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My favorite 25 albums, in no particular order:
Zakk Wylde - Book Of Shadows (1996)
This is by far my favorite album of all time. This is one of those albums that I can listen to all the way through without getting tired of it. This album would be huge if Geffen Records would have actually promoted it in 1996 rather than acting like it didn't exist. Every track is perfect. This is definatly one of music's secret masterpeices of the mid '90s. I can listen to this album in any mood, and I never grow tired of it.
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (1994)
A great mix of heavy, mellow, and dreary tunes. Not a weak song on the whole disc. This was the album that made The Smashing Pumpkins break into the mainstream. Perfectionist Billy Corgan supposedly played everything but the drums on most of this album because of tension and substance abuse between band members.
Black Label Society - Sonic Brew (1999)
This album is very sentimental to me. I can remember when it was still being recorded. I was one of the only people who knew about it, because I know the drummer Phil Ondich. I heard rough mixes of this album first in June of 1998, right after it was recorded. It blew me away. I became basically the biggest fan of the band, before they even released their album yet. I constantly promoted them and wouldnt miss a chance to go to my aunt's to hear the album (before it was released). Everyone around me thought I was over-enthusiastic about the band, but I really was amazed at how great the album was. Everytime I hear this record, great memories and stories flood back to me about each song.
Sevendust - Animosity (2001)
Ok, so maybe it's odd that an album that is basically brand new is on my favorite of all-time list. But it's just that good. Sevendust are really starting to develop and mature as a band, both lyrically and musically. They still have the monster riffs that made them famous, but they have gradually started to encorporate more melodies into their writing. Lajon Witherspoon is hands down one of the best vocalists on the metal scene today. The melodies on this record are nothing short of spectacular, and how they combine with the raw blistering riffs is magical. The production really holds this record together, and everything seems to click perfectly.
Anthrax - We've Come For You All (2003)
After five years of hiatus after "Vol. 8," tons of bad business deals, the band name in jeapordy, Anthrax ruturned with was was their most solid album to date. The first single "Safe Home" is the best song they've ever written, hands down. "What Doesn't Die" has one of the coolest grooves I've ever heard in a song before. Charlie Benante's drumming on this album is amazing. John Bush puts forth some of his best vocal performances ever on this album, and that's saying a lot. New guitarist and producer Rob Caggiano sounds like he was MEANT for Anthrax. This is also their best sounding album, production-wise. The artwork and booklet layout is one of the best I've ever seen, as well. This album deserves success more than any other album out there right now.
AC/DC - Highway To Hell (1979)
Bon Scott era AC/DC at it's peak. Mutt Lange's came aboard to produce Highway To Hell for the band in 1979 to create a monster. The uninhibited rawness of AC/DC combined with one of the best producers to ever turn a knob. This album didn't have the success of it's follow-up, Back In Black, but like that album, this one is rock solid all the way through. The final studio recording featuring Bon Scott on vocals.

Chris Cornell - Euphoria Morning (1999)
Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave released this solo album in 1999. I heard the single "Can't Change Me" when it was new. I liked the video, but the song bored me to death. I never bothered to check out this album until Audioslave rumors started to surface. I wish I would have checked it out earlier. Every song on this is great, and Chris really shows off his powerful voice. This album is comparable to Book Of Shadows and Jar Of Flies (acoustic based, amazing collection of songs).

Megadeth - Countdown To Extinction (1992)
Most people consider Rust In Peace to be Megadeth's finest record. I agree somewhat that it is more technical and more thrashy than Countdown To Extinction. The band shifted styles a little bit for this record, and it it slightly more commercial. But to me, that just makes for better songs. The musicianship is amazing, as is the songwriting. The production is perfect. I heard a rumor that this record was a pain to make simply because they wanted it to be literally perfect. Nick Menza played the drums perfectly to a click track, for an almost inhumanly perfect timing. Not a wrong note was layed down on this entire record.
Corrosion Of Conformity - Deliverance (1994)
Pepper Keenan's first record with COC as the bandleader and singer, and his 2nd with the group in total. He really took over this band and they found a sound that was a huge success. Heavy Black Sabbath-ish riffs, with a slight edge of punk, and some very James Hetfield-esque vocals. This is one hell of an album. This album contains some amazing compositions such as Albatross, some great heavy hitters such as Senor Limpio, the insanely catchy Clean My Wounds, which was a pretty big hit for them.
Metallica - Metallica [The Black Album] (1990)
I don't know many people who don't own this album, or at least haven't heard it. This album just came out at the right time, with the right set of songs, and the right producer. The production is amazing on this album, and it's obvious why it's sold over 13 million copies to date. Definatly one of the biggest records ever. Everyone knows Enter Sandman, Nothing Else Matters, and Sad But True. Even the lesser known tracks are great, such as Through The Never, and My Friend Of Misery. This is really the first record I ever listened to constantly.
Skid Row - Slave To The Grind (1992)
Skid Row are easily one of the best bands to come out in the late '80s. Their first record was partially co-written by Bon Jovi, therefore it was pretty cheesy and sappy for the mostpart, this record showed the band how they were more comfortable. Some of the heavy songs on this album were way ahead of their time, such as Mudkicker, and Psycho Love. The ballady songs on this record are amazing as well. Full of emotion. The guitar work is subperb on the whole disc, and Sebastian Bach's vocals are chilling.
Raging Slab - Dynamite Monster Boogie Concert (1993)
Raging Slab have been plagued throughout their career of releasing their albums with bad timing, with bad business deals, and sometimes too tongue-in-cheek. They sit on so many different musical fences, it confuses some listeners. I beleive that this is Raging Slab at their peak. I love every track on this. The way the 3 guitars melt together, sometimes all 3 playing slide guitar parts at the same time just sounds great. Greg Strzempka's vocals sound great on this record, and the production is also top notch. Some great backing vocals on the choruses, and this is just a great boogie record.
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin (1969)
The first Zeppelin album is one of the most groundbreaking albums ever. John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant stumbled onto something great. Taking the blues and hard rock to a whole new level, they created a style of rock music, and influenced just about every band after them. Some great compositions such as Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, and Dazed and Confused leave the listener in awe. How Many More Times shows the more jamming side of the band. And man, could they jam!
Anthrax - Vol. 8: The Threat Is Real (1998)
Soon after this record came out, the record label went out of business, and therefore the album went out of print and had no promotion whatsoever. A lot of Anthrax fans don't even know it exists. This is one of the best metal records to come out in a long time. The album starts out with quite possibly one of the most drum-heavy songs I've ever heard "Crush." And it sure does crush. Great riffs, and amazing vocals (as can always be expected of John Bush, without a letdown). The hidden track on the album "Pieces" is an acoustic song sang by bassist Frank Bello, about their cousin who was murdered. Truly touching song to end a great album.
Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears (1990)
This is hands down the best Ozzy record. Mike Inez, Zakk Wylde, and Randy Castillo are my favorite Ozzy lineup. Every song is perfect, and Zakk's combination of country-style chicken pickin' and kickass metal leads and slide guitar make this album sound fresh and new everytime I hear it. Some of the best and most epic guitar solos ever put to tape are on this record. Ozzy's voice is at it's best as well. Randy Castillo never disappoints, he plays some amazing percussion parts on Zombie Stomp, and his drum fills enhanced this album through and through.
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Street Survivors (1977)
Skynyrd were at their peak. Everything was perfect, momentum was high, and with addition of new young guitarist Steve Gaines, they couldnt have sounded any better. He breathed new life into the band, and his writing, guitar playing, and singing gave them a fresh sound that has been unmatched ever since. Sadly, just three days after this album was released, lead singer Ronnie VanZant, Steve Gaines, and Steve's sister Cassie Gaines (a back-up singer) were killed in a tragic plane crash. The other band members escaped with minor injuries. The album title and cover (which features the band members engulfed in flames) turned out to be eerily ironic. Songs like "That Smell," "I Know A Little," and "I Never Dreamed" still sound as great today as they did 25 years ago.
Metallica - Master Of Puppets (1986)
Master Of Puppets, Metallica's third and final record with bassist Cliff Burton is a definate masterpeice. This is hailed by most critics as the best thrash metal album ever recorded, and this is one of those instances where I happen to agree with them. The title track, as well as "Battery," "Damage Inc.," "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)," and the soaring instrumental "Orion" are some of the band's finest songs.
Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality (1971)
Black Sabbath's third album is one of the best metal releases ever put out. Sweet Leaf, Lord Of This World, and Into The Void are some of the best metal tracks ever recorded. Children of The Grave is possibly the first "speed metal" song recorded; sure, it's nowhere as fast/advanced as today's speed metal, for 1971, it was cutting edge. It's still one of the heaviest tracks ever recorded. The whole album has such a great sound to it, and Ozzy's vocals are amazing on this record. Back then, he could belt the lyrics out like no other.
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness (1995)
Virgin Records thought it was foolish to put out a double album right after their major label debut. Spawning the hits "Tonight, Tonight," "Zero," "Bullet With Butterfly Wings," "1979," "Thirty-Three," and "Muzzle," this album hit the mainstream with a huge impact. The singles were all great, but so is the rest of the album, with the epic tracks "Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans," "Thru The Eyes Of Ruby," and "Into The Arms Of Sleep," the band creates some of the best musical atmospheres I've ever heard. Heavy tracks like "Where Boys Fear To Tread," "Bodies," "Tales Of A Scorched Earth," "Fuck You (An Ode To No One)," and "X.Y.U." are brutal. Mid-paced tracks such as "To Forgive," and "Here Is No Why" are great as well. This is the best selling double album of all-time, except Pink Floyd's "The Wall."
Alice In Chains - Jar Of Flies (1994)
The dark, saddening atmosphere of this whole album is haunting. The opening track "Rotten Apples" is such a great opening track. "Nutshell" is possibly the saddest song ever recorded. The radio hits "I Stay Away," and "No Excuses" are really great tracks as well. "Whale & Wasp" is a short emotional instrumental that adds a lot to the album. The last two tracks "Don't Follow," and "Swing On This" turn the emotion of the album around at the end, I think. This is perfect as it is, even with only 7 tracks.
Badlands - Badlands (1989)
This is a late '80's, early '90s supergroup featuring former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee, one-time '80's Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen (R.I.P.), former Lita Ford & '80's Black Sabbath drummer, and future Kiss drummer Eric Singer, and bassist Greg Chaisson from the band Terrif.. Over the years, this record "has been steadily gathering steam as a vaulted rock classic, a hard, electric, freewheeling album of timeless tone-rich guitar rock more in company with Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Humble Pie, Free, James Gang ad Aerosmith than any of the disposable hair band records with which it incredulously found itself competing." (I stole that last quote from Martin Popoff because it was just too good to not use.
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath (1970)
The very first metal record ever. On this album you can literally hear jazz and blues-rooted rock turn into metal before your ears. This is one of the most innovative records ever recorded. And it only took them 12 hours to record it. You really can't beat the first Sabbath record. Five tracks. All great, some really long jams which are made up ofseveral songs. "The Wizard," the title track, "Wicked World," "Behind The Wall Of Sleep," "Warning," "N.I.B."....need I really say more?
Alice In Chains - Dirt (1992)
This is Alice In Chains' best album. I listen to Jar Of Flies more, but that's an EP. Dirt and Jar Of Flies really go hand in hand. Jar Of Flies is this album's mellow companion. The music and lyrics are dark...some of the darkest I've ever heard. In my opinion, this album saw Layne Staley at his peak. There's not much to say other than "Them Bones," "Rooster," "Down In A Hole," and "Would?," definatly AIC's biggest hits (other than "Man In The Box" from 1989's Facelift). "Rain When I Die" is one of my personal favorite songs.
Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power (1992)
This is definatly Pantera's most solid effort. The production is fucking killer on this album. The drum sound rules. Nothing sounds as good as popping in this cd and cranking "Mouth For War" when driving down the road. "A New Level" is merciless, and you gotta love "Fucking Hostile." And everyone and their mother knows "Walk." I personally think that "This Love" is one of Pantera's best songs, dwarfed only by "Cemetery Gates" from Cowboys From Hell. I think that after this album, Pantera tried to be almost too heavy (even though I LOVE the other albums too, don't get me wrong)...this one is perfect for any metal fan.
Megadeth - Rust In Peace (1990)
This is what many hardcore Megadeth fans to be their best album. I consider it definatly one of the best, but I prefer CTE. But you can't deny that this album overall is their thrash masterpeice and is what put them on top of the genre. There's no better way to open an album up with than "Holy Wars." That riff fuckin' owns. This is Megadeth's "technical" album (even though all of them are, really). This was the first album with Marty Friedman and Nick Menza in the lineup, and quite possibly their best performances of their careers.
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