Today is the international day of Star Wars, based on today being May 4th, which is based on ‘May the Force be With You.’ While Star Wars movies are great, now that Disney acquired Lucasfilm and we’re going to be getting pretty much another Star Wars movie every year until long after we’ve shuffled off this mortal coil, the real international day of Star Wars should be whenever that year’s movie comes out. That’s beside the point though, and just like June 6th will always be Slayer day, May 4th will always be Star Wars day. Instead of recapping the many crossovers between metal and Star Wars (and there’s many of them), we thought it would make more sense to go with the 4th in a different way. So without further ado, here are the four best fourth albums from metal bands. Obviously, there are some albums missing from this list, since we had to limit it to four. What are your favorite fourth albums? Let us know in the comments section below:
4) Converge, Jane Doe
By 2001, metal and hardcore were at somewhat of a crossroads. Four years earlier, Hatebreed had seamlessly blended the heaviness of Slayer with the aggression and intensity of New York hardcore, but nu-metal was still unbelievably popular. Meanwhile in Massachusetts, Converge had released three albums of aggressive hardcore, but coalesced into a four piece with new rhythm section Nate Newton and Ben Koller on bass and drums, respectively. Released one week before September 11th, Jane Doe was an instant game changer. Tighter, more aggressive, and with more range than anything the band had released before, it’s since become as iconic as it’s cover art. It was thinking man’s hardcore. It’s no surprise that it wound up becoming one of the band’s defining moments that they just revisited live in its entirety a few weeks ago.
3) Metallica, …And Justice For All
Alright, so …And Justice For All might be best known for being the Metallica record that buried the bass. That’s such an unfair assessment because where it lacked bass, the album delivered in progression and complexity. Furthermore, …And Justice For All might be Metallica’s most aggressive album to date. You can literally feel James Hetfield’s anger over losing Cliff Burton (who died less than two years before the album’s release) when he sings “Justice is lost/Justice is raped/Justice is gone” in the chorus of the album’s title track. Plus, while Master Of Puppets might’ve made them immortal metal gods, the single “One” and its video (the band’s first ever) helped break them into the mainstream, introducing them to a broader audience and ultimately laying groundwork for them becoming the biggest band in the world.