|Metal: Cult Classics Pt. VII|
Long time no see. Therefore, you'll get 25 inclusions this time (and a bonus one - 25 just rolls better off the tongue).
Walking the grey area between thrash and old school death metal; Rigor Mortis debut sets out to create a vibe of 80's video nasty horror. Strangely the lyrics aren't the main ingredient in conveying this specific atmosphere - despite the lyrics of course being appropriately schlocky - rather it's the weird, mangled riffs Mike Scaccia manages to churn out that create this feeling of dirt and dread. One of Texas' finest!
This is the point where Dodheimsgard filters their black metal heritage through a canvas of Skinny Puppy-like nightmarishness; creating a work of paranoia-inducing madness. Aldrahn's vocal work is aptly warped and demented; the songwriting completely unpredictable.
Later on, A Umbra Omega would prove that Dodheimsgard's one of the finest avant garde metal bands in the scene.
Classic metal with a mystical, almost spectral aura - this little EP remains the best work Warlord has created and features some of the greatest traditional heavy metal put on tape.
Back when all eyes were pointed at the second wave black metal scene going on in Scandinavia, our Czech friends were already busy creating their own version of the genre. Rooted in traditional metal, but with the adding of ghostly keyboards and downright chillingly ghoulish vocals that more resemble a phantom wailing at you while you're taking a stroll through never-ending fields in an obscure country, Master's Hammer created an essential black metal cult favorite.
Italy doesn't have the reputation for being home to a large metal scene, but when Italian metal hits, it hits hard. Dark Quarterer's self titled is a cult favorite that dubbed them the "fathers of epic progressive". Despite the zero production values, the songwriting is unbelievably vast in its scope, creating a mystic aural experience.
|6||Grand Belial's Key|
Despite their sketchy reputation, GBK is known for being one of the - if not the - greatest USBM bands in the business. Judeobeast Assassination was already a classic in its style; Kosherat is strike two. The band's mixture of black and death metal spiced up with more than a few influences from punk and an almost progressive sense of riff-writing, proves to be an infectious combination.
Excellent as the two predecessors were, this is Sinister's finest hour imho. The face crushing death metal is once again intact, but this time an occult-like atmosphere as well as some downright original atonal riffing is introduced. Don't sleep on this!
Enjoy the Violence
Known back in the days for being one of the most crushing exporters of unabashed death-thrash, this band's second effort is their peak. While it may not reinvent the wheel, Massacra sounds recognizable enough to have their own character. Enjoy the Violence is a plate of death-thrash cooked to perfection.
Metal from Hell
Probably more known for his work with Jag Panzer, Harry Conklin's second project Satan's Host is also one not to be missed. Creating USPM with an evil aura and a frantic instrumentation and an unhinged sense of vocal delivery otherwise only found in the extreme metal genres, Satan's Host's debut is and will always be a love-hate affair. Yes, the production is absolute gash, but on the other hand, it adds tons to the vibe.
An overlooked industrial metal diamond in the rough. Somewhere between Godflesh and Neurosis, Red Harvest created some of industrial metal's most vast and desolate soundscapes with HyBreed.
Forward to Termination
Another Canadian thrash classic. Balls out thrash with completely unhinged vocal work - as it should be.
Hilarious to some; majestic to others. Fenriz' folk metal side project has always been the subject of divisive opinions. My opinion: this has got tons more identity, authenticity and character than the sugary buffoonery the term "folk metal" is so often associated with.
Following the majestic Mystic Places of Dawn, Septicflesh went for strike two with the debut's logical continuation in Esoptron.
While their current orchestral death metal no doubt has got its audience, I pine for the days when the band created these long winding almost alien-like compositions. TL;DR : this is the Septicflesh I want to remember.
A Shedding of Skin
Another downright crushing slab of death-thrash. While the band toys with atmospheric interludes, this album is designed for melting your face off - and it succeeds in doing so I might add.
|15||Fear of God|
Within the Veil
Female metal vocalists don't necessarily have to end up in a band like Nightwish. Case in point: Dawn Crosby who delivered some of the most chilling vocal jobs on this thrash-meets-goth classic Within the Veil. No other band ever sounded like Fear of God did on this album.
Another submission to proof that Italian metal has its golden nuggets. Mortuary Drape make black metal filtered through the eyes of classic Italian 80's Fulci/Argento horror. Secret Sudaria is their finest hour. Hard to find nowadays, but maybe you'll get lucky like me and manage to find a reasonably prized copy that won't cost you a kidney.
Time Heals Nothing
While Crowbar's music sounds relatively simple on paper, there's just something about the delivery that always hits home. From the characteristic earth-shattering guitar tone to Kirk's anguished vocals...Crowbar have been creating the ultimate embodiment-of-manly-misery songs since their inception. Is Time Heals Nothing their absolute best? Not necessarily, but the album is another sublime testament to the latter fact.
Sadistic Intent will probably go down in history as the Los Angeles Chicano DM masters that never made a full length. What they did gave us however, are a few of the most hellish death metal EP's ever recorded. 24 minutes and 31 seconds is all you get; but they're enough to make you want to wash the infernal filth from your body.
The album that introduced the metal work to the legendary Attila Csihar. He may sound less disjointed here as he does on DMDS, but as it stands Tormentor's Anno Domini remains a ferocious trip to the black metal abyss.
Another trad metal cult favorite with tons of intensity and character. Black Death is an album filled to the brim with strong songwriting and a dirty yet almost nostalgic aura. Painfully underrated.
Of course, this mofo features the legendary unfuckwithable "I Bleed Black", but the other songs as well are classic Saint Vitus deliciousness. As far as I'm concerned, this is the second greatest Wino Vitus album after the equally unfuckwithable Born Too Late.
Vampires of Black Imperial Blood
Probably the most well known album from the "Les Legions Noires" scene...and imho also its best (because I'm a phone-in fuck like that). Feel free to step inside a lo-fi maelstrom of misery.
II: Crush The Insects
Reverend Bizarre's debut enjoys the justified reputation of being one of the greatest epic doom records of the 2000's. Downright superb as the debut is, this second effort is also not one to be missed. From the slow droning funereal tunes to the more uptempo bangers...no one else did barebones old school doom revival as Reverend Bizarre did at their prime.
...En Their Medh Riki Fara...
While Falkenbach would go on to release other magnificent works of viking metal, the empowering cryptic quality of the debut was never bettered. Groundbreaking in its style.
The Illusion Of Motion
One of the most consistent and characteristic doom bands of the new millennium. The Illusion Of Motion is the first record where all of the ingredients in YOB's unique sound...the ethereal guitar work...the diverse from-Ozzy-wails-to-piercing-screams-to-crushing-growls vocals...the almost cosmic atmosphere came full circle.
Not a full length or an EP, but rather a collection of Necrophobic's demo work and one of such exceptionally high quality that it stands as a confirmation to the statement that Necrophobic is one of Sweden's finest metallic exports of all time.