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10 MORE metal albums that anyone can love

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article listing 10 metal albums that absolutely anyone – metalhead or not – could fall in love with.

It was by no means an extensive list and I found myself stumbling across a band or an album and thinking “Damn, that deserved a slot in there.”

And so, because the names below each deserve all the attention and fans that they can get, I’ve written a follow-up.

These are ten more metal albums that I absolutely guarantee, no matter you are, you can fall in love with.

10) Kyng – Burn the Serum (2014)

I first learnt of Los Angeles-based stoner metal outfit Kyng during my interview with Metal Allegiance founder Mark Menghi.

He brought them up as one of his favourite modern rock bands and, after listening to their sophomore album Burn the Serum, I can truly see why.

The American trio combines the stoner rock style of mid-‘90s Corrosion of Conformity with a plethora of powerhouse riffs, anthemic, melodic vocals and soaring choruses.

So while metalheads can be enticed by the brilliant guitar-work of Burn the Serum, pop and rock fans will in turn find themselves nodding and singing along to such cuts as ‘Electric Halo’, ‘Self-Medicated Man’ and the title track.

Not to mention the intense solos the record packs. Singer/guitarist Eddie Veliz lays out face-melting shred after face-melting shred, blistering past Kyng’s stoner metal contemporaries in a mammoth screech of unbridled energy.

9) Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun (2014)

Mastodon is a band that should need no introduction.

The eclectic four-piece has been fusing sludgy, dirty grit with progressive rock and alternative metal for over fifteen years, creating a canon of perfect albums along the way, including Leviathan, The Hunter and the indomitable Crack the Skye.

But for the casual listener, it is the band’s most recent release – 2014’s Once More ‘Round the Sun – that will be their most accessible.

Without a doubt, the album contains some of Mastodon’s biggest and best choruses to date, especially in the radio hits ‘High Road’ and the controversial ‘The Motherload’.

But connoisseurs of the progressive will again be satiated by Once More ‘Round the Sun, especially on the six-minute-plus ‘Asleep in the Deep’ and the seven-minute closer ‘Diamond in the Witch House’.

The constant trade of vocal passages between bassist Troy Sanders, guitarist Brent Hinds and drummer Brann Dailor also helps to keep the album fresh and continually exciting, set to surprise those that are expecting the tradition one-vocalist format that is found in 99% of modern rock groups.

8) Deathwhite – Solitary Martyr (2015)

This entry is a slight cheat since Solitary Martyr is technically an EP, but I still stand by it; primarily because more people need to hear Deathwhite’s music.

The doom metal three-piece have virtually made commercial accessibility impossible, since they refuse to maintain any sort of social media presence. The only place you can find Deathwhite is on YouTube or Bandcamp: no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram and certainly no Snapchat.

Since social media seems to be basically holding the music industry together nowadays, this is definitely an interesting strategy on Deathwhite’s part, but it is also an aspect of their aura. We don’t know the names of the people in the band, we don’t know when they started out, we don’t know where they’re from. But that’s what makes the group the enigma that they are.

As for Solitary Martyr, it’s an astounding blend of melancholic vocals, a mix of clean and electric guitar, and melodic, tranquil darkness.

Any music fan owes it to themselves to check this EP out, as it is a brilliantly insightful introduction to the medium’s unholy side.

7) Opeth – Pale Communion (2014)

Much like Mastodon, Opeth is a progressive juggernaut that should already be on your radar.

The Swedes became notorious for blending progressive rock and death metal in the ‘90s and early 2000s. They crafted such masterpieces as 1999’s My Arms, Your Hearse, 2001’s Blackwater Park and 2005’s Ghost Reveries before ditching their extreme edge in favour of a more polished, rock-orientated style.

The first album after their transformation was 2011’s lacklustre Heritage; it wasn’t until the far superior Pale Communion came out three years later that Opeth’s new sound finally began to settle with audiences.

Pale Communion is dream-like in its audial presentation, letting the clean vocals of Mikael Åkerfeldt carry the listener through an hour of spellbinding riffing and progressive, sometimes ten-minute-plus song structures.

Highlights from this quintessential entry in heavy metal history include the easily accessible lead single ‘Cusp of Eternity’ and the magnum opus ‘Moon Above, Sun Below’.

6) Alice in Chains – Dirt (1992)

Whether you know them or not, Alice in Chains were a significant part of the grunge movement of early-‘90s western America, rocking out alongside contemporaries like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana.

While it may have been easy for the band to get lost in the shuffle when sharing its genre with such massive names as these, Alice in Chains represented the heavier end of the grunge spectrum; they mixed the pissed off, anarchic attitude of the scene with metal-inspired riffs and a fast-paced energy.

And nowhere is their unique grunge–metal fusion more apparent than on their pioneering sophomore album, Dirt.

The record roars into life with Jerry Cantrell’s distorted guitars on ‘Them Bones’, the hard-rocking style of the song (and its parent album as a whole) complemented perfectly by the nasally vocals of the late, great Layne Staley.

The commercial success of grunge mixes perfectly with the grandiosity of metal, resulting in a record that will seduce fans of either style.

5) Leprous – The Congregation (2015)

Progressive metal doesn’t get more beautiful than it does on The Congregation, the fourth album by Norwegian five-piece Leprous.

The entire record is a tightly knit extravaganza that can win over any metal fan, no matter how jaded.

The high-pitched, clean singing style of vocalist/keyboardist Einar Solberg is the cherry on top of the wedding cake that is Leprous, resulting in a tone that feels reminiscent to modern Opeth but is also distinct from it, using riffs that are inspired by math rock and an emphasis on the bass of Simon Daniel Børven.

It's on moments like the artistic single ‘The Price’ that metalheads worldwide realise how Leprous became the backing band for the solo career of black metal genius Ihsahn.

4) Rage Against the MachineRage Against the Machine (1992)

Rage Against the Machine’s 1992 self-titled record is an album for the rebel.

When it came out, it felt legitimately dangerous with its anti-establishment overtones, demonstrated perfectly by the lyrics and aggressive rapping style of band frontman Zach de la Rocha.

De la Rocha integrates elements of hip-hop into a record that is, instrumentally, full to the brim with inspiration from punk rock, funk, alternative rock, heavy metal and more.

In this regard, Rage Against the Machine’s diversity is almost as notorious as its lyrics, which to this day remain as incendiary and poignant as they did 24 years ago.

Who in their lifetime hasn’t defiantly screamed ‘Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!’ in time with the powerful refrain of the iconic ‘Killing in the Name’?

Speaking of which, that song’s re-entry into the UK singles chart in 2009 – and its grabbing of the coveted Christmas number one spot – surely demonstrates just how many people out there are still more than willing to rage against the musical machine.

3) WovenwarWovenwar (2014)

The history of melodic metallers Wovenwar begins with a band called As I Lay Dying.

The metalcore five-piece were superstars in the heavy music world, but their time came to a sudden halt when lead singer Tim Lambesis was incarcerated for the attempted murder of his wife in 2013.

With As I Lay Dying’s public perception dragged through the mud and their vocalist set to be in prison until 2020, the band understandably went onto hiatus. But a year later, the remaining four members returned in Wovenwar, with Lambesis being replaced by singer/guitarist Shane Blay.

But despite sharing four-fifths of their members, Wovenwar’s self-titled debut proved that it was a band entirely different its predecessor, showcasing a much more melodic and anthemic style.

Such cuts as ‘All Rise’, ‘Archers’ and ‘The Mason’ demonstrate this fact perfectly, and with a second Wovenwar record rumoured to be looming in the very near-future, now would be a good time to hop aboard the group’s bandwagon.

2) Halestorm – The Strange Case Of… (2012)

Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale is probably the closest the world of rock will get to having its own pop princess.

But unlike a lot of overrated female popstars, she is way, way more than a pretty face. Her voice is one of the best in modern rock, while her skills on the guitar have led to such riffs as those on ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ and ‘Freak Like Me’, both of which appear on Halestorm’s second (and best) album, The Strange Case Of….

The melodic, pitched singing of Hale is bound to ensnare any pop fan in their wake, but the other three members of the band aren’t exactly slouches either; Lzzy’s brother, Arejay Hale, on the drums as well as Josh Smith’s bass create infectious rhythm after infectious rhythm, while co-guitarist Joe Hottinger lays down many a rampant solo.

Another note-worthy aspect of The Strange Case Of… is its sheer variety; the record contains just as many heart-warming ballads as it does hard-rocking tirades.

1) Judas Priest – British Steel (1980)

Three words: ‘Breaking the Law’.

Need I go on?

The sixth album by self-professed metal gods Judas Priest, British Steel has been featured in countless “Best metal albums of all-time” lists, spearheading the New Wave of British Heavy Metal with fellow timeless classics like Motörhead’s Ace of Spades, Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, Venom’s Black Metal, Diamond Head’s Lightning to the Nations and Angel Witch’s Angel Witch.

It is a benchmark for mixing the power of metal with the upbeat choruses of arena rock and classic pop-orientated structuring.

Every track on British Steel was virtually genetically engineered to be a radio hit, all of them catchy in their lyrics and melodies to the point where just one listen could have you having along to them for days.

Don’t believe me? Judas Priest has performed ‘Breaking the Law’ without even needing to have vocalist Rob Halford singing the lyrics. The audience in attendance literally filled in every single, solitary word without needing him to prompt them in any way.

If that doesn’t demonstrate the staying power of British Steel, nothing will.

Check out our first list of 10 metal albums that anyone can love here.




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