Most veterans of the heavy rock genre tend to have a halo around their set of classic material. Since they’ve been able to stand the test of time, it’s safe to say that most of their records are close to excellent at worst, right? Well yes, but that doesn’t mean everyone feels the same.
In every decade that rock has lived, the tougher side of the genre has come to fruition with incredible albums that never got the hour they deserved. Regardless of how much lyrics they can get today, these were treated like absolute dogs back in the day, either completely ignored by the public or downright hated by some of the diehard fans.
With hindsight now in play, these albums should be treated like the classics they are instead of just being a placeholder between the classics.
Often these albums can have more experimental sides to the band that made you see them in a completely different light, whether through a change in musical direction or tackling a completely different set of lyrics.
Either way, these are the few outliers in the catalogs of these bands that still deserve serious reconsideration.
There’s not really a roadmap for where to go after you release something like the downward spiral. After a gigantic tour that completely exhausted him physically and mentally, Trent Reznor seemed to have completely escaped rock star life. Despite making one of the darkest records imaginable, The Fragile showed Reznor had the ability to go even darker.
Spanning two discs, the Fragile is a much more eclectic mix of influences for Reznor, as it delves into heavier territory inspired by the rise of nu metal giants like Korn and Rage Against the Machine. While critics were quick to jump down Reznor’s throat that it was sold out, it’s one of the most biting records he’s ever made. Acting as a companion piece to Spiral, it sounds like some of the usual NIN menace even more so, while sprinkling in more promising bits like We’re In This Together.
By excluding some of the album’s more filled elements like Starf*ckers Inc., it was the next logical step the world of industrial rock needed, only to then be glossed over in favor of “cooler” bands like Limp Bizkit. If there was any justice in this world, The Fragile would be on par with the legendary double albums of yore.