I’ve been listening to metal for a long time. A very long time. In fact, I grew up on it, and knowing my parents, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was playing in the car while I was on my way home from the hospital as a baby. It’s something that’s been a constant presence in my life. But there were a bunch of albums that I’d listen to on my own, that made me realize I loved the genre and wanted to explore it more. I’ll try not to be too cringy here, but this is a list of 10 of those albums that I must have listened to ten thousand times each growing up, inspired by a post I saw recently.
10. Rage Against the Machine- Rage Against the Machine
When I first heard this, I thought it was the heaviest shit ever. I also thought Tom Morello was some kind of alien god (still not quite convinced that he isn’t). To this day, I still enjoy putting it on from time to time even though I’ve practically memorized all the songs. Seeing Prophets of Rage recently, and seeing a lot of those songs brought to life onstage, was honestly a moment that my pre-teen self would have killed for.
9. Iron Maiden- Powerslave
I spent a lot of public school assemblies leaning against a wall with this album on. I definitely think it’s fair to say that Maiden was my favourite band growing up, next to Sabbath.
8. Iron Maiden- Piece of Mind
Without a doubt in my mind, this album represents some of Maiden’s best work, with tons of classic tracks like The Trooper, Flight of Icarus, Where Eagles Dare and Die With Your Boots On. This was, to me, the pinnacle of Maiden’s progression as a band.
7. Metallica- Ride the Lightning
I listened to a lot of Metallica around the time I was in grades 4-5. I listened to all four of Metallica’s first albums quite a bit, but this was always my favourite. At the time, it was the fastest most brutal music I had ever heard (lol) and I was intrigued by it to the point where I used to fall asleep with my headphones on while trying to pick apart all the riffs.
6. Annihilator- Alice in Hell
I was super proud of this, because it was the first album I ever bought on my own. Looking back now, it’s an alright album, but I was super excited about it because it was something I didn’t learn from my parents.
5. Megadeth- Rust in Peace
I don’t care the shit you say I will worship this album until the day I die \m/ (◣_◢) \m/ Megadeth>Metallica #Pleb4Lyfe
4. Motörhead- Overkill
Motörhead was the type of music I’d listen to when I was angry and wanted to break things. This album in particular was the soundtrack to many events involving broken objects. Motörhead and Megadeth was actually my first metal concert, if I remember correctly.
3. Children of Bodom- Are You Dead Yet
Not gonna lie, there was a period where I listened to nothing but Children of Bodom for months on end. Everyone who knows me is aware that I am a huge fan of this band and of this album in particular, since it got me into the more extreme metal. Previously, I hadn’t really bothered to venture beyond the classic bands, but one day this popped up in my suggestions and I just had to listen to it. Alexi Laiho has been a huge influence on my guitar playing for many years now, and I’ve travelled up to 7 hours by train to see them play. Would I do it again? Yes. No shame.
2. Ozzy Osbourne- Diary of a Madman
I distinctly remember the moment I first heard Randy Rhoads and decided I loved music. I was three years old, and the song was Flying High Again. I don’t know how I managed to remember that, but this is one of the only memories I have of when I was that young, and I remember it clearly. I remember being pissed that when I expressed an interest in it, my parents signed me up for piano lessons instead of guitar lessons. Didn’t end up mattering much though, because I started playing later on and learned every note from both this album and Blizzard of Ozz.
1. Black Sabbath- Black Sabbath
Some of the first songs I ever learned on guitar were Sabbath songs. In fact, my first ever song was Electric Funeral- which obviously isn’t on this album, but is one of the best examples I can think of about how much I loved Sabbath as a kid. This was always my favourite album, and Black Sabbath was always my favourite song, because I regarded it as the beginning of metal itself (and quite honestly still do). No matter how often I put this on, its potency doesn’t seem to ever fade or become lost on me, and when I play with other musicians, songs from this album are often some of the first ones we can collectively think of that we all know well enough to play at a jam session or first practice.
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This post came out longer than I expected, but hopefully it’s actually cohesive and not just mindless dribble about me when I was younger. Thanks for reading!