50. Opeth – Demon Of The Fall (My Arms, Your Hearse, 1998)
A beautiful, from-the-depths display of progressive black metal from Mikael Akerfeldt and his Swedish comrades – before they abandoned the death growls in favour of prog-tastic noodlings. It remains a compelling highlight in the Opeth catalogue.
49. Entombed – Left Hand Path (Left Hand Path, 1990)
Entombed hadn't yet perfected the death 'n' roll formula that would make them a serious force to be reckoned with, but Left Hand Path's title track remains one of the most gruesomely perfect pieces of Swedish death metal ever committed to tape.
48. Pantera – Floods (The Great Southern Trendkill, 1996)
One of the more sprawling, steely-eyed cuts from The Great Southern Trendkill, Floods is one of the most commandingly ‘twisty’ things the groove-metal Texans ever wrote. You can practically hear that snake on the cover hissing through the brooding guitar chops and vocal snarls, and at 3:51 Dimebag Darrell tears into one of his best ever solos. Nice.
47. Monster Magnet – Space Lord (Powertrip, 1998)
A brilliant, blazing, space-travellin', psychedelic masterpiece, like a Stan Lee comic tugged and teased to vivid musical climax. That crunching riff doesn't arrive straight away but is all the more effective when it does, but be sure to listen to the uncensored version of Space Lord for the most celebratory use of the word "motherfucker" in the entire history of music.
46. Refused – New Noise (The Shape Of Punk To Come, 1998)
Taut songwriting, proficient musicianship and a passion for completely uninhibited punk-rock music resulted in this Refused track becoming one of the most exciting and unexpected songs of the ‘90s. Taken from the aptly-titled The Shape Of Punk To Come, this song is intelligent, forward-facing punk rock with its roots planted firmly in the genre’s past. Can I scream? Yes, you certainly can.
45. Type O Negative – My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend (October Rust, 1996)
This tongue-in-cheek anthem to fluid sexuality and polyamory found Peter Steele in full-on, gothic playboy mode. The bleepy intro, spacey bridge and distorted riffs combined with his deadpan lyrics to produce something simultaneously erotic and amusing.
44. Meshuggah – Future Breed Machine (Destroy Erase Improve, 1995)
As the album title suggested, Future Breed Machine's sputtering, off-beat grooves sounded like they were attempting to replace your nervous system with a hyper-tensile, alien construct your brain was desperately trying to assimilate. The woozy, jazzy interlude was a precursor to a range of insanely vivid senses suddenly coming online.
43. The Dillinger Escape Plan – 43% Burnt (Calculating Infinity, 1999)
The standard by which every band who consider themselves technical should live by. Calculating Infinity changed heavy music forever with its bonkers rhythms and time-signatures that somehow manage to form a cohesive landscape of beauty. What a band.
42. Marilyn Manson – The Dope Show (Mechanical Animals, 1998)
This is it, the moment Manson went full subversive and counter-everything. Strolling around the video in his female body suit, dyed hair and contact lenses, you either loved him or you didn’t get it. And despite the haunting visuals of Mechanical Animals era Manson, the genuine quality songcraft involved in The Dope Show and the glistening melody proves that he’s not just a shock machine.
41. Clutch – I Have The Body Of John Wilkes Booth (Clutch, 1995)
Only Clutch have the humour, lyrical prowess and musical intelligence to weave a tale that deftly manages to reference a fishing trip, Marlon Brando and body of the assassin of US President Abraham Lincoln (and also introduce the notion of selling said body to make a quick buck). All this is wrapped around one of their now-trademark bass-heavy, stoner grooves. Impeccable stuff.