The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time

The most headbangable records ever, from Metallica's Black Album to Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'

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Bathory, 'Under the Sign of the Black Mark' (1987)
100
81/100

81. Bathory, 'Under the Sign of the Black Mark' (1987)

After summoning two albums of dirty, Venom-inspired punk-metal bombast, Bathory discovered high drama and a sense of subterranean evil on Under the Sign of the Black Mark. In the process of speeding up for hyper-fast "Equimanthorn" and slowing down for the regal subterranean processional "Enter the Eternal Fire," the band inscribed the blueprints and morbid dimensions of what would come to be known as black metal. Thirty years later, bands like Emperor, Satyricon, Darkthrone and just about every other torch-bearing group of miscreants in white face paint resound the echoes of Black Mark. Bathory mainman Quorthon claimed to have arranged his shrieked vocals; blurred, repetitive guitars and drums; and eerie choral sound effects by trial and error. "We had a bit higher ambitions, making longer songs, better songs," he told Slayer Mag. "I ended up as far away from rock & roll as possible." Sadly, he died of heart failure in 2004 at age 38 just as a new generation was beginning to discover black metal. I.C.

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