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|Metal: Cult Classics Pt. I|
This is the first part of another list related to metal (my apologies for my unilateral approach of late, but it's the genre I've recently been exploring the most).
Each time, this will be a quick overview of 10 albums that are highly regarded in and have somewhat of a following in the more "underground" (maybe not the best way to describe it, since the albums aren't all 'that' obscure either) side of the genre. I decided to use albums that, at the time of writing, have less than 100 votes.
Which other albums have the same kind of status and could be included among these?
Deathcult for Eternity: The Triumph
Mexico's "melodic death metal" stalwarts, but don't mistake them for Gothenburg melodeath. The Chasm is a band that wears their Mexican heritage on their sleeves, which is evident in the Aztec-inspired imagery they use on their covers (which are of course notorious for their Photoshop-like approach, which weirdly enough is part of their charm) as well as in their actual music - without resorting to mariachi music. The band makes self-professed "metal de la muerte", which in their case doesn't mean gore lyrics, but compositions involving numerous riff styles, a gritty production job, an overall hypnotizing feel, spectral background melodic leads that are designed to transport your spirit and a vocalist (the great Daniel Corchado) who growls, screams, shouts and yells like an undead Aztec warrior.
Deathcult for Eternity is one of the band's highlights.
Will Of The Gods Is Great Power
One of Russia's metallic treasures (next to the Walknut and Aspid albums), this is country's take on so-called "epic doom metal". What's different from a lot of bands playing this style, is that Scald actually manages to sound "epic". Dirge-like doom riffs, crawling melodic leads form a superb backbone for the album's main selling point: the vocals by the late and great Agyl. Seemingly holding back and choking on his own words at some times, while being able to soar like a m*therfucker at other times, the dude had a never duplicated nor replicated style of singing. Another thing that enhances the overall atmosphere is that the vocals sound exceptionally distant, in a way that it evokes images of hearing faraway howls while being lost with your ship in the middle of the Baltic Sea.
Paradise Belongs to You
Denmark's spin on the famed "Peaceville doom/death" sound. A snowy woods-like vibe, sweeping melodic leads and a vocalist who's vox have often been compared to Bigfoot. What's not to like?
Described as "viking metal", never mind the fact that the band actually writes from the perspective of Anglo-Saxon knights fighting AGAINST the vikings. Sound-wise, I think these guys have a bit of an Arghoslent vibe going on: traditional/NWOBHM inspired riffs coupled with rugged growls. Only they had some folk and equally rugged-sounding clean vocals in the mix as well.
This mixture proves to be addictive like crack. Steadfast is their career high point imho.
New Dark Age
Like Forefather above, Solstice is a band that has a distinctly ancient Anglo-Saxon flavored way of playing metal. On New Dark Age, the band lets their love for English folk shine through in their epic doom sound. Thank fuck this doesn't result in the "tapdancing happy go lucky cider in your right hand and your left hand on the maid's arse" stuff bands like Korpiklaani churn out. In Solstice's case, the folk-influence comes through in the sweeping epic leads, the awkward but ancient-sounding lyrics and vocal style, as well as in some actual introspective straight up folk interludes. New Dark Age is a doom record that actually sounds medieval as it evokes images of bloody battles on endless marshlands and distant shores.
The self-described Chicago merchants of "murder metal", Macabre focus their subject matter on serial killers, at times use nursery rhymes in their melodies and make use of absolutely batshit insane vocals - from deep grunts to high pitched "girly" yells. Sinister Slaughter is considered by many to be their "classic" album; grindcore that manages to be quirky as well as unsettling at the same time.
Pagan Altar is one of those bands that manages to create an almost "ancient" vibe. Their extremely potent mixture of Sabbathy doom riffs and NWOBHM leads coupled with Terry Jones' almost goat-like vocals has proven to be a tasty recipe for connoisseurs of occult-flavored heavy metal. You can't go wrong with any of their albums as they all rule. Volume 1 (aka "Judgement of the Dead") just managed to win the coin toss.
Hunengrab im herbst
Von Meilenwald's (of The Ruins of Beverast fame) first "black metal" project was (like the aforementioned project) one that already didn't play black metal like any other band. Atmospheric, ambient...even industrial elements all shine through in the band's sound. Aside from that this is a German black metal album that actually manages to sound DEUTSCH. And not only because they sing in German - for some reason the vibe on this album is one that manages to portray visions of the country's haunting, yet colorful fields, grassy hills and forgotten towns.
Khaooohs And Kon-Fus-Ion
One of Dan Swanö's projects, so you know it's gonna rule. Doomish death metal, bluesy and jazzy guitar solo's, unintelligible gibberish vocals, a fucking saxophone and completely self-invented Lovecraft-like subject matter...this is metal from an extraterrestrial realm.
Khaooohs And Kon-Fus-Ion is Pan.Thy.Monium's swansong and imo their finest work.
Apparently the band themselves hate this album and I can't figure out why, because this turned out to be their most unique release as well as a bonafide cult classic. Top shelf tech-thrash with labyrinthian, maze-like compositions that will put you in a trance-like state of mind. Once you've solved this puzzle of an album, you'll end up grinning like one of the freaks on the cover.
|This is the first part. There's a whole bunch of others I have waiting in line.|
If you guys have any suggestions, feel free to discuss.
|A few others in the vein of 10 that don't have many votes:|
Protector - Misanthropy and Golem
Living Death - Protected from Reality
Holy Moses - Finished with the Dogs
Assassin - The Upcoming Terror
|Great list dude! Some good stuff on here, a few I need to check out. 7 and 10 are especially great.|
|Forefather is boring|
|The Chasm is good shit|
|4 and 8 both slay, gotta hear 1-3 and 6 hard.|
|Nagelfar rules so much.|
I've listened to the Protector, Holy Moses and Assassin albums quite some time ago. So I should give them another listen to form a solid opinion on them. From what I remember, those albums all rule. Never checked out the Living Death one tho
|props for #5 & #7|
|Very cool series of lists, I'll check some of these out one day (probably no.2 as the first one, since I really like epic doom).|
|props for 7|
|1 is amazing, will need to check the rest of these m/|
|You're going to like Deception Ignored, New Dark Age and Will of the Gods is Great Power. |
|Props for 8 and 9 hard. m/|