Sunday, March 30, 2008

Top Ten most underrated hard rock/metal bands of the 1980's

This is just my opinion, however I have wasted a great deal of my life listening to and reading about these bands so I think that I know something about them. So here they are with the countdown from ten to number one.

10)Medieval-They only made one LP and one EP, but they were fantastic. Unfortunately they were on a label that did very little to help them so one of the most original metal bands of the decade went largely unnoticed.

9)Lizzy Borden-Between 1984 and 1986 they cranked out a few really solid albums that easily blended hard rock and metal.

8)Cirith Ungol-LA band that drew on Sabbath, Pentagram, Budgie and Priest as major influences. The combined elements of doom, classic metal and more as well as adding their own ideas.

7)Raven-They did a few clunkers in the mid-1980's, but their first three LPs were huge influences on the speed metal scene. They also did one of the best live albums of the decade and returned to being a solid band again towards the end of the decade.

6)Accept-Now they sold some albums, but I they got overshadowed by other mid-paced metal acts of the day like Judas Priest and Dio. However, metal bands even today talk about the impact this band had on them. Udo was and is a one of a kind singer (I mean that in a good way) and in their prime (82-85) these guys just went at it.

5)Metal Church-These guys were cranking out killer heavy music from the word go. They were also just as good with second singer Mike Howe as they were with original vocalist David Wayne. I think they got a little lost and left behind due to the rise of speed metal and they were kind of between speed metal and classic metal.

4)Celtic Frost-Perhaps no one else in the 80's defined the heavy aspect of metal more than this band. They also were not afraid to expand and take changes, but "Cold Lake" was not a chance they needed to take. Still they created sounds that are still influencing bands, but they didn't quite get their due back then.

3)Mercyful Fate-These guys were creating so much as they went along and I don't think even they quite understood the immediate impact they would have on the metal scene. Just solid, well played, tight metal all the way around. I think that King Diamond's image and the lyrics caused people to forgot just how good this band was.

2)Armored Saint-Tremendous straight forward real metal band that kept pushing forward despite trends changing around them and lack of support from their record label.

1)Hanoi Rocks-Between 1981 and 1984 they did four studio albums, a live album and an album of b-sides. Every album was at least very good. They combined elements of 70's glam, hard rock, punk and pop with ease. Unfortunately they broke up by the middle of the decade and got overlooked due to the dominance of too many lame hair bands.

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7 Comments:

Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I agree about Medieval, Raven (especially that live album), Armored Saint and Hanoi Rocks. Lizzy Borden and Metal Church are perhaps on the bubble. They were both good for what they were, but Lizzy in particular was overlooked for a good reason: they were ridiculous.

I disagree about Accept. I think they're notoriety came from having a song with "balls" in the title. They weren't awful and some of their songs had that anthem quality to them, but by and large, they were pretty poor songwriters.

What about Executioner? I also liked At War and Whiplash, but they wouldn't definitely make my underrated top 10. Executioner would without a doubt. I know you don't like them, but I would also put Voi Vod on there. I would consider WASP as well. They certainly were bigger than the other bands on here, but they never seemed to have the success of some lesser abnds that came out of that scene (Ratt, Dokken, etc). I might be off base on that one though.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

At War and Whiplash had inpressive debuts, but so much with each of their sophomore albums. Executioner, Zoetrope and Medieval were the three I really considered for the number ten spot. All were good bands that did two strong albums and none of them got their due. Although Executioner might be the least original of the three and I took that into consideration. Medieval really doing music that could have actually had an impact on the metal scene if people had taken notice of them.

9:51 AM  
Blogger SomethingWicked_v2 said...

I love it! GREAT list! And I'm especially happy that you included Cirith Ungol--how has the majority of the metal world not discovered such a fantastic band, or given them attention, especially in the wake of the recent Lord of the Rings obsession?

And Raven, yes of course, everyone loves "athletic metal" whether they realize it or not. Also, I like that in the few moments I spent on here, you introduced me to quite a few bands I have not yet listened to....thanks :)

6:33 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

somethingwicked_v2-Thanks for stopping by. I think Cirith Ungol were just in the wrong place. They sounded like a NWOBHM band, but were unfortunately in LA coming out the same time Motley Crue, Ratt and all of the hair metal stuff.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Cirith was definitely out of place to get noticed, or at least noticed by the right crowd.

I'm definitely digging the list, though I figure Accept had a little more notoriety; I'd say Russian Roulette wasn't the right album to capitalize on Metal Heart.

Lizzy's the fucking man, no doubt about it. I have the Metal Murderess Show on DVD and compared to the Halloween show I went to last year, the man is such a great performer and crowdpleaser and his entire catalog should be sitting on the shelf of any serious headbanger. Raven, of course you know how much I loved them back in the eighties and I still play Life's a Bitch frequently.

At War, great band. Holocross, yeah, man; too band there was no follow up back then. I think you, me and Bob were the only dudes in MD who knew about Executioner, lol... come on guys, sing with me... "GENOCIDE!!!! GENOCIDE!!!" craziness

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the list. I have to be honest here, there isn't alot of metal here I recognize, but I do recognize Metal Church and Hanoi Rocks. It was a sad day when their lead singer died because of Vince Neil :(

I was wondering what you had to say about W.A.S.P. Mark. They are one of my favorite bands out of the 80's LA Scene and I feel that they are SEVERELY underrated. I feel that they have some of the best lyrics I've ever heard.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Jesterdaze said...

I am waaay late here, but it was not the lead singer (Mike Monroe) of Hanoi Rocks that was killed in the car accident where Vince Neil was the (drunk) driver. It was the Drummer (Razzle)

1:36 PM  

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