C O L U M N S
Tales from the Jugular
25 Years Later--Staff Top 10 Albums of 1993!
1993 is now 25 years ago (!) and we're bringing back this column as a retro look at what were the amazing releases that year for us.
ERIC COMPTONAnthrax - Sound of White Noise: Top-notch production from Dave Jerden, Bush's debut.
Fight - War of Words: Halfords best album outside of Judas Priest.
Grave Digger - The Reaper: Reunion album for the Teutonic German bangers.
Mercyful Fate - In the Shadows: Stellar comeback, reunion record.
Metal Church - Hanging in the Balance: Killer "break-up" album at the time.
Paradise Lost - Icon: Influential cornerstone of this British bands powerful discography.
Rage - The Missing Link: A solid riff-machine for this entertaining German act.
Savatage - Edge of Thorns: The last record for Criss Oliva (R.I.P. 1993)
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses: Groundbreaking record for Gothic metal.
Unleashed - Across the Open Sea: One of the defining moments of Swedish Death.
FRANK HILLAnacrusis - Screams and Whispers: Saw the video for the track "Sound the Alarm" and bought it that weekend. has a blend of power, progression, and harshness that was different for the time.
Anthrax - Sound of White Noise: I wasn't to sure about the loss of Joey Belladonna, but John Bush is a solid vocalist and always was in Armored Saint. 'Sound' worked by getting rid of the goofy humor, upping the social concerns, and using more groove and less thrash.
Coverdale/Page - S/T: Took some heat in the day for not being a Plant/Page release, but Coverdale is a solid rack singer and there are some solid blues-based rock tracks on here like "Pride and Joy", "Waiting on You", "Shake My Tree" and the wonderful "Take Me for a Little While"
Fight - War of Words: Solo Halford doing the groove thrash with a ton of punch. I still have "Vicious" in a playlist for pissed off times.
Iron Maiden - A Real Dead One: Most of these songs were already available on the prior Live After Death, but I had to have all the Maiden releases back then. Songs are from the 1975-ish through the Powerslave era (1984)
Iron Maiden - A Real Live One: If you got 'A Dead One', you had to have this one. Songs are from the Somewhere in Time (1986) through Fear of the Dark (1992) eras.
Life of Agony - River Runs Red: Probably the only groove/alternative metal I listened to back then. More of a serious release, it's not what I'd grab to get in a good mood.
Metallica - Live Shit: Binge & Purge: Metallica isn't always the best sounding live band, but this being their first live release, it was a good box set to get.
Ozzy Osbourne - Live & Loud: Ozzy still hadn't blown his voice out by this record so it was workable. Good showcase for Zakk Wylde also.
Savatage - Edge of Thorns: More hard rock than metallic, yet still retains the moodiness Savatage records always had. Overall a more smooth-sounding thanks to the pipes of new vocalist Zak Stevens.
GREG WATSONAbsu - Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L.: Texas bred black metal that dips into death at times, Absu blew me away the first time I heard it. The album itself has moments where you want it to pick up the pace again but the songs like 'The Thrice is Greatest to Ninnigal' and 'An Equinox of Fathomless Mastery' are so damn good that it's hard to not play this one pretty frequently. Still blows my mind these dudes are from Texas and can play something so frigid and unforgiving.
Amorphis - Privilege of Evil: The EP that introduced everyone to Amorphis and helped get things going for this band. Several tracks on this EP made it on to "The Karelian Isthmus" but had their names changed. The vocal performance on this one though was so creepy and so on point that it makes the versions of the songs on "Isthmus" seem so much tamer. My favorite release from Amorphis, hands down.
Anthrax - The Sound of White Noise: Killer album and the first with John Bush on vocals. 'Hy Pro Glo' still rips it 25 years later!
Dissection - The Somberlain: Easily Dissection's finest release, the album mixes black metal, melody and some classical influences to create this really malevolent atmosphere that will draw you in like a moth to the flame. The vocals are pretty standard but the musicianship the band displays on this release is something truly killer. The band really feel off after this album but this one has stood the test of time for them.
Fight - War of Words: The debut album after Halford's exit from Priest still showed the metal god had those pipes in perfect working order. What a damn good album!
Hypocrisy - Osculum Obscenum: Along with "Penetralia", this is a must have release by Hypocrisy. The last album to feature Masse Broberg before he moved on to form Dark Funeral. This album is a bruiser from start to finish and Broberg's vocals were evil, possessed and straight badass.
Immortal - Pure Holocaust: Immortal gets a bad rap and gets lost in the other Norwegian black metal bands that were more renowned, be it for good or bad reasons. But this album is a beast! The riffs go on for days and while the lyrics get a little silly at times, they fit the music perfectly and Abbath's rasp just makes you shiver.
Marduk - Those of the Unlight: This album is hands down the only choice to take the top spot in my list! Marduk just brought the evil and heavy with this one and since my first listen, it has always maintained a spot in my black metal playlist. The guitars are just aggressive as hell and the vocals move more towards traditional black metal. This was the beginning of Marduk's reign in black metal.
Savatage - Edge of Thorns: One of my all time favorites right here from Savatage! Zak Stevens is welcomed to the fold and makes his presence known with this album.
TROY COLE1993 was a great year for metal and just a piece of that great decade. A year on the cusp of some great bands to come and new styles emerging. It contained solid offerings from metal mainstays, great debuts, and for some the pinnacle album of their careers. I will always remember hitting the records stores (what are those?!) weekly and contending with my fellow metal heads to find the next crushing release during these years. One of my favorite finds during this year was somehow stumbling upon Megadeth's Megabox Single Collection. So looking back here is my top 10 albums that came from 1993 whether I knew it then or not.
Anthrax - Sound of White Noise: Quite possibly the best lead singer change a band has endured. John Bush's voice was finally able to shine through in a completely different way after leaving Armored Saint. Arguably one of the best Anthrax albums.
Carcass - Heartwork: Ward and Steer combined their genius to really put Carcass on the map with this release. Dismissed by early fans as selling out but really an album that set out to push the boundaries of melodic death metal. This album never left my rotation for years after it's release and it still holds up today.
Dissection - The Somberlain: An incredible black metal album that I would later discover after hearing "Storm of the Light's Bane". Dissection was responsible for my foray into black metal and they changed my perception of the whole genre for me.
Fight - War of Words: Just as Judas Priest appeared to be finished, Halford stepped up his game and unleashed this masterpiece of metal. 'Little Crazy' became my teenage anthem.
Life of Agony - River Runs Red: An overlooked classic from the 90's. Keith's deep voice was so full of emotion and the music had these heavy driving riffs that were so catchy. It combined the best elements of groove metal, hardcore, and a touch of thrash.
Mercyful Fate - In the Shadows: No one can create atmosphere like King Diamond and that was fully on display here. King delivered his most varied vocal display to date and combined it with the magical work of Sherman and Denner. Absolutely their finest hour.
Metal Church - Hanging in the Balance: After "The Human Factor" I thought these guys were done then I find this album sitting in a record store. Released through a label I had never heard of and most likely received no promotion. What a shame because the contents within was Metal Church in their prime.
Morbid Angel - Covenant: 'God of Emptiness' is really all I have to say here, but damn what an incredible album from beginning to end. David's voice was the sound of evil and the heaviness of the album was so impactful to me. They would set the standard for Death Metal (at least for me) for the next 10 years.
Sepultura - Chaos A.D.: Just an incredible album that is still one of my favorites and for me their greatest achievement. Max and Igor could do no wrong in my eyes, then came "Roots".
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses: Peter Steele displayed a voice so deep and ominous unlike anything I had ever heard. The music was slow, cold, and eerie. I was immediately drawn in and playing it for everyone I knew. Unfortunately this would be the peak of their career as they slowly began a mainstream slide. I still return to this album frequently and daydream of what could have been if Peter was still alive.
Honorable Mention: Death - Individual Thought Patterns, Edge of Sanity - The Spectral Sorrows, Overkill - I Hear Black, Tool - Undertow
JOANNE LAROCHEAccept - Objection Overruled: A very overlooked album that was still very true to Accept's form
Aerosmith - Get A Grip: Putting the overplayed radio successes aside, from start to finish this album has some punch.
Annihilator - Set The World on Fire: Turn this up and loud!
Doro - Angels Never Die: Lots of anthems and catchy tunes.
Fight - War of Words: The singing, holy Halford, the vocal range.
Overkill - I Hear Black: Some great headbanging songs on this one.
Rush - Counterparts: Okay, not metal but the production is so clean, give "Nobody's Hero" a listen and loud.
Scorpions - Face The Heat: A transition album, but definitely worthy of being on the list.
Sepultura - Chaos A.D.: War for Territory, War for Territory...
BRAD CAPLANBest Hard Rock/Metal Albums:
1. Rush - Counterparts
2. Coverdale/Page - Coverdale/Page
3. Tool - Undertow
4. Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses
5. Def Leppard - Retroactive
6. Scorpions - Face the Heat
7. Fight - War of Words
8. Cynic - Focus
9. Vince Neil - Exposed
10. George Lynch - Sacred Groove
Comments: Rush "Counterparts" is a very underrated and hard rocking Rush album. "Animate", "Cut to the Chase", and "Stick it Out" and "Cold Fire" are Rush classics. The Coverdale-Page project was excellent. While there were some who took issue with it due to Coverdale being just a bit too much like Plant – the music stood on its own. Songs like "Shake My Tree" and "Pride and Joy" we are perfect blend of Zeppelin meets Whitesnake. While Def Leppard’s "Retroactive" album was not a true new studio album, they released some great tracks. "Desert Song", "Two Steps Behind" and "Miss You in a Hearbeat" became fan hits and often show up on live setlists.
Best Rock/Other Albums:
1. Aerosmith - Get a Grip
2. Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales
3. Sheryl Crow - Tuesday Night Music Club
4. Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstacy
5. Pearl Jam - Vs.
6. Tears For Fears - Elemental
7. Aimee Mann - Whatever
8. The Cranberries - Everybody Else Is Doing It, Why Can't We
9. Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See
10. Duran Duran - The Wedding Album
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