A recent study indicates what Metal fans have known all along: Listening to Metal makes you grow up to be awesome (you can read the details for yourself here: The Metalhead Kids Are All Right).
That being the case, here’s Murfie’s Metal Starter Pack to get you on the road to a happy and successful life (don’t worry if you’re getting started late, most of these musicians are likely older than your parents).
Arguably where it all began, this album is essential classical listening for all headbangers.
Black, the staple ingredient of any quality metal band. AC/DC defined a generation of rock-leaning metal musicians and Back in Black captures their unique ability to be simultaneously condemned by the moral majority and still receive play at wedding receptions.
Where would the world of metal be without disturbing album art? Probably on more record store shelves, but that’s not what matters to Eddie and company.
Don’t bother reading the lyric sheet, just pound your fist on the dashboard and press the accelerator into the floorboards.
Mystical traditions often appear in the the lyrics of metal music. Mercyful Fate, headed by King Diamond, took this atmosphere to the stage.
What more can you say, “metal” is their first name! Kill ’em All marks the beginning of a new generation of shredders lifting metal out of its rock roots and elevating it into a new form.
A counterpoint to Metallica (although the two cross stylistic paths over time, and share an origin story), Rust in Peace shows that metal can be intellectual as well as completely bad-ass.
Taking metal into the darkest recesses of the human experience (at least before 1990), Slayer takes metal to an all new low (which is a good thing). See “Dead Skin Mask” for a nod to a historical Wisconsinite…
Inoculating metal traditions with a stiff shot of Thrash (and the occasional thoughtful reflection), Spreading the Disease keeps it metal while opening doors to future crossover acts and points to the then future (now past) of metal music.
By 1990, metal had fragmented into a wide assortment of hybrid genres which I encourage you to explore once you’ve studied the essentials. When you’re ready to graduate to the next level, rescue a 1980’s Camaro from it’s cinder-block perch, install a pair of Craig speakers in the rear deck and pick up one of those cassette-deck adapters for your phone…
Jason makes sure all the electrons flow in the right direction at Murfie. His dream job is to automate himself out of his dream job, then hire his automaton to execute the “master plan.” He enjoys 20% of all musical styles and 35% of metal, punk, electronic and classical.