Hall of Fame

The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Calculating Infinity”

December 18, 2006

This one’s a no-brainer. Regardless of what you think about Calculating Infinity, you can’t deny that the 11 tracks on this album revolutionized extreme music and raised the bar in terms of technicality, musicianship, speed, dynamics–even visual presentation, album photography, and design.

Meshuggah – “Destroy Erase Improve”

November 18, 2006

Everyone remembers that one episode of The Osbournes some five years back where Ozzy’s ungrateful male sprog took it upon himself to use Meshuggah’s Destroy Erase Improve as a thrust and parry in the suburban war against his Beverly Hills neighbors.

Monster Magnet – Dopes to Infinity

October 18, 2006

After Nirvana’s Nevermind tore the “alternative rock market” a seven-figure asshole, every major label with easy access to a couple of guitar-wielding longhairs was vying to shove its swollen corporate phallus into the proverbial money-ring of brown fire.

Rollins Band – “The End of Silence”

September 18, 2006

It was October 1991 and Andy Wallace was getting richer by the day. The veteran producer/engineer was reaping the financial rewards of mastering Nirvana’s recently released (and completely unexpected) commercial juggernaut Nevermind.

Brutal Truth – “Need to Control”

August 1, 2006

When New York grinders Brutal Truth released their debut, Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses, bassist extraordinaire Danny Lilker (Anthrax, S.O.D., Exit-13) had just severed his ties with Nuclear Assault.

Deadguy – “Fixation on a Coworker”

July 1, 2006

“Hi Kevin, I’m coming down to your office now. Um… could you please make sure that noise you’re always blasting is off by the time I get there? Thanks!”

Eyehategod – “Take as Needed for Pain”

June 19, 2006

Drugs, disease, crime, abuse, poverty, paranoia, drugs, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol: Such are the cornerstones of Eyehategod’s time-honored New Orleans aesthetic.

My Dying Bride – “Turn Loose the Swans”

May 19, 2006

In 1991 My Dying Bride already stood out from the cookie-cutter, cookie-monster death metal that was hegemonic in the underground at the time.

Morbid Angel – “Altars of Madness”

April 1, 2006

The sweltering heat and merciless humidity of mid- to late-‘80s Florida proved a fertile breeding ground for a burgeoning genre that would announce itself to the world as death metal.

Sleep – “Jerusalem”

March 19, 2006

The words “stoner epic” don’t even come close to describing the extreme riff-hypnosis that Jerusalem visited upon the red-eyed legions of heshers, grass pirates, and acid casualties who genuflected at the altar of the legendary San Jose power-trio known as Sleep.

Cathedral – “Forest of Equilibrium”

February 19, 2006

In 1989, while the extreme metal underground was bingeing on the high-speed savagery of death metal and grindcore, ex-Napalm Death vocalist Lee Dorrian and Carcass roadie Mark “Griff” Griffiths were getting ripped on British cider, brown weed, and the down-tuned Sabbathian histrionics of Trouble, St. Vitus, and Witchfinder General.

Emperor – “In the Nightside Eclipse”

December 19, 2005

In the Norwegian summer of 1993, the second wave of black metal was still in its ultra-violent infancy, and only a handful of bands were actively exploring the parameters of what was then an obscure and distinctly Scandinavian art form.

Botch – “We Are the Romans”

November 1, 2005

1999 was a transitional year for both underground music and America’s most iconic freestanding structures.

Atheist – “Unquestionable Presence”

October 1, 2005

Hearken back to when you first slapped on Calculating Infinity. Recall how completely overwhelmed you were by the Dillinger Escape Plan’s virtuosity, originality, technicality and songs seemingly designed to induce vertigo.

Carcass – “Necrotocism”

September 1, 2005

Liverpudlian grind titans Carcass may not have invented grindcore with 1991’s Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious, but they certainly opened it up to a magnitude of previously unfathomed possibilities.

Entombed – “Left Hand Path”

August 1, 2005

Death metal was still in its infancy when Left Hand Path came roaring out of Stockholm like Satan’s official theme music—a deafening cavalcade of impossibly thick guitars, guttural vocal incantations, and gore-drenched lyrics that struck a considerable contrast—well, the guitars, anyway—to the burgeoning Floridian death-swarm (Obituary, Death, Morbid Angel) of the day.

Anthrax – “Among the Living”

July 1, 2005

1987 was a big year for coke-metal and bad hair: Def Leppard’s Hysteria, Mötley Crüe’s Girls, Girls, Girls, Whitesnake’s Whitesnake, and Guns n’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction were all bum-rushing the charts like a pack of wild junkies tearing through Steven Tyler’s medicine cabinet at 4AM—which most of them were, anyway.

Paradise Lost – “Gothic”

June 1, 2005

Northern England, 1990. Amid the cacophony of blast beats echoing from the speed obsessed world of UK death metal and grindcore, five lads from the grim North were feverishly gathering songs and ideas for the follow up to their doom laden debut album Lost Paradise.

Life of Agony – “River Runs Red”

May 1, 2005

When I was sixteen years old, I listened to four records obsessively: Metallica’s …And Justice For All …, Kyuss’ Blues For the Red Sun, the first Danzig album, and Life Of Agony’s River Runs Red—the last of which I thought was my own private musical discovery (like every other jackass with cable, I saw the video for “Through And Through” on Headbanger’s Ball).

Sepultura – “Roots”

April 20, 2005

December 16, 1996: It’s still an official day of mourning for hardcore Sepultura fans. After finishing a set at the London’s Brixton Academy, the Brazilian quartet headed backstage where an explosive band argument culminated with popular frontman Max Cavalera excusing himself from the group for good.

At the Gates – “Slaughter of the Soul”

March 1, 2005

In May of 1995, At the Gates entered Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden, to record what would be their fourth and final full-length, Slaughter of the Soul.

Slayer – “Reign in Blood”

November 2, 2004

Having already unleashed two merciless lo-fi shredding clinics via Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits, Slayer’s urban-Satanist lyrics and ultra-violent guitar acrobatics were far too inaccessible for West Hollywood’s coke-metal scene and way too sketchy for the Bay Area’s newly viable thrash contingency.