The Best Heavy Metal Albums You've Never Heard Albums

The Best Heavy Metal Albums You've Never Heard

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Sure, we've all worn out our Ozzy and Iron Maiden albums - but if we dig a little deeper there are some real gems out there, just waiting to be discovered.

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    The Unreal Never Lived

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    Uncertain Future

    Before the term "grunge" became a catch-all slogan to describe any Alice In Chains or Pearl Jam rip-off, Seattle was first and foremost a Heavy Metal town. Mountlake Terrace thrashers, Forced Entry, should have been up there with the Big Four (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax). In fact, they were better than two of those four - much better. I'll leave it up to you to figure out who I mean, but their names rhyme with Smegadeth and Banthrax. These guys were like a combination of "Ride the Lightning" era Metallica and "Dimension Hatross" era Voivod. Sad that they never made it past their second full-length album, "As Above, So Below", which is easily as good as this one, their debut.
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    Born Again
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    The "forgotten" Sab album. This is the one after Dio left and Ian Gillan of Deep Purple stepped in. Highly underrated and undeservedly obscure. Highlights include "Zero the Hero", "Disturbing the Priest" and the atmospheric title track. Sadly, Gillan departed after this one phenomenal album.
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    Demon Entrails

    More a legend than a band (I think I ripped that off from The Flatlanders), Tom G. Warrior of Celtic Frost first groaned and moaned about killing, raping and puking in the name of Satan in the band Hellhammer under the name "Satanic Slaughter". Wretchedly underproduced and incredibly grating on the ears - and I mean that in a GOOD way. Seek it out IMMEDIATELY. Play it for your mom!
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    Beyond the Permafrost
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    Blackened Death-Thrash? Whatever. Call it what you will, this is the new guard of Metal and it rules. Fast, loud and scary.
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    What's this record all aboot? Oh, it's from Canada, eh? Heh. Devin Townsend has been produced some of the most complex and interesting music in the genre for some time now. Any SYL album will suffice - I just pulled this one out of the hat.
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    A Lullaby for the Devil

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    All of Voivod's amazing albums are underrated and under appreciated, in my opinion. Like the Strapping Young Lad record, I just randomly pulled up a Voivod disc - in this case, this woefully unheard second album. Motorhead/Venom worship with a tinge of the sci-fi progressive leanings they really started to experiment with on their next LP, "Killing Technology". This one, like the Hellhammer, is wonderfully Lo-Fi and gnarly as f**k. To The Death!
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    J Mascis of Dinosaur, Jr. fame plays drums in Witch, a great throwback to the early dinosaur days of Metal. Fuzzed-out guitars and wailing vocals over a pounding rhythm. Like Yob, this is almost psychedelic at times.
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    Embodiment: Collapsing Under the Weight of God

    Embodiment: Collapsing Under the Weight of God
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    Progressive Death Metal with some really interesting twists and turns. Released in 2008, this record is proof that piano can be a relevant instrument in Metal, if used correctly.
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    Emerald Vulture

    Pure, unadulterated sludge. Slow, painful and heavy as f**k. ARRRGGGHHH!!!
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    The genius of Mike Patton (Faith No More; Peeping Tom; Tomahawk; Mr. Bungle) combined with Melvins mainman, King Buzzo and Slayer skin-pounder, Dave Lombardo (plus the bass player, who I always forget - sorry, dude) produce some AMAZING music. Completely original and psychotic. Quite unforgettable and indescribable. Just go get it, or any of FanOmas's other albums.
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    Guilty as Charged

    Even before Forced Entry - before Queensryche! - Culprit were Seattle's reigning Metal kings. They only put out one album, but what an album! Sort of like early Iron Maiden but with a distinctly American feel. Hard to find but worth the search! Originally released in 1983, I believe.
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    Metridium Fields
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    I don't know what you would call Giant Squid. Weird, I guess. But who cares? This music is beautiful, heavy and totally original. Two vocalists, male and female, give this band a little something extra. I'd put 'em in roughly the same category as bands like Pelican, Isis, Agalloch and Wolves In The Throne Room (who should be on this list, too, but I figured 30 was enough for this round).
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    Stinking Up the Night

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    Twilight Ritual

    More sludge, but with a broader perspective. Deadbird is slow and heavy, but take the time to create some longer quiet passages as well, giving their music a little more depth than some of their contemporaries.
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    First Daze Here: The Vintage Collection

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