On the whole, heavy metal was quite polarizing throughout the 90s. The first half of the decade was generally popular with fans but the second half witnessed the formation of the sub-genre nu-metal which many saw as a watered down product that betrayed the origins of heavy metal. When it came to prominence in the late 90s, many bands saw it as an opportunity for quick access to a more mainstream audience and witnessed bands like Machine Head, Judas Priest and even Megadeth succumb to its tantalizing promises, and ultimately, falling short of their goals. But this wasnt the only change happening at the time, because many bands were also changing their sound and creating entirely new sub-genres by shifting themselves into new artistic directions. Many were also refining their sound further by utilizing new production techniques not available to them before, as well as expanding their sound palettes to include different musical genres. Whatever the reason, these ten records handled it fearlessly with professional prowess. Whether it be a conscious change to attain stardom, a conscious change to create something new entirely or a conscious change to simply expand the confines of their sound (or all three) these ten albums managed it while retaining their bands artistic credibility, in spite of the risks involved.
Music Journalism graduate and freelance writer from Northern Ireland, who enjoys scouring the music archives for the best sounds from the past and present. Writer for the awesome publications WhatCulture, Metal Injection, Scribol, The Gamer, and Prefix.