Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Best Albums Of 1991

Andy's Choices-

In 1991 I was a junior in high school. I was 17 and had no idea what I wanted out of life. I was out of touch with life around me and felt like an outcast in my own skin. Music was an escape for me. I certainly never tried to follow the trends of the day fashion wise or music wise. I attended school in a small town with small minded people. In the days of Garth Brooks and MC Hammer I was an island in and of myself. The following are my ten favorite metal albums of 1991. No particular order and obviously some have stood the best of time better than others.

1)Sepultura-Arise: Mind blowing thrash. Probably my favorite album from 1991.

2)Metallica-The Black Album: At the time I had convinced myself that this was the future of metal. Now I look back and realize this was the beginning of the end for Metallica. I did a lot of drugs in those days which probably explains a lot!

3)Ratt-Ratt & Roll: I am not ashamed to admit I've always loved Ratt. Out Of the Cellar is one of the greatest hard rock releases of all times. This best of collection is just plain awesome.

4)Guns -N-Roses- Use Your Illusion 1&2: Yes, this is actually two albums. Yes, Guns N' Roses are a band people love to hate. And finally yes, I hate to admit to liking these. Thing is both albums have good tracks, so-so tracks and some real dogs. I made myself a compilation of the best off of both. I just liked the pissed off attitude and anger these showed. Slash was on fire and his playing was just so powerful.

5)Death-Human: Man, I love Death. Probably the best death metal band of all time. Human was another masterpiece for Chuck and company.

6)Soundgarden-Badmotorfinger: Is this metal? Or is it just "grunge"? I fought long and hard about whether to include this. I'm sure I will get flack for this but I think it's more metal than people give it credit for. Some of the riffs on this record are just crazy good. It's loud, heavy and aggressive and one of my favorites of my Junior year.

7)Motorhead-1916: What can I say other than it's Motorhead!

8)Bolt Thrower-War Master: Another underrated album that no one seems to have ever heard. This will blow the roof of any metal heads foundations!

9)Armoured Saint-Symbol Of Salvation: With a sound all their own Armoured Saint's Symbol is classic metal. A powerful example of straight up heavy metal!

10)Dark Angel-Time Does Not Heal: Another thrash release that showed the power of the genre at a time when thrash metal was not in vogue. Dark Angel wasn't flashy but they got the job done.

Honestly this was a hard task. There were some albums that could have been on my list: Releases from Slayer, Tourniquet and Mortification. Also at the time I was listening to a demo by Affliction (USA) that was better than most of what was going on with thrash metal. I would have included it but as it was only a demo I decided to skip it. All in all 1991 was a decent year for metal.

Metal Mark's choices-

One of the main projects I wanted to do when this blog started six years ago was to go back and re-evaluate my top ten albums of the year for the year that was twenty years ago. So I have done that and I asked Andy if he would like to post his list this year too and he agreed. So now you get two views on 1991. This was kind of an odd year. I say that because although 1991 was a good year for a metal we also saw grunge really knock metal/ hard rock out of favor rather quickly. This was a gradual build-up that I think started back around 1989 and grunge had been growing since then, but in 1991 it exploded and popular music trends for the rest of the decade would never be the same. For metal it was a fine year. Lots to choose from. So here are my picks.


1-Armored Saint-Symbol of salvation
Four years since their last studio LP. In between that time Dave Pritchard passed away and they lost their record deal. They bounced back, filled in the band, got signed to Metal Blade and put out the best album of 1991.

2-Prong-Prove you wrong
My favorite metal band of the 1990's even though they broke up like 2/3 of the way through the decade. The follow-up to Beg to differ had more industrial touches, but it was also more adventurous in a lot of ways as well.

Darker than some of their previous albums, but it shreds and hammers it's way through. One of their bet albums.

I had been following them since their debut, but on this album they really beginning to bring a strong technical element into the death metal sound they had been playing for the previous three outings. The results were spectacular.


Like a wall of sound hitting you in the face. An overwhelming album in many ways.

6-Ozzy-No more tears

Hard to believe that it's been twenty years since the last good Ozzy album. Actually I think this is the third best of solo career coming in after the first two releases.

7-Metal Church-The Human factor
Often overlooked album. It didn't sell all that well, but boy did I play my cassette of it over and over in 1991.

8-Voivod-Angel Rat

I tend to like their first two albums a lot and didn't enjoy them as much when they branched out. Except the quirky nature of this album struck a chord with me.


My favorite Soundgarden album. It's loud, heavy and in your face. This was another one I played to death on my Walkman back then.

10-Morbid Angel-Blessed are the sick

None of their other albums hit me like this one. An intense attack that strikes and never lets up.

***I really liked Motorhead's 1916 and Roll the bones from Rush back in 1991, but neither has aged very well. If I could have picked the best songs off of the Use you illusions, trimmed down the fat and made one album than it would have made my top ten. As it is there is just too much filler on those albums. Honorable mention to Heathen's Victims of deception which just making the list. Biggest disappointments of the year would be C.O.C's mediocre Blind and Helloween's odd Pink bubbles go ape.

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Blogger sybil law said...

I approve of all these choices. Excellent!
Let's throw a party!

10:47 AM  
Blogger The Klepto said...

This is an interesting idea. Although I was only 5 in 1991, so I don't have the true 'remember when' aspect of the idea, I like the thought of going back, year to year, and ranking the top 10 albums of each. Especially when you go further and further back, you will get less and less acts that were a flash in the pan and more that are in it for the long haul. If you don't mind, I may 'borrow' this and adapt it to my own, younger point of view.

11:07 AM  
OpenID metalodyssey said...

Great list Metal Mark! Overkill and Morbid Angel. 'Nuff said. That "Horrorscope" album got me through some tough times, I can't begin to say how much I've enjoyed it over the years. The cover of "Frankenstein" is unreal Thrash Metal excellence... IMO.

- Stone

8:24 PM  
OpenID metalodyssey said...

Hey Andy... I like your Metal style... Motorhead flat out rules. "1916" is sometimes too underrated of a Motorhead album... then there's times you see it being praised up and down. I'm with you on it.

That was the REAL Sepultura!!

- Stone

8:27 PM  
Blogger Heff said...

Kinda shocked that either of you cats picked Ratt, lol.

2:36 PM  

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