No real order here at all, except Priest and Van Halen being at the top.
1. Van Halen- The first album was one of the first CDs I ever bought and it's still my all time favorite album. Without it, I definitely wouldn't have such a huge love for hard rock and heavy music in general. I wrote my college essay to get into UCLA on how this album made me who I am today, and I still love every single DLR album (and 5150) to death.
2. Judas Priest - I was lame and heard You've Got Another Thing Comin' for the first time through Guitar Hero. But literally from the first time I heard it I fell in love with the downpicked chugging riff. When I was first getting into music and listening to a lot of classic rock, I'd listen to British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance all the time. I love all of their albums with Halford except Rocka Rolla and Nostradamus- the streak from Sad Wings to Painkiller is the most amazing in metal history as far as I'm concerned, and I love every one of those albums so much. It was when I decided to learn Judas Priest songs that I also started to get really good at guitar. Living After Midnight was the first full metal song I ever learned to play, and it just skyrocketed from there. Priest have basically been my favorite band since I was 14, and I doubt that'll change any time soon.
3. Kreator - Junior year of high school I was insanely overwhelmed with just a big variety of stuff. Hordes of Chaos, Violent Revolution and Pleasure to Kill were the soundtracks to my mental exhaustion, and also the super fun times I would have. It was both an outlet for the stress and frustration that I experienced that year, and the music that I would love to play in the car as my friends and I would adventure to In n Out. That year I also saw Kreator for the first time, and the Pleasure to Kill shirt I picked up was the first band shirt I wore that made me feel really special and unique among my peers. I wasn't just that metalhead kid anymore, I was that metalhead kid who would wear his passion on his sleeves, and not care what others thought. I still kind of feel that way whenever I wear that shirt.
4. Slough Feg - When I picked up The Animal Spirits during senior year of high school, I basically altered the course of my life forever. When looking for bands like Slough Feg, I ended up discovering bands like Hammers of Misfortune, Ludicra, and Cormorant through sites like Pitchfork, Invisible Oranges and of course, this site. I always knew how amazing these albums sounded and that the bands were all from the bay, but I slowly began to see one name appear everywhere when it came to these bands: Justin Weis. When Dwellings came out in late 2011, I realized that Justin was a true master of audio engineering, and that I would do anything to be able to work with him. Long story short, that actually happened (that's a story for another day
) and after working with Justin for a good while, I got to assist with the engineering of the upcoming Slough Feg album. This shit was cyclical as fuck. Without the Feg, I would never have met Justin, and who knows where I would be at as an audio engineer. Not to mention, every one of Slough Feg's albums rule, that's important of course!
I'll add more later when it isn't 4 in the fricken morning.