New York was home to a thriving, snarling, evolving metal scene in the 1990s. These are the five essential albums you need to recreate that feeling at the touch of a button.
Unsane – Unsane (1991)
With one of the most infamous album covers of all time – a photo of a man decapitated by a train – the young “extreme gorehounds” in Unsane spat out one of the most brutal, punishing debuts ever. It’s a gut-punch of searing noise-rock.
Helmet – Meantime (1992)
Post-hardcore, post-noise rock, post-everything, really, Helmet’s signature staccato riffs and nods to jazz and groove-metal cemented them as one of the most eccentric and influential metal bands of the era.
Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses (1993)
Led by the strapping dark lord Peter Steele, Type O rose from the ashes of chest-thumping thrashers Carnivore and went on to create some of the most emotionally tortured goth-metal of the decade. Bloody Kisses is their magnum opus.
Life Of Agony – River Runs Red (1993)
Like their Brooklyn buds Type O, LOA languished in abject misery, but on their hard-charging debut they tempered their free-flowing bummer jams with enough crossover thrash and belching sludge to remind you that they were from one of the most dangerous cities in America.
Prong – Cleansing (1994)
Prong’s breakout album featured half of post-punk legends Killing Joke, almost no guitar solos, and enduring aggro hit Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck. Cleansing’s percussive rhythms and stripped-down approach paved the way for nu metal a couple of years later.