My Thoughts on the Top ≈ 400 Albums of 1992 (Part 2)
In case you missed it I’m reviewing a best albums of 1992 list from RYM. Make sure you read Part 1 of my list that features the first five (roughly) of the list. This section is 9 through 18 of the RYM list, I skipped a fair amount. I’d say it’s a little more varied than part 1 but still leans toward more metal albums. So on to the continuation of the list
#9 Album of 1992
Darkthrone – A Blaze in the Northern Sky
I didn’t get into Black Metal until a bit later when it sort of became modernized. Basically Dimmu Borgir was my introduction to Black Metal and they had a pretty unique sound, using symphonic elements which I’ve grown to enjoy over the years in any type of music really. Darkthrone on the other hand were the pioneers of the genre and this album, A Blaze in the Northern Sky, came to define the stereotypical black metal sound, crappy production, kinda scratchy vocals, corpse paint. To some they would say, “evil sounding,” but I’d say it just sounds like a bunch of lads having fun.
There’s no better song to introduce someone to the band and their music than the opening track Kathaarian Life Code. It’s very dark, got a creepy gremlin voice (which is kinda funny sounding) and then some funky toe tapping rhythms. I would say there are a lot of sounds that are rooted in modern black metal today but there are a lot of punk and thrash metal influences. Despite all this I still don’t think it’s got an appeal for everyone. It still has a very abrasive tone, there’s a very sharp sound to it thanks to the lo-fi nature of the recording but at the same time maybe more accessible than than modern black metal. That being said I don’t personally hold it in high regard mainly due to it being before my time, but I can respect it’s place in time, rank on the list and can give it a whirl every now and then.
#10 Album of 1992
Dr. Dre – The Chronic
Now this is an album I grew up with. I think my first exposure to it was during Beavis and Butthead. I’m also pretty sure I had never really heard rap up until that point. In fact I’d never even heard of NWA so later when I would go back and hear Snoop Dogg saying, “Eazy-E can eat a big fat dick,” I could say, “Oh that’s why!” (Come to think of it the whole track is a diss track) I’m also pretty sure I got this album through that BMG music thing where they send you like 8 CDs or something. Wild times!
The album is special as this G-Funk sound embodies the time it was created and really there weren’t any other albums that sounded like this and even Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001 sounds nothing like it. When you play GTA and heard this song come on the radio you think, man I am in the 90s right now. I don’t think it’s a flawless album, however, it’s certainly front loaded with great songs. The last half suffers from too many skits and well, weaker tracks. If you’ve never liked rap music I don’t think this is an album that will make you suddenly like it, but for those that do like rap there is no denying this is an absolute classic.
#11 Album of 1992
Kyuss – Blues for the Red Sun
In case you didn’t know Kyuss is the former band of Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age fame. Kyuss was a stoner metal band, heavy sounding music. Some bands like this choose heaviness over rhythm but Kyuss, this album in particular anyway chooses to be pretty catchy for the most part. Unfortunately for me this type of music is hit or miss with me and this album, while not a miss, doesn’t do much for me. There are a handful of great songs on here (Green Machine, Allen’s Wrench, Freedom Run) but there are a lot of instrumental songs (not that there is anything wrong with that) but it isn’t the kind of thing that holds my interest.
#17 Album of 1992
Neurosis – Souls at Zero
Coming on the heels of a stoner metal band is a sludge metal band. A genre that walks a very fine line between the two. Usually I think labels and genre sanctioning is a bit ridiculous but in this case there is a distinction. Neruosis is a band I enjoy very much. I think I began listening to them beginning with The Eye of Every Storm, an album that people hold in high regard (in fact ranked 16 for the year 2004) but enough of that album. This album sounds a lot different than the things that would come after it. The opening track (To Crawl Under One’s Skin) chaotic, full of wailing and distortion but totally awesome. The title track has got a hypnotic guitar riff accompanied by a piano, feels like it could be put in the soundtrack to a horror movie. The album is full of dynamics and atmosphere and unrelenting riffs and is by all accounts quite impressive. I feel like maybe among this list it should probably be moved up, before Kyuss at least.
#18 Album of 1992
Sade – Love Deluxe
I can enjoy me some Sade on occasion, I’m not afraid to say it. Though I don’t listen to her often she does have some good songs, one of which are on this album. No Ordinary Love is one of her iconic songs. It even won a Grammy. I was usually under the impression that Sade had “relaxing” songs but a good number of songs on this album are quite heartbreaking. No Ordinary Love basically about a one sided relationship where the same love is not reciprocated. Like a Tattoo about soldier killing a man who has surrendered. Pearls is about a Somalian woman suffering and so on. Feel No Pain is another stand out track a little more upbeat despite the story of an impoverished family. The album is pretty solid throughout but it’s the type of music that gets lost in the background if you don’t stay engaged with it.
Skipped albums: The Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, London Sinfonietta – Symphony No. 3, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, Mecca and the Soul Brother, W.A.S.P. – The Crimson Idol