One of the great debates of our day is whether marijuana is a gateway drug or not.
Well, as I was listening to the song Bleed by Meshuggah, released in 2008, I wondered to myself what was the path that led me to such a dark and angry place. You don't get from Hall & Oates to the very extremes of metal without taking some large in-between steps. What was my Gateway Album for Metal? After doing hours and hours of extensive research, I can unequivocally state that Crazed was the guilty party.
Released in 1985, Crazed: An All Out Metal Assault was hard, for the mid-eightees, but downright tame using the rear-view mirror of time. Some songs, no, I take that back, no songs aged well, but this album specifically pointed me in a different direction. Within a year the album was mostly forgotten and gathering dust in my parents' basement. My tastes were about to shift to Metallica and Anthrax...
Quiet Riot - Bang Your Head (Metal Health) (1983)
Quiet Riot had one of 1983's top singles. Not hard compared to today, plenty hard compared to Paul McCarthy, Michael Jackson, and Culture Club.
Queensryche - Deliverance (1984)
Never liked Queensryche, don't like this song.
Zebra - Bears (1984)
Oof. I'm so embarrassed. I may be the only one in all of America who still likes this song.
Rush - Distant Early Warning (1984)
Not the best Rush song, but still quality Rush. I love the video, it reminds me of a B movie.
Dio - Mystery (1984)
You shalt not speak ill of Ronnie James Dio.
Helix - Rock You (1984)
Probably Helix's best song. That's not a good thing.
Krokus - Midnite Maniac (1984)
Probably Krokus' best song. That's not a good thing.
Armored Saint - Can U Deliver (1984)
That guy became the lead singer of Anthrax.
Y & T - Don't Stop Runnin' (1984)
No, keep runnin'.
Scorpions - Still Loving You (1984)
Trust me, you need the long version. Perhaps the greatest guitar-driven ballad of all time.
So let's pretend that I have a 15 year old nephew (which I do), and I want to rot his brain with a new batch of metal (which I don't, his Mom would kill me), what would I choose? First of all, you don't go straight to Suicide Silence, that would scorch his poor little mind. What would a Beacon of Speech approved Crazed II look like today?
Side 1 - Track 1 (You know, because Side 2 was made for vinyl.)
You Will Never be One of Us - Nails (2016)
Okay, this may be too hard, but it's only a minute long.
Clones - Evil Blizzard (2014)
Barely metal. Evil Blizzard is...(to be honest, we're not quite sure what Evil Blizzard is.)
Hail the Apocalypse - Avatar (2014)
I think Avatar may be one of Jason Pettigrew's favorite bands.
The Singularity - Scientist (2016)
All great compilations have a song no one has ever heard of.
Beneath the Waves - King Witch (2018)
Okay, get off of your lazy rump and flip the record over.
Side 2 - Track 1
The Great Beyond - Puppy (2015)
We love Puppy.
Black Age Blues - Goatsnake (2015)
We love Puppy, but they have a horrible metal name. Now Goatsnake, that's an AWESOME metal name.
Torquemada 71 - Electric Wizard (2015)
Cannot recommend the real video to teenagers. Sorry.
Devoid of Redemption - Pallbearer (2012)
There's newer Pallbearer, but not better than D. O. R.
Marrow - Yob (2014)
Maybe the only thing Rolling Stone Magazine has been right about in the past 30 years.