1. Black Sabbath – Volume 4 (1972) – With Halloween a little more than two months away, this record makes it’s way back into lineup. The single power chord riff that opens “Wheels of Confusion” is frightening in its structure and eerie simplicity. “Snowblind” bears an irresistible groove while “Supernaut” sports a percussive orgy in the midsection. The ballad “Changes” rounds out the eclectic sounding record that has long been my favorite Black Sabbath album. [Amazon.com]
2. Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power (1992) – A true power metal album that does not contain a milisecond of waste in its 52 minutes of brutality. While the album hosts live favorites “Walk,” “This Love,” and “F*cking Hostile,” “Mouth for War,” “A New Level,” “Hollow,” and “Rise” are unforgettable sources of the greatest metal material of all-time.
3. Metallica – Ride The Lightning (1984) – For years, I have long found it extremely difficult to pin down my favorite Metallica album. Today, it’s Lightening, tomorrow it could be Load. Anyway this record contains “Creeping Death,” possibly the best song ever to experience live due to the “DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE” break. “Fade To Black” is the greatest suicidal ballad ever and the title track has an intro driven by heavy, yet simple, guitar harmonies that demand worship.
4. The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers (1971) – For me, it is so easy to say that The Beatles and The Who are second rate rock bands when compared to the career of The Stones. Still alive (for the most part) and still performing to sold-out stadiums around the globe, little has slowed these guys down. This album is very heavy with cuts such as “Brown Sugar,” “Sway,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” and “Bitch.” Start to finish, a rock masterpiece. [Amazon.com]
5. AC/DC – Back in Black (1980) – An unlikely tale of the lead singer dying, new lead singer joining, best hard rock album of all-time created.
6. Judas Priest – British Steel (1980) – Isn’t it remarkable that the entire heavy metal look was created by a homosexual? Of course, he happens to be the toughest and most badass biker dude to walk the earth. If you haven’t seen Priest perform this album live in its entirety this summer, then you are a total fool.
7. Megadeth – Rust in Peace (1990) – “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” is one of my all-time favorite thrash tracks, but this record demonstrated even greater depth with the Ktulu-esque “Hangar 18,” and “Rust in Peace…Polaris.” I can never remember the names of all the tracks because there is simply no need. You put the album on and stop listening when it is over…period. Read more here.
8. Mötley Crüe – Dr. Feelgood (1989) – This is the most over-produced and sleazy hard rock album to come from the 80’s and I love every second of it. “Kickstart My Heart” + “Same Ol Situation” x “Don’t Go Away Mad” x “Rattlesnake Shake” + “She Goes Down” ÷ “Slice of your Pie” = complete filth. Well-done! [Amazon.com]
9. Corrosion of Conformity – Wiseblood (1996) – Most underrated album and Southern Metal band of all-time. I may have played this CD straight through more than any other in my collection, especially back in high school. The best racks are “King of the Rotten,” “Wiseblood,” “Fuel,” and the Grammy-nominated single that no one ever heard “Drowning in a Daydream.” James Hetfield of Metallica contributed his voice to the track “Man or Ash.”
10. Faith No More – The Real Thing (1989) – Until Jim Martin is back on guitar, FNM remains dead to me. It’s a toss up between this album and Angel Dust, always difficult to decide the better. Read more here. –Meds