I have been a long-time metalhead for over 20 years now; not only is it a love for the music but it’s also a lifestyle. The community, the merch, the live shows, an unlimited supply of all that good, heavy stuff. Metal has seen me through the good times, the bad times and the “what in the Alice in Wonderland is going on here, this is madness” times. This is my 50th post for This Day In Metal so join me as I take a jaunt down memory lane in celebration of this milestone and revisit 10 albums (in no particular order) that made me fall in love with metal. Here’s to the next 50 articles and beyond.
Slayer: Reign in Blood
At the tender age of 17 (barely) I made a hop, skip and a jump to my very first metal show back in 2006 and it all went brilliantly downhill from there. A couple of months prior to this first magical experience, I went to my local independent CD shop (Third Base, specifically) and picked up what would end up being one of my favourite ever albums. I immersed myself within this album and studied it obsessively in time for Slayer’s Unholy Alliance Chapter 2 tour with Thine Eyes Bleed, Children of Bodom, Lamb of God and In Flames. It’s still one of my favourite records to this day.
Released: 1st January 1986
Favourite Track(s): Angel of Death, Altar of Sacrifice, Criminally Insane, Raining Blood
Linkin Park: Hybrid Theory
To say I was absolutely obsessed with this record as a nu-metal loving teen is an understatement. I remember seeing the music video for ‘One Step Closer’ on Kerrang! and deciding that owning this record was an absolute requirement. It was played over and over again and I knew every lyric to every song. It’s a record I revisit every so often now; laced in nostalgia and it hasn’t lost its edge even over 20 years later.
Released: 24th October 2000
Favourite Track(s): Papercut, One Step Closer, Points of Authority, Crawling
Fear Factory: Demanufacture
Flashback to early 2000, I was 11 years old and stumbled upon the original Mortal Kombat movie on TV when I wasn’t supposed to. During the fight scene with Scorpion and Johnny Cage, I remember hearing a song in the background and it completely captivated me. Back then, I didn’t have instant access to Google or the internet in general (who remembers the days of dial-up!?) so I waited until the end credits to find out what this song was. ‘Zero Signal‘ still remains as one of my favourite Fear Factory tracks to this day and the entire Demanufacture album is not only my favourite album by the band, but is one of my top 10 favourite albums of all time.
Released: 11th June 1995
Favourite Track(s): Demanufacture, Self Bias Resistor, Zero Signal, H-K (Hunter-Killer)
Lamb of God: Sacrament
What. An. Album. This record is absolutely flawless from beginning to end. I first discovered Lamb of God during the aforementioned Unholy Alliance Chapter 2 show where they supported Slayer in 2006. I had zero clue what I was getting in to but when they tore up the stage during their setlist, I knew I’d be a fan for life and picked up a copy of Sacrament the following day.
Released: 21st August 2006
Favourite Track(s): Walk With Me In Hell, Again We Rise, Redneck, Pathetic, More Time To Kill.
Deathstars: Termination Bliss
When I was younger, I was a bit of a night owl and would often stay up until 4am to watch Scuzz and Kerrang! for their heavier metal playlists whilst I did my homework in a procrastinatey panic. Deathstars were one such band that were often played between that golden timeframe between 1am and 4am, especially ‘Cyanide.’ Deathstars are a particularly nostalgic band for me; they remind me of who I was then, who I am now and who I never want to be again. If Swedish, gothic glam metal full of the theatrics and synthy goodness is your jam, give these guys a spin; you won’t be disappointed.
Favourite Track(s): Blitzkrieg, Cyanide, The Last Ammunition, Virtue to Vice
System of a Down: Mezmerize
System of a Down are iconic, whether you love them or hate them, they are well known for their politically charged themes and downright absurd insanity. A wee 16 year old me was obsessed with this record and often played it back to back with a lot of the albums listed in this article. I would often be spotted gliding through the ancient corridors of my crumbling high school like a nerdy spectre blasting ‘B.Y.O.B‘ through the earphones of my 256mb MP3 player.
Released: 17th May 2005
Favourite Track(s): B.Y.O.B, Revenga, This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I’m On This Song, Question!
Killswitch Engage: The End of Heartache
The second live show I ever went to and the only show I’ve ever seen at Glasgow’s infamous Barrowlands Ballroom. In my humble opinion, the Howard Jones era of Killswitch Engage is by far the strongest and most successful. His vocal range between brutal growls and soaring melodic power is something that few can match. Discovered through the movie soundtrack for Resident Evil: Apocalypse, I instantly fell in love with this record and still have it in my random Spotify playlist.
Released: 3rd May 2004
Favourite Track(s): Take This Oath, When Darkness Falls, Rose of Sharyn, The End of Heartache, Wasted Sacrifice.
Arch Enemy: Doomsday Machine
For years, Angela Gossow was an absolute legend for me. As I was navigating my way through the world that is metal as a naïve yet eager teenaged student, I stumbled upon ‘Nemesis‘ and my mind was absolutely blown. Angela Gossow was the first female I had ever heard who was capable of making such brutal, gutteral growls. Even now with Alissa White-Gluz at the helm, this record is still an absolute banger and White-Gluz does it absolute justice.
Released: 13th July 2005
Favourite Track(s): Nemesis, My Apocalypse, Skeleton Dance
Not only was this the album that got me hooked on Trivium in the first place but it is one of my top 10 favourite albums of all time. I played this record to absolute death and had the poster on my bedroom wall as a teenager (much to my mother’s dismay – not sorry, Maw). This record is another example of absolute flawlessness from beginning to end and will forever be what I perceive to be Trivium’s best album to date.
Released: 7th March 2005
Favourite Track(s): Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr, Ascendancy, A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation, Like Light to the Flies, Dying in your Arms
Metallica: Ride the Lightning
For me, this is Metallica’s ultimate record. From beginning to end, this album throws out banger after banger. It just so happens to be the very first record I ever bought with my own hard-earned cash from my first part-time job when I was 15. Albeit 20 years after it’s release, I remember being obsessed with buying this record after discovering Metallica playing For ‘Whom The Bell Tolls’ on VH1 as an itty bitty 12 year old a few years before.
Released: 26th July 1984
Favourite Track(s): Ride the Lightning, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Trapped Under Ice, Creeping Death.