6. Pentagram – Relentless
Pentagram are the lost heroes of 70’s Doom Metal and should be spoken about with the same reverential tones as Black Sabbath. In reality, they are a cautionary tale and their talent is somewhat glossed over in favour of their failings as opposed to their accomplishments.
Admittedly, part of the problem is that this classic arrived 10 years too late due to frontman Bobby Liebling’s herculean drug habit and the bad business decisions that were made as a result.
Which is a crying shame as songs such as “Death Row” and “All Your Sins” are quintessential Doom, murderous and sinister and completely brilliant.
5. Possessed – Seven Churches
On their debut album, Possessed took a cut and paste approach to their music by incorporating the viciousness of Venom, the speed of Motörhead and the thrashing, atonal guitars of early Exodus and Slayer.
The result was an innovative and primitive sound which came to define Death Metal.
“The Exorcist”, “Burning In Hell” and “Seven Churches” are held together by Jeff Beccara’s unholy roar, simultaneously aping Lemmy from Motörhead yet producing a guttural tone that would go on to be the bread and butter of Death Metal.
Possessed take the honour of inventing Death Metal on their debut album, this is constantly up for debate but we’re standing by it; no Seven Churches, no Death Metal.
4. Slayer – Hell Awaits
Hell Awaits was conceived to shock and awe and it worked, perfectly.
In 1985, Hell Awaits was the sound of pure evil filtered through squealing feedback, archaic chanting and progressively technical Dark-Thrash odes to Satan and his happy home.
The ghastly and terrifying title-track remains one of Slayer’s defining moments while “Necrophiliac” and “Kill Again” foreshadow Reign In Blood’s speed and ferocity just the following year.
Slayer were arguably never this progressively minded again and Hell Awaits has stood the test of time as a cornerstone in Thrash Metal and Extreme Metal’s development.