We finished up the front half and now we are on the back half of this gigantic list (I think I used my golf references correct...right?) Anyways, we are officially half way through this top 350 albums of all time list and now we get even closer to that elusive number 1 spot. WHat could it be? hmmm, we'll find out soon enough! But till then let's get there with 174 other amazing albums!
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!
175.) This Will Not End Well- GOFUCKYOURSELF (2009)
FFO- Death Metal, Grindcore, Mathcore, Progressive Metal
One of my favorite bands to have ever come out of the Twin Cities. This band literally did not care who they offended both musically and lyrically. For that reason, the band stood out amongst the MN metal scene at the time and put a huge staple into my enjoy of music and drumming style. While this is technically an EP, I'm still counting it as an album because these 5 tracks are worth praising on a list like this. And again, some LPs are shorter than this EP so, I don't care, it fits. If you want one of the most unapologetic pieces of recorded music in the 21st century, do what you can to get this EP and enjoy it as much as I do. So many great twists and turns that really make any musician smile and fans' jaws drop. While sadly is no more, all the guys in the bands are doing other great musical ventures worth checking out. But seriously, go check this out or THIS WILL NOT END WELL
174.) Hope Drone- Cloak Of Ash (2015)
FFO- Atmospheric Black Metal, Post Black Metal
Hope Drone is such an amazing band that will only get better and better as time goes on. Their unique blends of black metal mixed with post and atmospheric elements make this band so much enjoyable and authentic. Every song on this release is a lengthy one, but it's well worth the trip. It's the kind of roller coaster that brings you through hell and back on every track but a ride you never want to get off. I can't wait to see where the band goes 5-10-15 years from now. *They have a new album coming out August 30th, I'm chomping at the bit to hear it*
173.) Goatwhore- Constricting Age Of The Merciless (2014)
FFO- Blackened Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Goatwhore may be the tightest live band the world will ever see. The band's musicianship is bar none; especially considering the speed, riffs, and blasts that they play. This 5 year old album may have the most polished sound on any Goatwhore album to date (which depending on who you ask is good or bad). The songs though, you can't deny how fantastic these songs came out and stand out as some of, if not the best songs in the band's catalog to date. Even if you have never checked out this band because of the band name, drop your prejudice and give this album a shot, you just may be very well surprised at the quality of music you've been missing.
172.) So Hideous- Laurestine (2015)
FFO- Post Black Metal, Blackgaze
If we never get another album from these guys (the band hasn't really been active/talkative since it's release outside of a few shows here and there) it still may go down as the greatest Blackgaze concept album ever. The short version of the concept is the brain being active after one dies for 7 minutes and what goes on in the brain for those 7 minutes. It's an incredible hard album to get through with that concept in mind, but it is such a rewarding one at the same time. It's so hauntingly beautiful and it pulls at your heartstrings and gives you chills at every possible moment it can. This is an album that really went under the radar, but it is an album that should not be overlooked anymore. Go check it out and enjoy *NOTE: I can't recommend the "orchestral version" of this album that was released. The concept sounded perfect, but the production value is way too hot and you can still hear the actual band if you got the volume up at normal levles. If it ever gets remixed or remastered, then ABSOLUTELY, get this too*
171.) Aborted- Terrorvision (2018)
FFO- Brutal Death Metal, Goregrind, Progressive Metal
I absolutely love it when an established band like Aborted can forge a new path in their style and remain just as brutal and intense as ever....if not more so. Terrorvision brings upon. All of the Goregirnd, Brutal Death (and slam?) that you love about the band is still in tact, but they made the songs more diverse by adding more relaxing atmospheric moments, added keyboards, and time signature changes to make the brutal parts sound even more aggressive while at the same time, show that the band is capable of so much more than what's been established. I hope other brutal metal bands take note of Terrorvision, this is what makes you stand out from the crowd, not just how low you can tune, how guttural your vocals can get, and how fast you can play. Terrorvision is my kind of horror!
170.) Cage- Hell Destroyer (2007)
FFO- Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Sean Peck has one of the greatest Falsetto screams this side of King Diamond. Cage is such an underrated power metal band that has put out some amazing work since it's infancy. Hell Destroyer is what helped bring Cage to the forefront in the power metal community with it's first full track being one that can rip your soul apart. The rest of the album goes from bombastic heavy metal goodness to the ever raging power metal speed we all know and love. Cage is a band that has put out so much great material and my starting point was Hell Destoyer, I recommend you doing the same, then check out the rest of their work. If you dig power metal I can imagine how you would be disappointed.
169.) Behemoth- The Satanist (2014)
FFO- Blackened Death Metal
Going from Christian Power Metal to Satanic Blackened Death Metal; I guess you can say I have eclectic tastes. But anyways, what do you do when you defeat blood cancer? Well you put out your greatest album to date about the devil himself, of course! The concept album goes through as many evil, death metal, black metal, and other forms of dark metal in a way that is so pleasing to hear from start to finish. While I know Nergal and Co. are going to continue to write some great music. They are not going to top this album from start to finish. I just don't know how it could physically be done.
168.) Leprous- Bilateral (2011)
FFO- Progressive Metal
With a band like Leprous, there is no wrong album to say is your favorite or their best album. You could make an argument for any album the band's ever growing catalog and it will be a convincing one for a band that has shown off so many sides of their songwriting. I'm probably copping out by picking out the album that brought me to the Leprous dance, but Bilateral is such a great progressive metal album. The sophomore album from the band brought the band to a bigger stage and started getting worldwide attention to what has become one of the most celebrated bands in prog. As mentioned, the band crosses so many musical boundaries and it all started being refined with Bilateral. Go check it out and see where the band started getting the well deserved praise.
167.) Fallujah- The Flesh Prevails (2014)
FFO- Atmospheric Death Metal
While the affects may not have shown quite yet, this may be one of the most influential death metal albums of the 21st century going forward. Proving that you can have death metal and tech death elements mixed in with atmospheric, post elements to complete perfection. This is how you redefine an established genre. While I will honestly say I haven't enjoyed the band nearly as much since (or even before) this album; The Flesh Prevails is one of those albums that is put on such a pedestal that I don't know how the same band could possibly top it. It's perfection in every sense of the word.
166.) Kataklysm- Serenity In Fire (2004)
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
While the argument that the latest album from Kataklysm, Meditations, is the best album in the band's career (which it really is), I still have to give my favorite nod to Serenity of Fire. This was another life changing album for me that helped me in finding death metal that had a true sense of melody, harmony and groove. Plus you simply can't deny the founding fathers of the hyperblast beat. This album has a raw, but pure sound to it while songwriting that is off the charts. There is a reason why it is so loved to this day. While again, Meditations is the best album in the band's discography; give Serenity in Fire a chance as well. It's sucha quality album.
165.) Municipal Waste- The Art Of Partying (2007)
FFO- Crossover Thrash
Sometimes you need to take all the seriousness out of music, and the world in general, and just party and have fun. That's what Municipal Waste started out being, and for the most part still maintains (though they have updated their lyrical content a bunch since this album). This album is a purely fun, fast, aggressive, crossover thrash album. That's all the band ever needs to be. But as they have added more to the band's Rolodex, that can only be seen as a bonus. If you need a break from the stresses of life, throw on some Municipal Waste and just party (whoever it is that you party, that is).
164.) Into Eternity- The Scattering Of Ashes (2006)
FFO- Progressive Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal
Given the circumstances of recent times, it's really hard to listen to this album. My good friend, Adam Sagan, wrote out the drum parts for this album while still in the band, and every time I hear this album, I can't help but think about him. Coming up on 3 years since his passing coming up in December, this album, and ESPECIALLY the album after it (The Incurable Tragedy) just wrecks me given how he passed. But enough about that (for now) This album is a progressive death metal masterpiece. Taking so many great formulas in songwriting and make it so catchy and heavy amongst it's time signature changes and ferocious vocal changes is a wonder to behold. This is a band that has gone through so many ups and downs that it can make your head spin, but at least of all the tragedies, there is quality music to be enjoyed. This is by far my favorite of them all.
163.) Tokyo Motor Fist- Tokyo Motor Fist (2017)
FFO- Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
Despite my efforts, this album really went under the radar to the masses, so it's my duty to promote it proper again. This album is such a fun throwback to what made 80s hard rock and heavy metal fun. Combining some of the great names of the genre at the time and having them come together for music of this quality in 2017 is something to be cherished. You're not going to get the most genre changing album here, it's not going to be something that makes your jaw drop from its innovation. It's just a completely solid album that brings back those 1980s memories of rock and metal. That's all they never need to be and when the next album comes out in 202, I can't wait to see where they go next.
162.) The Mantle- The Mantle (2017)
FFO- Instrumental Metal
This is not hyperbole; this is my favorite debut album from an instrumental band, ever. The absolute masterclass of songwriting that is shown on this album is awe-inspiring. It's as if you are literally hearing an electrified orchestrated album from just what you hear in a normal band setup. No matter how heavy, proggy, or mellow the songs get, it feels so majestic and forward thinking. If this is what two guys could come up with on their own in a minimal setup, I simply can't wait to see where the band goes now with a full group and how much more exploration is in store for this band. Give The Mantle all the praise you can, they deserve it.
161.) Unearth- The Oncoming Storm (2004)
FFO- New Wave Of American Heavy Metal, Metalcore
It's still baffling to me that Unearth was one of the more underground bands when the NWOAHM/Metalcore scene started getting recognized in the early to mid 00s. They brought a sense of melodic hardcore to the scene that the other bands just did not bring. It was as brutal as it was fascinating to dissect how each member of the band was able to pull off their parts. Between songs like The Great Dividers, Black Hearts Now Reign, and Zombie Autopilot (easily my favorite Unearth song); The oncoming storm was a metalcore masterpiece that still holds up to this day. Listen and find out why.
160.) Insomnium- Across The Dark (2009)
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
Another point on the Finnish score board for best metal bands per capita, Insomnium is such a killer band who has never released a dud, and I don't think they could if they even tried. Across the Dark was when the world really started to take notice of the band and the world truly saw what the band was capable of. While I will say their 2017 EP/LP/One Song Divided Into 7 Parts or Kept as One Track Depending On The Version You Got), Winter's Gate is by far the best thing they have done; I went with my 2nd favorite release that in undoubtedly an LP and easily some of the most beautiful melodeath you wille ver hear.
159.) Pagan's Mind- Heavenly Ecstasy (2011)
FFO- Progressive Power Metal
What an amazing band Pagan's Mind truly is. They have a way of taking the progressive and power metal genres and making them sound so epic and catchy in ways that should not even be possible. As of right now, the latest studio release from the band serves as a great reminder of why the band should never be forgotten as we wait for new music. Seriously, the melodies, harmonies, heaviness, hooks, etc; everything about this band is what I love about both genres when done right and it's hard to find bands that do it better. Keep Pagan's Mind on your mind and check them out. You'll see what I mean and fall in love.
158.) Circus Maximus- Nine (2012)
FFO- Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
Through the band's 4 album discography so far, the band has gone from showing their inspirations, to forging their own path, to forging even more different paths. The band's 3rd release, Nine really shows off what the band has learned from their first two albums and improves upon everything hundredfold. No matter how commercial or grandiose the music gets, it feels completely and utterly natural and fresh in a way that only hearing it can be truly appreciated. I can't wait to see where Circus Maximus goes with their next album as since the organic sound of Nine took place 7 years ago, things have only gotten better and I know it will continue to do so.
157.) Frank Zappa- Sheik Yerbouti (1979)
FFO- Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Avant Garde, Frank Zappa
I can't believe this album is 40 years old now! Possibly considered Zappa's best known, or at least commercially accepted album, Sheik Yerbouti explores so many different sides of 70s Zappa era and little nods as to what to expect from the 80s Zappa album. There's no fair way to really describe a Zappa album with written words, it can only be truly done by listening to the albums. Sheik Yerbouti is no exception, Basically, if you ever heard of Zappa and wanna know where to start, this is the album to start with.
156.) The Mute Gods- Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth (2017)
FFO- Progressive Rock
One of the greatest bands that will just tear you apart with the realism in the band. While the band is one of the commercial sounding and catchiest bands in prog right now...just listen to the lyrics. On this album, in particular, is one that is especially heartbreaking because it really makes the case that we ruined this planet and there is no chance of saving it. I've said it many times elsewhere, but this is one of my favorite albums that completely bums me out. Check it out and see why.
155.) S.O.D.- Speak English Or Die (1985)
FFO- Thrash Metal, Punk Rock, Hardcore
When you talk about unapologetic album, there is nothing that really tops S.O.D.'s debut album. This album is one that just fueled the fires of the world. Even with the album slightly under 29 minutes, not a single second is wasted. Where you laugh, get pissed, or just love the riffs, there is something for you on this album and it's a great throwback to that 1980s metal, punk, core angst that helped keep all of those genres alive.
154.) Inter Arma- The Cavern (2014)
FFO- Doom Metal, Sludge Metal, Post Metal
Another release that can be considered an LP, EP, or one long song, depending on who you ask. Regardless, it's 46 minutes long, that's long enough top be considered for this release. Plus, if I left it out, I would be leaving out the band's best work. When I think of bands that do doom/death/sludge metal, I need there to be something that makes it stand out from it's peers to make me go back, and that's exactly what The Cavern does in strides. This 46 minute monstrosity of a track takes you on an epic journey that can be fun, scary, heavy, catchy, and exhilarating. No matter how you classify the band, this is how bands of this style/genre need to be in the future, take your sound make it the best it can possibly be. While the band has released more music since The Cavern, they took a lot of inspiration from this song, and it really show. Start off your Inter Arma journey with their best work!
153.) Alice In Chains- Dirt (1992)
FFO- Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
I refuse...I resist calling Alice in Chains a grunge band as they are so much more than that and I never heard grunge in their sound at all (same goes for Soundgarden). Dirt is widely considered the band's best work and yes, it is. While other albums sounded more commercial, more mellow and even reached doom metal territory on their latest release. Dirt has the darkest lyrics in the band's history and it completely fits the mold of the album. How you could write an album this dark and not have it destroy the band is something to commend, it would destroy weaker souls. While some of the best known AIC songs are on this album, their b-sides are easily some of the band's finest work as well. On a whole, this is an album's album. The type of album you have to listen to start to finish to get the full effect. and once that effect hits...it moves you. If you never have, do it now!
152.) Helmet- Meantime (1992)
FFO- Groove Metal, Alternative Metal
Dirt wasn't the only album in 1992 that changed my life, so did Meantime. This absolute monster of a groove metal album is exactly that, a metal album that truly grooves. While the band's best known song, Unsung is also featured on this album, it is still a song that I have never gotten sick of, which is rare of a band's biggest song to do that for me. The whole album from start to finish just makes you bob your head and appreciate the down tuned tones going on and it makes you instantly want to start the album over after it's done. A perfect sign of a fantastic album. WHile you are waiting for new music from the band, In The Meantime, check out this album!
151.) Gojira- Magma (2016)
FFO- Groove Metal, Progressive Metal
Are the death metal days of Gojira gone? Maybe? But regardless, I absolutely love what Gojira has turned into and yeah, Magma is their finest album front to back. Does it have all my favorite tracks? No, but it is the album I can go back the most and enjoy from start to finish more than anything else in their extensive catalog. If that is the price to pay for a band becoming more commercial and accessible, than I am completely fine with wherever the band goes next. Maybe tehy'll go make From Mars To Sirius II, or they will continue down this current route, maybe a mixture of both? WHo Knows? Only the band, and I can't wait to see what happens next, till then, go pick up Magma nad hear those chunky grooves, soothing clean vocals,a nd overall aggression take a hold of you.
And there we go folks, 8 parts down in this 14 part list. TO say that I am anything other than exhausted would be a complete lie, but it's all worth it and even after 200 albums; the best is still to come! Tune in tomorrow for Part IX: 150-126!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)