Great Heavy Metal Bands That You Never Heard
(Thanks go out to Rock ‘n’ Roll View for providing this article for the readers of Headbanging Haven.)
The heavy metal and hard rock world is full of creative and sometimes brilliant bands and artists that fans never get a chance to hear or see. With radio watered down with repetitive top 40, classic rock (some people only think that there are 40 or so classic rock songs) and even worse boring country music, there isn’t much room left for new bands, new music - much less heavy metal.
Heavy metal has relied on word of mouth and fans to keep many bands alive. Thankfully, the Internet came along. Heavy metal fans are smart and interested in hearing the latest on the scene. Old and new bands alike thrive together in a soup that is as diverse as the human race.
That brings me to bands that you should have heard of and their music that should be in your play list or collection or in some way in your brain. Some of these bands died off from lack of record label support, changing fads, self destruction, or just simply moved on with their lives.
There are many more bands that are worth mentioning that didn’t make this list. If you have heard of a band on this list, add a comment. If you know of a band that should be added, leave a comment.
Trouble – One of the forefathers of stoner rock though they didn’t know it. This band was known for their contemplative, sometimes spiritual, mostly dark lyrics. At the time of the release of their first album, Psalm 9, some people mistook them for a Christian metal band. Slow and creeping, almost a throwback to Black Sabbath, I find myself cranking this one up and singing along like I’m a heavy metal prophet. Check out “At the End of My Daze,” “Psychotic Reaction” and “Black Shapes of Doom.” I understand that the band may be active again.
Acid Bath – A strange progressive metal band that was a lot of things…a single song could be in three genres. This band came up in the same rock climate as Tool. Grunge was dull and Rush was too old school. This band produced interesting music and was extremely popular in the underground and still is to this day. The leader of the band, Dax Riggs, has gone on to be a fan favorite and has had many projects in many genres. This is worth discovering if you are a Tool fan or a progressive metal fan in general.
Sea of Green – I don’t know much about this band – information about them is scarce on the Internet. I do remember when Time to Fly was released; I didn’t stop playing it for days. As you might be able to tell from the name of the band, they are a stoner rock band. If you like sludge and distortion in your metal, Sea of Green is for you. If you can make your way through the fog, check out “Women Today” and “Annihilation.”
Sword – You didn’t get it right. This is not The Sword. This is the Canadian heavy metal band that was huge in Canada in the late ‘80s. They only made two albums and started out as a Kiss cover band. Don’t worry, they don’t sound even close to Kiss. This would almost be thrash, but they didn’t quite commit to it. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, calls their first album, Metalized, one of the best heavy metal albums of all time…or something like that. Check out “Stoned Again” and “FTW (Follow the Wheel).”
Circus of Power – This band was the Guns ‘n’ Roses of the east coast. They simply rocked some down and dirty swamp music. They wrote songs that were heavy with a nasty guitar sound and had lyrics that you could have read off of some ancient temple as prayers to the gods of rock ‘n’ roll. This band faded away leaving a legacy of drunken midnight debauchery. If you listen to “Call of the Wild,” “Motor” and “Evil Woman” you will understand leather and lust.
McQueen Street – This band was groomed by their record company to be a hair band. At their core, they were much more than that. With the success of Nirvana, their record contract was abandoned and they were set adrift. Derek Welsh, their singer and song writer was a poet at heart and strived to create rock ‘n’ roll as he saw it with the help of Steve Stevens and the famed producer Tom Werman. Unfortunately, the success of grunge will keep us from ever knowing the true vision of Derek Welsh. Their second album, McQueen Street II, was canned by their major label after it was recorded and has since been released independently. Both of their albums are true finds if you are so lucky.
Masters of Reality – This band was really a heavy blues band but heavy enough to be heavy metal in my mind. Ginger Baker (of Cream) played drums at one point. I can remember “The Candy Song” being played on the radio and rushing straight to the record shop to buy it. What rock ‘n’ roll band can make you feel like you are in purple haze without ever consuming contraband? Smooth, airy guitars and lyrics that just begged to be sung along with prompted me to listen to their first album over and over. Masters of Reality never quite fit in with any rock movement. They were all alone in their world and still are. They didn’t self destruct, didn’t have a lack of album sells. The leader of the band just moved on. It’s only rock ‘n’ roll.
You may want to do some of you own research and check out some of the bands that I considered writing about in this article for Headbanging Haven:
Zebra – Zepplinesque band from the early ‘80s that could have been bigger than Boston.
The Front – A psychedelic heavy metal band in the ‘90s that should have came along in the ‘70s.
Kings of the Sun – If Jim Morrison was heavy metal he would have been the leader of Kings of the Sun.
EZO – I still get a heart attack when I listen to this Kabuki/Kiss inspired band from Japan.
Budgie – Maybe Metallica’s biggest single influence.
Blue Oyster Cult – You have heard their hits but you have never heard the band.
Warrior Soul – Half punk, half thrash – all power.
Engine – A heavy metal version of The Cure.
Celtic Frost – One of my most beloved bands and one of the most forgotten.
ZENO – A brilliant guitar player…he is out of place, out of time and signed the biggest record contract in the history of the world in 1986.
This entry was posted on February 17, 2009 at 9:37 am and is filed under Metal lists with tags Acid Bath, Circus of Power, Masters of Reality, McQueen Street, Sea of Green, Sword, Trouble. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.