I've thought about this a lot. There are quite a few albums that I consider favorites that I don't even listen to anymore, because I've spun them so many times they are permanently a part of my brain. I really wish I could catch amnesia, or go back in time and have them blow my mind for the first time. Here are mine, what are yours?
1) Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
This album fucking destroyed me the first time I heard it. I consider this the greatest album ever written.
2) Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King
I ordered this way back in the day when it was $7 on Amazon. I needed to throw something extra in the cart to get free shipping, clicked the 10 second sample of the title track, and was sold. Hadn't even heard of the band. Still the apex of aggression and melodicism in perfect proportions.
3) Opeth - Blackwater Park
I hardly ever listen to Opeth anymore, but for a solid 18 months of my life they ruled my world. They were my gateway band to extreme metal (not really a unique story , lots of people in the same boat). I had heard shit like Cannibal Corpse before and was a staunch "If it's not clean singing I don't want it" dude, then I heard Bleak and it really opened my eyes.
4) Death - The Sound of Perseverance
Fuck, I don't ever listen to Death anymore, but there was a time when I was absolutely obsessed with this record. There was a month where I would listen to Voice of the Soul every night before falling asleep.
5) Judas Priest - Stained Class
I don't really know where the years went on this. I used to know every nuance of this record. Never listen to it anymore, but there was a time where this was THE Priest record to me. Listened to it so fucking much.
Cannibal Corpse - Vile
DRI - All
Dead Kennedys - All
Sepultura - Arise
Megadeth - rust in peace.
EDIT - fuck i can't believe i forgot about Black Flag Damaged.
each of one these albums opened my eyes to the genres they are associated with. and each holds a special place in my heart and my riff library.