In our ongoing series of guest columns, we’ve asked a bunch of metal’s heaviest hitters to provide us with a list of five albums they think will change you — either for the better or the worse. Today, we hear from Revolting’s Rogga Johansson; Revolting have a new album out next week, which you can pre-order here.
Iron Maiden — Killers
Not the first heavy metal I heard; I listened to it long before on tapes copied by friends, but this was the first vinyl I ever bought. I think I was 7-years-old or so, and I gave my mom my allowance money when she went into town to shop. I asked her to buy me two heavy metal albums, as there was this section especially for metal music at the shop. She came back with Iron Maiden’s Killers and Kiss’ Love Gun. I loved the Kiss album’s cover but never cared for the music. It was not possible after hearing the Iron Maiden album, as it was pure awesomeness. It is not my fave album from Iron Maiden, but it was my first one, and it had a huge impact on me back then; both the music and the cover artwork just was so heavy and scary somehow.
Massacre — From Beyond
Not the first death metal I heard at all, but the best I ever heard. Still today it’s my fave death metal album. The songs and vocals — all of it is just the best stuff ever, if you ask me. Kam Lee made me start to growl myself, actually. He made me try to do more than just grunts, to really get a good growling voice where you also could hear the lyrics. I dont know if I succeeded though.
Skinny Puppy — Too Dark Park
When I was 12 a guy introduced me and a friend to industrial music. Before that we only listened to metal, and at first, I thought this just sucked. It was so dark and weird and twisted. After a while it grew on me; the heaviness was just something that really spoke to me. Those distorted, huge sounds and twisted growls and snarl on the vocals. This album is the best one of the entire genre, if you ask me — it’s just pure eerie scariness.
Edge of Sanity — Purgatory Afterglow
When I first bought and played this record I thought I got the wrong album in the cover. The opening, with the synths and clean vocals, was just something too soft and weird for being the latest Edge of Sanity album. I took it out and was to go back to the shop, but then I played it again and changed songs and there it was — Edge of Sanity as it should be. After a while I really got into it, and this album made me understand that melody and catchiness — if done right — has a place in death metal. Ive never been a fan of the Gothenburg sound or similar melodic stuff, but Edge of Sanity has their own style of melodies, and it fits perfectly if you ask me.
Six Feet Under — Alive and Undead
The simplicity! Its just an EP with two songs, but fuck those songs are classics for me. The utter simplicity and groove, and heaviness of “Insect,” and the awesome catchiness yet power of “Drowning.” I never got into Obituary as I didn’t like Tardy’s vocals, but here in SFU, Allen West is allowed to do his pure awesomeness while being backed by the killer vocals by Chris Barnes. The previous album as well as the following two albums all are classics, but after that, they turned into something more…weird. This EP holds two of the best death metal songs ever written.