We set off into the second part of our musical journey to once more listen to the best heavy metal albums ever made. This list is in no particular order but does contain some of the very top bands that have played this music genre and their best recorded work, starting off in America with Pantera.
Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power
Hailing from Texas, Pantera were formerly better known as a glam rock band in the 1980’s. But in the next decade they redefined themselves as a heavy metal outfit with their highly successful album Cowboys from Hell, and then released a follow-up recording that shook the heavy metal world to its very foundations. Just like a snake the band shredded their former selves and any signs of their flamboyant past. The sound was stripped bare to the very essentials that a true heavy metal band needs and the drummer Vinnie Paul drove the band into a fast rhythm with a very tight unit supporting him.
Listen to tracks such as Mouth for War and Walk, with the trademark gruff vocals of lead singer Anselmo accompanying an almost frenzied guitar and bass attack. The pace of the songs are almost at a gallop and the listener is taken on a full throttle ride with only brief interludes, such as the ballad This Love.
Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz
Some people might object to Ozzy Osbourne’s name appearing in a blog about heavy metal music but just listen to Blizzard of Ozz and it will change any doubters mind for good. This album was his first solo venture after getting kicked out of Black Sabbath. The band had finally had enough of his drunken and drug fueled antics and Ozzy was banished into a rock abyss.
But in 1980 Ozzy was to shock the world of rock music when he released Blizzard of Ozz. The album announced that Ozzy was back and tracks such as Suicide Solution, Crazy Train and I Don’t Know were created in a new fresh way that made Sabbath sound dated. And for a new following of heavy metal fans Ozzy belted the songs out at a fair wallop. Blizzard of Ozz showed a new type of heavy metal and was to pave the way for upcoming bands to follow.
Motorhead – No Remorse
Heavy metal has never really been a music genre that was based on singles releases. Most of the top heavy metal bands preferred to show their musical development in long player releases. Motorhead together with their talisman Lemmy Kilmister broke the mold, their songs were instantly catchy and could easily be fitted into single release format. Motorhead had developed a formula to play heavy metal music that a mass audience would accept. Lemmy barked out his vocals to an almost hypnotic bass line backed with a solid rhythm guitar. Lemmy once told a music magazine, that the formula worked and the fans loved it, so why change it?
No Remorse is a sort of anthology that represents different eras of Motorhead, but amazingly the sound remains the same. Having said all that the album is full of heavy metal gems that are simply famous around the world. Ace of Spades, Killed by Death, Bomber and Overkill are known by many and not just heavy metal fans and it is fitting that this album closes our heavy metal journey.