1. KISS- Smashes, Thrashes and Hits: Probably the album that had the most effect on my life.. I know it’s a compilation, but this was my first album ever. It was blasting through my cd player day and night. And I’m serious, I had to have music all the time, even when I was asleep. So I kind of got brainwashed by KISS 24/7 at a pretty young age. Of course after this album, I bought the others too, but this was what got it all started for me. All the songs you need to know are on it so for me it was perfect, it had some of the first albums, and some of the 80’s stuff too. From ‘Love Gun’ to ‘Lick it Up’. For me it was perfect to get started with.
2. Metallica-Ride The Lightning: Can’t really say what was my first ‘Metallica’ album so I picked this one because it’s my favourite. When I was younger I just listened to random Metallica songs with my cousin and we pretended to be Metallica, we even had fake guitars!! So I don’t really know which album had the most effect on me, I think it doesn’t really matter. You can put on any of their first albums without going wrong. This band got me listening to harder stuff too and had a huge impact on my guitar playing. I think they are still the reason I got into Thrash metal so early. So people can say what they want about Metallica to try to be cool, but they still made more good albums than most bands out there!
3. Hawkwind-Master Of The Universe: Also a record that I played a lot in my youth. I got it from my dad one day. Unknowingly it was the band Lemmy used to play in. I didn’t even know him back then. But I’m not here to talk about Lemmy. I’m here to talk about this great band! I really don’t understand why they aren’t bigger. If I put on the song ‘Who’s Gonna Win the War’ I still get goose-bumps. Perfect band if you want to sit back and relax. Or use acid. But because I was a bit too young for that stuff, I just enjoyed listening to it. The whole spacey vibe and lyrics about aliens was kind of exciting when I was young, it kind of gave this science-fiction movie vibe. Just like you want to get a horror vibe when you listen to the song ‘Black Sabbath’ from the band Black Sabbath, these guys know how to transfer their music into a feeling. Like watching a movie with your ears.
4. Iron Maiden-Best Of The Beast: Another compilation.. I know it feels wrong, but you can’t deny it’s a great way to get to know a band when you’re still pretty young. Songs like ‘Number Of The Beast’, ‘The Trooper’ and ‘Fear Of The Dark got rammed in there.. Damn I was lucky!! Imagine if I had been raised listening to German Shlager. Brrr, that’s one thought I don’t want to have in my head.. White socks and Lederhosen, no thanks! I’m happy I had the chance to get to know this great band and to see them live many times. The best thing about this album is that I had to go and rent it in our local library if I wanted to listen to it. Aaaaaah, nostalgia. Almost every month I had to go back to rent it again.. After a while I got smarter and bought one. It’s weird, the stuff you pick up when you’re young keeps on ending up in your stereo. And most of the stuff I pick up now gets a couple of plays and gets lost in the pile. Music just isn’t the same anymore.
5. Vio-lence-Eternal Nightmare: The album that taught me what thrash metal was about, for me still the best thrash metal album out there and one of the bands that I still need to see live one day! I would give my left ‘un for that. And that’s probably why I don’t like machine head, they’re in the way! This album is THE album if you want pure raw aggression. No death or black metal band will ever beat this. Every time I hear it, it still gets me going!! Maybe the first time you hear it you’ll have to get used to the voice of Sean Killian, but once you like it, you can’t go back. They made Metallica look like a doom metal band, damn.
6. Budgie-Never Turn Your Back On A Friend: A band that I actually got to know through Metallica’s Garage Days album, they covered two songs (‘Breadfan’ and ‘Crash Course in Brain Surgery’) on that album and when I checked it out I was shocked! Why didn’t I ever hear of this band before?!? And to think that they’re from the Black Sabbath era. This band was waaaay ahead of their time.. Songs like ‘Breadfan’, ‘Parents’ and ‘You’re the Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk’ (Yeah, one kickass song title! and it even has a 2 minute drum-solo before it!!) really make you realise that this band is different. The sad part is, they influenced so many bands, but ask someone if they know Budgie and they stare at you like you’re nuts!! If you never heard of them before, be sure to check this out!!!!!!
7.Crimson Glory- Trancendance: Just had to put this one in there. One of the most original albums I ever heard. Especially for that time where there was only heavy, thrash or glam metal happening. A really atmospheric high level metal album. And the vocals on this album, damn, I can’t even write down how they are.. I think for me, this singer, ‘Midnight’ is the best singer in the whole damn world. Ever. Or should I say was. When you hear him singing there is no way you could have imagined it to be better. It’s just spot on, and then 2 guitar players who can shred like hell, and a bass player who actually plays bass guitar-lines. Weird huh?? Technical stuff for sure, but done with a smooth approach to harmony and melody. One of my best new discoveries from the last couple of years!!
8. Jason Becker-Perpetual Burn: Simply because he is such a huge inspiration. Every time I listen to this or watch his DVD I pick up my guitar and start playing instantly. The biggest reason is probably because I get reminded of how badly I still need to practise! This guy is really nuts, the way he plays is so technical but it still has feeling. Some ground breaking stuff! And he’s a reminder of how things don’t always work out(he got ALS right before his big break and is now paralysed) but if you really want something you have to keep on trying! The fact that he is still alive and making music (with his eyes!) is just amazing!
9. Porcupine Tree- Voyage 34: Something really different in this list is this album from Porcupine Tree, but I just love it! It has put me to sleep many times on tour and is just nice to listen to. Its one song built into four phases that tells the story of a group of people taking acid. Really cool to hear how the song evolves as their trip moves along. Great album for when you’re just sitting in your bedroom at night and you’re just lying there doing nothing. It’s not metal, far from it. But sometimes you just need your zen moment in life.. After a day of playing loud guitars in the studio it feels like a musical massage.
10.Coven-Blessed Is The Black: Highly underrated band!! When I first discovered them nobody knew what I was talking about. It’s a shame bands like this can just get lost in the mass. But then again, it’s kinda cool to have a band like that. It’s really shitty recorded but that’s kind of why I like it so much, it really has that rawness. And then the singer’s voice, like somebody put the speaker in a gutter of murder. Of course with song titles like ‘IronDick’ (about a guy who kills people with his shlong), ‘Mcdonaldlandmassacre’ and ‘6669’ you know you can’t go wrong. Just noticed that they are playing shows again so, would be cool to see them some time!
‘Pulses of Pleasure’ , on Napalm Records, is out now. So pick it up and start thrashing!