Thanks for coming back for another week of False Metal, Dead! It’s a look at the 300 albums on my iPod, all of which I think you should own if you headbang at all. We’re nearing the end of the ride with only six weeks to go and also nearing the perfect metal albums. We’re not quite at perfection yet, but the ten albums below are extremely close. Headbang along as we look at 10 more of the greatest metal records made.
60. Danzig, Danzig 777: I Luciferi (2002)
So Danzig 5: Blackaciddevil was a miserable electronic experiment for Glenn and Danzig 666: Satan’s Child was pretty uneven. 666 has its moments though and those moments carried over onto the seventh album, where Danzig finally eliminated the filler and put out a blistering rock record. With Todd Youth on guitar and Howie Pyro on bass for the first time the sound changed drastically. A lot of people didn’t think it was dark enough but it didn’t need to be as it was finally a return to great music for Glenn. He had me at the opening lick of “Wicked Pussycat.” Or maybe it was the fact that the video had tons of boobage in it. It always comes back to the tatas.
59. Rose Tattoo, Scarred For Life (1982)
Okay, so listen. I made a mistake. Obviously with 300 albums I put this together a long time ago, finalizing my list a little over a year ago. At the start of this, I mentioned that I wasn’t going to include any AC/DC in this list because I considered them rock and not metal. Rose Tattoo sounded very much like AC/DC. So why are these guys metal and AC/DC not? Well, I don’t know to be honest. And that’s my mistake. It’s not at all that this album doesn’t belong at #59 – it totally does. I mean, Rose Tattoo was a hard rockin’ group led by Angry Anderson on vocals. Their first album in 1979 was awesome and included “Nice Boys” which was covered by G’n’R on the Lies EP. Their second album was even better and then Scarred For Life topped them all. It was their final good record and is flat out bad ass but it’s not really metal by my inital criteria. But I wanted to keep the integrity of the list and not just substitute it out for another record not in the list. Eh, it is what it is.
58. Tool, Ænema (1996)
If you really want the album that bridges the really hard rockin’ Tool and the trippy-prog end of Tool’s body of work, you go here. It was three long years since Undertow took the world by storm but what better way to launch the release of an album but with a single called “Track #1” err… “Stinkfist.” Ænema really redefined what metal could be for me, just like Lateralus did after this. “Eulogy” shows off both sides of the group’s sound, while the title track about California disappearing into the Pacific Ocean and the kind of funny “Hooker with a Penis” about kids saying Tool sold out are pretty damn cool. Even the interludes are great!
57. Meshuggah, ObZen (2008)
Meshuggah is not for everyone, this I understand. Fuck, they aren’t even for me. With their downtuned eight-string guitars and polyrhythmic style they created a style that many bands have tried copying with varying degrees of success. But Meshuggah themselves are a really tough band to understand. The music is just so extreme, jolting and complicated that it can easily go over your head. For years it did for me. Then ObZen came out and while the ridiculous time changes were still there, the album seemed accessible. While I still didn’t get where the hell they were coming from, it was the first album from them that I didn’t shut off 20 minutes in. I had tried and tried and tried some more for many years to understand why people liked these guys and I couldn’t explain it. Then they opened for Nine Inch Nails many years back now and were so bad they got booed off stage. Somehow, I still ended up listening to this one and I’m glad I did because it’s the closest Meshuggah is ever going to get to an album that all extreme music fans should be able to get something out of.
56. Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden (1980)
I’m curious to see what the reaction will be to this one as I know there are some Maiden fans reading this right now. So we go all the way back to the debut album for the final Iron Maiden record to show up in this series. The first two albums featured Paul Di’Anno on vocals who’s a damn fine singer in his own right. It ain’t all about Bruce Dickinson. I know the band wasn’t happy with how the record was produced and thus it sounds kind of raw. But it almost has a punkish vibe to it and really isn’t terribly reminicent of their later more theatrical over the top output. There’s something about the sheer rawness of the album that keeps me coming back to it over and over again. “Charlotte the Harlot,” now that’s a song.
55. Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine (1989)
“Head Like A Hole” man. That’s the moment I fell in man-love with Trent Reznor. He flipped the world on his ass in the ’80s with this one. There were no mainstream artists making music like this at the time. With Pretty Hate Machine, Trent ushered in the new Modern Rock format and created the soundtrack for a generation. If we were in 1990, this would be in the top 10 without a doubt. But since then he’s made better albums, so it has dropped just a little bit over the years.
54. Obituary, Back from the Dead (1997)
Sometimes you don’t really need a reason to like an album, you just do. This is one of them. I used to scoff at Obituary as John Tardy’s vocals always sounded kind of hokey to me and the final track on this disc, “Bullituary (Remix)” which is a hip-hop remix of an older tune, made me cringe. Then I really started listening to the group and appreciating the different sounding vocals rather than just straight grunts and really enjoying the melody in this record in particular. It’s one of those records that doesn’t push the band forward at all really but it encapsulates everything that’s great about the band in one concise package. And I still never play the remixed track but that’s okay, at least it’s the final track so I can act like it doesn’t exist and just go back to the beginning.
53. Carpathian Forest, Morbid Fascination of Death (2001)
Morbid Fascination of Death runs the gamut of black metal from creepy shit like “Fever, Flames and Hell” which could be part of a horror soundtrack, to punk-ish raw tracks like “Doomed To Walk the Earth As Slaves of the Living Dead.” It’s raw, it’s brutal, it’s Satanic murder music! Don’t listen to this and scar yourselves for the rest of your lives, kiddies!
52. Judas Priest, British Steel (1980)
Okay, it’s cool to listen to this one though, kids. From “Rapid Fire” right through “Steeler” this rocks like no other Priest record. It sounded great in its original form but tracks like the former and “Breaking the Law” sound even better on the 30th anniversary edition. I wish more singers sounded as good as Rob Halford, don’t you?
51. Entombed, Morning Star (2002)
Less groove, more metal. In fact, almost all the rock elements that took Entombed off track the previous few years was gone and Morning Star was pure killer melodic extreme metal. The Swedish guitar sound is still there but the riffs are heavier and more brutal from start to finish.