We continue our trek through the 300 metal records that make their home on my iPod. The 10 albums below would all get 4 1/2 out of 5 stars if we went that route.
110. Black Sabbath, Paranoid (1970)
Sabbath’s second album is their third best in my opinion. It’s hard to deny the power of “War Pigs,” “Paranoid,” “Iron Man,” “Hand of Doom” etc… Ozzy’s voice was still developing but was crystal clear and powerful and the riffage was like nothing else at the time.
109. Motorhead, On Parole (1979)
On Parole was recorded in 1975 as the Motorhead debut but didn’t get released until 1979 after the group’s inital success. It’s the only album to feature Lemmy, Larry Wallis on guitar and Lucas Fox on drums (who was then replaced by Philthy Animal). Most of these tracks were rerecorded for the official debut in 1977 but it’s these raw original versions that are totally awesome and a great introduction to the Motorhead legacy.
108. Sword, Metalized (1986)
Not to be confused with the rock band The Sword, this Sword was a pretty straightforward heavy metal band from Canada. Not a heck of a lot to say about this one as it doesn’t break any ground or influence other artists. But it does rock your balls off and that’s what counts.
107. System of a Down, Toxicity (2001)
System of a Down is/was a great band. Their self-titled debut in 1998 was one that I remember thinking was very unique but a little off the wall and then Toxicitycame out in 2001 and just took chaos to a whole new fucking level. I’ve since grown to love the debut record but this is really where they kicked it into gear. I’m always drawn to something different and when you hear a System of a Down song you immediately know who’s performing. They sound like no other group out there. I hope they are getting back together soon as Serj and Daron’s solo records have sucked royally.
106. Testament, The Formation of Damnation (2008)
I have no problem admitting that I’m a Testament fan boy. As such, there are probably more albums from them on this list than need to be but they are one of the greatest metal acts that never really made it big so I think they are worthy of a few slots. 2008 was the heart of the thrash revival (which I think has died down quite a bit) and The Formation of Damnation is one of the handful of records that gives an almost perfect look into the new sound of the classic bands. It doesn’t sound a whole lot different than the general sound that Death Angel or Exodus is putting forth and that may be why the movement seems to have fallen off a bit but it still kicks total ass.
105. Bison B.C., Dark Ages (2010)
Dark Ages by Bison B.C. was the first metal record I reviewed for Popdose and what a record it was. Now granted, when I reviewed it I thought it was already out but I think the release date got pushed back and then someone was unhappy with the way it got received and decided to push it again at the end of 2010 so hell, I don’t know when this came out at this point but whenever it was, the important thing is it’s out there and you should get it now. It’s a wonderful slab of downtuned stoner rock that you headbang to while smoking a bong. And what could be better?
104. Judas Priest, Screaming For Vengence (1982)
When you listen to this, you’ve got another thing comin’. See what I did there? Didn’t work? Okay, well this is a record you should already own. It’s not quite as good as British Steel, but it’s close. “Electric Eye,” “Pain and Pleasure” and of course, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” highlight a pretty damn brilliant metal record.
103. Danzig, Circle of Snakes (2004)
Back when this came out in 2004 I didn’t hear much about it. But the Deth Red Sabaoth came out last year and a lot of people called it a “return to form” so I guess since this was the album before it, it must have sucked. I disagree. To me it sounded a whole lot like Danzig 7, almost like a part 2 and I had no problem with that at all. This one has Tommy Victor from Prong on it, shredding apart the album from start to finish. Both Danzig 7:77 and Circle of Snakes are very overlooked.
102. Picture, Diamond Dreamer (1982)
Picture was a straightforward traditional heavy metal band from the Netherlands that put out seven albums from ’81-’87. The mass output hurt the quality in the end but they got it all right on Diamond Dreamer, their third album. I was shocked to see they reformed in 2009 for a new record! It sucks by the way.
101. Saxon, The Inner Sanctum (2007)
Saxon is a NWOBHM band that’s been around since the late ’70s. Even if you’ve heard nothing from Saxon, if you’re a metal fan you should know the singer, Biff Byford. How in the world can you forget that name? In recent years they’ve moved towards a more traditional metal sound with a little thrash thrown in and most of their output has been above average but The Inner Sanctum really blows me out of the water. It’s got some rippin’ riffs on it and killer solos and sounds the most modern of all their newer albums. These guys look like old farts at this point but they still rip it up like kids and somehow 28 years after their first album they put out their best.