Top 40 Darkest Rock Albums Part 3
Well here we are for the third installment of the darkest rock albums.
Click here to read Part 1 and Click here for Part 2 so you can see what we’ve covered thus far.
As always, clicking on the album name in blue will take you to iTunes if you’d like to preview or add to your collection, and clicking on the album image will take you to Amazon if you prefer cd or other media.
[amazon_image id=”B000040OBS” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Suicide (First Album)[/amazon_image]
A band way ahead of their time, this duo would prove a huge influence on synth-pop and industrial rock. The eerie cult classic “Ghost Rider” has been covered by everyone from Henry Rollins to R.E.M. But the highlight remains “Frankie Teardrop”, which is 10 minutes and 24 seconds of escalating dread, telling a story of a fired factory worker who takes the bad news out on his family in a murder/suicide. Chilling stuff.
[amazon_image id=”B0069GRIHW” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]L.A. Woman (40th Anniversary Edition)[/amazon_image][amazon_image id=”B00BJLPAMW” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ][amazon_image id=”B00122OCNQ” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Strange Days [40th Anniversary Mixes][/amazon_image][/amazon_image]
One of the first bands to mine the darker side. I had to do a tie given their significance. “L.A. Woman’s” dark take on the sunny California lifestyle is highlighted by the ethereal “Riders On The Storm”, and “Hyacinth House” , which has Jim Morrison at his most paranoid: “I think that somebody’s near, I’m sure that someone is following me”. “Strange Days” has his melancholy observations excellently augmented by his bandmates in tracks like “People Are Strange”, “Moonlight Drive” and the title track. (Read my tribute to the Doors late keyboardist Ray Manzarek).
17. “Master of Reality”-Black Sabbath (1971)
[amazon_image id=”B0023P1D8S” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Master of Reality (Bonus CD)[/amazon_image]
Why this album above all their others? Because Tony Iommi tuned his guitar down to give a heavier vibe, making this ground zero for stoner rock and sludge metal. Add in grim masterpieces like “Children Of The Grave” and “Into The Void” and you have a juggernaut of an album that still packs a bleak punch. (Available on Amazon only).
16. The Great Annihilator – Swans (1995)
[amazon_image id=”B000060OHW” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Great Annihilator[/amazon_image]
This NYC collective has made great droning goth/noise rock racket since the early 80’s. Songwriter/vocalist Michael Gira lends his monochromatic baritone to tales from the dark side like “She Lives!”, and the riveting “I Am The Sun”. “Celebrity Lifestyle” is a standout with a strident dissonance that stays with you long after the song’s over. Co-vocalist Jarboe lends her icy shrillness to the unsettling “Mother/Father”.
**I recently reviewed their new album ‘The Seer’. It earns an honorary 41st ranking! Insanely good and intensely dark.
15. Juju – Siouxsie and the Banshees (1981)
[amazon_image id=”B000000OPL” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Juju[/amazon_image]
Being progenitors of Goth, Siouxie and co. know all about setting an ominous mood, and this album has some of their best uneasy moments. From the classic “Spellbound” (featuring great guitar work by John MeGeoch) to the ghost story vibe of “Voodoo Dolly”, the spectral textures of this album make it a dark gem indeed.
14. Gentlemen – The Afghan Whigs(1993)
[amazon_image id=”B000002HD5″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Gentlemen[/amazon_image]
Self-loathing was brought to new heights/lows in this 90’s masterpiece. Frontman Greg Dulli’s anguish fuels the lyrics of failed/unhealthy relationships and lustful regrets such as the title track, “Fountain and Fairfax” and “What Jail Is Like”. The band’s gritty fusion of soul and alt-rock makes the uneasy subject matter go down smoother.
[amazon_image id=”B00000189H” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Bauhaus Singles: 1979-1983, Volume 1[/amazon_image]
Okay, I realize this maybe cheating. But let’s face it; this is a band whose albums were uneven. And besides how can you have a dark music list and not have the Goth Anthem “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, which was only released as a single? Sorry, have to bend the rules. “In The Flat Field”, “Stigmata Martyr”, “Dark Entires”, and more make this a great collection of singles. And the musicianship shines through; Peter Murphy’s unholy bellow, Daniel Ash’s diffuse guitar, David J’s liquid bass and Kevin Haskin’s skittering reptilian beats, all make Bauhaus a seminal band for the dark side of life.
12. Antichrist Superstar – Marilyn Manson (1996)
[amazon_image id=”B000001Y2U” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Antichrist Superstar[/amazon_image]
Manson has lost much of his cultural cache, as any shock rocker’s appeal depends on how long he can still freak people out. Audiences get numb to it eventually. But this Trent Reznor produced album retains its nihilistic charms. “The Beautiful People” and “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” still rock, and moodier entries like “Dried Up, Tied and Dead To The World”, and “Man That You Fear” still satisfy.
11. Black Celebration – Depeche Mode (1986)
[amazon_image id=”B001O5EH3G” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Black Celebration-Collector’s Edition[/amazon_image]
Depeche Mode became great when they went dark, both in sound and in Martin Gore’s lyrical skills. “Black Celebration” perfected the template that would later serve them well on masterworks like “Music For The Masses” and “Violator”. The title track sets the mood, and the grim lyricism of “Fly On The Windscreen” and “A Question Of Time” are equally matched by their moody soundscapes. When the lone upbeat moment (“But Not Tonight”) emerges, it’s like a palate cleanser for the ears.
So that wraps up the Top 40 Darkest Rock Albums Part 3! We only have 10 more to go. Think you know what they might be? Then Click here to Read the Top 10!