100. Nordic Giants – A Séance of Dark Delusions (2015)
The debut album from this English duo features a brilliant cinematic feel among rock music. Predominantly instrumental, A Séance of Dark Delusions is epic in its scope and filled with moody, delicious imagery throughout – both awe-inspiring and reflective. The band’s videos are also something to enjoy.
99. Satan – Cruel Magic (2018)
The third release after their triumphant return in 2013, Cruel Magic happens to be my favourite from the trio of releases. With fast-paced action, incredible guitar licks, and song structure, I feel the NWOBHM guys in Satan truly got their groove on with Cruel Magic.
98. Gridlink – Longhena (2014)
As I’ve written many times before, Longhena can be simply labelled as “beautiful grindcore.” However, the album is a lot more than just that. Thrilling riffs and stunning lyrics guide this brilliantly haunting album. While grindcore doesn’t usually feature it, Longhena is rife with so much melody – it’s the antithesis of grindcore – yet it works.
97. Planet X – Quantum (2007)
Founded by keyboardist Derek Sherinian and drummer Virgil Donati, and the band’s last release, Quantum makes my list because holy hell: these musicians are insane. With the strong first track, Alien Hip Hop, Quantum simply gets more and more complicated as the album progresses. The instrumentals could easily put bands like Spastic Ink and Liquid Tension Experiment to shame. But Quantum offers mood over style.
96. Oztric Tentacles – Technicians of the Sacred (2015)
Even after their first album was released in 1989, Ozric Tentacles are still impressive. With their fourteenth album (and second double-length since 1990), Technicians of the Sacred is an audibly technical wonder. With varying themes and a bit of unpredictability, there’s easily something for everyone on this album which makes it great to go back to again and again.
95. Gorillaz – Gorillaz (2001)
From Blur fame, Damon Albarn co-created the Gorillaz to help create a strange hybrid of hip-hop, electronic, punk, and rock music. The end result is a smooth-yet-strange-sounding, eclectic mix of songs which all flow together. From Re-Hash, to the hit single Clint Eastwood, to the Day of the Dead-inspired M1 A1, the self-titled debut of the Gorillaz is a feat on its own.
94. Transatlantic – The Whirlwind (2009)
The progressive rock super group featuring Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Neal Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), and Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) released The Whirlwind and literally blew me away. The 77-minute song featuring twelve movements is not only a triumphant song, but a well-executed lesson in songwriting and musical scope. Never veering away from its origins, The Whirlwind tells a story and keeps within the themes without becoming too preachy or too technical.
93. Overkill – Necroshine (1999)
Let’s remember this is my list of favourites now, shall we? While Necroshine isn’t everyone’s favourite Overkill album, it stands out for me because it’s something so different. Like Kreator’s Renewal album, Necroshine took elements the band had and twisted it into something strange. With electronic elements and real groove, Necroshine works for me. I regularly think of the “screams” in the title track. While not their best album, it’s certainly a lot of fun.
92. Mgła – Age of Excuse (2019)
This album is all about the drummer, Darkside. Holy smokes. In all seriousness, Age of Excuse is a powerhouse of black metal. With tense guitar riffs enriched with darkness and mixed with impressive cymbal work, Age of Excuse stands out for me for its ingenuity by taking something which could be boring and making it into something much bigger than itself. Age of Excuse II is a perfect example on that.
91. Voivod – War and Pain (1984)
There’s something awesome to the production of War and Pain that just constantly brings me back to it. From all of the over-the-top album production of the modern era, War and Pain has a certain kind of charm among its filth. It’s a messy album, but it is something I return to time and time again – more than all other Voivod releases.
90. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)
The debut album of this incredibly influential band: From the first frightening doom riff in the title track, to the harmonica work in The Wizard, or the groove in Behind the Wall of Sleep or N.I.B. and so on. It’s an album that’s a favourite for its influence on, well, mostly everything I listen to!