In the metal underground, it has always been debated which albums are considered the “best”. But what’s “best” often differs from person to person. But this is my list of the best extreme metal has to offer us.
1. Venom – ‘Black Metal’
While early metal bands like Black Sabbath sang of the Devil, Venom shoved their Satan worship in your face. Defining what would become the genre of black metal, Black Metal helped pave the road for what would become unhinged and uncompromising music.
2. Death – ‘Symbolic’
Few names command as much respect as Chuck Schuldiner’s. The mastermind behind Death is considered one of the pioneers and innovating minds behind Floridian death metal. With Symbolic being polished, melodic, technical, and consistent from track one to nine, it’s no wonder the band’s name still receives devotion from its fans.
3. Bathory – ‘Under the Sign of the Black Mark’
From the band’s creator, Quorthon, Under the Sign of the Black Mark has become one of black metal’s most cherished albums. Bathory turned the tongue-in-cheek occultism of Venom into an artistic pursuit. From Satanism to Viking lore, Quorthon made sure to cover it all, leaving behind this album to serve as a template of lo-fi production quality that would inspire legions of black metal bands across the world.
4. Mayhem – ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’
One of the first true examples of modern black metal, Mayhem’s reputation often obscures their musical accomplishments. With unforgettable riffs, an eerie atmosphere, and Attila Csihar’s haunting vocals, you’ll be sent to Hell for sure.
5. Morbid Angel – ‘Altars of Madness’
One of the first death metal bands from the Florida metal scene, Morbid Angel’s Altars of Madness has become a classic of the death metal genre, and one of the best extreme metal albums. Killer tracks like “Immortal Rites”, “Maze of Torment”, and “Chapel of Ghouls” are defining examples of well-executed, technical, death metal.