It's 1996 in the Year-a-Month project, and at first I thought I would be splitting this year up over two months, but a combination of Freegal and laughably expensive albums whittled the order down to a reasonable level. I skipped albums by Danzig and Staind for price reasons, and scored Dio and ZZ Top through Freegal. Although in fairness, I doubt I would have bothered with ZZ Top if it weren't free.
Pantera: The Great Southern Trendkill - the opening scream on the opening track of The Great Southern Trendkill lets you know you're listening to Pantera: the band that invented the heavy metal scream vocals. They're really turning into the band that they were destined to become. It pains me that there is only one more album coming.
Dio: Angry Machines - picked this album up off of Freegal a month or two ago over the course of a couple of weeks. I love how Dio manages to change so much between albums, but still maintain the basic 70s-era sound that he's famous for. I forgot, as I listened, that this was a 1996 album (until the heavy synth on Stay Out of My Mind, of course).
Korn: Life Is Peachy - this one is shipping... but it's been a long time, so I'm not going to delay this post any longer for it. It's Korn. I'm sure it's awesome. Maybe I'll update the post with a review after it shows up.
Tool: Ænima - Say what you like about Tool, but their arrangements and production are second to none. Every song paints a unique picture, and yet the whole album hangs together in tone and feel.
ZZ Top: Rhythmeen - also scored this album from Freegal. It took 3 weeks to download it all, since Freegal only allows 5 songs a week. But since I rarely can find things I want in Freegal's inventory, it's not like I have a big to-download queue.
Overkill: The Killing Kind - This was a controversial album for Overkill, with two new guitarists and the addition of backing vocals. The press loved it, but fans predictably polarized into two camps: those that loved it, and those that hated it. I guess I'm not an Overkill fan, because I didn't even notice a change from the 1994 album WFO.
Motörhead: Overnight Sensation - this the only Motörhead album I know of that shows the band members on the front instead of the usual "war pig". That's Lemmy in the middle. I think the war pig is better looking. But fear not... the cover is the only thing different about this album.