I'm not sure how I haven't done this article yet. Metal is such an important thing to me and has changed my life for the better. I thought it was time to look at my top 5 favourite metal bands. There was so many to choose from and it was difficult to pick and place them in order. These bands are the most important to me and whose music has stuck with me for many years. These bands are those whose music is carved in my brain, with every riff, solo, lyric and drum beat memorised. So here we go...
5. Black Sabbath
My earliest exposure of heavy metal was Black Sabbath. Still to this day I remember hearing Paranoid, Sweet Leaf, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Into the Void for the very first time and being mesmerised. The riffs where heavy, the music was dark and little did I know that this would transform my life forever. Black Sabbath to me will forever be the greatest and most important metal band of all time. Their blues and jazz influences made for metal which was adventurous and progressive with Sabbath pushing the boundaries with each release, and every album showcased the band's changing sound. With each release, Sabbath influenced or spawned a sub genre. Whether it was Sweet Leaf being responsible for Doom, or Symptoms of the Universe influencing Thrash, Sabbath are responsible for it all. I am lucky enough to have seen them live twice, and their music is a part of my DNA.
4. Lamb of God
Like many others, my Lamb of God journey began on Guitar Hero. My first exposure to the band was Laid to Rest, and I actually saw them open for Metallica on their Death Magnetic support tour in Sydney. Lamb of God was my first exposure to a band with harsher vocals, which I originally hated, nor could understand. But as my taste for the more extreme side of metal grew I began to become enthralled with this band. Their riffing is second to none, their sense of groove makes me want to run in the circle pit, their break downs are fucking heavy, and they are consistent in their album releases and live performances. I was lucky enough to see them again opening for Slipknot, and dare I say they upstaged the headliner. Their music is energetic, their song writing and sense of structure is engaging and they never push the boundaries of extremism inappropriately. I have to thank this band as well as Slipknot for being the bridge to what I would consider to be extreme metal. Lamb of God have remained a consistent member in my metal journey and I can't see them going anywhere.
There have been 4 moments in my metal journey where my mind was blown and the course of my life was changed. Hearing the Cowboys from Hell album was one of those moments. I remember to this day putting it on my stereo and sitting there in awe and sometimes laughing at how sickeningly heavy this music was. I remember the first time I heard the drop in Domination or the shredding madness in The Art of Shredding, as well as the outro riffs of Heresy and Clash with Reality. I knew from that moment that I had discovered something truly magical. I was in awe of Dimebag's playing, Phil's vocals and the unique sound they had. The band drew on the heaviness of Sabbath and took it to another level. However my love for this band really skyrocketed when I first heard The Great Southern Trendkill. I truly believe this is Pantera's best album, and is one of the most aggressive and brilliant albums to come out of metal. To this day Pantera continue to have me in awe and they are one of the greats.
As mentioned above, there are 4 moments in which my musical life changed. Hearing Meshuggah's Chaosphere for the first time in my friend's car was one of those. I still remember hearing Corridor Of Chameleons and not knowing what had just happened. Needless to say this spawned a 2 year obsession for this band's music. I went out and bought all their albums and religiously studied their music. Even to this day I cannot understand how this band composes their songs/riffs and how they are so tight as a unit. Their music still blows me away and I always find myself feeling that spark that I did when I first heard their music. It is band's like Meshuggah that continue to raise the bar, and they are still upstaging of a lot of band's within the metal world both live and in the studio.
1. Metallica After Black Sabbath came Metallica, and my proper introduction to metal had begun. Ride the Lightning was the first album I ever bought and I haven't looked back since. I listened to nothing but Metallica for about 4 years straight and their music is engraved in my brain. Master of Puppets for me personally is my favourite album and I truly believe it is the greatest metal album of all time. You can compare it to Led Zeppelin IV or the Dark Side of the Moon of heavy metal, there is no work that competes. My life wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for Metallica and I can't quite put into words what this band means to me. I will forever stand in their corner and support them, because if it wasn't for Metallica, the metal genre would not be anywhere near as global as it is, and thousands of band's have spawned because of their music. They are an introduction band for many metal fans, who then continue on to discover more extreme forms of the genre. We all have a little bit of Metallica in our hearts and everyone should be thankful for their existence. I one day hope to see them on Australian shores again, and I'm sure it will be quite an emotional experience for me.