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 crucial albums they think will change you — either for the better or the worse. Today, we hear from Ted Brunt of Aviyn.
It is always hard to narrow things like this down to a certain number because I have been influenced by many different albums over the years. The debate would rage for months if I tried to come up with five albums that changed me over my entire life. So I went with the idea of the five albums that helped give me a solid direction in the band.
Killswitch Engage — Alive or Just Breathing
This album came along when I was a young musician looking for a solid foundation to base my sound on and Killswitch Engage was that sound I was looking for. When Alive or Just Breathing came out in 2002 there was nothing like it. It was heavy, melodic, and punishing throughout. After I heard this record I knew things would change for us. I knew the band needed to take a different direction and pursue a new sound. “Fixation on the Darkness” just stuck in my head for years. That opening riff was something I played every practice. “My Last Serenade” and “Just Barely Breathing” were a couple of the other standout tracks but the entire album is a masterpiece.
It Dies Today — The Caitiff Choir
Now this one was a barn-burner. Riffs for days and some of the fiercest breakdowns to date. The Caitiff Choir was released in 2004 and not a minute too late. The aggressiveness in this album was a true eye opener for me. The way they infused that aggressiveness with very smooth choruses was something very new. “Freak Gasoline Fight Accident” and “A Threnody for Modern Romance” truly some up what It Dies Today can really do. This album is complete and every track demands your attention. We played a show a few years ago and I picked up the vinyl version of The Caitiff Choir and the whole band signed it. An awesome addition to my collection I must say.
Underoath — Define the Great Line
This was the album that truly showed a different side of Underoath. Spencer Chamberlain was able to let loose with the vocal style he was comfortable with and the band became a true force. Seeing Underoath a few times over the years, you would think the show would get old. But that was never the case as every show was different with them. Year after year they became heavier and more aggressive on stage. Absolutely they have one of the best live shows out there. “Writing on the Walls” was a song that drove the band musically. A very high energetic show is something we really try to achieve as a band and Underoath is to thank for that.
Misery Signals — Controller
Misery Signals are so, so, so, so, good. They can change from idea to idea so smoothly its crazy. The great part of Controller is that the album is not overly produced. The album showcases how solid Misery Signals writing ability is. To me this is one of the only albums that I can put in and leave it. Everything just flows together so well. You can’t go wrong with anything done by Devin Townsend. I’m looking forward to the next album by these guys. It’s going to be great.
Oh, Sleeper — Son of the Morning
This album ushered in a progressive and very technical style that I was looking for. Son of the Morning was a concept album about the battle between the Devil and God. I see us doing a concept album in the future and Oh, Sleeper laid a great base for what a concept album should be. Every track on the record is unique and aggressive in its own way. I listened to this album from front to back many times and it never gets old.