Kerrang's 13 essential jrock/metal albums

Kerrang! magazine made a list of 13 essential jrock/metal albums you need to know and I deeply disagree with several of their choices… ESSENTIAL would be bands that changed a scene or influenced tons of bands, regardless of personal taste, right?

As much as I love DOGMA and believe it’s the best gazette work to date, calling it ESSENTIAL is a bit much;
Get Versailles outta here, Mana represents the dude dressing like a medieval princess category well enough, on the METAL side of things we can go with LOUDNESS or Sex Machineguns, c’mon…;
in the direction of sunrise and night light should be on the list;
OSC-DIS needs a spot;
L’Arc demands a spot aswell, maybe True? (suuuper debatable);
Fuck Gokutama Rock Cafe, you can pick tons of more important oshare albuns;
Also fuck Frontiers;
Put Fake Star on that list somewhere;
Glay’s Speed pop or Pure soul?
Yellow Monkey? Siam Shade?

yeah, this is harder than I thought, lol. Anyone willing to give a shot?


Laputa’s EMADARA or Cakera need to be on that list. Both iconic albums of 90’s scene :confused:

Get fucking BABYMETAL and NIGHTMARE off the list, replace VULGAR with UROBOROS (let’s be real it’s a more accurate representation of their current sound), and find room for CHEDOARA please.

I have more gripes. I might come back later.


Honestly, I was really pleasantly surprised to see Frontiers. I love that album, and PLC are a very distinctive band.

No L’Arc OR GLAY is absolutely not okay though.

And Versailles, Psycho and An Cafe are not “essential” at all. Other than that it’s ok

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Not as bad as I thought it would be (kinda based of them to include the under-praised Psycho Le Cemu), but it’s really not a great list.

I like how they had D’erlanger on there, but they didn’t include any of the early pioneers. Speaking of pioneers, BT got shafted hard. It should be a written law to have at least one BT album on any “essential Jrock” list. I like how they put MUCC on there but from my Mukka understanding, their best is regarded to be either Gokusai or Zekuu. Also, wtf is An Cafe doing on that list, they barely qualify as rock and are far from an “essential band” imo… And this is coming from someone who is a fan btw. Replace them with SHAZNA if you want bubble-gum pop-rock with IMPACT

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List is a wee misleading, as all of the bands (except Babymetal) have the visual-kei tag associated. You cannot make a japanese rock/metal list without including the loud rock scene. Also, who is this list essential for? Judging by the picks it does not seem like an essential for the scene list. More like something that new listeners can easily get into.

As a VK list it’s about 50% agreeable at least from my perspective. As much as I love X Japan, DEAD END have been far more influential for the scene (Sugizo still manages to include some of YOU’s riffs in anything he writes.) and as many have already stated not having any BUCK-TICK is a major fault.


KUCHIKI NO TOU on a list with an cafe??? fucking mega based???

also, imagine complaining about versailles being on the list and not the fact that its the wrong versailles album


No Ellegarden? No FACT? No fucking Crossfaith? Unreal.

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I do not like DOGMA myself that much but the influence it had on the scene was rather impactful. So many riffs/styles can be found in so many newer bands. However, in my opinion DIM and even STACKED RUBBISH (yes) had way more impact on the scene, but well~ But therefore they would’ve fit your definition of essential :wink:

While UROBOROS surely was an important point for DIR EN GREY and also the scene and people remember it more, I think it is fair to say that VULGAR’s impact was higher (at the time), especially due to OBSCURE that continues to this day. So I think it is factually to say VULGAR is more important.
I love CHEDOARA, for me one of the best albums in recent years. But definitly not essential for japanese rock or the scene (sadly).

Otherwise I agree, sure there are many important albums missing, especially in ROCK and METAL and focuses only on visual kei (expect the Baby Metal one i guess).
I was suprised Kuroyume wasn’t mentioned.

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Again a usually mainstream band list… why can’t people suggest music from bands we don’t hear that often?..because like this people keep on listing to the same bands only~~ (-_-)

This are some better names…

loudness, the minks, oddbowz, janne da arc, raphael, calmando qual, shazna, de+lax, BEAST, the death popstars, klack, glay…

LOUDNESS is basically a totally must and they were more success full overseas back in the days than XJAPAN was and LOUDNESS is still very popular OVERSEAS [since 2010 they successfully tour around the world]. (But younger people are just not aware of it, because they only have eye for XJAPAN…)


I popped when I saw Psycho le Cemu!

Overall, this is fine. For someone who doesn’t really listen to Jrock, this is a pretty good introduction. There are some entries that are just kind of weird. I know it’s cool for music journalists to put CrAzY takes on their lists, but I don’t think Dogma should be on this list, like if you’re gonna put The GazettE on your list, pick something that has the sound that they’re known for.

Either that or Tierra.

Right? You put D’erlanger on there but not fucking Kuroyume?

Buck-Tick also really needs the credit they deserve.

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It legit looks like they took an article about “J-rock” they wrote in 2008 and googled for the most popular albums of these bands and added Babymetal. I mean, An café??


This is actually a surprisingly solid list. A little more depth than expected and all legitimately good albums. Kerrang isn’t a J-music magazine - with the consideration of that alone, this list is a great starting point for people unfamiliar.

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Don’t Know how much of an Impact it hard in Overall, but I would have added Madeth Gray’ll.
Or aome Matina/Key Party Bands in generall?

aphrodisiacal pupa with ecstatic fervour (2)

anyway, what a beautiful selection!
of cooooourse, there’s always subjective space for improvement (i.e. replacing gokutama rock cafe with any decent an cafe album - there were two, and swapping babbymotel with 恨みに怨み by UNDER FALL JUSTICE would produce an outstanding compilation :’) but nonetheless, every album on the list shines! MOTHER is a classic, and I’ve actually been quite addicted to the 90s luna sea in the recent months too.

on the same note, I’m overjoyed that Jamie Cansdale recognizes vulgar and its impact on our genre, for we shall not let mislead youths rewrite our histories.

did kerrang ever acknowledge visual kei still was still a thing while MH was there? I thought they kinda gave up covering our eccentric hysterical de:ars after 2007-ish…


Predictable for them. They probably think Sakura Con is greatest J-Rock concert ever too because they got Puffy Ami Yumi and girugamesh, instead of proper world tour show some of these bandomen did.


Obviously a trash gaijin list with BABYMETAL on top for the clicks. I commend the author for wanting to put a thinly veiled fav vk albums list and sneaking it past the Kerrang editors. Shouting about any particular omissions is a waste of time when the list is so fundamentally flawed anyway. As a “my favorite vk albums” I would take it, but Kerrang obviously isn’t going to put anything with that kind of a title.

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