Monday, May 26, 2008

Number 21 and 20 of my countdown of the top 25 Metal Albums of all time!!


Unlike Metallica and Slayer, the problem with the guys from New York was that they never took themselves too seriously and this resulted in an album slightly on the lighter side than those of their rivals, but it still had enough power to make my top 25 of all time. The lightness, is of course, speaking about the overall vein of the album as there is nothing light about the music itself. The riffs are truly excellent throughout the whole album. You will find that every single one of them forces you into uncontrolled head banging mayhem and air guitar heroism.

Stand out songs are "Among the Living," "Caught in a Mosh," "Indians," and "I Am The Law." But the beauty of this album is that not a single song can be considered filler. The opening track explodes with incredible energy and this energy doesn't wear off all the way to the speedy "Imitation Of Life".

This release can be almost sure one of the best Thrash releases ever!

Line-Up: Joey Belladonna – Vocals, Dan Spitz –Lead Guitar, Scott Ian – Rhythm Guitar, Frank Bello – Bass Guitar, Charlie Benante – Drums

PS : I had the fortune of seeing this classic line up during their reunion tour in 2006 in San Francisco!! What an evening!! :)


A symphonic black metal album in my top 25 - beat that! This was Cradle's third release and their second full-length album. It was a lot different from their previous album in terms of sound. “Dusk & Her Embrace” might sound cluttered and chaotic, and honestly, I perceived this album as 'could have been produced better.' However, the tone is exactly right, with a balanced mix of brutality and atmosphere. This is probably Dani’s most dramatic vocal performance on any of their releases. The shrieks are very high and very fast. The songs are continually changing and the complexity of the arrangements and musical commentary cannot be ignored.

The entire album is an incredible collection of unforgettable songs, so I’d be hard pressed to pick out one favorite. Take for instance, the signature riff and the timeless bass-line on “Heaven Torn Asunder”, the heartbreaking sadness of “Funeral In Carpathia”, the classic flair to “Dusk & Her Embrace” and its outstanding drumsolo. All these songs paint a vivid picture in the mind of the listener and somehow transport you to a decaying, snow-ridden, dark world. With this record, the band proved that even the most brutal and intense music can be beautiful and although hated by a few, each band must be given a fair chance.

Line-up : Dani Filth - Vocals, Stuart Antsis - Guitar, Damien Gregori - Keyboards, Robin Eaglestone - Bass, Nicholas Barker - Drums, Gian Pyres - Guitar

PS : First read the lyrics which are virtually of Shakespearean quality !

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Continuing my countdown of the top 25 Metal Albums of all time!!


"A Perfect Circle is not a side project," proclaimed the members of Perfect Circle and it certainly sounds nothing like one. Although the frontman of the band is Tool's James Maynard Keenan, the creator and genius of A Perfect Circle is guitarist/song writer Billy Howerdel who has worked with quite an impressive list of artists, such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie and more.

When I bought the album, I wasn't sure what to expect but I thought that it would soon burst out into something that Maynard does in Tool. I had heard the angry anti-"your god" ballad, Judith, and I thought that this would be the way the whole album worked. Then, as he questioned his relationships, his spirituality and his place in the world, the whole album seems to bloom and released delicate pearls like "Orestes," "Magdalena," and "Rose." As a Tool fan, I was not pleased with the pleasantries, but I learnt to appreciate the depth and melodic contribution of APC.

And the lyrics are nothing but ethereal... Just sample a bit of Orestes:

Gotta cut away, clear away
Snip away and sever this
Umbilical residue,
Keeping me from killing you
And from pulling you down with me here,
I can almost hear you scream

Phew! Safe to say that in spite of Tool's influence, APC, and more specifically, Mer De Noms has a life of its own!!

Line-up: Maynard James Keenan, Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, Jordie White, Paz Lenchantin, Danny Lohner

PS : Also check out their sophomore album, The Thirteenth Step


I apologize to the entire world that I did not listen to this album till 1992!! By the time he formed his own band, DIO, Ronnie James Dio has been a vocalist for bands like Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath. If there is anything quintessential about 80's rock, it's Dio. Holy Diver, in my opinion, was one of the greatest releases in that era. It was hard,melodic and had hooks in abundance. Future Def Leppard stringer, Vivian Campbell plays on this album and has some of the greatest guitar licks you'll hear.

Songs like "Rainbow in the Dark" and the title track are metal classics, but it doesn't stop there. Check out "Don't Talk to Strangers", and the excellent "Invisible." This album proved that Dio's departure from Black Sabbath had not affected his spirits. In fact, he sounded most inspired here, aided by his new, hungry backing band. Dio was the heavy metal hobbit and believe me, this is how metal should be!

Line-up : Dio: Ronnie James Dio (vocals, keyboards); Vivian Campbell (guitar); Jimmy Bain (keyboards, bass); Vinny Appice (drums).

PS: Check out Killswitch Engage's cover of "Holy Diver" from Kerrang!! - High Voltage