Stormbringer is being re-released due to audience demand and people still chase down the MKIV era Come Taste the Band for both the Coverdale-Hughes connection, but also Tommy Bolin, who has been forgiven by later generations (if not Purple's original followers) for taking over in Ritchie Blackmore's hallowed spot.
65: Jucifer - L'Autrichienne
This is one of those albums where you're not sure just what you've been subjected to until the initial clout has transpired and you spin it again. This is the ultimate combination of weirdness and exhilirating expression and it all glues together in the ears and the mind once you acclimate yourself to it. Brilliant is hardly the word to describe Jucifer.
64: Motley Crue - Too Fast for Love
In the strange cosmos of the rock world, Motley Crue is just as popular now as they ever were. Their unapologetic badness offstage has seldom hurt the Crue in terms of album sales. Only when heavy metal died in the U.S. did the Crue's fan base. Shame that the John Corabi-led self-titled Motley album was met more with scorn instead of praise since it's better than much of the Crue's work overall. Still, only Shout at the Devil (another Album You Can't Live Without) and Dr. Feelgood gets within reach of the greatness that is Too Fast For Love. Out the gate they established their street cred, albeit all of their subsequent albums ran with commercial empowerment that seldom hails the proto metal-punk rowdiness of this one.
63: Sepultura - Arise
Of course, Chaos A.D. and Roots are must-own albums, and if you're not one of the Derrick Green haters out there, there's plenty more Sepultura albums you should be getting around. Still, Arise broke Sepultura out of Brazil, which has become over the years a well-respected hub of metal from both a performer and audience standpoint. Arise was one of the fastest thrash albums of its time--and it still is.
62: Slough Feg - Ape Uprising
This may be a new name to many folks and if it is, get acquainted pronto. Slough Feg may never break out of the underground simply for their quizzical name, but this is a highly consistent power and speed metal hybrid frequently leaning on the NWOBHM side, albeit Slough Feg is just as decorative as they are loud. Ape Uprising (now topical due to the release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is frequently a gargantuan effort of punishment and articulation.
61: Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion
Would black metal have crossed over if not for Celtic Frost? Black metal purists may condemn the fact the genre ever gained widespread popularity and for that, you might be better to blame Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. It all began, however, with Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, who have been rightly recognized over the years as the instrumental force in legitimizing black metal. Venom may have made the world wake up to black metal, but their comical approach was sodomized and then refined by Celtic Frost. Into the Pandemonium took Celtic Frost and metal on an expressive course it would build from, yet To Mega Therion (and Mercyful Fate's Don't Break the Oath) might be considered black metal's first moment of supremity. This one is still beyond impressive.
60: Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind
The greatest metal band in the world had hit its full stride with Bruce Dickinson on Piece of Mind, even if Number of the Beast remains an iconic performance by all involved. From Killers to Powerslave (and even Somewhere in Time), Iron Maiden established themselves as sovereign metal artisans. "Flight of Icarus" was one of the very few heavy metal videos MTV played in its infancy years, but they and Rush forced MTV to acknowledge a heavier music spectrum existed out there. In their own way, you can thank "Flight of Icarus" and Piece of Mind for the genesis of Headbangers Ball.
Sunday, September 04, 2011
69: Black Sabbath - Mob Rules