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30 Extraordinary Albums That Turn 30 Years Old in 2015

21. Dio – Sacred Heart

Source // upload.wikimedia.org

Source // upload.wikimedia.org

Dio’s third album may largely be viewed as a ‘sell-out’, the change towards a more commercial, keyboard-heavy, radio-friendly vibe isn’t exactly subtle, but Sacred Heart should still be appreciated for some fine Pop-Metal songs.

The title-track, and “Rock N’ Roll Children” are Dio classics, Rock and Metal’s greatest vocalist utilising his mighty pipes to full effect and Vivian Campbell’s shredding on “Just Another Day” only proves how wasted he is in Def Leppard.

Scared Heart may not be in the same league as Holy Diver but it still has quality etched into every  groove.

20. Helloween – Walls Of Jericho

Source // rockgarage.it

Source // rockgarage.it

A Power Metal and Speed Metal classic, Helloween’s debut was fast, fresh and had enough raw aggression and flair to rival even the mighty Iron Maiden.

The twin guitars of Kai Hansen and Mike Weikath are a revelation, all jackhammer precision and pace and positively bristling with barely-contained energy and enthusiasm for their brand of European innovation.

The opening and closing tracks showcase the band’s ability to mould mature and multi-faceted compositions, both “Ride The Sky” and “How Many Tears” providing ample inspiration for the burgeoning Power Metal scene that would emerge after this ground-breaking release.

19. Killing Joke – Night Time

Source // jpc.de

Source // jpc.de

On Night Time, Killing Joke’s Industrial-tinged, urban-warfare tirades were gone and  accessible New-Wave anthems emerged in their place.

Deftly balancing fury with finesse, “Love Like Blood” and “Eighties” were the equivalent of a Heavy Metal Duran Duran(!) and highly inspirational.

Many will remember the furore over Nirvana’s ‘borrowing’ of the main riff from “Eighties” for “Come As You Are” and check out the baseline for “Love Like Blood”, Mötley Crüe had the nerve to rip it off wholesale for the main riff on “Dr Feelgood”.

Killing Joke would continue down the road to mainstream mediocrity for the remainder of the 80’s but it is on Night Time where their experimentation truly left its mark.

About Chris Jennings (1986 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

25 Comments on 30 Extraordinary Albums That Turn 30 Years Old in 2015

  1. Wow! So many good albums that year. This was a great trip down Memory Lane. Great article, Chris! \m/>

  2. I think my favorite from that year has to be Trouble’s “The Skull”. Crushing. Chilling. Completely rockin’!

  3. greg baltzer // January 17, 2015 at 6:49 am // Reply

    You missed a few great ones such as Bathory – Return of the Darkness, C.O.C. – Animosity, D.R.I. – Dealing with It, Venom – Possessed(I really like it), and the last two Black Flag albums were both released in 1985 In My Head and Loose Nut. I think it’s fair to include C.O.C., D.R.I. and Black Flag if you include S.O.D.

    • Chris Jennings // January 17, 2015 at 7:52 am // Reply

      Good call Greg…especially C.O.C’s Animosity, I hold my hands up, I don’t know how I forgot that. Thanks for reading and commenting \m/

  4. TYTAN “rough Justice” too 🙂

  5. Ben Morrison // January 17, 2015 at 8:23 pm // Reply

    Good to See Artillery, Pentagram, Trouble one here. I would have added Hallow’s Victim by Saint Vitus and Power of the Night by Savatage too 😉

  6. Ben Trombley // January 18, 2015 at 12:13 am // Reply

    Gonna agree with another’s suggestion of “Power of the Night” by Savatage. Also, I feel Live After Death deserves an honorable mention for being one of the best and most energetic live albums in the history of music!

    • Chris Jennings // January 18, 2015 at 8:37 am // Reply

      There’s a lot of love for Savatage out there, personally I prefer Hall Of The Mountain King but Power Of The Night is a quality release, no doubt.

      I purposefully steered clear of live albums, hence no Live After Death but there’s no denying its pedigree

  7. One of my favorite 1985 albums:
    LOUDNESS “Thunder In The East”

  8. The Immortal Headbanger // January 18, 2015 at 10:00 am // Reply

    Here are a few that I would include, and the reasons for inclusion.

    Earthshaker – Midnight Flight: A classic from the legendary and influential Japanese band, with their characteristic combination of melody, energy, and technical precision. (To a certain degree, Earthshaker could be considered the more melodic, more “Japanese” Loudness.)
    Alcatrazz – Disturbing the Peace: Not “No Parole From Rock and Roll,” but full of great songs with great guitar work from Steve Vai. Plus, you’ve got the vocals of Graham Bonnet in his prime.
    Electric Sun – Beyond the Astral Skies: If you can get past the hippie stuff and Uli Jon’s vocals (an acquired taste, to say the least), you’ll find a masterpiece here. I shows very clearly why Yngwie Malmsteen called Uli Jon Roth the world’s greatest guitarist.
    Lizzy Borden – Love You To Pieces: It’s a classic. All the elements come together to make something close to the ideal balanced metal album. It’s unfortunately overlooked, as is Lizzy Borden the band itself.
    Gary Moore – Run for Cover: Gary Moore’s amazing guitar work, memorable melodies, and guest vocals by legends Phil Lynott and Glenn Hughes. That description alone should be enough to make a rocker/metalhead buy the album immediately.
    Rough Cutt – Rough Cutt: Sadly and surprisingly overlooked and short-lived, but they released two albums that were great metal albums back then, and they still hold their own today. Raw, tough, heavy, and melodic, with just the right amount of the blues. As an added bonus, Mr. and Mrs. Dio co-wrote a couple of the songs.
    Sinner – Touch of Sin: Mat Sinner was confident enough in the compositions that he re-recorded about half of them 3 decades later for “Touch of Sin 2.” A great early example of the more melodic side of Sinner.
    UFO – Misdemeanor: More of a Phil Mogg solo album than a UFO album (although, in a very real sense, Phil Mogg IS UFO), but Atomik Tommy M’s guitar work, Phil’s always great delivery, and engaging melodies/compositions make this a great album. There was enough of a difference from both the Schenker era and the Chapman era that it would probably have gotten more attention and been more highly appreciated if it hadn’t been released as a UFO album. Taken as it is for what it is, it’s an album of quality songs and performances, whether it says “UFO” on the cover or not.
    Waysted – The Good The Bad The Waysted: Everything that makes Pete Way so great is in this album. Heavy, raw, melodic, with attitude and a wry grin. Fin Muir’s raspy vocals rip your face off your head and make you grateful for the act. Excessive volatility in the band and a revolving door of members unfortunately made consistent activities impossible. It’s one of those albums that has the power to make everything all better when you’ve had a bad day, for whatever reason.
    Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Marching Out: Yngwie, Jeff Scott Soto, Jens Johansson, Anders Johansson, and the late Marcel Jacob. Hard to get a more talented lineup than that. “I Am a Viking” and “I’ll See The Light Tonight” have been semi-permanent parts of Yngwie’s set list since the album was released, as well as frequently being performed at Jeff Scott Soto’s live shows. Say what you will about Yngwie, in 1985 he was doing what nobody else was doing (or could do), and “Marching Out” was an integral part of setting the stage for neo-classical and power metal (not to mention shredders like Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine, Paul Gilbert, and thousands more) in the decades to come.

    • Chris Jennings // January 18, 2015 at 10:11 am // Reply

      Sweet baby Jesus, that’s a cracking comment Mr Immortal Headbanger! Can’t argue with any of your suggestions and your reasons…some truly great albums! Fancy writing for us?

  9. Great article!

  10. METAL CHURCH self titled album for sure one of the best of 85!!!!! A very underrated band! Many lineup changes over the years though!

  11. Ross Johnson // January 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm // Reply

    Hirax – Raging Violence, great fast thrash with unique vocals.
    Sepultura – Bestial Devastation, crude beginnings, but not much as brutal as this in 1985.
    Amebix – Arise!, not metal but heavy as hell and hugely influential.
    Carnivore – Carnivore, again not metal but deserves a mention.
    Iron Maiden – Live After Death, surely the greatest live album of all time.

  12. Hungarian Metalhead // January 18, 2015 at 8:06 pm // Reply

    Omen: Warning of Danger
    Dokken: Under Lock And Key
    White Lion: Fight To Survive

  13. Neroisjustaman // January 19, 2015 at 11:17 am // Reply

    Awesome segment… I too am also 30 this year so I look forward to your indepth review of me and mine 😉

  14. Jim Dahlberg // January 20, 2015 at 5:05 am // Reply

    Pretty solid list, but I agree that I would definitely add Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force “Marching Out” album on there. I LOVE that album.
    And “Live After Death” is to me, the quintessential Iron Maiden album.
    I’d also add the fantastic “Mystery Of Illusion” by Chastain and “Soldiers Of The Night” by Vicious Rumors.
    And maybe Savatage, Armored Saint, Agent Steel…

  15. Fantastic list. It doesn’t look like live albums were up for consideration, but if they were I’m sure Live After Death by Iron Maiden would have been near the top.

  16. Great article, still listen to about ten of them. Was wondering what happened to savatage , still love listening to their gutter ballet masterpiece.

  17. Jim Dahlberg // January 22, 2015 at 6:39 pm // Reply

    Side note: This list has inspired me to listen to a bunch of these entire albums during the past week, so “Thanks”!

  18. Great list, there are many things i still have to discover. I would add Dark Angel’s “We have arrived” and Black Hole’s “Land of mystery”.

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