Hey, Flight here. It's my birthday, and I thought it would be appropriate to take a walk down memory lane with an old list of mine. I listen to a LOT of music on a daily basis, much of it new. While that is largely amazing and I feel blessed to hear so many amazing releases early, it doesn't leave a ton of time to revisit old favorites. With that in mind, I thought back on which albums I have made the most time for, and the ones that I simply can't get out of my head. These are a few of those infectious records.
This is certainly the newest album on this list, but damned if this isn’t the most vile and all-consumig, earworm blackened sludge albums of all time. Dripping with a sadomasochistic groove, Lord Mantis' Death Mask is an album that you don’t soon forget. The filthy riffs will be etched in your brain for weeks...even more so than the controversial album art.
I couldn't leave out an Enslaved album, but how do you pick? Mardraum has, in my mind, the best of all of the worlds of the band. The more classic 2nd wave sound, an increased focus on the progressive and technical side of things, and a bit of Pink Floyd to boot. Isa and Blodhemn would be good picks as well, but I think I can manage with this one alone If I had to make a choice.
I need a little more black metal to vary things up, but it's got to be a slapper. Something to keep me awake and energized. Absu is just the thing with their breakneck speed, thrashy riffs, and maniacal drumming. By and large, one of the best USBM releases to ever be pressed to vinyl.
This list wouldn't be complete without Nine Inch Nails. Many fans would reach for The Downward Spiral on reflex, but for me it's all about The Fragile. Not only am I getting a better runtime out of it, this album is just an amazing experience from start to finish. You get the heavier 90's sounds of classics like "Starfuckers" and "We're In This Together" along with lighter fair like "The Frail."
I've been a Tool fan for too long to not take one of theirs with me as well. It was a toss-up with Lateralus, but Aenima is my personal favorite. Much like above, I can get spacey with some of the chiller tracks and then get angry with "Hooker with a Penis" and "Aenima." Hey, I'm not going to live to see the new album see the light of day, so I might as well bring their best work.
I could never imagine how much this album would blow my mindballs. It stands to me as one of the best mathcore albums ever made. These guys were fusing jazz and other styles into the genre long before groups like Pelgrim or Wrvth. What The Number 12 Looks Like You lacks in some of the heaviness of DEP, they make up for in more varied songwriting and dual vocalist attacks. They put on a super energetic show as well.
The second most-recent album here, Protest The Hero's Volition is one of the greatest collection of pump-me-up tracks ever compiled. Every damn song is a sing-along delight while being backed by some of the hookiest guitar riffs to delight my eardrums. "Mist," "Plato's Tripartite," "Underbite"...all instant classics. I already listen to this album almost every other week, so I would be foolish to leave it behind. It's going to keep me amped during the car chase.
The. Best. Melodeath. Album. Period. I remember spending an entire summer listening to this almost exclusively on a burned disc. Catchy riffs, powerful vocals, excellent energy. It's an extremely consistent album while creating enough differentiation in the hooks to help them each stand on their own. Dark Tranquillity is another band that is difficult to take only one album from, but I feel pretty happy with this choice.
This is Lamb of God's finest hour. I am still a fan, but no moment can compete with the first time "11th Hour" came on Headbangers Ball one night. The gritty production, extreme vocals, and once more, incredible guitar work all over this album is the perfect recipe for raging, pumping iron, and getting into the pit. It's like a bag of potatoe chips: you can't just listen to one track...you've got to have them all.
Total classic. I am not a fan of the new album for the first time in a long time, but nothing will ever dethrone this as one of my favorite albums of all time. Deftones hit the nail on the head with the aggressive-yet-melancholic atmosphere, unique guitar and vocal styles, and endless hits. Bonus points in that a lot of the songs have to do with driving. "Passenger," "Knife Party," and "Digital Bath" are all taking me for a joyride. Just a bummer that "Be Quiet and Drive" is not on this one.
This is it. My go-to album. In any given situation, Poison the Well's third record always gets me through it. Those D-BEATS! The drumming is all around top notch and never fails to get me moving. That's not even to mention the killer riffs and powerful vocals. I could play, scream, and sing along to this one all day. I'll be banging the hell out of the dashboard with those flashing lights in the rearview. Come and get me.