Another weekly installment of some highlights from what we’ve been rocking on the family iPod…
Alice In Chains – Them Bones
I honestly believe that one of the most important albums the 1990s ever produced was Dirt by Alice In Chains. This album had a huge impact on multiple scenes, not the least of which was the metal scene. While I do not now, or have I ever, considered Alice In Chains a metal band, they were certainly heavier than anything else that came out of Seattle around that time. Plus Jerry Cantrell is easily one of the most underrated guitar players of the last 25+ years. My oldest took to A.I.C. very quickly and Dirt is now one of her most listened to albums as well. In fact, the look on her face the first time I played this album for her was a combination of shock and delight. I probably had a similar look on my face back in 1992.
Pink Floyd – Fearless
Speaking of bands that could never be considered metal, yet had a profound impact on the metal scene. If I were to make a list of the most influential non-metal bands on the metal world, Pink Floyd would have to be somewhere in the top 5. Seriously. Just the influence they had on a band like Neurosis alone, who went on to influence an entire generation of metal musicians is pretty profound. My personal favorite Floyd album is Meddle. I can’t tell you why outside of I just really enjoy the songs and when I’m in a mood for Floyd I usually gravitate to this album first. It’s a pretty relaxing set of jams and “Fearless” is a track that gets heavy rotation when the mood strikes. This song recently came up on the iPod on one of the daily morning drives I take with the girls. Perfect early morning track when you’re all still kind of waking up.
Immortal – One By One
I’ll be perfectly honest here and tell you that this is a track that normally only gets played when it’s just my 15 year old and me in the car. It’s simply too heavy, fast, and abrasive for the majority of people in my family at this point. But it came up on the iPod the other day when it was just the two of us in vehicle and we rocked it…loud. For those not in the know Immortal are one of the most prolific and important black metal bands in the history of the genre. This track comes off their seminal Sons of Northern Darkness album. Pure, unadulterated, metal fury. Highly recommended.
Valkyrie – Mountain Stomp
You’ll be hearing plenty more about this band when I piece together my year-end list of favorite albums. Virginia’s Valkyrie take old school stoner rock and doom and infuse it with these killer, iron Maiden-like, twin guitar harmonies to create a really powerful and unique sound. This is the opening track off their newest album, Shadows, and it contains one of my favorite guitar riffs of the year. This entire album is well-loved right now in my house and this song in particular is great to blast down the highway to.