GD’s Most Dominating Albums Of The 1980’s (60-51)

GD’s Most Dominating Albums Of The 1980’s (60-51)

16/09/08  ||  Global Domination

60. Overkill: Years of Decay 60. Overkill: Years of decay

Released: 1989

Fuck, sixty? Man if only I’d been around when the votes were cast…

‘Nuff bitching – this is the shit, this is Overkill at their
thrashing, crashing, poser-whipping best. There’s violence, aggression
and shivers down the spine and there’s a disk full of killer tunes. The
riffs are fucking unstoppable, Bobby Gustafson had (and still has) a
serious ass-full of class when it comes to unyielding guitar-playing and
with DD in the equation, you have the best pair of stringsmen anyone
could hope for. And then there’s Blitz, what needs to be said?

So it’s not as genre defining as “Reign in Blood” or as seminal as
“Master of Puppets” or even as respected an underdog as “The Legacy”,
but this is still one of the classics of thrash that shouldn’t ever be
forgotten. It’s a band that loves what they do and wants you to know how
damn good they are at it. It’s my favourite piece of work by them – and
that’s a hard choice to make – so it’s here to stay, bitches.

-Angry Mutant Penguin

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59. Watchtower: Control and Resistance 59. Watchtower: Control and resistance

Released: 1989

“Control and Resistance” has a pretentious song detailing the events
of Chernobyl, unbearable off-key screeching, crappy sounding drums,
pulsating bass guitar and a guy named Jarzombek. In other (annoying
buzz) words, it’s a technical prog metal extravaganza! Gape (not that
gape, sicko) as they mix a mild 80’s thrash attitude with the
over-the-top presentation of Rush! The musical abilities of guitarist
Ron Jarzombek, bassist Doug Keyser and drummer Rick Colaluca provide on
experience that is difficult to find today and was downright unheard of
in the 1980’s. Alan Tecchio’s vocal abilities are strained to the
breaking point and sound bloody terrible, but even that cannot tarnish
the brilliance of the music. Watchtower predates Athiest, Cynic, Dream
Theater and just about every other band to wear the progressive metal
pants, so they get credit as one of the grandfather’s of their musical
style. Originality and quality, a deadly combination from a great album.


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58. Savatage: Hall of the Mountain King 58. Savatage: Hall of the mountain king

Released: 1987

I’m very thankful this album found its way on this list. Not only is
Savatage one of my favorite bands, but Criss Oliva is my all-time
favorite guitarist. His riffing was distinct and his solos were on par
with Randy Rhoads. Also like Randy Rhoads, Criss was a brilliant
guitarist whose story ended way too soon when he was hit head-on by a
drunk driver in 1993 and killed on contact. His wife was seriously
injured and never really recovered from the loss of her husband. She
passed away 12 years later. Even today, it is hard to think about Criss’
impact on my life and the metal community and not have a few tears.
Thank you for putting up with the non-album related aside, it means a
lot to me to talk about Criss.

“Hall of the Mountain King” was Savatage’s breakout album. It found
the perfect balance between heavy and accessible, as shown on metal
standards “Strange Wings” and “Hall of the Mountain King”. Criss’
brother Jon sounds like a madman with his scratchy clean vocals that no
one has ever been able to mimic. In fact, this whole album has a pretty
unique sound despite it being a straightforward 80’s metal record. It’s
hard to believe that Savatage would go on to form the core of Christmas
favorites Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Now if they’d just do that 25-year
anniversary tour/dvd/whatever the fuck they have planned…

-Hanging Limbs (ex-staffer/cocksucker)

57. Fates Warning: Awaken The Guardian 57. Fates Warning: Awaken the guardian

Released: 1986

Power metal in the 80’s was fucken great, especially when you
compare it to the powder-puff shit that Germany and Finland started
churning out in the 90s. Fates Warning was probably the best of the 80’s
power metal-ish bands, and “Awaken the Guardian” is my personal
favorite of the triumvirate that is this album, “The Spectre Within” and
“No Exit”. This is a very dense album, both in terms of the
reverbed-out production and the baroque song structures, and it’s
definitely more of a grower than something that hits you in the gut
right away. John Arch was the best vocalist that Fates Warning ever had,
and he’s one of the only metal vocalists that puts any sort of
complexity into his vocal lines, which undulate above and below the sea
of guitars and drums like an exuberant dolphin caught in a hurricane.
What really makes this album special is how well of the band members gel
together, creating classical epics from darkness-summoning bass,
clattering drums, and perfectly harmonized guitars.


56. Coroner: No More Color 56. Coroner: No more color

Released: 1989

This album is a monster, simple as that. Almost 20 years after its
release, we can say No More Color aged gracefully. The reasons behind
this Raquel Welch of thrash metal is mainly due to the fact the Swiss
trio, while not sounding completely avantgarde and being obviously
thrash metal, never fell prey to the clichés of the said style.

No More Color presents the band playing solid thrash metal as in the
two previous albums, yet in an enhanced form. Gone are the simplistic
structures, gone are the muddy productions jobs and now cherished are
the fantastic songwriting skills. While not as fast as its predecessors,
No More Color features some of the most technical riffing in thrash
metal. Tommy Vetterli, a.k.a. Tommy T. Baron, does the most astonishing
things with the guitar, without boring the listener that is not as fond
of masturbatory musical prowess as the next Impelliteri fan. The feat of
exploring the fretboard in such a manic way without transforming No
More Color into a guitar album is something so unusual that metal fans
worldwide should bow to the man. It is undoubtedly technical, but it is
still about the songs.

The vocals from Ron Royce sometimes sound a little too low in the
mix, which is something that makes the music lose its punch from time to
time. But still, we are talking about albums from the eighties, where
flawed production on metal albums was the norm. The lyrics by the
drummer Marquis Marky (a pseudonym I can’t get used to) differ from the
norm, far more interesting then most of the drivel released during that
era. And the drumming and bass work are compelling, but let’s not lie to
ourselves, that album is about the riffs. And what tasty riffs they

What else can I say about one of my favorite metal albums? If you
don’t have it, get it. Or indulge in the clichéd horrors purported by
the aging Melanie Griffiths of thrash.

-Tiago Bonamigo (extra rad special guest/whore)

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55. Godflesh: Streetcleaner 55. Godflesh: Streetcleaner

Released: 1989

If I had my way, this album would be at the top of this list, as it happens to be the
heaviest album ever made. This stuff is even more abrasive and violent
than the first half of “Scum”, and yet it’s also sickeningly slow and
doom-giving. Grindcore is always fast and furious, but I don’t really
know what to call this stuff if not grindcore, as it grrrriiiinnnds more
skulls that anything else I’ve heard. All of the whiny little black
metal “misanthropes” that clog up the scene nowadays could stand to
learn something about true misanthropy from this album: hearing Justin
growl “You breed… like RATS!” for the first
time will send shivers down your spine. This album is the only metal
album I’ve heard that really uses a drum machine properly, and the stuff
they do with feedback and noise is nothing short of revolutionary. It’s
too bad that most metalheads are too wimpy to handle this kind of


54. Anthrax: Spreading the Disease 54. Anthrax: Spreading the disease

Released: 1985

Anthrax will forever hold a dear and special place in my heart and I
still remember at the age of about 10 when a friend of mine copied his
older brothers Anthrax vinyl`s and gave the tapes to me. I have never
stopped listening to them although these days I’m more of a death metal
fan. Every now and again though, I take a walk down memory lane and
listen to some Anthrax, and “Spreading The Disease” brings back the best
memories (they may have written better albums, but the memories remain
the same, oh yes I just made a half-assed reference to a shitty
Metallica song). Just listen to “Gung-Ho“, “Medusa“, “Armed and
Dangerous“and “Madhouse“, or for that matter every song in there, and
become a better person. That`s what Anthrax at their best does, they
makes you a happier and more adjusted individual, who runs around with a
smile upon your face singing:

Destroyer of life, Demon

Oh I’m ready to strike, Gorgon

This grants them a spot on this list at number 54.

-Bobby Peru

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53. Dark Angel: Darkness Descends 53. Dark Angel: Darkness descends

Released: 1986

What do you get if you have an already good thrash band and add one
man-walrus behind the drumkit? Thrash metal history is what, fucktard…
Seriously, Gene Hoglan has got to be one of the most respected and
appreciated drummers in the bizniz, and upon hearing Dark Angel’s
sophomore release it’s pretty obvious why. He may look like a manatee,
but he sure sounds as fucking slender as a dolphin. A drumming dolphin.

“Darkness Descends” is the first album I heard that sounded
genuinely dark. I understand this album tends to be a favourite of black
metal musicians, and it definitely captures that ominous, foreboding
feeling. The first five chords of the entire album set the mood right
away, and listen to the fucking bass intro of “Merciless Death”,
“Darkness Descends”, indeed. Speaking of that bass intro, the man
credited in the booklet, Mike Gonzales, is not actually playing on the
album. Therefore, in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due,
big fucking kudos to Rob Yahn for laying down some amazing low end shit.
Everyone into the darker varieties of metal need to listen to this.

-The Prophet

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52. Candlemass: Nightfall 52. Candlemass: Nightfall

Released: 1987

The forefathers’ of doom metal second effort is a monument to the ethos of a genre, a memorable landmark album fully exuding DOOM!
from beginning to end. After a milestone debut like “Epicus, Doomicus,
Metallicus”, lesser bands might have failed to properly follow up, but
that was never the danger with mighty Candlemass. Introducing iconic,
insane monk-garbed vocalist Messiah Marcolin and his incredibly
powerful, operatic vibrato the band proceeded to redefine heavy as in
“doom-heavy”. GD’s idol Leif Eidling songwriting powers were at their
highest peak, and so he went on and wrote some of the most brilliantly
depressive material ever heard.

“Nightfall” is chock full of sorrowful and malevolent dirges. It’s
got memorable songs about death, mourning, witchcraft and damnation, and
is the embodiment of Candlemass’ sound. The songs here are the epitome
of the epic, power doom that the band would make rise from the ashes of
Black Sabbath’s inheritance. The wailing guitars, the ominous bass, the
funereal drums and the overpowering vocals all shine; tracks like “The
Well of Souls”, “At the Gallows’ End”, “Samaritan” and “Bewitched” are
essential doom metal lore. “Nightfall” is a must-have and a required
listen to anyone remotely interested in doom metal. This is the record
where Candlemass truly made their mark and proved they were simply a cut
above the rest.


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51. Metallica: Kill 'em All 51. Metallica: Kill ‘em all

Released: 1982

There is a reason people often hail Metallica as the inventors of
thrash metal and it lies mainly in “Kill ‘em All”. While far from guitar
wankery, this album is simply more interesting musically than Venom or
early Bathory. Even the drumming is a huge step forward from the sloppy
skinbashing of Abaddon. The fact that this was released in America,
where thrash developed most rapidly, also contributed to Metallica’s
fame. The most important thing about this album? It fucken kills. Every
song from this record is a metal anthem on its own and every headbanger
from here to the fucken Philippines knows them all. I’m a bit lost as to
what I should say about this album. I mean, it’s so popular that it
doesn’t really matter what I write, you know it deserves a place here as
well as I do. Some people don’t like James’ adolescent vocals, but I’m
not one of them. I think the first two albums were the only ones on
which he sounded appropriately pissed off. Also, it’s funny that the
best song on this record, “ 4 Horsemen” was written by Dave Mustaine,
who went on to record it in Megadeth as “Mechanix” which plain sucks. I
guess it goes to show that great guitar skills aren’t enough, you need
an appropriately awesome band to go with them. Metallica was one of
those bands, at least in the period 1983-88.

-Max Von Laibach (ex-staffer/cocksucker)

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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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