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 Katon W. De Pena from the legendary Hirax.
Deep Purple — Machine Head
Growing up listening to hard rock and heavy metal as a young kid, there were a lot of great bands. But for me, Deep Purple was probably one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time! When I heard Machine Head, that album blew my mind. The guitar work of Blackmore and the lead vocals of Ian Gillan were by far some of the most amazing music I heard at that time! Classic tracks such as “Space Truckin” and “Highway Star” to this day still kick my ass! This album, which came out in 1972, is a complete masterpiece. Buy or die!
Motörhead — Iron Fist
Motörhead had a big impact on me. The record Iron Fist was their sixth studio album. The five albums before that were amazing also, but for me Iron Fist had such a great sound and the title track is by far one of the greatest Motörhead songs of all time! That song alone is worth buying the record! There isn’t much more to say about Motörhead except that they are one of the greatest bands of all time! I have to thank Motörhead for getting me into heavier and more aggressive music. The lineup of filthy Phil on drums and Fast Eddie Clark on guitars also including Lemmy Ian Kilmister on bass guitar is by far the greatest Motörhead lineup of all time.
Venom — Black Metal
1982. That year saw the release of Motörhead and Venom’s Black Metal. That record change my life forever. It taught me the true aspect of real metal! I would say every track on that record is a classic! They broke the mold when they released this record — changed heavy music forever. A true classic metal album.
Judas Priest — Hell Bent for Leather
In 1978, Judas Priest released Hell Bent for Leather originally titled Killing Machine. This record was unbelievable, with many great songs like “Delivering the Goods,” “Rock Forever,” “Evening Star,” and “Hell Bent for Leather” — the title track — which is still a masterpiece to this day.
“Before the Dawn,” “Running Wild” and “Killing Machine”…there are many great songs on this album! This record is definitely in my top five of all-time greatest records. The guitar team of K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton along with Ian Hill on bass makes for the perfect section of heavy guitars. Rob Halford’s vocals are amazing on this album and as we all know, nobody sings like this metal god.
Thin Lizzy — Jailbreak
If I were stuck on a desert island I would definitely have to have Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak with me. That record has masterpiece songs on it! The songwriting is incredible! Songs like “Cowboy Song,” obviously “Jailbreak,” “The Boys are Back in Town.” “Emerald” has one of the most amazing dual guitar harmonies, and that is something that I cherish it to this day.
For me it is a classic hard rock and heavy metal album. One of the best albums, especially considering it was recorded in 1976. Brian Downey on drums — a very underrated drummer. The guitar team of Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham — very, very underrated. Two of the greatest guitar players of hard rock and heavy metal history! And Phil Lynott on bass guitar and lead vocals — one of my true heroes.