Guest Column: Five Albums That Will Change You By Havok’s Reece Scruggs

Guest Column

In our ongoing series of guest columns, we’ve asked a bunch of metal’s heaviest hitters to provide us with a list of five albums they think will change you — either for the better or worse. Today’s list comes compliments of Reece Scruggs of Havok.
Kiss — Alive 1
This album changed my life for the sole fact that it was played in my household on a regular basis. My dad and aunt were (still are) huge Kiss fans. When they reunited as the original Kiss in ’96, they both went to a show (a few years later in 2000 I would see the OG Kiss with them!) and that started my musical journey. I gave up sports, grew my hair and picked up a guitar. Ace was God! haha!

Iron Maiden — Powerslave
Around the time I got into this album I was in the grade where you start to learn about world history. Before that, you learn about your state’s history and the history of the country. Living in Virginia meant you got it drilled in your head that the founding of this country happened in just a few places and Jamestown was on the top. In world history, we learned about other cultures and civilizations, one being the Egyptians. The first time I looked at the artwork for Powerslave, I loved it and the first time hearing the song “Powerslave,” I thought of my world history class. Amazing album. The deep cuts are among some of my favorite all time songs.

Slayer — Diabolus in Musica
Not the typical Slayer album to start out with, I know. This was my first Slayer album thanks to Columbia House, that CD-pushing thing in the back of Guitar Worlds and metal magazines at the end of the ‘90s. I got this along with a few other albums that would shape me into what I am today. In my opinion, one song is a little odd to me; other than “Desire,” the album is a fine late period Slayer album. One my all time favorite Slayer albums. Bostaph for the win!

Pantera — Vulgar Display of Power
This is where I started to take my guitar playing far more seriously than before. What can I say, the player you hear now (being me) is a direct result of Darrell’s monstrous playing and style. My favorite guitarist of all time. Every. Single. Song. Is. KILLER! Period. One big thing that has carried over into my playing is the way Darrell shreds but adds the southern flavor in it. That’s what I go for. Being a southern boy from a small town is something a pride myself in. Winchester, Virginia, is in my playing, no doubt. You could tell Dime took Arlington, Texas (not exactly small, I know) everywhere. Long live Darrell!

Ozzy Osbourne — Diary of a Madman
I opened up my first guitar magazine in ’98; the first page I turned to had a picture of Randy that looked so cool, so intense and evil (I know he was the furthest thing from evil). I had just started to play the guitar and had no knowledge of what Randy looked like but I loved his playing and I knew a good bit about him because he’s my dad’s favorite guitarist. I looked at the picture, pointed at it and said “I want to be this guy some day.” To this day, I have never seen that photo used in anything having to do with Randy, I always thought that was odd. Diary was dark, heavy and incredibly musical. Essential in every shredders collection.

I could honestly go on for five more albums. Testament, Cannibal Corpse, Death, Nevermore and my band in VA Monolith have had huge influences on me.

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