|Metal: Cult Classics Pt. XX|
Lying in Wait
The second record shows a slightly less thrashy side of the band and one that creeps closer to an alternative metal-influenced sound. Enough musical creativity to go around with a vocal performance that takes quite a bit of getting used to but ends up giving the record its needed strangely brooding effect.
Realm show for the second time why they're one of the technical thrash bands entirely worth your time. An assured effort with once again powerhouse vocal work.
Consume the Forsaken
Less vile than the former and without Matti Way's enigmatic gurgles, this is an altogether even riffier work that manages to create some of the best moments in brutal death metal.
Number two by O'Malley's finest business venture. More drawn-out droning doom, more of Alan Dubin's soul-destroying shrieks. Not for the lighthearted.
Out of Reach
A semi-forgotten NWOBHM classic, but definitely one of the finest from that particular era. It's basically Satan without Brian Ross, but again a well realized slab of classic metal.
Reek Of Pubescent Despoilment
Modern classic of brutal death metal which takes a more Cryptopsy-meets-Devourment approach to the style, featuring completely insane vocals by king-of-gutturals Blue Jensen.
Return to Heaven Denied
Beautifully atmospheric power metal that's light on the cheese. Superb musicianship, realized compositions and brilliant vocal work.
Veronika Decides to Die
Concept record from Denmark's reigning champions of melodic melancholic doom. Expert songwriting and atmosphere come together in a tragically sad package that's bound to make you feel like a pile of crap - in the best of ways.
Mighty & Superior
Side project from Solstice's Rich Walker and Twisted Tower Dire's Tony Taylor that was sadly cut short due to Tony Taylor's untimely death. What's left is an EP of two songs featuring some of the greatest epic heavy metal put to tape.
Gods Of War - At War
A masterful synthesis of Bathory-like epic extreme metal and Hellenic black metal. Melancholic yet epic, compositionally brilliant without sacrificing songwriting.
One of the greatest classic doom albums of the 2000's, courtesy of Cauldron Born's Howie Bentley and Hour of Thirteen's Phil Swanson. Sabbathian riffing and Swanson's typically atypical anxiety-ridden vocals in a Hammer Horror setting.
The Armor of Ire
Showing that USPM can still be fun and relevant well into the 2000's. This is a showcase of expert songwriting that's not to be slept on.
Another example why Deceased is one of the most underrated bands in metal despite boasting one of the consistently amazing discographies in the genre. Their wayward thrash-meets-death-meets-NWOBHM-meets-camp-horror sound refined.
The Dungeons are Calling
Back when they were still a straightforward USPM band, this EP nonetheless ranks among the greatest work of the band. Riffs, upper tier vocals and even more riffs.
Brave Murder Day-like melodic death/doom/goth clashes with influences from Dark Tranquillity's electronic-heavy latter era. A melancholy-heavy masterpiece.