70. Overkill: Taking over
Overkill may never have been as popular as their contemporary thrash
colleagues, but that shouldn’t be held against them. In the eighties
they released a handful of solid records, in the nineties they released a
bunch of solid records, and in the new millennium they’ve released some
solid records as well. And yeah, I fucking dig ‘em.
“Taking Over” is their sophomore album, and it’s fine fucking one of
those. Right from speedy opener “Deny the Cross”, you know Overkill
means business. The album contains plenty of songs that would become
classics: “Wrecking Crew”, “Powersurge” and the truly blue-collar,
brotherhood-of-metalheads anthem “In Union We Stand”.
69. Obituary: Slowly we rot
This album reminds me of a seriously sick rhinoceros. It’s big,
heavy, brutal and, well… slowly rotting. While deprived of the awesome
guitar skills of James Murphy that were to lift “Cause of death” to a
new level, this is still an essential death metal album. The trademark
sound of Obituary started here: low, rotten cries of John Tardy? Check.
Frequent tempo changes? Check. Heavy, down tuned guitars? Check. It’s
all here, submerged in the muddy, lo-fi production. When listening to
this album, you get the idea that it’s not just music. It’s a plague
that corrupts your mind, weakens your body and devours your soul. And it
feels fucken great.
-Max Von Laibach (ex-staffer/cocksucker)
68. Helstar: Nosferatu
An unjustly overlooked classic! Now, if you’re like me (i.e.
intelligent), that phrase should set off the “WARNING: Contents May
SUCK” alarm in your head, but if there’s one album that deserves the
lengthy titles of “unjustly overlooked classic”, it’s Abomination’s
first album… but if there’s two, I’d have to go with that one and
Helstar’s “Nosferatu”, which is an absolute speed metal classic. I guess
you could call it power metal, but this really is a bit too heavy
outside of the ethereal vocals and flashy solos. It’s more like Yngwie
covering Slayer, but with some of the best and most original riffs and
songs ever penned by metalkind. I don’t know why people even bother with
Testament when neo-classical thrash like this exists, and you won’t
either if you can manage to find this damn album! Also, the lyrics are
top-notch, concerning the events of Bram Stoker’s vampiric classic in
gory detail, as well as some other fantastic stuff.
67. Repulsion: Horrified
A nasty, crusty riff snarls over disgusting bass ooze. A slight
pause. All hell breaks loose! One of the first blastbeats erupts,
sounding like a machine gun hosing a greenhouse. Pissed off, painful
grunting with lots of “Uuuuaaaaghhh” and an occasional dive-bombing
micro-solo. Grindcore fights its way out of the womb in spectacularly
violent fashion. Nothing about this is pretty. Punk gave wankery the
middle finger. Repulsion takes it home from the bar, fucks it the wrong
way, and won’t call it back.
DO NOT FUCK WITH YOUR SPEAKERS, the bass is supposed to sound like that.
-Lumberjack (extra rad special guest/whore)
66. W.A.S.P: W.A.S.P
The White Anglo Saxon Protestants of W.A.S.P. will forever be
remembered for their family friendly, Christian concerts where they
served fresh meat, right off the bone, to anyone itching for a taste.
This got them into some serious trouble, with bomb threats and hundreds
of murder threats; Blackie even got fucking shot at, though he was never
All of this has served them well as an attention-getter but it has
also, without a doubt, drawn much attention from Blackie’s songwriting,
which, for lack of a better word, is sadly underrated. Blackie’s lyrics
were not perfected as of yet (listen to “The Headless Children” to enjoy
that) but the music on this albums screams for itself. He gets the
ladies shivering with one of the most beautiful ballads ever written:
“Sleeping in the fire” and the gentlemen headbanging with just about
everything else, earning W.A.S.P. a spot at 66(6).
65. Venom: Welcome to hell
I remember the first time I walked into a music store and found
Venom on the shelves. I was still newly converted to the blacker musical
arts and had just learned of this seminal satanic metal band from
England, a veritable legend in its own time. I skipped school and drove
90 miles from Jamestown to Fargo with little more than a prayer in my
heart that maybe, just maybe, there might be a Venom album to be found. I
had a calling, and I had to heed it. And there it sat, a shiny and new
CD copy of Welcome to Hell. My heart leapt in my chest, and I recall
very briefly worrying that listening to the album might actually damn me
to eternal torment. The simplicity of that album cover (clearly
designed to mimic Anton LaVey’s notorious Satanic Bible) was
overpowering. It seeped evil, for real; or at least it did to my
17-year-old eyes. And while some of the songs contained within may reek
of cheese, there are still plenty of classic anthems of evil to be found
as well. The band and the album both ascended to godhood on the
strength of “Witching Hour” alone. That this album still had the power
to have that effect on me a full 15 years after its release, and still
has that power now a quarter-century on, makes it essential listening.
-JD Provorse (extra rad special guest/whore)
64. Discharge: Hear nothing. See Nothing. Say Nothing.
Look at this list: Metallica, At the Gates, Anthrax, Carpathian
Forest, Napalm Death, Nasum, Sepultura. What do those bands have in
common? We’ll, they’re well respected artists from every corner of the
metal world… and they’ve all covered Discharge songs. Aside from doom,
there probably isn’t a genre that didn’t feel the impact of “Hear
Nothing. See Nothing. Say Nothing” in some way. In the case of hardcore,
grind and crust punk the lineage is a direct line from Discharge to
whoever your favorite band is. If you’re into thrash, black or death
metal, the influence is a little more blurry, but you can rest assured
there’s a connection in there somewhere.
All that’s nice, but I guess it’d be a good idea to describe the
music. Discharge was one of the first bands to layer distortion and fuck
your speakers up. They kept it short and simple, like a hammer to your
temple. They screamed, thrashed, rocked and simply pushed the limits of
what was punk, what was metal and what was tasteful. They toppled just
about every preconceived notion of “good music” and just kept pushing.
In terms of grit and grime, they raised the bar and set a standard for
ugly that even the nastiest of modern bands cannot match.
63. Terrorizer: World downfall
19-fucken-89, people. I despised Napalm Death. They were absolutely
among the fastest shit I had ever heard, but they completely sucked.
Blasts weren’t really what I was looking for in music. That’s why I
never got into Morbid Angel at this time either. I had Slayer when I
wanted speed, you know. To me, Slayer was the most brutal shit around.
“Hell awaits”, “Reign in blood”… Man, that’s how you play fast while
creating memorable songs. Then came Terrorizer and I had to revalue all
kinds of shit. Not only were Terrorizer faster than anything I had ever heard, they also managed to compose such hit material one could do nothing but capitulate.
“World downfall” is a journey into brutality, catchiness and
endless, endless groove. Oscar Garcia and his cohorts are at the top of
their game here. This album is just one of “those” recordings where
everything seem to have fallen into the right place (something we cannot
exactly say about the second Terrorizer album). The bottomline is: they
must have had a certain chemistry within the band to be able to come up
with material like what we can hear on “World downfall”. None of the
guys’ “regular” bands did/will ever come close to what Terrorizer
achieved here. And believe me, I am totally fucken fine with that.
-Lord K Philipson
62. Rigor Mortis: Rigor mortis
The riffs on this album will devour your children! Mike Scaccia’s
playing is so fast and riff-oriented that it’s almost blinding in its
intensity, and Bruce Corbitt’s vocals are absolutely malevolent. Sure,
when you say “80s Death Metal”, you think “Consuming Impulse” and “Seven
Churches”, but Rigor Mortis’ self-titled debut is every bit as intense
as those classics, if not more so. The production is surprisingly clear
and listenable for the time it was released, and that echoey eerie
guitar tone is absolutely classic and unique. An essential atmospheric
and brutal classic.
61. Coroner: Punishment for decadence
That Coroner, the obscure thrash legends that never received their
due in life, are to be awarded every fucken accolade now that they no
longer afflict the world with their punishing brand of the most kickass
technical thrash ever played, is one of the saddest ironies of the metal
scene. For records like “Punishment for Decadence”, Coroner should have
had the world thrown at their feet. Armed to the teeth with the
virtuoso’s skills of guitar god Tommy T. Baron, the technical bass lines
and snarling vocals of Ron Royce, and the insane precision of Marquis
Mark on the drums, the band started to alter thrash metal’s standards
when they released this masterpiece, turning up a few notches the
complexity and aggression levels. This is a record that went miles ahead
of many of their contemporaries in sheer vision, technical prowess and
Full of hellish, thrashing mad grooves, wild tempo changes, and the
circular, sweeping guitar riffs and solos that were a very identifiable
trademark of the band, “Punishment for Decadence” sticks out as one of
the best thrash records ever. Despite the somewhat shoddy production,
Coroner lays out plenty of unbridled violence here. Classic tracks like
“Masked Jackal”, “Arc-Lite”, “Shadow of a Lost Dream” and “Voyage to
Eternity” serve as both evidence of the brilliance of the band at that
stage and as ominous heralds of even better things to come. While
personally I consider a fact that Coroner’s later records are even
better than this one, there’s no doubt that “Punishment for Decadence”
is fucken awesome, a firm favorite of many who appreciate the band for
the misunderstood geniuses that they were. Let it play, and it will rip
your fucken guts out and smear your face with the dripping blood, have
no fucken doubts about it!