Stranded on an Arctic Island

First off if I’m to be stranded anywhere it has better be cold, so if I were stranded on an arctic Island, what ten essential albums would I have with me. Obviously these are essential albums that I can not live without so I don’t need to worry about electricity to power the cd player […]

by Grimulfr

First off if I’m to be stranded anywhere it has better be cold, so if I were stranded on an arctic Island, what ten essential albums would I have with me. Obviously these are essential albums that I can not live without so I don’t need to worry about electricity to power the cd player or batteries for the ipod since these disc are already spinning in perpetuity inside my head, saves me from having to lug the records around as well. And of course they would all be black metal with a few proto black discs thrown in. Since they are all in my head I’ve got room for more than ten.

1. Black SabbathBlack Sabbath. The first metal albums I ever heard were Rush – Caress Of Steel and Fly By Night, and Judas Priest – Sad Wings of Destiny and Rocka Rolla in 1976 thanks to my brother. I friend of his then gave me a copy of Black Sabbath’s debut late in 1976 and my world changed forever. If I have to say more then do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars…

2. Mercyful FateMelissa. I was in a record store looking for the Wendy O. Williams/ Motörhead collaboration Stand By Your Man in October 1982, flipping through the import section when I came across the Rave On EP by Mercyful Fate. The cover alone was enough to make me get it and I listened over and over until I really liked it because I wanted to like it. Needless to say I picked up Melissa the day it came out. I spent quite a bit of my school year telling people Slayer sucked, listen to Mercyful Fate instead. Show No Mercy made an impact on me that year as well, but I really didn’t appreciate Slayer until Live Undead, but I digress…

3. BathoryIn Memory Of Quorthon boxed set. I know it’s cheating, but it is impossible for me to pick just one Bathory disc, and I really do have the back catalog committed to memory, the first six of course. I owe my brother for this as well. He brought home Scandinavian Metal Attack because of my interest in Norse mythology. Sacrifice won me over to Bathory immediately since I was the biggest Motörhead fan in my state at the time. This led me to pretty much abandon American metal in favor of European bands.

4. Celtic FrostMorbid Tales. It was late summer of 84 when I found this. Being a huge Hellhammer fan I was prepared to camp out at the store to get my copy of Morbid Tales but I had to wait months to get my hands on it. The day I bought it I also picked up Voivod- War and Pain. There was no way anyone could entice me to listen to Dokken after that, which was all the rage at that time.

5. Mercyful FateDon’t Break The Oath. Bar none the most anticipated release of 1984. My junior year in High School was quite eventful because I wore that tour shirt at least once a week. To this day the number one black metal band in my mind is still Mercyful Fate. An absolutely perfect album from start to finish with killer atmosphere that Emperor could only dream of emulating. Some albums are meant to be played 666 times (a month).

6. KreatorEndless Pain. The best records all seemed to come out in the fall. Kreator was the last of the three German titans I discovered and they quickly became the favorite of the triumvirate. Many people consider Kreator the very definition of Thrash but I always considered them proto black. The first wave owes a lot to Mille and Co. There is no band I saw live more often than Kreator except Motörhead.

7. EnslavedVikingligr Veldi. It was late summer 1988 when I got hold of an unlabeled tape in a trade, no idea who it was, but I hated it, tossed it in a box and forgot about it til sometime in 94 when I picked up Mayhem’s Deathcrush and realized I had heard it before. Otherwise Enslaved was the first Norwegian second wave band I heard with the Yggdrasill demo tape in 1992. I scoured mailorder catalogs looking for a follow up release for months and months. The Hordanes Land vinyl made an impact but it was Vikingligr Veldi that really changed everything. “Lifandi Lif Undir Hamri”, “Vetrarnatt”, and “Midgards Eldar” still blow my mind. I spent many hours carefully listening to this disc that first day because there is this surreal otherworldly quality about the music that genuinely transports you to another time and place.

8. EnslavedFrost. I got this disc shortly after finding Vikingligr Veldi, thanks to Century Media mailorder. Frost cemented Enslaved as the number one band in metal, mightier even than Motörhead. “Fenris”, “Svarte Vidder”, “Yggdrasil”, “Jotonblod”, “Isöders Dronning”, all classics.

9. KampfarMellom Skogkledde Aaser. I followed Dolk over from Mock, and could pick any of Kampfar’s releases to plug into this list but I chose this one because it was the debut full length and because of the power of “Baldogg” and “Hymne”. The guitar lines in “Baldogg” are unforgettable and the final two minutes of “Hymne” define majestic. I love the clean vocals. For that mater the opening of “Vukkeferd” kills as well.

10. Negură Bunget‘N Crugu Bradului. When music is felt rather than heard it is an experience not to be missed. ‘N Crugu Bradului is such a piece, a dimensional portal defying time and space, a connection with the infinite cycles of nature that links you with a timeless place, granting you a form of immortality. As long as the music plays, you are adrift in the mystical fog of ancient Transilvanian spirituality. Like the shepherd, you become one with nature, timeless. I need never leave my island sanctuary now.



  1. Commented by: jk666

    People keep making lists of their top 10 Desert Island Discs…I don’t know about you but I’m bringing my iPod. It takes up less space than 10 CD’s and has over 18,000 songs on it…

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