I am going to dedicate this topic to the obscure, forgotten gems of 80's style traditional heavy, speed or power metal. Anybody who wishes to discuss it are welcome to discuss it here. What this topic is for is introducing other people to the gems of these genres that they should own but probably haven't heard about. Samples are much appreciated, since simple namedropping will probably NOT make a lot of people check out the bands you mentioned. If there are no samples on youtube, or anywhere else, at least include some sort of description of the sound.
To start the thread, I am going to showcase some of my personal favourites. Some of these might be quite famous in their home countries, but they are practically unheard of outside of them.
The first band I am going to showcase is one of my peronal favourites: Aria from Russia.
This is really some excellent fucking heavy metal, sung in their mother toungue. People have called them a "Russian Iron Maiden" and some such, and to a certain extent this might apply, but it's not completely true either, since they have a very unique sound. IMO especially the debut album is excellent. I have also been told that the debut (Megalomania) was in fact the first metal album released in the Soviet Union, but since I have little knowledge of the early Russian underground scene, I cannot really comment on the authenticity of this statement. I know it predates Kruiz' metal releases (also fucking excellent speed metal) and Korrozia Metalla's releases (band used to be good thrash, but sucks now). Read reviews and listen to Aria:
The second band I am going to showcase is Mindless Sinner from my own home country, Sweden.
This is some excellent rocking heavy metal part of what is sometimes referred to as the first wave of Swedish heavy metal (lots of great bands to be found, like Heavy Load, Axewitch, Hiroshima and so on). Really great riffs in a quite melodic but still riff driven 80's heavy metal style. Listen and read reviews:
The next band would be something that apparently a lot of South Americans have heard of, being the original band of a certain Paul Gillman (later in the band/solo project Gillman), being Arkangel from Venezuela.
This is a really good heavy metal band. MA labels them as Speed/Power, which is something I do not really understand, since to me, it is straight up heavy metal. It sounds a bit like Riot from the States sometimes, and there's a lot of Priest in there, but they also have this special vibe that's a bit hard to describe. Lyrics are in Spanish, but when it's this good, it doesn't matter if you can't understand a word they are saying. MA page (only one review for one album) and youtube links:
And finally in this opening post, I am going to showcase a speed metal band from Canada, being Assault from Vancouver.
This band which released only one album of completely awesome speed metal packed with great riffs might be somewhat heard of in Canada (I don't know really) or some Annihilator fans might know of them perhaps simply because of their ties to said band. This one album they released though,is something that should be a classic, And I'm nearly willing to bet that this band would have been huge had they continued. Right now the album is apparently quite rare, and this band is all but forgotten by most metalheads, which is a real shame.
I stumbled across this thread by accident, completely forgetting I posted here once haha, being that it's 6:30 am here & I cant sleep, I thought it'd be cool to resurface this thread, as all ive been listening to the past few months is oldschool Speed/Power Metal.
I dont know the extent of obscurity to these bands, but what is known to some may be completely unknown & obscure to others. Anyway, these are some of my personal favorites:
Scanner: These guys hail from Germany & are still around today, though their last album was released in '02. They've had countless line-up changes, with the only original member being their Guitarist Axel "A.J." Julius. Oddly enough, their first vocalist bears a striking resemblance vocally to Kai Hansen & the album pretty much sounds like the Gamma Ray album you've never heard.
The second band ill mention is called Lords of the Crimson Alliance, they are virtually unknown by most metalheads & there really isnt much info about'em anywhere, only rumors & speculations. Hailing from the US, they released one self titled album, which is truly a forgotten gem of this era.
This third band may be better known to an extent, also hailing from the states, they're a straight US Power act & have some form of acclaim for once having A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister fame in their ranks. Although stated they were a side project, they infact were not. Cities was started by the Vocalist & his brother who played drums in the band. Cities unfortunatley only released one album & a handful of demo's & ep's, this band is highly overlooked & couldve been so much more.
Last but not least: Thunder Way, these guys are from Albania, only releasing one album & although not from the 80's they play an 80's styled Power Metal with slight neo classical influences. Their first & only album was released in '93, so not too far a stretch. They split in '96, it's unfortunate they never followed up their debut as it had virtually no bad songs.
I saw someone already mention Warlord, so I wont bring'em up, but if you've never heard'em definitley worth a listen.
So there it is, 4 killer mostly unknown & obscure bands. Enjoy.
Final Prophecy - Beyond Reality (demo, 1988, their only release): German speed/power with a strong thrash influence. Kinda like Holy Terror if they'd do German speed metal and maybe Vendetta with more speed/power going on. Whole thing's pretty crazy, lots of crazy riffs and solos everywhere, everything mixed with a good dose of unstoppable rage. The whole demo is on youtube:
Definately gotta give some credit to Nitro, an 80s speed/glam metal band that featured Micheal Angelo Batio and ex-Lita Ford vocalist Jim Gilette in their original lineup. Released two albums before splitting. Haven't heard the second one, but the first one is wicked stuff.
SACRILEGE B.C. were one of my favorites back in the day. They were indeed thrash metal, but they had that crossover sound where they would mix the punk with the thrash. http://www.novemberfire.com/ finally re-released their albums on cd and they sound amazing. Check these guys out if you're into bands like CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, D.R.I., etc.
So, Dark Age. There are plenty of bands with that name, but this one is from United States and not the more well-known band from Germany. They are a mix of USPM and NWOBHM, fueled with great guitarwork, soaring and somewhat mystical vocals (kinda like a cross between the vocals on Griffin and Lords of the Crimson Alliance) and plenty of good ideas packed into an EP.