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Soundtracks of My Youth - Part X

Soundtracks of My Youth - Part X

by Luxi Lahtinen

Most of us became interested in music at a very young age. Some of us (the most talented ones, I guess) go even farther and learn to play an instrument, form a band or become a solo artist and dream of fame and fortune. It's a shame that only a small minority have the chance to be a part of a popular band and tour all over the world while putting bread and butter on the table. This road may be tough and rocky, that's for sure.

Tons of music was probably lying around when we were all kids, being your parents' vinyl albums or your beloved aunt's cassettes or some random music that you liked on the radio, and we fell instantly in love with it.

We here at the shiny ivory tower of The Metal Crypt are always willing to dig a little deeper and we contacted a bunch of musicians and asked what were their favorite and influential bands and albums from their childhoods (a so-called "soundtrack of youth") that eventually took them on a long journey in their career.

This is the tenth part... crack a cold beer and enjoy!

Thanks to Kevin Rochester of Forged in Black, Thiago "Oculto" Costa of Necromante, Lois of Balmog, Justin Wallace, Skip Hilton, Simon Harvey, Scott Sayer and Joe Holland of Aeons, Jukka Kyrö of N.N.S., Phil Stiles of Final Coil, Paminos Giannakopoulos of Motherfaster, Cris J.S. Frederiksen of Svartsot, Trek Fitzgerald, Zack O'Rear and Steve White of Never Reborn, Tapio Sintonen of Wretched Path, Sérgio "Baloff" Borges of Headhunter D.C., Justin Vølus of Vølus, James McBain of Hellripper, Jukka Hiltunen of Black Royal and Kyle Edissi of Invicta for all of their cool and sweet contributions for this tenth part of the series.

Special thanks to Chris Kee of Imperative PR for helping out with this tenth edition of the series.

Kevin Rochester (FORGED IN BLACK)
Deep Purple - In Rock Black Sabbath - Paranoid Judas Priest - Sad Wings of Destiny Return to Forever - Romantic Warrior Genesis - Nursery Cryme

I'm older than the rest of the band, so my formative years were in the sixties/early seventies. I was listening to a lot of music by chance but didn't have a favorite between the ages of 5 until 10. I remember Elvis, and my uncles had everything The Beatles had recorded. The charts were full of various types of music, which was airing on the radio. I used to tap along to a lot of it.

However, my first real interest was when the seventies glam scene arrived. Marc Bolan, David Bowie & The Sweet were the main influences, but I only bought singles back then.

DEEP PURPLE – In Rock (1970)

This was the first album I ever bought, by chance from the corner shop. I knew of them, but it blew me away. I still remember the first track, "Speed King" for its sheer hard, loud and heavy presence. Ian Paice was definitely an early influence. Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Roger Glover were also great players. I had not heard vocals like that before.

BLACK SABBATH – Paranoid (1970)

This was the first Sabbath album I heard at a friend's house. Deep Purple blew me away, but Sabbath caused an explosion. I bought it soon after. Sabbath changed the rest of my life. The evil, dirty, heavy and scary sonic sound spoke to me like no music had before. Bill Ward was the drummer that made me want to play. His powerful rhythms with the jazz-tinged fills just connected with me. I also loved Ozzy, Tony and Geezer and could have put their first six albums here, but this was the first one I heard. The first album, along with Paranoid was the beginning of heavy metal without question. Still my favorite band.

JUDAS PRIEST – Sad Wings of Destiny (1976)

I bought this the day it came out and saw them that evening at The Kursaal, Southend. Rob Halford's vocals were just stunning, and the songwriting was well crafted. Quite a few songs on here are still the best they've written, in my opinion. The dynamic solos by Glenn Tipton and KK Downing were very unique at the time, taking metal further on in the process. A classic band and album.

RETURN TO FOREVER – Romantic Warrior (1976)

Being a drummer, I was into a lot of genres of music, especially jazz rock/prog rock and this, for me, is the best album ever to have that label. Chick Corea, Al Di Meola, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, were four of the best players in this field. The album has incomparable musicianship throughout, amazing compositions and the production for 1976 was superb, even to this day. Even though technical, it was still a great listening experience for everyone. Classic.

GENESIS – Nursery Cryme (1971)

I have a vast love of prog rock/metal and I'm pretty sure it started here. With original members Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, this was an early Genesis album, the first album with Steve Hackett and Phil Collins in the lineup. Again, all great musicians and they played very well as a band. The songs on here are etched in my memory. The atmospheres created were unlike a lot of bands then, Banks still relying on his Hammond organ, Mellotron and Hackett bringing a new dimension with his style. Gabriel was very stylish and Rutherford and Collins put some great rhythms together. The change of time signatures a lot. The masterful keyboard and guitar solos were a treat for me and they made me realize how prog could enable me to go further with my playing. Another classic.

Macabro Oculto (NECROMANTE)
Slayer - Show No Mercy Sepultura - Morbid Visions Sarcofago - I.N.R.I. Possessed - Seven Churches Bathory - Under the Sign of the Black Mark

When I was a child, I only had access to the gospel and classical music that my father liked. My musical life started to change at the age of 13 when I listened to Slayer's Show No Mercy (1983). At the same time, I bought Morbid Visions (1986) by Sepultura. It was all very satanic and as I was tired of my Christian family. I loved all of it. After that I listened to I.N.R.I. (1987) from Sarcófago and Seven Churches (1986) from Possessed. I was already totally involved with metal then I listened to Under the Sign of the Black Mark (1987) album from Bathory. It was a one-way street. I started playing and never stopped.

LEONARD COHEN - New Skin for the Old Ceremony PINK FLOYD - A Saucerful of Secrets MILLADOIRO - 3 DEEP PURPLE - Made in Japan IRON MAIDEN - Live After Death

Well, I don't consider myself as a musician, just a person who plays music. Anyway, this is my list!!

LEONARD COHEN – New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974)

Obviously, this is a non-metal or rock album, but it was part of my childhood. I grew up listening to a lot of music at my parents' home and they had a very eclectic music collection. The voice of Leonard Cohen was part of my life till I was a teenager, then I started to listen to metal/rock music, but I started to listen again to some Leonard Cohen stuff about 7-8 years ago. I really like his spirituality and I think that You Want it Darker is one of the best albums of the last ten years.

PINK FLOYD – A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

This album was played thousands of times at my parents' house. It isn't the best Pink Floyd album or the most well known, but I love it. There are some really dark parts that scared me when I was a kid, but I liked it at the same time.

MILLADOIRO – 3 (1982)

This is Celtic/folk music from my land, Galicia. Our traditional music is similar to Scottish/Irish music (bagpipe is also our traditional instrument) and I grew up listening to Celtic/folk bands like Milladoiro, Alan Stivell, and Gwendal. I still listen to this kind of music and I use a lot of tertiary rhythms in the music I compose.

DEEP PURPLE – Made in Japan (1972)

Again, this album was played a lot of times by my parents. My earliest memories of listening to music are probably from when I was 3-4 years old, and I can remember this cover. I'm very grateful to have been fortunate that my parents listened to such varied music.

IRON MAIDEN – Live After Death (1985)

This was my first Iron Maiden album. I taped it thanks to a friend of mine and I still have that tape. This album (and band) changed my mind totally. Maiden is my favorite band of all time and one of my passions.

I guess all these albums changed my mind in many different ways and they are still influencing the music I compose.

Members of AEONS
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - The Great Misdirect Billy Idol - Rebel Yell ANACRUSIS - Suffering Hour KORN - Follow the Leader NIRVANA - In Utero

Justin Wallace: BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – The Great Misdirect (2009)

I stumbled on this album by complete accident as my friend worked in a music shop at the time and this was lying around in the "Rock & Pop" section but had a surprisingly metal band name. Before these guys, prog metal to me was Opeth and Dream Theater, so to hear something so varied and dynamic encompassing such a large variety of styles blew me away and really gave me the bug to seek out anything similar, fueling the prog animal in me.

Blake Richardson's drums on this album are something else and they're something that has had more of an influence on my playing that any artist before or after hearing this beauty of a record.


I grew up with a lot of great music in my house. Queen, the Eagles, Michael Jackson and Kenny Rogers were all staples of my parents' playlists. Billy Idol hit me like a hammer when I first saw the "White Wedding" video on our Philips 20" TV. I thought he looked a bit daft until the music started, and I was blown away. I saved my pocket money and bought that album and Rebel Yell when it came out. I just loved the energy and the guitar work by Steve Stevens really lit a fire in my belly. But the one album that really inspired me wasn't actually an album at all. We were watching the news one night when it was reported that Phil Lynott had died. I had heard of Thin Lizzy, of course, but I hadn't really gone out of my way to listen to them. The next week TV1 in New Zealand ran one of Phil's last concert performances late at night as a tribute. I asked my parents if I could tape the audio onto my Sanyo tape recorder and begged them not to talk or make any noise whilst it was recording. That scratchy mono cassette was listened to in bed every night for months, and it was one of the driving factors into making me want to be in a band. Phil, you're a legend!

Simon Harvey: ANACRUSIS – Suffering Hour (1988)

The first time I heard this I thought it had been written specifically for me. It has everything that was missing in Thrash and lit a torch for what the genre could achieve. It is bleak and super-drop tuned (for its day), with progressive riffing and complicated arrangements. But the star of the show is Kenn Nardi's piercing vocals which just cut you to pieces with razor screams and chorus hooks. It's a thrash songwriting master class and I'm still referring to Anacrusis 34 years later.

Scott Sayer: KORN – Follow the Leader (1998)

Korn's Follow the Leader was the first album I ever bought. When I was 11 on the bus home from school, my friend said he was done with it so I bought it off of him for a fiver, not to know it would be the single best purchase I have ever made. As soon as the first track "It's On!" started, I knew I was hooked. I must've played the album constantly for weeks. I love the heavy riffs and then the verses that pull back just for the riff to slap you in the chops the way your parents probably should've.

Joe Holland: NIRVANA – In Utero (1993)

It's not the first Nirvana album I heard, it's not the first I bought, but it's the first album I loved. The almost comically lo-fi production felt raw and aggressive, the lyrics surreal and opaque, and the guitar, as if they had 500 Boss DS1s stacked in series, showed me that timbre and tone are just as important as lyrics and form when trying to convey meaning in music. And, of course, the opening drums to "Scentless Apprentice" is one of the most immediately recognizable in the history of pop music.

In Utero turned me from a music fan to a music lover and influences almost every aspect of my playing and attitude towards creating music.

Jukka Kyrö (N.N.S.)
RATSIA - s/t BLACK SABBATH - Live Evil AC/DC - Powerage THE CURE - Pornography BLIND ILLUSION - The Sane Asylum

RATSIA – s/t (1979)

This is an old 1979 album from Finnish punk band Ratsia. We used to listen to a song called "Ole Hyvä Nyt" all the time with Markku Jokikokko, who was the other founding member of National Napalm Syndicate. I am sure that this was the first one that made us think about forming a band.

BLACK SABBATH – Live Evil (1982)

A massive impact on my teenage mind. I was totally fucking taken to a different dimension while listening to this. Ronnie James Dio. Tony Iommi. What can I say? I used to listen to this album with earphones and I was afraid and in awe at the same time. It was the music of the ancient gods. You have to remember that we didn't have the Internet, so you just had to visualize everything in your mind.

AC/DC – Powerage (1978)

This is the fucking shit! The best AC/DC album. I won this one from my uncle as a dart game price. I was so happy when I got it from him. Absolute brilliant from start to the finish.

THE CURE – Pornography (1982)

I got this one from my girlfriend back in maybe 1988 and it changed my whole perception on music. The heaviest music since the mighty Black Sabbath. Depressing and beautiful. I still listen to the Cure every week. The Cure rules.

BLIND ILLUSION – The Sane Asylum (1988)

After all the Slayer, Metallica, and Exodus albums, this was a total mindfuck! Progressive metal with a thrash edge and incredible guitar playing. Mark is still my favorite guitar player besides Chris Poland. I still listen to this album on a weekly basis. A total fucking classic!

Phil Stiles (FINAL COIL)
THE BEATLES - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band DURAN DURAN - Seven and the Ragged Tiger GUNS N' ROSES - The Spaghetti Incident QUEEN - The Miracle NIRVANA  - In Utero

Growing up in the '90s was, in many ways, a magical time for a music-loving teenager. Although we did not have the instant access afforded by streaming, the experience of going into some gloomy, independent record shop to rummage through the various bins was easily the equivalent of some arcane treasure hunt. I remember one store in particular. It sat in a dingy indoor market in Poole, the stale yellow lighting and ever-present smell of frying bacon an apt backdrop for the stacks of unsorted vinyl, both new and used, that seemed to be piled high on every available surface. I could lose myself there for hours, rifling through the rare, shaped picture discs, the cheap 7" (with exclusive b sides) and CDs of dubious origin. It was my refuge, and the owner, a pallid individual who watched suspiciously as you inspected second-hand discs for any signs of damage, was surprisingly amenable when you got to know him, happy to drop some obscure alt-rock gem onto the battered boom box behind the desk, if he thought you were genuinely interested.

How I ended up like that in the first place is a little more obscure. My father was not, in any conventional sense, interested in (or supportive of) music. Despite claiming an interest in certain aspects of opera, I rarely heard him play anything. My mother, on the hand, was more open-minded, and is responsible for one of the key records of my youth; Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which I played on a perpetual loop. To that disparate pair, you could add my stepfather Arthur, who ran an independent disco and had boxes filled with colored vinyl just waiting to be explored. His influence, albeit indirectly, loomed large over my discovery of darker forms of music not least Iron Maiden, whose cover art was entirely irresistible to a 9-year-old shuffling through boxes of records.

So, anyway, here are five records that influenced my childhood and led to my bank balance being all the emptier for my passions.

THE BEATLES – Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

This is the earliest pop/rock album I can remember hearing and I loved it from the moment I first discovered its psychedelic cover art in my mum's relatively small collection. She had the album on cassette (she also had Rubber Soul on vinyl, but it could not compete in the eyes of a child), and it was obviously well loved. The songs remain favorites to this day, masterpieces of studio recording and pop-nous, and it is impossible not to sing along to the likes of "When I'm Sixty-Four," "Fixing a Hole" and "With a Little Help from My Friends." But it's also a dark album in places and it works its way under the skin. I always found "She's Leaving Home" to be almost unbearably poignant, while "A Day in the Life" is a stunning, multi-tiered piece of music. It is a magical album, a testament to that band's enduring genius and at least partly responsible for my love of concept albums (with the bulk of the credit going to Pink Floyd).

DURAN DURAN – Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983)

The first album I ever bought for myself. I spent hours working my way through the racks of John Menzies, and to this day I could not tell you how or why I lit upon this. In many ways it epitomizes the 80s; flamboyant, but with a dark underbelly. You always got the idea that the band could really rock on songs like "The Reflex" and Simon Le Bon is a hell of a vocalist, but there are some great pop tunes here, too. Maybe not a band I listen to that often now, although I still enjoy them and respect their work, but at the time, I wore that cassette down, fixed it, and wore it out again. It's a great album and an underrated gem in their catalogue.

GUNS N' ROSES – The Spaghetti Incident (1993)

Another weird one, but it relates back to my point about spending wisely (or not). Somewhere between 1987 and 1988 a friend's older brother had heard me playing The Number of the Beast and gave me a battered copy of Appetite for Destruction on cassette. Like Duran Duran, I listened to it to death, but I never had the money for a copy. Later, when I got my first CD player (around 1993), I went out to buy the album (it had, by then, been played to the point of sounding like a rehearsal tape), but the local store didn't have it. They did, however, have The Spaghetti Incident, freshly released and racked right across the store. I hadn't heard a single track, had no idea about covers and simply bought the thing right there and then. It wasn't, perhaps, what I was after but, you know what? My twelve-year-old self loved it. I learned every track, read the liner notes, and discovered The Sex Pistols, The Stooges, Soundgarden and more as a result. It may not be G'n'R's finest hour, but it sure as hell had an impact on me.

QUEEN – The Miracle (1989)

It's hard to understand now just what an event a new Queen album was, not least because we've been bombarded by collections and greatest hits for what feels like an eternity. However, in 1989, the release of a new Queen album was a huge deal, and The Miracle was the first new release of theirs that I experienced as a follower. So, off I went to Rugby library (which rented LPs for 20p a week) and came home proudly clutching the vinyl. Having grown up to the sound of Greatest Hits 1 (and having not heard any albums to that point), it was one hell of a shock to hit play and immediately be greeted by the scattershot "Party" and the equally odd "Khashoggi's Ship." Indeed, it isn't until the title track that the album settles into more recognizable patterns. But I loved it, and I kept coming back to it, trying to decipher its myriad secrets. And I think the big influence here is that, like Duran Duran, Queen was a band that juggled this absolute pop mastery with darker, harder influences. You could go your whole life and only know Queen as a singles band but dig deeper and you realize just how many layers they had and just how accomplished as musicians they were. It made me realize the importance of the album as an art form, and that's something I hold very dear in Final Coil.

NIRVANA – In Utero (1993)

Both the end and the beginning. In early 1993, I was happily listening to Guns n' Roses and was unfazed by my peers playing Nevermind. In Utero, however, was different.

It started with the flu. A few of us were ill and we were closeted together to share our germs and our misery. Someone produced a tape of In Utero and, in all honesty, I was not initially hooked. But then we hit two tracks, "Very Ape" and "Milk It" and it was like being brushed with a live wire. I had never heard anything like it. It was discordant yet packed with energy. Fury pulsed in every line, and Kurt seemed to be holding a conversation with my own inner voice. As we listened again, the melodies started to hit and, by the time I shook off the flu, I had a whole different disease. I was hooked on Nirvana, spending the next few years tracking down anything and everything I could that was related. Directly, it led to me picking up a guitar. Indirectly, it led to me discovering Sonic Youth, Sebadoh, Mudhoney, Tad, Swans and I don't know how many more bands. Cliché or not, few albums have left me feeling so understood as In Utero did. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with music, and it remains a special album in my collection to this day.

Paminos Giannakopoulos (MOTHERFASTER)
Alice Cooper - Trash Metallica  - Master of Puppets Metallica - Metallica Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast Manowar  - The Triumph of Steel

The first album for me was Alice Cooper's Trash (1989). I had never heard hard rock before, nothing harder than my dad's rock 'n' roll albums, so it blew my mind when I saw Poison on TV! Then some friend from school told me of a band called Metallica. Somehow a copy of Master of Puppets (1986) and Metallica (the black album) (1991) fell into my hands, and I was instantly hooked. Also, I remember seeing an Iron Maiden video on TV and I thought to myself, "these guys are amazing!" Collecting Maiden albums was a big thing for me after that. I think The Number of the Beast (1982) was my first one. Number four would be Black Sabbath, but no particular album. Someone had given me a mix tape with songs from their first three albums. The last band was also discovered by mix tape that was lent to me. I remember playing it, some songs I knew, some I didn't like, but then just before side A of the cassette tape was ending, a song with sword sounds started and was cut in half because the tape was finished. And it didn't even go on side B. The guy didn't even write down who that band was. I must have listened to that half song all day, before the next day at school I found that guy to ask him, "what is that fucking band man!!!????" It was "The Power of Thy Sword" (from The Triumph of Steel, 1989)" from Manowar and they moved to my top tier music list, with half a song...

Cris J.S. Frederiksen (SVARTSOT)
Black Sabbath - s/t DEF LEPPARD - High 'n' Dry IRON MAIDEN  - IRON MAIDEN OPETH - Orchid

BLACK SABBATH – s/t (1970)

This must have been the first metal album I ever heard. Until then I had only really been exposed to music on the radio and TV, and absolutely abhorred that kind of music, as well as traditional jazz, which my father was hugely into. My mother had a copy of Black Sabbath's debut album on vinyl, and I remember hearing it as a relatively young child, and I found out there was music I could tolerate listening to.

DEF LEPPARD – High 'n' Dry (1981)

I think I must have heard this for the first time when I was around 9 or 10. I had already started playing guitar by this time and was listening to a lot of rock music. But this album had a few songs with a bit more bite, which really appealed to me, and set me on a path of discovering heavier music. I still have a soft spot for '80s rock, which can even be heard in Svartsot, if you know what to listen for.

IRON MAIDEN – s/t (1980)

Even though Def Leppard were originally considered to be NWOBHM, they were never as metal as Maiden. I was a huge Maiden fan by the time I was 11-12, and Maiden's use of root-third harmonies has been a huge influence on my way of writing harmonies. My guitar tutor (he was a fusion jazz guy) even bought the annotation book of this album in order to teach me how to play metal. I remember spending hours practicing "Phantom of the Opera."

OPETH – Orchid (1995)

By the time this album was released, I had been listening to death metal and other types of more extreme metal for some years and was already playing in bands. I was actually living in the UK at the time and at the age of 17 I had the privilege of supporting Opeth on their first ever UK show (at The White Horse in High Wycombe in October 1995). I was completely blown away by the concert! Opeth really showed me that you could create beautiful soundscapes, mix intricate melodies, and use acoustic/clean guitars with death metal, and has been one of the biggest influences on my own approach to composition ever since (even though In Flames' album The Jester Race from 1996 has also been a huge influence. I still consider this album the best they have ever done).

Folk music in general

I think folk music was what probably originally got me into playing guitar, but for a long time I kept folk music and metal separate. I do remember, however, at the age of 13 helping my guitar tutor run a music workshop for youths and deciding to play "Scarborough Fair" with full distortion whilst we were setting up (probably just to be an annoying teen, as we were supposed to be playing pop music at the workshop). The rest of the band doing the workshop joined in, and that was my first experience at playing folk metal! Over the next few years, I discovered '70s folk rock bands like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span as well as Jethro Tull, whilst still listening to more traditional versions of folk music and medieval music. I discovered Hedingarna at some point, which introduced me to other ways of interpreting folk music. Regarding the compositional side of things, I started mixing folky melodies into the songs I wrote after hearing Opeth for the first time. As I mentioned above, they showed me that you could do more with death metal than what I had previously been exposed to. Of course, Iron Maiden have occasionally mixed folk melodies in, Thin Lizzy wrote the song "Emerald" which I loved, and I had discovered Skyclad as a teen. But it wasn't until 2004, when we started the precursor to Svartsot, that I went full on folk metal.

Kiss - Alive! AC/DC - Back in Black Metallica - Ride the Lightning Iron Maiden - Powerslave KISS - Destroyer

Trek Fitzgerald

KISS – Alive! (1975)

I remember opening the album, looking at the pictures while listening and imagining what it must feel like to be on a stage playing for that many people. I got my first drum set less than six months later.

AC/DC – Back in Black (1980)

Brian Johnson's gritty growly voice on "Hell's Bells."

Zack O'Rear

Ride the Lightning (by Metallica, 1984) was the first album I bought in high school. I had it on repeat all the time after school. I was a drummer at the time but hearing Cliff Burton's bass lines got me interested in picking up a bass myself. I picked up Powerslave (by Iron Maiden, 1984) not long afterward and that sealed the deal!

Steve White

We had music playing in the house often when I was a child. My dad was a big Frank Sinatra fan, and my mother was into Elvis Presley. I liked Elvis a lot, but Sinatra didn't do anything for me. My mom had an 8-track from the band Bread, the greatest hits The Best of Bread. The melodies and guitar playing on those songs touched me deep down inside and remain part of my core today. I wanted to play guitar and sing my heart out, you know.

KISS was a huge influence on my early childhood as well. They were the first band I got into on my own. My parents hated them, and my dad said I'd outgrow them, which I did, of course, but he never dreamed I'd move on to heavier bands. The album Destroyer (1976) was epic. Every song on that album was an instant classic. I had the Kiss cards, posters, albums, you name it. Ace Frehley was definitely my first guitar hero.

Tapio Sintonen (WRETCHED PATH)
BLACK SABBATH - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath GUNS N' ROSES - Appetite for Destruction ALICE COOPER - Trash AC/DC - The Razor's Edge METALLICA - Metallica (the black album)

The musician I am today has been evolving for over four decades now. However, I believe that these five records from my childhood, the first decade, play a significant role in what happened over the next three decades. Being the first born in the family, I had no older siblings to introduce me to all the metal music that was around at the time (late '80s, early '90s), but I later caught up on that.

BLACK SABBATH – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)

My first experience with heavy music when I was 5 or 6 years old. The album cover caught my attention, and after a few minutes of listening to the music and staring at the cover I somehow figured out that the music had been made in hell. I was totally stoked by the crushing guitar riffs in the title track and in "A National Acrobat."

GUNS N' ROSES – Appetite for Destruction (1987)

When I first heard it, I couldn't stop listening for a long time. The combination of attitude, rebellion and musical skill was mind-blowing, and even today it still kicks ass. This album also probably inspired me to start to play the guitar.

ALICE COOPER – Trash (1989)

I saw the music video for "Poison" on TV and it looked so cool that I wanted to get the whole album. A classic album that features plenty of catchy tracks and nice guitar work too.

AC/DC – The Razor's Edge (1990)

The opening lick on "Thunderstruck," obviously. The overall sound of the band was also impressively tight.

METALLICA – Metallica (the black album) (1991)

This album sounded huge, and still does. It also was the first album that I actually started to learn to play by ear and playing along with, which was fun and rewarding.

Sérgio "Baloff" Borges (HEADHUNTER D.C.)
KISS - Creatures of the Night IRON MAIDEN - Piece of Mind Venom - Black Metal Slayer - Haunting the Chapel POSSESSED - Seven Churches

KISS – Creatures of the Night (1982)

I got this album from a school friend in 1983. A few months before, I was in Minas Gerais on vacation at an uncle's house (who at the time was an evangelical believer, Baptist or some shit like that) and I saw a live show on TV straight from the KISS concert at the Mineirão stadium, then my world collapsed with all that fire, blood and the heaviest music I had ever heard at that time. Thus, I was introduced to the heavy metal damnation that I would be bewitched by to this day.

IRON MAIDEN – Piece of Mind (1983)

At the end of 1983, I went to a record store here in Salvador to buy the then new KISS album, Lick It Up. I was kind of pissed off because the guys had stopped wearing their trademark makeup and luckily, I couldn't find the record in the store (*LOL*). On the way out, I came across two Maiden albums on one of the shelves, Maiden Japan (released in 1981, which I would get shortly afterwards) and the mighty Piece of Mind. The power of that cover, with Eddie strapped into a straitjacket and chained up in some kind of asylum, had on me at first sight was such that I didn't even want to hear it in the store first. I was 12 years old at the time, and hardly did my mother know that Christmas present would change the course of my life forever. The #1 traditional heavy metal album of all time, in my opinion. We recorded a "deathmetalized" version for "To Tame a Land (best B-side in metal history!)" for a Brazilian tribute album to the band back in 2019.

VENOM – Black Metal (1982)

At the beginning of 1985, after the Rock in Rio hurricane, I recorded some tapes with two new friends who used to sell recordings of imported metal records. Among those first recordings with which I was introduced to the then new, more violent metal universe (the word "extreme" was not even used in this context) were some songs by a certain band from Newcastle, England, which would open a new horizon of darkness and musical extremism in my life; the almighty VENOM! Two tracks from their second bestial attack on vinyl were on one of those tapes, the title track and "Sacrifice," the latter being one that always left me mesmerized by its totally dark and morbid ambience. I remember I used to turn the bedroom light off and light some candles simulating a satanic ritual when I listened to it, hehe! This was early/mid 1985 and I wasn't even 14 yet. Shortly afterwards, I bought my own copy of the LP in an old punk store here in Salvador, the Brazilian edition via Continental Records without the album title below the goat on the cover. The copy came with a high relief "not for sale" stamp (as it was about a promo copy from the label), which I obviously still own to this day. Unbeatable!

Slayer – Show No Mercy (1983) and Haunting the Chapel (1984)

Another two records I got to know through tape recordings bought with my then two new headbanger friends Marcos and Cláudio, this time in their entirety. I remember that on the same day I recorded Ride the Lightning by Metallica, Show No Mercy and the best EP in history, Haunting the Chapel by fucking SLAYER whose tapes were adorned with their respective covers cut from some magazine. Still recovering from that real steamroller that had run over me called Black Metal, I didn't imagine one could get any more extreme than that. I was wrong! Both Show No Mercy and Haunting the Chapel sounded like extreme and faster versions of Maiden and Priest with the satanic blessing of Venom and ruled my tape deck and speakers for a long time. I spent weeks assimilating all the evil, violence and ultra speed of "Chemical Warfare," whose drumbeats I couldn't even understand. This one was considered the fastest song up to then, until Possessed's "Burning in Hell" came to steal its throne, and thus a new chapter about hell in metal was about to be written. Unless one wants to break up with me, never ever call "Haunting the Chapel" "thrash"! That's the root of the root of death fucking metal!!!

POSSESSED – Seven Churches (1985)

Talking about Seven Churches is easy and difficult at the same time for me, so important and special is this album in my life. Undoubtedly the best metal album of all time, in my opinion, and not just death metal. In mid to late 1985, I learned of Possessed's existence through a review of their Death Metal demo in the Brazilian Heavy Metal Maniac zine and the classic debut's weird review also in the Brazilian Rock Brigade, still in its fanzine era. "Weird" because it was a totally destructive review of the album, even if a little more positive than the ones they themselves had previously written for the debuts of Sodom, Bathory, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, and obviously that negative review just piqued my attention and increased my eagerness to know the music of those satanic Californian teenagers. When the album was released in Brazil between late '85 and early '86 on Enigma, I immediately went to buy my copy in our only underground metal store called "Cor e Som," and when I saw that cover with the embossed flaming logo with its legendary inverted white cross and the back cover with those photos full of blood, more inverted crosses and angry faces was really something like love at first sight. The first listenings felt like I'd been pummeled by a legion of angry demons, just like the Slayer EP, but on an even harder level. It took me weeks (maybe months) to absorb and understand all that hellish mayhem, where the rhymes of "hell" with "spell" and "death" with "breath" became the "Order of the Day" for me. "Burning in Hell" took all that satanic violence created by Venom and Slayer to the next level of musical brutality and "The Exorcist" has simply the best metal riff ever! That was enough for Possessed to become my favorite band of all time to this day and one of the main influences and sources of inspiration for my band. 666 hails to the fathers of death metal and ground zero of the genre! "Death metal came in the wind...".

Justin Vølus (VØLUS)
ALICE IN CHAINS - Dirt Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss KING DIAMOND - Abigail Metallica - Ride the Lightning BLOODBATH - Nightmares Made Flesh

The bands that influenced me when I was a kid (I was born in 1994) to become the musician I am today are:

ALICE IN CHAINS – Dirt (1992)

This album has some of the most iconic songs and is an instant reminder of '90s nostalgia for me. The music video for "Would" is badass and made me want to be a guitarist.

SLAYER – Seasons in the Abyss (1990)

I remember this band's riffs and the first time hearing it had a profound effect on me. Slayer was the first extreme metal band I heard. My dad is a metalhead and showed me all the good stuff. The guitar work and solos are just fucking epic. Their music video with the pyramids backdrop is powerful and is probably stuck in my mind forever.

KING DIAMOND – Abigail (1987)

No one can deny King Diamond has some of the sickest guitar playing but King Diamond has some campy lyrics and vocals that's why I really enjoyed this as a kid. I've always been a fan of fun campy horror. I will never forget the line "welcome home grandmaaaa." Fucking hilarious but awesome.

METALLICA – Ride the Lightning (1984)

Back when Best Buy still sold CDs, I bought Slayer's and Metallica's discographies when I was a kid. But only Ride the Lightning and Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss affected me on a deep level. The HP Lovecraft influences on the songwriting gave an eerie effect especially on the Cthulu-inspired song. Great album and I would argue it is their best.

BLOODBATH – Nightmares Made Flesh (2004)

I was starting to exit childhood when I heard this album and holy fuck. It's the whole reason I'm a death metal musician. Every song on this album is a classic to me, especially "Eaten." The riffs are so catchy. I had heard Cannibal Corpse and other death metal before this, but Bloodbath is what really sold me on death metal. I became obsessed and found more great stuff later.

Those have been my most influential albums.

THE BEATLES - 1 RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - By the Way Metallica - ...and Justice for All MEGADETH - Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? CANNIBAL CORPSE - Evisceration Plague

THE BEATLES – 1 (2000)

I remember in school when I was around 5 or 6 years old, we were made to sing "Love Me Do" by The Beatles for some reason and I absolutely loved the track. I went home and asked my parents about The Beatles and, of course, they were fans. My dad had recently bought this "greatest hits" album and I listened to it endlessly.

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – By the Way (2000)

I remember this band's riffs and the first time hearing it had a profound effect on me. Slayer was the first extreme metal band I heard. My dad is a metalhead and showed me all the good stuff. The guitar work and solos are just fucking epic. Their music video with the pyramids backdrop is powerful and is probably stuck in my mind forever.

METALLICA – ...and Justice for All (1988)

I was a big fan of rock and some punk music at this point (when I was around 13 or so) but I wasn't really into metal, though I had listened to some of the "classic" tracks by bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. I somehow heard the title track and "Blackened" and was floored! I went out the next day and bought this album.

MEGADETH – Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? (1986)

Back when Best Buy still sold CDs, I bought Slayer's and Metallica's discographies when I was a kid. But only Ride the Lightning and Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss affected me on a deep level. The HP Lovecraft influences on the songwriting gave an eerie effect especially on the Cthulu-inspired song. Great album and I would argue it is their best.

CANNIBAL CORPSE – Evisceration Plague (2009)

Though I was a big fan of thrash metal and heavy metal, I could never really get into death/black metal. A good friend of mine from school was a big fan of death metal and recommended that I check out a few tracks from the new Cannibal Corpse album at the time. It was brutal, heavy and insanely catchy and I absolutely loved every bit of it. This was the start of my journey into the more extreme side of metal.

Jukka Hiltunen (BLACK ROYAL)
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid VAN HALEN - s/t KISS - Lick It Up FRANK MARINO - Juggernaut MÖTLEY CRÜE - Shout at the Devil

This is Jukka from Black Royal. These records changed my life when I was a teenager.

BLACK SABBATH – Paranoid (1970)

My first taste of Black Sabbath. My childhood friend had this LP and it blew my mind instantly. By the way, this childhood friend now plays keyboards in Black Royal!

VAN HALEN – s/t (1978)

This was something amazing when I was a teenager. The whole package. Alex Van Halen was and still is a huge inspiration. Also, this album maybe has the best opening song ever. And, of course, Eddie Van Halen...

KISS – Lick It Up (1983)

KISS was the biggest thing in my childhood. Maybe not the best KISS record but this was the first one for me.

FRANK MARINO – Juggernaut (1982)

A little bit different but this was absolutely a banger of a record. Still love it. Great voice. A Canadian genius.

MÖTLEY CRÜE – Shout at the Devil (1983)

One name says it all; Tommy Lee. After I saw videos from this record, I decided that I wanted to be a drummer. "Too Young to Fall in Love" is a huuuuuge song.

Kyle Edissi (INVICTA)
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave CHILDREN OF BODOM - Hatebreeder METALLICA - Master of Puppets SLAYER - Reign in Blood

BLACK SABBATH – Paranoid (1970)

VAN HALEN – Powerslave (1984)

CHILDREN OF BODOM – Hatebreeder (1999)

METALLICA – Master of Puppets (1986)

SLAYER – Reign in Blood (1986)

All of these had a huge impact on my earliest guitar playing days.

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