JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: DAATH’S EYAL LEVI ON HIS MOST INFLUENTIAL METAL RECORDS OF ALL TIME (THE EARLY DAYS)
MEGADETH, RUST IN PEACE
Ok, I was like, what, eleven when this shit came out? More like thirteen when I discovered it. Back then, Dave Mustaine was almost like a political figure as far as metal goes. Who knows how I’d look at his role now, but back then, he was a hero.
And then there was the songwriting. Nobody was writing music as creative as them. Listen to the guitar breaks in songs like “Five Magics” or the entire masterpiece, “Rust in Peace.” Nobody was writing stuff like that, and for the time, I felt like the lyrics actually meant something. And the solos – try playing a Marty Friedman solo when you’re thirteen. Try playing one now. The dude is/was/ and will forever be untouchable.
This band meant the world to me back then. I’m not crazy about the new directions the band has gone in, but that doesn’t diminish that they changed my life back when I was younger. I always felt like their rival bands were playing it safe, and that Megadeth was taking all the musical risks. I definitely think that this would be the musician’s choice for those of us who are and were still into real metal with real songs. Not just shred wankery.
PANTERA, VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER
The cover is a dude getting punched in the face. The videos that went along with the album are these crazy motherfuckers living the life, trashing hotels, partying, having a great time, and playing huge motherfucking shows. Check out their live videos from that era. Check out how tight they were. I challenge newer bands that rip off their vocal
and riff style to try and even come close to how tight these guys were. It doesn’t happen. This band was one of a kind. Shame about what happened.
The funny part now is that I feel like a bunch of the younger generation of whatever-core bands out there rip off these guys left and right and have no clue that they are ripping them off. The older generation still gets it about them, but I fear that their legacy has been tainted a little, and that bugs me the fuck out. This band is responsible for the majority of the crunk metal sound that’s out there now.
GUNS N’ ROSES, APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION
I still don’t know if this classifies as metal, but I don’t care. Back then you had Poision, Def Leppard, and the rest of the spandex bullshit, and then these guys screaming about their lives on the streets. There’s something about this music that just felt completely real, as opposed to all the other hairspray metal that was out at about that time.
Then there’s the music. Have you ever heard this album on headphones? Slash and Izzy Stradlin are almost never playing the same riff at the same time. The whole album is a counterpoint and counterplay of the two guitarists. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
And the solos? Again, untouchable. Many people talk shit about Slash’s soloing, but I’d like to see any of these rock n roll wannabes who think they can touch the blues get in the ring with him. Either people have too much technique and they end up sounding like white boys, or they don’t have enough rage and they end up sounding like dinner music. Slash knew how to compose the perfect blazing rock’n’roll solos.
Visit Daath on MySpace and maybe someday one of their albums will be your most influential records.