We’re almost there metalheads! 30 more records to look at, as we approach my favorite album ever. Every single record in here now is a perfect five star album that you should listen to, love and purchase a copy or three of. Here’s ten more records as we continue the trek.

30. Kvelertak, Kvelertak (2010)
This was the very last album to get placed in this list. I must have had a promo or a leak to listen to as this didn’t come out oversees officially until a few months after I completed the order and it actually just came out recently in the U.S. for the first time I believe. I remember listening to this record twice and then placing it all the way at #30 after just those couple listens, that’s how much I liked the record. So we’re talking a year later and the amazing thing is that I might actually bump it higher when I redo the list to add the rest of 2010 and 2011 into it. That’s just how good this is.

They are constantly called Turbonegro meets black metal meets punk. None of these are wrong though it’s weird to talk about the band Turbonegro as if they are their own genre of music. This Norwegian band is all of them, with a heavy influence of punk very much present throughout the entire disc. They combine a ton of melody with blistering riffs and black metal vocal stylings to create what feels like a wholly unique experience. This is totally a band worth keeping an ear out for.

29. System of a Down, System of a Down (1998)
As I think I mentioned when talking about other SOAD records recently, their debut didn’t hit me right away. I don’t know that in 1998 I was really into the style at all to be honest. But as the band started putting out more records and more pretty damn brilliant music, this slowly crept back into play and is now my favorite disc from them. I’m amazed that any band in 1998 could have come out of the gate sounding this crazy and yet still get critical praise. I remember lumping “Sugar” into the world of Korn, but System thankfully never went that direction.

28. Kalmah, For the Revolution (2008)
Because these guys are Finnish and they place melodeath (melodic death metal) they are always going to be compared to their more well known country mates, Children of Bodom. To me though, Children of Bodom are so over-the-top that they are hokey, while Kalmah remains a hard hitting band that just happens to use a ton of melody, more often than not, with strings. You could make a case for a few Kalmah records being up here, but For the Revolution is the one that from start to finish sounds the hardest and most well written.

27. Candlemass, From the 13th Sun (1999)
We’ve discussed my love for the Messiah Marcolin records in the Candlemass catalog, so I guess it’s weird that my favorite album from them is one sung by Bjorn Flodkvist. The album is a unique one as it takes the epic doom metal and adds a spacey and almost psychedelic feel over top. There’s a hint of electronics without going over the top with it. And weird titles like “Zog,” “Cyclo-F” and “ARX/NG 891” add to the dark and mysterious feel of the album. From the 13th Sun today still feels like a place doom metal bands are afraid to go, which makes it even more special.

26. Dio, Holy Diver (1983)
“Holy Diver / You’ve been down too long in the midnight sea / Oh, what’s becoming of me?
Ride the tiger / You can see his stripes but you know he’s clean / Oh, don’t you see what I mean?
Gotta get away / Holy Diver! / Yeah.

Shiny diamonds / Like the eyes of a cat in the black and blue / Something is coming for you… Look out!
Race for the morning / You can hide in the sun ’till you see the light / Oh, we will pray it’s all right
Gotta get away / get away.

Between the velvet lies / There’s a truth that’s hard as steel, yeah / The vision never dies / Life’s a never ending wheel! / Say

Holy Diver / You’re the star of the masquerade / No need to look so afraid / Jump, jump… Jump on the tiger / You can feel his heart but you know he’s mean / Some light can never be seen! / Yeah

Holy Diver / You’ve been down too long in the midnight sea / Oh, what’s becoming of me? / No, no!
Ride the tiger / You can see his stripes but you know he’s clean / Oh, don’t you see what I mean?
Gotta get away / get away Gotta get away / get away / yeah

Really, just fuckin’ fantastic. And the video, epic!

25. Abstrakt Algebra, Abstrakt Algebra (1995)
Actually, wait – did I say that From the 13th Sun was Candlemass’s best album? Well, okay it is technically – but Candlemass mastermind and bassist Leif Edling broke the band up in ’94 and formed the oddly named Abstrakt Algebra. Even weirder was that no one wanted to sign them, so they put out this one lone album on Megarock records, recorded a second one but scrapped it because it was produced poorly and then Edling reformed his former band. This group is more technical power metal than doom, but every record he does still has a dark, sludgey element to it. The dual guitar attack of Mike Wead and Simon Johannsson lay the ground for one of the most challenging yet rewarding albums of all time.

24. Whiplash, Insult to Injury (1990)
Whiplash was an awesome thrash metal band out of Passaic, NJ that never really got its due. Insult to Injury was their third riff fest in a row and saw them reach their absolute peak thrashability before taking a five year break. The thing that really stands out for me is the bass work. I don’t usually pick out bassists unless they have a unique style but Tony Bono is just ridiculously creative on this album.

23. Toxic Holocaust, Hell on Earth (2005)
Toxic Holocaust continues to be my favorite current band, though they better soon put out another record or that label might have to be moved to someone else. Hell on Earth was the second album Joel Grind made under this moniker and it took the raw punk power of the debut album, added more thrash and a bit better production to create the best blackened thrash up until this point.

22. Metallica, …And Justice For All (1988)
A little bit darker, slightly slower and a pretty different overall feel from the previous records …And Justice For All is still quite a masterpiece of an album. By this point everyone knows the deal with Jason Newsted’s bass barely in the end mix so what I always think is how good this record might be if they remastered it and put the full bass back in? Considering that I already think it’s a perfect record, could it possibly get more perfect?

21. Morbid Angel, Domination (1995)
I am apparently a moron. A total metal tool that knows nothing about what I’m doing here. And I say that because that’s what about half the fans of Morbid Angel think about anyone that likes their 4th disc. The band decided before they recorded this album that they were going to dumb it down because people just weren’t getting them from the first three albums. So they slowed it down a tad, added some keyboards, slicked up production values and put out an album that they thought the masses would love. Idiots like me that apparently didn’t know any better got sucked in but fans of the group hate it. I kid of course but I’m also the guy that doesn’t care when a band changes their style as long as it works.