Guest Column: Five Albums That Will Change Your Life By Zero Down’s Lenny Burnett

Here’s five classics that left an impact, and continue to make an impact

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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 Zero Down’s Lenny Burnett.

So I thought I would list five records that not only changed my life but also are huge influences on my band, Zero Down.

Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak still to this day sounds as vibrant and special as it did the first time I heard “Jailbreak” and “Boys Are Back In Town” on the radio when I was little. Those harmony guitar lines were so different at the time. I mean you heard it in some of the Southern Rock Bands like the Allman Brothers and some other 70’s band here and there but nothing had the magic in it like these boys from Ireland.

Tough, musical, dynamic, a rhythm section that could really swing this band was at their peak and lets face it. They were fuckin cool. Still my favorite band of all time and even though it might be trendy to pick another record in their catalogue this one is as good as it gets.

My introduction to metal was Judas Priest and Unleashed In The East was where it all started. This record probably defines what I consider metal to this day better than any. I’m excluding Sabbath here as they represent doom heavy blues rock that influenced what would become metal.

This record checks off every box for metal. The best singer ever in metal (only Dio being close in my book), twin-guitar attack, bone-crushing riffs, catchy, anthemic vocal hooks and yes — the look of metal. As much as I love the British Steel era for Priest this record has a jaw-dropping collection of killer cuts from their best period of creativity Sad Wings through Hellbent For Leather.

Possibly one of the first records I bought simply on the cover album artwork and what the band looked like on the back. Every Friday after school I used to hit up every cool record store in town and look for hard rock and metal records and get all the mags I could to discover new stuff. This record I just came across in the bends.

That Derek Riggs artwork just reached out and made me buy it! Inside on that vinyl was pure energy and fire with amazing musicianship. Still probably the greatest example of metal musician ship with Dianno infused punk rock attitude and reckless abandonment. This and Killers are still the best for me in their catalogue!

No way I could leave out the Germans when it comes to big influences on me and Metal. I certainly love the Scorpions up to Blackout and Kreator is probably my fav thrash band of all time but Accept was the shit for me back in the day.

Breaker is a great one but nothing tops Reckless and Wild. Priest style riffing stepped up a notch with that rawness in the attack! Balls To The Wall had more commercial success but I’ll take this one over it every day.

I think Motörhead’s Ace of Spades was the first sound where my ears had to really adjust to what I was hearing. As in, I wasn’t quite sure what the fuck to make of it really on first listen but I was so drawn to the raw energy and power in it.

Oh yeah, and the speed of course.

It was crude but once your ears adjusted to it…it was contagious! I mean, it moved the bar for everything really. Not only the music but the attitude and the look. I mean along with the NWOBHM this band influenced the entire thrash movement. This record also captures the best sound they ever got in the studio from the original band and as much as I love Another Perfect Day, this is the real Motörhead at their finest hour.

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