1993 Reigns: 50 Great Albums From One of Heavy Music's Greatest Years | Revolver

1993 Reigns: 50 Great Albums From One of Heavy Music's Greatest Years

Maybe heavy music's greatest year?

It was the year that Bill Clinton took office, MTV's Beavis & Butthead and WWF's Monday Night Raw debuted on television and federal authorities left the Branch Davidian's Waco compound in flames. That same year, the first web browser was revealed to the public, effectively kick-starting the internet age. It was a year of revolution and innovation — including in the world of music.

1993 was the start of a massive sea change for the recording industry, notably in the invention of the MP3 as a medium. Technology and its industrial implications aside, at that time music was in one of the strongest place it had been, commercially and creatively: Sales were at a peak that would not be realized again until 2014 and the post-Nirvana wave of signings meant a wide array of challenging artists had major-label backing. But the "Nirvana bump" was not limited to the worlds of punk and harder music; seminal releases bubbled to the top in virtually all genres, from hip-hop (Enter the 36 Chambers, Midnight Marauders, Doggystyle) to indie (Siamese Dream, Souvlaki, Today's Active Lifestyles).

While the overall number of noteworthy releases in 1993 seems somewhat surreal, the ratio of seminal albums in metal, hardcore and punk within that number feels positively insane. From Neurosis to Burzum, Sepultura to the collaborative acts on the Judgment Night soundtrack, from Earth Crisis to Carcass, so many artists dropped records in 1993 that, for all intents and purposes, launched movements and/or changed how we thought about the possibilities of sound. Below are just 50 of the many releases from that year that helped transform heavy music as we know it — as well as a Spotify playlist with which to celebrate their 25th anniversaries.

Anthrax - Sound of White Noise
Anti Cimex - Scandinavian Jawbreaker
Atheist - Elements
Bikini Kill - Pussy Whipped
Burzum - Aske EP
Burzum - Det som engang var
Butthole Surfers - Independent Worm Saloon
Cannibal Corpse - Hammer Smashed Face EP
Carcass - Heartwork
Crowbar - Crowbar
Cynic - Focus
Darkthrone - Under a Funeral Moon
Death - Individual Thought Patterns
Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith & Devotion
Dissection - The Somberlain
Dropdead - S/T
Earth - Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version
Earth Crisis - Firestorm EP
Entombed - Wolverine Blues
Eyehategod - Take as Needed for Pain
Fight - War of Words
Fugazi - In on the Kill Taker
Immortal - Pure Holocaust
Katatonia - Dance of December Souls
Life of Agony - River Runs Red
Macabre - Sinister Slaughter
Melvins - Houdini
Mercyful Fate - In the Shadows
Morbid Angel - Covenant
My Dying Bride - Turn Loose The Swans
Necrophobic - The Nocturnal Silence
Neurosis - Enemy of the Sun
Nirvana - In Utero
Only Living Witness - Prone Mortal Form
Paradise Lost - Icon
Pearl Jam - Vs.
PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
Primus - Pork Soda
Quicksand - Slip
Rorschach - Protestant
Sepultura - Chaos A.D.
Sleep - Sleep's Holy Mountain
Slowdive - Souvlaki
The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Snapcase - lookinglasself
TAD - Inhaler
Today Is the Day - Supernova
Tool - Undertow
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses
V/A - Judgment Night soundtrack