I’ll never forget the first time I “got” metal. Up until then I was into dance music — the current-day rap, if you will. Run DMC, The Art of Noise, Houdini, Newcleus, etc.
My brother Brian was the one exposing me to new music, and his latest kick was metal. We were downstairs at my grandparent’s house playing pool. He broke out a tape and put in the portable player (a boom box, you understand).
I had quite a prejudice towards metal at the time, so I thoroughly expected to hate it. Instead, it was incredible — absolutely hypnotic. I was so impressed that I quickly dumped the game of billiards and grabbed the stereo with the tape in it and retired to the camper where we stayed. I stayed in there for at least a couple of hours trying to digest the various melodies and drumlines.
That was my first metal album, and I just found it on iTunes for the first time. I bought it, of course. It’s so interesting how I can simply capture, in perfect condition, this very important milestone in my musical development.
Anyway, the album is Reign In Blood, by Slayer, and it’s utterly sick. Metal has evolved to such a degree since the 80’s that most from that era is lame to the point of being comical today. But Reign In Blood is different. It’s timeless. If you’re into metal and not privy, get that way; it’s worth your time.