Kyuss -“Welcome to Sky Valley”

November 18, 2008

Rolling from Los Angeles into the parched sandbox of the Mojave, anyone familiar with Welcome to Sky Valley will see almost all the relevant landmarks along the 10 East freeway.

Testament – “The Legacy”

October 1, 2008

News flash: Thrash metal didn’t begin or end with the release of Testament’s The Legacy, but just because the band’s 1987 debut didn’t defiantly construct genre bookends, it is still very much worthy of entry into Decibel’s hallowed hall.

Black Sabbath – “Heaven and Hell”

September 1, 2008

As far as Hall of Fame inductees go, the making of Black Sabbath’s ninth album, their first with former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio, easily ranks as one of the most drama-filled.

Repulsion – “Horrified”

August 18, 2008

It’s both Repulsion’s genre-sparking album and the way enlightened metal fans will look at you should you admit ignorance of the fact—which is very well possible, seeing as Repulsion has always been a band that your favorite bands worshipped, but were somehow otherwise criminally unheard of.

Down – “NOLA”

July 1, 2008

If there’s just one person in the world who’ll never forget the exact date NOLA came out, it’s Eyehategod guitarist/Down drummer Jimmy Bower.

Cannibal Corpse – “Tomb of the Mutilated”

June 1, 2008

“To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women,” so said Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan in 1982’s Conan the Barbarian when asked, “What is best in life?”

Napalm Death – “Scum”

May 1, 2008

Without Napalm Death’s Scum, you probably wouldn’t be holding this magazine. This album—essentially a split LP between two almost completely different lineups—defined grindcore with its growled vocals, whirring, hardcore-influenced riffs and faster-than-a-locomotive blast beats.

Mastodon – “Remission”

April 18, 2008

While it’ll never be regarded as the kind of breakthrough record Leviathan became, thanks to universal acclaim (indie rock critics and all) and its inclusion on not one but three video game soundtracks (Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Project Gotham Racing 3, Saints Row), Mastodon’s Remission LP is much more important in the scheme of the band’s history and modern metal itself.

Coalesce – “0:12 Revolution in Just Listening”

March 18, 2008

Of all of their bizarrely captivating feats, the fact that Coalesce managed to create arguably their most important album after they had ceased to be a band has to rank near the top of the list.

Opeth – “Orchid”

February 1, 2008

Opeth’s Orchid existed among tape traders for almost a full year, either as a partial or full album with the songs cut in random places, before Candlelight unfurled it upon an unsuspecting public in May 1995.