There are many good metal albums, records filled with great songs. But how many of your favorite LPs do you think people will still be listening to come 2040?
I’ve picked out four classics that I’m certain will still relevant in 2040 – in fact, I’m so confident that I’d be willing to bet money on this being the case.
I’m sure you’ve heard of at least one of these, but I’m hoping that there’s at least one that’s new to you – if this is true then you’re in for a real treat.
‘Paranoid’ by Black Sabbath
I’m betting people will still be listening to Paranoid in 3040 – my guess is that if you were to contact a bookie or put that wager to a leading online casino, like one of the sites you can find at OnlineCasinos.co.uk, it would be as likely to pay out as betting on Babe Ruth being the best baseball player in history.
Put simply, Black Sabbath’s greatest record is the most influential metal album of all time – bands across the globe owe Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward their careers.
Listen to Paranoid now and you can hear where metal’s sub-genres took their ideas from – there’s the doom of Iron Man, thrash of Paranoid, and prog of War Pigs to mention just three reference points.
Of course, being influential is all good and well, but that alone doesn’t make an album stand the test of time – the ultimate barometer is the songs and Paranoid excels in this area.
You may have your own ideas about what the best one is, however, I’m plumping for War Pigs – it was an anthem in 1970 and it’ll continue to be one in 2040 (and 3040).
‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ by Mayhem
Controversy has followed metal like a shadow since it came into existence, particularly when it comes to claims that the music is satanic and the artists are corruptors.
While many metal albums can stake a claim to being the most controversial, none truly challenges Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas – the reference point in ‘true Norwegian black metal’.
Let’s start with the title. It’s a Latin phrase that means “The Mystery of the Lord Satan.”
Then there’s the band themselves. The guitarist and bandleader, Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth, was the leader of the Norwegian black metal scene – a movement that literally burned down churches in the name of Satan.
Note that I said Euronymous was the bandleader – he was murdered by the bassist, Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes, in a power struggle for the leadership of the scene. That didn’t stop Vikernes from contributing to the LP – his bass lines remain on the record.
Musically, it’s ferocious and raw (the sound of a honey badger being recorded while it fights itself inside a rusty bin). And the songs are as brilliant as the album is controversial – Freezing Moon, Funeral Fog, and Pagan Fears are among the record’s dark highlights.
You’d think Norwegians might be (at best) trepidatious about publicizing Mayhem and all the band stands for. But in 2012, Euronymous was the frontrunner in a campaign to find a famous face to feature on the planes of Norwegian Air jets – he only failed to win because his family asked that he be removed from the running.
‘Master of Puppets’ by Metallica
Black Sabbath is the band that started everything and inspired everyone, the Elvis Presley of metal – I’m confident you can make that claim in any metal bar in the world and you’ll get the same roar of approval.
The King was followed by four Liverpudlians who expanded on his legacy and the same is true of Black Sabbath – Metallica’s four horsemen are The Beatles of metal and Master of Puppets is their White Album.
Recorded in 1985 and amidst utmost obscene expectations, Master of Puppets achieves the oxymoron capable of only the truly great albums – it sounds both of its time and absolutely timeless.
It’s a masterpiece from start to finish, with Battery and Damage Inc. bookending six thrash metal tracks of astonishing craftsmanship.
And the riffs, boy, those riffs. Listen carefully to the title track now and you’ll hear the sound of a million kids picking up a guitar and learning how to shred.
‘Rage Against The Machine’ by Rage Against The Machine
Metal musicians have long been unfairly tarred as knuckle-dragging numb skulls.
That’s kinda hard to justify when you’re talking about a band whose guitarist is Harvard educated and whose vocalist spits rhymes that are sharp enough to lacerate platinum.
Rage Against The Machine is the moment where rap and metal truly began to forge an association – sorry Aerosmith and Run DMC, but your duet is more a scenic pathway than it is a definitive bridge builder.
However, what’s most important about the record is that it’s ferocious music by even more ferocious intellects, with their energy directed at government crimes, economic misery, and the right to rebellion – issues that are likely to remain eternal. And the music the songs are so, so memorable.
Killing In The Name is the record’s anthem – and rightly so, with its riff one of the first learned by millions of new guitarists and its lyrics providing an awakening of the self for countless others.
But that’s not the only great track. Bombtrack, Take The Power Back, and Settle For Nothing, just three of the other songs that people will still be listening to in 2040.
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‘Paranoid’, ‘Master of Puppets’, ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’, and ‘Rage Against The Machine’, are four astonishing metal albums that are as relevant today as they were upon release.
That’s not going to change and I’m confident enough in the quality to guarantee that they’ll still be among the genre’s finest and most important records come 2040.