The maths doesn’t lie. Rewind the clock back an incredible 35 years and you land on 1986; one of the greatest years in heavy metal history.
Here’s our pick of the 10 greatest albums from 1986 celebrating 35 years in existence in 2021…..
10. Cro-Mags – The Age Of Quarrel
A sickle-sharp, metallic sound that was rooted to a blue-collar sensibility, the concise delivery of the hard-hitting “World Peace”, “We Gotta Know”, “Street Justice” and “Hard Times” brawled their way into your head, insistent, impossible to ignore and delivered with brass-knuckles on.
Few albums can capture pure rage and emotion as perfectly as this, the reality of street life rampaging through the very heart of each track and through each vocal frustration delivered by the incomparable John Joseph.
Consider The Age Of Quarrel the crossover equivalent of Slayer’s Reign In Blood, it’s that influential and that genre-defining!
9. Voivod – Rrröööaaarrr
A huge step up from their relatively primitive debut, Voivod‘s Rrröööaaarrr was still a thrash album but the seeds were already being sown for the progressive metal majesty that was to come.
“Thrashing Rage”, “Ripping Headaches” (the two go hand in hand, right?) and “Korgull The Exterminator” have rightfully gone down as Voivod classics, unashamedly raw, sonically abrasive and totally unique in construct; futuristic thrash personified while the genre was still finding its feet.
Rrröööaaarrr – the first sign that Voivod were to become a truly progressive global force – may be an abrasive experience but its merciless, mechanised and monstrous sound remains an enthralling and engrossing listen.
8. King Diamond – Fatal Portrait
A quasi-concept album from the concept king, Fatal Portrait was the first King Diamond album following the disbandment of Mercyful Fate and while King Diamond would go on to perfect his theatrical sound on future releases, this was a pretty spectacular place to start.
Ever experimenting with an endless array of vocal styles, King Diamond’s recruitment of Andy LaRocque and ex-Mercyful Fate bandmate Michael Denner was inspired, the duos intricate riffing and atmospheric phrasing providing the perfect backdrop for Diamond’s macabre storytelling.
From the more streamlined “Lurking In The Dark” to the terrifying opening triumvirate of “The Candle”, “The Jonah” and “The Portrait”, the essence of what makes King Diamond’s solo material so indispensable is clear to hear.