Jaymz Lennfield's 10 choices and honorable mentions
A Top 10 is so tough. Especially when you consider how heavy metal has changed over the decades. I mean, hell, The Cream was one of the heaviest bands around in the 60's. So, I disregarded the "rock" and went straight to the heavier stuff. My apologies to AC/DC, Kiss, and many others...
– Jaymz Lennfield (Beatallica)
01. Voivod - "Killing Technology"
Not only did this album completely change my thinking about music, it made me want to study science. Now that's groundbreaking in itself! I had the pleasure of meeting these guys a few times in Milwaukee. The drink together and conversation was better than the show. To meet the guys behind the tunes that formulated my teen years was something special.
02. Mercyful Fate - "Don't Break The Oath"
One of the albums that "changed my life". Living in the Midwest in a pretty conservative city stuck in the 1960's, we just didn't get imports as easily as the coasts. I bought this on a whim, never hearing the band previously. What a surprise! My mom nearly beat me with my own femur bones when she discovered what the deal was. I promptly had the album cover airbrushed onto my jean jacket.
03. Judas Priest - "Defenders Of The Faith"
My dad golfed with Rob Halford and K.K. Downing when they played at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin and they didn't get me shit. No passes, no leather gloves, not even an autograph. What the hell, man!?
04. Slayer - "Reign In Blood"
When I saw this tour, the lights had been out to start the show for 2 seconds. The band wasn't even playing yet. Some big ass monkey behind me grabbed me by the head, twisted my noggin nearly full off, and threw me to the ground. He then proceeded to step all over me and kick me into a pit the size of the whole room. Thanks. Later, I saw a biker bite the arm of some poor sap til his arm was "raining blood". Really...
05. Metallica - "Master Of Puppets"
Everyone who loves this album has said everything there needs to be said. If I tried to say anything else, it would be redundant. Simply a groundbreaking album for heavy metal bands and fans.
06. Blind Guardian - "Nightfall In Middle Earth"
I'm not a super big fan of the anthemic sort of metal, but holy crap. The playing on this is just furious. Many cheers to Fleming for making the sounds just leap off the disc. Can't wait for these guys to hit Chicago or somewhere near by again. Hell, I nearly missed my honeymoon to see them!
07. Emperor - "Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk"
I just remember hearing this for the first time and wondering how such a swirling wall of sound could make so much sense to me. Only saw these guys once. Europe is lucky to have had them more on their continent.
08. Realm - "Endless War"
A little known band from our hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. I remember playing shows with these guys and being blown away by their musicianship. They are still in town and it's cool to have them as colleagues. Not only are they miles ahead of every other metal band that ever came out of this city, they are just miles ahead of many musicians on the planet.
09. Dimmu Borgir - "Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia"
I love the production on this album. Nicholas' drums really jump out and sound so smooth, it's crazy. Again, I'm a big proponent of strong song writing and texture. This album is really set apart from the early Dimmu albums. You could see the potential here, they acheived it.
10. Katatonia - "Tonight's Decision"
This band has everything I love: melody, lyrics with conviction, and concise songwriting. Plus, I'm a Jeff Buckley fan, so right on. I listened to this album over and over when it came out and it was the one that really got me into these guys.
Death - "Human"
Black Sabbath - "Volume 4"
Lacuna Coil - "Comalies"
King Diamond - "Abigail"
Iron Maiden - "Piece Of Mind"
Death Angel - "Act III"
Destruction - "Release From Agony"