Metal Blade Records put together 11 volumes of its unsigned-band compilation series Metal Massacre between 1982 and 1991, then a 12th in 1995 and a 13th in 2006. A few of the early editions were reissued on CD in the mid-'90s, but for the most part, it's been ages since they were widely available. Most of the music on them seems to have burnt up forever ago in Dante's towering inferno, but a few bands survive, and a bunch went on to future fame. This playlist gathers 20 songs -- occasionally in alternate re-recorded or live versions -- that appeared on Metal Massacre's ten '80s volumes.
Headbangers will probably recognize at least a handful of these acts: Early lineups, for instance, of Ratt (then still known as "Mickey Ratt"), Voivod, Metal Church, Flotsam & Jetsam (featuring future Metallica bassist Jason Newsted), pre-Celtic Frost noise dogs Hellhammer, San Francisco death-metal inventors Possessed, North Carolina tech-doomers Confessor, and the Wino Weinrich-fronted doom OGs The Obsessed. But others seem like footnotes: Chicago's Znowhite (an African American brother-cousin trio plus female vocalist); L.A. bands Omen, Warlord and Detente; New Jersey dudes Attacker, Faith or Fear and Krank. Most of the metal skirts power and speed in true '80s hesher style. Care was taken not to repeat any bands included on Rhapsody's Metal Blade mix. So why not crank both?