In early December, I decided I wasn’t going to do a year end list. It isn’t that I’m all of the sudden anti-list; I still love lists, but this year I just wasn’t feeling it. I gotta be honest, after five years of doing THKD I’m fucking weary, and laboring over a list just felt like yet another metal writing chore. Besides, if you read the blog regularly and follow me on social media, you already know what I liked this year.
Every year as Halloween approaches, I begin doing things to put myself in the mood to enjoy that most horrific of holidays; decorate the house with all manner of skulls, queue up a slew of horror DVDs, revisit the literary genius of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and most importantly, scare up some appropriately creepy tunes to celebrate the Season of the Witch. Though I typically pick out entire albums rather than individual songs, I thought it might be fun this year to compile a morbid mixtape to share with you, my loyal THKD readers. So, grab a handful of candy corn and gather ’round the jack-o-lantern, not for ghost stories, but for a night of unspeakable audio terror. Although there were many tracks from a variety of genres that could’ve been worthy of inclusion, I decided to keep things as much on the metal side as possible, in the true spirit of THKD. The player is embedded directly below this paragraph, followed by an explanation of each track. Enjoy or die.
Over the weekend, I picked up a used copy of Napalm Death’s Smear Campaign. While preparing to file it in my CD rack, I noticed that I now owned nine total releases from Napalm Death. This, combined with a recent article about bands with very long discographies, got me thinking, which bands/artists do I own the most releases from? I decided to take stock of my music, including all physical formats and all types of releases (EPs, singles, collections/best-ofs, etc) to see which bands dominated my collection. In my estimation, the results were not particularly surprising…
Darkthrone – 15
Danzig – 14
Misfits – 12
Six Feet Under – 11 (I like them, fuck off.)
Johnny Cash – 10
King Diamond – 10
Megadeth – 10
Napalm Death – 9
Cannibal Corpse – 8
Metallica – 8
Neurosis – 8
Vader – 8
Darkthrone, easily my favorite band ever at this point, leads the pack. However, if you study the results and analyze them further, things get more interesting. Technically, my favorite singer of all time Glenn Danzig dominates with a whopping 22 releases if you combine the Danzig total (14) with the number of Misfits releases I own where Danzig was the vocalist (8). Danzig’s total jumps up to 24 releases if you include my Samhain boxset and the Black Aria album. If you really want to stretch, throw in my Danzig VHS and you’ve got the undisputed king of my music collection at 25.
Chris Barnes’ much-maligned Six Feet Under comes in 3rd with 11 releases owned. I’m bound to get flack for this since about everyone I know seems to hate this band. But, there is something about their bludgeoning, uber-simplistic sludge-laden caveman death metal that I love, and fuck you if you can’t understand me. Mr. Barnes’ total increases to 14 if you include the Cannibal Corpse albums I own that he sang on (3).
Johnny Cash obviously sticks out like a sore thumb here, but I’m not afraid to admit that I have been fond of classic-style country music since high school, which started with Johnny Cash’s American Recordings series and working backwards to At Folsom Prison. I am from the Midwest after all. My grandmother’s favorite singer was the great Patsy Cline, so a little of that was bound to rub off on me. I’m glad that it did.
King Diamond and Megadeth tied with Cash for 5th place. I’ve loved Megadeth since junior high, so I’ve had plenty of time to pile up their releases (I’m excited to finally be seeing them next week, even if it is just MegaDave and some hired guns, but that is neither here nor there). King Diamond took me a while longer to embrace, but once I did he quickly became my second favorite metal vocalist behind Danzig. Of course, much like Danzig, ol’ King jumps up several spots if you include my Mercyful Fate stuff, which would bring his total to a fairly impressive 17. Only falsetto is real.
In my opinion, Napalm Death are one of extreme metal’s most consistent bands, and have not lost any of their potency over the years in spite of stylistic evolution and a lack of original members. I can always rely on ND when I’m in the mood to get some aggression out and headbang myself into a severe neck-ache. Even their so-called “experimental” phase has its merits and all their albums are pretty much essential.
Finally, we come to a 4-way tie between Metallica, Neurosis, Cannibal Corpse and Vader. Four bands that in my opinion couldn’t be more different from one another. Neurosis is probably one of the greatest and most important metal bands to come out of the ’90s and I wouldn’t mind picking up the rest of their releases. Metallica is one of the bands I listen to the least these days, but of course their discography (specifically the early releases) is heavy metal bedrock and pretty much essential to any collection. As for Cannibal Corpse and Vader, well they’re basically my two favorite straight-up classic death metal bands so I’m bound to own a lot their releases, although I still have several more albums to go for each one. Again, the theme of consistency pops up, since I can’t think of many DM bands with more consistent discographies than Vader and Cannibal.
So how about you guys? Which bands do you own the most releases from? Are there any of you out there that have ridiculously obsessive collections of a single band? What does it say about you as a fan/listener? Tell me about it.