12. Possessed – Beyond The Gates
Perfectly melding early-doors death metal with thrash, Beyond The Gates had the unenviable task of following the extreme metal masterpiece that was Seven Churches and while production woes robbed it of impact, the talent and progression of Possessed was still immediately apparent.
Often criticised for embracing a more commercial style – although Beyond The Gates can hardly be considered mainstream by any means – Possessed did fine-tune their sound resulting in some hit and miss tracks but the ‘hits’ were massive!
The 80s horror intro which bleeds into the maddening thrash heaven of “The Heretic” kicked things off in considerable style while the mid-tempo savagery of “Phantasm” and the bass heavy “Seance” maintained the quality. No matter what the naysayers think, Beyond The Gates should be remembered as an outstanding follow up to a groundbreaking debut!
11. Saint Vitus – Born Too Late
To be frank, doom metal announced its arrival in the metal world at the worst possible time….and Saint Vitus knew it!
Wino and the boys did not fit in, their music certainly wasn’t ‘popular’ and their image was beyond archaic and yet despite these obstacles Saint Vitus persevered and an American classic – and a bona fide Doom Metal masterpiece – was born.
Home to sludgy Black Sabbath worshipping riffs, that completely ignored the decade’s penchant for excess, spandex and an overuse of annoying keyboards, Saint Vitus were there to re-address the balance.
Born just in time we say!
10. Cro-Mags – The Age Of Quarrel
A legendary debut, The Age Of Quarrel saw the Cro-Mags define the hardcore movement in 15 easy lessons!
A sickle-sharp, metallic sound that was rooted to a blue-collar sensibility, the concise delivery of the hard-hitting “World Peace”, “We Gotta Know”, “Street Justice” and “Hard Times” brawled their way into your head, insistent, impossible to ignore and delivered with brass-knuckles on.
Few albums can capture pure rage and emotion as perfectly as this, the reality of street life rampaging through the very heart of each track and through each vocal frustration delivered by the incomparable John Joseph.
Consider The Age Of Quarrel the crossover equivalent of Slayer’s Reign In Blood, it’s that influential and that genre-defining!