Crutches. We all have them. Believe me, after a rough breakup, losing a job, failing a test, losing a loved one or just having a shit day, weed, booze and sex sound pretty fucking good to me. But before you throw yourself too far down the well of self-destruction, consider the healing power of heavy metal. In times of great frustration, anger and grief, it’s only natural to want to push our realities away. Metal music allows the listener to suspend all of those realities, landing us deep into fantasy, horror and sci-fi realms, all the while feeding our need to let it all out; one brutal blast beat at a time. In the long run, you’re going to have to face reality and it’s probably not the healthiest thing to push things away for long. But in the meantime, here are some records that have always seemed to do the trick for me.

Cannibal Corpse – "The Bleeding"
Sure, there are more seminal, “important” Cannibal Corpse records, (“Tomb Of The Mutilated” “Butchered at Birth”), but when it comes down to pure adrenaline-fueling, barbaric, meat and potatoes death metal, I choose The Bleeding every time. With this record, OG Corpse vocalist Christopher Barnes went deeper into the world of fucked, channeling his inner serial killer with lyrics to songs like, “Force Fed Broken Glass.” Much like the most sadistic slasher film you’ve seen, it helps if you don’t take this too serious.

Nile – "Annihilation of the Wicked"
As far as death metal goes, there’s not a whole ton of bands that completely live outside of the grotesque, vile and somewhat depraved world of torture, death, decay, or, you know, zombies. Greenville, North Carolina’s death metal pride and joy, Nile, have created a completely different dimension through their body of work, channeling a deep passion and knowledge for ancient Egyptian history to work alongside their insanely punishing onslaught of savage proportions. Forget your troubles by delving deep into the Middle East.

Necrophagist - "Epitaph"
Here’s an album that is so insanely technical is doesn’t allow you to think. If the two previous albums weren’t providing adequate death metal therapy for yourself, and you’re still wrapped up in that fucked up head of yours, consider jumping into this 2004 tech-death masterpiece. Consider this your last resort.

Everyone deals with this kind of shit their own way. Why not choose to get lost in one of the only things you can really count on?