89. Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder (2016)
Unexpectedly, Arctic Thunder became my favourite Darkthrone album. With its infusion of both black and heavy metal, Arctic Thunder is filled with dirty riffs, growls, and headbanging moments which stand out to me from the first moment I laid ears on it. I’ve grown to appreciate it more and more over time as I realize how much of a love letter the album is to influential albums before it. It’s just a great sounding album.
88. Nile – In Their Darkened Shrines (2002)
As one of the first technical death metal albums I’ve had grace my ears, In Their Darkened Shrines is a beast. With wild tempo changes, lightning fast guitar riffs, melodic guitar solos, blazingly intense drumming, Nile, to the uninitiated, seem like they’re a mess. However, In Their Darkened Shrines was an eye-opening album for me as I learned death metal had structure. And of course, there’s Unas Slayer of the Gods. . .
87. Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper (2017)
I love this funeral doom album for its simplicity: drums, bass, vocals, and a Hammond organ make up this hour and twenty minute feat of a song. Naturally bleak, the song ebbs and flows with many themes of darkness and despair. The subtleties in the song are very introspective. While it’s not something I play often, it’s an album that stands out for all the right reasons.
86. iamthemorning – Lighthouse (2016)
One part chamber music with another part progressive rock, Lighthouse is a powerhouse of elegance. Gorgeous themes, vocals, and rhythm are strong within the album. I’ve felt the band is a mix between Porcupine Tree and Magenta, but truly iamthemorning, and more specifically, Lighthouse, stands on its own as one triumphantly beautiful album that I love to revisit and appreciate.
85. Dixie Dregs – Free Fall (1977)
Free Fall is the second album from the jazz-fusion band, Dixie Dregs. I’ve always appreciated the complexities of the band, but I love Free Fall the most. The album features some of the greatest musical moments I’ve encountered. From the wails from Steve Morse, to the grooving bass line in Cruise Control, to Allen Sloan’s perfectly placed violin, Free Fall always puts a smile on my face.
84. Pig Destroyer – Terrifyer (2004)
My first delve into Pig Destroyer was the release of Terrifyer. With 21 tracks in 32 mintues, the intensity of this album is, well . . . intense! Merging multiple genres under the blanket of the grindcore genre, Terrifyer does what it says and assaults the senses. Overwhelming and filled with both horror and rage, the blistering panic the album creates is one of the many reasons why I appreciate it – it’s an album that fills me with emotion – whether positive or negative.
83. Ulver – Bergtatt – Et eeventyr i 5 capitler (1995)
Ulver’s been a lot of genres over the years, but Bergtatt is where they started. As a black metal album, it still stands out as something unique. It’s emotionally driven and rich with atmosphere. It’s both melancholic and sublime despite having an underlying aggressive feel. While the band has strayed from this particular style, their feelings haven’t – as you’ll see later down my list when we revisit Ulver again.
82. Portal – Vexovoid (2013)
I’ve called this album the “Soundtrack to Hell” since the first time I listened to it. Portal’s droning chaos is sinister and hellish. The drums sometimes feel as if they’re lagging, giving an uneasy sluggish feel. The guitars and bass are crunched, distorted, and painfully hard to understand. Vocally, it sounds as if you’re getting sucked into the depths of Hell. It’s a great album.
81. Metallica – Kill ‘Em All (1983)
I hate being “that guy” but I honestly feel Metallica’s debut, Kill ‘Em All, is their best album. But we’re also talking about my favourite albums! There’s something very honest and true to this album. Whether it’s the original production that makes it so awesome, or Dave Mustaine’s guitar solos on the album. Kill ‘Em All features most of my favourite Metallica songs and it is unrelenting with its power.
80. Overkill – The Electric Age (2012)
Overkill’s comeback with Ironbound in 2010 blew everyone away with an awesome return-to-form. However, I feel their follow-up, The Electric Age, is better. Overkill’s traditional thrash metal with D. D. Verni’s signature bass tone ripping through in modern production just puts me in a great mood. The songs are catchy, the riffs are fast, and the songs are just well put together. While I love Overkill new and old, The Electric Age is, in my opinion, their best album.