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Friday 5: Top 5 Unexpectedly Heavy Records

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Happy Friday, MetalSucks reader! Welcome to MetalSucks Friday 5, our awesome series that appears every Friday (duh) on MetalSucks (duhh) and involves the quantity of five (duhhh).

Here’s how it works: A list of best/worst/weirdest/whatever five somethings is posted by one of your beloved MetalSucks contributors or by one of our buds (like you?). Then you, our cherished reader, checks it out, has a chuckle, then chimes in with a list of the same. No sweat, just whatever springs to mind, k? (Just like that movie about those losers working at a Chicago record store!) After all, it’s Friday — the day dedicated by the gods to mindless, fun time-wasting. 

Here we go!

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THE FIVE

Every band claims that their next album is going to be heavier than their last… but who actually came through on that promise?

THE LISTER

Axl Rosenberg, MetalSucks Co-Found/Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Slave to the Grind
Skid Row
1991 | Atlantic

I don’t know if Skid Row were consciously trying to flip the bird to anyone who called their eponymous 1989 debut “hair metal,” or if they had more creative freedom because Skid Row was a massive hit, or if Slave to the Grind simply represents an artistic evolution. Regardless: it’s way, way more metal than its predecessor. It may be hard to imagine that the band who wrote “I Remember You” toured with Pantera, but it’s not hard at all to imagine the same of the band who wrote “Livin’ on a Chain Gang.”

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Angel Dust
Faith No More
1992 | Slash

In 1989, Faith No More achieved great commercial success with The Real Thing. Three years later, they pissed it all away — seemingly deliberately! — by making major changes to their sound. Even the greatest admirer of “Surprise! You’re Dead!” never saw “Caffeine” or “Malpractice” coming;Mike Patton’s “baby voice,” so popular on songs like “Epic” and “Falling to Pieces,” is totally gone; and guitarist Jim Martin, who would be let go from the band before they made their follow-up, wrote “Jizzlober” specifically to try and out-heavy his buds in bands like Metallica.

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Mötley Crüe
Mötley Crüe
1994 | Elektra

This was the band’s first and last album with singer John Corabi, and even they admit that it might have been less underrated if they just hadn’t called it Mötley Crüe and started a new brand instead. Which may be true: even if you already knew Corabi from his prior band, The Scream, there was nothing in his history of the history of his collaborators to suggest that they’d ever make an album this thick. And with the very same producer who worked on Dr. Feelgood! In other words, it was totally out of left field, which was great for those of us who appreciated it, even if it wasn’t so good for the band’s sales figures.

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Train of Thought
Dream Theater
2003 | Elektra

Remember when people used to listen to CDs? And remember when sometimes people would “burn” (translation: copy) those CDs? Yeah, well, during that time long, long ago, Vince burned me a copy of Train of Thought and insisted I listen to it, even though I’d never really enjoyed Dream Theater before. Good call, Vince! This remains DT’s heaviest album, and, not coincidentally, the only one of their albums I willingly listen to on a semi-regular basis.

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The Dead and Dreaming
Dry Kill Logic
2004 | Repossession/SPV

DKL’s 2001 debut, The Darker Side of Nonsense, was unabashedly nu-metal. And while that element isn’t completely missing from The Dead and Dreaming, it’s there in a much more subdued way that even metal purists could mostly enjoy. It may have something to do with guitarist Jason Bozzi, who made his recording debut with the band here, but that’s just speculation on my part.

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Your turn! Have a great wknd!

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