Lists of Domination
GD's Most Dominating Albums Of The 1980's (90-81)
05/09/08 || Global Domination
90. Accept: Metal heart
Metal Heart may not be as aggressive or heavy as its predecessors – it might not be as influential either – but as far as I’m concerned, Accept never sounded better than on this release. Why? Because every single song on this album is catchy as fuck. Simple as that. I dare you to listen to the perfect opener and title-track and not immediately want to listen to it again. Sure, the Für Elise guitar solo is fun, but it’s the quality of the song-writing, the energy of the band, and the inimitably nasal vocals of Udo Dirkschneider that makes it a classic. As it turned out, Accept weren’t “Bound to Fail”.
89. Blind Illusion: The sane asylum
You may be familiar with the names Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde. Together with Tim “Herb” Alexander they formed Primus, possibly the most original rock band of the 90s. “But Banesupper,” you say, “this is about the 80s and metal and dingoes!” And you are most correct. This isn’t Primus, but Blind Illusion, the band that led Claypool and LaLonde into eachother’s waiting arms, and “Yay!” the crowd exclaimed; it is metal. The particular brand of metal exercised is thrash-prog, ala Voivod. Anyone familiar with Primus will not be surprised to find that the most technically gifted musicians involved are Claypool and LaLonde. While they’re both basically hired guns, they still get fair chance to practice their own styles – Claypool’s masterful bass-slapping in particular – and that’s a significant contributing factor to this album’s quality. Don’t get me wrong though, the songs on here are anything but weak. The ultimate standout must be “Kamikaze”, the chorus of which will rock you into the next world and back.
88. Scorpions: Blackout
I believe there is an alternate reality where instead of the NWOBHM, there was a New Wave of German Heavy Metal. Accept and the Scorpions were the biggest bands in the world. The most popular hairstyle was male pattern balding. Album covers were considered pornography. It was a scary, scary time. The 1970’s not withstanding, “Blackout” is the Scorpions at their peak. Like the follow-up, “Love at First Sting”, the tracks are hard rocking, fun, and diverse. “No One Like You” is probably the biggest hit on here and it shows that power ballads can still fucking rock, even though “Still Loving You” on the next album proved they didn’t have to. I challenge any of you fuckers to listen to the title track or “Dynamite” and not want to bang your head. “Blackout” is just a great bunch of songs from a band that has been writing good songs for over 30 years. BLACKOUT!
-Hanging Limbs (ex-staffer/cocksucker)
87. Warlord: And the cannons of destruction have begun
I dig the living shit out of 80s heavy metal from the US, and Warlord is one of those bands that released awesome shit that nobody seems to care about anymore. Their extensively titled debut “…And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun” is a quality record through and through. Sure, the vocals aren’t on par with the likes of Bruce Dickinson, and the production isn’t awe-inspiring (though it’s actually superior to what most other bands from the era can boast), but when epic songs like “Black Mass” or “Deliver Us From Evil” fills the air, it’s impossible to not be seduced by Warlord’s righteous heavy metal sound. Lovable.
86. Sabbat: History of a time to come
First and foremost, let’s pay attention to an often ignored element of metal, the lyrics. Every once in a while, there appears a man that transcends the mundane efforts of his peers with grace and ease. Regarding lyric writing, such luminary is Mr. Martin Walkyrier. I mean, 80’s thrash metal with sophisticated lyrics in times thrash metal with proper English lyrics were hard to find! Just go to the next metal lyrics website and check them out, fancy wordplay and stylish texts await you.
Enough about the lyrics, because a well-written phrase won’t save the crappiest of riffs. Sabbat just fuckin’ delivered the goods. Andy Sneap might be famous as a music producer extraordinaire, but fuck me sideways if this guy isn’t one of the best riffmeisters of the eighties. While the music was technical, what is really impressive is his ability to blend more traditional metal and far from technical hooks when needed. During some songs, you would be treated to a verse that evoked finger cramps out of sheer complexity and then a chorus you could learn how to play with a few lessons of guitar playing. Combine it with Walkyrier’s dark lyrics propelled by his theatrical rasps and snarls, and you have a delicious piece of metal, even considering the drumming and bass work here is less than stellar.
Sabbat single-handedly took the term “British thrash metal” out of total obscurity and for that, the Britons shall forever be grateful. But even more grateful should be the fans of quality thrash metal worldwide.
-Tiago Bonamigo (super rad special guest/whore)
85. Running Wild: Death or glory
I don’t know what people see in pirates. Maybe it’s the nice red uniforms, or the liters of rum consumed daily, or maybe the loot, rape and murder are the factors that seem like the dreams come true. I suspect that it’s for one of these reasons that Running Wild, instead of praising Satan like any decent metal band, decided to go for a more “piratey” image. This doesn’t really matter, as it is a generally accepted truth that if a metal band’s lyrics make more sense than what your mom told you about sex when you were 12, there’s something seriously wrong with the band.
Running Wild steer clear from that mistake and write songs about being a pirate, getting into fights and, for some reason, the battle of Waterloo. And they do this perfectly. I’m not sure which one is my favorite: “Riding the storm”, with its marinistic opening riff which almost beat Kat’s “Odi Profanum Vulgus” in the best opener competition, the extremely catchy “Bad to the bone” or “The Renegade”. All songs on this record are pure fucking gold and not singing along to some of the choruses is extremely difficult. Running Wild is similar to other mid- and late- 80s heavy metal bands, like Metal Church and to some extent Steeler (the awesome first album, not the crappy second), in that they mix a bit of speed into their heavy metal, only in this case there’s some more marinistic riffs around. Sure, it can be said that all Running Wild albums are too similar to each other, but fuck, if you’ve got a formula that creates gems like “Death or Glory”, you would indeed be a stupid cunt if you started to change stuff.
-Max Von Laibach (ex-staffer/cocksucker)
84. Liege Lord: Master control
Two years before Judas Priest released “Painkiller”, hailed by some as the invention of speed metal, there was another album quite like it in sound. I’m referring to Liege Lord’s “Master Control”, which I’m sure you had guessed, ‘cause it’s right there in the title. It’s got the energy and speed of thrash, with the dominant melodies and soaring choruses of classic heavy metal, and no, it really isn’t markedly inferior to “Painkiller”. Led by the powerful vocals of Joe Comeau, “Master Control” is a tour de force of energetic, catchy riffs and blood-pumping choruses. The title-track is a fine example of Liege Lord’s thrashier material, and ultra-catchy “Broken Wasteland” is a perfect example of the glory of their most melodic.
83. Sarcófago: INRI
When Wagner “Antichrist” Lamounier (now a professor of economic sciences) left Sepultura, he really had no way of knowing the rather speed metal-ish direction that band would take, and yet, “INRI” almost seems like a deliberate counterargument to Sepultura’s highly structured and epic works to come. Sure, Sarcófago still have da riffs, but make no mistake: this album is primitive 80s black metal to the fullest. The lyrics are a riot (“If you are a false don’t entry/Because you’ll be burned and died”), but the music is deadly serious. It’s no surprise that Sarcófago was such a huge influence on the wave of black metal to come, right down to their corpse-painted and bullet-belted countenances.
82. Devil Doll: The girl who was… death
Devil Doll, ah… now there’s a difficult band to size up. The Italian/Slovenian (!) outfit is as cult as cult can be, and while few may have had the pleasure of hearing them, their fans are not in doubt: this is just fucking brilliant. It’s one thing that Devil Doll were among the first to expand the metal genre by incorporating decidedly non-metal elements – a common gimmick nowadays – but even today the band remains completely unique. Inimitable, I believe, is the word most appropriate. Their twisted, horror-themed, pseudo-classical compositions, led by the sprechgesang of the infinitely talented Mr. Doctor, deserve to be heard, even if only to write it all off as “just fucking weird”.
81. Agony: The first defiance
If people at GD actually had the smallest of clues, this album would be rated alot higher. Agony is one of the most overlooked bands in the history of thrash metal. The fact that they are Swedish makes things even better. “The first defiance” is a masterpiece on pretty much all accounts. There are riffs-a-fucken-plenty that will make you cry out of happiness and there’s some serious fucken songwriting going on. These guys had it all figured out; they took the best parts of the Bay Area scene, molded it into their own twisted form (Hello Forbidden!) and ended up with a fantastic album. Coming from a punk background (and formerly being known as Agoni – the Swedish word for “agony”, ofcourse), “The first defiance” left the punk influences behind and concentrated on the ABC of magnificent thrash fucken metal. Yet to this day, no Swedish band have been able to capture what Agony had back on this here recording. Their sound is unique without being unique, if that makes any sense. Much of this is to blame on Pete’s original vocal style.
If you claim to be a fan of thrash metal and you still have no idea what Agony was about, well, then you better go back to your My Little Pony collection and dollhouses. Agony’s first (as well as last) album is full of everything you could ever want from a thrash band. And more. “The first defiance” is easily one of my 10 all-time favourite thrash albums. Do yourself a favour, try to find a copy of this. Now.
-Lord K Philipson