For those who are interested, Stylus Magazine has a pretty cool Beginner’s Guide to Metal feature. They cover death, black, grindcore, and doom metal, offering lists of classics in each subgenre. This is the serious shit — you won’t find any Metallica or Dream Theater in here. As someone who came to these forms of extreme metal pretty recently (2003 or so), I find these lists of earlier albums useful. I do, though, tend to get turned off by the gritty, thin production quality of a lot of early metal albums, but I’ll have to try out a few of these that I haven’t yet heard.
On an unrelated note (or not, depending on how close you think this band falls to metal), this concert review has one of the best descriptions I’ve ever read of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’s music and spectacle. Kudos to that writer.