Reading, PA-based progressive death metal outfit, Black Crown Initiate will release their new album Selves We Cannot Forgive on July 22, 2016 via Entertainment One Music (eOne) (pre-order here) and today we’re pleased to offer up some promo on the form of an exclusive listicle from guitarist and vocalist, Andy Thomas. So, what are the ten albums the band wish they’ve written? Check this out….

10. Sigur Ros – Takk
– This album, for me, is probably the most emotionally heavy album of all-time. Gorgeous melodies, haunting textures, and masterful dynamic control make this a listening experience that, even after years, hits me just as hard every time. Takk is my favorite album by my favorite band, and I aspire to be half as emotionally effective as a writer.

09. Devin Townsend – Terria
Terria is a heavily layered collection of extremely well-written songs by the man with the golden pipes, Devin Townsend. Every song is an unpredictable journey, and yet the whole album is wonderfully catchy. The dense, beautiful vocal harmonies really show what The Dev is capable of, and this album has been there for me through a great deal of my life.

08. Cult of Luna – Somewhere Along The Highway
– Cult of Luna is a remarkable band to me, and this album is awesomely dark and brooding. The songs build in a ridiculously satisfying way, and these Swedes show that they are masters of dynamics. The tiny, quiet parts are perfect, and when the band cuts loose they sound absolutely monolithic.

07. Meshuggah – Nothing
– It would be very difficult to discuss the country of Sweden without mentioning Meshuggah. They are definitely my favorite heavy band, and it is a hard call to make picking a favorite album of theirs. That being said, I believe that Nothing forever changed the landscape of heavy music. Even though I’ve heard that they used downtuned seven-strings to make the album due to production difficulties, this was the album that introduced the sound of eight-string guitars to me. It destroyed my world in a wonderful way, and still influences me today. They have truly cornered the market, as any attempt to sound like them pales in comparison.

06. Yob – Clearing The Path To Ascend
– I have been a fan of Yob and Mike Scheidt’s music for a long time, but something about Clearing The Path To Ascend hits me in such a raw, visceral spot that I have a hard time putting it into words. The music captures the beautiful tragedies of existence; love, loss, sorrow, change, and growth. It is another dynamic masterpiece, one that runs the gamut of sound. On this album, you’ll find distant, vulnerable melodies that give way to avalanches of sound the grab you and shake you at your core.

05. Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left
– If you can’t already tell, I am a huge fan of somewhat bleak and emotional music, and Five Leaves Left is a great example of that. Nick Drake was a very mysterious man who left the world at a very young age. The songwriting is masterful, the guitar playing is amazing, and the album is a haunting portrait of a man that probably had a good deal of trouble dealing with life. Despite that, he made absolutely stunning music, and this is my favorite of his albums.

04. Opeth – Blackwater Park
– I’ve heard that Nick Drake is a huge influence on Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt, and Blackwater Park, much like Meshuggah’s Nothing, changed me in very fundamental and lasting ways. When I got this album as a young man, I listened to it every day for over a year. From it, I learned that, even when working within the “heavy” music idiom, there are truly no rules. This album is a shining example of the effect of allowing space for music to breathe, from acoustic guitars and pianos and more. I can’t overstate how important this album is to me, and I think our band’s music reflects that.

03. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
– This is my favorite Pink Floyd album. In my opinion, it possesses all the qualities that make a classic album: great songwriting, awesome playing, killer production, thought-provoking lyrics, an outpouring of emotion, and a whole heap of attitude. “Have A Cigar” has the most swagger of perhaps any song I’ve ever heard. The album tells a story, and flows perfectly. Timeless.

02. Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing
– I’ve been a huge fan of Steven Wilson and his extensive catalog for quite a few years. I find him to be one of the finest songwriters of our time. This album has a powerhouse lineup, featuring Guthrie Govan on guitar and Marco Minnemann on drums, and they add a virtuosity not previously found in Wilson’s music. Coupled with the dark, amazingly arranged songs, The Raven… is definitely a monumental recording.

01. Metallica – Master of Puppets
Master of Puppets is considered by many to be the greatest metal album of all time. It was made the year I was born and I heard it when I was about eight years old. I couldn’t believe the riffs, and James Hetfield was my first musical hero. This album, in my opinion, completely stood the test of time, and it still crushes today. The songwriting is top-shelf, and it possesses a fire that few bands have rivaled since. If I had written this, I’d have written a very important piece of music history.

Check out the song “The Fractured One”


Publisher, CEO, and Co-Founder - Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.