Fifteen Albums that Shook the Twentieth Century: Black Space Riders' JE...

'Unfortunately Van Halen paved the way for hair metal'...

Greetings, and welcome to Metal as Fuck… In our latest strand of Q&A interviews we’re looking at fifteen albums we consider to have been important landmarks in the world of heavy metal in the last century. It’s not meant to be a definitive ‘best of’ list, far from it, and in fact we’ve thrown a few curve-balls in there to spice up the debate, so I’m eager to hear what you think of our selection. First up: Led ZeppelinIV. “Of course a great album with great songs. And of course Led Zeppelin is a very important and influential band ... But they are not my favourite dinosaur hard rock band in this list. They are kind of sexy... But I prefer the darkness!”

The Darkness? Or just the stygian depths? I guess we’ll leave the answer to that just out of our readers’ grasp, though I’m thinking you probably meant the latter…  Anyways, our second selection is Machine Head by Deep Purple. Thoughts? “A must-have classic. These songs are always in my mind, and have been since I was a child. Though my favourite Purple album is Made in Japan. I discovered and bought it in 1979 and have never stopped listening to it since. Best live album and best hard rock album ever”.

Big call! Black Sabbath’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath opus is the third album on our list. “In the beginning God created the RIFF (1st Book of Iommi 1.1.). The most important and first heavy metal band in the world! I especially think Killing Yourself to Live is one of the best songs by the band. But my favourite album by Black Sabbath is Paranoid!"

Fair enough. Personally I’m a Tony Martin man as far as Sabbath vocalists are concerned so I wouldn’t presume to judge! We’re going to lighten things up a little now – What do you think of Van Halen’s self-titled debut album? “Great guitar sound and voice. Totally over the top yet at the same time kind of cool and relaxed. Running with the Devil is such a cool song. But unfortunately they paved the way for eighties hair metal”.

We’re rather partial to a drop of hair metal round these parts! But this isn’t about us, so we won’t argue the toss. It's probably best to heavy things up again so what about MotörheadBomber? “Best Motörhead song ever! I prefer the live version from No sleep til Hammersmith. Bomber, the album, is one of the classic three top Motörhead albums: Overkill - Bomber - Ace of Spades”.

Wouldn’t argue with that! Judas Priest’s British Steel album is our next record up for your consideration… “I am a big Priest fan and this is an important album, their commercial breakthrough. I love Rapid Fire, Metal Gods and Grinder but I never got used to the kind of "happy" Priest songs like United or Living after Midnight. My favourite Priest album is still Unleashed in the East”.

Seems like you really like a live album! Album number 7: Iron MaidenPowerslave. Discuss. “I bought Killers in 1981. From that day I was a Maiden fan and so Killers has a special meaning to me. But Powerslave is the ultimate Maiden album and Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the ultimate Maiden song!”

What about Metallica’s Ride the Lightning? Do you thrash? “Of course! I played For Whom the Bell Tolls with several of my former bands. Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets are the two ultimate Metallica albums”.

And carrying on the thrash motif, what about Slayer? South of Heaven is our selection from them. “The holy trinity of Reign in Blood, South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss will last forever and will even overcompensate for their nowadays sometimes stupid and provocative statements”.

Let’s move into the nineties now. Love it or hate it, Sepultura’s Chaos AD was undeniably something of a landmark album. “A good album! But compared to others in this list a little bit less important to me personally. I prefer this one over Roots, but  then I also prefer Arise over Chaos AD".

I don’t think you’re alone in making that ranking! A complete change in pace now, and, though I can’t personally stand grunge we felt at least one album from that genre had to make the cut when talking about important twentieth century rock music, so what about Alice in ChainsDirt? “One of my all time faves. Deep, dark, touching. The best AIC album!”

Knowing your music, I guess I should have seen that coming! Now, how about Life is Peachy by Korn? “Not really my cup of tea. I somehow liked the wickedness of the debut and bought most of their following albums as well. Ok for me but I never really fell in love with the album or the band.

Ok, we’ll draw a quiet veil over that one then. Machine Head’s debut Burn My Eyes is next. “Still my favourite Machine Head  album. I remember seeing them supporting Slayer after the release and being disappointed by their live drummer, Chris Kontos. Still following them but no deep love either”.

Staying with the Roadrunner Records stable from that time, what about Type O Negative’s October Rust? I’d hazard a guess you’re reasonably well disposed to this… “Great! I used to listen a lot to New Wave - and Gothic - bands back in the eighties, so it’s no wonder that this really touched me. I love the voice, the songs and the sound. Bloody Kisses and the debut are great as well!”

They are, but I think I’d plump for …Rust as my fave Type O album too. Finally, something not quite so metal - Deftones -  Around the Fur… “I really like the band and all of their albums after the debut are great. This album contains the incredibly beautiful song Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)".

Finally, what other album – just the one – do you think should be on a list of records that ‘shook the twentieth century’- and why? "Wolverine Blues by Entombed! Dirty, sleazy, brutal and evil ... but with an additional amount of beauty and classic song writing. Much more than pure noise!”

Much more indeed. And a great – and slightly surprising – selection I might add. Thanks for taking part!


Black Space Riders' new album, Refugeeum, is out now.