Sepultura – Chaos AD
Sepultura’s Chaos AD is an album that I first heard when I was about fourteen years old and continue to listen to on a regular basis. It’s an album that epitomises that mid to late nineties urge to move to the middle ground between thrash and death metal on one side and the rockier and noisier end of the rock market. In some cases this became horrendous nu-metal complete with baggy trousers and awful haircuts (I can judge, I was part of that) and in others it produced classics like Chaos AD, Jawbox’s “For your own special sweetheart,” or pretty much any record by Helmet or Deftones. After this record, and in my opinion, Sepultura lost the plot. “Roots” is just a bit lame in comparison despite it being much hyped and they never really regained the chemistry of this album or the energy of its predecessors, “Arise” and “Beneath the remains.”
Converge – When Forever Comes Crashing
First up, Ben’s an idiot, “Roots” is just as good, and I can confirm that he (we) had bad haircuts and trousers. My pick is “When Forever Comes Crashing” by Converge. I sort of accidentally got hold of this album because someone told me it was ’emocore’ around the time it came out. The cover art made me feel weird, and then the music fucking terrified me, and it kind of still does. It’s utterly weird, uncompromising, dark, impenetrable and uncomfortable. So much heavy music is too palatable for me, I like it feel threatening, which this album certainly does. I also love Converge’s following records, but they got a bit tidier and more direct with the passage of time. I relistened to this album the other day and was pleasantly surprised to discover it’s just as challenging a listen as it ever was.
Faith No More – Angel Dust
The summer of 1992 saw the release of Angel Dust by Faith No More. Easily the most influential album on me as a performer and composer of that decade. An album that varies massively in style from song to song but still manages to hold a coherent thread throughout. Now that I’m older and a bit more musically articulate I can hear that the reason for this is the unchanging five musical colours in the palette; The almost tribal rock beats, the unmistakable Zon bass sound, the uncomprising flying V, the epic synths, and a never heard before vocal (not even on the previous album) that could go from an operatic vibrato to an apocalyptic scream. It was the first time I’d heard the kind of ‘heavy’ like ‘Malpractice’, ‘Smaller And Smaller’, ‘Jizzlobber’ and ‘Caffeine’ or the uniquely anthemic ‘Midlife Crisis’, ‘A Small Victory’ or ‘Everything’s Ruined’. It was such a game changer that 14 year old me honestly believed it would change how bands would make albums from then on and give them the courage to do something new, brutal, tongue in cheek and harmonically challenging. As it turns out people completely missed the point and created Nu-Metal for Ben and Frank to enjoy. Bummer.
Mongol Horde is a hardcore band from England and you can check out their debut album on Spotify.
If you want more, they’ve just released 2 new songs that are available for free alongside an order of their new merch.