GREATEST METAL ALBUM CUP - League 11: Hertfordshire Senior County Metal League Division One - Matches 29-32 (Updated Sept 18)

Which album do you like the best?

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  • Total voters
    8
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Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
Nightwish doesn’t really have a perfect album. They’re pretty consistent, but that consistency also means they don’t have that universally recognized classic album that most other bands have. No Images and Words, no Blackwater Park, no Number of the Beast. So it makes sense that there isn’t an album with more than 2 nominations.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Of course the taste out here is representative for the possible outcome of this game but imo this forum isn't always that representative for what's seen as (quality in) recognized music, and female fronted music in particular.

So I think you underestimate the value of this album, Mosh. In Europe (at least / or outside the US) Wishmaster is undeniably seen as a recognized classic, certainly comparable with your examples.
 
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karljant

Ancient Mariner
I took a risk nominating this album from Suicidal as I reckon Lights, Camera, Revolution or even How Will I Laugh Tomorrow would probably go down better on this forum, but the first album is the more unique of their records.
Yup... Although Lights, Camera, Revolution (my favorite), How Will I Laugh Tomorrow and to a certain extent even Art Of Rebellion (hugely underrated album) would be way more relatable, the band's debut was that foot in the door, game changing break in.
I'm not Anti-Power Metal, Power Metal's Anti-Me!
... "and I'm not anti anything, I just vote ST" :p
Blind Guardian - A bit more grit than the usual power metal
Yup... and the two albums before are even grittier... half speed half power metal. Although Power metal also being anti me (lol) I have huge respect for Blind Guardian.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
This Armored Saint album has good riffage and soloing, and Bush’s voice sounds great most of the time, but what it lacks is memorable vocal lines and songwriting. This sounds like a band with a lot of potential that still has a long way to go.
Armored Saint just might not be for you, I guess. This album is universally accepted as their best work and has some of their most memorable songs on it.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Just because, here’s my takes on all the Nightwish albums:

Angels Fall First — Really great for something that the band considers a glorified debut. The framework for later releases is all here, but they haven’t really unlocked their full potential yet as an act.

Oceanborn — Just a year later and already they’re rising to a new level. This is a really consistent album with a lot of great songs, but it’s a bit too power metal for my taste (not that that’s necessarily bad, Nightwish make much better power metal than most other acts).

Wishmaster — This album is pretty killer. Some of the power metal songs aren’t as great IMO but most of them are really strong, particularly when they add in emotional pieces.

Century Child — Each Nightwish album has progressively gotten better up to this point, and this is no exception. It’s their first album where I legitimately really like every song. It’s also their moodiest album and I love the atmosphere it has.

Once — Contrary to what Mosh said, Once has become a perfect album for me, and I’d put it in my Top 10 albums overall. The more bombastic style is awesome and every song is killer. I love every single moment on the record, it’s incredible.

Dark Passion Play — Their most bombastic album by far. It used to be my favorite of theirs but it’s sunk a little for me. I love the majority of the songs on it but some of them don’t quit hit the heights of the others. Still a great album though, and Anette is awesome here.

Imaginaerum — Nightwish’s most inconsistent record. Tuomas really threw the kitchen sink into this one and some of the experimentations don’t really work. There are some bangers on here though.

Endless Forms Most Beautiful — Their “safest” release. The songs seem crafted to give the best parts of Nightwish to their variety of fans, and yet it feels like the punch isn’t as strong as before. It’s still a great album though, the folk elements are nice, and it ends on a high note with the masterpiece that is The Greatest Show On Earth.

HVMAN. :||: NATVRE. — Honestly, one of the band’s best albums. I was really surprised at how much stronger it was than I expected. Disc 1 is just killer with a lot of pieces previously seen in their music brought back for new effects, and I can’t lie, I love the orchestral second disc. I know it’s a bit of a controversial album but it’s really really good IMO.

With that in mind, my tentative rankings for their albums are:

1. Once
2. HVMAN. :||: NATVRE.
3. Century Child
4. Dark Passion Play
5. Wishmaster
6. Endless Forms Most Beautiful
7. Oceanborn
8. Imaginaerum
9. Angels Fall First
 

Midnight

The sun sets forever over Blackwater Park
Once — Contrary to what Mosh said, Once has become a perfect album for me, and I’d put it in my Top 10 albums overall. The more bombastic style is awesome and every song is killer. I love every single moment on the record, it’s incredible.
Wow. I'm not too big on Nightwish, but I do remember walking away from Ghost Love Score with a resounding feeling of "eh". It's got a top-notch intro, though!
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Wow. I'm not too big on Nightwish, but I do remember walking away from Ghost Love Score with a resounding feeling of "eh". It's got a top-notch intro, though!
That’s become a Top 3 song for me, like, from all the songs I’ve ever heard. It’s incredible.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
The Business get the boots put to them by Gojira, who will move on to face Primus in the next round.
Nightwish ends Blaze's first run in the GMAC. Blaze returns in League 10.
Suicidal Tendencies, uh, don't win against Blind Guardian. They'll be up against Geist. Or possibly Eis, depending on who spells it, I think.
Faith No More knocks out Armored Saint. FNM faces Fear Factory next.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member

Judas Priest - Nostradamus (2008)

How it got here

List entries: n/a
Maidenfans Nominators: @Night Prowler
League 12 - Match 25vs.

Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti (1975)

How it got here

List entries: Metalstorm 50
Previous Rounds:
League 15: Defeated Royal Hunt - Paradox 13-9.
League 14: Defeated Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor 15-8.
League 13: Defeated Def Leppard - High ‘n’ Dry 14-13.
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Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation (1977)

How it got here

List entries: n/a
Maidenfans Nominators: @mckindog
League 12 - Match 26vs.

Rainbow - Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (1975)

How it got here

List entries: Metalstorm 49
Previous Rounds:
League 15: Defeated Crimson Glory - Crimson Glory 12(ET)-11.
League 14: Defeated Tony MacAlpine - Maximum Security 20-3.
League 13: Defeated Powerwolf - Lupus Dei 21-8.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member

Borknagar - The Olden Domain (1997)

How it got here

List entries: n/a
Maidenfans Nominators: @Magnus
League 12 - Match 27vs.

System of a Down - Hypnotize (2005)

How it got here

List entries: n/a
Maidenfans Nominators: @Saapanael
Previous Rounds:
League 13: Defeated Edguy - Mandrake 15-3.
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Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)

How it got here

List entries: n/a
Maidenfans Nominators: @Shmoolikipod
League 12 - Match 28vs.

W.A.S.P. - The Headless Children (1989)

How it got here

List entries: Metalstorm 42
Previous Rounds:
League 15: Defeated Savatage - Edge of Thorns 12-10.
League 14: Defeated Warlord - And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun 15-5.
League 13: Defeated Enslaved - Vikingligr Veldi 22-5.
 

Jer

Fuddy Buddy
Pretty easy round this time.

Nostradamus is a criminally underrated album. Never understood where all the hate came from on this. It’s got scope, variety, and substance, and several awesome tracks. Yes, it has a couple of cheesy ballads and a small number of filler tracks, and it would have benefited a lot from real orchestration instead of synth orchestration, but overall it’s a great album that I return to often. Physical Graffiti, on the other hand, is mostly filler with a few classic tracks. No contest here, @Night Prowler ’s nominee takes it. Winner: Judas Priest

Thin Lizzy has cool instrumental bits and some mildly progressive elements that I like, but most of the vocal lines aren’t that memorable, and the songwriting could be more consistent. Not thrilled with the Rainbow album either, but it has more punch, better vocals, and better songwriting chops. Sorry, @mckindog. Winner: Rainbow

@Magnus might have finally found the key to unlocking my black metal chastity belt. This Borknagar album, while having some of the black metal trappings I don’t care for (bad production and periodic phlegmy vocals), also had consistently off-kilter yet interesting music, cool songwriting, multiple instrumentals, and at least half the vocals were clean. Also, the black metal vocals that were present were mostly lower in the mix and leaning toward the less annoying side of the spectrum (more phlegmy and cackly than shrieky or Gollumy). I think I actually want to listen to this album a few more times! Meanwhile I think I’ve already heard more than enough Serj Tankian for one lifetime, so SOAD needs to take a dirt nap. Sorry, @Saapanael, but this match belongs to @Magnus. Winner: Borknagar

For the last round, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, W.A.S.P. OK, let me say a bit more. God, I fucking hate Ape Rant with every fiber of my being, but I will acknowledge that “10’s” isn’t 100% irredeemable, and “Suicide Note, Pt. 1” is actually OK. But the rest of that album really is trash. Meanwhile, the W.A.S.P. album is pretty cool and has some memorable stuff on it. Sorry, @Shmoolikipod, but I have to go with music over noise here. Winner: W.A.S.P.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
Led Zeppelin at its best > Judas Priest at nearly its worst. "The Rover" is heavier than "Revelations" too.
Next matchup is VERY close, but I'll give the slight edge to Thin Lizzy. Rainbow didn't really hit its stride until the next record.
Borknagar was interesting, though I wasn't a fan of those vocals at times. But they are still better than SOAD, which is an offense against human music. Bands like Korn and SOAD can just go f-ck themselves.
Finally, in a matchup between bands that others in this forum care much more about than I do, WASP gets my nod.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Priest - I think Nostradamus is a pretty good record, for want of a better phrase I though Priest had ideas above their station even attempting a concept album, especially one on a serious topic, and off the back of Loch Ness on the previous album I was expecting absolute bollocks. It turned out way better than I expected and the deserve credit for that. The little interludes are too many though and really stop the flow of the album. The Future of Mankind may be one of my favourite Priest songs

Led Zeppelin - opinion given before

Priest with the win

Thin Lizzy - Lizzy are my second favourite band after Maiden, and I would have nominated Live and Dangerous if live albums were allowed. I didn't nominate any studio album as I think they were never captured as incendiary in the studio as they were live (no jokes about how "live" Live and Dangerous is :lol:). Bad Reputation might be their best studio album though. Just listen to those harmonies in Soldier of Fortune FFS. Interesting to note, Brian Robertson was in the bad books at the time as he had been effectively fucked out of the band as he got his hand slashed in a bar brawl which meant they had to cancel a US tour around the time The Boys are Back in Town was a success, which meant they fucked their big break. His face is not on the album cover, and he only ended up playing solos on a couple of tracks after Scott Gorham practically begged for him to be brought back, knowing how important the guitar duo was to the Lizzy sound. According to the producer Tony Visconti, he recorded the solos in one take and stormed out of the studio afterwards with a "take that youse cunts" demeanour, listen to the Opium Trail solo, brilliant!

Rainbow - opinion given before

Lizzy with the win

Borknagar - intro sounds like it could have been good without the phaser, wasn't expecting the verse that came in, pretty good! The heavier part not great but more palatable to me than this stuff usually is, the arrangement is killing it for me though, no really dynamic just switching in and out of the different style verses. Either way, better than this stuff usually is.

System of a Down - Intro ok, verse very basic, neither vocalist is particularly great but they compliment each other well when singing in unison, I've said this every round that they are better than I expected and leagues above the stuff from their peers that I'm aware of, but it still really does nothing for me.

Borknagar with the win

Pantera - I abandoned these after FBD so I've never heard this record, the intro of this track reminds me of the stuff from FBD I didn't like, main riff ok, change for the solo good, his solos are better with a rhythm track underneath

W.A.S.P. - opinion given before

W.A.S.P. with the win
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Firstly we have a really peculiar record by arguably one of the best metal bands ever: none other than the mighty Judas Priest. Already gave my opinion about Nostradamus here. So... sure this record bears its inconsistencies (too much topping and little fill, excessively long, too many intros, too many fillers) but one cannot deny it was a risk assumed by the band. And although the final result is kinda confusing and pretentious no one can deny the props a 40 year veteran band took and the absurd amount of work involved in this thing. And although listening the whole album is almost an impossible task for me, there are some really cool tracks here and there (namely Revelation, Pestilence and Plague, Conquest, Persecution, Alone, Visions or the title track). On the other hand we have a classic Led Zeppelin album (although not entering my top 3) so I think I'll give it to Zep.

Thin Lizzy's Bad Reputation is a really good 70's hard rock album. I mean, that should be assured since even I (far from being a fan) undeniably recognize the quality these dudes bring along almost every composition. And variety has always been a factor regarding the band's catalogue and Bad Reputation is no different: the title track is a really muscular heavy rocker and so is Killer Without A Cause, while the lighter yet sharp Opium Trail and That Woman's Gonna Break Your Heart harmonies are as well composed as the genre as ever seen. So yeah, no denying... this is classy material from Lynott and company but nonetheless I like Rainbow's debut just a tiny bit more.

System Of Down's Hypnotize has some interesting cuts but may as well be the most filler spammed album ever written by the band. As for the Norsemen's sophomore, yup... really cool, well written Melodic Black/ Viking Metal. Already knew some stuff from the band and The Olden Domain surely moves along the same path. There's lots of Bathory here with slight approaches to Dissection in the guitar melodies and even a strong Northern Folk ambiance throughout the whole thing. The least positive side of it is the relative lack of daring to go over those self imposed influences (unlike what bands such as Enslaved did) but other than that this is a really competent, well written record and although it doesn't reinvent the wheel Borknagar are far from being mere copycats. And do so while delivering really exciting songs even to the point of making them sound kinda easy listening (depending on the listener's familiarity with more extreme music, of course) without losing one inch of the pomp and aggression they clearly aim for, thus getting my vote.

And finally... Oh man! Do I really have to pick one of these two records? By now everyone who reads my notes knows how much I hugely love The Headless Children and consider it to be a really pivotal and excellent album as well as the band's best record. But The Great Southern Trendkill features some accolades similar to WASP's fourth release. For a start, unlike many who consider this to be their worst 90's release, it's my favorite album by the band. And the heaviest too (in many ways). And, while being really well performed, there's also a change in TGSTK that is immediately noticeable: the lyrical content. While the previous records where many of the songs were about being a tough bad ass, we're the best band in the world or even some heavy metal macho BS (to a point it sounded ridiculously absurd and hollow in some cases like Walk, Fucking Hostile, Cowboys From Hell, 5 Minutes Alone or Power Metal just to name a few) this record's all around themes Anselmo choose to write about are way more serious. I divide them in 3 main categories: a) the crappy situation of the second half of the 90's regarding mainstream - and that includes some metal - music, b) social issues and c) the first time Phil goes through some dark, intimate stuff. And man this way more serious take on the lyrics elevates an already great and heavy as hell record to another level of excellence.
Regarding the first category we have the absolute blast that is the title track, a no BS harsh diatribe on the music industry and my favorite song here (this thing is pure brutality and Darrel's solo on the end simply kills!). War Nerve deals with clashes with the music press (and yes... it's a bit "F-word" over bombing and even over the top but still works) while Sandblasted Skin is a precise (and to a certain point predictable) prophecy of the demise of all the BS music that started to dominate the charts by that time.
The second type of songs presents us cuts like the gorgeously brutal hooks and groove of Drag The Waters a track about living in denial of unraveling the almost certain horrible truths about people in our family or friend circles, 13 Steps that reveals a completely aggressive and without any track of values society or Living Through Me, a tale about going down the spiral in various ways. This social clash theme isn't new to the band's catalogue (No Good Attack The Radical is an example) but never did it received as much attention like here. Young gang fighting in The Underground In America follows the same line while Floods deals with the utter demise of the human race due to climatic changes... and man: that solo at the end is an absolutely unique moment in music, a creation of a musical genius... period.
Finally there's the last typology of songs where Anselmo opens up like he never did before (although he already did some inner search in takes like Cemetery Gates, Hollow, 25 Years or Shedding Skin), namely about his addiction and the pain he caused to himself and other people. The dark as fuck bluesy first part of Suicide Note is as uncomfortably beautiful as bleak and the second part's absolutely frantic chaos represents in a really unique and down to earth way how stupid and downright humbling and scary OD's and NDE's are without the romanticism pop music normally associates them to. 10's also deals with the episode in a really brute and unapologetic fashion.
So there you go: TGSTK is by far Pantera's more honest, heaviest, heart felt record ever made. Perhaps the only one where I take the band 100% serious. If one part of this album is a manifest against late 90's plastic music industry, the remainder is devoid of that tough guy mumbo-jumbo that sometimes seriously downgraded the band's final output. Quite the outside to be fair: TGSTK is an assumption of man's fragility regarding men (and admittedly Anselmo's) weaknesses, either being drug addiction, denial regarding lies, fear of death among many others. And although I think it's a virtual tie with The Headless Children, I'll give Pantera my vote here
 
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