Some simply sublime metal albums are turning 30 years old this year…..here’s YET ANOTHER 6 of ’em to keep you going!
Afflicted – Prodigal Sun [Sweden]
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 Entombed, Dismember, Grave etc.
So much potential, sadly unfulfilled.
Assorted Heap – Mindwaves [Germany]
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!
Dark Millennium – Ashore The Celestial Burden [Germany]
Released: October 21st, 1992 via Massacre Records
Genre: Progressive Metal / Death / Doom
Progressive death / doom is hardly a prolific sub genre (of a sub genre) but if kings of this particular niche sound need to be crowned, then Germanys’ Dark Millennium are surely contenders for the throne!
Why? Because Dark Millennium’s Ashore The Celestial Burden is a staggering work of progressive death/doom that remains virtually peerless and if you haven’t heard it, you should do yourself a massive favour and resolve the situation post haste!
A multi-faceted beast, Ashore The Celestial Burden is the kind of album that never becomes overly-familiar, such is its ability to surprise with each and every listen. As powerful when pummelling you senseless with its more traditional death metal moments as it is when allowing heavier than hell doom to take the fore, Dark Millennium‘s debut remains a magnum opus of progressively minded and utterly fearless metal.
Incidentally, Dark Millenium‘s latest album Acid River (2022) is well worth checking out!