Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

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Metal - Released June 1, 1970 | Rhino

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Metal - Released October 7, 2014 | Epic - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The first sound on Back in Black is the deep, ominous drone of church bells -- or "Hell's Bells," as it were, opening the album and AC/DC's next era with a fanfare while ringing a fond farewell to Bon Scott, their late lead singer who partied himself straight to hell. But this implies that Back in Black is some kind of tribute to Scott, which may be true on a superficial level -- black is a funeral cover, hell's bells certainly signify death -- but this isn't filled with mournful songs about the departed. It's a more fitting tribute, actually, since AC/DC not only carried on without him, but they delivered a record that to the casual ear sounds like the seamless successor to Highway to Hell, right down to how Brian Johnson's screech is a dead ringer for Scott's growl. Most listeners could be forgiven for thinking that Johnson was Scott, but Johnson is different than Bon. He's driven by the same obsessions -- sex and drink and rock & roll, basically -- but there isn't nearly as much malevolence in his words or attitude as there was with Scott. Bon sounded like a criminal, Brian sounds like a rowdy scamp throughout Back in Black, which helps give it a real party atmosphere. Of course, Johnson shouldn't be given all the credit for Back in Black, since Angus and Malcolm carry on with the song-oriented riffing that made Highway to Hell close to divine. Song for song, they deliver not just mammoth riffs but songs that are anthems, from the greasy "Shoot to Thrill" to the pummeling "Back in Black," which pales only next to "You Shook Me All Night Long," the greatest one-night-stand anthem in rock history. That tawdry celebration of sex is what made AC/DC different from all other metal bands -- there was no sword & sorcery, no darkness, just a rowdy party, and they never held a bigger, better party than they did on Back in Black. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Metal - Released April 17, 2010 | Rhino Atlantic

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Although Vulgar Display of Power remains Pantera's best and definitive album, Cowboys from Hell was the creative breakthrough that set the stage for its conception. Not only were its demos responsible for getting Pantera signed to a major label in the first place, but its fresh musical perspective also gave them a much-needed blank slate with which to conquer the 1990s and, first and foremost, erase their 1980s failures. These failures were cataloged on no less than four independently released LPs packed with largely derivative and thoroughly unimpressive hair metal, and only the fourth of them even counted with recently installed lead vocalist Phil Anselmo, whose broader influences and irrepressible energy cannot be underestimated in altering Pantera's fate. As the "new guy" entering the Texans' insular world, Anselmo made only tentative contributions to that fourth Pantera album, 1988's Power Metal, but its incremental heaviness and titular statement of intent nevertheless presaged the wholesale reinvention that would be effectively crystallized by Cowboys from Hell. Here, at last, virtuoso guitarist Diamond (soon to be rechristened Dimebag) Darrell Abbott was finally inspired to snap out of the rampant Van Halen-isms that had creatively shackled his formidable talents thus far, and established his own unmistakable imprint for the instrument, and, by extension, Pantera's signature sound. This was characterized by a subtlety-free sledgehammer approach informed by, but not beholden to, recent developments in extreme metal, as well as a groove-laden, muscular riffing style punctuated by squealing pinch harmonics -- as illustrated to perfection by the downtuned post-thrash beatdown of the title track, "Primal Concrete Sledge," and "The Art of Shredding," among others. For his part, Anselmo was only too eager to decorate Darrell's blunt rhythmic onslaught with cavernous roars declaiming impetuous and empowering lyrics that challenged all comers. In the process, he virtually abandoned his impressive melodic singing range (on par with the great Rob Halford) altogether, only reaching for those higher registers on "Shattered" (a rather misplaced throwback to the power metal era) and the stately lament "Cemetery Gates," which, years later, would sadly serve as requiem for Darrell's untimely passing. Not to be left out, drummer Vinnie Paul almost matched his baby brother's coming-out party with a heretofore unknown percussive dexterity, and bassist Rex Brown not only managed to keep up with Darrell's six-string tour de force, but bolstered the band's bottom end with added gut-punching power. So it was that, in what can truly be described as a collective ritual of musical catharsis, the members of Pantera were reborn as Cowboys from Hell, simultaneously defining an entirely new subgenre in the process: groove metal. [Indeed, such was the album's lasting impact that in time it was accorded a 20th anniversary reissue comprised of three separate discs: the first contained a complete remastering of the original set; the second packed 12 live recordings, of which seven (recorded at the 1990 Foundations Forum music industry event) were previously unreleased; and the third collected the all-important album demos (most of them very faithful to the album versions, although "Shattered" boasts an intro that was later dropped -- "Cemetery Gates" still lacks the intro it got) plus a never-heard album outtake called "The Will to Survive," which, with its more traditional heavy metal riff and predominating melodic vocals from Anselmo, wouldn't have sounded out of place on Judas Priest's Painkiller.] ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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Metal - Released January 1, 1996 | Roadrunner Records

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Listeners intrigued by the rhythmic innovations and Brazilian influences of Chaos A.D. will be quite pleased by Sepultura's sprawling, frequently brilliant follow-up. True to its title, Roots wholeheartedly embraces Sepultura's native Brazilian rhythms, augmenting their music with field recordings of the Xavantes Indians, vocalist/percussionist Carlinhos Brown, and expanded percussion sections. The guitarists create an array of noisy, textural effects, so their technique and riff writing are not as impressive for fans of old-school thrash, but that's more due to the growing influence of alternative metal on the band, with Korn being a particular touchstone (vocalist Jonathan Davis even guests on one track). The songs sacrifice the tight structure of Chaos A.D. for extended percussion jams, plus some acoustic instrumental work. At 72 minutes, Roots inevitably loses focus in spots, but when the music connects (and it does so often), it carries tremendous visceral impact. Roots consolidates Sepultura's position as perhaps the most distinctive, original heavy metal band of the 1990s. ~ Steve Huey