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General Metal Discussions » Underrated 80's british metal albums
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  • I apologize if this topic has been started before or is something that's been discussed to death, but are there any albums in NWOBHM, or hell, even old metal in general you guys think don't get too much attention? Especially if the band is well known among underground metal fans, or not, but you guys get my drift. I have a few;

    1. War Machine - Unknown Soldier (1986)

    I've probably ranted and raved on this album in every single post I've made here (which aren't a lot, but I digress) and I believe it's with good reason. This record is probably one of the best and most unique I've ever listened to in the pantheon of NWOBHM bands. When I heard Steve White from Venom was in it, I expected an At War With Satan speed metal type assault, with a female vocalist, which, all things considered, would've been pretty cool. But when Sacred Hold and On the Edge hit, I found that it was far from that, and instead is a beautiful record with wonderful vocals and riffs which are draped by an emotionally unique and mournful atmosphere. If there's one flaw, it's probably in the drumwork, which can get repetitive throughout the album, but even then I find it more endearing than harmful. So far, I haven't found a band that has copped off the style these dudes and dudette did, which makes the album all the more unique. Bernadette Mooney also ranks as probably my favorite clean female vocalist in metal, and Steve White's playing in this album is one of my favorites in NWOBHM. I'd would love to find a rip of the demo tapes they cut in 1988 and 1984.

    2. Tank - Tank (1987)

    I rarely see this album talked about, even in the context of Tank's post-Filth Hounds records, which barely get talked about in the first place because a lot of NWOBHM hipsters will only listen to the first record. Which is honestly bullshit because barring Power of the Hunter, the rest of the albums Tank made during the 80's are pretty fucking killer indeed. The self titled, I believe is the culmination of the sound Algy was trying to cultivate since This Means War. I mean, it was a pretty good formula, what with the long rager at the start, the midpaced banger for the second track, and the title track being another barnstormer then the rest of the album is cool midpaced songs along with the odd love song or two. This one record didn't have a title track, but if it were up to me it'd been With your Life or None but the Brave, because fuck if those two songs don't have that title track feel. I feel Reign of Thunder is better than The War Drags Ever On, but inferior to Just Like Something From Hell, it's still really good though. March on Sons of Nippon and the aforementioned two from side one are really fucking good heavy metal songs, and I'm suprised I don't see them mentioned more around NWOBHM circles. I feel the flaws in this record is why it's not talked about more often, for one, side B isn't as strong as side A, The Enemy Below is a fun track, but Lost really sucks, especially considering the emotional love songs from Honour and Blood didn't suck. The last two songs are pretty pedestrian for Tank, it doesn't mean it's bad, especially since pedestrian for Tank is still pretty good, but it's hard to follow up Echoes from a Distant Battle and Kill from the last two records. Speaking of Honour and Blood, the production in that record was so much better than this one here, the drums are pretty muffled, and the guitars, although crisp on the midrange, aren't as clear as they were in H&B, plus the whole record just sounds as if it was submerged underwater, which kinda sucks. All in all though, this is still a pretty good record, and it's just more proof that Tank weren't just Motorhead's more melodic little brother as they displayed on the debut and Power of the Hunter.

    That's all I have for now, I'm getting pretty tired, though I'll probably have more albums to talk about later. There's quite a few I feel are also underrated, such as Atomkraft's Future Warriors, Wolf's Edge of the World (Though I feel this record has gotten a lot more respect due as of late), Trojan's Chasing the Storm, Desolation Angels' self titled and a couple more.

    If there's any albums you guys think deserve a mention or you have any thoughts about the records I mentioned please share what you think!
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    Nice one Black_Machine, that's an interesting topic for a thread, i'll have to have a deep think about it before writing a longer reply though.
    Personally, i'd take issue with both of the albums you mentioned, not because they aren't worthy records, but because they both fall outside of the timeline that most people generally think of as 'the NWOBHM years'.
    Perhaps you should amend the thread title to 'Underrated albums by NWOBHM bands' to make it a bit clearer what it is you're championing?
    Because you've made it specifically about NWoBHM albums it requires some proper contemplation. Whilst there are loads of great all-killer-no-filler 45s & EPs to discover, truly indispensible albums from that era & movement are a far trickier proposition.
    I'll have a proper deep dig through my CDs & HDs & come back with some thoughts at a later date, but cheers for getting me thinking.
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    You're right, strictly speaking, NWOBHM is only a relevant term for bands and releases within 1979 - 1982, however if I may bring up a band from that era, Praying Mantis don't get as much recognition as I'd like, fuck's sake, they're about as heavy as Carlisle's Wolf (maybe not as emotionally somber/melancholic) yet Wolf is in the archives (MA that is). "Time Tells No Lies" is a pretty good record, maybe on the fringe of HM but it walks through those grounds anyway. More's "Warhead" is another record I don't hear much about, and it's got a real tough atmosphere that puts it right in the middle of the same bar Motorhead, Venom, Bitches Sin, Demon Pact, and the rougher NWOBHM bands drank.

    I'll take up your suggestion and change the thread title though, thanks. I feel there's a trove of really good stuff even after the halcyon days of NWOBHM, especially in the speed/thrash subgenres, like Trojan, Blood Money, and Tyga Myra, who took the NWOBHM sound and staunchly defended it in a point in time where Americans, Germans, and Brazilians decided the best progression would be to be as fast and brutal as possible, and of course bands that kept the NWOBHM sound going and maturing with it as time went on, like Avenger, Cloven Hoof (these guys are the farthest thing from underrated though), Virtue, Satan and others, so I guess underrated 80's british metal albums is the best title to fit the aforementioned bands within the category.
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    I know it's not what this topic is really aiming for, but I love the Tony Martin fronted Black Sabbath - Headless Cross. I think too many people poopoo it away because it's "not Ozzy" and don't even give it a chance.

    I like this thread. I'm going to have to do a bit more thinking about it. "Underrated" is kind of a tough term given as Strappado's blog is all about "rare & obscure metal", so something that might be underrated to the general metal population might be widely appreciated within the forum here.
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    The Atomkraft EP Queen of Death is well worth a listen

    Anything produced by Acid Reign too, the song Life in Forms [about signing on] in particular.
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    The first one that comes to mind is Hunted by Blade Runner from 1984. They were on Ebony Records and like many releases on this label the production leaves somewhat to be desired. It's well played though, with pretty good songwriting. The music itself is quite melodic, not an all out metal assault but some very good riffs and catchy choruses. Should have been bigger than it was.
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    War Machine is great.I think most NWOBHM bands can be included here. .
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    Future Warriors is a good one. These are some of my picks for possibly being underrated:

    English Dogs - Where Legend Began
    Gaskin - End of the World
    Chateaux - FirePower
    Spartan Warrior - Spartan Warrior
    Demon - Night of the Demon
    Demon - The Unexpected Guest
    Jaguar - Power Games
    Budgie - Power Supply
    Preyer - Terminator

    Tygers of Pan Tang - Wild Cat is great but maybe not underrated. I also love Rock Goddess - Rock Goddess but that's mostly for the opening track and I'd understand if people didn't rate the album that highly.
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