Today is one of those days where I wish I had just stayed in bed. The gods have apparently conspired to piss me off mightily and the shit just continues to roll down hill to yours truly sitting at the bottom. When I become enraged one of the first things I do is turn to music. I have a number of go-to albums that I call on when I need that certain burst of cathartic aggression to disperse my fury. So I decided that rather than being driven to distraction by my anger today, I will channel it into a post that might be useful to others.
I started out wanting to pick the top five anger-releasing albums, but as I browsed through my collection I realized this was too small a number. Rather than trying to stick with a nice, pretty number like 5 or 10, I just went through and grabbed all the albums I find myself coming back to in these situations. Many of them are older albums, having built up credibility over the years, but there are some more recent albums as well.
This morning I found myself listening to Goatwhore’s “Carving out the Eyes of God” and “Paradogma” by Hour of Penance. From start to finish these albums are great for working out unwanted aggression.
Job for a Cowboy’s “Ruination” album rocked me back on my heels the first time I heard it. The unrelenting fury combined with precision playing has made it another one of my regulars for venting.
The first two Deicide albums, “Deicide” and “Legion” are some of my oldest stand-by albums for unleashing hell.
Speaking of hell, another album that has been soothing this beast for years is “Wolverine Blues” from Entombed. It may not be as full throttle fast and furious as some of the other albums on here, but the bone-crushing heaviness along with some very appropriate lyrics makes this one of my favorites.
Probably the most commercially viable album on this list is “The Way of the Fist” by Five Finger Death Punch. While they would go on to become more commercial, their first album has some very raw and angry songs, several of which have great meaning to me.
Who knows more about pillaging than Vikings? Amon Amarth’s “Surtur Rising” is an incredible offering of Swedish Viking aggression. The track “Destroyer of the Universe” is the soundtrack to my own personal rampage.
I bet you did not expect to see Bolt Thrower on this list! Less of a wild and furious type of album, “…For Victory” is more of a premeditated and calculated tactical strike of destruction.
I sure am glad that Randy Blythe is now home where he belongs. He seems to be less enraged about his arrest than the fans, caring more for the pain and suffering of the family of the “victim.” Randy is a good guy like that. But his music is still a great way to release pent up anger. “Resolution” is my current LoG go-to album.
My favorite Children of Bodom album is “Hate Crew Deathroll.” The first two tracks alone, “Needled 24/7” and “Six Pounder” are worth the price of admission alone. “Angels Don’t Kill” anyone? I love the lyrics from “Six Pounder” that go “I refuse to be brought down by you; praise is far away from what you do.” This is just what I need to hear when someone is devouring my happiness.
Not many songs can say it better than Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile.” Not only is “Vulgar Display of Power” the greatest Pantera album, it is also a staple for blowing off steam.
Warbringer and their latest, “Worlds Torn Asunder” is another of the more recent albums which I turn to when I need to diffuse my temper. This is such a killer album.
Another oldy but a goody is Impaled Nazarene’s 1998 album, “Rapture.” They don’t give a fuck.
Alright, we are down to the two last albums, and these are my hall of fame albums for coping with unhealthy amounts of anger and frustration. The first is the classic Life of Agony album, “River Runs Red.” This album probably holds more of my blood and tears than any other. Not only is this album great for anger, it also doubles in the category of albums great for when one is extremely depressed. And since I tend to migrate from rage to depression, this makes for a nice transition album.
Lastly, we have the granddaddy of all extreme metal albums. If you take Life of Agony out of the mix, this album has probably been spun more times than all other albums on this list combined. I speak of course of Slayer’s mighty “Reign in Blood.” Whatever ails me, “Reign in Blood” is the cure.
Honorable mention goes to Overkill for “The Years of Decay.” While the whole album does not necessarily get a lot of play when I am furious, the track “I Hate” brilliantly spews venomous disdain and spite with such relatable accuracy that I would be negligent to not include it on this list. When this track is required I simply put it on repeat and listen over and over and over…kill.