Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe (Geffen)
Rob Zombie is a man of many talents. 1998 was five years before his directorial debut, 2003’s House of 1000 Corpses, which gave his Satan-obsessed imagination run in new directions. With that said, 1998 marked the year of his first solo album Hellbilly Deluxe. Back then, it was difficult to accept, since many were heartbroken that White Zombie broke up, despite going out with a bang by releasing their final album 1995’s Astro-Creep: 2000. However, his debut featured tracks “Living Dead Girl” and “Dragula,” that made it easier to forgive that White Zombie was no longer. Since then, Zombie has unleashed six studio albums including 20016’s The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, which reminded us that he is the only one to pull off songs such as “Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O.”
Soilwork – Steelbath Suicide (Listenable/Century Media)
The Swedish metal outfit Soilwork has changed their style over the years, which we have seen with 2015’s The Ride Majestic. However, it was their debut album Steelbath Suicide that introduced us to melodic death metal. It was a powerful record and remains unforgettable.
Soulfly – Soulfly (RoadRunner)
Soulfly’s debut album wasn’t easy for Max Cavalera. It was his first project after leaving Sepultura and his goal was to make sure nothing sounded like it either. However, he pulled it off and brought a handful of guests on the album including members of Fear Factory and Deftones. Twenty years later, the group has ten studio albums out including 2015’s Archangel, and they are currently working on their eleventh record.
System of a Down – System of a Down (Columbia)
Sugar! Wow, it’s hard to come to terms with reality knowing that it’s been twenty years since SOAD’s debut album and thirteen years since their latest effort(s) Hypnotize and Mesmerize. Their creative energy obviously flourished only within a short 7-year span, while we continue to get our hopes up by waiting (longer than the next Tool album) for a new record.
Tristania – Widow’s Weeds (Napalm)
Morten Veland is one of the founding members of Tristania. He left the group shortly after their second studio album 1999’s Beyond the Veil, and eventually formed Sirenia. That wasn’t the only major lineup change for the group. Vocalist Vibeke Stene was another member who left shortly after 2007’s Illumination. Since then, only two original members remain – lead guitarist Anders Høyvik Hidle and keyboardist Einar Moen and they haven’t released anything since 2013’s Darkest White. However, it was Widow’s Weeds that thoroughly introduced us to their dark and orchestrated style.