Top 20 L.A. Metal Albums

Top 20 L.A. Metal Albums: 10 - 1

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Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 3:45 AM

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See also: Top 20 L.A. Metal Albums: 20 - 11

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10. Slayer

Seasons in the Abyss (1990)

Seasons in the Abyss is nothing fancy, just pure, sore-neck, eardrum-stripping metal. Full of brutal drum barrages, massive caliber guitar assaults and shredding solos, the work is unlike standard-issue thrash in that it shows the full theater spectrum of the genre, whether charging at breakneck speed or slogging through sonic minefields. Here Slayer fine-tunes the standard they set with Reign in Blood. But the biggest difference with Seasons is that a socially conscious anger emerges through Rick Rubin's clean and clear production that wasn't there before -- further buttressing their attack on post-Reagan sonic banality. --Paul T. Bradley

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9. Megadeth

Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? (1986)

Megadeth had released their debut album Killing Is My Business...and Business Is Good one year prior, but Peace Sells showed the metal community that Dave Mustaine was for real. The sound of the band is much more refined here, but Mustaine's shifting his lyrical focus to politics and current events gives the proceedings a more powerful weight. Oh, and it's impossible not to sing along with the title track's chorus. --Jason Roche

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8.Avenged Sevenfold

Waking The Fallen (2003)

Before they got obsessed with trying to be the next Guns N' Roses, Avenged Sevenfold were a damn fine metalcore band. Their second album Waking The Fallen saw them move from pure metalcore into something more artistically ambitious. Vocalist M. Shadows' transitions between harsh screamed vocals and melodic clean crooning were done with a greater sense of care than other metalcore bands of the time. Guitarist Synyster Gates, meanwhile, has the best work of his career on tracks like "Eternal Rest" and "Second Heartbeat." --Jason Roche

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7. W.A.S.P.

W.A.S.P. (1984)

Only W.A.S.P. could pull off a fake Satanist spectacular like their self-titled debut and keep it shelf stable for 30 years. Though cut from the same cloth as other glam / farce metal acts, Blackie Lawless and his rotating cast of misfits somehow always did things grimier -- with assless chaps and stage antics like live S&M and meat-tossing. The album serves as a perfect gnarly ear-invasion. Tracks like "School Daze" and the once-banned "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)" are as delightful to black-clad metal minions as they are horrifying to a generation of pentagram-fearing soccer moms. --Paul T. Bradley

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