"The Key"-1990

Cyber-Tech Death Metal! Founded in `88 by keyboard player Louis Panzer and former Morbid Angel vocalist/drummer Mike Browning, this band approached the genre from a slightly different angle; combining traditional Death Metal song-structures and Satanic lyrical themes with keyboards and Sci-Fi concepts,this Florida based [Florida AGAIN? What the HELL..] 5-piece caused quite a stir, mostly from those who felt that keyboards had no place in Death Metal. But Nocturnus proved `em wrong; these discs are KILLER from start to finish! After the 2 song self-titled EP was released, the group split in `93, but have now apparently re-formed and are said to be rehearsing new songs.

Exodus-"Bonded by Blood"-1985

When most people think of the "Bay Area Sound", that group of traitors whose name starts with "M" are invariably credited as the leaders of that early-to-mid`80s Metal explosion. But for MY money, the band who embodied that sound more than anyone was Exodus. [Yeah, Kirk Hammett was one of the founding members, but who cares?] After going the usual demo route, they released this album on [I believe] Torrid Records, and later Combat. But before the album had been released, some of the master tapes were stolen and wound up in the hands of tape traders nation-wide; far from hindering sales, this little bit of piracy actually BOOSTED sales when the album finally hit the streets! [The power of the Underground..!] I`ve included "Bonded..." on this page `cause there were a lot of Satanic references/imagery , much more so than on later discs, probably the influence of vocalist/lunatic Paul Baloff. Tunes like "A Lesson in Violence", "Deliver us to Evil", "Strike of the Beast", "No Love"& the title cut REEK of Brimestone. The real prize, though is the songs naturally, but equally important is the first rate musicianship. The guitar tag-team of Rick Hunolt and Gary Holt are probably the Thrash equivalent of Thin Lizzy, w/ solid riffing and controlled-yet-out of control soloing. All the things that make a great Metal album. "Good Friendly Violent Fun" indeed! [Sorry, that was on a later album!] **Update** On January 31st, 2002, Paul Baloff suffered a massive stroke and died shortly after. R.I.P.

Celtic Frost-"To Mega Therion"-1986

Formed out of the ashes of Hellhammer [another seminal Death Metal act] by vocalist/guitarist Tom G. Warrior, this was the bands 1st full-length, released on the heels of two EPs`. VERY different from most of the Death Metal fare on offer at the time, the `Frost combined the Hellhammer sound with their interest in ancient history, Swiss artist H.R Giger, and good ol` Aleister Crowley into a style all their own. They even used Opera singers on tunes such as "Necromantical Screams" [later covered by Obituary], and exibited a more high-brow lyrical style, as evinced by songs like "Circle of Tyrants" and "Dawn of Megiddo". These guys had a loyal following `til they released "Cold Lake" in `88, a Thrash/Glam cross-over [?] album that failed miserably and emptied out their fan base REAL fast! I myself consider "To Mega Therion" to be their best.

Atheist-"Piece of Time"1989

What the HELL?! Did EVERY Death Metal band from Florida release their Morrisound Studios- recorded, Scott Burns/Jim Morris/Tom Morris-produced album at the same time? Do these guys call each other, or what? Anyway, Atheist leaned towards the technical side of the genre, yet were still able to keep the brutal edges intact. Complex, almost Jazz-like song structures, high-power riffs, and the twin-guitar assault of Kelly Schaefer [who also handled vocals] and Rand Burkey, gave this band an edge over their fellow Death Mongers. In February 1991, bassist Roger Patterson was killed in a bus accident while on tour. Atheist carried on for a couple of albums after that, then called it quits in `93. "Piece of Time" is my favorite of the three, as I`m not a real tech-head and found the last two discs moving in an almost Progressive Metal direction.


"Show no Mercy"

"Hell Awaits"

"Reign in Blood"

If you have to be TOLD why the above albums are included on this page, you DON`T belong HERE!!!

West Side Dave`s Metal Site