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Five Albums That Changed My Life: Matthew Rudzinski of Killwhitneydead

‘Metal’ Jeff Rogers

Matthew Rudzinski is a heavy metal renaissance man. Not only has he fronted metalcore favorites Killwhitneydead since 2002, he also runs Tribunal Records, a label that has released records from acts like Atreyu and Vanisher. This coming February, Rudzinski will be celebrating his band’s 10-year anniversary by releasing ‘Suffer My Wrath,’ Killwhitneydead’s first album since 2007. In addition, next year his reissue label, Divebomb Records, will be unleashing long-lost albums by Cyclone Temple, Solstice, Ironchrist, and Confessor, to name a few. Rudzinski is a close friend of Noisecreep and we asked him to take part in our ‘Five Albums That Changed My Life’ series.

‘Rising’
Rainbow (1976)

“I could have listed five albums all featuring Ronnie James Dio on this list, but we will start with the album whose Ken Kelly cover artwork I used to stare at endlessly. I still have that original LP and it is beat to hell. The indentations from where I traced Rainbow’s logo as a kid are still present. I adored this album and Ronnie’s lyrics and heartfelt vocal performance spoke to me and still do this day since I own three different versions on CD now. I felt the whole band was firing on all cylinders for this album despite Rainbow always seeming to have a revolving door lineup over the years, but it was Ronnie’s delivery that helped show me what it was to be a true frontman.”

Amazon

‘Moving Pictures’
Rush (1981)

“Think back to 1981 when MTV was in its infantile stages and seemed to be starved for content to broadcast. I may be wrong but I am pretty sure almost every song from Rush’s ‘Exit Stage Left’ concert video were extracted and a different song was played every hour. Being 9-years-old at the time and seeing three guys play the likes of ‘Red Barchetta (one of my favorite songs of all time), ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Limelight’ on my television hourly instantly catapulted them to the status of “Godlike” in my eyes. This is possibly the most perfect album in my collection. Sonically, lyrically and thematically ‘Moving Pictures’ had it all for a 9 year old kid seeking guidance in the world and now at age 39 it remains, in my opinion, one of the best albums ever released.”

Amazon

‘Show No Mercy’
Slayer (1983)

“I grew up with fairly conservative parents in a suburb of Wilmington, Delaware. So to say that the aura of heavy metal was not something circulating around me in my youth is an understatement. Being only 11 when this album was released I remember hiding the LP, which I purchased with my allowance, from my parents and only listening to it on headphones. From Tom Araya’s opening wail on ‘Evil Knows No Boundaries’ Slayer’s took everything (music, lyrics, artwork, appearance) up a notch in comparison to their competition. Sure, ‘Reign in Blood’ should be on this list, but for me ‘Show No Mercy’ was the beginning and every Slayer album after this was only expanding on its already established awesomeness.”

Amazon

‘Brightside’
Killing Time (1989)

“As the NYHC scene expanded outwards and underground bands found themselves getting signed to “major labels” I was able to discover all kinds of great bands I never knew about and Raw Deal was one of them. Naturally, they had to change their name to Killing Time but it didn’t change what this band did for me. ‘Brightside’ contains some of the best chunky riffs, precision drumming and vocal hooks in NYHC history. Killing Time showed me that playing something primitive like hardcore, didn’t mean they had to sacrifice lyrical hooks to capture audiences. It’s a lesson learned that I still follow today with my own songwriting.”

Amazon

‘Those Who Fear Tomorrow’
Integrity (1991)

“I started getting really into the hardcore scene when I was freshman in high school and with that came all the dime-a-dozen “posi” hardcore bands (which I do enjoy), but it wasn’t until this album hit my CD player in 1991 that I truly found what I was looking for in the scene. Integrity had the angst and pure aggression of a hardcore band, but unabashedly worshipped at the altar of heavy metal. ‘Those Who Fear Tomorrow’ was a furious metallic hardcore combination like no other that which over the years has often been imitated but never replicated to nearly the same degree of success. Dwid directly influenced my being a frontman and showed me there were absolutely no boundaries when it came to creating extreme music. In one word…MICHA!”

Amazon

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