210. Motorhead, Snake Bite Love (1998)
I can’t say I know too many people that like this period of Motorhead as much as I do, but there’s just something about Snake Bite Love that’s pretty damn cool. It most likely has to do with a track like “Dogs of War” which has a bit more of an edgy rock sound to it than the normal Motorhead punk or maybe the odd ball “Assassin” with its off-beat rhythm. Or maybe it’s even the Danzig-like “Dead and Gone.” Whatever it is, I think I like it more than the band members themselves.
209. Armored Saint, Raising Fear (1987)
1991’s Symbol of Salvation is normally considered Armored Saint’s finest moment but I can’t even get through that disc. For my money, I’ll take Raising Fear over that anyday. I’ve always loved John Bush’s voice be it here or with Anthrax later on but I think this is where his voice and the music fit together perfectly. The title track is a balls to the wall rocker and the mid-paced “Crisis of Life” is a must listen. Each song on Raising Fear captures me from the first riff and holds my attention straight through. That’s the mark of a great disc.
208. Cinderella, Long Cold Winter (1988)
I’ve always thought Cinderella was underrated despite selling millions of records, or at least they got a bad rap. Granted, they wore the makeup and wigs and put pink on their album covers like any glam metal band did back in the day, but these guys were more talented than most of them. Tracks like “Gypsy Road” and “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” are gems of the glam era. The album has better hooks than the debut and features more blues, as if they realized the joke of their genre and we’re trying to say that they were more than that. It didn’t quite work out after this for them, but Long Cold Winter still goes down as a damn fine album.
207. Type O Negative, World Coming Down (1999)
I think this is the first Type O Negative record I took seriously. With titles like Slow, Deep and Hard and Origin of the Feces for their first two records, I always saw them as a little bit of a joke, but this album sounds dead serious (well, except for the opening joke track). World Coming Down is actually the slowest, deepest and hardest of all their records with that unmistakable voice of Peter Steele. The eight-and-a-half minute “White Slavery” is a killer dark tune, while the trippy 11+ minute title track is a highlight. And then there’s the “Day Tripper Medley” to close the record which is the darkest I’ve ever heard the Beatles with “Day Tripper,” “If I Needed Someone” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” comprising the excellent audio threesome.
206. Tool, Opiate (1992)
As much as I didn’t want to put an EP this high, I felt I had to include what is basically the starting point for Tool. This is really where it all began, when they weren’t quite as experimental with their tunage but at the same time you listen to this and clearly understand that even starting out they had something unique going for them. Both “Hush” and “Part of Me” are brilliant rock tracks that show off a little bit of what would appear on Undertow and the title track is worth a listen or three. At six tracks with two being live it certainly would have been nice to get a little more, but I still think this is an essential own to understand where the band came from.
205. Floor, Floor (2002)
When I was first introduced to Floor in 2004 I was told they were the world’s only doom-pop band. I really don’t get that at all from their 2002 debut but they definitely have an interesting sound to them. If I were to equate them to any band, it would be more like Jucifer – with sounds that kind of go all over the map while still maintaining an overall harder feel. The whole album is both doomy and sludgy and no song is longer than three-and-a-half minutes so everything moves along pretty quickly. After two albums these guys broke up and the singer and guitarist formed Torche.
204. Nuclear Assault, Game Over (1986)
Game Over is the debut album from Nuclear Assault and is their rawest and thrashiest disc to date. “Cold Steel” is a blistering riff fest which turns melodic at the end. “Hang the Pope” is 46 seconds of pure filthy speed metal, while “Radiation Sickness” has some of the best solo work on the disc. Nuclear Assault provides one of the best examples of pure raw thrash and speed metal of the mid-80s.
203. Immortal, At the Heart of Winter (1999)
Despite being known outside of metal circles for their ridiculous album covers and promo shots, Immortal has been one of only a handful of black metal bands that have been consistently solid since they started. I like Darkthrone better, but Immortal is right up there with them and their 5th full length is one of their best. I love At the Heart of Winter because it’s not simply blast beats and repetitiveness. There’s a lot of creativity, heavy riffs and a speed metal feel to tracks like “Withstand the Fall of Time.” And it’s got a production value that’s between raw and polished so that it maintains that typical black metal feel while sounding like they were in a studio. I love the power and riff-fest that is “Tragedies Blows at Horizon.” It just hits you over the head and transitions into a nice atmospheric passage in the middle. Overall it’s just a great example of what black metal can be if you have artists with a little vision.
202. Deicide, Once Upon the Cross (1995)
I honestly never thought I would like a death metal band as much as I like Deicide. I especially never imagined I’d like the guy that had an inverted cross burned into his forehead. But it’s really the same concept as Immortal for me. Deicide isn’t just the cookie monster growl and generic “play as fast as you can” concept. They have structures with every song and you can understand what Glen Benton is singing, which frankly makes Deicide even more compelling that most death metal bands because like with this, I completely understand the hatred being spewed. The nice thing about this album is that there is no filler. At only nine tracks and 29 minutes, it’s short, to the point and fucking brutal.
201. Melvins, Gluey Porch Treatments (1986)
Gluey Porch Treatments is the debut from the nutcases known as the Melvins. Although they’ve been extremely hit or miss throughout their entire career, if you get them you love them and if you don’t you pretty much have never understood what they were going for. I’ve always had mad love for these guys even though I admit they’ve had some unlistenable albums. But, the start of their career was anything but. Their first five albums are extremely good with Gluey Porch Treatments being the most grunge they would get but really they started out as sludge metal as you hear on a track like “Steve Instant Nueman.” It’s the tracks less than a minute that really shine on this record though as “Exact Paperbacks,” “Flex with You” and “Big As Mountain” knock you back a few steps with their enormous power. You really should begin here if you’ve never gotten them as this is nearly straightforward.