A while back I was challenged by Big Rob of Hard Corps 101 to do a show without a theme. His idea was I completely wing it without a playlist, scripted research, etc. and just play whatever great tunes came to mind as it happened. I haven’t done a show like that since the days of potted airboards, carts and vinyl tracking and with my technological limitations at home I wasn’t about to go into a KAOS recording completely cold.
Programming MPH of classic metal though would be a cinch otherwise, however, I was fortunate enough that the SocNets lit up with a great game that transformed a themeless show into one with a theme afterall. The game basically goes you tag people who’s musical opinions you respect with your list of ten most enduring albums. The music for you that withstood the test of time, whatever that really means for people.
To me, it would be impossible to list only ten such records out of the hundreds I listen to weekly and tens of thousands I own across all formats. Even focusing on heavy music the sub-genres alone I could do individual tens for. Frustrated, I dropped the over 25 crowd stalwarts from the show – no triumvirate Sabbath, Zeppelin or Purple, no thrash legends Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer or Testament, no hardcore stalwarts SoiA, Black Flag, Agnostic Front, DRI, no NWOBHM icons Maiden or Priest, or even older personal faves like Fates Warning, Savatage and Dream Theater. I then hacked a few bands such as Pantera, At the Gates, Tool, Soundgarden etc. just because despite my excessive listening to them they are all too common in their own right and that still left me with six hours of music instead of two.
The criteria then became more difficult. What did I define as enduring apart from still listening to the record a decade-plus later? There were still lots of songs that had a lot of listens that didn’t necessarily belong on the radio show… so, was it because it influenced me at the time, or did I relate now to it in some very personal way? Was it because of the band’s influence on the genre then even without sales acclaim or due to its retrospective effect on listeners now? In a way, it was all of them to a degree as I culled over my own list and the many postings by friends and listeners of theirs. I broke it down into components… the show begins with more extreme stuff, where my heart (and listening) lie the closest most days now, then pitches to punk and hardcore because even though I was a late bloomer as a fan I adore so much of it, then a nod back to my debut stint in radio and some of the 90s titles I still fall back on regularly, and finally the more thrashy stuff because that’s been my gateway sound post-Maiden to everything else.
In the end a lot of deserving bands were left off because we ran out of time, not because the Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Overcast, Clutch, Cephalic Carnage, Atheist, Opeth, and so on and so forth were not deserving. Maybe the next time I explore the idea they’ll become the centerpiece, for now enjoy the list as it came out, requests included, after the jump… for now this is I think a very awesome listen and something I’m happy how it came out even as I put some of it together about as ‘on-the-fly’ as it’s going to be on MPH for now (sorry big Rob)
Neurosis “Belief” Times of Grace
Death “Scavenger of Human Sorrow” the Sound of Perseverance
Cryptopsy “Emancipate” Whisper Supremacy (edit intro 6s)
Suffocation “Torn Into Enthrallment” Pierced from Within
Sepultura “Desperate Cry” Arise (edit intro 12s)
Soilent Green “So Hatred” Sewn Mouth Secrets
Boysetsfire “12 Step Hammer Program” After the Eulogy
Rise Against “Black Masks & Gasoline” Revolutions per Minute
Stretch Arm Strong “For Now” Rituals of Life
Snapcase “Caboose” Progression Through Unlearning
Disembodied “7 Stitches” Heretic
Vision of Disorder “12 Steps” Imprint
Unsane “Scrape” Scattered Smothered & Covered
Life of Agony “Through and Through” River Runs Red
Paradise Lost “Shades of God” Draconian Times (fade outro)
Therapy? “a Moment of Clarity” Infernal Love (fade intro)
Only Living Witness “Slug” Prone Mortal Form
Training for Utopia “Burt Reynolds vs. Godzilla” Throwing a Wrench
Zao “Last Song from Zion” the Funeral of God
Living Sacrifice “Truth Solution” Reborn
Anacrusis “Sound the Alarm” Screams & Whispers
Soilwork “a Preditor’s Portrait” APP (feat. M. Akerfeldt/Opeth)
Shadows Fall “Of One Blood” OOB
Voivod “Phobos” Phobos (edit intro)