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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Metal Minute's 100 Metal Albums You Can't Live Without: Numbers 19 to 11

19. Hanoi Rocks - Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks

Glam metal carries a stigma but not all of it is deserved. At times, glam is just as effective and nasty as you like it in metal. Hanoi Rocks are the uncrowned kings of glam and could kick every one of their contemporaries straight in the nards. It was an unspoken truth back in the eighties when glam spelled out big bucks for major label hair hucksters. Unfortunately, Hanoi Rocks wasn't told of the payout line.

18. Overkill - Feel the Fire

I'm always tempted to choose Taking Over before Feel the Fire because of the memories affiliated with the former album. Nothing said metal to me on a personal level than walking around with a boom box blaring Overkill's "Deny the Cross" from Taking Over and pissing off a crowd of old folks. I will always cherish that memory, yet Feel the Fire is Overkill's birthright album. As one of the very first bands to mesh NWOBHM and thrash, this is one record that never gets mentioned as a transcontinental bridge, though everyone does recognize its importance to metal.

17. Kiss - Dressed to Kill

Even though Creatures of the Night is the only true metal album Kiss recorded (and it's damned good one you do need to own), it's the dirty grooves and huffing raunch of Dressed to Kill which helped make Kiss legends beyond their kabuki makeup and fireball stage antics. One of the genuinely substantial albums Kiss laid down in a career filled more with plies for commercial acceptance, Dressed to Kill is pure swagger and a hot time from start-to-finish.

16. Boris - Pink

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Boris is the coolest band alive right now. They're cool because they don't know it nor do they care. This is a band with more ideas swirling in their heads and they have the capacity to give projection to all them. Evolving from a Sleep and Sunn O))) mode of bombastic tone drags, Boris can do it all. Sludge, rawk, blues, death metal, drone, prog, alternative and greasy rock 'n roll. All found on Pink and most of their recent offerings beginning with Akuma No Uta. This is one of the most important units around and I will always cherish both sets I've seen them play, on top of interviewing Atsuo through a Japanese interpreter.

15. Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power

For its widespread impact upon the genre alone, Vulgar Display of Power is a mandatory selection. I favor Cowboys From Hell for its rowdiness, but Pantera's shift from glammed up power rockers to the ultimate proto beasts of their day was realized in full on this album. Over the years, my enthusiasm for this band has waned due to overexposure, but Dimebag left an undeniable influence upon future riff-chug-oriented guitarists and Pantera gave us hope (for a little while, anyway) that metal in America was going to stick around during the nineties.

14. Twisted Sister - Under the Blade

I've come to appreciate You Can't Stop Rock 'n Roll as Twisted Sister's best written album overall, but Under the Blade is one of heavy metal's crown jewels, even if the band doesn't necessarily agree. Woe be to your sorry ass if you don't know these songs.

13. Anthrax - Spreading the Disease

Not as consistently blazing as Fistful of Metal nor as streamlined as Among the Living, Spreading the Disease is still one of thrash's earliest "holy shit" albums. Scott Ian and Danny Spitz are pure electricity on this album and to this day, no matter how good Anthrax is, they have never recreated the overpowering sizzle of "Gung Ho," one of metal's greatest single tunes.

12. Alice Cooper - Love it to Death

Uncle Alice remains a pivotal figurehead of rock and metal and even though he's had a couple of random slip-ups in his career, very very few stand up to the regality of Alice Cooper. Gruesome theatrics and audile rock nightmares are only a couple dimensions to Alice Cooper's stature. Love it to Death boasts "I'm Eighteen," one of the cornerstone anthems of rebel rock, yet the album as a whole is daring, inventive and it should be considered one of the first authentic heavy metal albums along with anything Zeppelin and Sabbath laid down.

11. Accept - Restless and Wild

I truly adore Metal Heart and Balls to the Wall and wish there was room for both on this list, but Restless and Wild is the foundation of both Accept and U.D.O., not to mention damn near every power metal band of the eighties and beyond.


Metal Mark said...

Hanoi Rocks took their influences from 70's glam acts like the New York Dolls, Alice Cooper and early Aerosmith. Plus they mixed in punk influences as well and added their own quirky touches. Way different from the glam like Poison, Warrant and others of that kind.

Pantera along with Metallica helped keep metal alive in the mainstream during the 90's. I guess that's important to some extent even though the metal underground was still around then as well. Yet really the music is kind of like metal for meatheads.
For me Prong was the band knocking out real kick in the gut metal in the early to mid 90's.

Metal Mark said...

So now we know the top ten will likely include Reign in blood, Master of puppets, Shout at the devil, Powerslave, a Mastodon album and probably another Sabbath album with the debut or Paranoid being the predictable choices. I would also think the Scorps would probably be in there too since you have not picked them yet.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Yeah, Hanoi were in a different league and it's a shame they were buried underground and more known for the death of Razzle at Vince Neil's hands.

Believe me, I wanted Prong on this list and had them and the Scorps' Lovedrive on the original cut. I am having a post-discussion blurb on Tuesday after the final segment has been posted. If this list didn't need to cover the broad spectrum of heavy metal from the 70s to now, it would've been easier to leave my original choices of Prove You Wrong, Lovedrive and the first Metal Church that were sitting on the first draft of the list. I forget who I had to bump out to make room for VH, but it would've been a cardinal sin to leave that one off.

I actually forgot Pantera on the first draft because I'm just tired of hearing all of their songs played ad nauseum, so someone else got booted to give them their due. I had to make this list as much about my readers and metal fans overall outside of just my personal preferences. Some of it is admittedly self-serving, but I tried to be all-encompassing on top of subjective.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Well, thanks to cjk's keen observation and my doofy bit of "Whaaaaat?" Prong has been rescued back into the list at number 30, though I meant to take Beg to Differ. Ugh, my head these days.

Metal Mark said...

I am sure it's hard to narrow it down to 100 and included everyone you want to. The only one I would argue most for is the Scorps. Are bands like Girlschool and Manowar really more important metal listening than the Scorpions? I think you be hard pressed to find many people who would say that. The Scorps are likely the most important German metal band of all time. So from that country you included Accept, Destruction, Kreator and Warlock but not the Scorpions. Would anyone else anywhere say that Warlock are more important to metal than the Scorps?