BY KELLEY SIMMS
There are many influential releases celebrating three decades of existence in 2019. Before the year wraps up, we here at Outburn would like to spotlight the most notable metal outings that were released in 1989.
The criteria for making this list is mostly based on the album’s intensity, sound, riffs, songs, cover art, and album title, and not on sales numbers.
1. SEPULTURA – Beneath the Remains
The third album from the Brazilian “Jungle Boys” was an absolute game changer in the world of heavy metal. Consisting of a battering rhythm section, riffs that changed on the drop of a hat, and some of the best harsh-barked vocals, Sepultura was welcomed with open arms.
2. MORBID ANGEL – Altars of Madness
Floridian death metal band’s debut album is one of the most influential albums of the genre. With Altars of Madness, Morbid Angel created a slab of memorable metal magic.
3. OVERKILL – The Years of Decay
Overkill is one of the most consistent thrash bands around today. Building off the influential Under the Influence the year before and two years prior from creating the awesome Horrorscope, The Years of Decay is a decent stopgap to what the band later achieved.
4. OBITUARY – Slowly We Rot
Raw and savage, Floridian death metal stalwarts were just coming into its own on its debut release. It successfully laid the foundation for what would transpire on its 1990 masterpiece Cause of Death.
5. NUCLEAR ASSAULT – Handle with Care
Crossover influence thrash metal at its best, “Critical Mass” was one of their standout signature songs in their whole catalog. Despite a few duds (“Funky Noise,” F# (Wake Up)”), the band really came into its own with this release.
6. SODOM – Agent Orange
Teutonic thrashers Sodom really honed their craft when they created this masterpiece. On its eight straight forward, precision thrash attacks, Sodom sounds as vicious as ever.
7. KREATOR – Extreme Aggression
Not the best production, but the nine tracks posses the right amount of aggression with razor sharp riffs. This album was a precursor to what these German thrashers would do on their next release.
8. EXODUS – Fabulous Disaster
Although a step up from previous album Pleasures of the Flesh, it’s still not the strongest of Exodus albums with two mediocre cover tracks and a vapid dud (“Cajun Hell”). It does however boast the band’s signature mosh pit anthem “Toxic Waltz,” which was all over Headbanger’s Ball back in the day.
9. KING DIAMOND – Conspiracy
Not the best in King’s arsenal, especially after having to follow previous masterpiece Them. However, standout tracks “At the Grave,” “Sleepless Nights,” and “The Wedding Dream” are well worth the price of admission.
10. TESTAMENT – Practice What You Preach
Having to follow their previous album The New Order was, well… a tall order. Although Practice What You Preach isn’t as thrashy as their first two releases, the band was at the peak of its popularity.