24. Fifth Angel – Fifth Angel
Fifth Angel were the American power/heavy metal band who had it all yet sadly remained virtually unnoticed by the majority of metal fans. Neither hair metal nor thrash metal, Fifth Angel were simply a heavy metal band in the purist terms; having more in common with the likes of Dio than the prevailing trends of the year.
With their self-titled album, their clean and catchy sound should have seen them break into the mainstream and while pop-metal would be a fair description, the hard-hitting anthemic likes of “In The Fallout” and “Call Out The Warning” distanced them from the glam-metal shenanigans of Poison, Cinderella & Warrant etc.
Fans of Ratt, Skid Row and Quiet Riot should invest in Fifth Angel (if you haven’t already) as these guys were a seriously pristine act with a quality album to back up the superlatives!
23. Agnostic Front – Cause For Alarm
A definitive crossover release, Agnostic Front were part of a very select group (Corrosion Of Conformity, Cryptic Slaughter, Crumbsuckers, Excel and D.R.I included) who were blurring the lines between punk and metal.
Seamlessly gelling the precision riffing of heavy metal with punk’s raucous raw nature, Agnostic Front were as adept at speed metal – opener “The Eliminator” could give Agent Steel a run for their money – as they were at retaining their roots; the NYHC classic “Your Mistake” may be ‘metallized’ but it’s still punk rock incarnate.
A daring triumph, Cause For Alarm is as overwhelmingly innovative and powerful now as it was back in ’86; a revolutionary release from a band unafraid of breaking the so-called rules!
22. Sword – Metalized
Another cult metal release, Sword’s Metalized took the sound of Saxon, Accept and Dio and ran with it, not in a different direction per se but they certainly carved their own niche in an overcrowded genre; even if the world failed to take heed.
Neither thrash, power or speed metal, Metalized was simply a traditional metal album, built on effective riffs, convincing vocals and massive hooks. “Stoned Again” had that melodic Megadeth sound years before Dave Mustaine courted the mainstream and “Runaway” opens like a classic Maiden track Bruce and the boys failed to write! The rest of the album is as equally flamboyant, fun and frantic, riff after riff supplying that thrill only quality 80’s metal albums provide.
100% heavy metal; there’s no better recommendation than that!