Ahret Dev - Hellish
Obscure Polish Death Metal. Actually pretty good.
Animus - Poems for the Aching, Swords for the Infuriated
Hauntingly raw and minimalistic Black Metal - from Israel of all places.
Arcana Coelestia - Le Mirage de L'Idéal
Amazing Italian Blackened Doom. Epic and mystical, the word "atmospheric" doesn't quite do this justice. "Duskfall" is one of my favourite Doom tracks ever.
Aria - Megalomania
The debut of Russian Heavy Metal band Aria (Ария), this is probably among their best work. One of the first Heavy Metal bands to exist during the Soviet Union, and apparently one of the most popular Hard Rock bands in Russia. They don't seem to get much notice in other parts of the world though, and they deserve a good listen. As good as any traditional Heavy Metal really.
Aspid - Extravasation
Russian Technical Thrash Masterpiece
Carbonized - Disharmonization
Weird, twisted avant-garde Death Metal that was very different to the other bands playing in the early Swedish Death Metal scene.
Carcharoth - From The Cavern Come
Progressive/Melodic Death/Black Metal from Australia. I don't even remember where I heard of this obscure record, but it has a pretty interesting Black Metal sound, often with acoustic interludes. Bonus points for having an obscure Tolkien inspired name.
Carnage - Dark Recollections
Great Swedish Death Metal. "Deranged From Blood" is a true Death Metal anthem.
Crimson Glory - Crimson Glory
Super classy Progressive Heavy/Power Metal. A classic of the genre.
Crimson Glory - Transcendence
The band do the impossible and make an album that arguably tops their brilliant debut.
Electrocution - Inside The Unreal
Oldschool Death Metal from Italy.
Dark Quarterer - Dark Quarterer
One of the most underrated sub genres in my opinion is that of "Epic Heavy Metal", this means Traditional Heavy Metal written in epic songs that rarely finish before the five minute mark and incorporate often cheesy mystical fantasy lyrics. It's hard for me to justify how this is different from "Progressive Heavy Metal" but you'll know it when you hear it. A lot like Candlemass (Epic Doom Metal I guess) but with less Doom and more in the vein of general traditional Heavy Metal. Some of Savatage and Fates Warning's records could be put into this genre quite easily I suppose, but not so much Dream Theater or Queensryche. I suppose it's just the fantasy lyrics and the oldschool 70s or 80s sound in an epic format that describes it best and distinguishes it from modern Progressive Metal. Either way, this Italian band is one of the best examples.
Dark Quarterer - The Etruscan Prophecy
Possibly even better than the band's debut, and a much easier listen due to the cleaner and more audible production.
Dawn - Nær Sólen Gar Niþer For Evogher
One of the more overlooked Swedish Black Metal bands.
Demigod - Slumber Of Sullen Eyes
Thick, sludgy, impossibly heavy sounding Finnish Death Metal that deserves more credit. The best album the band produced and a DM classic.
Demilich - Nespithe
Masterful, bizarre sounding tech death.
Desecrator - Subconscious Release
Almost unheard of UK Death Metal that is really quite good.
Desire - Infinity...A Timeless Journey through an Emotional Dream
Atmospheric Death Doom from Portugal.
Digger - Stronger Than Ever
When Grave Digger sold out in the late eighties, they cut the "Grave" from their name and became "Digger". Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess for Power Metal fans) they sucked and nobody really cared about their music, and so Grave Digger was reformed and have been making top draw German Power Metal ever since. However, this album isn't really that bad and is quite good fun to listen to, if like me you enjoy cheesy eighties Heavy Metal. It's as silly as it is naive, but that's why it's fun. Also, it's got a fucking robot Donald Duck on the album art, so that's something.
Dream Death - Journey Into Mystery
This Doom/Death/Thrash(yes, really) band is a lost gem of Heavy Metal's heyday. Their combination of genres makes them sound like a culmination of everything that was good about Metal in the eighties and the cheesy fantasy lyrics are brilliant fun.
Falkenbach - ......Magni Blandinn Ok Megintiri...
Viking Metal masterpiece.
Flotsam And Jetsam
Somewhat overlooked Thrash Opus.
Forgotten Woods - As The Wolves Gather
Probably my favourite of three albums released by this band that have faded into obscurity.
Gandalf - Gandalf
Sublime sixties pychedelia. Sadly the only record the band ever released.
Heaven's Gate - Livin' In Hysteria
Classic Heavy/Power Metal.
Heir Apparent - Graceful Inheritance
Great under appreciated Power Metal.
Infester - To The Depths in Degradation
Genuinely spooky sounding atmospheric Death Metal.
In The Woods... - Heart Of The Ages
Black Metal masterpiece.
Iron Claw - Dismorphophobia
Great 70s hard rock band that never quite made it. "Winter" is an amazing track.
Kvist - For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike
Overlooked amongst the releases of the so called second wave of Black Metal; it's a shame this album is the only full length the band put out before they split up because this is excellent stuff.
Leaf Hound - Growers of Mushroom
Excellent bluesy 70s hard rock, unbelievably good at times.
Legend - From The Fjords
Noteworthy as being one of the first Metal bands to base their lyrics and theme on Viking mythology - way back in 1979 - and also a great Epic Heavy Metal album full of great riffs.
Lurker Of Chalice - Lurker Of Chalice
A side project from Wrest of Leviathan, this amazing release of Ambient Black Metal is one of a kind.
Lykathea Aflame - Elvenefris
One of my favourite Death Metal releases of all time, this album can be described as "Progressive Technical Brutal Death Grindcore" but really even that does not tell the full story. Insanely twisted and complex Death Metal with the intensity of Brutal Death and Grindcore infused with Eastern melodies in a way that strangely works. The lyrics are also a brilliant deviation from the standard Death Metal style, being all about Ancient Egyptian philosopy.
Massacra - Final Holocaust
Whilst early Death Metal was dominated by the American and Swedish scenes, this underrated French band quietly released their epic debut, in my mind one of the finest DM albums ever released.
Megaslaughter - Calls From The Beyond
Great early Death Metal.
Morgoth - Cursed
One of my favourite under-appreciated oldschool DM albums from this great German band.
Ne Obliviscaris - The Aurora Veil
This band have received a lot of attention lately, but I feel that this demo is worth a mention as it was the release that started the hype. Really quite unique, the label of "black metal" doesn't really entirely suit this epic, symphonic, progressive and melodic music on display here. Like Wintersun, this band make complex, multi-layered Extreme Metal. They have since produced a great full length album, but this demo is where it all began.
Nihilist - Nihilist (1987 - 1989)
The band that would later become Entombed only created a handful of demos. Fortunately this compilation was released in 2005 and contains just about all of their songs, many of which would be recreated on later Entombed records. Still, this is some awesome oldschool Death Metal worth listening to.
Nocturnal Depression - Four Seasons To A Depression
Mesmerizing Depressive Black Metal from France. One of their best releases despite being a demo.
The band's first album and one of my favourite Depressive Black Metal records.
Nokturnal Mortum - Lunar Poetry
This right here is probably my favourite demo ever, though it contains enough material to be a full album. Amazing Black Metal from Ukraine.
Nokturnal Mortum - The Voice Of Steel
Probably more of a Folk Metal release than a Black Metal one, this is easily one of my favourite Folk records ever. Somewhat unappreciated in the greater Folk Metal genre though.
Badass sci-fi Death Metal.
Phafner - Overdrive
Totally obscure 70s rock. "Plea From the Soul" is just excellent.
Racer X - Street Lethal
Cheesy Speed Metal Fun that gave Paul Gilbert his first showcase of his shredding abilities.
Revenant - Prophecies of a Dying World
Great Death Metal with one of the more interesting album covers of the genre.
Riot - Thundersteel
Perenially overlooked Heavy Metal.
Satan - Court In The Act
Masterful Magnum Opus of NWOBHM.
Sempiternal Deathreign - The Spooky Gloom
One of the coolest band names ever was chosen by these deathdoomers who were lightyears ahead of their time. Very different to late 80s Death/Thrash music that dominated early Death Metal.
Shiva - Firedance
Great band that got labelled as NWOBHM due to the era in which their one and only record was released, however they were more of a prog rock band (kind of like Praying Mantis). This is actually a really good prog album.
Sortilege - Metamorphose
Talented Heavy Metal from France.
Terrorizer - World Downfall
Infamous Elite Grindcore. The band later reformed in 2005 and have released several albums since, but nothing compares to their original masterpiece.
Timeghoul - Panaramic Twilight
Really cool progressive Death Metal demo. If only this band had created a full album.
Winger - Winger
Underrated Glam Metal from a talented band. This self titled debut should be in the top draw of any glam and 80s hard rock collection.
Winterhawk - Revival
Although it was released in '82, this album is a child of the 70s through and through. Great hard rock with progressive flourishes.
Varathron - His Majesty At The Swamp
One of the first and best Black Metal bands from Greece.
Vinterland - Welcome to My Last Chapter
Brilliant Swedish Melodic Black Metal.
Vuvr - Pilgrimage
Weird, progressive Jazz Death from the Czech Republic.
Any more obscure/rare and underrated albums I should check out? message me and I'll listen to 'em.