Riddle of Steel
Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
These Motor City heshers released their homemade cross between epic heavy doom metal and black-eyelined batcave goth to a few hundred turntable owners in 1987. When it got a proper label release a quarter century later, it still sounded weird: Midwestern kids moaning about Vikings, vampires, dead babies, Merlin's elves, legends consulted for girl tips, and ruling the waaaaasteland (which Detroit sure is) on a shoestring budget. Plus Sabbath riffs, Celtic Frost grunts, gang yells, sound effects, vowels undulated like an Arabian goatherd in the Anne Rice-inspired "Kiss Me With Blood": A doozy!