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The heaviest albums ever made?

Metal is a much misunderstood genre, but in its way, it is as vital to the history of contemporary music as any of the more celebrated subgenres – punk, indie, techno – which get more mainstream coverage.. Indeed, it probably has more in common with dance music than anything else – the emphasis on dynamics and, of course, trying to create a thunderstorm in your brain through sheer power of the noise. Which leads us nicely to Kerrang! Magazine and their newly published list of the heaviest albums of all time.

Counting down in a Top of the Pops stylee:

50 Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
49 The Beatles – White Album
48 Cathedral – Forest Of Equilibrium
47 The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland
46 Judas Priest – British Steel
45 Machine Head – Burn My Eyes
44 Alice in Chains – Dirt
43 Deftones – Around The Fur
42 The Prodigy – Fat Of The Land
41 Obituary – Slowly We Rot
40 Lamb Of God – Ashes Of The Wake
39 Nirvana – Bleach
38 Sepultura – Chaos AD
37 Gojira – From Mars To Sirius
36 Mogwai – My Father My King
35 Morbid Angel – Altars Of Madness
34 Megadeth – Rust In Peace
33 American Nightmare – Background Music
32 Bathory – Bathory
31 Sarcofago – INRI
30 NIN – The Downwards Spiral
29 Korn – Korn
28 Carcass – Reek Of Putrefaction
27 Emperor – In The Nightside Eclipse
26 Death – Scream Bloody Gore
25 Electric Wizard – Dopethrone
24 Satyricon – Volcano
23 Atari Teenage Riot – 60 Second Wipe Out
22 Brutal Truth – Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom
21 Bring Me The Horizon – Suicide Season
20 Discharge – Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing
19 Strapping Young Lad – City
18 Meshuggah – Destroy Erase Improve
17 Sleep – Dopesmoker
16 Sunn 0))) – Black One
15 Botch – We Are The Romans
14 Metallica – Master Of Puppets
13 Rammstein – Sehnsucht
12 Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power
11 Everytime I Die – Hot Damn
10 The Dillinger Escape Plan – Calculating Infinity
09 Napalm Death – Scum
08 Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come
07 Black Flag – Damaged
06 Mastodon – Leviathan
05 At The Gates – Slaughter Of The Soul
04 Slipknot – Iowa
03 Converge – Jane Doe
02 Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality
01 Slayer – Reign In Blood

It’s hard to argue with some of the choices, but initially you can’t help but notice who isn’t included. For all they have morphed comedically into the metal world’s version of David Brent over the last few years, Metallica really should be higher.

But it’s good to see Napalm Death recognised, particularly for an album containing a song which lasts less than a second and which they played on a John Peel session once (‘You Suffer’) and Converge songs are giant great beasts of things, great slabs of fuck-you riffing which hurt in all the right places.

Like most lists of the type it will cause more arguments than it will solve, but credit for looking outwith the usual parameters and stoking some debate. If nothing else, it’s a reminder of how fantastic a thundering blast of red-hot nihilism can be. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to ‘The Majesty of Rock’, shamefully excluded….

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5 Responses

  1. This is not the top ten, just a selection from the top 50. The full list is quite different. Here it be –

    50 Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
    49 The Beatles – White Album
    48 Cathedral – Forest Of Equilibrium
    47 The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland
    46 Judas Priest – British Steel
    45 Machine Head – Burn My Eyes
    44 Alice in Chains – Dirt
    43 Deftones – Around The Fur
    42 The Prodigy – Fat Of The Land
    41 Obituary – Slowly We Rot
    40 Lamb Of God – Ashes Of The Wake
    39 Nirvana – Bleach
    38 Sepultura – Chaos AD
    37 Gojira – From Mars To Sirius
    36 Mogwai – My Father My King
    35 Morbid Angel – Altars Of Madness
    34 Megadeth – Rust In Peace
    33 American Nightmare – Background Music
    32 Bathory – Bathory
    31 Sarcofago – INRI
    30 NIN – The Downwards Spiral
    29 Korn – Korn
    28 Carcass – Reek Of Putrefaction
    27 Emperor – In The Nightside Eclipse
    26 Death – Scream Bloody Gore
    25 Electric Wizard – Dopethrone
    24 Satyricon – Volcano
    23 Atari Teenage Riot – 60 Second Wipe Out
    22 Brutal Truth – Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom
    21 Bring Me The Horizon – Suicide Season
    20 Discharge – Hear nothing see nothing say nothing
    19 Strapping Young Lad – City
    18 Meshuggah – Destroy Erase Improve
    17 Sleep – Dopesmoker
    16 Sunn 0))) – Black One
    15 Botch – We Are The Romans
    14 Metallica – Master Of Puppets
    13 Rammstein – Sehnsucht
    12 Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power
    11 Everytime i Die – Hot Damn
    10 The Dillinger Escape Plan – Calculating Infinity
    09 Napalm Death – Scum
    08 Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come
    07 Black Flag – Damaged
    06 Mastodon – Leviathan
    05 At The Gates – Slaughter Of The Soul
    04 Slipknot – Iowa
    03 Converge – Jane Doe
    02 Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality
    01 Slayer – Reign In Blood

  2. fuckin Beatles? Get tae fuck!

  3. Have a look at the Guardian website where this list was, quite rightly, taken apart brick by brick. It has been written and compiled by someone who is clueless about metal. The first four Sabbath albums, almost anything by Budgie (In for the Kill, If I were Brittania…) Sad Wings or Stained Class by Priest, Overkill by Motorhead, In Rock by Purple, Witchfynde, Into Glory Ride by Manowar. Heavy doesn’t mean shouty and tune down a bit.

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