You might remember (you should remember) our Top 25 Album Openers list we did a couple of months ago.
The time has come for a counterpart list, which, of course, is the Top 25 Album Closers! As with the first time around, a 30-second outro does not a totally awesome song make. Oh, and only one song per band. That’s the rules.
Today, we continue the list with #15 through #11.
15. Immolation, “Christ’s Cage”
Immolation’s sophomore album is one dark, brooding, and heavy motherfucker. “Christ’s Cage” opens up with a lone lead fading in with some rumbling underfoot. The tension builds and every statue of the Virgin Mary ever erected starts to crumble when the savage riffing finally overtakes the lead that’s been playing for two minutes. Immolation churn out their brand of heaving death metal with a mosh riff that fades off in the distance leaving behind a cloud of dust from the Christ-hatemachine that trampled the Vatican. Truly one of the band’s finest moments.
14. Godflesh, “Locust Furnace”
Streetcleaner is a perfect album. The young Justin Broadrick crafted an atmosphere so dense and barren that it chokes the life out of the listener. “Locust Furnace” is about as desolate as it gets on this album. The degradation of the Godflesh sound culminates at the end of the album, stripping away any hint of sonic excess. It may not be the beatdown that was given during the rest of the album, but it just stands above your battered body, looking down at you and laughing at the damage it has done. The screaming of “Furnace! Furnace!” over and over at the end of the song is a fantastic touch.
13. Black Sabbath, “Lonely is the Word”
Tony Iommi has stated that his favorite solo to play is the one in “Lonely is the Word.” The solo is an emotional one, playing over a light bass line and some powerful drumming from Bill Ward. The solo dominates over half of the song and is sung over by Ronnie James Dio in parts as it is integrated into the chorus. The song sounds a lot like a Rainbow tune, which is no issue at all. Keyboards come in at the end of this song, which really brings the Rainbow notion into focus and is the climax of the tension built from Iommi’s magnificent soloing.
12. King Diamond, “Black Horsemen”
It’s amazing that Abigail hasn’t been turned into a movie yet. A couple that move into a mansion, find some ghosts, get possessed by a long dead bastard baby, both die, and Abigail is left alive as the Black Horsemen arrive to destroy Abigail once and for all. “Black Horsemen” begins with an acoustic bit and King singing over it before Andy LaRocque bursts in with his eerie guitar tone and galloping rhythm. Mikkey Dee thrashes his drum kit and stitches the ever-changing pace together. The soloing at the end comes after King says “The time has come for me to say goodbye!” and plays off the creepy album.
11. Satyricon, “Black Lava”
From 2002’s Volcano, this 14-plus-minute closer is one of Satyricon’s finest moments. When people ask me what black metal sounds like, this is one of three songs I pull up on YouTube. The guitars are haunting, the vocals — dreary and completely foreboding. This song is epic-levels sinister, and makes me miss winter.
Tomorrow, the list continues. Who do you think should make the top 10?
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