BATHORY – Under the Sign of the Black Mark. Nothing gets closer to this. The sound is rotten and loud. Songs like Massacre, Equimanthorn and Chariots of Fire were unparalleled even until today. Now imagine hearing a song like that in 1991 while living in a remote country town.
POSSESSED – Seven Churches. If there’s only one record that could make a listener pick up an instrument after repeated listening then it’s this album right here. It happened to me – case closed!
UNLEASHED – Where No Life Dwells. The first Death Metal album I bought in a store and was blown away after hearing the first song, ‘Dead Forever’. Guitars sounded different. They’re thick and rough. The atmosphere is so dark, distant, and evil. It’s like I’m listening to it in an abandoned cemetery. Perfection!
DEICIDE – Deicide. This self-titled album is by far my Death Metal bible for honing riffs, straightforward brutality and catchy choruses.
VADER – Litany. My first introduction to Vader was The Ultimate Incantation and have followed them eversince. However, it is this album that inspired me on so many levels. Intense stuff!
MORBID SAINT – Spectrum of Death. Along with Sadus Illusions, they’re both great but this one sounded more “evil” so to speak. The production is raw, dirty, and ugly but still discernible. At that time, this album is not ‘cool’. I remember playing this really loud in a public speaker and have a laugh as people cringe while walking away fast like they’re being exposed to a disease. That’s what Metal is supposed to be!
BOLT THROWER – Realm of Chaos. I listen to Realm of Chaos back to back with Terrorizer’s World Downfall at that time and wondered what just happened after that.
BRUTAL TRUTH – Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses. Their best. I haven’t followed them after this album but the insanely fast drumming draws a huge influence on me and I want that element to be in my own music – someday.
SADUS – Illusions. Very aggressive Thrash from the US. Can’t find anything that can come close to this except for Spectrum of Death and Darkness Descends. Proof that bass guitars, once handled properly, is a very important instrument in Metal. Plenty of that in here.
JOE SATRIANI – Surfing with the Alien. On a lighter note, I’ll list this complete guitar wankery in here. Some called it ‘stiff and just technique’ but who cares? If you’re serious learning guitars, but living in a forgotten place on earth, you don’t have a choice but to use what you have. This is the gem right here. I listen to this everyday back then. Played along with it and learned the notes by ear. No YouTube, and no tabs. Nothing, but I survived the hard way!
Kratornas’s album, Devoured by Damnation is out now