Paul Scoble - Top 90
Hi! When The Weird Nucleus asked me to do a list of my favourite albums I got really excited; I love music, I play the guitar, I have been in (unsuccessful) Bands, I am an avid new music collector, and write reviews and the odd article for an online music blog. TWN knew this and let me choose how large a list to make, which was a mistake! I had a look through all of my music and picked all the albums that were important to me, that I loved or that I had listened too bsessively. So, I now present to you my top 90 albums, I don’t know why it’s that number but I love every one of these albums. I’ve given each one a brief description and, as music is subjective and can become attached to feelings about other things, have included stories and explanations about some of the albums. I hope you enjoy reading it, and discover some music you appreciate.
90 - Hellhammer - Satanic Rites Demo
Out of all the musicians I admire and love, Tom G Warrior probably comes top. I’ve included
albums by all of his projects in this list. This was his first project, at the time Hellhammer were an obscure Swiss band, however this demo is now seen as the beginning of Extreme metal. This was the genesis for death metal, black metal and pretty much everything nasty and blasting. Recorded in November 1983, it was ridiculously ahead of its time, and has influenced everyone who has tried to play extreme metal, whether they know it or not.
89 - Batushka - Panihida
Second album of Liturgical Black Metal. It was recorded at a difficult time when another fake
version of Batushka was trying to steal the original bands fanbase. Black Metal mixed with chants from the Eastern Orthodox Church, unique and stunning.
88 - Ulver - Nattens Madrigal
The most viscous Lo-Fi sounding Black Metal album ever. There is a story that the band blew their recording budget on cars and suits, so had to record the album using cheap equipment, which resulted in one of the nastiest Black metal albums.
87 - Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
The very definition of heavy. The opening of Funeralopolis is heavier than some planets.
86 - Obed Marsh - Dunwitch
This is a new discovery. H.P. Lovecraft inspired Blackened Doom that tells the story of The
Dunwitch Horror. This is the only Lovecraft inspired metal that manages to capture the inherent evil of his writing. Utterly Sickening.
85 - The Penitent - Before It All
Old school Depressive Black Metal, that manages to be harsh and savage, whilst being deeply cathartic and strongly melodic at the same time. I have Clinical Depression, this album was made especially for me!
84 - Thy Catafalque - Geometria
A beautiful mix of Black Metal, folk and electronica. It’s an immersive album that takes you to
places you don’t expect.
83 - Zeal & Ardor - Stranger Fruit
An amazing mix of Black Metal, spirituals, soul and slave chants. The album title is a reference to the Billie Holiday song. It’s incandescently angry and in some ways is like a Black metal Rage Against The Machine. The most original take on Black Metal in a long time.
82 - Blut Aus Nord - The Work Which Transforms God
Staggering piece of Industrial Black metal, a mix of fast and blasting Black metal tracks and
slower dissent soundscapes. The album also features a track called “Procession Of Dead
Clowns”, which speaks to me for some reason.
81 - Aphex Twin - I Care Because You Do
My favourite Aphex Twin album, it’s a glitch techno masterpiece.
80 - Merciful Fate - Don’t Break The Oath
Wonderful NWOBHM infused metal, with King Diamonds amazing vocals. Aesthetically and lyrically deeply influential on the late eighties Black metal scene.
79 - Honey Crack - Prozaic
The band formed by CJ from The Wildhearts after leaving the band. Beautifully effervescent pop punk with fantastic vocal harmonies. The soundtrack to so many mid nineties road trips.
78 - Necrophagist - Epitaph
The album that redefined Technical Death Metal. It’s so good the band have never made another album.
77 - Falls Of Raurus - Patterns In Mythology
Achingly beautiful melodic Black Metal that is packed with tune-fullness and some amazing acoustic elements. One of my favourite recent Black Metal albums.
76 - Ihsahn - Eremita
My favourite of Ihsahn’s post Emperor material. Its taut and edgy progressive metal that is packed with fantastic riffs.
75 - Megadeth - Peace Sells....But Who’s Buying
My favourite Megadeth album. The bass-line on the title track is good enough for inclusion in this list on its own.
74 - Vallenfyre - The Fragile King
The album Gregor Mackintosh of Paradise Lost made to deal with his father's death. It drips with grief and pain, and is a heartbreaking tribute to his father, The Fragile King.
73 - Kampfar - Heimgang
Probably the best pagan metal album I’ve heard. Every riff makes me want to punch the air.
72 - David Bowie - Hunky Dory
My favourite Bowie album. The album is very piano heavy and is filled with amazing tunes. It’s been my favourite since I was a teenager, I know every track inside out.
71 - W.A.S.P. - W.A.S.P.
I loved W.A.S.P. when I was 14. They were too nasty to be Glam Rock, but were defiantly not Traditional Metal. Hiding behind the stage shows, crazy costumes and exploding codpieces was a great band, fantastic songwriting and Blackie Lawless’s amazing voice, just listen to “Sleeping In The Fire” if you don’t believe me.
70 - AC/DC - Dirty Deeds
My favourite AC/DC album, I’ve always loved the Bonn Scott era. The songs had more of a blues feel to them and the tempos were a little more relaxed and swaggery.
69 - The Wildhearts - Earth Vs The Wildhearts
Manic Pop Punk from Newcastle. One of the best collection of great melodies, harmonies and amazing songwriting.
68 - Bathory - Under The Sign Of the Black Mark
Early, very thrashy Black Metal. This album has been ridiculously influential on Black Metal. It’s savage, primal and bestial in the best possible way.
67 - Anaal Nathrakh - The Codex Necro
My favourite Anaal Nathrakh album. Incredibly fast and savage, a bit like being sandblasted with music.
66 - Annihilator - Alice In Hell
Amazing riffs and solos, one of the best thrash debut albums. The guitar work will make you dribble.
65 - 1349 - Hellfire
The band Frost from Satyricon joined when Satyr wouldn’t let him play Blast Beats anymore. Ridiculously fast blasting from beginning to end, this is one of the most intense and viscous orthodox Black Metal albums ever made.
64 - Windir - 1184
Amazing, folky Black Metal, packed with energy and melody. The band ended after the death of lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Valfar, from exposure.
63 - Sabbat - History Of A Time To Come
Best British Thrash album, from the first time around. Amazing riffs, fantastic lyrics and Martin Walkiyer’s crazy vocals.
62 - Overkill - Years Of Decay
Love this album, so many great songs.
61 - Beherit - Drawing Down The Moon
The album that launched the Black/Death, unbelievably filthy sounding wave of savage bestial bands. No-one ever got it as right as Beherit, the only album of this style that can hold a candle to it is the band's 2009 album Engram.
60 - Gorguts - Coloured Sand
A masterpiece of ultra technical Death Metal.
59 - Kreator - Extreme Aggression
My favourite Kreator Album. The title is spot on, beautifully angry.
58 - Autopsy - Acts Of The Unspeakable
Death Metal bands are usually fast and brutal and extreme; then there's the sickening putrid evil we call Autopsy, no other band sounds as sick. It’s like they make an album, then leave it out in the kitchen on a hot summer day, until it’s rancid, rotting and maggot infested, then they release it.
57 - Enslaved - Riitiir
My favourite Enslaved album, an amazing piece of Progressive metal.
56 - Tyiptykon - Requium
This was only released a few months ago, which is why it’s so low in the list, by this time next year I’m expecting this to be top ten. This is Tom G Warriors masterpiece, that took 36 years to come to fruition. A spellbinding mix of gothic metal and classical, performed by the band and The Metropole Orkest Ensemble.
55 - Sacred Reich - American Way
An amazing piece of thrash metal, pretty much only listened to this album in 1990.
54 - Metallica - Master Of Puppets
The best Metallica Album. After this pretty much everything went to shit for Metallica.
53 - Gama Bomb - Citizen Brain
Love the energy and ridiculously tight riffs on this album.
52 - Dio - Holy Diver
Ronnie James Dio sang on 3 of the best Rock and Metal albums ever made, all 3 are in this list. This is the first one, its incendiary Power Metal, with Dio’s staggering voice.
51 - Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Absolutely love this album. Every song is a classic.
50 - Rainbow - Rising
The second album to feature Dio’s huge voice. The album is full of fantastic songs, written by Richie Blackmore, and that voice.
49 - Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit
Amazingly atmospheric Black Metal. Manages to be savage and incredibly beautiful in equal measure.
48 - Alcest - Les Voyages D L’Âme
Beautiful ethereal melancholia turned into Post Black Metal. Stunningly beautiful album.
47 - Voivod - Dimension Hatröss
Fantastically off kilter thrash metal. I once got to interview Away from Voivod, he was one of the nicest people I have ever met, that was defiantly a good day.
46 - Alters Of Plague - Mammal
Staggeringly affecting atmospheric Black Metal, the band perfected their sound with this album, and changed their style completely for the follow up.
45 - Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation
My favourite Dance album. I once worked on a Prodigy gig, it was the only gig I worked on where the term “Blast Radius” was appropriate.
44 - Bull Of Apis Bull Of Bronze - Offerings Of Flesh And Gold
Deeply ritualistic Anti-fascist, anti-capitalist Black Metal, from a band that want to put the 1% in the Apis Bull.
43 - Orange Goblin - Eulogy For The Damned
Brilliantly up-tempo Doom. This is a great album to listen to when walking somewhere, it’s all about the swagger.
42 - Clutch - Earth Rocker
My favourite of Clutch’s pretty much perfect hard rock albums.
41 - Sleep - Dopesmoker
The only one song album that actually works. A single 65 minute long song, that works brilliantly. Stoner Rock Perfection.
40 - Massacre - From Beyond
Brilliant old school Death Metal album that has been criminally overlooked. One of the best Death Metal albums to come out in 1991 (the best year for death metal).
39 - Fen - Winter
Beautiful Atmospheric Black metal, from Britain’s best Black Metal band.
38 - John Coltrane - My Favourite Things
An amazing jazz album. Anyone who plays a musical instrument that plays solos, should listen to John Coltrane, his phrasing is amazing.
37 - Coldworld - Autumn
Deeply effecting Atmospheric Black metal. The album is very melancholic, but also has uplifting elements that make the whole this feel deeply cathartic.
36 - Terrorizer - World Downfall
The best Grindcore album. The drumming will make you dribble.
35 - Morbid Angel - Blessed Are The Sick
Another amazing Death Metal album from 1991. Amazing songwriting and fantastic musicianship. It was also released at the perfect time, just as the first wave of Death Metal was getting big.
34 - Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss
My favourite Slayer album. A mix of the fast (Reign In Blood) and slow (South Of Heaven) material that featured on their last two albums. I like both styles, so Seasons is my favourite.
33 - Testament - The Legacy
Love this album. So fast and savage, and yet technically brilliant, Alex Skolnick’s lead guitar work is pretty special as well.
32 - None - Life Has Gone On Long Enough
Amazing Depressive Black Metal. Dripping with anguish, pain and melancholy beauty. The track “Hypoxic” is almost too beautiful.
31 - Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Sickeningly cold and desolate Black metal. A deeply controversial album that spawned about a million imitators.
30 - Sepultura - Arise
My favourite Sepultura album. Brilliantly tight thrash that at times verged on Death Metal. They never made anything as good as this again.
29 - Devin Townsend - Empath
I love Devin Townsend, I’ve loved pretty much everything he’s done. So it was a little bit difficult to choose one album. The reason I’ve gone for Empath is that it feels a little bit like he revisited all of his best bits of his other work with this album. So there a little bit of all the stuff I love, and we also get the wonderful Gilbert & Sullivan-esque “Why”, so it’s this one.
28 - Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
The perfect Heavy Metal concept album. Every song is staggeringly good, the band never made anything even close to this good for the rest of their career.
27 - Iron Maiden - Powerslave
My favourite Maiden album, every track is fantastic. Probably the only album they did with no dud tracks.
26 - Mizmor - Cairn
It took me five or six listens before I got this album, but when I did I listened to it obsessively. The best Blackened Doom I have ever heard, savage Black Metal mixed with the slowest, saddest doom. This feels to me like a Black Metal version of the band “Warning” (see number 5), the sadness and despair is palpable.
25 - Ozzy Osbourne - Tribute
I’m choosing this more for Randy Rhodes, than Ozzy. An amazing live album featuring the late Randal William Rhodes, who died in 1981, after making only two albums for Ozzy. He’s my favourite guitarist, and this is my favourite album to feature him.
24 - Black Sabbath - Masters Of Reality
My favourite Ozzy era Black Sabbath album. The track “Children Of The Grave” is enough to make the list on its own.
23 - Anthrax - Among The Living
The first Thrash album I ever owned. Packed full of classic thrash songs, the riffs on “Imitation Of Life” kick the crap out of pretty much all other thrash riffs.
22 - Carcass - Necroticism : Descanting The Insalubrious
The perfect mix of the bands early Grindcore style and their later technical Death Metal style. Savage, but also full of melody and tune-fullness.
21 - Alters Of Grief - Iris
Beautiful Gothic Doom with elements of Black Metal. Amazing songwriting on an album that features violin and beautiful harmonised vocals.
20 - Suicidal Tendencies - Lights Camera Revolution
My favourite Suicidal album. The bands habit of constantly evolving meant that the hardcore of their debut had by this point morphed into almost perfect Thrash Metal.
19 - Immortal - Sons Of Northern Darkness
The best Immortal album. Every track is superb, riffs that will make you dribble!
18 - Violet Cold - Anomie
Beautiful mix of Atmospheric Black Metal, Post Black Metal, Electronica and World Music. It’s deeply cathartic, affecting and sublime.
17 - Wiegedood - De Doden Habben Het Goed 2
The favourite of the De Doden Habben Het Goed trilogy. Savage, extreme and unique, no other band sounds like Wiegedood.
16 - Black Sabbath - Heaven & Hell
My favourite Black Sabbath album is one of the Dio albums. An amazing collection of Hard Rock songs. The title track is so good if that was all the album was, it would still be on this list.
15 - Power Trip - Nightmare Logic
My favourite Thrash album is a new thrash album. Such great songwriting, and the best guitar tone in metal. Lead singer Riley Gale died recently. It’s so sad, such a huge loss.
14 - Ultha - The Inextricable Wandering
A staggering piece of doomy Black Metal. Ultha have never recorded a bad song, The Inextricable Wandering is pretty much perfect.
13 - 40 Watt Sun - The Inside Room
40 Watt Sun are the project Patrick Walker started after Warning (see number 5) split in 2010. This album was introduced to me by an incredibly special person, who is no longer part of my life (don’t worry she’s fine, but she is part of someone else's life now, not mine), so it is an album I have a huge emotional attachment to. Its achingly melancholic doom, but with really positive, uplifting lyrics giving it a wonderfully cathartic feel. “This Alone” is the most beautiful love song I have ever heard.
12 - Johnny Cash - Live At San Quentin
I love Johnny Cash. My dad used to listen to his albums in the car, so I’ve been a fan since I was 5. This live album is amazing, a perfect setlist, and an audience who are usually starved of entertainment, and so are REALLY up for the gig.
11 - Cathedral - Carnival Bizarre
I love Cathedral, particularly the bouncy Disco Doom style of Carnival Bizarre.
10 - Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
This is an amazing album from one of my favourite Black Metal bands. It’s beautifully ethereal and delicate. I went to see WITTR a couple of years ago, and they played most of this album, live the material is awe-inspiring.
9 - Pallbearer - Heartless
When this album came out in 2017, I started listening to it as the first music I listened to each morning as it’s a great way to ease yourself into the day. Its mix of melodic doom and progressive elements is so good, for 18 months it was the start of my day.
8 - Judas Priest - Painkiller
Judas Priest’s best album. This album was the second time Judas Priest had redefined Power Metal. Every track is a classic and it features some amazing guitar work.
7 - Emperor - Prometheus : The Discipline Of Fire And Demise
I will probably get flack from Emperor purists for choosing this album rather than their debut album. However, this is my list, and this staggeringly complex piece of multi layered extreme metal is my favourite, so there!
6 - Skyclad - Jonah’s Ark
I was obsessed with Skyclad for many years. Their brand of Folk Metal was years ahead of its time and, paired with Martin Walkyier’s amazing lyrics, makes this a very special album.
5 - Warning - Watching From A Distance
The Patrick Walker project that came before 40 Watt Sun. Again, this is an album that was introduced to me by the same important person who introduced me to “The Inside Room”, so I have a huge emotional attachment to it; however this album is also connected to another deeply sad part of my life, so to explain that I’m going to have to tell you a story.
In 2017 Warning reformed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of “Watching From A Distance”, by doing a short tour, playing the album in its entirety. I went to Damnation Festival (a one day Heavy Metal Festival) in Leeds to see them. That important person was there with her new boyfriend, so I was in a very emotional state all day. I was on he verge of tears from the first note Warning played; “Watching From A Distance” is a deeply melancholic album, but unlike “The Inside Room” its lyrics are just as sad as the music. The central song on the album is called “Bridges”, it’s the softest track on the album, and is clearly about loss, grief and pain, the anguish in the song is palpable. As the song is so emotional I was genuinely nervous of how I was going to react to it. Patrick Walker explained what the song was about ,and what he said was devastating. He explained that the song was about his friend David, David had a hard childhood and experienced a lot of childhood trauma. This trauma led him into drink and drug addiction, which eventually led to his death. Patrick said he had written the song to help him deal with the death of his close friend. That's a very sad story, but for me it went deeper.
One of my best friends growing up, was also a victim of a very abusive childhood. As close friends we had talked about it a lot (to be honest, he talked, I listened). By 17 he was an alcoholic, and over the next 20 years I watched, and in many ways helped him to drink himself to death. He died of Acute Pancreatitis a couple of years before I watched Warning play “Bridges” in Leeds. When Patrick sang the line “I can’t reproach your leaving to justify my pain” it was too much for me and I dissolved into tears, and sobbed my way through the rest of the set. The important person who was at the festival with her new boyfriend was very close to me and saw me fall apart, I wish I could have talked to her and explained why, I will always regret not talking to her. After Warning’s set I went to the merch table to get a T-shirt. Patrick Walker was sitting at the merch table talking to fans. I got to talk to him and explained about my friend, and how similar his story had been to David’s. I told him it was the first time I had cried at a metal gig. We talked briefly about losing friends, and he walked around the table and gave me a hug (which I probably looked like I needed).
Having two of the saddest things in my life connected with one of the saddest albums ever made is strange. Both of the events that I connect to this album are two of the most painful things that have happened in my life, if I could go back in time and act differently so I could change the outcomes, I would. This makes judging “Watching From A Distance” in any kind of objective way impossible. The importance I put on it is huge, sometimes I can’t listen to it as it hurts too much, but if I am in the right mood, nothing else will do. A breathtakingly affecting album, its sadness is only matched by its
4 - Entombed - Clandestine
My favourite Death Metal album, absolutely perfect. Every song is amazing, other death metal albums can’t compete as “Clandestine” has stolen all the best riffs!
3 - Motorhead - No Sleep Til Hammersmith
The third album I ever bought was a Motorhead album. Choosing one from their discography was impossible so I went for their 1981 Live album. It’s a great collection of their early “classic” lineup material, and the best compromise to picking 5 or 6 Motorhead albums.
2 - Yob - Our Raw Heart
I love Yob. They have two distinct sounds and I love both of them. The huge, dense and devastating doom of their earlier work, and the softer, more expansive sound that they first did with the track “Marrow” from the album “Clearing The Path To Ascend”. “Our Raw Heart” has a mix of the two sounds, and in many ways has perfected both of them. This is an album that I keep on returning to, I just can’t stop listening to “Beauty In Falling Leaves”.
1 - Celtic Frost - Monotheist
Celtic Frost are the project that Tom G Warrior is best known for. The band that started developing the sounds that would end up being known as Death Metal and Black Metal (the band Obituary were pretty much a Celtic Frost cover band for their first 2 releases). This is their 2006 album, which is very gothic and deeply affecting. The sound that Tom G used on this re-union album was continued in his next project Triptykon. When this came out I listened to it obsessively and I will never get tired of it. In my opinion, the perfect album.
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