King Diamond – Them
The third studio release from the inimitable King Diamond resulted in another gothic concept album which trounced the competiton in both scope and execution.
A unique artistic vision came as standard as this stage in the game but King upped the ante when it came to grandiose spectacle, with his myriad of voices – and particularly his shrill falsetto – providing the drama while Andy LaRocque’s exquisite riffs, exalted harmonies and impressive solo’s provided an ever-shifting, ever-evolving backdrop.
Them was simply exemplary metal from the most recognisable voice in all of 80’s metal and remains King Diamond’s biggest selling record to this day!
Napalm Death – From Enslavement To Obliteration
Before they added death metal to their sonic onslaught, Napalm Death recorded the pinnacle of UK grindcore in From Enslavement To Obliteration. The sound of urban squalor terrifyingly committed to tape, Napalm Death’s Scum may have been more influential but From Enslavement To Obliteration is the superior album and the culmination of Napalm Death’s fearless experimentation in their early years.
Embracing distortion in all its guises, From Enslavement To Obliteration‘s 27 tracks (including The Curse EP) proved to be a turning point in grindcore and set the standard for countless bands who were inspired to follow in Napalm Death’s bloodied footsteps.
Napalm Death would splinter after this groundbreaking release; vocalist Lee Dorrian embracing doom metal with Cathedral and guitarist Bill Steer concentrating on Carcass, distancing himself from Napalm Death’s political agenda and adding gallons of gore to his grind in the process. But, it’s on From Enslavement To Obliteration that these icons of extreme metal made their greatest mark.
Blind Illusion – The Sane Asylum
Blind Illusion‘s debut is a cult item of considerable aplomb, growing in stature as the years roll by and claiming its place as one of thrash metal’s unsung gems!
Featuring guitarist Larry LaLonde (Possessed) and bassist Les Claypool (before they went on to form Primus) and produced by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, The Sane Asylum is one of those unique recordings which practically defies categorisation, such is its idiosyncratic nature and distinct lack of conformity.
An alchemic brew of jazz-influenced, progressive time changes and abstract song structures, The Sane Asylum was conveniently wrapped up in a technical thrash bow, a description which doesn’t even come close to describing the sheer madness at work here.
Quite unlike anything recorded before or since.