Five Great Obscure Metal Bands From the ’80s by Shaun Glass of Dirge Within
Dirge Within guitarist Shaun Glass is a heavy metal lifer. In the ’80s he was a member of Sindrome, a thrash favorite within tape-trading circles with their godly Into the Halls of Extermination demo. In the ’90s he spent time in gore-hungry death metallers Broken Hope.
After leaving SOiL in 2007, a band he co-founded a decade earlier, Glass concentrated his efforts on Dirge Within, a group that specializes in a no-nonsense brand of songwriting that has its roots in thrash and classic metal. The band just released There Will Be Blood, their sophomore album, which features one punishing Glass riff after the other.
Since he’s a veteran of the scene, Noisecreep asked Glass for a list of five obscure metal acts he thinks everyone should check out. As you’ll hear below, the dude definitely has great taste.
From the United Kingdom
“Early in the ’80s the UK was the hotbed for the roots of extreme metal with acts like Venom and Saxon raising the bar and with cult punk acts like Discharge gaining a loyal base the mighty Warfare was born.This UK power trio fused the punk/metal hybrid to another level with such classic albums like Metal Anarchy and Pure Filth. These albums reeked of pure angst and violence.”
“Well somewhat known in the metal underground, and putting out a few classic thrash metal albums on Metal Blade, these Canadian thrash gods never got the attention they truly deserved. The 1987 metal epic Forward to Termination album was every bit as brutal as any early Slayer and Kreator. Anyone who really loves thrash metal should look into this band as they have recently reformed and put out another metal gem titled The Ones I Condemn which is a blistering offering.”
From the United States
“Growing up in Chicago and seeing many solid local metal bands as a kid, one band always stood out was the mighty ZnöWhite. Lead by Ian Tafoya aka Greg Fulton, the band’s sound was fast and intense with a tinge of Kill ‘Em All influence, but what set them apart was the insane female vocals of Nicole Lee. The band issued three solid albums, but the savage riffs on 1988’s Act of God set the standard that not many could keep up with. Hands down Ian’s picking hand was that of a razor blade in a tornado.:
From the United Kingdom
“This act was pure heavy metal from the UK with a sound much closer to the roots of metal like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. The self-titled 1983 debut album was full of many melodic power metal-ish tracks like “Break the Chains” and “Sunrise In Tokyo.” If you love straight up NWOBHM, then look up some of this band’s early offerings as they are true metal classics.”
“Sweden’s best kept heavy metal secret. On their debut Shakin’ Brains album, they offered total guitar shredding in the Yngwie Malmsteen zone. Fans of Rainbow and Steeler would for sure worship this classic gem. This was one of the earlier bands for the Johansson brothers (Jens and Anders), both of whom later enjoyed success with several other artists,among them Malmsteen, who himself was in an earlier incarnation of this band.”