*In all honesty, I will be scooting by this one relatively quickly as I already wrote up this entire part of the list my host site decided to get rid of of my draft as I was editing the final touches and I now have to redo this, plus write up part 13 Today, so my apologies if this is not my best part of the list. My apologies for having this list be less in depth, but I'll try to make it count*
Part 12 of this Colossal List is here and we only got two more part of this list before we are all done. We are really getting into the nitty gritty of albums that I put on as often as possible and ones that have affected me the most. Maybe You'll have a similar feeling? Lets forge ahead with part 12!
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!
75.) Skull Fist- Chasing The Dream (2014)
FFO- Speed Metal, Heavy Metal
Canada's Skull Fist creates a great sense of speed, thrash, and heavy metal that really makes the band stand out amongst it's peers. 2014's Chasing The Dream is my favorite example of their work and gives that great 80s sound, but updated just enough to make it completely fresh. Well worth a listen.
74.) With The Dead- Love From With The Dead (2017)
FFO- Doom Metal, Stoner Metal
Lee Dorrian and doom are a perfect match. When you think of Cathedral, you wonder how much heavier doom can get, then Dorrian aligned himself with past members of Electric Wizard and made (so far) two of the heaviest, sonically brutal doom metal albums to date. The latest album from With The Dead could not possibly be heavier on all fronts and the music is top notch. Seriously, one of the best doom albums ever made.
73.) Native Construct- Quiet World (2015)
FFO- Progressive Metal
Sadly what will be a one album band. Native Construct made an amazing concept debut album with an incredible story and extremely well crafted prog songs that hit you on every level. Similar to bands like Spiral Architect, you are going to wish for a sophomore album that will never be, but that should not take away from the power and glory that is Quiet World.
72.) Thulcandra- Ascension Lost (2015)
FFO- Melodic Black Metal, Progressive Black Metal
If you like Dissection but want to not feel guilty about liking the music for...you know...reasons...check out Thulcandra. The band is a loving tribute to the melodic black metal and progressive black metal of bands like Dissection and Emperor but with all original music created by Obscura's Steffen Kummerer. Everything you love about mid to late 90s black metal (and no guilt) is covered here and it sounds amazing. The band's latest album is one that shows the band at prime originality and songwriting. Go check it out.
71.) Clutch- Earth Rocker (2013)
FFO- Hard Rock, Blues Rock
Clutch is one of the hardest working and longest running bands that has continued to have their original lineup since the beginning. in 2013, a change was needed in the band and they decided to strip away most of the keyboard influenced blues rock that had been taking over the last few clutch albums and got back to the 4 piece rock sound that people came to the party for. Earth Rocker is the heaviest Clutch album of the 21st century and with the exception of one slower song right in the middle to give you a breather (Gone Cold), this album is filled to the brim with fast, heavy, rockin' songs that makes you wanna rock hard. It's easily my favorite album from the band for that reason alone.
70.) Symphony X- Paradise Lost (2007)
FFO- Symphonic Progressive Power Metal
Paradise Lost is a pure watershed for the band. Everything that came before it had the more classic progressive power metal sound and epic tracks. Everything that came after is more consistent and heavier songs. Paradise Lost was that bridge of an album that combined the best of both and they were able to create the best SX album to date for that reason. You'll be hard pressed to find a SX fan who doesn't consider Paradise Lost one of their favorite album, if not their favorite album from the band.
69.) Cloudkicker- Beacons (2010)
FFO- Instrumental Progressive Metal, Ambient
There is a reason I use Cloudkicker tracks as themes for all of my shows, podcasts, interviews, etc (well besides the fact that they are available to use for fair use). Cloudkicker's sophomore album is one that is one of the most consistent pieces of the band's puzzle. A turning point in the band that had one of the last examples of full on metal and more emphasis on the post rock/ambient/softer side of the band that has been shown off more in the past decade. Simply put, this shows off both sides of the band perfectly in one concise LP.
68.) Raunchy- Death Pop Romance (2006)
FFO- Death Metal, Industrial Metal, Pop
Every single band since 2006 that has used the modern metal sound has Raunchy to thank for making that style popular and forging it into what it is now. Creating that viable mix of death metal, metalcore, industrial, and pop music into a special blend that can make pop fans a fan of heavy music and metalheads a fan of poppy music. While every Raunchy album rules, Death Pop Romance is their masterpiece (so far) and I can't wait to see where the band continues to go next.
67.) Black Crown Initiate- The Wreckage of Stars (2014)
FFO- Progressive Death Metal, Atmospheric Metal
Easily one of my favorite bands that has really taken off since I started off as That Drummer Guy; BCI takes extreme music, progressive death metal, black metal and ambient music to create such a unique blend of sounds that is overcomes you. Between both LPs and their debut EP, there is no wrong choice to star, but you may wanna go with the debut LP to see what the band started off as in a full length album. WHile the band has had many ups and downs, I have my complete faith in the band they will come back as the reckoning force that they deserve to be. THey are about to embark on a new tour, go see them!
66.) Ayreon- The Source (2017)
FFO- All Star Metal
Arjen Anthony Lucassen is an absolute genius of music. No matter the project that he writes for, he makes that album cycle the best that it can possibly be. With the latest Ayreon album, it is a prequel to the Ayreon story and features some of the best voices in prog, power and symphonic music. It's a masterpiece of symphonic, power and progressive music. Listen and find out why.
65.) Ghost- Opus Eponymous (2010)
FFO- Occult Rock, Heavy Metal
Before the band became the mainstream superstars that they are now (for better or worse), they were the underground satanic occult rock, heavy metal band that shook up the metal world in the early 2010s. The debut album is a perfect mix of Mercyful Fate and Blue Oyster Cult that combines the best of heavy and catchy music that band forged and refined the band into what they are today. Check out this debut album and see if your preconceived notions of the band change.
64.) Blind Guardian- Imaginations From The Other Side (1995)
FFO- Epic Power Metal
Blind Guardian is THE power metal band. They set the bar with every album they release as to what every power metal band around should be capable of at the time. In 1995, they put out one of, if not their best work with Imaginations From The Other Side. The perfect showcase of the epic, folk, and power metal the band is known for and influenced every single power metal band that came after. Blind Guardian is one of the best for a reason, find out why.
63.) Torche- Meanderthal (2008)
FFO- Alternative Metal, Stoner Metal, Doom Metal
Putting a genre label on Torche is meaningless as every album changes the band and every song on every album will sound completely different. 2008's Meanderthal is a prime example of an album that can have some of the poppiest rock songs match with some of the heaviest doom metal songs you've ever heard. WHile the band has gotten lighter with every subsequent album from here on out, they never lost what made them the established band they are with Meanderthal. Go pick up this underground classic.
62.) Bloodbath- Nightmares Made Flesh (2004)
FFO- Death Metal
Along with Paradise Lost, this was the hardest decision as to what Bloodbath album I was going to put on this list and I finally settled on Nightmares Made Flesh. I mean besides being the lone album featuring Peter Tagtgren, they band is rounded out with members from Katatonia, Edge of Sanity and Opeth playing the most brutal old school death metal. You simply couldn't ask for anything more. This is what death metal should strive to be.
61.) Panopticon- Roads To The North (2014)
FFO- North American Folk Metal
A genre that you may not have heard of, but perfect fits the style of the band. Taking the black metal and blackgaze sound mixed with North American folk instrumentation and songwriting and you get one of the most unique bands around. This album is a metaphor for the band moving from Kentucky to Minnesota and all that comes with it and it is some of the most beautiful black metal music you will ever hear. Just one listen and you'll completely understand.
60.) Faith No More- Angel Dust (1992)
FFO- Alternative Metal
The heaviest FNM album by far is also their greatest. While it is still diverse is in it's musical stylings, it covers ground from everything from alternative rock to country to cheerleader chants to death metal. Faith No More has never settled on one style for the band and they are so much stronger for that reason. ANgel Dust is the pinnacle of the band's career for good reason.
59.) Body Count- Bloodlust (2017)
FFO- Heavy Metal, Rap Metal
It's not a novelty. Ice T's metal band has put out some of the best metal albums in the past 30 years. The band's latest album is a great look into social issues, personal struggles, and a few horror metal songs thrown in for good measure. Catchy and brutal, this is what I've loved Body Count for for so long and it's about time that you do the same as well. Start here and go backwards.
58.) Amon Amarth- With Oden On Our Side (2006)
FFO- Melodic Death Metal, Viking Metal
This is the band's Back In Black, the band discovered the perfect formula for the band on this album and they have kept that songwriting formula ever since. While the band has put out some of their best songs after this album; this is BY FAR the best overall AA album to date.
57.) HIM- Razorblade Romance (2000)
FFO- Gothic Rock, Love Metal
My love of gothic music started from here and there is no shame in saying that. H.I.M. is a band that knew how to write catchy and heavy songs that you could relate to, be it the dark love songs or the more dark looks into yourself that came with later album (including what I feel is their best album Venus Doom). Razorblade Romance will always be my favorite album from the band for it's unique sense of songwriting that influenced me personally for almost 20 years now, and that is absolutely insane to think about now that it's been that long.
56.) Fleshgod Apocalypse- Veleno (2019)
FFO- Extreme Symphonic Death Metal
Simply put, sometimes the roughest patches in a band's career can lead to the band's biggest triumphs and that is exactly what happened here. WHile it's only been out a couple months now, Veleno is BY FAR the greatest achievement in the band's history, but quite possible extreme symphonic death metal as a whole. This is how you can make a complete diverse album that can make you tear things apart and make you cry at the same time. This is perfection!
55.) Rivers of Nihil- Where Owls Know My Name (2018)
FFO- Progressive Death Metal
In speaking of perfection, Rivers of Nihil has put out their magnum opus so far with 2018's epic. Taking their established sound and fusing more prog, classic rock and jazz elements was such a risky move; but it was a move that has pushed them to the upper tier of metal bands going today. the 3rd album of the bands 4 album cycle focusing on the Earth's seasons is their darkest and most depressing so far, but it is an album that may not be able to be beaten by any of their peers and it will take their greatest work to beat it in the future. This album is what I wish more bands would try to accomplish.
54.) Loch Vostok- From These Waters (2015)
FFO- Extreme Progressive Metal
One of my favorite underground bands is one that needs to be in your ears immediately. Teddy Moller has one of the most unique voices in metal, you match that with a great sense of extreme, death black, and prog metal. It feels like a mix of Fates Warning and Ihsahn. From These Waters is one fo most commercial sounding albums in the band's catalog, but nowhere near a top 40 rock band. It's an excellent starting album that should get you to see the brilliance that is LOch Vostok.
53.) Demons And Wizards- Touched By The Crimson King (2005)
FFO- Power Metal
Jon Schaffer and Hansi Kursch's immortal power metal band may have only two albums to it's name (at least so far), both albums are exactly what you would want from the masterminds behind Iced Earth and Blind Guardian. The Sophomore album, to me, refines the sound into exactly what they want the band to be and it's done to perfection. If you want the epic of epic power metal bands, it doesn't get better than Demons And Wizards.
52.) Iced Earth- Burnt Offerings (1995)
FFO- Power Metal, Thrash Metal, Black Metal
The closest thing to a black metal album Iced Earth will ever write and Matt Barlow's debut album with the band. It just doesn't get any better than that.The darkest album in the band's career my go down as one of the least talk about albums in the band's catalog, but it deserves to be one of the most talked about for everything it accomplished from story writing, to production to the 17 minute epic Dante's Inferno. Burnt Offerings is an underground classic pwoer metal album and it's about time you heard it for yourself.
51.) Vattnet Viskar- Settler (2015)
FFO- Post Black Metal, Atmospheric Metal
Writing a concept album about the 1986 Challenger explosion may be one of the darkest ideas for a metal album and VV did it to perfection. While the band went from straight up black metal to a post hardcore band; Settler was the album that was the perfect album that showcased both the post side and black metal side to the band in one of the strongest showings of blackgaze and post black metal in the 2010s. While the band is gone, the legacy will always be there, go check out all three albums, but start off with Settler, it's well worth it.
And that does it folks, there is part 12 of this mammoth list. with only the top 50 left to talk about, this adventure is coming close to an end. Thank you so much for sticking around and hopefully enjoying what you've seen so far *again I apologize for the shortness of reviews in this section, all the bands should be talked about more, but I gotta keep on schedule* Tune in tomorrow for Part XIII: 50-26!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)