I was never really a huge crazy fan of metal, but lately I have really enjoyed it. The many sub genres of metal makes it a very diverse genre, so you can always find a metal band to enjoy no matter what. So here are some of my favorite metal albums (in no particular order).
1. UROBOROS by DIR EN GREY
Yes guys, the title of the band and the album are written in capital letters. Dir en grey is a Japanese experimental metal band from Osaka (or originated from Osaka). They were originally a visual kei band but later changed out of the image and left the scene in recent years. Although Dir en grey will always be a metal band, visual kei or not. What I love about this album is pretty much everything, the guitar work of Kaoru and Die are just wonderful, I love the middle eastern theme that was going on through the album. There was also some of Toshiya’s jazzy sounding bass here and there and the usual pounding drums of Shinya. Kyo’s voice was also beautiful, he does everything, from the whispery falsettos to the powerful vibrattos to the growling, and screaming, he even sang in a way that resembled scat singing (RED SOIL anyone?). The album had plenty of headbanging songs and of course a beautiful ballad (GLASS SKIN) to show Kyo’s emotional side (well he puts emotion into everything really, his voice and his lyrics). Dir en grey is actually one of the bands that got me into metal music.
2. An Ocean Between Us by As I Lay Dying
As I lay Dying is a metalcore band from San Diego, California. I hate to say it, but I can’t really describe this album very much other than the fact that the songs are really catchy and there is a lovely mixture of harsh and clean vocals. Some of the songs are actually really touching and this is the first album I heard by this band. I’m still pretty new to this band. Dir en grey and X Japan are actually one of the first metal bands I enjoyed and I knew about them for quite a long time.
3. The Discovery by Born of Osiris
Born of Osiris is a progressive deathcore band from Chicago. The album has a beautiful mixture of crunchy guitar and dreamy ambient synthesizers. Oh by the way I really really love the synthesizers. I also love that funky guitar riff in “Recreate”. The album kinda has a fantasy atmosphere to it.
4. Kongoukyuubi by Onmyo-Za
Japan has a lot of awesome rock bands, just letting you know that. Onmyo-za are a Japanese heavy metal band known for wearing traditional kimonos that were worn during the Heian period. Their music is a lovely combination of fast driven heavy metal songs, reminiscent of metal bands from the 80s, that sometimes verge on to symphonic metal due to the keyboards. The singer, Kuroneko, is the only female, she is the main singer while occasionally one of the guitarists joins in (I forgot his name). The two vocalists give variety to the sound, Kuroneko sings like a lot of females in symphonic metal bands. The two vocalist sound great together though, I love when they sing duets. The fast metal songs are catchy and have awesome guitar solos and the ballads are beautiful and emotional. The album art contains Kuroneko with fox tails. Oh and here’s a fun fact, Kuroneko means black cat.
5. to the next by Dazzle Vision
Dazzle Vision is another Japanese band with a female vocalist. Their music often verges on to hard rock or metalcore. The singer is what makes the album unique, her death vocals are awesome but her clean vocals are kinda shaky. Her shaky vocals remind of Nana Kitade, but I don’t mean this in a bad way because she sounds drastically different from your typical Japanese pop idol female singer. Her voice contains power but the power occasionally makes her clean vocals shaky. But i do love the combination of metalcore and pop, the music fits the singer quite well without trying to be cute.