Guest Column: Five Albums That Will Change You By Pro-Pain’s Gary Meskil

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 Pro-Pain’s Gary Meskil; his band’s new album Straight To The Dome, will be released in North America on September 25.

Metallica: Master Of Puppets
This is the album which brought Metallica from the underground into the arenas. Master Of Puppets was hugely anticipated in both the metal and hardcore scenes in the mid ’80s, and I proudly purchased it on the day of it’s release. During the album’s touring cycle, I was thrilled to hear that they were spinning Crumbsuckers’ “Life Of Dreams” over the PA nightly between Metal Church and Metallica. Good times. Anyway, if you don’t own this album…you’re just not metal. Period.

Black Flag: Damaged
The definitive hardcore punk album at the time of it’s release in 1981 via the infamous SST Records. It was everything a fan could want from a hardcore album and more. Damaged marked Black Flag’s debut of vocalist Henry Rollins, who in retrospect is perhaps the most influential vocalist in the history of hardcore music, as well as being one of it’s most thought provoking spokespersons. Album opener “Rise Above” is a true hardcore anthem, and the song “TV Party” (with subsequent manic music video) brought the band to new heights by introducing them to a wider audience. Great stuff!!

Slayer: Reign In Blood
Slayer is easily one the most influential metal bands in history, and this album set the template for their genre for years to come, hands down. Reign In Blood was a game changer, and it still sounds as brutal today as it did upon release. The main riff in “Raining Blood” is easily one of the most recognizable riffs in metal history. Reign In Blood = pure adrenaline, and like Master Of Puppets, if you don’t own this one…well, you know the rest.

Minor Threat: Out Of Step
Together with the DC hardcore compilation Flex Your Head, Minor Threat’s first full length album Out Of Step put Straight Edge on the map and made it a household term. I saw Minor Threat at CBGB’s while they were touring in support of Out Of Step during the glory days of hardcore, in which I opted to go to the gig instead of my high school graduation. No regrets there, as the gig was unforgettably insane, and miles better than sweating my ass off on the school soccer field in my cap n’ gown. Great thinking mans hardcore from one of hardcore’s brilliant minds, Ian Mackaye (also of Fugazi fame). If you’re into hardcore, you should own this one because this is what it’s all about.

Meshuggah: Destroy, Erase, Improve
This album was another game changer. Meshuggah are arguably the band which started the whole “math metal” movement, which is still very popular to this day considering the amount of young “shredder bands” out there on the scene. Destroy, Erase, Improve was a ground breaking effort which literally blew me away upon first listen. The musical precision and angry vocal delivery on this album is “off the charts” heavy. Anyone who is into aggressive metal with technical prowess should own this masterpiece…and perhaps every other CD in their now extensive catalog.

Check back with the site tomorrow for another phat Pro-Pain exclusive

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