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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Entombed, 'Left Hand Path' (1990)
100
82/100

82. Entombed, 'Left Hand Path' (1990)

By the time Entombed released their debut full-length, they had primed the nascent death-metal scene for an auspicious arrival with a series of demos under the name Nihilist. What set them apart from bands like Morbid Angel, Autopsy and Death, though, was how the band members – who were still teenagers at the time of album's release – homed in on the floor-shaking rhythmic grooves hiding within more straightforward Nihilist songs like "Supposed to Rot" and "Abnormally Deceased," both of which resurfaced on Left Hand Path. The band's syncopated gait and deep, volcanic guitar distortion, now known as the "Sunlight Sound" in tribute to the studio where they recorded, showed a deeper awareness of rock & roll than their gore-and-gristle­–obsessed lyrics let on. "We were really young," drummer and co-songwriter Nicke Andersson told Decibel of the Left Hand Path era, "and without knowing it, we did something that nobody had really done before. It never became that fun again." Although the band's 1993 major-label debut, Wolverine Blues, brought them to U.S. shopping malls, Left Hand Path remains the infernal northern light that inspired thousands of bands in Scandinavia and beyond. I.C.

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