Tuesday, April 21, 2009

10 Albums that Survived the Grunge Era

I like to read other blogs about metal. I got the idea for this one from Metal Martyr. Here is the link: http://www.metalmartyr.com/10-metal-albums-that-survived-the-grunge-era/

This is an interesting topic for me because I was just beginning to discover metal during the grunge era. I remember a lot of my friends and my older brother being really into Nirvana and Pearl Jam. I liked those bands okay but my particular favorite grunge bands were the decidedly more metal Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. I wore a lot of flannel shirts which were kind of considered the "grunge style" where I was from, but my music tastes definitely were not grunge. Other than AiC and SG, I never owned an album by any of the grunge bands. I was much more into metal. Here are some albums that were new in the years 1992-1995 that I enjoyed.

Black Sabbath: Cross Purposes
I have mentioned this album in a previous post of Dusting Off a Cassette. This is a very strong album featuring great songs, good riffs, and Tony Martin's powerful, yet underrated vocals.

Cannibal Corpse: Tomb of the Mutilated
One of the first well-known Cannibal Corpse albums. The band appeared in a cameo scene on Ace Ventura and their popularity skyrocketed. This album featured the song "Hammer Smashed Face" from the movie.

Corrosion of Conformity: Deliverance
Southern-fried metal with a hardcore tinge to it. I fell in love with this album when I first heard it and I still love it to this day. Nothing the band released since has come close to this one, although their earlier material is very interesting.

Down: NOLA
Well-known now, but at the time this was a curiosity band featuring members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, and Eyehategod. The riffs were heavy, the songs were memorable and this side project actually became a major force in the metal world. I saw them last fall in concert and they slayed.

Machine Head: Burn My Eyes
Capitalizing on the Pantera groove metal phenomenon, Machine Head rose from the ashes of Vio-Lence. Their first album is one of the better examples of groove metal to date. They would unfortunately move towards nu metal, then metalcore, and now thrash showing that they really do not have their own sound but change based on the current trend.

Megadeth: Youthanasia
Definitely not at the same level as their earlier works but an improvement on Countdown to Extinction. Megadeth regained some of their more thrash influences on this release and had one of their biggest hits "A Tout Le Monde".

Morbid Angel: Covenant
A surprisingly successful album for a death metal album on a major label. This is one of Morbid Angel's better albums by far. I was exposed to this band for the first time when the video for "God of Emptiness" appeared on Beavis and Butthead. The video freaked me out and I desperately wanted to hear more.

Pantera: Far Beyond Driven
I'm not a huge Pantera fan, especially of their groove metal material, but this was a great album with one bad song on it. Pantera proved that metal was still viable during the grunge era.

Testament: Low
One of the better Testament albums. This one occurred after they lost their lead guitarist and stopped trying to be Metallica. A great album with some brutal moments in it. This was my first extreme metal album.

Type O Negative: Bloody Kisses
I remember distinctly seeing a video for this band before I had heard much from them. I remember the singer/bassist Peter Steele holding a string bass in his arms like a guitar and thinking "that guy is fucking huge!". This one seemed forbidden because of the cover picture of two women nuzzling together with their mouths open after kissing, the song titles such as "Kill All the White People", and the opening track featuring a woman having an orgasm. I still love this album, even for all its quirks. Gothic metal has never sounded so good or bleak. This is the band's masterpiece.

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