GD’s Most Dominating Albums Of The 1980’s (10-1)

GD’s Most Dominating Albums Of The 1980’s (10-1)

03/10/08  ||  Global Domination

10. Celtic Frost: To mega therion 10. Celtic Frost: To Mega Therion

Released: 1985

Celtic Frost was a good band with a fairly fresh take on metal. In
my mind though, they represent much more. I was 3 years old when this
album dropped—clearly, I missed the impact it had on the metal scene the
first time around. I can see the ripples though, concentric rings of
influence that, should I squint a little, lead me back to a different
time. Looking back in this manner, “To Mega Therion” is one of the first
serious metal albums, one of earliest of examples of metal laying out a
goal and then following through on it. Well, of metal having goals
beyond being loud, playing hard and getting some pussy when it was over.

“To Mega Therion” is all about atmosphere – it’s a record of epic
bleakness. Celtic Frost was one of the few 80’s band to use metal in a
serious way to create serious music—or something like that. The founding
tenet of heavy metal was Tony Iommi’s idea to scare people with music.
Tom G. Warrior and crew didn’t lose sight of that. While their peers
were doing flashy things like singing in falsetto and playing their
guitars really, really fast, Celtic Frost ignored the trends
and made something scary. The album art is abstract and disorienting.
The intro piece is foreboding – a waring to stay away. The music is
driven by pounding tribal beats and Tom G’s deep growls. Everything
about “To Mega Therion” is consistent in its goal, which is to take you
to a dark place and leave you there – that it succeeds so thoroughly in
doing is why it belongs in our top 10.


Class6(66) coverage

9. Candlemass: Epicus doomicus metallicus 9. Candlemass: Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Released: 1986

Few albums have struck me like this one did the first time I heard
it. I don’t think anyone had a clue something could be this fucken heavy
and depressive. Candlemass was something else… They created doom metal
without even knowing it. Johan’s vocals are among the best ever recorded
when it comes to heavy music and the production (especially the drums)
is epic and crystal clear (fuck do you expect when it was recorded in a
studio owned by some members from a band called Heavy Load?) There’s
nothing even remotely weak about “Epicus”. It’s a work of art, a genuine
painting of sadness, gloom and doom. I used to play drums to “Epicus”,
that’s how important this piece was to me when I started out doing music
myself. A true classic and a milestone in metal it shall forever be.
Thank you, Candlemass. Thank you so much.

-Lord K Philipson

Class6(66) coverage

8. Death: Scream bloody gore 8. Death: Scream Bloody Gore

Released: 1987

Imagine how scary this must have sounded back in 1987. Fuck
almighty, this surely was a fucken shock to all those into glam, power
metal and even thrash. Evil Chuck and his first iteration of evil
cohorts, roaring their way through straight from the depths of Hell,
bringing death metal into the world kicking and screaming. I’d loved to
be there, just to see their chicken faces turning yellow with fear! I
know this guy, a metalhead near his fifties now, who saw one of Death’s
first shows, being a thrash veteran already those days. He says
metalheads were truly stunned from the extremity of it all. A simple
story like that goes a long way to show “Scream Bloody Gore” had a huge
impact on the heavy metal scene, and not only musically speaking.

What can be said of an album as important as this one? It’s not hard
to admit that it shows its age, for better or worse, yet there’s no
doubt that any self-respecting fan of death metal should at least listen
this album once or twice, in order to know how it all began. Filled
with simple riffs? Straight-forward drumming? Basic song structures?
Silly lyrics? Not as brutal or technical as later works of the band
themselves or its many followers? All check. Yet did you notice
something I said? Many followers, anyone? All of the above arguments
pale when compared to the fact that Death on their debut believed fully
in what they were doing and flat out created an album full of death
anthems such as “Evil Dead”, “Zombie Ritual” and “Mutilation”. And the
future death legions would from then on follow their lead. It spawned
death metal as we know it today, and its importance is seminal. Is it an
album worth checking out for someone who wasn’t there when it all
started? You fucken bet your pimpled ass cheeks it is! It might be old
and sound dated, but it surely has some fucken nerve, belief and a
truckload of mean riffs. This was an impressive debut from a band that
would keep going from strength to strength and define death metal as a
genre. Death, was, is and will always be TEH beginning!


Class6(66) coverage

7. King Diamond: Abigail 7. King Diamond: Abigail

Released: 1987

I’m not a fan of men setting their balls on fire in order to sing even higher.

I’m not a fan of fancy pirate-vampire-spandex costumes.

I’m a huge fan of this album.

Anybody who asks how is that possible is obviously misguided by the
name of the band. “King diamond” is not all about King Diamond. On his
own, he would have been nothing more than a part of metal folklore,
maybe interesting at first but ultimately boring as hell. And for each
person who likes his singing style, there must be at least ten who hate
it. The thing that makes this effort so unique is the guitar work.
Intricate, riddled with blistering solos on top of killer riffs, this is
what keeps this record fresh and awesome no matter how many times you
listen to it. The presence of Mikkey Dee behind the drums doesn’t
exactly hurt either, although I don’t think Lemmy would ever let this
guy into Motorhead if he saw his picture in the “Abigail” booklet first.

-Max Von Laibach (ex-staffer/cocksucker)

Bathory: Blood, fire, death Bathory: Blood, Fire, Death

Released: 1988

Not content with almost single-handedly laying the framework of
black metal for ages to come, the genius we once knew as Quorthon, may
Satan have him in a place of honor down there in Hell, decided in the
glorious year of 1987 to invade and conquer new musical shores to bring a
vision of his Viking heritage into the already fearsome metallic
machinery of mayhem that was Bathory. “Blood Fire Death” was Bathory’s
fourth album and stands today as their ultimate statement of intent, the
most complete and consistent effort of all their vast discography.

Besides sporting a midsection full of blitzkrieg black metal Bathory
at its best, this brilliant record is book-ended by two spectacular
songs that pretty much defined how the Norse mythology influences should
be incorporated into metal. The chilling “A Fine Day to Die” has the
coldest, most epic and dominating riff in the history of Viking metal
and is still unsurpassed after all these years. The ending title track
brought us the epic tempo, the uniquely distorted guitar style, and the
innovative use of choirs and keyboards to create the right atmosphere
that would mark later works within the genre.

“Blood Fire Death” marks a new beginning, the birth of Viking metal
as we know it amidst the ashes of black metal devastation, and on such
strength is justly considered a classic and firm favorite for fans of
the band. Each northern horde that nowadays attempts to molest our ears
with tales of rape and pillage from the golden days of yore, owes a hell
of a lot to Bathory and to the Viking inspired era that they started
with this awesome album. If previous works were already legendary, this
album finally turned Bathory into the category of metal gods. “Blood
Fire Death” redefined the word “epic” the Viking way, and 20 years
later, it has not lost any of its relevance, it is still a must listen
which gives us the best of both metal worlds Bathory created.


5. Metallica: Master of puppets 5. Metallica: Master of Puppets

Released: 1986

What can be said about “Master of puppets” that’s not been said
already? Probably nothing. All the superlatives known to man have
rightfully been used to describe the finest moment in Metallica’s career
and one of the absolute finest, prolly the finest, moments in the history of heavier metal. But I’ll have to come up with something
here, you know. This fucken album was unleashed upon an unsuspecting
mankind over 20 years ago and still to this day it beats pretty much
anything released before or after, and it’s still to this day one fucken
influential piece of music. “Master if puppets” is not only a
monumental record by a band that once reigned the scene, and rightfully
so, “Master of puppets” is the epitome of how perfect metal should
sound. There’s not a weak second included on this recording and it’s
evident that it will always be regarded as one of the finest recordings
of all time. Not even shit records like “St. Anger” or “Death magnetic”
can erase that fact. Metallica died a long time ago, long live

-Lord K Philipson

Class6(66) coverage

4. Pestilence: Consuming impulse 4. Pestilence: Consuming Impulse

Released: 1989

When I put this list together one, “Consuming Impluse” was of the
biggest surprises. It isn’t typically thought of as landmark death metal
album, at least not in my house. If Death and Possessed were the
originators and Morbid Angel was the standard bearer for the future,
what of Pestilence? Why so high? Well, it might sound like a cop out,
but fuck it. This album is just that damn good. It’s a little rough
around the edges, sure, and it features one of the cheesiest covers of
all time and the production was weak even in ’89. What it does have
going for it is charm. Charm is everywhere. It’s in Patrick
Mameli’s guitar riffs. It’s in Martin Van Drunen’s frantic, one of a
kind vocal performance. Heck, it’s even in that goofball artwork. Some
albums just have an “it” factor, a certain unidentifiable awesomeness
that’s laid bare for all the world to see. Whatever it is, “Consuming
Impulse” has more of it than any other death meal album and if there’s
one thing we here at GD appreciate it’s it… whatever it is.


Class6(66) coverage

3. Morbid Angel: Altars of madness 3. Morbid Angel: Altars of Madness

Released: 1989

Is there a better death metal record than this one? Maybe Morbid
Angel’s second album, but even then, it’s pretty close. Though nowadays
he’s more of a fishman than anything else, Dave Vincent is unbeatable
here. No one before or since has sounded more evil, and his style is so
far removed from the pig-grunting crap that is popular nowadays that
it’s almost hard to believe that both styles are considered part of the
same genre. Trey Azagthoth and Richard Brunelle encase the listener’s
mind in a Stygian cage of burning metal spike riffs and macrocosmic
guitar solos so bizarre, so out there that sound like something
written by alien hands. And of course Pete Sandoval throws down the
gauntlet with one of the most intense and genre-defining drum assaults
ever captured on tape. Every metalhead worth his salt knows “Chapel of
Ghouls” and “Maze of Torment”, but it’s hidden gems like the
earth-shattering outro of “Evil Spells” and the locust-buzzing riff of
“Visions from the Darkside” that really make this album special: you can
listen to it for ten years straight and discover something new each
time you spin it. Death metal is my religion, and “Altars of Madness” is
my ten commandments.


Class6(66) coverage

2. Iron Maiden: Seventh son of a seventh son 2. Iron Maiden: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

Released: 1988

Huh? Where’s “The Number of the Beast”? Forget what Rolling Stone or
Metal Edge has to say about the best metal albums, this is Iron
Maiden’s best record right here. The synths and progressive nuances that
they toyed with on “Somewhere in Time” came into fruition on “Seventh
Son of a Seventh Son”. It is arguably Maiden’s most progressive album to
date and the only one to carry some sort of concept, or at least a
common theme in several songs.

Maiden’s first few albums weren’t groundbreaking as much as they
were chock full of metal goodness. Twin guitar, epic songs, and
galloping basslines had been done before, but perhaps not as well or as
prominent as with Iron Maiden. “Seventh Son” solidified them as more
than just a great band, but as true metal innovators. The album has a
very distinct sound that was lost by their next disc, “No Prayer for the
Dying”. Proving technology could be a friend, synths soar throughout
each song, adding atmosphere and subtle beauty on tracks like “The
Prophecy”. While some may miss the raw power of “Killers”, worry you
not; the band’s aforementioned trademarks are strewn all about this
album, with possibly their best songwriting and twin guitar harmonies to
boot (if you don’t get chills during the last guitar harmony in the
title track, you are not a Maiden fan).

“Seventh Son” also marked the end of the golden era for Maiden. By
the time the next album was released, Adrian had left, Bruce started
snarling, and Nicko started sleeping behind the kit. With the decline in
quality came a decline in popularity, but no one can deny the power and
uniqueness of the band in top form on “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”.
Up the Irons baby!

-Hanging Limbs (ex-staffer/cocksucker)

Class6(66) coverage

1. Slayer: Reign in blood 1. Slayer: Reign in Blood

Released: 1986

Lord K Philipson: I like “South of heaven” more and I think
“Master of puppets” deserves this spot. I have also seen Slayer in
concert about 45 times, and at one of those I actually sat on stage
watching the whole show. That was kinda cool. And weird. None of this
really matters though. “Reign in blood” is the winner according to the
fair jury of Global Domination. I might not agree – but I fucken respect
and understand why it’s the gold medalist. There is a possibility that
the tune “Angel of death” is one of the finest songs ever created when
it comes to thrash metal. “Reign in blood” is not only a fantastic title
for an album, it’s some close-to 30 minutes of thrash metal that no
one’s been able to recreate yet to this day.

Angry Mutant Penguin: Metalheads are an argumentative
bunch, never agreeing on anything for very long, so to objectively pick a
“greatest metal album of the eighties” would be an impossible task, but
I think it’s fair to say that “Reign in Blood” is the closest we’ll
ever get to consensus on the matter. It’s not my favourite
album ever, and it probably isn’t yours, but (for reasons I don’t see
the point in explaining, we all know why it rules) it’s difficult to
find someone who doesn’t at least appreciate this masterpiece, and
difficult to find a metal band these days that don’t owe their dues to
Slayer for composing it.

Banesupper: No one can be told what “Reign in Blood” is;
you have to hear it for yourself. Nah, just kidding, “Reign in Blood” is
distilled aggression. It was faster and angrier than anything else at
its time, and probably the greatest thrash album ever made. A worthy
number one.

Stephen: “Reign in Blood” wins! Is anyone surprised by
this? Slayer represents everything that was great about metal in the
1980’s—they pushed musical aggression to new heights, played faster than
anyone else and drank until their pee could fuel jets. This album is
respected by every metal head the world over and, in selling more copies
than anything this ugly should have, spread the word far and wide that FUCK YOU METAL IS AWESOME. For a deeper look into what makes this album what it is, you can check Tash’s excellent Class6, but honestly I think Hanging Limbs says it best when he says…


1. Slayer: Reign in Blood


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This entry was posted on June 14, 2014 by in 1980s - Top 100, Best of, Decades, Lists of Domination.
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