Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Year in Metal: 1983

My fiancee wants me to point out that this is the year she was born so, of course, it's the best year ever.

Fresh off of his stint with Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio formed his own band and released his first solo album in 1983. Holy Diver was an instant classic spawning hits like the title track and "Rainbow in the Dark". His lyrics were often fantasy-inspired, which can come off a little cheesy at times, but nobody could pull them off like Dio. His voice is one of the greatest in metal. This is a great album and started off a string of great albums by the diminutive Dio. Unfortunately, he passed away earlier this year.

The first full-length Mercyful Fate album is also their best, in my opinion. The album is inspired lyrically by horror themes. The title track is the name given to a skull that the band had in its possession at the time and used for shows. All of the elements that would make Mercyful Fate a great band were present on the debut: King Diamond's otherworldly vocals, the duo guitar attack of Hank Sherman and Michael Denner, and some damn catchy songs. The riffs from this thing stick in my head for days after hearing it. Another rock-solid debut from 1983.

Speaking of debuts, Slayer also had theirs. I fought with myself about whether to include Metallica's debut here or Slayer's. Since I have already had a full post devoted to Kill 'Em All, I chose Slayer. This album bears little resemblance to the Slayer that we have all grown to love however. On this album, Slayer was much more influenced by the NWOBHM and Venom in particular. Their music is more melodic and not as harsh. But the songs are amazing, the guitars are great, and Tom Araya's voice was surprisingly impressive. It may be blasphemy, but this is actually my favorite Slayer album.

Honorable Mentions: Dokken: Breaking the Chains, Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind, Manowar: Into Glory Ride, Metallica: Kill 'Em All, Motley Crue: Shout at the Devil, Ozzy Osbourne: Bark at the Moon, Queensryche: Queensryche, Savatage: Sirens, Suicidal Tendencies: Suicidal Tendencies, Venom: At War with Satan

Bands Formed in 1983: Bathory, Death, Fates Warning, Helloween, Master, Mayhem, Megadeth, Metal Church, Morbid Angel, Possessed, Queensryche, Savatage, Testament

1 comment:

  1. I didn't mention on your last post that 1982 was the year I was born.

    I just started listening to Melissa in my car yesterday (it was my son's choice--he freaking loves King Diamond like you wouldn't believe) and finished it this morning. One of my all-time favorite albums. I love Holy Diver, too. I don't have Show No Mercy.