By Patrick Fiore (guitarist, vocalist for Plantation)
- Pink Floyd – “Darkside of The Moon”
Prior to discovering this album I was really into metal music. I fronted a Death Metal band (Feticide) and was heavily influenced by bands like Opeth, Children of Bodom and Lamb of God. All this soon changed after hearing “Darkside of the Moon.” I learned so much about tone, dynamics, song structure, conveying emotion through my playing and pretty much everything else about music from David Gilmour. David Gilmour is by far the biggest influence on my guitar playing and on my songwriting.
- Alice In Chains – “Dirt”
Alice In Chains is one of the most interesting bands I have ever heard. Their mix of sludgy blues riffs combined with the haunting vocal harmonies of Layne Staley make for some of the most real music of my time. Jerry Cantrell’s songwriting on this album is top notch as he finally steps away from that cheesy 80s sound and into the grunge sound he is known for today.
- Soundgarden – “Superunknown”
First off, is there any better vocalist on the face of planet earth than Chris Cornell?
Soundgarden is one of those bands that you have to love. Every part of this band is so on point. Matt Cameron is by far the best drummer of the 90s (sorry to all the Dave Grohl fans) and one of the few great drummers whose playing you can identify just by hearing it. Ben Sheppard and Kim Thayil are two guys who are virtually ignored in discussions about the 90s but played an essential role in the band’s sound. “Superunknown” is one of the few albums I can listen to without skipping a single song. Kim Thayill’s use of lead guitar as a vocal harmony is a skill I borrowed and can be heard on the song “Out of the Dark” by my band, Plantation.
- Stone Temple Pilots – “Core”
This album just reminds me of summer for some reason. I especially enjoy listening to Rob DeLeo’s bass playing. It is refreshing to hear a bass player really add a special element to a band. Scott Weiland’s vocal performance on this record is the best of his career and the overall sound of this album is crushing. I really love a band the can combine heavy riffs with soulful melodies without making it sound cheesy.
- Black Sabbath (no album, just the band in general)
Black Sabbath are undeniably the masters of riff-based rock. Every hard rock band ever draws influence from Sabbath’s mix of a dark tone in combination with melody. I, as a guitar player, draw influence from Tony Iommi’s use of the pentatonic scale and often find myself using it to build riffs around.