Another year has passed and we’ve got at least 300 days or so before everyone starts talking about what the best albums of 2016 will be. Some people don’t really see the beginning of a new year as something truly significant, and others see ist as the perfect chance to start something new in their lives. In the same spirit to make you realize how time flies and how old you’re becoming, we decided to remind you about the bands that started taking themselves seriously enough to release their debut albums 25 years ago. 1991 might not have been as impactful a year as the previous year, but you’ll notice that the hair metal bubble had burst by then, so check out some of these bands that released their first full-length albums in 1991.
Cathedral, Forest of Equilibrium
While doom metal had been around for years beforehand, you’d be hard-pressed to name a heavier album that sums up the genre than Cathedral’s debut album, released in December of 1991. When singer Lee Dorrian left Napalm Death to form the band, many were caught off guard, but were quickly converted upon hearing the album. Borrowing from Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Trouble, and others, Lee Dorrian’s lyrics and delivery are uwavering in their darkness, and touches like flute and acoustic guitar add to the whole atmosphere. While the band would continue on until 2013, this is their finest moment.
When desert rockers Kyuss formed as Katzenjammer in 1987, no one would have guessed that its members would go on to not only be the centerpiece of a scene, but also to front one of the more successful rock bands of the last two decades. Formed as a collective of musicians that would play parties in the desert powered by generators, the band eventually morphed into Sons of Kyuss, and ultimately, just Kyuss Wretch featured the classic lineup of Josh Homme, Nick Oliveri, John Garcia and Brant Bjork. They would only release four albums before disbanding in 1997, but every stoner rock band since has owed a bit to the band. Homme, who only played guitar in Kyuss, would go on to play guitar and sing in his own band, Queens of the Stone Age, with Oliveri on board for the first three albums.
Brooklyn’s Type O Negative occupied their own niche in hard rock and metal until Peter Steele’s sad death in 2010. Forming as Subzero from the ashes of crossover thrash band Carnivore, the band recorded a 1990 demo, None More Negative. Signing to Roadrunner the following year, the mostly intact demo was retitled Slow, Deep and Hard. A semi-autobiographical concept album about being cheated on and suicide (with a revenge theme) Type O’s first album was far more raw and far less commercial than their follow-ups, but the band’s blend of metal, doom and goth established them for the success that followed.
When talking about the early days of US death metal, many will immediately think on Florida’s scene with bands like Deicide, Morbid Angel and Death, but some miles up north was another scene brewing as intensely as the one in the sunny state and that’s the New York death metal scene. Among many bands like Suffocation and Incantation, Immolation was one of the crucial bands defining the scene and Dawn of Possession shows the brutality from the quartet and is regarded as an all-time classic between the old school fans of the genre.
Darkthrone is one of the most iconic black metal bands from Norway and one of the most important ones from the second wave of Norwegian black metal from the early 90’s but, just like Therion above, Darkthrone had a Death Metal phase before turning into what made them as known as they are nowadays. Soulside Journey was the defining album to shape up the black metal style that followed up with A Blaze in The Northern Sky, Under a Funeral Moon and Transylvanian Hunger which are arguably considered some of the most influential records in black metal history.