A friend of mine posted one of those survey notes on facebook yesterday asking for 15 "profound albums". My friend listed his 15 albums and not another word was said about why they were profound. I decided to look at this, and think deeply about it. I won't list 15 albums, because there are way more than that, but I will list the ones that I think were the most important because of when I got them and what they have come to represent in my life.
1. Metallica: Ride the Lightning
My obvious choice, because this was the first metal album I ever bought and it remains my favorite album of all time to this day. I got it around my 13th birthday, my grandparents used to take us shopping when it was close to our birthdays in order to let us pick out our presents. This was the only album I got that day. My musical tastes were starting to point towards metal and Metallica was the first band I really started to enjoy from the genre.
I was in junior high and no longer a kid, and I began liking this music which has shaped my life ever since just as my experiences in junior high began to shape my life. As stated before, I still consider this my favorite album and recently picked it up on vinyl.
2. Sepultura: Roots
I picked this one up in the summer between ninth and tenth grade, therefore it was at a time when I was in the middle of a conversion from junior high to high school. This album reflects that change as well as it is the first "extreme" metal album in my collection. This album was my conversion from the thrash, groove, and traditional metal I listened to in junior high to the more death-oriented stuff I listened to in high school and college. This isn't the best representation of the extreme time in Sepultura's career, but it lead me to seek out their earlier works, in particular Morbid Visions.
3. Dissection: Storm of the Light's Bane
Another album that is currently one of my all time favorites. As I was graduating from high school, I began to listen to heavier, uglier, more frightening music. This was at a time when my own personality was becoming darker as well. The early years of college, I began wearing a lot of black, with some disturbing jewelry around my neck, on my wrists, and my fingers. This was another change in my life from the rather safe high school, to the much more chaotic college life. Though I was never one to really get into trouble, there was a change in me from high school to college. This music reflects that darkness that crept into my soul little by little. Still one of the coldest sounding albums I have ever heard.
4. Meshuggah: Contradictions Collapse & None
I bought this album in the summer between my senior year of college and law school. This is an extremely difficult album to listen to, as the band is extremely complex musically. The time signature, speed, and riffs constantly change over the course of the album leaving the listener feeling uneasy and unsafe. Particularly interesting given the time in my life that I got it. College was relatively easy for me, law school was never easy. Both my personal life and my academic life were to go through some radical changes that I was not prepared for.
5. Evanescence: Fallen
Kind of an odd album for this list as it is the only non-metal album on the list. This album represents the heartache at two of the hardest things I have ever had to endure. The melancholy atmosphere and sad lyrics encapsulate the struggle I went through at the time. I have moved on in my life now and have healed from these things, but I will never forget them. I also do not own this album anymore as it was too close to the situations.
6. Mercyful Fate: Melissa
This was one of the first albums I bought in my new home. It represents the change from the old, school-based life to the new work-based life and also my transformation from casual metal fan to hardcore metal listener. It was at this time that I not only completed my education, but abandoned the false and non-metal albums I used to listen to.
7. Scorpions: Bad for Good
I bought this album from my current girlfriend and as such it has come to symbolize the relationship I am currently in. A much more positive album filled with some love songs, this has come to represent the positive state of mind that I am in, thanks to her. She has done a lot for me and I am forever grateful to her. Scorpions is one of the bands that she can actually handle listening to, but this CD would not play in her car.
8. Syrach: Days of Wrath
A very recent pickup but an apt description of my last few weeks at my current job, which will be ending next week. Need further evidence? Reread that title.