Slayer, Reign In Blood. at one time, it was the fastest album ever made (in terms of notes played) “Angel of Death” and “Raining Blood” were the bookends to an album that ripped many skulls back in the day. both those songs remain staples in Slayer’s setlists, to this day. the second greatest metal album ever made!
even tho I threw in the towel on Metallica 15 years ago, I will always have a special place in my heart for the Cliff Burton-era. Master of Puppets is my all-time favourite metal album. Jaymz Hetfield sounded like he had yet to hit puberty, which complemented the aggressive nature of the music and lyrical content, nicely. Jaymz Hetfield 1985 was the best!
East German thrash metal pioneers, Kreator, released Pleasure To Kill. a slightly more polished sound than it’s predecessor, Endless Pain the album produced their first hit “Flag of Hate” which captured the raw energy of disgruntled German youths growing up in the days of the Berlin Wall. Kreator was at their peak between 1986-89. they are also one of the few thrash bands I can think of that has a drummer as a lead vocalist.
King Diamond’s heavenly falsetto was much too great for just one band. he took a break from Mercyful Fate, to record his debut solo album, Fatal Portrait a concept album about a woman who kept her four year-old daughter locked away in the attic, until she died. only to be haunted by her spirit, until she went insane. King followed Fatal Portrait with Abigail in ’87 and “Them” in ’88, which are his three best solo albums.
Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica for being an alcoholic in a band full off alcoholics. he started Megadeth b/c he wanted to play faster and louder than Metallica. Peace Sells was the band’s second studio album, and many consider it to be their best work. the album marked the beginning of Megadeth’s peak creatively, with subsequent follow-up efforts So Far, So Good, So What and Rust In Peace.
Samhain was the bridge between the punk sound of Misfits, and the edgier, more metal sound of Danzig. some demos recorded during the Samhain period, would later become tracks on the first two Danzig albums. Samhain released their third album, November Coming Fire, which is my personal favourite. it’s pretty fuckin’ bad-ass that they got to open for D.O.A. and Celtic Frost…on the same tour!
before he fronted Faith No More )and about a dozen other bands) Mike Patton was the lead singer for Mr. Bungle. regarded by many as the greatest of Mike Patton’s various music projects. they released the first of four demo tapes, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny which was their most metal sounding demo. to further cement his status as one of the most metal lead singers of all-time, he would later start Fantomas with Dave Lombardo. Patton is also on record as saying he doesn’t trust anyone, who doesn’t listen to Slayer.
Sepultura released their debut album, Morbid Visions, which I never saw on any list of the best metal albums of 1986. it’s a phenomenally raw album that captures the genre perfectly, and would be a precursor of things to come. with songs like “Show Me The Wrath” “Troops of Doom” and “Crucifixion” u could tell they were destined for greatness. they kinda suck now without Max.
Swiss metal band, Coroner, release the Death Cult demo, with Celtic Frost’s Tom Warrior on vocals. “Spiral Dream” sounds like it could’ve been an early CF/hellhammer song. full-length albums, Punishment For Decadence and No More Color are essential listening for fans of the genre. I would also suggest Mental Vortex, even tho it has more of a prog rock sound to it.