Lists of Domination
GD's Most Dominating Albums Of The 1980's (20-11)
30/09/08 || Global Domination
20. Queensrÿche: Operation mindcrime
“Operation: Mindcrime” is without doubts one of the most enigmatic and brilliant concept records in the history, not to mention that it should serve as a shinning example of how to do a proper progressive metal album. Ambitious and heady, yet rocking at the very basic level is what best describes it. In a genre that has been later dominated by unnecessary instrumental wankery, this is a true exponent of what should be done in order to make yourself understood without overdoing things.
A captivating and twisted story of conspiracies, double crosses, addictions, love and betrayals narrated in the soaring voice of a magnificent Geoff Tate and the passionate guitar playing of Wilton and DeGarmo, this album is not just music for its own sake. It is music made to narrate the story and allow it to unfold and develop until its bitter end, with catchy, memorable songs all over that help to pull this off. Beyond just writing great tracks, there are interludes, dialogue and snippets of sound effects that enhance the experience. A mandatory listen to anyone remotely interested on prog and heavy metal, “Operation: Mindcrime” stands as Queensrÿche’s most significant moment in their long career and is truly a classic record of the 80s.
19. Death: Leprosy
If “Scream Bloody Gore” announced the arrival of death metal, “Leprosy” was the record that let everyone know that death metal was here to fucken stay and dominate until the end of times. A marked improvement from its predecessor, “Leprosy” continued down the path of destruction chosen by Chuck Schuldiner and laid yet another sinister blueprint for the genre to follow. The tightness and musicianship on display was dramatically improved in the year between both records, with Chuck’s skills as a songwriter, guitarist and vocalist rocketing skywards. Hell, he even played bass on this one; it’s not surprising the man is widely accepted as the father of death metal.
Injecting some more brutality, complexity and the first drops of technical wizardry into the primitive formula of death from the band’s beginnings, Chuck wrote some of his most memorable songs in the history of Death here. Immortal tunes like the ferocious “Open Casket”, “Left to Die” (THAT riff right before the choruses is fucken brilliant, one of the best ever!), and the ultimate sickening ode to the end that is “Pull the Plug” are the reasons that have perpetually fixated “Leprosy” inside the minds of generations of metalheads. This is mandatory listening, anything less would be a disservice to such a legendary record from a legendary band, no more, no less!
18. Bathory: Under the sign of the black mark
“Primitive yet mature. “Under the Sign of the Black Mark” represents the zenith of Bathory’s early sound, a sound that was more instrumental than that of any other band in defining what would come to be known as the “troo” sound of black metal. In fact, there are moments on this record that one could understandably confuse for the formative work of any number of Norweigan black metal groups. High end snarl-growls, lo-fi and fuzz-enshrouded wall-of-sound guitarwork, and skin-bashing of an unabashedly unrefined variety are all front and center on this landmark work. The muscular barbarian crowned with the most satanic of furry barnyard symbols—the goat’s head—that dominates the album cover only solidifies the reputation of this release as a pillar of black metal dedication to all things eeevviiill.
So UTSOTBM’s credentials as a progenitor of black metal cliches, for better or for worse, have been established. What of its quality? Does it stand the test of time? Damn straight it does! To this day it comes off with more energy, youthful vitality, and sheer ferocity than almost any 2nd wave of BM release that this metal enthusiast can conjure to memory. Any card carrying black metal devotee found to be lacking this record should promptly have his or her “troo kvlt “ license revoked.”
-Consumer (of dicks/ex-staffer)
17. Possessed: Seven churches
The first, and inarguably one of the best death metal full-lengths. Possessed were quite cognizant of the power of the riff, and they use it to its full potential on this brutal and surprisingly catchy album. At once demonically rigid and mentally unstable, this album runs roughshod over the paltry competition that existed at the time. Larry Lalonde’s melodic solos are all great, but it’s Mike Torrao that steals the show here with his otherworldly guitar emanations that presage farther developments in the field of death metal soloing by Trey Azagthoth and Bob Vigna. Also, Jeff Becerra’s possessed Lemmy impersonation was pretty much the heaviest and most vile vocal performance vomited upon the populace so far, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound just as evil nowadays.
16. Testament: The legacy
More classic thrash? Aren’t you guys getting bored yet? When this feature is over I’m gonna go listen to a shitload of post-rock and reggae to slow myself back down…
“The Legacy”, eh? Well none can deny Testament’s place in history; the oh-so-recent anticipation that preceded “The Formation of Damnation” proved that. So they aged well, but their debut remains my favourite example of their work. Complex and yet catchy songs with feces-melting solos from Jazzmeister Skolnick himself, and Chuck Billy sounds as powerful here as he ever has done with death growls.
What more is there to say? Seriously, the Bay Area speaks for itself and you all know what great shit emerged from there. Go listen to “The Legacy”, you won’t regret it even 21 years after its release… Now, back to my Sigur Rós collection…
-Angry Mutant Penguin
15. Helloween: Keeper of the seven keys part I
With “Keeper of the Seven Keys” parts I and II, Helloween wrote metal history. Combining the energy and speed of thrash with the dominantly catchy melodies of mid-eighties heavy metal, they played a vital role in the development of power metal, all the while being infinitely superior to what the genre has become today. Part I remains a nudge closer to Helloween’s thrash roots than it’s follow up, and the humour in the lyrics is less pronounced. Neither of these things should be held against it.
Led by the phenomenal voice of Michael Kiske and the ceaselessly top-notch guitar work of Kai Hansen and Michael Weikath, this album rocks from start to finish. Undeniable classics such as “I’m Alive”, “A Little Time”, “Future World” and the 13-minute “Halloween” is what made this album a classic. It still is. Indispensable in any metal collection
14. Motörhead: Ace of spades
Everybody and their mum knows the title track. It alone is a reason sufficient to listen to this album. But what apart from that? Let me just say it’s pure fucking Motorhead from the beginning until the end. The irresistible mixture of rock n’ roll and metal, with the unmistakable Lemmy’s vocal style gives a unique combination which only Motorhead can pull off. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a fan of the band, “Ace of Spades” is a title you cannot miss.
-Max Von Laibach (ex-staffer/cocksucker)
13. Metallica: Ride the lightning
What a shocker, another Metallica disk on our list of great and important albums… “Ride the Lightning”, the album that gave us enough classic songs to cover up all of the shitstorm that followed. It’s testament to just how incredible this album (and the carbon-copy that followed it) sounds that there are still people today who hold out some hope for James Hetfield. But I’m tired of always talking about Metallica’s career in the context of their fall – why is this a classic?
Remember Hetfield’s riffs? And how full of urgency his screams and shouts were? Howsabout Hammett’s expertly constructed solos and the tight, badass rhythm from Burton and Lars? This is where Metallica chucked their debut in the bin and stepped all that stuff up to legendary proportions, giving us “Fight Fire With Fire” and “Creeping Death”, which thrash as hard as anyone ever did. The connection between this era’s metal and the Cold War is one that’s often made, but only rarely is it as apocalyptically present as in “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. For me, this is perfection as far as Metallica is concerned. One of the albums that unquestionably had to be here, even though I’m about as much of a Metallica fan as Dave Mustaine…
-Angry Mutant Penguin
12. Iron Maiden: Piece of mind
The secret of the hanged man? The smile on his face? Dying with your boots on? Flying as high as the sun, or where only the eagles will dare? Heroic charges across the battlefield against all odds? The blazing sun shining on your blade? “Piece of Mind” ladies and gentlemen, defines epic Iron Maiden from start to end like almost no other album of their vast discography. Bruce Dickinson sings and screams with an overpowering confidence, memorable lines aplenty and showing off his infamous air raid siren pipes like a maniac. Steve Harris’ bass simply and plainly dominates the proceedings, with unforgettable stuff like those bass lines in “Die with Your Boots On”. Adrian Smith and Dave Murray once again exude virtuosity and dynamism unmatched yet as a guitar pair, spitting yet more kickass dueling riffs and blistering melodic solos. Nicko McBrain’s fearless and brilliant debut behind the drum kit, with plenty of inspiration, groove and originality, is just fucken unbelievable.
“Piece of Mind” would continue to cement Iron Maiden’s position as the most important metal band of the decade, sporting all-time favorites like “Revelations”, “Flight of Icarus”, “Die with Your Boots On” and “The Trooper”. Expanding successfully on the basis of the sound adopted on its predecessor, “Piece of Mind” can arguably be called Maiden’s best effort, although that’s a discussion that has no right answer, as any of those five albums from “The Number of the Beast’ until “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” could be it. All in all, this is an excellent record, a classic by all fucken means!
11. Slayer: South of heaven
I wasn’t a die hard fan per se up til this Slayer album. Sure, I dug the first two coz of their unmatched brutality at the time but they were just a band that I really, really liked, not worshiped. Until this very release, that is. When the nothing-but-classic guitar intro started in the headphones when I checked it out at the store – I was sold, and Slayer turned me into a complete Slayer maniac who eventually ended up buying extremely expensive bootlegs of various quality. Slayer were gods to me now. I even collected pictures of Slayer in a fucken box and my room was covered with nothing but Slayer posters and pictures for many years. I even remember the first time I saw Slayer live, back in 1988, supporting this masterpiece, and still to this day those memories put a good smile on my face. “South of heaven” is Slayer’s finest moment, closely followed by “Reign in blood”. What a fantastic piece of music.
-Lord K Philipson