Five Heavy Albums that Changed My Life with Louis Rando of Depravity

Depravity drummer Louis Rando knows what’s up. His work behind the kit on the band’s debut full-length, Evil Upheaval (out on April 30 on Transcending Obscurity Records) is exhibit A of that. Exhibit B: dude’s in Impiety. Case closed. But, just for kicks, here’s exhibit C: a look at five heavy albums that changed Rando’s life. As expected, it’s a solid list.

Alright, so one of the albums isn’t that heavy. We’ll give Rando a pass on that because, hey, who doesn’t love Thriller?

1. Mötley Crüe – Shout at the Devil (1983)

This album basically got me started in heavy metal/hard rock. The cover image completely intrigued me; until then, I’d never seen anything like it, and the music kicked my arse all over the place, too. Tommy Lee’s super groovy pounding drum style inspired me to pick up a set of sticks and try it myself. Great drum sound on this one. The riffs, the vibe, the dark post-apocalyptic/satanic imagery completely made sense to me, and to this day it has somewhat of a bearing upon what I do with my death/black metal bands.

2. Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)

I got this on tape when I was six years old and it truly opened my mind to music, specifically soul/groove music, which I still adore to this day. One of my first memories was watching the “Thriller” clip; that feeling can’t be erased from my mind. Great singing, intense grooves, and more hooks than a tackle shop, this album makes me want to move and drum every time I hear it.

3. Slayer – Decade of Aggression (1991)

This was my introduction to Slayer, just before I heard the earlier albums. What a bombastic compilation of tracks. Played with a great energy and crowd participation, the whole album reeks of the most maniacal mosh pit conceivable. The tracklist is superb, covering all my preferred early albums. That early barbaric thrash sound they captured hit me in a different way to the other thrash bands of the time; it felt more frenzied and extreme, the perfect gateway for the death metal that soon followed…

4. Angelcorpse – Exterminate (1998)

Absolute machine gun abominations from beginning to end. One of the most vicious and well-written thrash/death albums of the ’90s, in my opinion. The combination of John Longstreth on drums, Gene Palubicki on guitars, and Pete Helmkamp on bass/vocals is a special blend of talent that gave birth to a masterpiece, in this instance. As a young aspiring blastbeat fanatic, this album fueled me with inspiration for years. A roller coaster ride of sheer energy with a great old-school American death metal feel, Angelcorpse kept it furious whilst some others buckled towards the end of the ’90s.

5. Deicide – Legion (1992) 

An absolute meataxe of a death metal album to remember! Savage, groovy, hellish, technical, badass—this album has it all in bestial measures. Steve Asheim’s drum performance is pure gold. Definitely an influence on me. His parts are so well thought out and clever, and the drum sound is HUGE on this one. The natural sounding early ’90’s production lends an authenticity to this performance that many newer bands can lack. Staunch and savage, macho and maniacal, this album is a weapon in every sense. An album which opened the eyes of many back in the old days of death metal.

Order Evil Upheaval here.