A word on ordering:
As I said, these are not necessarily my favorite albums, so I will not present them in order of appeal. Instead, I will present them roughly in chronological order as I encountered them.
Well with that out of the way, let's talk about our first album.
Album That Changed My Life:
"XIII" by Mushroomhead
Not a glorious way to start off a list of metal albums, is it? For those of you who aren't familiar with this band, they are an industrial semi-metal group from Cleveland who fall firmly into the "gateway" category. Amongst fans of "real" metal they are almost universally loathed, but that's not important. What is important is that this little number by Slipknot's less-successful doppelganger was the first metal album I ever bought. Back in 2005 I had only recently begun to explore modern rock, and by modern I mean anything that was too new for play on an oldies or classic rock station. Since I was still feeling my way around, I tended to go into the local Wal-Mart and just pick up random cds that looked interesting to me. One day, the cover art of this album caught my eye, and I was intrigued. So I bought it and brought it home, not really knowing what to expect but assuming it would be something in the vein of the rock bands like Breaking Benjamin that I had come to enjoy. Instead, I encountered something rougher and uglier than any music I had ever heard. At first I didn't really know what to make of it. My brothers hated it with a passion when I played it around them, my friends didn't care much for it either, and all I knew was that it was a very different animal than any of the other albums I had bought. I kept coming back to it, unable to decide what to make of it. In time, the coarse hostile sound started to grow on me. I found myself looking around to see what similar bands I could find. I had taken my first step on the exploration of metal.