As a genre, metal is essentially still in its late infancy. Others, like jazz, blues and folk, have had decades to develop and evolve. Heavy metal has only been with us since the late 1960s. It has since exploded into nearly as many sub-genres as punk, and produced generation-defining songs and albums.
The aggression of metal taps into a core, primal part of the young human psyche. The bands become avatars of our own angst, and the right songs feel as though they are our own words being spoken by someone else. It can connect like nothing else. Unfortunately, like relationships, some metal albums are more "Mr. Right" and some were just "Mr. Right Now". Whether its an outdated look, sound or message - let's face it, the '80s and '90s were a very different time - these head banging head scratchers make us cringe a bit at the little metal heads we once were.
Jump back to the days of big hair, black leather, booze and blasphemy. See which once-loved metal albums still bring the fire and which belong in the past with Crystal Pepsi and Z.Cavariccis as we ask should we still crank it... or tank it?
10. Tank It! Megadeth - Risk
Megadeth has certainly earned their spot in the "Big four", and Countdown to Extinction remains an influential album for budding young headbangers. Any band who survives long enough will likely flirt with different sounds and genres. We wouldn't have Sgt. Pepper if the Beatles kept rehashing Love Me Do for seven years. Risk is no Sgt. Pepper. The album was a departure from their thrash metal roots, and to the chagrin of their core fanbase.
Risk is, in some ways, Megadeth's "Load". Risk took the band from what made them great into something that seemed great at the time. The speed had slowed and the Megadeth of 1997 was smelling like teen spirit.
Frontman Dave Mustaine has explained that while he doesn't regret Risk, the change in sound was due to guitarist Marty Friedman's pop sensibilities. Mustaine said that during Risk, he was "capitulating to Marty's desires to be more of an alternative band, and we kept slowing down and slowing down and slowing down."
Critically, the album received mixed reviews. Mustaine stood by the album on its own merit, claiming it would have been successful if it hadn't been a Megadeth album. Tracks like Wanderlust and Insomnia stood out, but overall the Risk far outweighed the reward. Tank it.