In order to qualify for "Worst Heavy Metal Album," the band in question needed to be somewhat famous. After all, why kick a band when it's down, who were never up in the first place?
I would like to thank my crack team for helping out here. Special shout out to two very serious metal veterans, John Chernack of the legendary and deliberately misspelled Fantom Warior and Joey Leshko from the classic heavy metal band Back From The Dead. They didn't wish to speak ill of fellow metal bands. But they coughed up a couple here. I'm not telling you which ones so you can't blame them!
The comments below are mine. So blame me for insulting your beloved album. But, really, if you're going to get mad about someone slamming Music From "The Freakin' Elder," how much of a true metalhead can you be?
Do NOT bang your head to any of the following.
10) Kiss - Music From "The Elder": There comes a time in every young man's life where he must confront the fact that some bands aren't meant to evolve, because when they do, they're worse. New drummer Eric Carr showed up just in time to be part of the worst album in the KISS catalog. It's a concept album, based on an idea from the man who would put his name on anything if it generated a buck, Gene Simmons. Before Loutallica, Lou Reed co-wrote three of the songs here. I guess, even crappiness takes practice!
Purchase instead: Kiss, Hotter Than Hell, Dressed to Kill, Alive!, Alive II, and a KISS pinball machine and/or coffin.Def Leppard - Slang: The 1980s were over. Just as big hair looked kinda dumb and dated while everyone was flyin' the flannel, so, too, did big super-precise productions sound ill-fitted for the new decade when everyone whined. So, after Adrenalize sounded tired, Def Leppard went back to basics. Even drummer Rick Allen used an acoustic kit. But no one buys Def Leppard albums for their natural tone. Metal dudes buy them because their girlfriends like them. And their girlfriends miss the grand productions like they secretly miss their big hair! Be who you are!
Purchase instead: High 'n' Dry and a case of Aqua-Net hairspray.
8) Motley Crue - Motley Crue: Along those lines, who buys a Motley Crue album for John Corabi? At least, the band didn't waste any good songs on their new singer. What kind of world is it where you wish Vince Neil would come back?
Purchase instead: Dr. Feelgood and life insurance.Black Sabbath - Never Say Die: I remember how much people hated Ronnie James Dio when he first joined up with Black Sabbath. It was considered sacrilege. Who would dare take Ozzy's place in this great band? But then you listen to their last album together and you realize that it's probably a good idea if these guys start seeing less of each other. Supposedly, there already were, which is why this album sounds like no one wanted to finish it.
Purchase instead: Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabotage and Quaaludes.
6) Raven - The Pack Is Back: Raven were building a strong base back in the early 1980s, but then, like so many bands who wanted to stay employed, they listened to their record company and made this, this...thing, complete with a cover of the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'." Because everyone knows you break an underground metal band with a Stevie Winwood song. Stay Hard began the descent (This was a band that once headlined over Metallica and Anthrax.). But The Pack Is Back is like one of those horrible Sly Stone albums where the title tells their audience, "No, Really, We Don't Suck Anymore!" But, sadly, they do!
Purchase instead: Rock Until You Drop, Wiped Out and some crayons to make a better album cover.Iron Maiden - Fear of the Dark: You really have to worry about a metal band that develops a fear of the dark. What are we, three years old? They also developed a fear of writing anything you could remember. Unlike the good ol' days where these guys sounded like they were galloping through the hills ready for war, here, they sound like they're galloping in circles trying to find who to blame for this mess.
Purchase instead: Iron Maiden, Killers, Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind and a lifesize "Eddie."
4) Twisted Sister - Come Out and Play: Twisted Sister were one of those bands whose records I would find in the cutout bin while they were still on the album charts. Someone wanted these guys to be huge! So much so that they had the band record a cover of "Leader of the Pack," which I guess is a step-up from an original called "Be Chrool To Your Scuel." Docked a point for writing "I Believe in Rock 'n' Roll." Don't sing about it, fellas! Play some!
Purchase instead: Under the Blade, You Can't Stop Rock n' Roll and a one-way ticket to Long Island. Live the dream!Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At the Moon: There are certain rules to heavy metal that must be observed. The first rule is FIRE THE KEYBOARD PLAYER. Let him join a progressive rock or pop band where he belongs. Back in the 1980s, you could determine a heavy metal album's terribleness by the amount of cheesy synthesizer used on it. Maybe we need to cut Ozzy some slack here. He did lose his guitar player Randy Rhoads, but then again maybe Ozzy should refund me the money I wasted on this album. When in doubt, ask What Would Lemmy Do? (Answer: Lemmy would FIRE THE KEYBOARD PLAYER.)
Purchase instead: Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of A Madman and Aleister Crowley's castle.
2) Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy: Anyone who tells you this album was "worth the wait" is likely still under contract with W. Axl Rose or trying to justify paying real money for it. After taking a century's worth of work, the album was about what you'd expect from a Guns N' Roses with no Slash, no Izzy, no Duff. If you enjoy this, you probably thought "Civil War" needed more piano.
Purchase instead: Appetite for Destruction and anger management courses.Metallica - Load, Reload, St. Anger: It's a three-way tie for first (or last, depending on how you see this). The band that defined metal for a new generation of fans sounded confused for Load, and its baby brother Reload and tinny and constipated for St. Anger. It almost makes you like the album they made with the orchestra.
Purchase instead: Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets, ...And Justice For All and Some Kind Of Monster to help things become clear.