Riffs from the Crypt — Antichrist

Far, far off, on the left hand path of the great metal graveyard, lies an inverted cross bearing the name of Antichrist. (Not to be confused with the seven other Antichrists listed on MA — it’s a busy job, apparently.) The band was woefully short-lived, surviving only for only three years after their 1983 release of Slaughter in Hell. Despite their short career, Antichrist has one of the oldest and most decrepit tombstones in the entire black metal necropolis. Antichrist had all the anti-Christian verve and groundbreaking ferocity of Venom, but with an added flair for catchy songwriting that should have propelled them to the fore of proto black metal.

Riffs from the Crypt – Lord

Stumbling in funereal darkness, I’ve chanced upon the tomb of a long-forgotten Lord! Their only album, The Second Coming, was released in 1988. That’s a bit late for a Riffs from the Crypt post — generally, I try to reserve them for bands who had the talent to become pioneers in their respective genres (like Rat Attack), but were unable to break into the mainstream. But what’s special about Lord isn’t that they were groundbreaking in any way — rather, the reason this album deserves more attention is because it’s a culmination of everything that was good about metal in the 80’s. Nearly every song on the album seems to represent a different era of metal, from its hard rock roots to thrash metal, prog, and everything in between.

Riffs from the Crypt – Dark Age

Today I’ll be shining some light on riffs long forgotten in the Dark Age of 1984. Much of the 1980’s was an embarrassment of riches for metal. Seemingly every year saw albums catapult bands, and even entire genres, to the leading edge of the metal phenomenon. In the rush and tumble of so much groundbreaking music, it was easy for stellar albums to get pushed to the wayside by albums considered legendary almost as soon as they were released. 1984 was no exception; Metallica continued to Ride the Lightning, bringing the thunder to the thrash metal storm, while Iron Maiden, already the World’s Best Band (in my humble opinion) somehow elevated their position with Powerslave. And all the while, smaller bands oozing talent nipped at their heels, discovering riffs and vocal styles and production techniques never before conceived.

Riffs from the Crypt – The Norway Rocks Split

Welcome back to Riffs from the Crypt! Today, we’re disinterring a mass grave. In 1988, Norway’s Angel Records released a five-band split called Norway Rocks, featuring Anesthesia, Manitou, Shellshock, Get Lost, and Thunderdome. The quality of the tracks featured here is outstanding, particularly the contributions from Anesthesia and Manitou. But alas, not every song could be rescued from their Norwegian tomb: both songs from Get Lost have permanently gotten themselves lost, and Shellshock’s second effort appears to have been obliterated. What is left, then, is seven tracks of speed/thrash/power metal intensity, full of tapping solos, tremolo riffs, and headbanging choruses that deserve a second chance in the light.

Riffs from the Crypt – Rat Attack

Welcome to Riffs from the Crypt! This is a new Heavy Blog installment in which we’ll be resurrecting old metal that has been long forgotten, and threatens to vanish entirely; metal interred to dusty cardboard boxes, sepulchred in a junkyard, entombed in a warehouse, or otherwise lost and underappreciated. We will generally focus on metal pre-1990. All genres are game. If it’s old, obscure, and — most importantly — it fucking rips, then the time has come for disinterment in Riffs from the Crypt!