Favorite Heavy Metal Albums of All Time Pt. II

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This is a continuation of part one of my blog entry “Favorite Heavy Metal Albums of all time……

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Album: Dragonlord (Tales of the Noble Steel)

Artist: Domine

Genre: Power Metal

My favorite album of all time by one of the greatest power metal bands of all time, Domine. Domine is a criminally underrated band, which is quite tragic because they have insanely awesome music, and their lead singer, Morby, can sing and wail like a total madman and operatic genius all at once. Almost all of this band’s lyrical content is based on the sword and sorcery/dark fantasy series of “The Eternal Champion” by Michael Moorcock, and about 95% of it focuses on the tragic yet badass antihero Elric of Melnibone. It was both this album and the artwork of Michael Whelan that inspired me to start reading Moorcock’s works. I completely fell in love with the title track as it is awe-inspiring and uplifting to the point of being otherworldly. I can’t tell you just how much I love this album to this day and how much I recommend it!
Noteworthy songs include; Last of the Dragonlords, Dragonlord, Uriel: The Flame of God, The Ship of the Lost Souls, and The Battle for the Great Silver Sword.

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Album: Versus the World

Artist: Amon Amarth

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Ahh yes, my first exposure to melodic death metal. And it may surprise you that the first time I listened to this album, I absolutely hated it. I thought I had bought a power metal album. As soon as I popped it in, my ears were assaulted by the harsh, rasping death vocals of the Viking Lord Johann Hegg and the brutal instrumentals of his merry crew. But over time, I began to see the beauty in the dark melodies and the vocal work, and loved the lyrics about Norse Mythology. And so “Versus the World” by Amon Amarth cemented its place among my favorite heavy metal albums of all time.
Noteworthy songs include all of them!

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Album: The Dark Saga

Band: Iced Earth

Genre: Power Thrash Metal

Iced Earth was my first exposure to thrash metal, and man, was it a helluva one! I know, I know, technically Iced Earth are classified as “power metal,” but at their heart, they are thrash metal, so I’ll make both camps happy here by classifying them as “power thrash.”
Iced Earth’s Dark Saga is a concept album based around Todd McFarlane’s comic book anti-hero, Spawn, and what follows is a haunting story with haunting and brutal melodies, the banshee-like wails of vocalist Matt Barlow, and more fast-chugging and shredding riffs than you can shake a stick at. This, in my opnion, is the Matt Barlow/Jon Schaffer duo at the top of their game.
Noteworthy songs include all of them!

529

Album: Dehumanizer

Artist: Black Sabbath

Genre:Traditional Heavy Metal/Doom Metal
This gem right here is absolutely the best of the Ronnie James Dio-era of Black Sabbath. It doesn’t get any heavier than this, folks! Prepare to be taken to a harder-than-steel dystopia of doom, gloom, adventure, and utter heaviness, dominated by the fire breathing vocals of the Dragon-Master of Metal, Ronnie James Dio, the guitar wizardry of Tony Iommi, the prehistoric thumping basswork of Geezer Butler, and the savage, complex, and catchy drumming of Vinny Appice. Here is the pinnacle of their work!
Noteworthy songs include Computer God, After All (The Dead), TV Crimes, Letters from Earth, Master of Insanity, and I.

 

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Album: Images and Words

Artist: Dream Theater

Genre: Progressive Metal

The beauty of this album surpasses all earthly words. Simply a masterpiece. The godlike vocals of James LaBrie weave a breathtaking tapestry with the guitars of John Petrucci, the keyboards of Kevin Moore, and the drums of Mike Portnoy. Every song on this album is sacred and beautiful and shines with a holy radiance, and uplifts the soul to realms of metal bliss.
Noteworthy songs include Pull Me Under, Another Day, Take the Time, Surrounded, and Metropolis Part I: The Miracle and the Sleeper.

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Album: Warning of Danger

Artist: Omen

Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal

Most metalheads when asked their favorite album by the underground and underrated traditional heavy metal band, Omen, will say it’s their first album, Battlecry. But for me, it’s their second release, Warning of Danger. The heaviness and sonic assault of this album cannot be denied, and the late J.D. Kimball’s vocal work shines here more than it does on Omen’s debut album or their third and  last album with him, The Curse. This is balls-out leather, spikes, and chains traditional heavy metal!
Noteworthy songs include Warning of Danger, March On, Ruby Eyes (Of the Serpent), Don’t Fear the Night, and Hell’s Gates.

41

Album: Starfire Burning Upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule

Artist Bal-Sagoth

Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

If you like your black metal with atmospheric keyboards, dramatic vocals and narrations, and epic-sounding dark sonic landscapes, this is the band for you! Bal-Sagoth is my most favorite black metal band of all time, and to me, “Starfire Burning” is their magnum opus! Every album is a new installment in a sweeping saga of sword and sorcery/dark fantasy. The storyline that Byron has written that he tells with Bal-Sagoth’s albums is nothing short of pure genius and hearkens back to the writings of Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Karl Edward Wagner, C.L. Moore, Henry Kuttner, Lin Carter, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and many others of the sword and sorcery/sword and planet genres. You won’t regret checking these guys out as they truly are musical and storytelling wizards!
Noteworthy songs include all of them!

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Album: Wheels of Steel

Artist: Saxon

Genre: NWOBHM/Traditional Heavy Metal

 

Another huge name in the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) of the late ’70s and early ’80s that is mentioned alongside legends such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Grim Reaper, Praying Mantis, Demon, and others is, of course, Saxon. This is the greatest album I’ve heard from them so far,. Wheels of Steel always has been and always will be one of my favorites. It’s full of catchy, heavy tracks that pack a metal punch! The riffs and rhythms are absolutely infectious, From what I’ve seen, these guys can do no wrong.
Noteworthy songs include Motorcycle Man, Stand Up and Be Counted, 747 (Strangers in the Night), Wheels of Steel, and Freeway Mad.

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Album: Thundersteel

Artist: Riot

Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal

Thundersteel is, without a doubt, one of the most bombastic, amazing, adventurous, and heaviest albums that the American traditional heavy metal outfit Riot ever released! It was released two years before Judas Priest’s Painkiller and has a molten sound that is akin to the legendary Priest album. It definitely was ahead of its time. The soundscape is nothing short of eargasmic! If you want metal with power, speed, and melody, this album will absolutely blow your mind!
Noteworthy songs include all of them!

 

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Album: The Scepter of Deception

Artist: Falconer

Genre: Power Metal/Folk Metal

I received this album one Christmas from my parents and it was my introduction to Falconer. I have loved them ever since. It is a concept album based around Medieval Sweeden, and the tunes are majestic, catchy, and grandiose. You feel like you’re sitting around a fire or in a great royal hall listening to bards sing about tales of legendry and heroic deeds. Definitely takes the mind and heart on a journey to another time and place.

Noteworthy songs include “The Coronation,” “Under the Sword,” “Night of Infamy,” and “Ravenhair.”

To be concluded in Part III……

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