Most of us became interested in music at a very young age. Some of us (the most talented ones, I guess) go even farther and learn to play an instrument, form a band, or become a solo artist and dream of fame and fortune. It's a shame that only a small minority have the chance to be a part of a popular band and tour all over the world while putting bread and butter on the table. This road can be tough and rocky, that's for sure.
Tons of music was probably lying around when we were all kids, be it your parents' vinyl albums or your beloved aunt's cassettes or some random music that you liked on the radio, and we fell instantly in love with it.
We here at the shiny ivory tower of The Metal Crypt are always willing to dig a little deeper and we contacted a bunch of musicians and asked what were their favorite and influential bands and albums from their childhoods (a so-called "soundtrack of youth") that eventually took them on a long journey in their career.
This is the twelfth chapter of Soundtracks of My Youth series... enjoy!
Thanks to Floren Betti, Biel Marín, Mario "Bastard" Christiansen, Jordi "Goran" Catany and Frank Pietsch of Deathpath, Haaska, Loitsumestari Taikakallo and Ruttomieli of Moonlight Sorcery, Jonathan Seale of Iron Void, STH, RMK and LWN of Kingdom, Jamie Hollis of Offended, Jorman Khaos of Mallus Spiritus, Archfiend DevilPig (aka Kostas Koudousnes) of Embrace of Thorns, Jaro of Meatspreader, Hugo Markaida of Feelingless, Dave Coppola of Invertia, Invisus of Blodhemn, B.J. Cook of Pantheon, Jaro Kaczmarczyk of Hellhaim, Dominik Rothe of Taskforce Toxicator, David Riekhoff of Speed Lvfter and Mike Miller of Toxic Ruin for all of their great contributions to this twelfth part of the series.
For Floren, our bass player, it is Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast (1982). He bought it with his own money, and he says it doesn't matter how many scratches this vinyl now has, it always sounds good. His favorite death metal albums are Malevolent Creation's Retribution (1992) and Morbid Angel's Altar of Madness (1989).
Our lead guitarist Biel says his sister's boyfriend at the time had Swansong (by Carcass, 1996) on CD and the CD was shaped like a brain. It seemed amazing to him, and he always asked him to put the record on. The guy gave him the record on cassette, and he listened to it in a constant loop. His favorite death metal album is Bolt Thrower's ...for Victory (1994), though.
When Mario, our shouter, was a teen, he went to a record store which was very far away from his home to buy two records from Motörhead, Bomber (1979) and Orgasmatron (1986). He always tells us that he listened on his way to or from school to Unleashed's Shadows in the Deep (1992).
The first experience for Jordi "Goran" Catany, our drummer, was Deep Purple's Made in Japan (1972). It was a big change for him from all the mainstream and folk music his parents listened to. Today he likes melodic power metal a lot, bands like Blind Guardian, etc.
When I (Frank Pietsch) was a teen, 17 or something, my neighbor, who was three years older than me, gave me Destruction's Sentence of Death (1984), because he couldn't get into it. After a few times of listening, I was into it, and it opened the door for me to metal. Then came, of course, Metallica and Slayer and further into death metal bands like Death, Bolt Thrower and Obituary.
DEEP PURPLE - Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple (1980)
My dad owned this as a CD when I wasn't even in school yet. "Black Night", "Speed King", "Highway Star", and "Burn". I don't think there even is a need to explain why this guided me towards heavier music.
BLACK SABBATH - Greatest Hits (1977)
Similar to the Purple album but on vinyl. So many great songs and riffs. Amazing atmosphere even though the songs are from different albums. A fan for life.
CHILDREN OF BODOM – Hatebreeder (1999)
I think I was in fifth grade when I bought Hate Crew Deathroll (2003) on CD from a local supermarket, most likely because of the cover art. After that I became a fan of Bodom and wanted to buy all their other albums as well. Hatebreeder was the one that really stood out with its guitar playing. Amazing album to this date.
METALLICA – Metallica (The black album) (1991)
My uncle used to play this for me in his car during our summer trips to our family cabin. Fond memories. Not the best Metallica album for sure but it was the first one I heard, and it guided me to good things.
FINNTROLL - Midnattens Widunder (1991)
Ah yes, early Finntroll. If Black Sabbath was the spark on the occult, then this album truly pushed me to the dark side. This was heavy on its time for a young kid. I still play it quite often to this day.
After these of course came all the Emperor, Dissection. Etc. which have affected my songwriting more than anything else.
PRINCESSA - Calling You (1996)
Growing up as the youngest sibling I used to listen to what my older brother and sister were blasting through the old boom boxes.
"Calling You" and "Anyone But You" are still some of my favorite songs in the world. They have such great melodies. You can also find some nice guitar work on this album!
Mix '96 – The Sweetest Dance Mix of the Year compilation (1996)
Dance music compilations were the thing back in the day. I remember we had a bunch of those when we were kids. But this one has stayed on my mind the most (maybe the cover art has something to do with it).
This compilation had the best songs (and the best cover art). This has so many good melodies and beats which have definitely affected my composing in melodies.
My favorite track from this compilation is definitely Cappella's "Turn It Up and Down".
YNGWIE MALMSTEEN – Inspiration (1996)
When my uncle passed away, we got his CD-collection (at least some of it, not sure if we got it all). There were many great CDs from dance music to metal to Finnish schlager music.
Yngwie's cover album is the one I blasted the most. This was my introduction to Malmsteen and after that I was a fan. Tracks like "Pictures of Home" and "Gates of Babylon" are my favorites on this one.
JUDAS PRIEST - The Essential Judas Priest (2006)
At some point my brother started to listen to more heavy music and I followed in his footsteps. I can't really remember the first CDs we had but this Priest collection was a massive album with great songs.
"Painkiller" is the one that really started me playing fast on guitar. The sweet picking in the beginning of the solo is still so magical and the whole solo is such a masterpiece.
IRON MAIDEN - Iron Maiden (1980), HELLOWEEN - Walls of Jericho (1985), DIO - Holy Diver (1983)
The fifth album is so hard to pick. All these albums have had such a big influence on me, especially the first tracks on each; "Prowler", "Starlight", and "Stand Up and Shout."
It is really hard to pick one. With "Transylvania" I fell in love with instrumental songs. "How Many Tears" made me love epic long songs. "Don't Talk to Strangers" is still maybe the best ''metal ballad'' and I'm still trying to write something as great as that song.
KLAMYDIA - Los celibatos (1991)
I was probably nine years old when my older cousin gave me a bag full of tapes. By then I was recording my favorite songs from the TV show called Jyrki. Jyrki introduced me to a great bunch of bands. One of the tapes contained Klamydia's Los celibatos. I heard it and it was a whole lotta fun. That was probably the first album I ever listened to fully.
RATTUS - Levytykset 1981-1984 Recorded Works (1985)
One of those Suomi-rock compilation CDs that I used to listen to a lot, which held raw Finnish hardcore inside. This is when I realized that the rawer the better. Then I found the complete Rattus recordings from a local library. Oh boy! I was probably nine years old.
SLIPKNOT – Iowa (2001)
The summer before junior high, Slipknot was popular in Finland and I jumped on the bandwagon. "The Heretic Anthem" was the song for me because it said 666.
IMPALED NAZARENE - Absence of War Does Not Mean Peace (2001)
When I really went on to junior high and made new friends, it was really a time for extreme metal to take its toll. Slipknot paved a path for Impaled Nazarene, Absence of War... being one of the first albums I ever bought.
FINNTROLL - Midnattens Widunder (1991)
In the very same year, in the seventh grade, my new friends introduced me to Children of Bodom. I was blown away! Hatebreeder is still one of their best albums ever.
Many thanks for inviting me to participate in this, it's very much appreciated.
Here are the five albums which formed the soundtrack to my youth:
MICHAEL JACKSON – Thriller (1982)
Before all the controversy which plagued him later on in his career Michael Jackson was an unstoppable musical force in the late '70s and early '80s. I was born in '79, and this album was released in '82. The videos for "Thriller", "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" were on regular rotation during my formative years and those are the three songs I love most from this album although the whole album is a masterpiece. Obviously, Eddie Van Halen played the guitar solo on "Beat It", and I later became a massive Van Halen fan. The video for "Thriller" freaked me out as an impressionable child! It no doubt influenced my love of Horror and specifically Vincent Price as he contributes a creepy spoken word monologue to this song. A timeless classic which I still listen to occasionally even to this day.
THE TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1986)
I loved the Transformers cartoon series as a child and when the movie was released in '86 I watched it over and over on VHS. The soundtrack was a large part of the appeal in hindsight, and I still listen to this soundtrack on a regular basis. At the time I didn't realize the influence this would have on my musical taste later in life, as the majority of the music included on the soundtrack is firmly in the rock/heavy metal genre with a very '80s flavor. The standout songs for me are "The Touch" by Stan Bush, "Instruments of Destruction" by NRG (which sounds very similar to Megadeth!), "Dare" by Stan Bush, "Nothin's Gonna Stand in Our Way" by Spectre General and, of course, "The Transformers (Theme)" by Lion. The lyrics are also very inspiring and motivational and whenever I'm feeling down, I blast out some of these songs and I instantly feel better and inspired again.
GUSTAV HOLST - The Planets, Op. 32 (1974)
My father used to play this a lot when I was very young and although I love the whole suite, the one that sticks with me is "Mars, the Bringer of War", especially the opening two minutes. What an epic piece of music! I read later that this also influenced Geezer Butler when he was writing the song, "Black Sabbath". I do dip in and out of classical music, but this is my all-time favorite. "Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity" is my second favorite piece on this recording. I've always been fascinated by space and the planets and at a young age this added to that fascination.
ERIC CLAPTON - The Cream of Eric Clapton (1987)
My father had this on cassette tape when I was around eight years old and played it non-stop when we were driving in the car. This compilation had a massive effect on me, and I still listen to it a lot today. It brings back a lot of nice memories and the songs are absolute gold in my opinion. It's essentially a compilation of Clapton's work with two of his most notable bands, Cream and Derek and The Dominos, and his solo stuff. This was my first introduction to Cream, a band I absolutely adore. I'm a big fan of Jack Bruce's bass playing and the power trio format and the sharing of lead vocals is essentially the same format we have now with Iron Void. It's a shame this compilation doesn't include "Bad Love", another one of my favorite Clapton compositions.
JIMI HENDRIX - Cornerstones 1967 - 1970 (1990)
Of all the albums I've mentioned thus far, this is certainly the most influential for me personally. My father saw this in a record shop on cassette tape and said he'd like me or my mother to buy it him for his birthday. I ended up buying it and I'd heard my father talk about Hendrix in reverential tones. I'd heard his name before but hadn't heard his music and I was curious to know what he sounded like. Before I wrapped the present up, I had a sneaky listen to the tape, and it blew my fucking mind! I've been hooked ever since, and along with Black Sabbath, Hendrix is one of my all-time favorite artists and an untold influence on me as a musician.
So, there you have it, five albums which formed the soundtrack to my youth. I would also like to mention a few songs which had an influence on me as an impressionable youth:
Chuck Perry – "Maybellene" (1955)
Philip Bailey & Phil Collins – "Easy Lover" (1984)
Bon Jovi – "Livin' on a Prayer" (1986)
Europe – "The Final Countdown" (1986)
TURBO - Kawaleria Szatana (1986)
This is the first Polish album which pushed me into metal. Grzegorz Kupczyk is still my number one metal singer.
EXODUS - Bonded by Blood (1985)
It's still the quintessential wild thrash metal album. When I first heard it, I was around 14 and for the first time I started to think about playing (metal) myself.
BATHORY - Under the Sign of the Black Mark (1987)
This album blew me away! Powerful, full of evil, and it opened my eyes to extreme metal.
SAMAEL - Worship Him (1991)
From the early demos I found the devil who lit the black fire in my heart.
BLASPHEMY - Fallen Angel of Doom... (1990)
The most extreme death/black metal album that has ever been released. After I heard it, I knew what I would do in my life.
TSA - Heavy Metal World (1984)
This is the first thing that fell into my hands and pulled me out of the provincial dance music fumes. At that time, it was a blast for me but most importantly, it showed the middle finger to the well-groomed boys on the dance floor, haha!
IRON MAIDEN - Killers (1981)
There was a lot of NWOBHM stuff coming up at that time, but that album was the one that appealed to me the most.
SODOM - Persecution Mania (1986)
Stuffy atmosphere, piercing guitars, harsh vocals, plus a great production. I had it with me all summer when I was camping and drinking beer with my friends. Unforgettable times.
OBITUARY - Cause of Death (1990)
So many death metal albums were released during the early '90s, but this album somehow captivated my attention, partly thanks to a good production, maybe? Or, maybe thanks to the injection of fresh blood in the form of James Murphy? I do not know...
MARTY FRIEDMAN - Introduction (1995)
This album came to me a bit later and I won't hide it. As a guitarist I've always been fascinated by all these guitar shredders. There were, and still are, many great guitarists in this vale of tears, from different musical underworlds, but this album was and actually still is number one for me. There are no great volleys, cannonades, shrieking passages, or racing with sound, but there's the feeling, melody, and beautiful compositions on this fine album.
In my early metalhead career, I was more into black metal. The most powerful and inspiring album from those days for me was Emperor's Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk (1990). It has the riffs, texts, and spiritual emotions that I felt created a path that I have been walking to this very day. I had a cassette that was a recorded copy from another crappy sounding copy. But man, it didn't matter at all because this album had such a huge impact on me.
From the Polish metal scene, the first album that made a huge impact on me was Kat's Bastard (1992). Thrash/heavy metal, great guitar, percussion and, of course, the person of Roman Kostrzewski, who is the true godfather of Polish metal.
When I first heard this album, I felt cold. I felt like I was somewhere in the dark forest where every tree and every stone were a demon looking for me. This album was Immortal's Pure Holocaust (1993). Unbelievable musical cult!
As for death metal, the album I started to worship was Morbid Angel's fourth album, Covenant (1993). For me it's the best album by this band. Everything is perfect, every track is a fucking masterpiece. It also has the best MA lineup, and that album represents the best MA period for me, too.
... and then last but not least, something completely different.
In the death/black metal storm that swept through my life, suddenly there was an album that completely consumed me, something I never expected would happen. That album was Tiamat's Wildhoney (1997). I couldn't believe there was such an album, and such music would win me to its side. But it happened. I must admit that I come back to this album very often. Echoes of youth appear in my soul from time to time... ;)
Here's my top five childhood albums in no particular order
IRON MAIDEN - Somewhere in Time (1986)
The hypnotic keyboards on this album made me want to pick up a keyboard instead of a guitar. What an amazing atmosphere this album has, particularly on "Heaven Can Wait" and "Deja Vu." I went on to learn almost the entire album on guitar and played it until the CD was warped. Amazing record from my childhood which made me pick up a guitar.
DEMON - Breakout (1987)
This tiny little band is truly inspiring, even if you just read their story and don't listen to any of their songs. Their 1987 album would be a great place to start though. Front to back, it's amazing. Not a weak track in sight. Standouts include "Life on the Wire", "Living in the Shadow", "Big Chance" and even "Finale."
RUSH - Grace Under Pressure (1984)
A controversial era from Rush's discography, but one I absolutely adore. Geddy Lee's style of bass playing is on another level and has inspired me to try and make more of a feature out of the bass guitar than perhaps some other bands would. The opening four tracks of this album are solid gold, in particular "Red Sector A" which, although it actually has no bass guitar in it, has a truly sensational guitar line throughout. The bass line from "The Enemy Within" is pure genius and Alex Lifeson holds down more of a rhythm section with the guitar parts to make way for it. Magical band.
JUDAS PRIEST - Turbo (1986)
Another controversial album, Turbo is a masterpiece in my eyes. The production is incredible. It may not have aged well, but it still hits the spot. Glenn Tipton and K.K Downing form the perfect alliance on the axes to bring down the house with some killer riffs. Even if you ignore the absolutely killer title track "Turbo Lover", you're left with an album full of hits. I particularly envied the guitar work in the solos of "Locked in" which are so intricate and well-coordinated. I have to mention the stunning "Out in the Cold", too. That guitar intro with what I guess is a Fishman pickup set to a keyboard preset is pure magic. The album closer "Reckless" is also a standout for me. It closes an epic album with a real hit of energy which makes you want to wind it back to the start to go through it all over again.
HÄLLAS - Conundrum (2020)
Granted, this came out in my late teens, but when I discovered Hällas it was the start of a revolution for my music taste. I started with their 2017 album Excerpts from a Future Past which I always thought felt unfinished, and that is actually the case. It is the second album in a three-album concept. When I arrived at Conundrum, I was blown away by the phenomenal musicianship and wonderful blend of killer guitar tone and luscious keyboards to create the perfect blended atmosphere to conclude the three-album concept. Every song is a standout track, but "Fading Hero" is the best song on there. It's just on another level, another planet, another universe. I've never heard anything like it.
This is my absolute favorite album of all time.
KRAFTWERK - The Man-Machine (1978)
This album got me into electronic music at a very young age, which I still am to this day.
IRON MAIDEN - Live after Death (1985)
This album got me into Heavy Metal.
METALLICA - Kill 'Em All (1983)
This album got me into heavier and faster metal.
METALLICA - Master of Puppets (1986)
This album got me into more technical stuff (i.e. downpicking).
CELTIC FROST - Morbid Tales (1984)
This one got me further into heavier, darker stuff.
Well, there was music around while I was growing up. I remember my dad having a cheap stereo system, an "all-components-in-one" kind of thing. My parents mostly played tapes and I don't recall my dad ever fiddling around with records. They were aware of foreign music, and I remember "The House of the Rising Sun" by Animals blaring in our living room, however, they were mostly into Greek folk or traditional music. I've come to an age where I don't mind Greek traditional music, but when I was 11, that music sounded alien, music for old people, that's what I thought.
After a very brief flirtation with chart music, like euro pop of the '80s and '90s, I got hooked on hard rock and heavy metal via my older cousins, who were born in the '60s. I borrowed and dubbed everything that sounded relatively heavy, like Rainbow, Scorpions, Accept, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple but also Sex Pistols, etc. Some of these very important albums were for me the following.
BLACK SABBATH - Heaven and Hell (1980)
Both that one and Mob Rules are formative albums to me; very melodic, very inspiring with excellent songwriting. The moment of truth was when I first listened to "Neon Knights."
SCORPIONS - Blackout (1982) / Love at First Sting (1984)
I remember listening to those back-to-back. They have very catchy songwriting, plus they are great sounding albums. I know those albums like the back of my hands.
MOTÖRHEAD - S/T (1980)
>"Lost Johnny" and especially the title track sounded like the heaviest things in the whole world.
IRON MAIDEN - The Number of the Beast (1982)
Stuff like "The Prisoner" are among the first heavy tracks I ever listened to. The initial drum pattern was branded with iron in my brain. Powerslave was probably the first LP I ever owned, after my aforementioned cousin gave it to me as a present.
VENOM - Black Metal (1982)
The root of all evil. Believe it or not, I was exposed from very early on to that band and that particular album. I dubbed it on tape and also recorded some Demon tracks from The Unexpected Guest as a welcome bonus. I even thought that Venom/Demon were pretty much the same affair.
KATE BUSH - The Kick Inside (1978)
Actually, it wasn't the entire album, it was one song, "Wuthering Heights." I was around 10 years old when I heard it for the first time. Pure MAGIC and a massive step in my musical self-education! Since then, Kate has been one of my most favorite artists ever!
ONE WAY SYSTEM - All Systems Go (1983)
My first ever contact with punk music. That was quite big shock to me, but I loved it straight away!! This band made me a punk with "Fuck You All" attitude toward the entire world!!
SIEKIERA - Demo 1984
Hardcore punk band from Poland with bizarre, weird lyrics and a primitive, rough sound. Anarchy to the core and my next massive step into extreme stuff!! If you have never heard about them then you are fucking twat!! Oi...!!!
SLAYER - Reign in Blood (1986)
The best metal album with punk attitude ever!! It is an extreme, fast, uncompromising masterpiece! After discovering it I just couldn't stop listening to this album!! Day after fucking day! Just pure madness...!!
NAPALM DEATH - Scum (1987)
Well! Here we go! End of one chapter and beginning of another. This album was a trigger and made me think of starting my own band. Grindcore!!! This is exactly what I was looking for!!
IN FLAMES - Clayman (2000)
SOILWORK - Figure Number Five (2003)
DISARMONIA MUNDI - Fragments of D-Generation (2004)
AVANTASIA - The Metal Opera Pt.1 (2001)
CHILDREN OF BODOM - Hatebreeder (1999)
All of them had a big impact on me, some changed the way I play the guitar or opened my up to new music tastes.
I would have to say that the five albums for me would be the following.
GUNS N' ROSES - Appetite for Destruction (1987)
It's still the number one selling debut rock album of all time if I'm not mistaken, so there's that! A killer record that still sounds great!
METALLICA - Master of Puppets (1986)
It's in the Library of Congress with Louis Armstrong and Jimmy Rogers. That pretty much sums it up...
MISFITS - Walk Among Us (1982)
It was punk rock from outer space, and we ate it up!
BATHORY - Hammerheart (1990)
Quorthon is the King. That's all I have to say about that!
KREATOR - Extreme Aggression (1989)
They went faster than anything I'd heard at that time. As kids all of us in the neighborhood were blown away by the speed and intensity and that voice!
VINSKVETTEN - På Nye Eventyr (1994)
Vinskvetten is, I guess, a Norwegian humor band but with very competent musicians and songwriting. I got into the band at a very young age and loved their singalong friendly rock mixed with humor and local attachments. Hearing this album was the first time I REALLY got into a band. I'm still a die-hard fan.
METALLICA - Master of Puppets (1986)
I remember the smells, feeling and time of sitting and listening to this album as a young boy. At first it was only the two first tracks "Battery" and "Master of Puppets" but slowly I started to work my way through the rest of the album. A very important album for shaping me as an artist!
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid (1970)
Not my favorite Black Sabbath today, but this was the first Sabbath album I got into. Tracks like "War Pigs", "Paranoid" and "Iron Man" made an impression on me.
ICED EARTH - Alive in Athens (1999)
I remember trying to scramble together money for CD-Rs to be able to go over to Aanneland's place (Blodhemn live guitarist) and copy this album. A lot of great tracks, but what inspired me most was the rhythm section and the riffing.
CHILDREN OF BODOM - Hatebreeder (1999)
A proper gateway album into the more extreme bands.
Five albums that influenced me as a youth to pursue becoming a musician are:
SLAYER - Reign in Blood (1986)
From start to finish it's the ultimate thrash metal album for me. The dual guitar work and vocals made a huge impact on me wanting to play guitar.
MORBID ANGEL - Blessed Are the Sick (1991)
Again, an album that blew me away. The insanity of Trey's guitar style inspired me to play heavier.
CARCASS - Heartwork (1993)
Total game changer with the melodic guitar playing and the vocals inspired my own style of screaming.
OBITUARY - The End Complete (1992)
Sick riffing and vocals. Just a masterpiece of brutal music.
DEATH - Spiritual Healing (1990)
Do I really need to say more, LOL! Chuck was the master. My style is influenced by his style even today.
TURBO - Dorosłe Dzieci (1983)
I can easily call it the very beginning of my musical endeavors. It's the first band from Poland I knew that played THAT fast and heavy! Of course, later albums like Kawaleria Szatana (1986) and The Last Warrior (1988) pushed the boundaries even further, but Dorosłe Dzieci (as a whole album because the title track is a ballad) confirmed for me that quality heavy metal from Poland can exist!
KING DIAMOND - Fatal Portrait (1986)
Yeah, King Diamond and his first solo effort. It was really a surprise for me back then, the mid-80s. These were the times when not much was coming to Poland from the west due to the "Iron Curtain". It unfolded a new realm of climatic storytelling for me, as it was different from anything else I was familiar with at the time. You know, organs, black masses, coffins and of course King's vocals, which were a source of confusion at the beginning ("Is it a guy singing? Or a lady? Or both?"). Fantastic album that changed the heavy metal world for me.
JUDAS PRIEST - Painkiller (1990)
By the time it was released I was 20 and I thought I knew all about heavy metal. Boy, was I wrong. I stumbled upon the cassette for this album during one of my many journeys to Warsaw music stores to hunt for novelties. I was already a fan of Priest and was happy to get their new material, but nobody expected THAT! They were heavier, faster and at the same time more melodic than ever. I was blown away at the very beginning and I still return to this album quite often!
RUNNING WILD - Under Jolly Roger (1987)
I knew Running Wild before that album, but their first efforts never clicked with me. I mean, they were great, but at the same time I thought they were trying too hard to be the second Venom. On the Jolly Roger album, they established their signature melodic sound and pirate imagery, and it fit so well!
HELLOWEEN - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part. I (1987) / METALLICA - Master of Puppets (1986)
My two choices for fifth place. No particular stories about these, I just remember they had a huge influence on me. They came out at about the same time (at least in Poland they did...), were totally different from each other, and yet I had had them on constant replay for many, many weeks. Amazing albums that inspired generations and still do!
LINKIN PARK - Meteora (2003)
This is the album that got me into heavy guitar music. Sure, listening to it now, it feels more pop orientated than anything else, but when I was eleven years old, hearing Chester Bennington scream his lungs out on "Faint" was the most intense thing I had ever heard. And the lyrics of songs like "Easier to Run", "Don't Stay", or "Numb" spoke to me on a very personal level. After I moved with my parents from one end of Germany to the other, I had a really hard timing making new friends and adapting to this completely new environment. Discovering those songs made me feel understood and less alone at that time. So Meteroa definitely is one of the most important records of my youth and my life in general. Nothing would be the same without this one for me.
METALLICA - St. Anger (2003)
While Linkin Park's Meteora was my entrance ticket to the world of heavy music, Metallica's St. Anger was the point of no return. When I saw the music video for the title track on MTV, everything changed for me. I absolutely understand why many people don't like this album, but everything about it felt so extreme, I just couldn't get enough. Afterwards, I discovered all the Metallica classics, which very much shaped me as a musician and songwriter. James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett are the main reason I picked up a guitar in the first place. Metallica also became the first band I went to see live in concert. I will never forget that evening in the Gelredome in Arnhem, Netherlands. From there I went on to search for the most extreme bands out there.
SLIPKNOT - Iowa (2001)
And speaking of searching for the extreme, Slipknot were the next step in this evolution. Once again, I have to point to MTV here, because they played the music video for "Duality" on constant repeat back then. It was the lead single from Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses, 2004), which wasn't out yet, so I went to get Iowa (2001) instead. And man was I in shock when I heard the beginning of "People=Shit". It was so fast and insane, I was afraid my speakers would be blown to pieces, haha...! I wanted more of this, so I went online and browsed a Slipknot fan forum. Through that I discovered bands like Arch Enemy, Illdisposed, Cannibal Corpse, Converge and Napalm Death. You could say my thirst for extreme music finally was satisfied, haha!
BAD RELIGION - No Control (1989)
Although I always saw myself as a metalhead, I also have had a soft spot for punk rock and hardcore since my youth. Bad Religion is the most important band of that musical direction for me. The band name and the crossbuster logo immediately grabbed my attention, since I rejected religion early on in my life. Shortly afterwards No Control became one of those albums I constantly listened to on the way to school and on my breaks on my portable CD player. I still enjoy it very much today. Bad Religion also helped me to develop my political awareness as a teenager since their lyrics always were about social issues and everything wrong with our world. They really shaped me as a person, and I for that reason alone they remain one of the most important bands in my life to this day.
IRON MAIDEN - Rock in Rio (2002)
This album was my gateway to discovering the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. It had all the Iron Maiden classics from the '80s combined with my favorite tracks from Brave New World (2000), which was the first Iron Maiden record I ever heard. On Rock in Rio all these songs seemed to have more energy and more power than the studio versions. That was when I first got the idea of how awesome going to an actual concert might feel. To this day I regularly spin this album and close my eyes to really get into the feeling of this once in a lifetime concert that thankfully was recorded for all the people who couldn't be there. When I saw Maiden for the first time on the A Matter of Life and Death Tour in 2006, I had high expectations due to Rock In Rio. They delivered big time. In my opinion they are the best band in the world and that will never change.
LINKIN PARK - Meteora (2003)
This album was the first CD I got. Our Bassist Oli and another friend bought me this album as a gift in elementary school. I listened to this album over and over again and I evolved my love for harder music. Now and then I listen to Meteora again, and I get very nostalgic vibes every time and it's awesome.
METALLICA - Ride the Lightning (1984)
What can I say about this album?
It's probably one of the best metal albums of all time and one of my favorite albums, too. Ride the Lightning and Metallica in general opened the door for heavier and faster music for me and I also found my love for thrash metal. This album is just perfect. It doesn't matter how often I hear it; it always breaks my neck.
SLIPKNOT - Iowa (2001)
The first time I heard the Iowa album by Slipknot I thought that it couldn't be real. I have never experienced such raw anger, brutality and heaviness before. This album sets an unbelievable energy free every time I hear it. The band Slipknot in general was very important for me when I was growing up. Especially in the time from my teenage years to adulthood, I had a lot of frustrating experiences like many people at this age have. When I felt frustrated I listened to Slipknot and I had the feeling that there are people who understand me and had similar problems.
That's the reason why this album and Slipknot will always have a special place in my heart.
EXODUS - Bonded by Blood (1985)
I have to mention this album, because when it comes to our band and my singing, there were often comments or reviews saying we sound a little bit like Exodus on Bonded by Blood. For me it was a huge honor to hear that, because Exodus is one of my favorite thrash metal bands and I like the album Bonded by Blood a lot. What I like about this album is the raw and chaotic sound. I also like the punk attitude that I get from many thrash bands, because punk music was also important for me when I grew up and also influences our band.
STALLION - Rise and Ride (2014)
Rise and Ride from Stallion is not an album I grew up with, but this album and the band in general accompanied me through my study times. It awakened my interest in speed metal and after that I discovered bands like Vulture, Evil Invaders, Indian Nightmare, etc. What I like about the album is the instant feeling of freedom that I get when I hear it. I also like that the band keeps the old-school rock 'n' roll spirit alive. I saw Stallion a few times live and the energy was awesome. Stallion also has a great impact on our band.
TED NUGENT - Spirit of the Wild (1995)
Maybe a bit of an oddball with this one but my father was a huge Nuge fan since the '70s. As a young kid, "Cat Scratch Fever" was heard frequently in our house. Spirit of The Wild was one of the best in my opinion and was summed up by the title track instrumental extremely well. The guitar work Uncle Ted put into this one was very ambient but still had many intricate passages scattered throughout. At only 3 years old, I loved every second of it.
METALLICA - Master of Puppets (1986)
Arguably one of the greatest metal albums in history, and for good reason, this tape was worn out in my old Walkman several times while I would cut grass as an angsty adolescent. I think I could probably attribute most of my drive to write and play heavy music to Metallica as a whole, but this album specifically is what sucked me in.
SLIPKNOT - Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) (2004)
Slipknot dropped Vol. 3 while I was in middle school, and up to this point, the heaviest material I had been exposed to was Metallica's discography. Even though I didn't buy into much of the "nu metal" movement at the time, The Subliminal Verses pulled me in and pushed my desire to find heavier and more technical music. It also really pushed me to be a better drummer at the time. When I found this album, I had only been playing drums for about 3 years, and I instantly was enthralled by Joey Jordison's style.
LAMB OF GOD - Sacrament (2006)
Only a couple years later, under the drumming school of internet videos and trying to emulate Joey Jordison, a friend puts Sacrament into the CD player. As soon as the intro to "Walk with Me in Hell" hits, my mind is blown. The sound was so epic and evil! This, of course, introduced me to the drumming of Chris Adler, which brought in a whole new world of speed, double bass, and technical fills to my young mind.
AS I LAY DYING - Shadows Are Security (2005)
I'll admit I am a Millennial. Like the rest of us, I was definitely hit by the metalcore train in the early 2000s. The first time I saw the music video for "Through Struggle", I was immediately sold! I was constantly looking for music that was just a little heavier than the last. As I Lay Dying was able to satisfy that thirst for me, but really sucked me in with their catchy melodies and super sick harmonized leads!
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