3 Parts Down, 11 More To Go! It's a pure labor of love, but the response has been fantastic so far, so let's see what happens next!
Here's How The Rules Go Down:
1.) 14 Lists of 25 albums a piece, counting down from 350 to 1.
2.) No more than one album per project, otherwise this list would be in the 1,000s.
3.) This list is as close of order as I could get it and be somewhat happy. If I overthink it, I could easily rewrite this whole list in a new order over and over again. Right now, I'm happy with it enough to write it down for the world to see.
4.) If there is an album/band/artist missing from this list that doesn't fit the criteria above (mainly number 2) it is because I either didn't hear it enough, didn't like it as much, it's too new to me to be fair to add to the list, or it just isn't my bag...baby!
5.) My list isn't your list. Your favorite band might not be on here, it might be too low for you, a band you hate might be too high for you. Just remember, it's just my opinion.
6.) The goal of this gigantic list is to show off my roots, what I love in the past, and now, and most importantly, to show YOU something that you may not be familiar with that you may enjoy. If you can't find something to enjoy within these 350 albums, we are just not going to click musically. Different Strokes...
7.) Yes, I enjoy every single album here. Every album I can enjoy front to back, not wanting to skip a track. Not a single album on here is just thrown in to fill out the list, nor is there a single album that I feel is weak. To me, it's all killer and no filler.
So...Let's get it on!
275.) Soulfly- Prophecy (2004)
FFO- Groove Metal, Thrash Metal, Industrial
Max Cavalera's Soulfly, after some soul searching, has only gotten better with age. With every proceeding album, it has only gotten heavier, faster, and more brutal over time. That all started with the resurgence album , Prophecy. Cavalera really knew where he wanted Soulfly to go at this point and it truly shows in the dedicated songwriting. While the industrial and nu metal influences are still hinted at, It was the heaviest Soulfly album to date at the time and they've only continued pushing those boundaries ever since. This is the great watershed album going between industrial and death metal and it's perfection.
274.) Against The Wall- The Truth (2009)
FFO- Hard Rock, Progressive Rock
This album is criminally underrated. A seamless blend of hard rock, prog, and heavy metal that sounds so catchy and accessible. The production really showcases the whole band perfectly and it just gives you this great sense of joy and wonder, and of course that wonder is how they are not filling stadiums. Seriously an underrated gem that is worthy of your time.
273.) Horrendous- The Chills (2012)
FFO- Progressive Death Metal, Death
There is zero denying that Horrendous shows off their Death influence on their sleeves (especially the first 3 albums) but that is not the only card they have up their sleeves. Combining a great sense of prog, thrash, and a evil raw production gives The Chills the ability to live up to it's name. It can give you the chills as you listen. WHile many can argue that the subsequent albums are better, and in some cases they are. This is the rawest they have sounded and it only gets better from here, so start here and enjoy!
272.) Arctic Sleep- Arbors (2012)
FFO- Progressive Metal, Post Metal, Alternative Metal
This Wisconsin band is a band that can grab your interest and never let go. Arbors, in particular, bridges the gap between instrumental songs and vocal songs in such a great way. A mix between Devin Townsend, Deftones, and Pelican really makes this band stand out amongst the masses and they have yet to put out anything other than stellar work. Arbors is where I started and you should too!
271.) Pig Destroyer- Phantom Limb (2007)
FFO- Grindcore, Noise
Pig Destroyer is the definition of modern grindcore and of their wave, no one can do it better. The title track's breakdown is the sickest in music and it's nearly meaningless for anyone to try to do one better. At first it may feel like a gargled mess, but give it time, you'll see how smart this album truly is.
270.) Vaura- Selenelion (2012)
FFO- Progressive Metal, Shoegaze, Black Metal, Post Rock
There's so many subgenres I could list under Vaura (especially with every single different album), but Vaura is truly one of the most proficiently effective bands of experimentation. While other albums have gone either way heavier or way mellower, the dbue album shows off both sides, as if it's there to say this is what we have to offer you in the future, so strap in. What an amazing band.
269.) Nailed To Obscurity- Black Frost (2019)
FFO- Doom Metal, Death Metal
One of the greatest death/dooms in the business have put out their latest album back in January of this year and it's a mindblowing experience. It's such a great melding of death, doom, sorrow, and oddly uplifting music that pulls you in with it's passion and makes you stay with it's execution. Easily one of the best albums of the year and easily one of my favorite albums ever (hence why it's in the list).
268.) Alter Bridge- AB III (2010)
FFO- Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Alter Bridge is a modern day savior of modern rock radio music. They instantly prove with every album that no matter how heavy, how commercial, or how mellow they get, they will always write bangers that will bring you back every time for more. AB III is the right culmination of all of those in one album, not too much of anything on the album it's just...right...all the way through and it's just what you want in a band like this. If you haven't yet, go check out Alter Bridge and see what I mean.
267.) Saor- Roots (2015)
FFO- Folk Metal, Atmospheric Black Metal
This band is what is saving both folk metal and atmospheric black metal. Between their long epics, their instrumentation and there never ending sense of wonder that brings your imagination to a new landscape with every song; Saor just does everything perfectly. The debut album from Saor is what brought them to the table and now, they are here to stay.
266.) Bison- Dark Ages (2010)
FFO- Sludge Metal, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal
Currently the middle album for the band, their 3rd LP stands out as the album that really pushed the band's boundaries in all directions. This is by far their heaviest work and I'm not sure if it will be topped, or if it should be. Don't get me wrong, every album is great, and their diversity on other albums is really what seals the deal on this band, but their pure heaviness and the instinct to explore what the band is about at this time is what needed to happen and to be, it stands out as their best work.
265.) Minus The Bear- OMNI (2010)
FFO- Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock, Indie Rock
Who would have thought this was the founding members of the band, Botch, eh? The 4th album from the band that named themselves after the punchline of a dirty joke is one that truly shows what the band is all about. It's pop sensibilities, it's odd time signatures that feel so natural, their distinct sound becoming so natural. OMNI has it all and so much more. it is well worth the listen.
264.) Suicidal Tendencies- Lights...Camera...Revolution (1990)
FFO- Crossover Thrash
This standout album really helped put the Suicidal Army on the map. It showed the beginnings of a new route of the band, showing off more rock sensibilities than ever before and with that, some tinges of funk, that would later be shown off more in the band Infectious Grooves. From top to bottom this is one of, if not the strongest ST album and it definitely warrants that claim. Just a completely solid album.
263.) Oceansize- Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up (2010)
FFO- Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal
The final album from this UK act is without a doubt their strongest. It's almost as if they knew this would be off and wanted to give the band a proper send off and show appreciation to fans old and new. Everything you love about the band is here from it's complex song structures, to it's quirky sense of humor, to emotional hooks are shown in strides and its such a great way to say farewell to the band. Fantastic work!
262.) From A Second Story Window- Conversations (2008)
FFO- Post Hardcore, Progressive Metal, Emo
The 2nd and final album from this band was sadly the last offering from the band, but they left such a big impact. Their sensibilities of emotional lyrics and tones matched with it's heavy structures and style changes at the turn of a dime make this band such a pleasure to listen to. It's a shame the band broke up with this release, but alas, we got this, and their debut to enjoy.
261.) Probot- Probot (2004)
Dave Grohl may have quote unquote "killed" metal with Nirvana, but he sure knew how to revive it in 2004. Taking some of the greatest voices in all forms of metal and showcasing them each with a different song all written and performed by Grohl himself. It's a loving tribute to that gene of music we all know and love and no matter what you listen to, it has a song that was mean for you. Such a solid but underground release.
260.) Kyuss- Blues For The Red Sun (1992)
FFO- Stoner Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
Let's just call a spade a spade here. Kyuss was the greatest stoner metal band ever. Their legacy is untainted, all parties are now doing what they love, but when they were together, they gave us some of the great albums in it's genre. Blues For The Red Sun is that album that made me fall in love with the band, along with so many others like myself. It's perfect sense of rock, metal and fuzz is untouchable. While often imitaded, it'll never be duplicated, ever!
259.) Grave Digger- Healed By Metal (2017)
FFO- Heavy Metal
WHile there are so many great bands to come out of Germany, Grave Digger is easily one of the greatest, consistent metal bands from the country. Healed By Metal shows that it doesn't matter how many albums you put out, you can always become bigger and better, no matter how long it takes. This album is perfect from start to finish and it's everything you've wanted out of the band, at least I know it is for me. Seriously, give this a shot.
258.) Sonata Arctica- Reckoning Night (2004)
FFO- Power Metal
When you think power metal, at least one of the first 3-5 bands you think of is Sonata Arctica and their greatest work was graciously given to us in the form of Reckoning Night. The entire album is what power metal stands for in every sense of the genre and it just puts a big grin on your face. Just a fantastic album!
257.) Falloch- Where Distant Spirits Remain (2011)
FFO- Atmospheric Metal, Folk Metal
Another dangerously underrated band whose 2011 album just opened my eyes to what atmosphere can really add to metal, if not, music in general. Every song just drops your jaw in astonishment and leaves you wanting more. No matter how heavy or somber the music gets, it always keeps your attention and you never want to leave. That is how good music should be. (Andy Marshall, formerly of Falloch went on to form Saor).
256.) 96 Bitter Beings- Camp Pain (2018)
FFO- Hard Rock, Alternative Metal, CKY
The split in the CKY camp (pain) was not a pretty one in the slightest, but on the plus side, we did get a new band that keeps the spirit of the old school CKY style alive in 96 Bitter Beings. Deron Miller keeps his signature style in tact and brings you an undated 2018 approach to what CKY could have been had he stayed in the band, and it's honestly one of the best CKY styled albums ever made. It just works in every single way and it's great that it FINALLY is able to be enjoyed.
255.) Bad Religion- New Maps Of Hell (2007)
FFO- Punk Rock
I don't really know how this album ranks amongst the BR diehards, but this is by far my favorite album from the band and one of my favorite punk albums ever. Every song feels so perfect. NO matter how fast or slow things get, it feels almost like the last truly great Bad Religion album (at least so far). NOt to knock the two albums to come after, but NMOH is just what I look for in the band and no album since (or even prior) has done it this well. A perfect punk album.
254.) Meshuggah- Destroy, Erase, Improve (1995)
SO what happens when you destroy, erase, and improve one's sound. For Meshuggah, it means putting our your finest work. While many will disagree (saying Nothing or ObZen is better) DEI is just that perfect Meshuggah album, where the band realized what they wanted to accomplish as a collective and improved it a hundred fold. While other albums have their charm, DEI is the one Meshuggah album (besides Nothing) where I can listen from start to finish and never want to press the skip button or listen to something else. It was the right album at the right time and they did it so very well.
253.) The Haunted- rEVOLVEr (2004)
FFO- Melodic Death Metal, Thrash Metal
As you may have guessed by this point, 2004 was a big year of discovery for me, musically, and The Haunted was another band that grabbed me and never let go with this particular album. It's just that heavy, aggressive, and oddly poppy side of melodeath that only The Haunted could accurately explore, while the band explored so much territory after this album, rEVOLVEr was the last album of it's era to really shine that melodeath flag high and for that, I salute it!
252.) GWAR- Lust In Space (2009)
FFO- Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal
Again, I have no idea what the verdict of this album is with the GWAR fanbase, but for me, this is the album I always wanted from GWAR that I never thought I'd get. A full on progressive rock/progressive metal concept album, that you just can't take seriously, but works on every single level. That's why I love GWAR, despite the story, characters, and the stage show, they are phenomenal musicians, and this is the album that finally showed that off in all forms. Hail Orderus!
251.) Harakiri For The Sky- III: Trauma (2016)
FFO- Blackgaze, Post Black Metal
While there has yet to be a subpar HFTS album, Trauma is the album that really let the emotional side take place at it's strongest at the time. The personal lyrics can hit home with anyone. The songwriting it phenomenal and it's one of the strongest examples of why the post black metal, blackgaze genres should be ignored no longer. IF you want your black metal to really grab your soul, check out Harakiri for the Sky.
And there we go folks, 100 albums done over 4 parts and only 10 parts left to go. This is proving to be a massive undertaking but worth every second of it all. Thank you so much for enjoying, read the last 3 parts if you haven't already, and get ready for Part V: 250-226 on Monday!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)