Fifteen Albums that Shook the Twentieth Century: Lord's Andy Dowling

The affable bassist runs the rule over our list of key albums from the last century...

Welcome back to Metal as Fuck, Andy Dowling! – it’s been a while seen you’ve shared your opinions with us! We’ll waste no more time but get straight into the list, with the first album being Led Zeppelin IV. “Not a fan of Led Zeppelin. They aren’t bad, in fact they actually have some half decent songs, but it was just never something that resonated with me. They are also the cause of so many shithouse Australian ‘retro’ rock bands that have come out over the past 15 years. Next”.  

Not just Australian ones – and not just over the last fifteen years! The second album for your consideration is Deep Purple’s Machine Head. “The album should be worshipped on Highway Star alone. What a tough song! The rest of the album has its moments but Smoke on the Water is a disease of a song and I’m a far bigger fan of Mark III era Deep Purple. David Coverdale is god”.

I agree wholeheartedly with that last sentence. Next up: Black SabbathSabbath Bloody Sabbath. “My favourite Ozzy-era Sabbath album but not my favourite era of Sabbath (see Ronnie James Dio and Tony Martin). This was the first Sabbath album I ever heard and the songs still get me pretty pumped when I hear them. Definitely a classic and that main riff of the title track is heaaaaaavvvyyyy!

I’m amazed – and pleased by how many people have mentioned Tony Martin when I’ve been conducting these interviews! The man is sorely underrated in my opinion… Now, moving away from the roots of metal and into the late seventies: Van HalenVan Halen. Any good?  “Yes! Their best album by a fucking mile. All killer and no filler. Everyone was on absolute fire for this album and whilst Van Halen are certainly popular, I sometimes think that this album doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. A very odd thing to say given how much of a classic this album is, but it tends to get overshadowed by lesser albums. At least from my warped perspective!”

Nothing warped about those views as far as I can see – warped would have been championing the Gary Cherone years! Now to another late seventies gem – album number five is – Motörhead’s Bomber. “Really? Sure, there’s a couple of great songs but this over Overkill or even Ace of Spades (even with an overplayed/overrated title track)? I guess opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has one!””

They sure do. Let’s try Judas Priest next – any thoughts on British Steel? “An iconic album that is another all killer and no filler. Not my personal favourite (insert Screaming for Vengeance), but definitely a worthy album to be in such a list. The Classic Albums DVD for this album is a must watch as well. A lot of fun!”

Yep, quite an eye opener, especially the passage on cutlery! Now, here’s one that so far everybody has agreed on – Powerslave by Iron Maiden. “Great, great album. I prefer Somewhere in Time over this, but like the Priest entry, Powerslave is more than worthy to be included in such a list of key albums. Best versions of the stand out tracks can be found on the Live After Death live album”. 

Away from classic metal now and into the exciting world of thrash metal. How about Metallica and Ride the Lightning? “I guess any of the first four or maybe five albums could be rotated or all included in this list. Definitely no wrong answer. Another album that’s packed back to back with complete perfection”. 

It’s another one that’s garnered almost universal love! Almost. Staying with the Big Four, here’s Slayer – what about South of Heaven? "I guess we are trying to be cool and list anything that isn’t Reign in Blood? It’s nice to be different I guess. Hell Awaits would have been a more genuine pick. Still a good album, but better Slayer albums to be included”. 

This is Metal as Fuck – we’ve no interest in being cool, for school or anyone else… The whole point of the list was to spark some debate, and to be honest with you if it was me I’d have Show No Mercy as the Slayer selection – it’s those arseholes again!

So let’s move forward a bit, and have a go at Sepultura’s  Chaos AD. Thoughts? “Sorry, Arise has something to say about this. At least Roots wasn’t listed!”

Again, you’re finely attuned to our other interviewees! Now, at the risk of inducing further ire, to the grunge section… What about Dirt by Alice in Chains? “Dig a few songs and can appreciate the album. Best of the bunch when it came to the aids infested genre known as grunge”. 

OK, we’ll leave that one alone then. I’ve a feeling  Korn’s Life is Peachy won’t fare any better? “Life is shit if you listen to this album. This album just reminds me of the sickly amount of godawful nu-metal bands that played Wednesday nights at The Basement in Brisbane many years ago. Thanks for bringing back that disgusting memory”.

If those memories aren’t piqued occasionally, then it’s possible people might start forming nu-metal bands again. We are doomed to repeat our mistakes if we don’t learn from them. Consider the mention of this album to be a MaF service to the community. Only three albums left now, with number thirteen being the debut from Machine Head, Burn My Eyes. “Never got into Machine Head. Understand why people like them, but pass.”

Fair enough. We’ll move on to another Roadrunner act from that era, Type O Negative. October Rust is the selection here. “A couple of alright songs. Prefer Carnivore. Next”.

Next it is. And our final pick for your dissection or otherwise is Around the Fur by Deftones. A classic for you? “The only thing the Deftones shook was my head, from side to side”.

Marvellous. Finally, what other album – just the one – do you think should be on a list of records that ‘shook the twentieth century’- and why? “I guess it comes down what we interpret as ‘shaking the twentieth century’. Are we talking about chart success? How many bogans or band wagon losers jumped onto a band after a certain release? Well, if we’re talking about just a straight up killer albums that shook MY twentieth century (we are - Ed.) then Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime would definitely be on my list. A progressive rock/metal masterpiece that certainly helped open many more doors for me personally for melodic heavy rock/metal. It might not be for everyone, but it is an amazing collection of music demonstrating elite songwriting. Rage for Order is my personal favourite, but Operation: Mindcrime was my introduction and completely turned my musical world upside down”.

A fabulous choice if I might venture an opinion of my own to end proceedings – thanks for taking part! “Thanks for the opportunity!”