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General Metal Discussions » 1990's metal recommendations
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  • Cheers guys,

    I personally hold the opinion that 90's metal SUCKS, at least when compared to the 80's. We may discuss this later.
    There are, of course, exceptions of the rule.
    What I am lookin for is bands that translated that raw metal sound of the 80's into the 90's without adopting any of those modern influences that made life miserable ever since.
    For example:
    JJ. Merciless Wicked Witch - Olde Smoke (1993)
    Daktal - The Chosen (1996)
    Visitör - Visitör (1993)
    Invicta - We live for Heavy Metal (1992)
    I am not looking for bands like Manilla Road or Cirith Ungol. While they did release great albums in the 90's, their best works come from the 80's and I consider them as purely 80's bands.
    Feel free to discuss all my points and share your opinions and recommendations.
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    I agree, the eighties was a very fertile period for many different styles of music, especially Heavy Metal. The decade produced many of the classics that we all love and never get tired of spinning. From my perspective the transition from the eighties(I was turned onto HM in 87') into the early nineties (1990-1994) was still giving us some quality release but after 1994 it all took a nose dive. The new bands in my opinion were garbage and established bands were making the weakest albums of their careers.It was a dark time for both fans and bands. Bands weren't able to survive and fans witnessed the demise of some really good bands to due the industry basically shunning Metal and thinking "Metal was out" and a large number of music buyers bought into that(trends suck),...On the brightside when it started to turn around in the early 2000's we got see these bands reemerge again and open a new chapter in the careers..

    I guess it was similar to when Punk reared it's head in 1977-80, it would be interesting to hear bangers here who went through that..

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    From about 1990 - 1993 there were still tons of good albums.

    In the later 90s you had a lot of really good self-released album and a boom of Progressive, power and Stoner metal.

    Some of the bands I really enjoy that released albums from 96-99. A lot of these are modern feeling but that is because they are progressive and would feel weird being raw. (Incomplete list)

    Thump-N-Crunch
    Tarrasque

    Cain's Alibi
    Conditioned Response / Pavlov's Dogs
    Divine Regale
    The kings Machine
    One
    Under Forge
    Avalanche
    Estranged
    Fenris
    Freewill
    Godwater
    Killer Khan / HOLY MOSES
    Introspectre
    Katella
    Kenziner
    Maximus
    Medalyon
    Porcelain God
    Royal Hunt
    Sleep
    Solitude Aeturnus
    Squealer
    Symmetry
    Talisphere
    The Unholy
    Visionary
    Voice

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    Well one great heavy, or more like powermetal band comes in mind: german Centaur! If you like melodic stuff that has quite powerful riffs. Centaur is good choice.. especially their album God Complex.
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    Wow, wow ...

    Even if, of course, I share your opinion about the huge difference between 80's and 90's, If I dig well, I still can check some GREAT 90's Metal Albums from recent Bands. Let's say for example :

    AGGRESSOR (US - Houston ) - By any Means Necessary 1992
    AIRGED LAMH (GR - Athens ) - A Vertigo Edda Arised (Demo 1996)
    ARGUS (MKD - Skopje ) - Eyes of Argus 1993
    CRONOS (VEN - Caracas ) Al Fin una Victoria / Buscando el Perdon 7” 1991
    DAYS OF YORE (CND – Thetford Mines ) The Mad God’s Wage 1997
    DESAFIO (E - Navarre ) Desafio MCD 1996, 5Tx
    DOOMSWORD (I - Gallarate ) - Doomsword 1999
    FINAL CHAPTER (US – New Orleans ) … It is Written MCD 1991, 6Tx
    GOTHIC KNIGHTS (US – N. York City ) - Gothic Knights 1996
    GUARDIAN ANGEL (GR - Athens ) Travelling by the Wings of Eternity (Demo 1990, 4Tx)
    GUERRERO MEDIEVAL (PAN - Panama City ) Ingrata Humanidad 1997
    HAGGAR (BR - ? ) Haggar (Demo 1995, 3Tx)
    INQUISICIÓN (CHI - Santiago ) - Steel vengeance 1996 & Black Leather from Hell 1998
    INVADER (US - Seattle ) Invader 1992
    JASON (ARG – Buenos Aires ) Justiciero Arcaico 1997
    KAPELLA (RUS - ? ) Kapella EP 1991, 4Tx
    KREYSON (CZE - Praha ) Andel Na Uteku 1990 & Krizaci 1991
    LONEWOLF (F - Grenoble ) - Holy Evil – The Dark Ages 7” 1994, 2Tx + Intro
    MARAUDER (GR - Athens ) - Sense of Metal 1997
    MAY (MYS - ? ) Ziet Geist 1992
    NARITA (DK - Copenhagen ) Narita 1992
    NEMESIS (GR - Kavala ) Against the Past (Demo 1991, 5Tx) & Neverending Destiny (Demo 1995)
    NERO (CZE - Liberec ) Fuck’n’Heavy (Demo 1991, 10Tx)
    ORACLE (US - Greensboro ) - Selah 1992
    ORQUIDEA NEGRA (BR - Lages ) Who’s Dead ? 1992 & Orquidea Negra 1996
    PEGAZUS (AUS - Melbourne ) Pegazus 1995
    POWER CRÜE (GR - Athens ) - the Sign of Rage 1996
    POWER METAL (IDN - Surabaya ) Power One 1991 & Power Mission 1992 & Power Demons 1993
    SAMURAI (ARG – Buenos Aires ) Más Alla del Abismo (Demo 1991, 4Tx)
    SANCTUM (US - NJ ) Believers MCD 1991, 6Tx
    SATAN (F - ? ) 3Tx from 1993
    SEXIT (SLK – Rocoava ) Sexit 1992
    SHARATAN (D ) First Dawn (Demo 1999, ?Tx)
    SKULLVIEW (US - Portage ) Legends of Valor 1998
    SORCERER (S - Stockholm ) - Sorcerer 1995
    STRANGER (KOR - Busan ) Sailing Out 1990
    STS 8 MISSION (D - Bonn ) The Mystery of Time 1990
    SURGEON (D - Dorsten ) The Sign of Ending Grace 1991
    TALISPHERE (US – San Antonio ) Demo 1996, 3Tx
    THYNN ICE (US - Concord ) Thynn Ice 1992
    TIERRA SANTA (E – La Rioja ) Medieval 1997
    TIME MACHINE (I – Milano ) Act II : Galileo 1996
    TORRE DE MARFIL (VEN - Caracas ) Torre de Marfil 1999
    TOTAL ECLIPSE (US – San Francisco ) Guardians of Metal MCD 1999, 4Tx BETTER THAN THEIR LATER CD's SO FAR MORE EPIC & RAW !!
    TREZOR (CZE – Ostrava ) Más Svou Sanci ! 1994
    VANDALIS (ARG – San Juan ) Vandalis (Tape Album 1993)
    VITACIT (CZE - Praha ) Vzhuru Pres Ocean 1990
    VLADIMIR GUSTOV’S RADIO ROCK (Ex-USSR - ? ) - The Russian Eagle 1994
    WOTAN (I - Milano ) Thunderstorm (Demo 1993, 7Tx)
    X-WILD (D – Hamburg ) - Monster Effect 1994
    ZANDELLE (US – New York City ) Shadows of Reality 1997
    ZIONS ABYSS (CND - Edmonton ) T.A.L.E.S. 1991

    Up to you, now, Metal Warriors Brothers : )

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    PETTYPEW - 'Against the Stream of Influence' , YOSH - '1991' and DETEST - 'Thundersteel' are top 90's album!.

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    I personally prefer the 70's the most, especially the early ones. But 80's metal is also very good (and very underrated sometimes) i would say
    1974 - mid 90's would be the best period for me with small exceptions .

    For the 90's i would say bands like :
    Kyd Trigger
    Excess
    Steel and maybe some more. Don't really have that much with the 90's .

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    Strappado wrote:PETTYPEW - 'Against the Stream of Influence'

    YES! I love this album. Everyone needs to hear this before saying '90s metal sucked.

    Some of my other favorites:
    Abraxas - The Liaison
    Embargo - all (especially The Red Tide)
    Insania (Germany) - Set Them Free and One More... One Less
    Pillow Killz - Pillow Killz

    There were also plenty of interesting albums in a non-traditional style, but that's beyond the scope of this forum.

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    Abraxas is great! I have to blast this album right now!!
    This reminds me of another good one: ZAXAS (US).
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    The ABRAXAS is truly great. And I'm glad you mentioned EMBARGO - I love all three CDs, but I think Children of a Lesser God is by far the best one, and is one of the best metal CDs of the whole decade! I totally love that one.

    And CENTAUR was mentioned - though my favorite album by far is Power World - I spun this heavily in the 90s - I totally recommend this one.

    Don't forget Screams and Whispers by ANACRUSIS, killer period for VIRGIN STEELE (the Marriage albums, Invictus, etc, the great ANGRA debut (and followup), the awesome early RHAPSODY's, the classic ROYAL HUNT period, the awesome ANGEL DUST reformation with Border of Reality, and let's not forget SKYCLAD!!! Tons of great 90s metal!!

    Also the CONCEPTION albums, great albums by HEAVENS GATE, the first four KAMELOT albums, 2 killer METAL CHURCH albums (Human Factor, Hanging in the Balance), the first two NIGHTWISH albums, the early POVERTY'S NO CRIME releases, Justice of Fire from POWER, the first PROJECTO which is absolutely killer, the early SHADOWS OF STEEL releases, some of RAGE's best stuff - Trapped!, Missing Link, Black in Mind, etc.

    And some of RUNNING WILD's greatest stuff in Blazon Stone, Pile of Skulls, Black Hand Inn!! And the last good SAVATAGE album, the mightly Edge of Thorns - RIP Criss.

    Early STEEL PROPHET and the incredible first STEEL ATTACK, some great releases by STORMWITCH in War of the Wizards and Shogun, classic STRATOVARIUS, the first SYRIS (and second as well (Unseen Forces) though I like the first a lot better) .... tons of stuff I know I'm forgetting and I hope you all remind me further.

    The two KREYSON albums Anděl na Útěku and Křižáci were mentioned - I totally recommend these as well - I have both the vinyl LPs and CDs - Czech versions for both - which are *FAR* superior to the atrocious English versions which suffer from abominable mis-translations and re-writes of the lyrics. The original Czech lyrics are really cool - but the songs were rewritten into dorky nonsensical crap in the English versions. Whoever did this English-language lyric versions should be shot - the worst job I've ever seen. Poor Křížek had to sing this crap. But the Czech versions rule! I had the English version CDs first, but got rid of them after I discovered the real thing.

    Let's see - a few more I just thought of - the first NARITA album was incredible (the 92 one on Shark/Canyon)!!! Unfortunately they never lived up to that. Remember MOAHNI MOAHNA? Two great albums as well. MYSTREZ The Indictment was some cool thrash. Speaking of which, my favorite DEATHROW album was their last, which came in the 90s - Life Beyond. But they are an 80s band ...what about NOT FRAGILE? Great speed metal that I spun often in the 90s! And there's the early PRIMAL FEAR albums. Hmm ... what about SANVOISEN - two great albums in the 90s. Alright, that's enough for one post ...
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    To StrongerThanEvil: These bands I've listed may not answer to original posters question since some of the are not "translating the 80's sound into 90's" for example very few blackmetal bands I listed. But some are ofcourse. However These are what I feel are my recommendations generally from 90's. I agree with op that 90's metal sucks mostly compared to the 80's. At least to my knowledge much less good albums came out.

    To witchcross: Yes of course Running Wild released some of their best stuff in the 90's (along their great 80's albums). Blazon Stone, Pile of Skulls and Black Hand Inn are all great. Even Masquerade's very good.

    Rage was one of the early bands for me and I prefer their Trapped! being their best by.. if not far.. at least by noticeable margin. Though Missing Link and Black In Mind from 90's are also good as "witchcross" mentioned. But I think even XIII is pretty strong album, though different: darker, slower, more melodic, more.. sypmhonic? I hate to use that word because it may give totally wrong image but yeah.

    But not to repeat everything that witchcross said lets think about a few other ones.

    Angel Dust - Border of Reality (A.D. returns with more power than previous thrash outfit. Quality powermetal)
    Annihilator - Never, Neverland (great early 90's thrash from Canada! up to par with Alice In Hell for me)
    Annihilator - King of The Kill (still quite strong album)
    Artillery - By inheritance (danish trash outfit with their most melodic thrash album up to this point and it kicks ass! '90)
    Atheist - Unquestionable Presence (good technical thrash from US)
    Armored Saint - Symbol Of Salvation (top notch album even with Dave gone. RIP)
    Artch - For the sake of mankind (unknown norwegian power/heavy outfit with second and last album. not as good as debut)
    Blitzkrieg - Unholy Trinity (Nwobhm legend from Uk continues releasing very good albums to the roots)
    Blitzkrieg - Ten
    Blitzkrieg - Mists of Avalon
    Cirith Ungol - Paradise Lost (their last. good Us power)
    Dark At Dawn - Baneful Skies (darker power metal with deep rough vocs '99, worth a try)
    Dead Head - Dream Deceiver (neckbreaking and rather crushing but old school thrash from netherlands '93)
    Dirty Deeds - Danger of Infection (very solid but bit unsurprising trad. metal '96)
    Devastation - Idolatry (their last and most refined album '91 very good US thrash)
    Eidolon - Zero Hour (rather hard hittin' n' neck breaking thrashy power metal. Lacks bit direction and singer doesn't fit but worth a shot '96)
    Eidolon - Seven Spirits
    Enslaved - Vikingligr Veldi (If you like black/viking metal, heres one well produced, ass kicking, authentic '94)
    Enslaved - Frost
    Flotsam And Jetsam - No Place for Disgrace (us thrash '90)
    Forbidden - Twisted into form (more us trash '90)
    Grave Digger - Heart of Darkness (your cheesy german powermetal band with love/hate vocals. Like'em)
    Grave Digger - Tunes of War
    Grave Digger - Knights of The Cross
    Iron Savior - S/t (your regular well made late 90's german power metal)
    Lord Weird Slough Feg, The - S/t (pretty damn authentic and fresh sounding heavy metal from US '96)
    Lord Weird Slough Feg, The - Twilight of Idols ('98)
    MAtthias Steele - Haunting Tales of a Warrior Past (recent discovery by strappado.)
    Nifelheim - Nifelheim (swedish black/trash. If that's your thing then this one's great! '94)
    Paragon - Chalice of Steel (decent german power metal worth checking out for fans of the genre '99)
    Razor - Shotgun justice (very good canadian old school thrash!)
    Razor - Open hostility
    Razor - Decibels (still going pretty strong)
    Ritual - Trials of Torment (fine power thrash from US '92 with soaring/high pitched vocs)
    Root - Temple in Underworld (authentic friggin blackmetal! Cze '92)
    Root - Kärgeräs (My favorite chill out album! Authentic and beautiful compositions from original blackmetal band from Cze '96)
    Sinner - Bottom Line (90's Sinner is still good. Blend of hard rock and heavy/power metal works)
    Sinner - Judgement Day
    Sinner - Nature of Evil
    Testament - Souls of Black
    Testament - Ritual
    UDO - Faceless world
    UDO - Timebomb
    UDO - Solid
    UDO - No Limits
    Vicious Rumors - Welcome to The Ball (very good us power metal with great guitarist!)
    Vicious Rumors - Vicious Rumors
    W.A.S.P. - Still not black enough (Great album by WASP!)
    Wicked Lester - S/t (old school US heavy/powermetal. Great album for David Wayne fans!)
    Widowmaker - Blood and Bullets (good more commercial stuff /w Dee Snyder)

    As you can see above there are many bands that were formed in the 80's. Like OP said many bands as these may be considered as 80's bands more than 90's. Oh well.. There are very few bands that were actually formed after 90's that I do like.
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    Heavens Gate - Livin´ In Hysteria
    Grave Digger - The Reaper
    Grave Digger - Heart Of Darkness
    Grave Digger - Tunes Of War
    Grave Digger - Knight Of The Cross
    Grave Digger - Excalibur
    Rage - Trapped!
    Damien Steele - Damien Steele
    Cirith Ungol - Paradise Lost
    Power Metal - Power Demons
    Inquisicion - Steel Vengeance
    Inquisicion - Black Leather From Hell
    Black Sabbath - Tyr
    Savatage - Streets
    Savatage - Edge Of Thorns
    Savatage - Handful Of Rain
    Narita - Narita
    Savatage - Dead Winter Dead
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    My favorite era of dark metal. The rise of Central-Nordic European + UK metal scene & the crumble of American scene.
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    The 80's is the golden age for Heavy Metal, this is a fact that cannot be denied. Bands coming out from every corner of the planet, from the mainstream to the obscured depths of the underground the great releases are beyond counting. I was mostly into 80s metal too (and still am...) but when i gained access to the net i was pleased to discover a lot of great bands from the 90's too.

    Truth be told, Heavy Metal showed a completely differrent face in the 90's from the very begining. Some blame grunge (or whatever it is called) and the new alternative music that started to make thousands of sales and dominate the charts. This may even have a dose of truth, mostly concerning the labels and their treatment to new bands though. I've read interviews from bands such as Anthrax, Kreator etc blaming grunge but if we think about it most of these bands in the 90's released uninspired albums that had nothing to offer or changed their musical approach to the dissapointment of their fans that turned their backs to them and searched for something new and as a result turned to the most extreme genres that were now at the peak.

    So if we look for the new face of Metal in the early 90's we can clearly see two differrent situations (at least on the surface): we have the exposion of Black/Death Metal (and more sub-genres starting to unearth) in one hand and the differrent approach (with mediocre to dissapointing releases) of most of the old bands on the other hand, with thrash transforming into something completely differrent with little to no comparison to it's original roots (with a few exceptions of course, ''Oppressing The Masses'' by Vio-lence for example wich i consider to be one of the greatest albums of the genre...) and traditional metal beeing buried even deeper by press, labels and fans that were now seeking something new. It seemed that the glory days of Heavy Metal was over once and for all. But does it mean that Heavy Metal was dead?

    That's clearly not the case. If you take a little deeper look you'll see that the underground (again... there were music is not judged by sales or promotion) kept the flame of metal alive with lots of great bands (either new or old) releasing their stuff showing that Heavy Metal is not a passing trend (really, were is grunge now for example?) but a way of life and it will never die as long as people keep supporting it. And the glory days of the 80's will keep inspiring young people to grab their instruments and play the music they like (as it is clear the last years with so many bands coming out again and play metal the way we like it but that's another discussion for another topic...).

    So, ''past tense to future tense let history unfold, so ends a decade now - what will the 90's hold...'' as the mighty Sancturay said at the first song of their ''Into The Mirror Black'' masterpiece (here's one for the list to begin with...).
    I'm sorry for the huge message, got carried away, here's my (of course incomplete) list (tried to stick to Heavy/Power...):

    Albums / EP's:
    Lonely Heart (US) - Mirage (1990) ****
    Apocalypse (US) - Apocalypse (1994) ****
    Rival (US) - Rival EP (recorded in 1991, released in 1998, JEWEL!!!!) ****
    Steel Angel (US) - Inquiete (recently unearthed at the forum by Ode To The Sword and Jasonkont, tons of thanks for this masterpiece
    MASTERPIECE brothers) ****
    Sacred Warrior (US) - Wicked Generation (1990)
    Detest (Swe) - Thundersteel EP (1990)
    Malteze (US) - Count Your Blessings (1990)
    Recon (US) - Behind Enemy Lines (1990)
    Emerald Steel (US) - Emerald Steel (1990)
    Tramontane (US) - December Dark EP (1998)
    Dawn Hawk (Ger) - Dawn Hawk (1990)
    Axiom (US) - Vicious Circle (1990)
    Mystic Force (US) - Shiprecked With The Wicked (1990)
    Crush (Gr) - Kingdom Of The Kings (1993)
    Oracle (US) - Selah (1992)
    Rebellion (US) - ...And The Battle Begins (1991)
    Domine (Ita) - Champion Eternal (1997)
    Doomsword (Ita) - Doomsword (1999)
    Marvel (Esp) - Marvel (1990)
    Visitor (US) - Visitor (1993)
    Stonefield (Swi) - Light Of Lies (1990)
    Psychotic Waltz (US) - A Scial Grace (1990)
    Ice Vinland (Ca) - Masters Of The Sea - The Saga (1998)
    Armed Forces (US) - Armed Forces (recorded in mid 90's after their first album, released in 1999 by OPM)

    ** Could we hope for a decent vinyl reissue of these GEMS???? **

    And some demos:
    Tramontane (US) - MCMXCI (1990)
    Oblivion Knight (US) - Forgotten Realm (1990)
    Chozzen Phate (US-TX) - Demo '95 (1995)
    Stormbringer (US) - Stealer Of Souls (1993 - Tons of thanks for fulfilling this request Strapp, this demo is AMAZING!!!)
    Forte (US) - Dementia By Design (1990)
    Tarot (Ger) - Demo '90 (1990 - tons of thanks to hobgoblin for this one...)
    Nightcrawler (US) - Demo '90 & Lost Messiah (1994 - tons of thanks Witchcross!!!)
    Final Chapter (US) - It Is Written (1991)
    Stream (Ca) - Treats Of The Mystery Sky (1990)
    Deliverance (US) - Sword Of The Necromancer (1990)
    Ageless Wisdom (Gr) - Demo '90 (1990)
    Domine (Ita) - Bearer Of The Sword (1991)
    Emissary (US) - The Calling (1992 - thanks witchcross!!!)
    Inner Strength (US) - Within The Dream (1991)
    XL (Swe) - Demo '90 (1990)
    Haggar (Bra) - Demo '95 (1995 - got it at the forum a few days ago, great demo, many thanks!!!)
    Wotan (Ita) - Thunderstorm (1993)

    Of course there are A LOT more but that's it from me for now...



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    Psychotic Waltz - A Social Grace is a masterpiece
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    Matthias Steele - Haunting Tales of a Warrior's Past: Magnificent album highly recommended.

    Unblessed - Unblessed: Awesome as well

    Nominon - Terra Necrosis: One of the very best swedish death metal albums out there.

    Dissection - The Somberlain, Storm Of The Light's Bane: Both fucking masterpieces.

    And of course, everything grave digger and blind guardian did back then, but i guess you already know that.

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    When it Comes '90's Metal i Mostly Think About Death Metal, Black Metal, Grindcore and Other Sub-Genre's But i Would Realy Recromend

    Raydead - End in Sight (A Fantastic Death Metal Album That Contains a Raw Thrash Influence)
    Dekapitator - We Will Destroy... You Will Obey (Knowing That This Came Out in '98/'99 But is Still a Fun Thrash Album That is in Style of the Good Old Bands Like Possessed, Death & Etc)
    Cabal - Midian (A Very Good Thrash/Death Metal Album That's Remnants of Dark Angel (Darkness Descends Etc...))
    Killjoy - Compelled by Fear (Cabal and This Band Were a Side Project of Killjoy Himself After Necrophagia Split Up But This Album is a Great Speed/Thrash Metal Album in the Style of Bands Like At War, Whiplash, Mandator Etc...)

    Those are My Recromendations
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    A shame these two bands weren't able to get their debuts released earlier instead of in 1991, they at least would have been cult classics like Scanner.






    The album this one is also pretty cool, if "crackier" sounding production wise.




    Mystic Force's The Eternal Quest if you want Crimson Glory (or Oracle) esque prog-power but really condensed and made more concise.


    If Crimson Glory met Watchtower, I think this would be the end result:




    Prodigy/Oracle, who sound a lot like Mystic Force actually if you like really rifftacular, Crimson Glory/Fates Warning styled stuff with even more complex song construction:



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