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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Kyuss, 'Blues for the Red Sun' (1992)
100
41/100

41. Kyuss, 'Blues for the Red Sun' (1992)

Other guitarists had reveled in deafening low-end, but Kyuss co-founder – and future Queens of the Stone Age leader – Josh Homme made the practice into something almost scientific. His guitar, tuned down and fed through a bass cabinet, delivered a sound that would best be described as the crushed velvet of fuzz guitar tones, as luxurious was it deafening. Homme's sonorous rumble may have been the cornerstone of the Kyuss sound, but the real strength of Blues for the Red Sun was the band's alchemical ability to transform old-school blues licks into hallucinogenic epics like "Freedom Run" or "Thumb," where the riffs seemed to stretch into the horizon. Driving riff workouts such as "Green Machine" rounded out the album's heady blend. Homme credited the band's songwriting chops to its early days playing "generator parties" – so called because the electricity came courtesy gas-powered generators – in the desert outside their hometown of Palm Desert, California. "There's no clubs here, so you can only play for free," he told Billboard. "If people don't like you, they'll tell you. You can't suck." And Kyuss didn't. J.D.C.

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