After a couple weeks off, I have returned and here to present 25 more albums for your enjoyment. With 4 parts and 100 albums down, we are just getting to the half way point this week and the list will just keep getting better and better! SO let's get crackin' on shall we!
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!
250.) Insect Warfare- At War With Grindcore (2005)
Am I cheating with this one coming in at just barely 8 minutes in length? Possibly! But even the band's ONLY full length LP clocks in at 22 and a half minutes, so, you know what? IT COUNTS! These 8 minutes and 11 seconds of bliss goes by so fast and all you want to do is go back and enjoy every second again and again. It's a straight up grindcore release in every sense of the word. Fast, heavy, brutal, raw, and fun. If you've missed out Insect Warfare, you've missed out on one of the best Grindcore bands in the biz, go remedy that now.
249.) Polkadot Cadaver- Purgatory Dance Party (2007)
FFO- Experimental Metal, Experimental Rock, Electronic Rock
Polkadot Cadaver is a hard band to describe, much like most of the member's other band, Dog Fashion Disco. They are just a band you got to go into with an open mind, no expectations and see what you get from it. What I get from this band's debut album is a fun, quirky, exhilarating, and dark album. It goes all over the rock and metal worlds, but it is oddly accessible for as experimental as it gets. You can't tip your toe into this band, you gotta dive in and see how you feel after. I for one love it, you might too.
248.) Sabaton- Primo Victoria (2005)
FFO- Power Metal, War
Sabaton's debut album shocked the world of Power Metal for it's accessibility, fun atmosphere, and war themed lyrics that were based in reality rather than fiction. They also put one hell of a fun show no matter if you are a fan of any kind of metal genre. Primo Victoria is that album that is a perfect introduction into power metal to get your friends into the genre. If they like this, they will dig others. It all began here 14 years ago....wait, 2005 was years ago??? Ugh....
247.) We Sell The Dead- Heaven Doesn't Want You And Hell Is Full (2018)
FFO- Gothic Metal, Heavy Metal
A supergroup featuring past and present members of In Flames, Firewind and HIM? SIGN ME UP! This band is as good as that combination sounds. Taking inspiration from Jack The Ripper and adding so much more to it. This band's debut album is one o the catchiest rock albums of last year and deservingly so. no matter how heavy, light, somber, or evil it gets, it just fits perfectly and gives you a great experience from start to finish. This is an album to be experienced in it's entirety and its worth the ride!
246.) The Dear Hunter- The Color Spectrum (2011)
FFO- Indie Rock, Prog Rock, Alternative Rock
This might be another cheat as this is a collection of EPs that make a full collection, but this is my list, so deal with it. *puts on sunglasses* The Dear Hunter took a break from their Acts story arc to write a collection of EPs to represent each color of the color spectrum, from black to white and everything in between. It goes all over from quite heavy material, to electronic/industrial, to sober piano ballads to classic TDH sounds and anything you could imagine this band accomplishing; it's all here and more. This is a full blown crash course of the band with brand new material and while a bit of a journey, you'll leave satisfied with at least one or two of the EPs, if not like me and enjoy them all.
245.) Wearing Scars- A Thousand Words (2015)
FFO- Modern Rock, Alternative Metal, Progressive Metal
A fantastic UK band that really shines through it's other bands to create a unique take on what should be top 40 radio rock. As heavy as it gets, it gets just as commercial. As nearly metal and proggy as it gets, it hits you with emotional ballads. This is one of the finest pieces of mainstream style rock you will hear in the 2010s, if I dare say the 21st Century in general. This is such a gorgeous album and I really hope a follow up will be coming in the future. I need more.
244.) The Sword- Warp Riders (2010)
FFO- Stoner Rock, Progressive Rock, Classic Rock
HOW DARE I NOT PICK ONE OF THE FIRST TWO SWORD ALBUMS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??? Well a lot, actually, but this list isn't about that! I personally feel that Warp Riders is the perfect Sword album. It has the stoner feel everyone fell in love with; it adds the right amount of prog and classic rock to make me happy (and truly expand the sound in the right way), and the production is the best on ANY of their albums to date. SOme say they lost it after this album (or those that say they lost it before this album) but I again, genuinely feel that Warp Riders is THE album from The Sword that is recommended hearing and hey, maybe if you check out the album (or check it out again) it might be for you as well.
243.) Wintersun- Wintersun (2004)
FFO- Extreme Metal, Power Metal, Blackened Folk Metal
I love Wintersun. Wintersun is one of the most underrated bands in existence and every release from the band is a pure gem. But there is just something about the debut album...maybe it's because it was the first album of it's style to REALLY take over the world. No one did epic metal like THIS before that caught on as much as it did. Combining so many genres (power, folk, prog, melodeath, black metal, etc) and creating a musical melting pot that you just can't mess with. It just fills the void of what metal can be and should be. Wintersun rules and you may as well go in the order of the discography. Start with this legendary debut album and work up!
242.) Trivium- Ascendancy (2005)
FFO- Metalcore, New Wave Of American Heavy Metal
Trivium's sophomore album is a thing of beauty. While the band has taken every single left turn you can think of since this albums release; this album put the band on the map and they never truly left. So many bands have come since this album's release that had a huge impact on them. The way people look at heavy metal changed in 2005 with this album and it inspired a new legion of metal fans. And of course the music is killer. IF you want a look at how NWOAHM and Metalcore came to the forefront; check out Ascendancy.
241.) Overkill- Ironbound (2010)
FFO- Thrash Metal
One of the best thrash band's in the world had their own resurgence with Ironbound. Basically, it's a perfect thrash album from top to bottom. Everything you love about thrash is here and you this legendary east coast band at their peak form (which has yet to falter ever since) If you need your thrash fix, look no further than IronBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUND!
240.) Hurt- Vol. 1 (2006)
FFO- Alternative Metal
Hurt is a band that was so very, VERY underrated, and it is such a shame to see the band is disbanded. With the band's 3rd album, they finally hit top 40 rock radio and for the dark ones amongst us; they were the perfect band for us. Just heavy enough, just mainstream enough, just enough of a good thing. Sadly, the band started going deeper into the underground with every subsequent album until it was finally laid to rest, but we have so many great albums to check out in their discography to help remember the memory. A lost band, but one that deserves the love they get.
239.) Zimmer's Hole- While You Were Shouting At The Devil... (2008)
FFO- Heavy Metal, Comedy Metal
It saddens me that this is the last album from the band so far. 11 years is TOO LONG! They are the extreme metal version of what Steel Panther has made a full on career of. Every song is hilarious in it's own right, so fun and catchy, and hey, Nathan Explosion shows up for the intro of a song. You can't get more metal than that! If you like metal, but not take things so seriously; Zimmer's Hole is the band for you!
238.) Machine Head- Burn My Eyes (1994)
FFO- Groove Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
How is this album already 25 years old? I was in kindergarten in 94...ugh... Anyways! Machine started a legacy ups and downs musically and within the band (as if the case with pretty much every band) with 1994's Burn My Eyes, a perfect album fro the time. A good rebellion against the grunge era. It was the right amount of Pantera groove, Vio-Lence thrash, and Sabbath style heavy metal to make an impact that lives to this day. Literally! the original lineup is back and they are about to embark on playing the album live! This is a great definition of 90s metal proving that the genre was far from dead, and it didn't have anywhere to go but up!
237.) Cold- Year Of The Spider (2003)
FFO- Alternative Metal, Hard Rock
Back in 2003, this album was a great definition of how I felt as a kid in middle school. Even with 16 years later, very little has changed. This great mix of emotions of sorrow, hurt, and anger is something I think anyone can relate to. And it is catchy as all get go. Another band that should be at the top of the rock charts to this day, but they will always be that band in my pocket that I pull out when I need those school year days back and get a sense of reality. You may feel the same way.
236.) Abigail Williams- Becoming (2012)
FFO- Atmospheric Black Metal
It can be easy to knock Abigail Williams for how many style changes they have had. For me, that doesn't matter. They write what they want to write and that's how any band should be. This album is pure atmospheric black metal at it's finest and it's unadulterated Abigail Williams. A fantastic album all around and really shows off the band's musicianship and songwriting abilities in one of it's purest forms. This album just slays and even after all this time, it always will.
235.) Destrage- Are You Kidding Me? No. (2014)
FFO- Experimental Progressive Metal
Italy's Destrage is one of those rare breed that has ZERO problem writing the songs they want to write. No matter how wacky the time signatures get or how commercial it gets at the turn of a dime; it feels so purely natural and it's such a sight and sound to behold. Through the band's discography you will see the evolution of the band, but this was my introduction to the band, and for that, I think it may be a great starting point for you as well.
234.) Power Trip- Nightmare Logic (2017)
FFO- Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Crossover
This is how you do modern day thrash. You bring the old school feel but you mix in just enough of modern flavoring and you create Power Trip. One of the finest bands rolling today. They are just a fantastically solid thrash band that knows how to write killer metal songs no matter how fast or slow. IF any band has ever screamed battle vests, PBR, and circle pits in the 2010s, It's Power Trip. And right now, no one does it better!
233.) Corrosion of Conformity- No Cross, No Crown (2018)
FFO- Corrosion Of Conformity
It's hard to put COC in a box. They can go from heavy metal to crossover thrash to hardcore to sotner metal at any time. With the return of Pepper Keenan, the band return's to it's signature heavy, southern, stoner metal style that got them worldwide recognition. And it is the finest album the band has put out to date. IF you loved what the band did in the 90s through the early 2000s, this is the album for you!
232.) Tribulation- Down Below (2018)
FFO- Black 'n Roll, Gothic Metal
A band that truly wants to show that you don't need to be the heaviest band to show your true power. Tribuilation, no matter how they evolve continues to show their evil prowls and gives you great chills down your spine. Down Below is the latest example of this with it's most commercial (but far from a commercial band) sounding album to date and it's what really suits the band. An absolute powerhouse of an album and one that needs to be experienced to truly understand.
231.) Johnny B. Morbid- Fall of The Cicada (2015)
FFO- Horror Punk, Power Metal, Black Metal
The band's final album is one that leaves such a powerful last message. For the uninitiated, imagine The Misfits, Blind Guardian, and Emperor made a band. AN odd concept right? Can't imagine it working, then you clearly haven't heard the band. This album is such a great example of where to start, then go backwards and see all that you have missed. This band had it all and more, go show them some posthumous love.
230.) Hail of Bullets- III: The Rommel Chronicles (2013)
FFO- Death Metal, War, WWII History
Oh Hail of Bullets, one of the finest death metal supergroups ever assembled. Sadly we only have 3 albums and one EP from the band, but they are all magnificent. While unintentional, the band's final album is such a great closing moment for the band showcasing it's love for WWII History and playing some of the most killer old school death metal you can find. If you missed out on these guys, you are doing an injustice by waiting any longer, get to studying up on your death metal of days gone by, and I mean now before history repeats itself.
229.) Kayo Dot- Hubardo
The FFO is the only way I can describe it. Kayo Dot is guaranteed to never give you the same experience twice. One album could be a blade runner soundtrack, one could be jazz metal of hellacious fury, another can be one of the most calming experiences of your life. This double album showcases almost every style the band has tried out in some way, shape or form, but in a totally new context. Even in one song it can go from blast beats, to jazz to vapor wave to noise. It's an experience that only does justice by listening to it. Do some experimenting of your own and give Kayo Dot a show. There's bound to be at least one track you'll love on this double album.
228.) Celtic Frost- Monotheist (2006)
FFO- Gothic Metal, Black Metal, Doom Metal
The heaviest Celtic Frost album ever and it absolutely paved the way for Tom G. Warrior's future band, Triptykon. This final album was a great mission statement for where the band was at the time and a terrific send off for fans. The aggression, the heaviness, the atmosphere. It's classic Celtic Frost, but at it's darkest form. Long gone are the days of Cold Lake, but sadly as is the band. This is a pure testament to how you make a heavy album.
227.) Exhumed- Gore Metal (1998)
FFO- Goregrind, Grindcore, Death Metal
THE Grindcore album. All that came after this album have only been inspired from it. This is how you make goregrind and it's one of the most vile, disgusting, raw, and perfect albums of it's kind. Exhumed rules in all levels and there is no better place to start with the band, than it's beginning. A true metal experience.
226.) Queensryche- Operation: Mindcrime
FFO- Progressive Metal
Some say the greatest prog metal band ever. It's hard not to deny their influence and between the albums, Empire and O:M, who could really disagree? The latter is a perfect concept album that hits you in every way. From it's heavy rockers to emotional ballads, it has it all wrapped up in a great story. There is an absolute reason this album gets as much love as it does and if you have missed it all this time, you should give it a shot now!
And there we go, folks, 5 parts down and 9 more to go. This is an absolute insane idea of mine to do 350 albums, but I love every second of it and I hope you are enjoying it as well. Tomorrow will bring Part VI: 225-201.
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)