I’ve always loved all kinds of music. I think that music probably has a broader and deeper appeal than any other art form. One of its most impressive qualities is it’s ability to affect the emotions of the listener. When I’m feeling particularly frustrated, for example, there’s a certain type of music I enjoy listening to: death metal. There’s something about the raw power of the genre that appeals to me. I look at it as an effective, therapeutic, and safe outlet if I’m having a bad day..
Since I have a 6-disc CD changer in my summer car, I like to keep one of the magazines loaded with this stuff so that I’m ready when the mood strikes (no mp3 player in the car; call me old school). I have carefully chosen 6 CD’s to remain in the magazine. I just thought I’d share the secret formula with the rest of the world (although the mix isn’t immune from a little tweaking every so often). WARNING: This music is not for the faint of heart.
- Lamb of God – Ashes of the Wake (2004) This is my most recent discovery. The album is pretty darn solid all the way through; tight riffs can be found on virtually every track. It is a guitar player’s favorite, as it is listed at #49 on Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitar Albums All Time . Recommended track: “Laid to Rest” (also featured on the Guitar Hero II video game)
- Obituary – Cause of Death (1990) This album features vocalist John Tardy in his absolute prime, and he unleashes some of the most blood-chillingly scary vocals ever recorded. The tracks were intended to be played in order, as one blends into the next. Also noteworthy are the James Murphy guitar solos. Recommended track: “Chopped In Half”
- Carcass – Symphonies of Sickness (1989) This has to be one of the most aptly-titled albums in the genre, as it features both sickening lyrical topics and surprising melodic passages mixed in with the onslaught of riffs. It’s hard to describe, but there are parts you might actually find yourself humming. Also unique here is the use of two very distinct vocalists. Recommended track: “Exhume to Consume”
- Slayer – Reign in Blood (1986) While technically labeled as thrash metal (no “death growls“), RiB remains a timeless masterpiece. It has served as inspiration for countless bands, and is listed at #29 on the aforementioned Guitar World top 100. Just plain classic. Recommended track: “Epidemic”
- Cannibal Corpse – Butchered at Birth (1991) This album was actually banned in Germany (Germany?) until last year, primarily due to the artwork on the cover. I had a chance to see CC live back in the ’90’s, and I remember wondering how the drummer made it all the way through without collapsing. Amazingly, and creatively, brutal. Recommended track: “Covered with Sores”
- Death – Fate: The Best of Death (1992) This is a compilation album, and it’s probably the only disc you’d have to buy from the this band (although I’m not sure why “Lack of Comprehension” wasn’t included). Great stuff from one of the pioneers of the genre. Recommended track: “Left to Die”
There you have it. I usually just set the changer to random play and let it go. Play as loud as needed.