5 albums that ruined metal


If you create anything of beauty in this world, people will be attracted to it. They will want what it has, but because achieving that would require them to change themselves, they will instead make a version of your beautiful thing that fits their needs. This will become popular and soon idiots everywhere will adopt their dumbed-down version of your beautiful thing, effectively ruining what you have created.

Over the course of metal’s lifespan, it has several times been afflicted with the curse of popularity. During the middle 1970s, bands began cloning what Black Sabbath did and mixing it with the more radio-friendly sounds of Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Who and Deep Purple. The result gave metal such a bad name it required an underground genre, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, to renovate it with punk energy and DIY spirit. Then in the late 1980s, speed metal bands started selling out and making radio-friendly jive that quickly destroyed the genre because no one wanted to associate with it anymore. Only a few years later in 1994, underground metal imploded as clone bands and outsiders began making imitations of the new sound that used songwriting conventions and “values” from other genres. Most recently in the 2000s metal became “socially acceptable” and became basically a cover story for lite jazz and indie/emo which now could claim they were groundbreaking and authentic.

But I digress. Let us look at a brief history of bands that helped ruin metal and see if we can figure out where their influences ended up in today’s milktoast hybrid metal.


Pantera – Cowboys From Hell

Before this album came along, speed metal had a certain gravitas to it. Songs were about war, human moral conflict, literature and the apocalypse. Then along came Pantera and injected a bro-sized dose of personal drama into it. After Pantera, speed metal included talking about how angry you are, getting drunk and starting fights about whose jeans are out of fashion this season, and raging about your inability to retain women who are not covered in naturally-growing wool. It was a strike of Idiocracy against the intense music of Metallica, Nuclear Assault, Overkill, Testament, Anthrax and Megadeth that dumbed it down to the Belieber level, just with more angsty testosterone. Not only that but the complex songs got replaced by verse-chorus and lots of “emotional” vocals accompanied by softer guitar parts. The path to death for speed metal started with this watered-down, dumbed-down, ego-drama path to stupidity. Luckily after they had made their money, Pantera disappeared and the band members went on to more reputable projects.


Cannibal Corpse – Tomb of the Mutilated

In the year that death metal reached its peak, Cannibal Corpse release an album that made death metal accessible and in doing so, made it a satire of itself. This is Dethklok before Dethklok. Borrowing from the percussive style that Suffocation innovated, Cannibal Corpse took out all the complex songwriting and replaced it with somewhat complex riffs in predictable format. It took away difficult rhythms and topics and replaced them with I-puke-blood style blockheaded lyrics. They also introduced Pantera-style songs about sexually mutilating women because women are difficult and sometimes all one can get is a brojob back at the frat house. This album crushed the growing death metal movement by putting a giant IDIOTS AND SYCOPHANTS WELCOME sign over the door to the genre and convincing people that songs with blockheaded gore lyrics and simplistic structures under grunting incoherent vocals were more “death metal” than the complex music of integrity that defined the genre at the time.


Cradle of Filth – The Principle of Evil Made Flesh

Point your TARDIS back to 1994. Black metal was in full-swing, having just put forth all of its founding works and then exploded in a media-fueled inferno of murder, anti-Christian and politically incorrect sentiments. In come the “smart” people who figure they can make a buck off this new phenomenon. Their formula: make Iron Maiden style metal with the new screechy vocals and make it emo so that kids can feel like it sympathizes with their horrible lives where their parents just totally control them and stuff. Then mix in the usual “teen paranormal romance” rambling about vampires and evil and you have baby food for coddled toddlers. It took some brains to like black metal, but Cradle of Filth asks nothing so challenging of its listeners! Even more, this band introduced the “carnival music” style of putting radically different riffs next to each other so that the listener loses track of song structure entirely. These songs are basically advertising jingles and warmed-over Goth rock stuck into second-rate metal, but all the kiddies brought their sweaty dollars to Hot Topic because they felt it “understood them.”


Meshuggah – None

Right in the middle of 1994 it became clear that black metal and death metal had left the building. They had said what they wanted to; people had to either top it or find some easier and sleazier way to do. Ripping off the percussive textures of Exhorder, Prong and Exodus, Meshuggah came up with a “new” style that consisted of over-extending ideas from previous and better bands. It’s worth mentioning that Meshuggah’s first album was 80s speed metal with death metal vocals, but that it was extremely boring. Meshuggah figured that if they just made their style more dramatic and used lots of choppy riffs with shiny new “complex” polyrhythms, they could fool a new generation into liking their stuff. Without fail, it worked, and now metal bands find it necessary to incorporate the worked-over 70s groove with two-chord texture riffs and claim a “djent” influence. At its core, this band remains the same bad 80s speed metal that failed on its first album.


Opeth – Orchid

You can pitch a market one of two ways: on one hand, you can be “just one of us regular guys” and pull a Bruce Springsteen (or warmed over punk); on the other, you can claim that you are so far out and deep that only a few deep people can understand you. The best is to hide the former in the latter so that you are selling the “profundity” of sing-song music for children but it gives them a chance to pop on a Fedora and think they are really so deep, you know totally deep, that no one can be as deep as they are. Opeth sold itself on being “open-minded,” which is this message: we are different from the rest of metal because we use acoustic passages instead of just solid heavy metal riffs. What they choose not to tell their fans is that they are more like everything else that is not metal, so to like this stuff is to admit you fail as a metal listener and go back to pumping radio pap through your Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. But every underconfident basement-dwelling pretentious geek loved this stuff even though it consisted of a simple formula, soft verse and hard chorus, that is most famous for its use among nu-metal bands. Nonetheless, Opeth opened the door for people who wanted to signal to the world how profound and different they were, and now most bands are tinged with the same simpering pander that makes this music sickly sweet and an inch deep.

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98 thoughts on “5 albums that ruined metal”

  1. the great witten says:

    Excellent picks, though I’m not sure if these are the five most influential. Can’t argue with Cowboys for sure, it’s the ultimate anti-metal. But I think Images and Words deserves a spot in the top 5, as well as either Slaughter of the Soul or Heartwork. The former really started “progressive metal” as we know it today (i.e. soft pop/rock mixed with technical wankery with no song structure), and the latter two albums gave birth to melodeath (deplorable enough in itself), and through it to metalcore.

    1. thrashcat says:

      can you just please die a horrible death? you could never write an album close to images and words, I would really love to take the vinyl version and shove it down your throat, go back listening to the black album if you prefer boring stuff like that

      1. the great witten says:

        Indeed, I could not possibly stoop so low as to write an album close to Images and Words.

        I don’t know where you’re pulling that black album out of. Well, it’s pretty much just as shitty as Dream Theater.

    2. Nomen Nescio says:

      I personally give so-called power (aka flower) metal a pass, due to their fans and the bands themselves recognizing the accessibility of their music and because of that they don’t consider themselves part of the metal underground. Flower metallers don’t pretend like they can compete with the quality and complexity of some of metal’s underground classics, so they are harmless to me. However, you got yourself Blowpeth and Chugga Chugga Chugga Where’s Muh Shuggah? drones who think that those bands write profound, well composed extreme metal music! They mentally jack off the musicians of these bands no matter what they do, which is why Blowpeth is just making boring heavy prog and Chugga Chugga Chugga Where’s Muh Shuggah still write the same boring song. Of course, if you gave any of those drones a chance to listen to, say, Nespithe or Onward to Golgotha, they would just dismiss it as “boring death metal”.

  2. Robot says:

    Were Cannibal Corpse’s first two albums of any worth to you, or were they the same style as the first (but just not as representative of the style)?

    Also, I think in the second paragraph you missed an ‘r’ in ‘outsiders’.

  3. (still unnamed) says:

    Meshuggah’s first album had bad James Hetfield vocals with riot shouting, not death metal vocals.

    Mentioning the “intense music” of Anthrax in the Pantera review – aren’t they the proto-Anthrax? All the other bands you mentioned have had ballad tracks. Exodus, Megadeth and Overkill had stupid frat boy lyrics as well. By more reputable projects, do you mean drunk or dead?

    Brojob and belieber? Come on…

    1. fenrir says:

      “Exodus, Megadeth and Overkill had stupid frat boy lyrics as well.”

      Examples from their 80s work. I’m waiting.

      1. (still unnamed) says:

        Exodus has stuff like Toxic Waltz. Overkill has the “Came to shred” song. Megadeth has songs about drinking and driving fast.

        I’m not trying to defend Pantera in any way, just pointing out that other bands had that stuff.

    2. (still unnamed) says:

      Just want to mention that their should be a follow up article about the bands that ruined metal. I would say Slaughter of the Soul did more damage as an album, but Opeth did more damage through being a band. Then again, all Opeth sounds the same.

      1. (still unnamed) says:


  4. Lord Mosher says:

    What are you guys talking about these are the best albums evar in the history of metul music!!! Just check out how cool that Pantera cover. Its got my fave guitaris doing a split and a solo at the same time. Now that’s metul. And there’s beer and fun. The problem with you guys is that you forget the most important thing about metal: it is JUST MUSIC so you really need to get out of you basements, get laid, get friends, stop being autists, and lighten up. Oh and, obviously you are virgins if you try to even disagree with me.
    nuff said. hurr.

    1. Dimebag says:

      The most important thing about metal is that it’s just music? That must be one of the most profoundly stupid things I’ve ever heard.

      And I’m Dimebag!

    2. Jose says:

      True dude, true :-D

  5. thewaters says:

    What are the more reputable projects that Pantera members went on to form?

    1. Dimebag says:

      I presume he means dying.

    2. fenrir says:

      almost anything is more reputable than Pantera. They formed different bands after that. Look it up. Google is your friend.

      1. the great witten says:

        “Almost,” indeed. I would say Hellyeah is demonstrably even less reputable than Pantera.

        1. Deaf Today says:

          No shit. Look at this crap.

          If ya don’t give a shit ya getcha’ hellyeah
          Throwin’ fists in the pit ya getcha’ hellyeah
          Think you’re fuckin’ with this well hell no.
          Balls, volume, strength getcha come on
          Drinking beer smoking weed ya getcha’ hellyeah
          Gotta bruised attitude ya getcha’ hellyeah,
          Think you’re fuckin’ with this well hell no
          Balls, volume, strength getcha’ come on

          1. Robert says:

            Ahahahaha! Those lyrics were written by a retard.

      2. pinger says:

        Yeah, for your information Phil Anselmo and Fenriz of Darkthrone actually started a band together. So much for your high standards they exist only in your head.

        1. (still unnamed) says:

          Eibon? They’re shit. Pantera part 2.

          1. pinger says:

            Hang on you’re saying Fenriz is shit !? such double talk!

            1. (still unnamed) says:

              Well, he hasn’t exactly graced the world with anything decent for at least 18 years.

              1. pinger says:

                Hey! didn’t you hear underground resistance?? it’s still ok right?

        2. fenrir says:

          of course, any standard for anything exists in your head. You didn’t know that? we create them to discern quality.
          The fact that Fenriz and Anselmo had a project together doesn’t make Darkthrone’s old work any worse or Pantera’s any better? Their decisions and their product (which exists separately from them) are two different things, even if they affect each other.

          Talk about posting fallacies in such a naive way…

    3. Mealz says:

      Down, Damage Plan, and Hell Yeah. More reputable?… Good call.

  6. tiny midget says:

    welcome to walmart. I love you.

  7. vic snaggletooth says:

    Cannibal corpse addition could make some argue ( but it’s did some damage too) but rest four are really the worst products that’s helps to dilute the undying spirit of Metal music. Dimmu Borgir/CHILDREN OF BODOM did something unforgiving too. All they makes it soft and easy and market friendly. Shame and hatred towards them. Real spirits would never let them hide and they will be persecuted by Tourniquet, Hacksaws and blade . Underground never dies.

  8. veien says:

    Great work Cory! Next please do top 5 albums that had good intentions, almost made it, but failed in the bigger picture.

  9. Ollie says:

    Anthrax could have easily filled two spots on this list with their rap pandering thanks to their “I’m The Man” and “Bring the Noise” E.P.s. Anthrax are directly responsible for ushering in an entire sub-genre that unfortunately was lumped in with metal by the main stream and gave us the likes of Fred Durst and his Nu Metal. While I agree fully that Pantera opened the flood gates for jocks and trailer park knuckle dragging trash and Cannibal Corpse brought in the Faygo crowd, Anthrax are the worst offenders. The rest of the list are just small time offenders when you compare the fact that we had Slayer on the Judgment Night sound track collaborating with rappers.

    1. the great witten says:

      You do have a point, but I think it is arguable that the likes of Opeth have dealt greater harm to metal in some sense. Sure, Slayer collaborating with a rappers or nu-metal is offensive and musically even more of an abomination than Opeth or Cradle of Filth, but in some sense it’s so far out into the mainstream that it becomes a non-issue for the underground. No (ok, almost no) self-identifying metalhead takes it seriously. Things like Opeth on the other hand, has penetrated into the underground (in the broad sense), and eaten up metal from within.

      Now, one could argue that Opeth is so obviously false metal to anyone really initiated in metal, while [insert some significantly more obscure band that gets overrated] is the real threat. I don’t have a solid argument about where to draw the line, but my feeling is that Pantera, Dream Theater, Opeth, etc. have had the largest amount of net negative influence.

  10. Martin Jacobsen says:

    Any number of lists could probably work here, but the beauty if this piece is in the question it asks. The problems you cite are the point. There is ample data, and the albums you cite illustrate your point just fine. One of the things DMU does well is ask the right questions. Horns up, Cory! \m/


    Lamb of God
    My proposition for 5 bands for: “hipster metal for hipsters who cant tell the difference” also titled: “5 best bands to get infected with Aids thru your poop hole”.

    1. BB says:

      Why oh why that relentless focus on anal sex and no-homo stuff by some here? Been listening to too much Jay-Z or Lil’ Wayne?

      1. pinger says:

        Jay-Z and Lil’ Wayne are real men at least, though I don’t like their music I have met Jay-Z through family acquaintance and I can tell you he truly believes in what he’s doing and has real conviction. Metal bands could do well to follow his example and play from the heart. As for homosexual, well personally I could never condone this because of my Catholic faith but if other people have those desire I can’t criticise, it’s their NATURE!

  12. BrennendesGehirn says:

    Sepultura – Roots
    Biohazard – Urban Discipline

    Potent vectors for wiggafication / the nu-metal disease.

  13. pinger says:

    one inch deep
    sickly sweet

  14. myleftnut says:

    Let’s just hate every band cause they actually got off their ass and did something. I fucking love metal more than that I love music. I hate pretentious dumb fuck metal heads who think metal is something that has no meaning or musical talent.

    1. Ollie says:

      If “actually got off their ass and did something” = success, did you ever take into consideration why?? Could it be that they wrote music that was easily digested by the masses. A real simple example; Metallica every album became easier to digest for masses and in turn less memorable. Is that getting off your ass and doing something or is it that chasing the almighty dollar?

      1. BrennendesGehirn says:

        Good point. Metallica must take their share of responsibility regarding the ruination suggested in the thread title. Making metal more palatable = slow death.

        “I fucking love metal more than that I love music”

        What does that even mean? This whole site is inspired in part by real love for metal, which means distinguishing between real metal and the stuff masquerading as it, stuff that steals from it and cheapens it at the same time.

      2. 1349 says:

        Metallica became peasant music, farmer music, but not prole music. There’s significant difference.

        1. BrennendesGehirn says:

          Fair point

  15. gnarl says:

    brotherhood is for monks and insecure fuckheads.

    1. pinger says:

      VERY TRUE!

  16. David Missildine says:

    But how do these albums cheapen metal? Does it make the real classics any less classic? And if these albums eventually lead one to the “real metal”, like it did for me – quotation marks represent sarcasm and what i really mean is they led me father down to discover more incredible bands and music – is it really worth your time bashing them? Could your time be better spent encouraging people to look at “real metal”? I’ve enjoyed every single one of these albums at some point in my life because I love music and it spoke to me. Did these albums really ruin metal? Really? Your sounding a bit overdramatic and prissy. Sure they changed metal – especially the more popular aspects of metal – but you still have your underground classic stuff and always will be. Sounds like you just want to hear yourself complain and sound like a bitter old man shaking his fist at the youngsters because things have changed.

    1. Robert says:

      “But how do these albums cheapen metal?”

      All these bands ushered in a “nu” sound that made metal accessible to simple-minded buffoons. These bands said, “Hey, low-IQ prole, you can do it too” and now that’s why metal (mainstream or underground) is saturated with mediocrity. Too many bands and not enough fans is what it equates to.

      1. Idiocracy metal?

      2. David Missildine says:

        I really wonder – if a study could be conducted – if a low IQ could be equated with these bands. I seriously doubt it, even though such study would be near impossible. But I’ve known extremely high intelligent people who listen to various kinds of music including your top five “the ruiners of metal.” Of course, I’m sure you could find stupid people who listen to this as well. To say that at a certain point in metal history that metal became more accessible is ludicrous. You should review your history. Form the very beginning, it was accessible. Black Sabbath quickly became mainstream, despite its image of rebellion and danger. Its always been a popular type of music and always will be. The more well known, more mainstream bands, will always be more accessible. I disagree with your statement that it is now saturated with mediocrity. While there are ‘many’ bands, especially because the way the Internet allows us to connect with each other, – how is this a bad thing? While it does oversaturate the scene, (I’ll give you that), but it opens up so many opportunities for one willing to look. I find so many talented bands and musicians by using the web, I have so many options, it can almost be overwhelming. The diversity is outstanding and allows individuals, who are open minded and willing to search, more than enough great music to even listen to. This particular intense in time is unprecedented. Does it contain its own challenges? Sure. But why harp on all the negative when their is so much positive aspects of it. And again, these top five were a cornerstone for many in digging deeper into the genre. I don’t see how this cheapens it in any way. How does having more options make it cheap? How is experimenting with sounds, even ‘nu’ metal sound cheapen it? Without the experimentation, their is no progress. Not every experimentation is going to be the holy grail. But allowing the process to occur moves music forward. People are not challenged by staying in the same place. Think of it this way. As you go through life, most of the time, its the difficult spots, the challenging times, that you learn the most from. Same thing with music, you need the ebb and flow, the process of experimentation, as they bands and albums did, pushing the boundaries, changing things up, in order for the music to grow. Some of us grow with it. Others stagnate in the dust.

        1. the great witten says:

          Yeah, we need to teach creationism in schools for diversity and experimentation.

          1. David Missildine says:

            Yea, I agree with you. Children should at least be aware of it as a large population consider it fact. Sad, though

  17. SVNVIJIL says:

    This is terrible journalism. Opinionated twiddle that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Many of the facts are just plain inaccurate. Do you guys ever get out to actually be in the metal scene?

    1. Robert says:

      I’ll answer your question with a question. Do you really like Opeth? Have you wasted countless hours with bland metal that makes you feel effeminate instead of empowered? Do you like your Marilyn Manson turned up a notch, which is the music of Cradle of Filth? There are far more metal albums that contributed to the downfall of metal today but this is a good list here that highlights some of the key albums.

      1. It’s a list of pivotal moments in metal where foolish movements and momentum were built.

      2. David Missildine says:

        What’s wrong with feeling effeminate? Why should metal be only about male orientated empowerment? Why limit a genre of art to only one way of feeling? Art is a tool of freedom of expression where all should have the opportunity to express themselves any way they want. No subject is taboo. The arrogance on this website is laughable. Why would you want to put boundaries on any type of art, constricting it to your very limited view, shoving it into a box that only you appreciate. Music is about openness and freedom to go anywhere. You don’t have to like all of it or listen to it. But you should encourage the freedom of art and all its expressions.


    All good picks. For me it would be –
    Slaughter of the Soul
    Reign in Blood
    Master of Puppets
    Among the Living
    So Far So Good…So What!
    Wolverine Blues

    1. pinger says:

      I don’t so much Heartwork at least has some good songs on it!

    2. Richard Head says:

      Reign In Blood

      Explain please.

      1. Reign in Blood joins The Other Side and Transilvanian Hunger as being “template albums” that others could find a way to imitate.

        1. Richard Head says:

          So RiB somehow helped to cheapen metal just because it happened to establish a framework that was easy to build within (or, imitate)? I’m trying to find out why it would be on above poster’s list of albums that ruined metal.

  19. hiarctow says:

    All correct. Obviously there are loads you could add to the list, but I’ll echo other comments and say one big one missing is Slaughter of the Soul.

    1. pinger says:

      This is true it caused more negative influence than Cradle of Filth for example as they are closer to mainstream and represent a band false at their very core. I mean, what other black metal bands ever took them seriously?

  20. Heavyevy says:

    One thing this article fails to mention is how fashionable it is to hate Pantera these days…

    1. You mean on a website whose writers have been dissing Pantera since the early 1990s?

    2. pinger says:

      No way man they got some good songs! Check out their cover of Black Sabbath’s Planet Caravan!

    3. witten says:

      It’s progress if it’s fashionable to do the right thing.

  21. TheWaters says:

    I gave up on Opeth the second I heard Immolation

    1. pinger says:

      You had to hear Immolation to give up on them?

      1. Count Ringworm says:

        Oh please, quit with the posturing.

        Metal’s heyday was twenty years ago. If you happened to hit the lottery and were born the right year in the right geographic location and spent your formative years ensconced in the scene then maybe you can begin to talk shit.

        Since nobody is born with a copy of Ritual Of Infinity in their hands the rest of us arrived at underground metal through gateway bands.

        1. pinger says:

          Like what exactly? Opeth as a gateway band you mustn’t be serious? And yes I was pretty much born with a copy of that shit my dad playing Black Sabbath and Led Zeplin covers on acoustic guitar as I drift off to sleep at mother’s breast.

          1. Count Ringworm says:

            Not all of us had our musical taste spoon-fed.

          2. the great witten says:

            As if Led Zeppelin is better than Opeth?

            I would agree with you if your point was that Opeth is intrinsically shit on an absolute scale, and not merely less good than Immolation, but growing up on Led Zeppelin (and even Black Sabbath, I venture to say) is nothing to boast of; unless you grew up on Bach, your musical pedigree is not truly elite.

        2. BrennendesGehirn says:

          That’s a fair comment about ‘gateway’ bands. Most of us had such experiences getting into music I guess. But the thread is about the bands who’s material opened the doors for the commercialised dumbing down process that leaves us with a ‘scene’ flooded with shit. There have been plenty of responses from people who understand what that means. It’s been interesting how many people have responded with the usual boo-hooing about elitism etc. They whine; ‘Come on guys, metal is for everyone! Why limit metal, it should be about freedom of expression!’ Blah blah blah. I suppose I thought that I would be able to avoid this kind of lowest common denominator-pandering crap on this site. More fool me.

          1. Count Ringworm says:

            The ‘scene’ is flooded with shit largely because former greats sold out. I can’t stand Pantera but I don’t think they made Morbid Angel into turds.

            If you take my defending someone who used a shitty band as a segue into a good one as an attack on ‘elitism’ then so be it.

            ‘Elitism’ is fine if we are defending standards. It’s hipster bullshit if used for the sake of social posturing I-know-something-you-don’t.

            1. BrennendesGehirn says:

              “If you take my defending someone who used a shitty band as a segue into a good one as an attack on ‘elitism’ then so be it”.

              I didn’t. I was only referring to the ‘gateway music’ comment. I didn’t begin listening to the ‘best’ death metal straight away, it took me time to discover what made the older bands special.

              The whining comments on ‘elitists’ were made elsewhere in the thread. Let other people rejoice in mediocrity and watered down baby food. I’m all for trying to understand the essence of what makes the best music great. “Social posturing” has fuck all to do with anything as far as I’m concerned.

              1. Count Ringworm says:

                We are on the same page.

                The Internet lends itself toward hostility.

          2. David Missildine says:

            “I thought that I would be able to avoid this kind of lowest common denominator-pandering crap”

            Sorry, you won’t be able to.

            “They whine; ‘Come on guys, metal is for everyone!”

            Seriously doubt this. Music isn’t even for everyone. People have different hobbies and interest. And some have a very casual relationship with music. Doesn’t make them ignorant or stupid – just different from you. They might not understand how you don’t know anything about their favorite sports (just an example – I don’t know anything about sports).

            “Why limit metal, it should be about freedom of expression”

            I hold this to be one of the most important tenants of our society that we have this freedom. Think about it. Without this freedom, what would be allowed? If you want your underground music left alone and allowed its freedom, you must allow all other parts of the genre to have its own freedom as well. Take away one, you must take it all away. Be glad you have it and show some goddamn appreciation.

            1. BrennendesGehirn says:

              The reason I read this site is because I love death/black metal and I find it helps me understand in greater depth what makes this music great. There are values worth upholding in music, which we call ‘standards’.

              While I may be ‘grateful’ for the basic tenet of freedom of speech, this places a greater emphasis on the individual’s need to regulate and separate. To find what is important and protect it. Because under the guise of ‘freedom’, society has become a free-for-all in which everything is treated the same, everything is permitted.

              This site may not get it right all of the time, but by hosting an ongoing discussion about what makes certain music special, and why this is usually different from what is popular, hopefully the standards of what was once known as the ‘underground’ can continue to be maintained.

              If you want a site without such a strict control over content, with freedom to pursue any kind of dilution of these standards you can imagine, Metal Archives might be a better place for you. You can have your say without any of these spiteful ‘elitists’ denigrating your favourite bands.

              And if you want to listen to music about freedom of speech try 60’s protest rock.

            2. the great witten says:

              Come on, does this website or anyone here even have the power to actually censor crap music? Your ‘freedom of expression’ is guaranteed by the courts so don’t panic. Meanwhile the right to criticize crap music is also part of ‘freedom of expression.’

              Besides, ‘take away one, you must take it all away’ just isn’t true. The Third Reich, for instance, took away the freedom of expression only from certain genres…

              1. David Missildine says:

                I frequent this website because I’ve found many cool bands off of it and there have been some very unique and interesting articles to read that let me appreciate metal even more. But for every great article, I find these kind of elitism bullshit articles. (Just look at a review articlse – I can find more about ‘sucky albums than what is actually good) Coming up with a list of the five albums that ruined metal suggests that metal has been ruined when in fact that is far from the truth. There has always been more immediate sounding metal within the genre (its not a new phenomena) and the darker underground sound beneath it. To have one, you must have the other is what I am suggesting. And each person can go as deep as they feel they need. But you need the different levels. Contrast is important. So I do understand the need for criticism and making those contrasts, but to conclude metal is ruined because of a few albums sounds pretentious and absurd. I think it is important to the genre to have all of the different levels and experimentation. I do frequent other metal sites, but I have diverse taste, and that is why I come back here. The albums mentioned in the article are far from my favorite bands. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of any of them. But I would still have the same article if it listed any popular band. Don’t worry, I’m not panicking. But I feel it is my obligation to throw out my opinion on discussion boards about important topics like this. Maybe it gives someone pause to reevaluate how they look at music. Criticize all you want, but making bold statements such as these albums ruined metal will force me to discuss that statement. Whatever influence these albums had, I would say, in the end, its a healthy give and take of the genre that is important to itself. And ‘the great written’ comment about fascism is exactly what I’m talking about. If some on this website had it their way, metal would only look one certain way and all others would be censored. Sounds like nazism to me. You don’t need to like the popular bands but recognize their importance in keeping the genre healthy.

  22. Theinfamousbumble says:

    I hate to say this but you are an egotistical elitist deusche. What kills metal more than anything is people like you and your one way mindset. I personally think opeth is shit and needs to disband would I say they killed metal? No I would not.principal of evil made flesh in my opinion is one of the worst albums that cradle of filth has ever released and as a band that has for the entirety of their career insisted they aren’t black metal they sure get shit on for being black metal quite a bit. I would strongly argue that cannibal corpse’s tomb of the mutilated ripped off “the sound suffocation made” since at the point that it was released effigy of the forgotten had just been released without suffocation really having time to gain any following big enough to claim signature sound. Yes the lyrics on the album are really half assed gore but if you really look at cannibal corpse’s history that is what they have always done thats what they do. That is their shtick. If you want to get famous you have got to have a schtick that gets the labels attention. I dont really know anythig about meshuggah so I cant make any real comment on them other than they are not and never have been death metal. You referring to anything vocally they’ve done as death metal vocals is as retarded as the hordes calling all metal satanic devil music at its inception prior to any of the satanic devil music actually coming out. And finally. Dishing on pantera for over egoed bullshit about drinking and fighting as someone up higher said megadeth, metallica, exodus, anthrax, slayer etc have had songs that fit into that extremely wide bias.what is killing metal? We’ll take a look at every genre heres whats killing it shit like atilla, emure, I declare war etc that negatively objectify women, atempt to take shots and really are reaching to do so at poorly planned targets in attempts to be edgy running around yelling kill hail satan ask your bitch how my dick tastes and shoot up some schools. In this i’d like to mention bands that dont play a guitar they play a fucking djent stick. Lets buy a seven string tune it to g and forget there are any other strings. Hey look fucking talent. So in conclusion get your head out of your ass get your elitist egotistical mindset and check and stop adding to the problem by being that fucking guy

  23. Tv says:

    Seriously? Bashing Pantera by comparing it to Metallica? Metallica has single handedly degraded the metal genre from day one to now by making music from a business perspective ( check from Lars if you don’t believe me) and trying their best to be radio friendly and making metal “more accessible”.

    No matter ehat you think of Pantera but claiming that CfH has done more damage than the black album is just sloppy writing and shows that there hasn’t gone much thought in to this article.

  24. Richard Face says:

    Cory Van der Pol in: Bands that ruined my secret kvlt club of metal music that was once far to superior for mere mortals to understand. What a wanker if I do say so myself.

    1. tiny midget says:

      I think the point is that the reason you make the music shouldn’t be social or distracting.

      It should be art. It should not bend the truth to pander to what people want to hear or what makes them feel warm fuzzies.

      This is why metal equally offends anti-blasphemy laws, political correctness, politeness and social pretense. It’s about raw reality.

      Worship of life itself, the cosmos, the ancient gods, truth and beauty in darkness, but not the human being and the pretentious conventions it adopts to flatter its members in social settings

    2. pinger says:

      So true!!

      And for those that say hipsters can’t produce good music, try and keep a straight face while tell me this doesn’t get your head banging? Hornz up!


  25. Averno says:

    with the time the people change and extreme music change too. if u dont like this albums its your problem, but im sure that millions love these albums.

    1. N. says:

      There is a saying: let´s eat shit, billions of flies can not be wrong. Think about it.

  26. metalhead says:

    dude plz do everyone one who has an open mind about metal get the fuck out of our genre if ur not happy or start a band and see where ur ”high on a pedestal” metal will get u in life if u cant evolve like music does then go deaf cause ur gonna have a hard life

    1. (still unnamed) says:

      It’s an easy life, not going deaf from listening to crap like Ulcerate and Opeth.

  27. B166ER says:

    Of course the Pantera and Cannibal Corpse blockheads come out of the woodwork anytime you mention their total lack of perspective of this genre. Of course everyone bought a Cannibal Corpse album because of the artwork, but in this case you really can judge a book by it’s cover. Tomb of the Mutilated was cool for about 10 minutes until I heard Suffocation, Immolation and Gorguts and realized Cannibal Corpse was just about as boring as The Black Album.

  28. B166ER says:

    This “Elitist” insult isn’t really much of an insult to those who seek more out of metal than just sick lyrics, breakdowns and “it’s so brewtul” summations of an entire albums. Sorry you don’t feel can be more than just answer to pop music and become a cultured art form, but some of us seek more than just brutal vocals, heavy guitars and a lack of lyrical songwriting originality.

  29. Metalbutty says:

    What really ruins metal is pretentious, opinionated wankers writing subjective Pitchfork type articles, feeding their egos by suggesting certain bands/albums/whatever ‘ruined metal.
    The beauty of metal is that there’s enough out there to please everyone. I’m not a Cannibal Corpse fan so I don’t listen to them. However a lot of people do. Does that make me right or wrong? Simple answer – neither. Just shut the fuck up and be glad that there are lots of bands making lots of people happy.

    1. hiarctow says:

      The beauty of metal for me was that it really didn’t set out to please everyone.

      It isn’t particularly pleasing to know the likes of Cannibal Corpse have shit all over a sound I profoundly enjoy; and dumbed it down to the point that it would be overrun by losers and Nth generation copies of turds. For me that kinda sucks the life out of it all.

  30. Matt says:

    Gayest thing I’ve ever read.

    1. (still unnamed) says:

      Yea, that final Opeth artwork gets you by surprise.

  31. matia says:

    I say blame Black Sabbath, for every goddamn riff they introduced to this world is the blueprint of metal’s demise..

    In other news, its 2014…

  32. Alejandro says:

    great article, he has a point even I still consider very entrataining the last 3; Craddle like some horror caricature; Meshuggah with all their odd riffing ambience and changes and I even like the acoustic Opeth passages and pedant posturing; but I dont consider myself an ortodox metal fan, I just like weird and dark music. For me Pantera and Cannibal Corpse sounds now really boring to me, they have lost their initial appeal or impact after all thoese years

    1. Richard Head says:

      Metal aside, that Opeth album would make a really solid rock record. Take out the corny growling (sounds better in Katatonia’s Brave Murder Day) and stick with more melodic riffage, and you would have a good listen.

  33. JOSH says:

    Wow! you guys are harsh! I hope you all have platinum selling Death Metal albums to back your critical reviews. Every album you hated on this list led to new branches of Metal/music and created a deeper, more complex and evolved Metal sound. And they led to a broader fan-base and many new sub-genres. Without this diverse fan base, there would be no metal in the 2010s. No band would be on the road and Death Metal would be dead. No record companies would be offering contracts because the only few hundred fans left would be a bunch of washed up hyper-critical assholes like you guys. Meshuggah is a founding member of the Progressive Metal sub-genre and influenced many bands like Whitechapel, Gojira, Idiot Pilot, Dillinger Escape Plan, Tool…..great bands from different genres and sub-genres that you may hate, but millions of others love. And Obzen was fucking amazing. Cannibal Corpse? Carcass? How can you criticize bands that continue to put out great music. And Pantera!!? You are comparing apples to oranges. Pantera was never metal. It was a bridge from hard rock to metal at best. You have to give bands the freedom to try new material without being hyper critical of their work.

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