Hello bitches, over the next couple of weeks the intellectual
elite here at Global Domination will serve as judge, jury and
executioner for metallic music in the 1990’s. The premise is a simple
one. We get on our high horse (and trust me, it’s fucking gigantic) and
tell you which 100 albums released between 1990 and 1999 were the most
“B-but,” you cry, “What do you mean by dominating?”
We mean, these are “The 100 Most Dominating Albums of 1990’s”.
It’s right there in the title. The only real requirements for inclusion
were: The album had to be released in the ’90s, it had to be widely
considered a metal album and it had to be fucken awesome. Things like
their influence, originality, how fondly we remember them and, most
important, quality were also taken into account. That’s it.
As we count these masterpieces down from 100 to 1, you will
probably have some complaints. It’s only natural, because our collective
will is wildly different than your individual taste. In fact, all of
the nearly 20 people who helped put this shit together have issues with
certain inclusions and exclusions, and with the rankings. The truth is
there is no way to compile a list like this that will please everyone.
The other truth is, we don’t fucken care if we please you or not. If you think we made a mistake, join the forum and bitch about it with all the other worms. We spent untold hours, days, weeks and months arguing over this shit and we are the experts, so what we say goes. I know we got it right (mostly) because we all have our doctorate degrees in the field of Metal.
A huge thanks to everyone who helped put this together. Whether
you took a few minutes to suggest an album or spent hours making lists
and writing comments, you should feel damn proud of this feature. It
We worked fucken hard and real fucken long to bring you this feature and all we ask in return is this: Enjoy the shit out of it.
/Stephen Fallen, Metal PhD, on behalf of Global Domination.
100. Ripping Corpse: Dreaming with the Dead
Congratulations to Ripping Corpse for having the shittiest album on
our list. Seriously, good job guys. You’re officially the first losers
in this whole feature. Global Domination applauds you for that. But at
least you guys made it, which is more than those fucking idiots in Color
Me Badd can say.
But seriously, why Ripping Corpse? Well first of all, the death
metal scene in 1991 was still in its prepubescent stage. Secondly,
“Ripping Corpse” was a fairly appealing name for the time (back when
“Insert violent adjective” Corpse(s) was the norm, anybody remember
Vomiting Corpses?), and most importantly, Erik Rutan was handling the
riffing. How well does it hold in 2007? Not too bad, actually. Of
course, Scott Routh’s half-ass Slayeresque non-growling vocals
do sound rather dated. To be honest, even though Rutan himself was
considerably underdeveloped in contrast to his eventual work with Morbid
Angel, this album does contain some interesting material. Fans of the
extreme old-school will probably indulge in impervious pieces
like “Anti-God” and “Chugging Pus”, precisely why, as I speak, a
near-mint copy of “Dreaming With The Dead” CD is going for over $30 on
eBay with still 3 days left to bid. Quality material or collectioner’s
obsessive compulsions? That’s your call. GD thinks Ripping Corpse is
decent. Hence its ranking.
99. Luciferion: Demonication
“Demonication” always goes underrated, but it really shouldn’t. The
idea of paying tribute to old death metal gods worked so well in 1994
that Wojtek Lisicki and his comrades succeeded in delivering a great
rip-off album that by all means needs a spot on this list. This material
didn’t actually sound like anything new, but its massive aggression
took it up to a whole new level. It’s death metal with a lot of
freshness and a rebel attitude, so skipping over it would be like not
eating the cherry on the top of a pie.
98. Cathedral: Forest of Equilibrium
Cathedral didn’t exactly invent a new kind of doom metal,
but they did cut the path for a lot of modern doom bands. “Forest of
Equilibrium” is steeped in the riffy-groove of classic Black
Sabbath-style doom, but everything is slowed way down and painted an
utterly lethargic hue. It’s funny that vocalist Lee Dorian left the
blasts of Napalm Death because they were becoming too death metal and
then went on to create something so slow and lifeless. This album does
contain a solitary upbeat track called “Soul Sacrifice” and some rather
fruity flute playing, but those moments just serve as the contrast that
makes the rest of the album’s draining nature stand out more
prominently. This is an important evolution of traditional doom metal
and the perfect music to groove to while feeling worthless.
97. Bruce Dickinson: The Chemical Wedding
“And sooooooo we lay! We LAY in the same GRAVE! Our chemical wedding DAY!”
While the 90’s saw Iron Maiden retreat to obscurity with criminally
underrated albums, Bruce Dickinson was riding high with two of the best
albums he’s ever been a part of. “Accident of Birth” deserves to be on
this list alongside this gem, but we’ll have to settle with CW as
Dickinson’s sole representative.
And what an album it is! Released years after metal’s heyday and
just as nu-metal was taking over the charts, “Chemical Wedding” melds
classic heavy metal with a modern, down-tuned groove. Producer/guitarist
Roy Z. and guitarist Adrian Smith are just as essential to this album’s
success as B Dog. This is one of those albums that will continue to be
recommended to new metal fans for years to come.
96. Devin Townsend: Infinity
At first glance, “Infinity” is an album that’s almost too strange
for its own good, an upbeat conglomeration of show tunes and Devin
Townsend’s unique brand of hypnotic and colossal heavy metal. It’s only
after repeated listens that the true nature of this beast becomes
evident. Behind the bouncy riffs and goofy lyrics a whole other album
waits to be experienced. All the “normal” metal music is set over a bed
of electronically produced ambient sounds and the most impressive thing
about “Infinity” is how well those two sides interact. No matter where
you go, from the danceable “Bad Devil” to the breathtakingly lovely
“Unity”, you can hear Devy’s careful ambient manipulations undulating in
the background, giving this album an almost endless depth. “Infinity”
features the most meticulous production I’ve ever heard and its fun
outward nature and the staggering depth make it enjoyable on all levels.
95. Borknagar: The Olden Domain
On “The Olden Domain,” Borknagar clutched the folk/black torch which
Ulver had set aflame and ran with it into previously unexplored
grandiose territory. In fact, Ulver’s navigator (the inimitable Garm)
handles vocals on “Olden,” Borknagar’s second release, so it could be
said that the torch was hand-delivered to Oystein G. Brun and company by
the very architect of the landmark “Bergtatt.” The raw atmosphere
present on “The Olden Domain” is completely overpowering, and the epic
nature of the album is undeniable. Unlike the majority of folk/viking
bands, Borknagar has never relied on hackneyed gnome-dance melodies to
convey an aura of majesty and otherworldliness. For many, “The Olden
Domain” represents the perfect blend of the primal energy of Borknagar’s
eponymous debut and the soaring ambition of the group’s latter outings.
94. Testament: The Gathering
Testament sure weren’t fucking around when they hired a few
musicians to replace their departing bassist, drummer, and lead guitar
player. Steve DiGiorgio, Dave Lombardo, and James Murphy brought a whole
lot of kick-ass to Testament, after a good but not great previous
release (“Demonic”). I saw them on this tour, in a small club with less
than 100 people, and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
93. Asphyx: The Rack
“The Rack” is a notable album for many reasons, not the least of
which is that its a damn fine example of the early death metal sound.
Of course, by my strict calculations there were exactly one
million good death metal albums released in 1991. What separates Asphyx
from the rest of the bands in death metal’s Neo-Proterozoic era is the
way the tempo effortlessly shifts from break-neck, to mid-paced to
The slow parts were obviously ganked from death metal’s sluggish,
suicidal cousin doom metal. That’s right folks, “The Rack” is one of
the first doom-death albums, though it does lack the bleak atmospheres
of true doom-death forefathers like Paradise Lost. I won’t argue that
this album is a landmark in metal history, but it is an important
sing-post signifying the direction of things to come for marriage of
doom and death metal.
Plus, Martin Van Drunen’s vocals straight-up kicked our asses into including this album. That guy is just fucking awesome.
92. Neurosis: Through Silver in Blood
What do you get when you add a little ambient, crunchy downtuned
riffs, the slowness of funeral doom, tribal drumming, and some of the
most aggressive vocals you’ll ever hear? Neurosis of course, and
“Through Silver in Blood” may be the heaviest offering they’ve released.
Neurosis has such a good sound that many knock-off bands formed trying
to cash in on their post-rock sludge ambient doom shit that they do so
well, but as with most things, the original is always the best.
91. Illdisposed: There’s Something Rotten…
For a music critic, time can be a bitch. A real fucking bitch. No
matter how objective and fair you attempt to be while reviewing an
album, nothing can remotely fade the mass of perspective you gain after
months (i.e. years) of repeated listening, which dims your ability to
analyze the content. As demonstrated by my slightly unsympathetic (and
ridiculously amateurish) review of “There’s Something Rotten…” last
year, I initially had a difficult time enjoying it. I could recognize
that Illdisposed was an excellent band, but I still believed they could
have done much better. Of course, my credibility as a reviewer is often
questionable considering my slight penchant towards keyboards, neon
clothing and male vocalists that look like hot chicks.
Basically, Illdisposed infused a few more melodic elements into
their sound, foreshadowing the musical ambitions they would eventually
choose to pursue in their subsequent recordings. Of course, the album
still retained that hard-hitting Illdisposed style displayed on classic
songs like the opener “Psychic Cyclus”, in addition to the sensational
“Days On The Floor”. In fact, the former almost surpasses the classic
“Die Kingdom” from “Submit” in sheer groove. Bo Summer sounds as
ferocious as ever, to credit him as “Subwoofer” in the booklet is almost
an outlandish understatement.
To be honest, the bottom line is that although I will never be able
to admit that “There’s Something Rotten…” surpasses “Submit” in absolute
intensity, most people probably should. And rightfully so. I’m just
fucking stubborn. And have no soul. The truth is that Illdisposed might
just be one of the most important and influential bands to ever emerge
from Denmark (except Aqua). Their spot is well-deserved.
(Note from Stephen: Ramble some more, bitch. You should have
just said, “This album rocks! Also, I am gay!” and left it at that. Just
for the record though, I have neon underwear on right now.)