Heavy Metal Gems: Forgotten Metal Albums

Heavy Metal Gems: Forgotten Metal Albums

Rare and forgotten heavy metal albums of the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s from a wide range of genres, such as NWOBHM, Speed Metal, Power Metal, Traditional Metal and even Epic Metal. Listen to the metal albums online, read the reviews and download what you want! Do what you can to support all of the bands showcased on the blog. Stay heavy and Keep it True!


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Spartan Warrior - Spartan Warrior (1984)

Spartan Warrior 1984
Band: Spartan Warrior
Release: Spartan Warrior (Full-Length)
Genre: NWOBHM
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 1984
Label: Roadrunner Records
Buy from: Blackscaped | Amazon | GEMM | eBay
Note
The following to Spartan Warrior's 1983 classic "Steel n' Chains", which propelled the band into being signed by the legendary Roadrunner Records before disbanding in 1985.   Killer and straightforward traditional heavy metal to be heard all around on this one!

Tracklist

Rating: 83%

Spartan Warrior NWOBHM
Lineup
Dave Wilkinson: Vocals
Neil Wilkinson: Guitars
Paul Swaddle: Guitars
Tom Spencer: Bass
Gordon Webster: Drums

Talisphere - Talisphere (1996)

Talisphere 1996
Band: Talisphere
Release: Talisphere (Demo)
Genre: Power/Progressive Metal
Country: United States
Year: 1996
Label: Self-Released
Note
Talisphere were among the handful of bands that released some of the most amazing US progressive metal throughout the early to mid 90s, bearing this very demo as their sole release.  From the fist-pounding drums to the soaring vocals, to the ever-so-technical guitar riffs, it is almost impossible not to get a kick out of this one!

Tracklist

Rating: 95%

Lineup
Chris Cronk: Vocals
John Piarro: Guitars
Sean Noone: Guitars
Mario Sevilla: Drums
Henry Sanchez: Bass

Chyld (Can) - Lite the Nite/Tell Me a Lie (1986)

Band: Chyld
Release: Lite the Nite/Ye Morlok/Tell Me a Lie (Single)
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Country: Canada
Year: 1986
Label: Chyldish Records
Note
Spawned within the depths of Toronto, Canada, Chyld sadly only released three songs on two separate singles in 1986 that would eventually cement their place in Canadian metal history.  After a growing demand for their material to be released, both singles were re-pressed and the band reformed with the hopes of releasing a new album.  Until now, we can only expect nothing but classic stuff from the guys at Chyld!

Tracklist

Rating: 90%

Lineup
Rob Villemaire: Vocals
Glen Cunningham: Guitars
Neal Busby: Drums
Pete Dove: Bass

Mad Parish - Procession (2014)

Mad Parish - Procession Canada
Cover art by Mike Dubisch
Band: Mad Parish
Release: Procession (Full-Length)
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Country: Canada
Year: 2014
Contact: madparishmetal@gmail.com
Buy and listen to the album
FacebookTwitter | Band Website
Review
There comes a time when you discover such an extraordinary band that you become almost completely baffled by their lack of popularity.  This statement can surely be recycled a thousand times over for thousands of overlooked bands out there, especially within the heavy metal genre.  No matter how extensive heavy metal has become over the last 35 years, there will always be amazingly talented bands that will unfortunately get thrown under the radar.  This is indeed one of the many reasons why I created Heavy Metal Gems: to give those bands a voice and the recognition they deserve.

To relate this with one of my most recent discoveries, I bring you guys Canadian power metallers Mad Parish to indulge in.  Formed in 2006 by drummer Bobby Girard and vocalist Josh McConnell, Mad Parish  has been a growing force within the Montreal heavy metal scene since their inception, having opened for notable acts such as Skull Fist, Holy Grail and, more recently, the mighty Grim Reaper.  Interestingly enough, it was at that very Grim Reaper show where I first heard of them, and man did they immediately leave a huge impression on me.  I seriously did not expect what graced my ears throughout the entirety of their set that night.  The guys at Mad Parish seriously know how to deliver one hell of a live experience, due in part to their unique inclusion of a triple-threat guitar lineup, as well as the obvious chemistry that holds the band together.  In short, they are nothing more than a class act when it comes to live performances, and surely that energy translates extremely well on Mad Parish's soon-to-be-released first full-length album entitled "Procession".

Jumping straight into the album with the monstrous "Darkness Befalls this Cursed Land", listeners can straight away identify certain elements of Mad Parish's songwriting process that will carry them throughout the entirety of the album.  Whether it is the engrossing harmonious leads that have been masterfully constructed by Bob Eaglesham, or the powerful delivery of Josh McConnell's dynamic vocals, there will never be a reason to be let down by any one of the tracks.  Not to mention all of this could have never come to light if it weren't for Bobby Girard's incredibly precise drumming style and Max Canuel's rhythmic bass lines to keep the band in check.  In terms of recording, the overall quality of the production does its best to emulate the band's live performances, but, then again, it doesn't do them much justice.  You're just going to have to see them perform live to really understand what I mean (keep you eyes peeled for future dates, especially for those in the Montreal area).

Although I can go on and on detailing the diversity behind every single track, I don't want to bore the hell out of you guys with my babbling, so ill just keep the rest short.  For those wanting to jump right in and experience one of the most memorable tracks on "Procession", do yourselves a huge favour and give "Mad Parish" a listen; I can't even fathom how a riff as compelling as that can be written.  If that track doesn't get you hooked right from the start, then I have no idea what will.

Brewing a sound that only metal gods can replicate, Montreal-based metallers Mad Parish are easily one of the most promising bands you have never heard of.  It would therefore mean a lot for the band and for me if you would support them in any way you can.

*"Procession" has finally been released!  Purchase it through the band's website!*

Rating: 90%

Highlights: "Mad Parish", "Darkness Befalls this Cursed Land", "Doppleganger", "Red Baron", " A Stitch in Crime", "Dawn of the Unforgiven"

Mad Parish Heavy Metal Canada
Lineup
Josh McConnell: Vocals
Bob Eaglesham: Guitars, Vocals
Bobby Girard: Drums
Max Canuel: Bass

Aragorn (UK) - Noonday (1980-1983)

Aragorn (UK) - Noonday 2003
Band: Aragorn
Release: Noonday - The Aragorn Anthology
Genre: NWOBHM
Country: United Kingdom
Year: Tracks recorded from 1980-1983/Released as a compilation in 2003
Label: Sanctuary Records
Buy from: Bandcamp | eBay
Note
The full discography of UK legends Aragorn, featuring the highly requested unreleased album "The Night is Burning"!  Man were these guys ever under-appreciated, as they have got to be one of the heaviest and most gritty NWOBHM bands out there.  Help support the band by purchasing the album on their bandcamp page!

Tracklist

Tracks 1-2: Taken from debut single Black Ice
Tracks 3-14: From the unreleased album "The Night Is Burning".
Track 8: Cover of Golden Earring's "Radar Love".
Tracks 15-17: Single demos Tracks 18-19: Taken from album demos
Tracks 20-22: From unreleased single "Hungry for Love".
Track 15 flows over in a short cover of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water".

Rating: 85%

Aragorn (UK) NWOBHM
Lineup
Chris Dunne: Vocals
John Hull: Guitars
Mike Ellis: Drums
Dale Lee: Bass
Chris White: Bass (Tracks 20-22)
Andy Halliwell: Guitars (Tracks 20-22)

Spellcaster - Spellcaster (2014)

Spellcaster - Spellcaster 2014
Band: Spellcaster
Release: Spellcaster
Genre: Heavy/Power/Speed Metal
Country: United States
Year: 2014
Label: Self-Released
Facebook | Bandcamp | Website | YouTube
Buy the Album and Band Merch
Review
It has been three excruciatingly long years since the release of US speed metallers Spellcaster's seminal debut album "Under the Spell".  The abrasive yet melodious fierceness in the guitar and vocal work on "Under the Spell" immediately cemented the band's position in underground heavy metal stardom, so much so that many people, including myself, proclaimed the album as being one of 2011's best.  It would therefore be a challenging task for any band to uphold that kind of praise with the release of a new album, especially when new material hasn't been publicly released in a few years.

In 2014, Spellcaster have surely come a long way to reintroduce themselves to the heavy metal world.  Complications with record labels and lineup changes have unfortunately delayed the band's true recording and performing potential, even though they consistently remained active and fairly popular within the Oregon heavy metal scene.  Speaking of lineup changes, the most noticeable change on the new record would definitely have to be former guitarist Tyler Loney's decision to take on the role of lead vocalist; a decision that inevitably led to the revision and expansion of Spellcaster's already impressive repertoire.  With that being said, this very modification was actually able to take advantage of each members' talent, as Loney's mid-ranged and melodious vocal style enabled Spellcaster to forge a more mature and definitive sound than what we might have been used to before.  As growing musicians, this is a step in the right direction, mainly because it allows for variety to be established within the band's songwriting processes. All of these characteristics are exactly what Spellcaster have brought forward in their latest album. 

In comparison with "Under the Spell", "Spellcaster" is a completely different experience, and a far more meaningful one at that and I can't stress that enough.  From the dark and mystically-driven lyrics to the intricately harmonious solos featured in almost every track, the guys at Spellcaster have surely outdone themselves in every little detailed speck that comes with playing music.  And this is all coming from someone who absolutely praised the work done on "Under the Spell", so that right there definitely speaks for itself. Take the masterfully written "Voyage" for example: each note is meant to accentuate the melancholic atmosphere of the song, whether it be through the slow (and almost crescendo-based) progression of the intro to the main riff, or the vocal-centered chorus.  Not only is it one of the album's highlights, but it perfectly defines the band's newly found sound.  Other notable tracks include the anthemic "Run Away", the speed metal powerhouse "Ghost of My Memory", the overly dark "Clockwork", and the lead-oriented "Eyes of Black".

All in all, "Spellcaster" is a breath a fresh air for the underground heavy metal scene, as it almost entirely focuses on creating a profound experience for the listener through original and technically robust material, rather than recycling traditional-based riffs that are commonly heard throughout the scene. It goes without question that this without a doubt one of the best albums in recent years. The men behind Spellcaster deserve every last bit of praise that will surely come their way; they've given us an album for the ages!  

Tracklist

Rating: 93%

Spellcaster Heavy Metal USA
Lineup
Tyler Loney: Vocals, Guitars
Cory Boyd: Guitars
Bryce Adams Vanhoosen: Guitars
Coplin Vranizan: Drums
Gabe Franco: Bass

E.F. Band - Night Angel (1979)

E.F. Band Night Angel 1979
Band: E.F. Band
Release: Night Angel/Another Day Gone (Single)
Genre: NWOBHM/Hard Rock
Country: Sweden/United Kingdom
Year: 1979
Label: Aerco Records
Download (Mega)
Buy from: GEMM | eBay
Note
The founding members of E.F. Band are actually of Swedish origin, however, they relocated to the UK in 1979 in an attempt to be a part of the ever growing NWOBHM movement. 

Tracklist

Rating: 85%

E.F. Band Sweden UK NWOBHM
Lineup
Pär Ericson: Vocals, Bass
Bengt Fischer (R.I.P): Guitars
Johnsson: Drums

Angel Sword - Ripping the Heavens (2013)

Angel Sword - Ripping the Heavens (2013)
Band: Angel Sword
Release: Ripping the Heavens (EP)
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
Country: Finland
Year: 2013
Label: Self-Released
Review
I was recently contacted by Jerry Razors from the mighty Angel Sword to include their newest EP onto the blog for your listening pleasure.  These dudes play a raw and gritty style of heavy metal, whereby the vocals surely accentuate a certain "punk" atmosphere to the band's repertoire.  Although the whole listening experience is fairly short, each track delivers that same burst of energy needed to make you come back for more.  All in all, this is nothing but a really solid EP, and I'm very much looking forward to some more Angel Sword releases in the near future.  By the way, whoever designed that album cover should be throned...I mean an angel wielding an automatic rifle in one hand and a sword in the other, in an attempt to eradicate Heaven?  That has to be one of the most badass covers I've ever seen! Anyway, do not forget to support these guys as usual and be sure to check them out on Facebook!

You can always contact the band on their Facebook page if you would like to purchase the EP on tape!


Tracklist

Rating: 80%

Angel Sword Finland Heavy Metal
Lineup
Jerry Razors: Vocals, Guitars
Sylvester Shredder: Guitars, Vocals
Eviltaker: Bass
St. Peter: Drums

Cryer - The Single (1980)

Cryer - The Single (1985)
Band: Cryer
Release: The Single (Also known as "The Visionary")
Genre: NWOBHM/Hard Rock
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 1980
Label: Happy Face
Download (Mega)
Buy from: GEMM

Tracklist

Rating: 88%

Cryer UK NWOBHM
Lineup
Graham Carless: Vocals
Garry Chapman: Guitars
Stu Clarke: Guitars
Roger Whitehouse: Drums
Fez Ferriday: Bass
Mick Billingham: Keyboards

Faith (Swe) - Hymn of the Sinner (1986)

Faith (Swe) - Hymn of the Sinner (1986)
Band: Faith (Swe)
Release: Hymn of the Sinner (Single)
Genre: Heavy/Doom Metal
Country: Sweden
Year: 1986
Label: Hell's Kitchen Records
Download (Mega)
Note
Haunted heavy metal from Sweden!  With the release of their very first single in 1986, Faith's compelling sound was immediately cemented; a mixture of church-like hymns and doom-oriented guitar riffs engross the listener for the entirety of this fabulous single.  Don't miss out on this one!

Tracklist

Rating: 92%

Lineup
Roger Berntsson: Vocals
Roger Johansson: Guitars
Peter Svensson: Drums
C.J. Nilsson: Bass, Vocals

Shogun (UK) - Shogun (1986)

Shogun (UK) - Shogun (1986)
Band: Shogun (UK)
Release: Shogun
Genre: NWOBHM
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 1986
Label: Attack Records
Download (Mega)
Note
Another requested album!  Shogun's self-titled record delivers nothing more than an assortment of melodious hard rock, coupled with one of the greatest singers within the NWOBHM scene, Alan Marsh (of Tokyo Blade fame).

Tracklist

Rating: 88%

Shogun (UK) NWOBHM Alan Marsh
Lineup
Alan Marsh: Vocals
Danny Gwilym: Guitar
Toby Martin: Guitar
Andy Wrighton: Bass
Bob Richards: Drums

Ageless Wisdom (Gre) - Demo '90 (1990)

Ageless Wisdom (Gre) - Demo '90 (1990)
Band: Ageless Wisdom
Release: Demo '90
Genre: Epic Metal
Country: Greece
Year: 1990
Label: Self-Released
Note
Extremely rare epic heavy metal by Greece's own Ageless Wisdom!  The band's only release, the '90 demo, is nothing but pure magic, as they were able to forge a sound that closely resembles the great Manilla Road, especially through the obscure vocal work of Sotiris.  For the avid heavy metal fan, it might take a few listens to get used to Sotiris' unique voice, but, in the end, it fits damn well with the band's repertoire, so much so that it's almost hard not to appreciate it.  

Tracklist

Rating: 90%

Ageless Wisdom (Gre) Greece
Lineup
Sotiris Poulidis: Vocals
Babis Stilos: Guitars
John Papastaikoudis: Bass
Vaggelis Hsonoglou: Drums

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