i feel like i'm missing out on a lot of must hear albums. i'll give a couple cds that i think are must hear albums and reasons. feel free to contribute. they don't have to be "classics" as you'll see from my list. All genres are fair game, but i'm most interested in metal, punk, mellow, progressive rock, etc. don't be an elitist asshole about it either. opeth - damnation incredibly beautiful album. the guitar work is dark and mysterious and the singing matches perfectly. this album really shows how diverse and talented opeth is. jack johnson - in between dreams very mellow and easy to relax to. i'm a big fan of how laid back his music is and he did a great job making a more "happy" album without sounding fake. a wilhelm scream - mute print balls out guitar and emotion filled punk rock. the guitar work is intense and the singer really drivers the music with his singing. they're a pretty technical punk band this album always gets me going. NOFX - The Decline this song/album pretty much has everything. an 18 minute punk song from one of the greats. they complement the punk style with a horn part that doesn't sound contrived and it doesn't give off the ska vibe at all. pretty powerful song. Mudvayne - L.D. 50 the singing is fucking intense on this cd with a solid musical backing. the drumming is crisp and the album has some crazy timing. their music definitely has a pissed off feel to it. Trivium - Ascendancy Incredible guitar work with some very fitting solos. The singing has a mix of screaming and singing and is done quite well. The intro is a great lead in to a strong album. How can you go wrong with a band that has a lyric that says "you say 'oh god why', 'cause i'm god, that's fucking why'" Dream Theater - Train of Thought their hardest album to date. portnoy and petrucci really shine on this album with heavy riffs and drum parts that'll make your head spin. Great bass and keyboard backing. The singing is sometimes hard to deal with for Dream Theater, but this album isn't nearly as bad in that sense as some of the others. All of the tracks are solid and showcase some extremely talented musicians.