9. Anathema – Weather Systems (2012)
I’ve always said Weather Systems is a beautifully sad album. It’s uplifting, poetic, and sincere. It tugs at your heart-strings while giving you a giant hug. The wonderful emotional journey Anathema takes you on with Weather Systems is unparalleled to any other band out there. Sonically stunning, the band performs out of this world. An outstanding triumph, it’s one of the most comforting albums I have ever come across and I’m glad to have it in my life.
8. Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones (2010)
In contrast, there’s Eparistera Daimones, a beautifully angry album. It’s bleak, dark, and aggressive. It tugs at your heart-strings while keeping you at a distance. The brutally honest journey Triptykon takes you on with Eparistera Daimones is unparalleled to any other band out there. Unapologetically doused in pain, the band suffocates you with their lyrics. Purposefully damaged, it’s one of the most candid albums I have ever come across and I’m glad to have it in my life.
7. Kyuss – Blues for the Red Sun (1992)
If you were to listen to any music I recorded from high school (which regrettably does exist), all of my bass guitar lines will sound like something out of a Kyuss album. To state how influential this album was to my music playing could never be emphasized enough. This metal/stoner rock blend is mixed with straight-forward tunes and some strangeness. Apothecaries Weight and Writhe stand out as exceptional songs, while other tracks like Caterpillar March and Freedom Run strike the stoner rock mantel. It’s an incredibly solid album which I would gladly take with me on any deserted island.
6. Yes – Close to the Edge (1972)
After the commercial success of Fragile with Roundabout, Yes released one of the most daunting albums in their career: Close to the Edge. With only three songs, this near-39-minute album solidified the band as progressive rock legends. All three songs have different meanings in my life and all three are some of the most uplifting songs I have ever heard. While the title track is most notable for its variations in music, it’s And You and I and Siberian Khatru which take the cake as personal favourites of mine.
5. King Crimson – Red (1974)
After Yes’ Close to the Edge, drummer Bill Bruford left the band to join King Crimson. On Red, King Crimson changed my life. Robert Fripp, John Wetton, and Bill Bruford completely altered my perspective of musical understanding with Red. The final track, Starless, is guaranteed to have me in goose bumps and shedding tears at its climax. Quick story: when I was in a recording studio back in 2007, I told the producer Red was one of my favourite albums. He told me he remembered it coming out when he was young. He said he was smoking weed and listening to the album – and he felt like he wanted to kill himself and he hadn’t listened to it since that day. His loss.
4. Carcass – Heartwork (1993)
I didn’t realize heavy metal, let alone death metal, could be this melodic. Heartwork is an album I know from front to back and will blast in my car on a regular basis. It’s groovy, powerful, and drenched in brilliance. It’s arguably one of the best metal albums of all-time. For me, however, it impacted how I approach music – detuned guitars were suddenly possible; death metal could be polished and sound ferociously beautiful. The title track is a simple testament to that. However, other songs like the snare variations in No Love Lost, or the crunching guitars in the intro of Death Certificate showcase some of the more intricate ideas the album has to offer. Next to The Acoustic Verses, I think I’ve listened to Heartwork the most.