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by Chuck Eddy

September 30, 2013

Obscure Olde Metal, Pt. 1

by Chuck Eddy  |  September 30, 2013

This brand-new and hopefully fruitful playlist series aims to dig up all sorts of ancient heavy metal bands you have never heard of, one song by each, in headbangingly alphabetical order. Reference books consulted to jog memories include Tony Jasper and Derek Oliver's 1983 International Encyclopedia of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal; Martin Popoff's 1997 Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal and 2003 Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal Volume 1: The Seventies; and occasionally even this writer's own expanded 1998 second edition of Stairway to Hell: The 500 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums in the Universe.

So almost all of the songs come from the '90s or earlier, though this time at least one from the year 2000 sneaks in -- by Atomic Opera, turn-of-the-millennium pysch/alt/grunge types not unlike Apes Pigs & Spacemen, also included here, from just a few years before. The oldest music in this mix, by contrast, comes from brain-fried circa-1969/'70 acid-boogie outfits Ancient Grease, Andromeda, Arzachel and Atlee; mid-'70s heavy blooze-rock toilers Agnes Strange and A Foot In Cold Water; late '70s progressive metal ensemble Anyone's Daughter; and at least intermittently metallic turn-of-the-'80s AOR pompers Air Raid, Americade and Aviary.

Aragorn, A II Z, and Avenger represent the NWOBHM of the early and mid-'80s, in typically low-budget manner. The later '80s are rounded out with power-prog guys Amulance and Artch; cheapo Brit death-metal dogs Anihilated; and wild-boar-rassling Southern metalpunk rednecks Antiseen. Tech thrashers Abomination; alleged death-metal spoofers The Abyss (really Sweden's Hypocrisy in disguise); sludge/doom/noise nutcases Acid Bath; prog-grinders Agressor; prog-metal traditionalists Altura (aka Myriam Alter); and rap-thrashers Atom Seed all come from the '90s. And now you know about all of them -- more useless knowledge than you'll ever need!

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