So instead of a review, today, you’re getting what is going to be a 5 piece attempt to shame the assholes over at Gibson, who apparently haven’t listened to heavy metal since 1984. While this list is bound to be controversial (trust me), it is also done with a very specific purpose in mind, which is to remind everyone that heavy metal has continued to exist since Nirvana sold a bunch of records. But, of course, the Anglocentric jackasses over at Gibson didn’t realize this. Anyway, this oughtta piss everyone right off, but hopefully someone involved in the creation of that list feels ashamed for having been such idiots. Note to old guys: shit still happens once you’ve stopped caring.
#50: Europe – Wings of Tomorrow – “Wings of Tomorrow” – Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone laughs about Europe, sure they were cheesy as hell, but these first two records they released had a good, classic metal approach and they were excellent song writers. This is still one of the most underrated heavy metal songs ever as far as I’m concerned and let me say something else: Norum is another retardedly underrated guitar player. Sure, this is the top 50, you say, this can’t be better than ALL the other heavy metal from the 1980s! What, did you ever fucking listen to 80s metal? Europe was better than most of that shit. So eat it.
#49: Opeth – Morningrise – “The Night and the Silent Water” – This track is probably a good place to start the list, don’t you think? Whether or not people like it Opeth in the early ’90s helped redefine what we thought of when we think of metal, and while there are plenty of other songs one could choose, a track that stands out for everyone I know who loves Morningrise is “The Night and the Silent Water.” Also, this was from the early 90s, and has had a much more profound on metal than Tool, don’t you think? I sure as hell do. What a great career these gentlemen have had.
#48: Sonata Arctica – Silence – “San Sebastian” – Many have done Europower, but Sonata Arctica perfected the art. With easily the best power metal vocalist (at least in range and tone) in the business and with songs that are so poppy and ridiculous that it’s hard to get over them, it’s basically impossible to deny that this song is better than say, for example, second rate AC/DC tracks because only fucking idiots would vote for those for a top 50 list of metal tracks. And just listen to that guitar solo! It’s got “The guys at Gibson are douchebags” written all over it!
#47: My Dying Bride – Like Gods of the Sun – “The Dark Caress” – See one of the things that Black Sabbath and St. Vitus and the like spawned was this amazing thing called doom metal. From this, one of my favorite bands ever is My Dying Bride and the record Like Gods of the Sun and really any track on here could’ve been on this list, but I just love the riffing on here. Really, if you haven’t listened to much doom, this album is as good a place as any to start. And apparently not enough people have heard them, because despite their amazing output they somehow never end up on people’s “best of” lists.
#46: Sacred Reich – Surf Nicaragua – “Surf Nicaragua” – One of the most overlooked thrash bands of all time, Sacred Reich produced one of my favorite thrash albums, The American Way but of course it hit too late and was never really considered among the “classics,” until much too late. Certainly this is too much of a deep cut for a ‘best of’ list, right? I don’t think so. But actually, despite thinking that record is classic, it’s the track “Surf Nicaragua” from the EP of the same name that belongs on this list with all it’s thrash awesomeness and irony. These guys were dead on and cool as hell.
#45: Old Man’s Child – In Defiance of Existence – “Black Seeds on Virgin Soil” – Whether or not you like later Old Man’s Child there are few people who rip out riffs like Galder does, and this track “Black Seeds on Virgin Soil” is a fucking riffy song that deserves to be on this list, for sure. I hardly listen to OMC anymore, but I will always come back to this track as its definitely one of my favorite. And the guitar solo is like an old school trash solo over such a riffy and epic track. I love it.
#44: Metallica – Ride the Lightning – “For Whom the Bell Tolls” – Well, c’mon. These guys had to end up somewhere on the list. They have their uses and Ride the Lightning still lives on as a classic heavy metal record in my opinion. Oh, and get this, I think it’s way better than Master of Puppets. Apparently metalheads are fucking sheep. Wanna know what I think of Master of Puppets?
#43: Ozzy – Blizzard of Ozz – “Crazy Train” – Well, Ozzy did have one really solid record and it was his debut. And basically it’s Randy Rhodes that made this record so fucking good. I mean just going back and listening to this stuff, you have to admit that his stuff was so solid. And this guitar solo probably influenced heavy metal in ways that we’ll never understand. I’d go so far as to say that he was one of the first heavy metal guitarists who was more ‘heavy metal’ than blues rock, which is what makes this special. Still, there’s been a lot of awesome stuff after this. Just thought I’d point that out.
#42: Primordial – The Gathering Wilderness – “Coffin Ships” – One of the things that Primordial has that, for example Ozzy or Metallica never did, is thoughtful lyrics and a sense of atmosphere. Sure, this isn’t going to unite the masses into a buying frenzy and make stupid rockstars rich enough to drink themselves into stupors, snort ants or bite heads off of shit, but this is certainly one of the finest songs ever written and belongs on this list. Such an emotionally poignant song from such an incredible band.
#41: Agalloch – The Mantle – “In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion” – Once again taking on the more atmospheric and beautiful, Agalloch signaled the rise of the American northwest as a scene which has spawned a lot of music, like it or not, and is very prolific now. But Agalloch was at it first, and even if their sound (in my opinion) is derivative of early Ulver, it’s hard to find a metalhead who listens to real metal these days who doesn’t speak of The Mantle as one of the best records of its era and as being tremendously influential. And I’d say that this track is the band’s magnum opus.