I am at the ripe old age of 23 now and I finally think it’s time to take a look at those albums that changed me for the better. God knows what I would have been listening to without these 10 albums. Probably blindly following the charts. *shudders* What a terrible image.
City of Evil by Avenged Sevenfold – I got given this album on my 13th birthday by best mate. We loved a7x and at that point it was the heaviest stuff I had heard. My mum hated the album cover, she would hate to see my collection now, and that was just awesome. It was the first step I took in detaching myself from what my brother and parents were listening to. It started my journey to find music all by myself. It was different from the metal I was use to, it sounded nothing like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. The force of the guitars, vocals and drums made their way into my 13 year old mind and soon after that, the new era of metal was on the agenda.
Rage Against The Machine by Rage Against The Machine – I know I have said rap-metal was a bad idea but aside from a few bands I still think it is. You see most rap-metal bands focus on the wrong side of rap music. The bragging about sexual conquests, boozing and how much dollar they have. Rage Against The Machine used the fierce side of it. The struggles and hardship of many Americans. You know what rap use to be about before all the bitches and hoes. The pure aggression and fuck you attitude towards the establishment appealed to my slightly leftist agenda. Their self titled album was a real eye opening for me. I went on to find groups like N.W.A and Public Enemy who I still thoroughly enjoy all thanks to RATM.
Never Mind The Bollocks by The Sex Pistols – Punk heroes. Nay, punk incarnate. When you are a not so little angsty teenager albums like Never Mind The Bollocks play up to your wanna be rebel side. The Sex Pistols debut album is a key piece of punk history as well as in my own musical journey. I believe this is the album that yanked me out of my emo phase and thank Christ for that. Never Mind The Bollocks deserve to be on this list just for that.
Sacrament by Lamb of God – Riffs. Riffs everywhere. I love riffs. Many of you may have noticed. I have Lamb of God to thank for that. Sacrament in all its glory stood above me as a true testament to what could be achieved on the guitar. Lamb of God and their groove laden riffs proved to me that epic twiddly diddly solos weren’t the only impressive thing you could do with a guitar.
All Killer No Filler by Sum 41 – I grew up in the 90s and early 2000s and it was impossible to ignore the freight train that was pop-punk. The question on everyone’s lips was ‘blink 182 or Sum 41?’ and of course Sum 41 did it for me. Their album All Killer No Filler is just an album chock full of catchy choruses and riffs. If you are part of my generation and don’t know the lyrics to Fat Lip or In Too Deep then something is very wrong. I had the camo shorts, the chain and spiky hair. Little did I know that this pop-punk revolution was about to set me on my path to finding punk, metal and eventually hardcore.
Famous Monsters by Misfits – It may not be a Danzig era album but it was the first I heard of the horror punk legends. Still my favourite Misfits album to date, don’t know whether its nostalgia or not. It’s fast pasted nature, Michael Graves catchy voices and the horror/sci-fi lyrics appealed to my nerdy side. Not many albums contain songs dedicated to your favourite films. Hell I even did a research presentation on this album for my GCSE English much to the distain of my fellow class mates, who aside from a few, hadn’t heard anything heavier than the Arctic Monkeys.
Vienna by Ultravox – Bet no one was expecting to see a non heavy band on this list but here we go. Vienna is not only one of the greatest albums ever released but is a huge inspiration to me. The synth pop band proved pop (old school pop anyway) can be just as political and social aware as metal or even hardcore. Ultravox created an album full to the brim with classics. The titular track alone is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. Alongside this are some 80s classics Western Promise and Sleepwalk just to name a few. Oh and not to mention Midge Ure shredding the shit out of the guitar on All Stood Still. Vienna is probably the first album I ever fell head over heels for. A beautiful album, every aspect is well crafted and memorable.
We Sold Our Soul For Rock N Roll by Black Sabbath – I know this one is technically a compilation album but it was the Black Sabbath album I nicked most from my dad. Ozzy is a metal icon no doubt but I knew him as the crazy dad from The Osbournes reality TV series. Then with the Black Sabbath back catalogue I learnt the ways of metal. The dark chords, the head banging, the pure rock n roll that was Black Sabbath. My dad’s music collection influenced me greatly. From Led Zeppelin and Queen to the likes of the Public Image and The Pixies but none was more powerful than We Sold Our Soul For Rock N Roll.
Grey Britain / Orchestra of Wolves by Gallows – I couldn’t choose between Gallows first two albums so screw it their both on the list. I was already listening to punk and bits and pieces of hardcore but nothing could prepare me for this. Gallows brought the grim reality of Britain into the mix. It was dark, gritty and raw. Grey Britain especially. I was use to the lighter side of punk but over the course of two albums the mental nature of Gallows and their music introduced me to a whole new world. The world of hardcore punk and I haven’t looked back since.
Take To The Skies by Enter Shikari – Oh my. Just oh my. This album blew my mind back in 2007. Not only did it open my eyes to the world of heavier music but music in general. Take To The Skies is the biggest inspiration to me musically. With every subsequent play through being just as good as the previous I have never stopped listening to this album, think my iPod is sick to death of playing it. You have heavy riffs, breakdowns and screamed vocals against the genius use of electronic music. Enter Shikari also utilised interludes and intros/outros perfectly building an album that is great for picking a single song to listen to or a full play though. Ladies and gentlemen I urge you to show your appreciation for Enter Shiakri. I could go on and on about this album but that would turn into a 1000 plus word article so you just got a trust me and give it a listen.
Enter Shikari have earnt all the praise I have given them other the years and continue to impress me to this day. Take To The Skies is the best and most definitive album I have ever heard, it is epic.