Continuing along the path to #1, we continue looking at the 300 metal records on my iPod!
240. Dew Scented, Invocation (2010)
Their 8th album (all beginning with the letter I) is the peak of their output so far, with an excellent mix of old and new school thrash. Despite being from Germany, they don’t exactly have the German thrash metal sound (a little bit) but they do combine thrash with a little death metal growling. The previous two albums saw them starting to mix the old and the new, but with Invocation it seems like they finally did it perfectly.
239. Rock Goddess, Rock Goddess (1983)
Rock Goddess were an all female NWOBHM band that were really great, but ultimately had no shot at succeeding. The band was formed by sisters Jody and Julie Turner when they were just 13 and 9 years old in 1977. So six years later they put out their debut record while Julie was just 15 and legal issues prevented Julie from playing more than a handful of gigs because of her age and schooling.
This album was released in February of ’83, their second record was released in October of ’83, A&M dropped them and they released a third album on the smallest French label they could find before disbanding for good. I’ve never heard that one, but both their proper records are awesome.
238. Dep Leppard, Pyromania (1983)
I think this is the first album so far in the last that you absolutely knew was going to show up somewhere. How could it not? It’s the Def Leppard masterpiece. It’s slicker than High ‘N’ Dry, but not nearly as slick as Hysteria bridging the gap between the cool and the commercial.
Of the ten tracks on the album, four hit the Hot 100 (“Photograph”, “Rock of Ages”, “Foolin’”, “Too Late for Love”) and the final three tracks on the album (“Comin’ Under Fire, “Action! Not Words” and “Billy’s Got a Gun”) all hit the rock charts. That’s 70% of the songs hitting the radio and making these guys household names and “Rock Rock (Til You Drop)” actually might be the best tune on the disc. Of course it’s kind of weird now seeing the cover of the exploding building but that’s nothing you can hold against them.
237. Destruction, D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. (2008)
It had been a little while since Destruction had a really good record. Both Eternal Devistation and Release From Agony back in the late ‘80s were good albums, but they never really got the recognition as some of their peers. And the simple fact is, their peers were better, but after a dead period, Destruction came back hard in 2008 with D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. (the first letter of each track spell out Devolution).
Schmier put forth his best vocal performance in years but what makes this stand out is the track, “Urge (The Greed of Gain)” which features both Gary Holt of Exodus and Jeff Waters from Annihilator on it.
236. Confessor, Unraveled (2005)
Confessor is primarily a doom metal band, but they have a ton of progressive leanings. With a singer that looks more like a surfer dude than a doom metal vocalist, it’s not quite what you expect when you first see them.
They took a weird path to get to this album, releasing three demos before a full length album in 1991. They broke up two years later and didn’t reform until 2004. They put out an EP before this album on Season of Mist records.
Although they are still together they still have yet to put out a follow up to this one. Not the most prolific of artists now, are they? And that’s the shame of it, because Unraveled is really good. If you like Alice in Chains’ Dirt, then you will probably dig this. It has a very similar vibe though a little darker and less grungy.
235. Whiplash, Power and Pain (1985)
Remember the R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!? Well, these guys were there first when Tony Portaro, Tony Bono and Tony Scaglione got together in New Jersey and formed the highly underrated Whiplash in the mid ‘80s.
These guys were pretty fucking great throughout their career and will show up a few more times later on but this is where it started , with blistering riffs and raw production that create a rippin’ debut.
This makes the list because not only is it a great record on its own, but it also is a promising beginning for a group that would get better with each record.
Background vocals on this album courtesy of Peter Steele back when he was with Carnivore.
234. Artillery, By Interitance (1990)
Artillery’s By Inheritance makes this list because it’s one of the most unique sounding thrash metal records I’ve heard. Artillery is considered technical thrash which sadly seems to apply to any band that doesn’t simply play as fast as they can. However, when you listen to this album you hear a lot of prog elements, some power metal and maybe even some traditional folk melodies secretly working their way in.
The drumming on the record is spectacular which can’t be said too often on thrash records and the addition of the power metal elements give it an epic feel. Unfortunately, they didn’t follow this up until nine years later which was too late to capitalize on the peak of their success here.
233. Tygers of Pan Tang, Wild Cat (1980)
Don’t let anyone fool you. Tygers of Pan Tang weren’t all that great of a group. Before I had ever even heard anything from the band I was always reading about them as being of the best bands of the new wave of British heavy metal. But apart from Wild Cat and 1981’s Spellbound, the group never even got close to this type of quality again.
Maybe it was constant turnover with the band members including their best vocalist, Jess Cox leaving after this album because of personal differences. If I were you and have never heard anything from Tygers of Pan Tang I’d just start and end right here. It’s their rawest and most melodic record and not that different from the follow up apart from the vocals.
232. XLR8, The Joke’s On You (1993)
A rare one in this list that I know virtually nothing about. This is a tough one to get your hands on but well worth your time if you can. It’s a demo from this Texas band and as far as I know, they never released anything else. I’m really curious as to why these guys never put out a proper album as this is a ripping piece of power metal.
231. Warfare, Mayhem Fucking Mayhem (1986)
This one was produced by Cronos from Venom, so naturally it sounds very lo-fi and focuses mostly on the speed metal. The drummer of Warfare was Mantas from Venom, so this was a natural pairing.
The previous record had better sound as Lemmy was behind the boards for that one. Despite the (intentionally) bad production, Mayhem Fucking Mayhem has the best tunes on it, even with a weird speed metal cover of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”.