Great Pessimistic Albums

I would suggest Closer goes a long way past pessimism.

Godflesh - pure
Big star- third/sister lovers
All the grunge lads/ladies

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Smog - The Doctor Came at Dawn


lyrically everything by Devo i suppose


Think Aenima by Tool would fit the bill. Certainly the title song as well as Eulogy, Hooker with a Penis, Stinkfist and Pushit are all pretty much condemning humanity in one way or another.


Oh yeah, I tried them a couple years ago I think based off of your recommendation. Lots of great day ruiners on that album.

Yeah, On the Beach has been one of my favorite discoveries of the past couple years, Ambulance Blues instantly became one of my favorites of his. It’s weird how I never really explored his 70s albums but owned Greendale and Living with War. I’ve been saving up the rest, I’m excited to move on to Tonight’s the Night with the listening club soon.

One of my favorite albums ever, it feels very under appreciated here. Hopefully we get to do a Tool HGATR. I never really thought about the album in that way, but yeah, if you add everything up together it certainly does.


Daughters- You Won’t Get What You Want

From the title downwards, this album is suffocating. The final two songs, Ocean Song and Guest House, seal it. In Ocean Song, the narrator has this nameless desire to fun away as far as possible. In Guest House, they arrive at somewhere they are desperate to enter but can’t.


There’s an entire black metal sub genre that’s about as bleak and pessimistic as you can get!
DSBM (Depressive Suicidal Black Metal)


I’ve never heard these guys before. That was brilliant.

Elliott Smith seems to fit into this. “Oh Well OK” is about as positive as it gets.


Yeah, I wouldn’t have thought about it as ‘pessimistic’ either, but when this thread came up it came to mind. I see this album as airing Maynard’s negative views of humanity, and Lateralus as the positive, optimistic counterpoint.

Anyway, yes, it is an amazing album. Astonishing when it came out, and still sounds great today. Should definitely be appreciated more…

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Glad you enjoyed that. Their album was one of my favourites of last year. As a bonus they’re from the derelict city where my wife was born.

I love the Moon and Antarctica so muich. The Lonesome Crowded West is also very pessimistic, in a more localised, earthy way. It’s like they escaped their shitty local environment and grinding poverty by the time of the Moon and Antarctica, then decided the whole universe was just as bleak.

Killing Joke have been disgusted at humanity for 40 years now.

Quasi going for a lighter, more snarky pessimism


Great call. There was a 5th album I had been meaning to post in the OP that I couldn’t remember, and now I’m realizing it might have been From a Basement on the Hill.

That’s a really good way of putting it. Probably a big part of why they’ll always likely be my second favorite band.

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