It’s no secret that rock and metal are the superior genres, which means that it has a plethora of options for you to listen to. That also means it’s a bit overwhelming for new listeners to find what is best for them. Rock and metal is a place where everyone can shine, it’s just a matter of finding where you’re most comfortable, so I’ve compiled a list of albums that may send you in the right direction.
Disclaimer: this list is based off of my current rock and metal library, so there is a bit of bias here and it’s my own opinion on which albums are the most essential. With that being said, I will ask my fellow metalheads to conjure up a list of their own so you get the best and most variety of opinions so you can find your flavor.
Let’s get to it.
1. Master of Puppets – Metallica
This is the best album of all time. Period. And Metallica is one of (if not THE) biggest band out there, and this album pioneered the rest of their career along with the careers of bands yet to come. Great album to listen to to lay some metal foundation.
2. White Pony – Deftones
This album is not as heavy as other albums in the genre, and it’s highly experimental. With soft vocals and tons of melody, this album can help bridge the gap from other genres to metal. As kind of a gateway drug, this album will evolve your music taste and send you over to other bands to further your path into rock and metal.
3. What Separates Me From You – A Day to Remember
If you’re one of those people who wince at screaming in music, this band will get you a little more used to it. They fuse metal and pop punk together in a strangely amazing way, and they personally made me enjoy more guttural vocals and melodic choruses.
4. Dirt – Alice In Chains
This record is a staple in the grunge genre. It’s hard-hitting yet easy on the ears. The music is slowed down and backs up a deepened vocal style, and there is not a single weak chorus on the record.
5. Crimson – Alkaline Trio
This band is a beautiful mix of classic pop-punk and the emo genre. Catchy and light-sounding songs on some pretty macabre, sad lyrics. This record is where their experimentation and musicianship shines and every song here will make its mark on your ears.
6. Through the Eyes – Flaw
Flaw isn’t a very well-known band, but they deserve to be. This album specifically follows the same formula that made early 2000’s rock popular yet it doesn’t feel forced. A tad bit heavy than a lot of the popular bands from that time period, they’ll make you appreciate that era of rock and metal.
7. Vulgar Display of Power – Pantera
Pantera is insane. This album is pretty much what people are afraid of when they think of things rock and metal; the pure aggression and anger, the hardness of the music, the wild band members. Which is why you need to learn to appreciate this band, they’re a very fun band to be a fan of.
8. All Killer, No Filler – Sum 41
Ah, late 90’s early 2000’s pop punk. The official soundtrack to the class clown who simply takes nothing seriously and you’re secretly jealous of. This record is youthful and fun and if you weren’t lucky enough to be a teenager in this time period, at least you have their music to enjoy. See also: Enema of the State by blink-182.
9. Soundsystem – 311
For the fans of funky grooves, and just overall feel-good jams, this album is for you. 311 has a lot of reggae elements in their music, especially on this album. This is one of the best transitions to the rock genre, mainly due to the uplifting flow and melodies in the songs.
10. Evil Empire – Rage Against the Machine
On the same note as number 9, this record is groovy and is one big jam session. However, the vibe is different overall. They’re the best rap-rock band by far and have some serious instrumentation, but they’re whole presence is anti-establishment, ‘start a revolution’ fueled music. They’re incredibly passionate in their message and will without a doubt, pump you up.
In your free time, crank one of these albums up and just listen. If you find yourself enjoying even a little bit of it, I encourage you to keep trying because that enjoyment will grow over time, then you will be a rock and metal fan! I also encourage you to shuffle these artists and the bands that are related/similar if you like what you hear; the more bands you branch out and listen to (starting with a band you’ve discovered and liked,) the closer you’ll come to discovering where you belong in metal.
-Luke Brooks \m/