BOT­TLED LIGHT­NING

UN­SURE WHERE TO START BUILD­ING YOUR ES­SEN­TIAL BAY AREA METAL COL­LEC­TION? GET ON THIS, OR GET ON WITH BE­ING A POSER!

Kerrang! (UK) - - BAY AREA METAL -

METALLICA RIDE THE LIGHT­NING (MU­SIC FOR NA­TIONS, 1984)

Metallica’s genre-defin­ing de­but al­bum, Kill ’Em All, was largely writ­ten in Los An­ge­les, be­fore Cliff Bur­ton could bring his con­sid­er­able com­po­si­tional tal­ents to the ta­ble. with his in­put, Ride The Light­ning rep­re­sented a stag­ger­ing leap for­ward, with Fight Fire With Fire a face-rip­ping re­minder of their thrash roots.

EX­O­DUS BONDED BY BLOOD (COM­BAT, 1985)

The de­fin­i­tive homegrown Bay Area thrash­ers, in­fa­mous for the vi­o­lence at their gigs, Ex­o­dus should have been the scene’s sec­ond break­through band. Cru­elly, la­bel/le­gal has­sles tied up the re­lease of their sav­age de­but, by which point ev­ery met­al­head had ac­quired a 10th-gen­er­a­tion copy. A still un­der­rated mas­ter­class.

POS­SESSED SEVEN CHURCHES (RELATIVITY/ COM­BAT, 1985)

The first true death metal al­bum, tak­ing Venom’s di­a­bol­i­cal black metal blue­print and up­ping the ag­gres­sion, speed, nas­ti­ness and un­abashed Satan wor­ship. Ahead of their time, Pos­sessed never reaped the com­mer­cial re­wards of their Bay Area peers, but Hell has rarely been con­jured quite so con­vinc­ingly.

TES­TA­MENT THE LEGACY (MEGAFORCE, 1987)

The best band from thrash’s sec­ond wave, Tes­ta­ment be­gan life as The Legacy, with future Ex­o­dus front­man Steve ‘Zetro’ Sousa lend­ing bite to their tech­ni­cal, fe­ro­cious riff­ing. His re­place­ment Chuck Billy brought melodic nous and no lit­tle charm, and track-for-track this can hold its own against any of the scene el­ders.

MA­CHINE HEAD THE BLACKENING (ROAD RUNNNER, 2007)

Ma­chine Head’s stun­ning 1994 de­but al­bum Burn My Eyes sin­gle-hand­edly re-ig­nited global in­ter­est in the Bay Area metal scene post Nir­vana. This, though, is Robb Flynn’s band’s mas­ter­piece, a beau­ti­fully con­trolled, art­fully crush­ing, fiercely emo­tional col­lec­tion, which stands as one of the great­est metal al­bums of the century to date.

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