A long time ago, we asked a bunch of bands to submit columns on the following topic: Five Albums That Will Change Your Life. Today, we bring you an entry provided by Tim Driscoll, lead guitarist of Dead Earth Politics.
Metallica’s …And Justice For All
While it’s not their best record artistically, commercially, or sonically (yes, we all know the production sucks), this album will stay with me forever simply because it was the first music I can ever remember loving and claiming as my own, although credit must be given to my older brother for introducing it to seven-year-old me.
This album bore my love for long, intricate-yet-logical compositions that are also heavy as sin, both musically and lyrically. The best compliment I can give this record is that it took me years of listening to other music before realizing how anomalous and innovative it was, and still is.
Dream Theater’s Awake
I first heard this album about five years after it was released in 1994, and I wish I had those extra years to have enjoyed this record some more! There is not a single things wrong with Awake — not one bum note, not one bad song.
As meticulously constructed as the Taj Mahal, this album has the ability to improve the listener’s musicianship through simple osmosis. It’s still my personal benchmark for guitar playing and composition, and it is enough to give anyone’s ears, brain, and fingers a good kick in the ass!
Radiohead’s OK Computer
Yeah, I know, not a metal band or album, but it’s my guest column damn it! Upon the release of this album, I found it hard to believe this was the same band that wrote slacker-anthem-for-the-ages “Creep” just a few years prior.
One of the great expressions of modern man’s unease with technology and media, OK Computer taught me that the heaviest music doesn’t always have to come from Ibanez guitars screaming through walls of Marshall stacks. Gorgeous melodies married to sheets of swirling, ambient noise, this record will always be a cold-and-rainy-day favorite of mine.
Pantera’s Far Beyond Driven
I remember hearing “I’m Broken” on the radio for the first time back in 1994 and thinking, “How is it possible for music to be this heavy?” And you know what? Not much has changed in the last 20 years.
The genius in this album lies in that the production is all precise machinery and right angles, yet the performances are as drunken and rowdy as a Texas honky tonk. Far Beyond Driven sounds like what would have happened if Van Halen had chosen Satan as their replacement for David Lee Roth instead of Sammy Hagar.
Before the release of Roots, Sepultura was merely a top-flight thrash band toiling in the shadows of the Metallicas and the Slayers of the world. However, Roots established new possibilities for both the band and metal as a whole: the undeniable grooves, the exotic instruments and rhythms, and the dirty, frayed production.
Without this album, the idea of metal and “world” music coexisting might never have been introduced. Other Sepultura albums may be faster, more aggressive, and with cleaner playing, but Roots will forever be their most lasting contribution to the metal uiniverse.
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