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Old 05-30-2014, 11:25 AM
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Spiner's 50 Essential Old-School Classics

In an era dominated by extreme vocals, excessive speed, and bands trying to one-up each other in brutality, songwriting often gets lost in the mix. I am among the biggest proponents of great songwriting, and the 80's and early 90's were full of it. What follows are 50 albums that are criminally underrated because they're either completely unknown, overshadowed by better/more popular albums by the same band, or just ignored because many people still haven't gotten around to the classics yet. It's likely you are familiar with a lot of these bands or albums, but if you've never listened to them, now is the time to start!

This list is somewhat in order. The top 10 are way better than 40-50, but there's not necessarily a specific reason as to why album 34 is ranked above 35. Without further rambling, let's get things kicked off with:

50. Danton - Way of Destiny (Germany, 1988, Heavy Metal)



Why you need to hear this: Are you a fan of Accept? (Hint: the answer is yes!) This band features Peter Dirkscheider on vocals, and the brother of the more legendary frontman Udo sounds pretty much as you would expect. The music on this album doesn't rival "Balls to the Wall", but this record is another great headbanging experience with some of the most nasally vocals in existence.

Recommended track: Stalingrad
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10/10 - Sabaton/Amon Amarth (?)
10/17 - Satan
10/18 - King Diamond
11/7 - Artillery/Onslaught
11/27 - DTA/Obituary/Massacre

Last edited by Spiner202; 05-30-2014 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:46 PM
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49. Mortifer - Euthanasia (Russia, 1993, Thrash Metal)



Why you need to hear this: The discussion of Russian thrash usually begins and ends with Shah. Though Mortifer were a bit later on the scene, they were just as good. "Euthanasia", their debut record, is overflowing with great riffs. This album is a bit simplistic at times, but there is no lack of aggression, and the vocals fit right in with what many Brazilian bands did just a few years earlier. The tempos can get pretty frantic, as do the guitar solos.

Recommended track: Euthanasia
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10/17 - Satan
10/18 - King Diamond
11/7 - Artillery/Onslaught
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:26 PM
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Aspid is best Russian thrash band
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9/27 Dispirit
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapguitarer View Post
Aspid is best Russian thrash band
Totally forgot about those guys, but that is probably because of my aversion to non-English metal. There's nothing wrong with it, but I just have a hard time listening to metal that isn't in English.
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:05 AM
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48. Sword - Metalized (Canada, 1986, Heavy Metal)



Why you need to hear this: "F.T.W. (Follow The Wheel)" alone is worth the price of admission. The main riff of this song is one of my favourite metal riffs. Most of the album follows suit, though things can get a bit softer at times; generally though, these songs are more upbeat. The band's vocalist can easily switch between a more reserved, standard singing style, and some wicked screams. They aren't so much the falsetto or harsh screams, but more the really emotional type. The guitar solos on this album are really well constructed. Even though they consist of a lot of shredding, there are a lot of unique patterns that don't really sound like they were lifted from another solo or band.

Bonus Info: The follow-up, "Sweet Dreams", is not anywhere near as good. It's not bad, it's just that the songs aren't really all that captivating (other than "The Trouble Is"). Still, if you like "Metalized", I'd give it a shot.

Recommended track: F.T.W.
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10/10 - Sabaton/Amon Amarth (?)
10/17 - Satan
10/18 - King Diamond
11/7 - Artillery/Onslaught
11/27 - DTA/Obituary/Massacre
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapguitarer View Post
Aspid is best Russian thrash band
It's a fact.
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:20 AM
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This might just become my favorite thread
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:29 AM
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47. Sindrome - Into The Halls of Extermination (1987, Thrash Metal, USA) / Vault of Inner Conscience (1991, Thrash Metal, USA)





Why you need to hear these: These two demos are amongst the best thrash has to offer, certainly from bands that never went past the demo stage. Each of them presents 5 tracks of death/thrash madness. The former demo is definitely less extreme, but for 1987, it is still quite intense. By 1991, Sindrome realized they needed something more brutal to compete, and "Vault of Inner Conscience" is both far heavier and more technical. The bass drums are huge, and they make every riff that much heavier. The guitar solos are a lot more frequent and more frenzied. Vocalist Troy Dixler is great because, although his voice is really heavy, he's still grounded in thrash. You can always understand what he's saying. His vocals (and the band themselves, for that matter) sound like they belong in the Texas thrash scene moreso than where they're from, Illinois. While the second demo is better, both are essential listening for thrash fanatics.

These two demos are the first of 4 demos that make this list, and the first of 3 times where I'll be putting more than one release under a specific number.

Bonus Info: Both demos are available for free from the band's website! http://www.sindrome.net/

Recommended tracks: Into The Halls of Extermination, Cathedral of Ice, Descending Into Madness, Extra Sensory Warning (E.S.W.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalIsArt View Post
This might just become my favorite thread
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10/18 - King Diamond
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:48 AM
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46. Gomorrah - Reflections of Inanimate Matter (Death Metal, UK, 1994)



Why you need to hear this: Aside from the fact that this is a really catchy death metal record, what Gomorrah offers that 99% of other metal bands don't is stellar bass playing. In fact, this album has probably my favourite bass performance of any death metal record. Bassist John Clark is always easy to hear, but it is the way he throws in cool lines that really make this record memorable. Check out 3:35 in "Human Trophies" for one example. It isn't even necessarily that these lines are particularly complex, but just the fact that they stand out. This album is also wicked because the vocalist has a bit of similarity to Kam Lee's performance on the first Massacre album. His growls are huge. Overall, this album stands out just because it manages to be different, while still being very true to what death metal began as.

Recommended tracks: Sewer-Cide and Human Trophies
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10/10 - Sabaton/Amon Amarth (?)
10/17 - Satan
10/18 - King Diamond
11/7 - Artillery/Onslaught
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:46 AM
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45. Deathrow - Deception Ignored (Germany, 1988, Thrash Metal)



Why you need to hear this: This album is completely strange. While it has plenty of "normal" thrash moments, it also has no restraint on limits on its technicality or willingness to include weirder ideas. If you are familiar with Deathrow's first two (also great) records, be warned that this is not like those. Whereas those albums were rough around the edges, "Deception Ignored" is much more polished. The rhythms are incredibly tight, as these musicians have improved quite a bit in just a year's time. There's a surprising amount of melody on this record, but it is often displayed in the form of bizarre leads. I am by no means a fan of technical thrash metal, but even I will admit that "Deception Ignored" is an essential thrash record.

Bonus Info: This long out of print classic was recently reissued by one of my favourite labels: Divebomb Records! It looks like it isn't in their store anymore for some reason, but there's sure to be plenty of legitimate copies floating around in various distros.

Recommended tracks: Triocton and The Deathwish
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10/18 - King Diamond
11/7 - Artillery/Onslaught
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