|101 Forgotten & Unknown Death Metal Records|
I plan on doing a list for every major subgenre of metal over the next few weeks, I'm kicking it off with my personal favorite, death metal. Every album on this list has less than 15 votes and each one I consider to be at least a 3.5+ - no fluff, no filler, just great LPs and EPs that for whatever reason not many people have heard. Let's go to death metal school Sputnik.
Disclaimer: I broke the 15 rating rule a few times here, but for good reason.
A Necessary Evil
This is one of the best death metal records I've ever heard, it truly is. These Aussies deliver crushing guitar tone, riff after glorious riff, killer solos, a bombastic drum performance and they have monster song-writing abilities to boot. This is a perfect storm of talent and execution, yet it remains one of the more unknown early 90's death metal records - I even had to add it to the database here, so I'm assuming almost no one here has heard this one. Do yourself a favor and remedy that immediately. Bear in mind that this Youtube rip has sub-par sound quality, seek out a good download to properly immerse yourself in this one.
Drawings of the Dead
One of the few groups that mixes acoustic guitars into death metal properly making for a fairly unique listen. It's a pummeling 35 minute listen from one of the best and most under-appreciated groups of the mid 90's.
Those Who Have Lost The Right To Exist
Not often do you see clean vocals incorporated into death metal successfully, but this album truly delivers and is better than its 3.5 rating here.
Rituals of Silence
This is just no frills, classic, brutal OSDM that can hang with the best of its time period and has held up rather well over nearly a quarter century.
This is one of my absolute favorite death metal records of all time, it ticks all of the boxes - technical ability, great vocals, constant riffs, and shining moments of creativity and melody.
I can't believe this has no ratings here - this sounds like the bastard offspring of Demilich and Gorguts, do you really need more information than that?
Ether For Scapegoat
This one seems to be getting a little attention around here lately, but hopefully this will fan those flames - Japanese doomy death metal that rules.
Thrashy-death metal that riffs for days. This is one the best early examples of extreme technical ability in a death metal group, very worth your time. Some members also went on to form the excellent melodic death metal group Autumn Leaves and the power metal titans Pyramaze.
Assuming the Godform
The best band Jeff Loomis has ever been involved with, such a shame they only put out one record. Crunchy, fast, technical (big surprise there).
|10||Lunatic Gods (SLO)|
Inhuman & Insensible
This is a weird one, I'd guess I'd call it avantgarde or experimental death metal - they incorporate some strange instrumentation and clean vocals sporadically throughout the record but it really works well. The clean vocals may be a bit of a turn-off to some, but I dig it.
Desert of Shattered Hopes
One of the most shamefully unknown great US death metal records ever made. This thing is an easy 4.5 for anyone who likes death metal, get on this. I can't believe it has no ratings here, neither does their other record which also rules but has a bit more of a brutal approach.
This straddles the fence between death and doom metal, but it's good enough to be included on either list, a must hear for fans of either genre's earlier output.
Beyond, What the Eyes Can't See
Judecca's material is tough to find on the internet, but it's classic OSDM just done very well. They reinvent nothing, they aren't terribly creative, they just beat you over the head with killer death metal.
Burn the Promised Land
Both this album and the one that followed are some of the most intense and expertly played blackened death metal to come out of South America. This Brazilian group is just furious.
Throne of Anguish
One of the best death metal EPs I know of, and another I had to add to the database, this is both technical and brutal with excellent vocals and drumming.
Another great record that I had to add to the database - this Ohio based death metal outfit produced one of the best pieces of late 90's metal here but no one ever seemed to notice.
Floridian death metal that never got as much attention as their peers, probably due to this EP being their sole output aside from some demos. Really good stuff from the golden year of 1993.
Hymns to a God Forgotten
Odd, occult death metal from South Africa. Yeah, South Africa. Anyway, it's pretty sweet, check it out.
When the Memories are Free
Solid slab of death from the Czech Republic, nothing too original here, but it's definitely worthy of being included here.
Russian death metal that feels a lot like Deicide in certain respects, mostly the drumming - definitely check this one out if you can find it.
Brutal, unrelenting Polish death metal with some of the best vocals in the genre.
The Gloomy Reflection of Our Hidden Sorrows
This is the Cenotaph that matters, the other brutal death one is just alright, but this Mexican outfit was the real deal. This is some seriously dark, pummeling stuff.
Hope Finally Died...
The UK isn't the biggest hotbed for death metal, but every once in a while you can find gems like this hidden away in their history. Hope Finally Died... is an awesome death/doom album from front to back.
De Natura Daemonum
One of the best "modern" death metal records no one ever caught wind of. Peru isn't exactly known for putting out death metal classics, but this bands entire catalog is worth hearing. Not to be confused with the Mortem in the following post.
This band eventually became one of personal favorite bands of all time, Arcturus. However, before they were creating some of the best avantagarde black metal around, they were a rather competent Norwegian death metal group. The Slow Death demo is the only they ever put out under this name, but it's worth picking up.
Psycho One Hundred
Excellent death/grind stuff out of the Netherlands from the mid-90's with some excellent artwork and a weird 5 part song with clean female vocals towards the backside of the album. It sounds odd, but it's also kind of cool.
Exaltation of the Eclipse
Another criminally under-appreciated record from the mid 90's, this Belgian group produced a seriously great record here. Their follow up wasn't quite as great, but check this out.
Some of the finest death/thrash around and it has zero ratings here, the album intro rules too.
The Pain Tears
Primal Brazilian death metal with a low rumbling guitar tone and shouty far-away vocals, it rules.
Evoking the Abomination
Speaking of Brazilian death metal, this is some of the most intense stuff I've ever heard - this is absolutely barbaric warp-speed blackened death metal that never relents.
Straightforward German death metal done right, not much more to say here.
Pull The Flood
Proggy death metal from the UK with a lot of groove and awesome guitar leads.
French death metal that absolutely rips. Obituary-ish vocals, dark atmospheres and boatloads of riffs and blast-beats.
Really obscure German death that has a sludgy, almost post-metal tinge to their sound at times. This is an excellent record, again with no ratings whatsoever.
Another great slab of death featuring Asphyx frontman Martin van Drunen, need I say more? Ok, I will. Their first album had the original Entombed vocalist, and their third the vocalist from Morgoth. Comecon was a revolving door of vocal powerhouses and featured a drum machine.
The only band I've ever heard from the country of Georgia, and they rule. This is also the only record on this list from this decade. It's obscenely overlooked, so much so that it wasn't in the database until just now.
Death metal from Nebraska that's actually good, well that's different.
Labyrinth of Thoughts
One of the most odd death metal albums I've ever heard, it definitely falls into the experimental category. It rules, thought it feels overly ambitious at times.
Preach Eternal Gospels
This is massively overlooked compared to their first LP which is also truly excellent. It's a great chunk of material before they unleashed their underground classic Immense, Intense Suspense.
Whirler of Fate
"Epic" death metal. Caduicty as far as I know are the only ones to label themselves as such, and they feel particularly "epic", but this is great stuff regardless.
Monastyr has some of the most evil sounding vocals I've heard in the death metal realm, Never Dreaming is super dark and suffocating, it should be heard.
A Forgotten Dream
Mid-paced, slightly symphonic, melodic death metal that has some excellent tracks and riffs all over this.
Return to Mystery
There are too many bands with this name. I had to add this one to the database too, I'm surprised because I felt like it was better known than it apparently is. Great Floridian death with an awesome atmosphere.
No ratings on this either, I consider these guy to make the best brutal death metal in the business. The follow up to this album is my favorite material from them, but this is a shame that this one has NO ratings.
Wow, what a great little EP this is. Some of the best underground Swedish death there is.
This is downright nasty, evil, ominous, occult stuff. Again I had to add it here, so make sure to check this obscure piece of death out.
Necromantic Love Songs
An excellent EP from this forgotten Netherlands group and easily the best material they've ever put out. This thing has absolutely killer riffs on it and some of the best bass playing/recording of the era.
Twisting Depths of Horror
This EP and the follow up LP are some of the best bits of death metal ever manufactured in Australia. Get on this. Again, I had to had this band and these releases here.
Massacre The Holy
More stuff I added here, a killer tape from the mid-90's with fast riffs, cool acoustic passages and some actually good sound clips.
Engraved In Black
It actually upsets me that this record never received the acclaim it deserves, it's easily in my top 10 death metal records ever, and features some of the best riffs, songwriting, and vocals of any record I've ever heard.
|51||Horror of Horrors|
Sounds of Eerie
Ugly cover, ain't it? That's kind of the appeal though for me, this music is equally as ugly and heavy. This is a monstrous release, check it.
A Dance on the Grave
This is just flat out incredible death metal with some of the best use of keyboards I can remember. Stop wasting time, listen to it.
Nothing But Hatred
Another of my personal favorites here, I found this CD for a buck in middle school and thought the album art ruled and it melted my face off when I listened to it. This was my first proper exposure to death metal and what a good one it was. Blistering speed, ravenous, rabid vocals and furious drumming, it's all around killer record.
Indicium De Mortuis
German death done right, featuring one of my favorite vocal performances in the genre - not for uniqueness, but it's just a perfect representation of how I think vocals should sound for the most part on OSDM records.
These guys only recorded one full length, but it's a great release and has a bit of an Immolation vibe that I really love.
The Microbiological Revolution
This is a really obscure Russian demo tape of an early technical death metal outfit, but they really rule. I wish the sound quality was better because the songs slay and they don't particularly sound like anyone else. Listen for the excellence buried beneath the quality, it's there in spades.
Messages from the Place of the Dead
Another killer demo tape - this time from Greece.
Season of Sorrows
Gorgeous death metal with doom and gothic tinges, it's a shame this band never made it out of the demo stage, they really could have been special. Listen to those leads!
This band eventually became Darkane, but before that they were actually kind of cool and more straight-up death metal.
|60||Altar and Cartilage|
Ex Oblivione / The Fragile Concept Of Affection
Here's a great split album - two bands who never really went anyway, but left a great piece of death metal in their wake.
Passage of Life
How did I forget this? How does this meet the criteria of having under 15 ratings? Some of Sweden's best death metal here, get on this.
What for Name, When Humanity Is Dying
Slovakian mid-90's progressive death metal. It's definitely different, I dig it.
This has 16 votes, so it's justttt outside of the criteria, but it's too good to not include.
Hatred and Disgust
Tremendous death/doom from New York with ripping, fiery guitar solos and Morbid Angel-ish vocals.
Underrated death metal from the UK, and this is their finest effort by a country mile.
|66||Liers In Wait|
Spiritually Uncontrolled Art
I can believe this isn't a classic - I know it's short as hell, but this EP packs more awesomeness into it than most full lengths. Super fast Swedish death metal.
Typical Swedish death here, but it's well done, so...listen to it.
Dawn of Dreams
There is absolutely no reason this should be under 15 ratings...are you kidding? Listen to this you assholes. One of the best progressive death metal albums of all time.
Holy shit, another record I assumed was just a "classic" because it should be and yet it has 8 ratings. Sputnik metal crowd, I've been disappointed in you so many times on this list. Some of the best bass moments on a death metal album I've ever heard, listen to their other EP as well, it's essential stuff.
In The Forest Of The Dreaming Dead
It's not as great as its successor, but the debut from Unanimated is no joke, this record rules too. An easy 4+ here.
A cool demo tape with a lot of nice melodic leads and crunch to it.
More Netherlands greatness, this is a clinic in true heaviness with an impressive drum performance.
Bleed For Us To Live
Super heavy, thundering death metal that feels like the precursor to the slam movement.
Carnival of Souls
I could have waited to put this on the thrash list, but this feel more death than thrash most of the time and it's too good not to just tell you about already.
This is evil, fast, and heavy. A great chunk of disgusting Swiss death metal with riffs-aplenty.
Crunchy, reverby, demo-tape from this obscure group who only released a handful of demos, this being the best of the bunch.
Not sure why this band doesn't get more attention or love, this is an excellent effort, as is the follow up LP.
Plunge Into Oblivion
Awesome Swedish death with some grind influence that is wrongly represented by the single rating given here, this is a near 4 easily.
I hate their band name, but this record is too cool to ignore, these riffs are ridiculously sick.
Solstice of Oppression
Another that justtt broke the rule for under 15 votes by 1 vote but it still needs to be here, this is a should be classic of the genre.
Far Beyond Divine Horizons
This album rules so hard, why didn't it ever get its due? Non-stop riffs, insane vocals, bombastic drums and awesome cover art.
Just heavy as hell, death n' roll styled stuff that pulls no punches.
Theurgia Goetia Summa
The most black metal death metal band around, these guys bring the evil. This, again, has one more rating than 15, but who cares, just check it, it's a solid compilation of all of their early material.
Really good proggy death metal that succeeded hard with a lot of their experimentation, definitely make it a point to check this one out.
I keep breaking my 15 rating rule by 1 vote, but hey, this is one of the few metal albums I've ever 5'd. You should definitely listen to it, and everything else in their discography before it. All of their material preceding this ruled too.
Five Across the Eyes
Super technical drumming, fast riffs and monstrous gutteral vocals make for an awesome record (and entire discography really), their debut is equally as good if not better and Grime also slays.
This is brutality incarnate, the speed on this record is nigh unparalleled, just non-stop intensity from beginning to end.
I recommend this album every time someone wants new death metal to listen to. Some of the sickest riffs ever are on here, and it's got a spacey/cyber vibe to it that I can't get enough of. The level of intensity on this thing is immense as well, and it even has some non-cheesy symphonic elements.
Reflections of the Solstice
Another really evil death metal record here, and with 16 votes again, ugh, this is a great early slice of blackened death/doom.
Rest in Peace
I always assume everyone has heard this for some reason, but its never the case. Check it out, really good stuff with super low end vocals.
The Source of Dominion
Fast, chunky, riff-centric death metal that carries the typical Swedish sound of the early 90's. They could hand with the best of them.
The Bowels of Repugnance
A 3.3 Sputnik, are you high? This is one of the best early gory death metal records.
Another 16 rating rule-breaker, who cares at this point, we're 93 albums in. This is yet another stellar slab of death/doom. They share a member with the awesome Viogression too.
Expound and Exhort
Speaking of Viogression, you guys seem to have neglected to rate these guys more than twice as well. Definitely give them a listen, great record that is very reminiscent of Obituary.
Reign of Lunacy
One of the unknown great acts from Canada, their sole full length in the 90's was awesome. They just made a comeback album this year but I haven't heard it yet.
Another criminally under-appreciated gem from Indiana.
As the Angels Weep
Some of the best and heaviest death/doom of the 90's, this little EP is a crusher.
Almost forgot this one. It's another forgotten masterpiece, I love this record.
Beyond the Veil
Some of the darkest, most tortured death metal vocals ever are on this thing. Everything here rules, it's a solid 4+. Get everything from this band.
Ashore the Celestial Burden
I tout this one everywhere on here, even if it has 18 votes, who cares, this is something I'm still trying to push on everyone, one of the best records ever recorded in the death/doom realm - to me it is THE best.
Let's cap this off with one of my all time favorite demo tapes from a Canadian band who unfortunately disappeared after this solitary release.