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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Gatekrashör - Gatekrashör (2014)

Gatekrashör Canada Speed Metal 2014
Band: Gatekrashör
Release: Gatekrashör (Full-Length)
Genre: Speed Metal
Country: Canada
Year: 2014
Review
Canadian gritty speed metallers Gatekrashör are back again to attack us with their brand new debut full-length album, which follows up on the success of the "Fear of Attack" EP released back in 2012.  If you dudes haven't been introduced to Gatekrashör yet (it's a damn crime if you haven't), well expect nothing but an abundance of aggressive speed metal at blistering speeds; just enough to get that neck of yours nice and stiff after a vigorous Gatekrashör session.

Led by the charismatic banzai warrior himself, vocalist Dan Neild isn't afraid to unleash his inner "King Diamond" through high-pitched screams, which only adds to the already-established eeriness of the band's repertoire.  Tracks like "Force of the Blade", "Irons Victim" and "Spit on the Cross" all showcase Neild's gut-wrenching vocals that perfectly complement the always-shifting guitar riffs.  Speaking of which, there's a whole lot of memorable riffs to indulge yourselves in throughout the album, my favorites being the crushing intro to "Gamblers on the Highway", the energetic melody present throughout "Blood Money" and the roaring solo on "Heavy Metal Rangers".  Now that I think of it, you really can't go wrong with any of the tracks featured on the album, that is if you enjoy your music loud, fast and abrasive like myself.

Going into more detail about the consistency of the record, "Gatekrashör" in its entirety is extremely straightforward, whereby the song structure for each track seems to follow a certain similar pattern more or less.  Now this might come off as negative at first, but, I assure you, this album has enough hooks and tasty riffs in it to keep you strapped in and begging for more.  I mean at the end of the day, "Gatekrashör" is meant to evoke the thrashing wildness of its listeners and it sure as hell succeeds in doing so.  So go on and grab a few beers and a few buddies, because this album will surely help you feel the mighty force of Gatekrashör!

The album is set to be released on August 29th, 2014, just in time for the legendary Wings of Metal Festival, where Gatekrashör will be performing!  Hail and support the heavy metal rangers!

Tracklist


Rating: 85%

Gatekrashör Canada
Lineup
Dan "Speed Metal Enforcer" Neild: Vocals
Matt "Steel Avenger" Ries: Guitars
Shawn "Speed Deceiver" Vincent: Bass
Riley "Jackhammer" Jackson: Drums

Nightreaper - Heroes Die Young (1988)

Nightreaper - Heroes Die Young 1988
Band: Nightreaper
Release: Heroes Die Young (Single)
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
Country: France
Year: 1988
Label: Self-Released
Buy from: GEMM
Note
One of the more obscure French metal releases I've ever come across.  This single was Nightreaper's first release, which preceded two other demos in 1992 and 1993.  Sure enough, after giving "Heroes Die Young" a listen, it's highest points occur through the melody of the guitar solos, and is exactly what makes me come back for more.

Tracklist

Rating: 83%

Nightreaper France Metal
Lineup
Stéphane Graziani: Vocals, Bass
Frédéric Giraud: Guitars
Thierry Soulivet: Guitars
Arnaud Mortreuil: Drums

Accept - Blind Rage (2014)

Accept - Blind Rage (2014)
Band: Accept
Release: Blind Rage (Full-Length)
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
Country: Germany
Year: 2014
Review
"'Blind Rage' reminds us why heavy metal is the greatest music in the world"

Accept Heavy MetalWith an uproarious musical legacy spanning over 35 years, it is impossible to speak about the history of heavy metal without mentioning the one and only Accept; one of the genre's most respected and consistent bands.  From "Restless and Wild" to "Balls to the Wall" to "Objection Overruled", Accept's most successful albums were all beautifully engrossed by the same elements that make up their unique playing style.  Take the time to think of your favorite Accept tracks and analyse the similarities that arise from each of them.  What makes Accept so praised by fans is their natural ability to delve into the "anthemic" world of heavy metal, so much so that their lyrics can't help but to be chanted with immense pride and certainty. Although that very pride comes naturally with being a metalhead, Accept sure do know how to amplify our sentiments toward the one music that unites us all.  And with the recent release of "Blind Rage", the third album featuring the mighty Mark Tornillo on vocals, the band shows no signs of wearing down any time soon.

Accept Heavy MetalFrom the thundering roar of the guitars to the compelling choruses, "Blind Rage" is an absolute delight for all heavy metal fanatics, as it successfully stays true to the classic Accept sound, all while making way for new and improved riff-laden melodies that have become a distinguishing aspect of their repertoire.  "Trail of Tears" follows this exact formula by blending intricate guitar riffs with harmonious leads in order to complement the fierceness of Tornillo's voice.  It goes without question that Tornillo is the best thing to happen to Accept in a long time, as his incredible vocal range, as well as his all-out raspy singing style, allows the rest of the band members to have a lot more room to breathe in terms of songwriting and experimentation.  After listening to "Blind Rage", you can't imagine anyone else to be fronting one of the biggest heavy metal bands in the world other than him, especially since the lyrics behind the music need an empowering voice to accentuate the message within them.  A perfect example to support this is featured on "Dying Breed", where the lyrical structure pays tribute to heavy metal music's greatest bands (called the "the rocking warriors") in an anthemic fashion.  With song references like "screaming with a vengeance", "denim and leather", and "diamonds and rust", it's difficult not to admire Accept's loyalty to the bands that shaped them into who they are today as heavy metal heroes.  Not to mention they are still driven by the exact same undying passion that led to the creation of Accept in the first place, almost 40 years ago.

Compared to the previous two Tornillo-led albums, "Blind Rage" is a much more refined record, as it exceeds the creative boundaries of "Blood of the Nations" and improves on the already-polished production quality on "Stalingrad", making it one of Accept's finest in over twenty years.  Every track is filled with enough hooks and melodies to keep that head banging and that fist soaring for days on end.  My personal favorite, "From the Ashes We Rise", one of the album's more melancholic and uplifting tracks, is continuously intensifying in a crescendo-like manner as Hoffmann and Frank's guitars get louder and Tornillo's vocals become all the more aggressive.  That chorus is probably the most memorable moment on "Blind Rage" and it sure is a way to leave a lasting impression on a regular metalhead like myself.

40 years of staying restless and wild, 40 years of pounding our balls to the wall, 40 years of spilling blood for the nation...40 years of relentless blind rage.  Accept have continuously reminded us why heavy metal is the greatest music in the world.

Rating: 93%

Accept Heavy Metal Germany
Lineup
Mark Tornillo: Vocals
Wolf Hoffmann: Guitars
Herman Frank: Guitars
Peter Baltes: Bass
Stefan Schwarzmann: Drums

Black Onyx - Armageddon Skies (1987)

Black Onyx - Armageddon Skies 1987
Band: Black Onyx
Release: Armageddon Skies (Single)
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
Country: United States
Year: 1987
Label: Bosa Records
Buy from: GEMM | eBay
Note
The sole official release by short-lived Detroit metallers Black Onyx.  For a single released in 1987, the songwriting and recording production emit a certain NWOBHM vibe, pure and straightforward, and makes for a rather easy listen.

Tracklist

Rating: 85%

Lineup
Gerry Litwin: Vocals, Guitars
Donny Allen: Guitars
Jeff Giovannangeli: Drums
Ron Q. T. Owens: Bass

Bulldozer - Fallen Angel (1984)

Bulldozer - Fallen Angel Italy 1984
Band: Bulldozer
Release: Fallen Angel (Demo)
Genre: Speed/Black Metal
Country: Italy
Year: 1984
Label: Self-Released
Buy from: GEMM | eBay
Note
Italy's finest black/speed metal band, Bulldozer, with their very first release entitled "Fallen Angel", which inevitably kickstarted these young talented guys into underground heavy metal stardom.  With the following release of four essential albums throughout the mid to late 80s, Bulldozer's one of a kind sound that meshed the harshness and dirtiness of early black metal with the harmonies of speed metal was first teased on this very demo. 

Tracklist

Rating: 88%

Lineup
A.C. Wild: Vocals
Andy Panigada: Guitars
Dario Carria (R.I.P.): Bass
Erminio Galli: Drums

Millennium (UK) - Millennium + All Demos (1984-1987)

Millennium (UK) - Millennium (1984) NWOBHM
Band: Millennium (UK)
Release: Millennium (Full-Length), 1985-1987 Demos
Genre: NWOBHM/Power Metal/Speed Metal
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 1984 -1987
Label: Guardian Records n' Tapes
Buy from: No Remorse (Includes 8 bonus tracks)
Review
What a monster of an album this one is!  Had Millennium properly caught the NWOBHM wave early on, they would've most likely gotten picked up by numerous record companies.  This, along with the dissolution of their record label at the time, Guardian Records n' Tapes, prevented Millennium from moving forward.  Nevertheless, what we have here is one of the finest examples of the NWOBHM classic sound being intricately fused with power metal and, eventually, speed metal.  Throughout the entirety of their self-titled album released in 1984, I felt as though I was listening to the British version of Sweden's own Heavy Load, mainly because both bands' vocalists sound extremely alike.  Give "Magic Mirror" or even "Gang War" a listen and you'll know exactly what I mean.  Millennium were just a few years short from NWOBHM stardom, and so their placement within the growing heavy/speed metal scene in 1984 urged the band to adopt a new sound.

For the following three or so years, Millennium played in the style of many heavy/speed metal bands during that time, such as Exciter and, more similarly, Satan.  This killer new sound to the band's repertoire was showcased on three fantastic demos released and recorded from 1985 to 1987.  The vocals are soaring, the drumming is hypnotizing, and the guitars are blazing with thunderous speed and infectious melodies.  It's almost impossible to find a bad track on any one of these four releases; 29 tracks and over two hours of pure heavy/speed metal, nothing less, nothing more.

Be sure to purchase the re-release through No Remorse Records, which includes 8 bonus tracks to indulge yourselves in!

Tracklist (1984 Album)

Rating: 95%

Millennium UK
Lineup
Mark Duffy: Vocals
Mike Muskett: Guitars
Pete McArdle: Guitars
Steve Mennel: Drums
Dave Price: Bass

Sabre (US) - Keepers of the Sword (1985)

Sabre (US) - Keepers of the Sword (1985)
Band: Sabre (US)
Release: Keepers of the Sword (Full-Length)
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
Country: United States
Year: 1985
Label: Palace Records
Download (Mega)
Buy from: GEMM | eBay
Note
The origins of Sabre began through the formation of four guys serving in the U.S. Army stationed in Karlsruhe, Germany. From 1983-1986 they played in and around the Karlsruhe area drawing crowds wherever they played. In 1985 they recorded "Keepers of the Sword" at Katapulton Studios, where only 500 copies were pressed by Palace Records. It has since become one of the most sought-after underground heavy metal releases, often being purchased for 300-500$! 

Tracklist

Rating: 83%

Sabre US Heavy Metal
Lineup
Kenny Browder: Vocals
Pat Murphy: Guitars
"Snoop" Tyler: Drums
Kevin Marshall: Bass

Landslide (Swe) - Demo #2 (1985)

Landslide - Demo #2 1985 Sweden
Band: Landslide (Swe)
Release: Demo #2
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Country: Sweden
Year: 1985
Label: Self-Released
Note
One of the most incredible obscure Swedish metal demos I have ever come across.  According to a few sources, the band had released up to five demos from 1985 to 1989, all without resulting in a record deal.  What a shame it is that Landslide never got the recognition they deserved, as their hard hitting melodic sound easily gives similar acts like early Europe a run for their money.

Tracklist

Rating: 95%

Landslide Sweden Heavy Metal
Lineup
Lars Hägglund: Vocals 
Jörgen Lantto: Guitars
Göran Hult: Bass 
Bo "Bosse" Åström: Drums

Satanic Rites - Live to Ride/Hit and Run (1981)

Satanic Rites - Live to Ride/Hit and Run (1981) NWOBHM
Band: Satanic Rites
Release: Live to Ride/Hit and Run (Single)
Genre: NWOBHM
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 1981
Label: Heavy Metal Records
Buy from: GEMM | eBay
Note
The very first single by UK legends Satanic Rites, recorded and released before they acquired Deborah Webster as lead vocalist.  The b-side "Hit and Run" is the sure winner here, as it features one hell of a tasty riff and a chorus that absolutely compels you to chant along, making it one of the most memorable anthems of the NWOBHM era.

Tracklist

Rating: 90%

Lineup
Daz Bingham: Vocals
Stuart Page: Guitars
Dave Kershaw: Drums
David Ingham: Bass
Kevin Doyle: Keyboards

BAT - Primitive Age (2013)

BAT - Primitive Age 2013
Band: BAT
Release: Primitive Age (Demo)
Genre: Speed/Thrash Metal
Country: United States
Year: 2013
Label: Tankcrimes Records
Ryan Waste's Heavy Metal Web Series: Living Fast
Review
Risen from the undying influence of the early 80s speed/black/thrash wave, the primitive metal powerhouse that is BAT is here deliver nothing more than a downright neck-breaking experience with the release of their very first demo "Primitive Age".  The origins of BAT began in 2013 through the formation of three already-established musicians within the heavy metal scene: bassist/vocalist Ryan Waste and guitarist Nick Poulos are most notably known for their work with the mighty Volture, whereas drummer Felix Griffin grew to fame through his time with the legendary D.R.I from 1984 to 1990.  It's important to be aware of Griffin's innovative drumming style; this guy is honestly one of the greatest drummers in metal history, especially in the crossover scene, and still perfectly upholds that very status to this day with BAT

Interestingly enough, all members have also performed in various bands and are no strangers to experiment with different genres of heavy metal, whether it's traditional, thrash, death or even crossover, in an attempt to fuel their musical creativity.  With BAT and "Primitive Age", however, I felt as though their abrasive style of playing here just seemed so natural for each of them, and therefore made the experience all that more enjoyable.  Whether it was the drive to pay homage to similar-sounding bands like Venom or Bulldozer, coupled with Waste's love for 80s horror flicks, or not, the end result of this incredible demo is one to take note of.

If I had to sum up my experience in a sentence, "Primitive Age" delivers nothing but a complete onslaught of raw, fast and gritty metal; no melodies, no fillers, just pure energy and aggressiveness...that's all that's needed.  From the thrashing "Total Wreckage", whose chorus reminds us of Venom's "Countess Bathory", to the hauntingly compelling "Rule of the Beast", BAT's music is as in-your-face and as straightforward as possible, and that's exactly what I love about these guys.  However, clocking in at just under 13 minutes, I would have wished for a more lengthy experience, but then again, "Primitive Age" merely acts as a teaser for what's to come in the near future.  Until then, supporting BAT is a must: buy the demo on cassette (only 5$!), rock that BAT merch and be sure to come down and see them break some necks at one of their upcoming live shows (US & Canada).  Can't wait until I see them for myself at the Wings of Metal festival at the end of the month!

Check out Ryan Waste's excellent Heavy Metal web series "Living Fast"!

Tracklist

Rating: 85%

BAT Heavy Metal
Lineup
Ryan Waste: Vocals, Bass
Nick Poulos: Guitars
Felix Griffin: Drums

Titan Force - Titan Force (1989)

Band: Titan Force
Release: Titan Force (Full-Length)
Genre: Power/Progressive Metal
Country: United States
Year: 1989
Label: US Metal Records
Buy from: GEMM | eBay
Note
Incredible showcase of technical power metal from the guys at Titan Force with their first ever full-length release.  Although starting off as a traditional heavy metal band in 1983, it wasn't until Titan Force recruited vocalist Harry Conklin that they truly discovered their unique sound.  If you guys haven't heard of Harry Conklin before the release of this LP, maybe a little known band named Jag Panzer might jog your memory.  That's right, Conklin, who went by the stage name "The Tyrant", was the one who performed on the legendary "Ample Destruction" record back in 1984, as well as 7 later releases for the mighty Jag Panzer.  With respect to all of this, we can only expect quality stuff from every person behind Titan Force, and this very release accentuates their sheer musical creativity, be it through face-melting solos, scorching screams or intricate drum patterns.  All in all, this is one album you never want to stray away from.

Tracklist

Rating: 92%

Lineup
Harry Conklin: Vocals
Bill Richardson (R.I.P): Guitars
Mario Flores: Guitars
Stefan Flores: Drums
John Flores: Bass

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 follow-up 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

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