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30 Cult Classic Metal Albums That Turned 30(!) Years Old in 2022

Happy 30th birthday you brilliant bastards!

Some simply sublime metal albums turned 30 years old this year…..

Afflicted – Prodigal Sun [Sweden]

<br />Afflicted - Prodigal Sun

Released: December 1st, 1992 via Nuclear Blast 

Genre: Technical Death Metal 

Swedish technical death metal by way of the Middle East anyone?

For reasons beknown only to them, Sweden’s Afflicted took Entombed’s blueprint and flayed it over a subtle Egyptian concept which snaked its way through Prodigal Sun‘s 47 minutes of unpredictable mayhem.

Fortunately, the results were absurdly addictive and while Afflicted remained identifiably part of the early 1990s Swedish death metal scene – the Sunlight Studio production being an immediate giveaway – their fearless attitude and technical skill clearly separated them from EntombedDismemberGrave etc.

So much potential, sadly unfulfilled.


Assorted Heap – Mindwaves [Germany]

Assorted Heap – Mindwaves (1992, CD) - Discogs

Released: 1992 via 1Mf Recordz

Genre: Progressive Thrash Metal 

Assorted Heap‘s second album is a minor masterpiece. Pure and simple.

Hitting the prog ramp at high speed, Assorted Heap finessed their already impressive sound (1991’s far more aggressive The Experience Of Horror is also well worth checking out) and delivered an unsung classic of progressive thrash in the process; the kind of calling card that should have seen them attain more than mere ‘cult’ status.

Transcending genre trappings with ease, Assorted Heap mirrored the wholesale changes and ‘anything is possible’ mentality of Sarcofago circa The Laws Of Scourge, ultimately delivering an album that lived and died by its palpable atmosphere and unique, often ornate, clarity of sound.

Mindwaves is a distinctive, yet obscure, moment in thrash….German or otherwise!


Atrocity – Todessehnsucht [Germany]

Atrocity - Todessehnsucht | Releases | Discogs

Released: September 22nd, 1992 via Roadrunner Records

Genre: Technical Death Metal 

Todessehnsucht (meaning ‘Longing For Death’ if you do not sprechen sie Deutschwas the second studio album by German tech death metallers Atrocity and it would prove to be one of the pinnacle releases of the genre!

Technical to the extreme and absurdly progressive, the Glen Benton-esque growls and barks of Alexander Krull were efficiently offset by Atrocity’s onslaught of samples, keyboard interludes, woozy song structures and Chuck Schuldiner influenced flights of progressive fancy.

Determined and distinctive, Atrocity were operating at a ridiculously high level on Todessehnsucht and their own brand of vicious yet vicarious technical death metal remains a joy to behold.

An often overlooked masterpiece!


Baphomet – The Dead Shall Inherit [USA]

Baphomet - The Dead Shall Inherit | Releases | Discogs

Released: May 5th, 1992 via Peaceville Records

Genre: Death Metal

Easily one of the finest death metal releases of the early 90’s, it’s utterly unfathomable that Baphomet‘s The Dead Shall Inherit isn’t as revered as it probably should be.

Rigidly sticking to death metal’s fundamental principles, it’s the incessant chug of mid-tempo devastation which hits the hardest; delivering track after track of guttural brutality while keeping one foot in the murky waters of death/thrash and the other in the even murkier wasteland occupied by the likes of Bolt Thrower and Benediction.

While diversity was hardly Baphomet‘s strong point – with the majority of The Dead Shall Inheritmaintaining the same sense of structure and pace throughout – the thrill comes from experiencing an album which lurks in early death metal’s darkest corner, waiting patiently but eager to rip you limb from limb.

An East Coast death metal classic and no mistake!


Chemical Breath – Fatal Exposure [Belgium]

Chemical Breath – Fatal Exposure (2017, CD) - Discogs

Released: November 1992 via Crypta Records

Genre: Technical Death / Thrash

Precious few bands can match the intensity and skill of these awe-inspiring Belgians and anyone with a penchant for labyrinthine song structures, baffling tempo shifts and the pioneering spirit of early 90’s death/thrash will fall in love with Fatal ExposureChemical Breath’s exquisite debut.

Admittedly, Fatal Exposure does have more than a little thrash coursing through its veins – and squeezing it on to this list may prove to be divisive – but any opportunity to wax lyrical about this astonishing piece of work should be grasped with both hands. After hearing it, you’ll thank us for it!

Chemical Breath were incredible and you’d also do well to check out 1994’s follow up, Values.

About Chris Jennings (1823 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

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