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The metal universe is chock full of legendary, long lasting acts who delivered album after album of excellence or at least some level of  consistency, even with a misstep or two; for example, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, Dismember, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Incantation, Deicide, Suffocation etc.

But for every one of those bands that had the right recipe for longevity and quality, there are 50 or more that never ‘made’ it. And my made it, we mean they just had one killer album or EP and for any number of reasons, never followed that release up.

So here at TeethoftheDivine, we decided to survey our staff and get their picks for those, ‘One Hit Wonders’ for lack of a better term.  The Right Said Freds, Los Del Rios, EMFs, Gerados, Vanilla Ice’s and Baha Men of the metal world who teased us with one release of stunning material, then …..’poof’!….nothing.

We were pretty loose with the list, but tried to limit it to bands that had one EP or album, not including demos or subsequent compilations, reissues of said release and such after that release.

Did we miss a release? Do you have a release that you hold near and dear, but stands alone in a band’s discography? Let us know in the comments!


DisincarnateDreams of the Carrion Kind. After his split with Chuck Schuldiner and Death on Spiritual Healing, James Murphy surfaced in Disincarnate, and their lone album in 1993. It was an album that was a perfect blend of Murphy’s time in Death and Obituary, complete with his melodic lead work. “Monarch of the Sleeping Marches” remains one of my favorite death metal songs to this day. There were rumors of another album a few years ago, but alas nothing has surfaced.

Liers In WaitSpiritually Uncontrolled Art.  A duo that had deep roots with At the Gates and their forebearers, Grotesque, (notably Kristian Wåhlin), this was a little ahead of its time even as then a formative At the Gates were still a bit more experimental in 1992. And clearly as melodic death metal grew and blew up, this 5 song EP was just a bit too chaotic and out there for what labels and fans were wanting at the time.

HamartiaTo Play the Part. There was a fuckton of one-hit wonder metalcore bands to blow up and fade in the metalcore explosion of 00s, but this lone release from guys that went on to form With Honor and Bury Your Dead was easily one of the best. It one of my first exposures to the later, melodic, Euro-inspired metalcore style while writing for digital metal, and subsequently, I discovered Poison the Well, Unearth, Shai Hulud, Between the Buried and Me, Darkest Hour and such. Thanks, Hamartia.

Visceral EviscerationIncessant Desire for Palatable Flesh. One of the most bizarre releases of the early 90s. It took Paradise Lost‘s Gothic (which came out the same year) and threw in gross-out Pungent Stench/Autopsy lyrics and out there, random injections of psychedelia, Melo-death and female/male operatics along with the experimental death doom. Wacky stuff that’s still out there over 30 years later.

Accidental SuicideDeceased. I’ve mentioned this album in several other lists and articles over the years. I heard “Misery Hunt” on a Peaceville compilation of some sort, and immediately sought the album out. They unabashedly copied Autopsy’s gurgling, sloppy doom-death, especially vocalist Ed Jackson (RIP) and his super moist, icky growls. But the one album he performed on was well worth it.

Eternal SufferingDrowning In Tragedy. Another short lived USDM act from the 90s, that did one excellent album and called it quits. Certainly Suffocation worship at its core but songs like “The Warmth in Her Torment”, “Rise” and “To Sadness, Betrothed” had some of the best grooves of the genre and era.   Here’s some loud music that sounds like its saying “I’m angry…I’m very very angry…:”


I had trouble narrowing this list down, but I am sure many of us have our favorite one hit wonder bands.  Bands who only ever released one album, but that album(s) resonated with us throughout the years.  I came up with 7 bands who only ever released one album, but that I have loved for many years, and the majority of them are pretty damn obscure. Also- Frank beat me to the punch with Desecrator’s Subconscious Release, dammit. a true UK one hit death metal wonder.

Unseen TerrorHuman Error. Released on Earache Records in 1987 as MOSH 4, it’s one of Earache’s earliest releases featuring Shane Embury on drums.  Shane would soon go onto Napalm Death and UK’s Unseen Terror were around only from ’86-’90.  Playing a blistering form of grindcore/crust/hardcore.  Unbelievably catchy, positive and unifying  lyrics, along with war/terror themes and a penchant for including the cartoon character Garfield into various songs.

Intense DegreeWar in My Head.  Released on Earache Records in 1988 as MOSH 9, another UK band similar in style to other UK ultra-blasting bands like Heresy/Unseen Terror/Napalm DeathWar in My Head is the fastest album ever!  Even faster than Napalm Death’s From Enslavement to Obliteration.  Grindcore/crust/hardcore played with deliberate precision and beyond catchy songs. Absolute intense insanity.

DemilichNespithe.  Released in ’93, this Finnish death metal band ushered in a new era of brutality.  Antti’s vocals were/still are a heavy vocal influence in some of my tones.  With song titles longer than an anaconda and sludgy heaviness with bizarre signature time changes this album still boggles my mind.  I was fortunate to see them live a few years ago and they were insanely awesome.  One of the best death metal albums ever released.

Beyond PossessionIs Beyond Possession.  This Canadian band was short lived and this outstanding album was released in 1986.  Playing a brutal form of thrash/crossover metal with one of the earliest blast beats, as well, the vicious “You’re So Important”.  Like all the other mentioned albums I mention here, I know this album front to back, Christ I have had it for like 35 years.  Excellent heavy rhythms and fans of Cryptic Slaughter would love this band.

DesecratorSubconscious Release.  This UK early death metal band went unnoticed for quite some time, until the album was remastered, by Mosh Tuneage in 2012.  I have enjoyed this album for over 30 years.  Super heavy, really low vocals and while the musicianship may not have been the tightest with respect to the drumming, who cares, when music is this catchy, as well as heavy. Some monster pit-moving songs, like “Ineffectual Condition”, as well and the band wrote longer some songs.

Lord CrucifierThe Focus of Life.  This Italian band, was yet another short lived band and the album has only ever been released on vinyl, in 1988.  I would love to have a remastered cd.  This album was released on the shitty Metalworks label and Lord Crucifier’s songs were certainly bizarre in lyrical and musical arrangements, but of course I still own the original vinyl.  The band played some blistering thrash/speed metal and the title track and “The Scarecrows” are still 2 of my favorite metal songs.

WinterInto Darkness.  Seeing Long Island New York’s Winter several times live prior to and after Into Darkness was released, in ’90, are cherished memories for me, from 1989-1991.  This is the best doom/death metal album ever released.  Some definite Celtic Frost influences were present and Winter had a calculating cold heaviness to them drenched in atmospheric heaviness.  One of the most perfect album covers to go along with the music.


CereklothIn the Midst of Life We Are in Death. This album was my first purchase from Hells Headbangers (although certainly not the last). I loved the album so much I bought the shirt and wore it out fairly quickly. It’s still available, so maybe I’ll buy it again. Anyway, this came out in 2013 and the band promptly decided to break up. What a bummer. This is solid death doom with more of a focus on the “death” part and you’d be a damned fool not to check it out.

Headmeat Mass Sociogenic Illness. (In my most condescending, elitist voice) This next band you probably haven’t heard of (pushes up glasses). Honestly, I’m really surprised more people haven’t. This band had so much potential, releasing this experimental slab of, well, let’s say progressive deathened black metal? Clean vocals? Check. Symphonic elements? Check. Unfortunately, I must admit I did not hear this album until probably about 2015, despite it coming out in 2005 and literally purchased it for $3 on CD from a bargain bin at the record store my friend used to manage. These guys seriously could have been huge.


I’ve only got one album that I felt I needed to mention in this special, but I think it’s a fucking doozy – and one of the most criminally underappreciated albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.


Now, hear me out. Some of you may call this cheating, as Vattnet was really the remaining parts left behind after vocalist/guitarist Nick Thornbury left New Hampshire Post Black Metallers Vattnet Viskar in 2018, but anyone who listened to Vattnet Viskar‘s prior works next to Vattnet‘s lone release would struggle to believe they shared any history or similarity with one another. Indeed, Thornbury’s departure was as surpising as the band’s drastic change in sound that came after, as the back-to-back success of 2013’s Sky Swallower and the HIGHLY critically acclaimed Settler sky-rocketed the band to the forefront of the USBM scene, landing them on tour with the likes of 1349 and Taake and many other of the Black Metal elite. But if you listened closely, you’d find that Vattnet really did feature many of the defining characteristics that made Settler such a success – just with a re-focused shift in priorities. The remaining members, with bassist Casey Alyward moving over to guitar and vocal duties, took a much cleaner approach to their sound, blending spacious, Deftones-like stretches with thick, Post Metal riffs and epic, beautifully crafted guitar melodies that are still as infectious as the first day I heard them. Seriously, try listening to tracks “Sugar” and especially the last 3 minutes of the epic “Time Will Prove Everything” and try to get those songs out of your head. You’ll thank me when you find that they can’t.

Unfortunately, we will likely never know what the band’s evolution could have grown into. It seems they were never quite able to find its footing after such drastic changes, and the audience they’d built with Vattnet Viskar just never migrated over with the shift – I suppose yet another unfortunate example of expectations never giving the artists a chance. For his part, Casey Alward went on to join Astronoid, but I’d give anything for the trio of him, Chris Alfieri and Seamus Menihane to come back together some day to give Vattnet one more go, because the one album that group of musicians created was an absolute stunner.


Genocide KommandoBlack Metal Supremacy (Moribund Records)Black Metal Supremacy was a one off collaboration between Noktu of Gestapo 666 (whose records are as close of a follow up to this as one will get), Mortifera, Celestia and Kommander Horrendus, later of Corpus Christii, Morte Incandescent, and others.  All projects have lengthy catalogs, which has always been upsetting to me when their collaboration is the hateful magic that I know will never be reignited. Why do I love this album?  It could be a timing thing.  I was just dipping my toes into black waters when I saw the cover art pop up.  Probably on Blackmetal.com.  Even with very limited exposure I’d trudged through enough early distro websites to form an idea of the general art aesthetic at the time, but Black Metal Supremacy’s featuring of decked out Satanic, capital “S”, anti-riot corp was more realistically menacing than most.  It immediately spoke to my dark side.  I took the 30 minutes to download a single song to sample.  Its sickly tuned,medium-fast term picking, militaristic lockstep drum programming, and uniquely depraved scorched earth snarling vocals impressed a genuine sense of danger on my ears.  Why does no one else have love for this album? All of the archetypes present in form but each element maligned such that it is perhaps just enough askew to turn off many, for all of the reasons described prior.  Black metal in tried and true style that isn’t just an early Burzum or Dark Throne record.  The difference is there is no folk fantasy element to buffer the content.  Black Metal Supremacy point-blank aims its ill will toward humanity just as the Satanic storm troopers upon the cover. Or…OR… people find it boring.  As a listener, I do tend to focus on everything but the form.  It’s template black metal but with the right presentation, effective riffs, and nauseating tones. A note to Moribund Records: put some goddamn respect on this album.  It’s coming up on the 20 year anniversary and I declare it’s the perfect candidate for a ridiculous picture disc reissue.  That’s an order directly from the Satanic Fronts top brass!

DrippingDisintegration of Thought Patterns During A Synthetic Mind Traveling Bliss (Macabre Mementos). My experience with mind-altering substances is limited but I love music made by people that are seasoned psychonauts.  Anyone that knows this album probably does drugs because they’re chasing the dragon that was their first time hearing Dripping’s only album (Not counting the Bring The Suffering demo collection).  21 minutes isn’t enough but we’re glad it exists.  The title sums it up.  These New Jersey basement burnouts let the herb, and New York rap lead their blissful interpretation of what death metal could be.  The track flows of adderall buzzing brutal death metal interrupted with dub edits, and short beat loops is jarring in the best way.  

Blood RevoltIndoctrine (Profound Lore). Another collaboration between prolific artists but this time quite a bit more diffuse in style.  Vocalist Alan Averill of Primordial essentially fronting Canadian lightning force of war metal, Revenge.  …Whaaat!?  Surely one of the most distinct unions any metal weirdo would agree.  The vocal performance is that of a mentally unsound, conspiracy-obsessed ex-singer of a hardworking but obscure 80s thrash band.  His Larynx strained from mostly yelling his thoughts to anyone who will make eye contact.  It’s hard to know if the band is sympathetic, or if they’re exploiting a man on the verge of complete disassociation.  Either way, the Revenge boys just feed the fire with a relentless, exhausting drum assault and fire and brimstone razor cyclone of riffs.  It’s an insane record.  The rare album that reminds one how metal can still be a bewildering and surprising genre especially having come out at a time when the metal world seemed perfectly content with recycled 80s crossover thrash.  If you need a taste “God’s Executioner, Praise Be” should peel your wig back.

Hamartia – To Play The Part (Good Life Recordings). Most melodic metalcore was criticized as being a kid-friendly rip-off of At The Gates, and In Flames but Hamartia was one of the very few of that early run of such bands that could make any respectable claim to be writing riffs that held their own ground.  Darkest Hour, As I lay Dying, Unearth, Undying all achieved a following and surprising success within that sound.  None of them ever got from under the aforementioned criticism.  The only other comparatively original take that skirted that is 7 Angels 7 Plagues. Unfortunately Hamartia didn’t make due on the record or their potential as a unit, having broken up before it was released by Euro label Good Life.  It was never given a chance.  But the members continued on, forking off to institutions like Bury Your Dead, Between The Buried And Me, and to a lesser extent With Honor.




Midvinter – At the Sight of the Apocalypse Dragon (Black Diamond Productions & Invasion/Death Records). Aaahh Midvinter, you sneaky little underrated and under the radar piece of black metal magnificence you. Formed in 1993, the band’s only proper output was their sole album, 1997’s At the Sight of the Apocalypse Dragon, but what an album it was. The trio, comprised of vocalist, Kheeroth, guitarist/bassist, Damien, and drummer, Zathanel, seemed to come out of nowhere with a sophisticated and dynamic album of damn near black metal perfection if there ever was one. Produced by the infamous Andy LaRoque (King Diamond/Death), the album seemed both ahead of its time and steeped in the roots of elders, and frankly, both album and band arguably should have been the recipient of the critical praise and acclaim that went to Emperor and their Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk full-length, also released in 1997. Not that Anthems wasn’t a fantastic album, because it was/is, but I truly believe Midvinter‘s release to be the better of the two if I had to pit them against each other. Catchy and moody, driving and melodic, blistering, infectious and intense, and usually all within each track, At the Sight of the Apocalypse Dragon throws down the gauntlet of black metal ferocity. It’s full of emotional bliss and brilliance, with a slight sense of somberness and melancholy at times, and somehow manages to be (mostly) all thriller and no filler despite each of the album’s tracks clocking in at eight minutes or more. Coming in at slightly over an hour in length, I used to think the album was actually a bit bloated back in the day. Yet all these years later I now consider the album’s exuberant running time to be another positive in the sole notch of the belt of Midvinter. Exactly what you want out of a black metal album, and a damn near perfect example of what black metal should be, at least twenty-four years ago.

Indwelling- And my Eyes Shall Weep (Facedown Records). I love Indwelling and their siblingless album And My Eye Shall Weep. I love it for two reasons. One, it’s a greatly written and performed piece of death metal, and two, it’s got a huge pair of balls. Seriously my friends, imagine a band with the crushing heaviness of Suffocation, the suffocating oppressiveness of Incantation, the technical chops of Cannibal Corpse, and the overt progressive fortitude of Nile, wrapped with a direct, in your face, message of Jesus Christ, as well as a bit of that hardcore attitude prevalent amongst most of Facedown Records’ roster, and you’ll understand what Indwelling is and all about. And if you don’t think pushing a biblical message of Christianity while playing death metal as brutally genuine as this isn’t ballsy, then well, that’s like your opinion, man… No matter what your stance is religiously if you even have one at all, when it comes to metal and all its glorious subgenres the fact remains that the majority of the players out there push a secular content when it comes to lyrical bases. Love ’em or hate ’em, those out there bringing a non-secular theme and/or message to their metal have got more balls than most metal fans would like to admit. Regardless of what Indwelling present in the lyrical department, the fact is that this death metal power trio bring the pain when it comes to the jams. Originally released in 2003, the album pushes just as hard today as it did then. I could easily break down and dissect the greatness of each track, but why? Simply put, pick any one of the album’s ten tracks and you’re guaranteed to be picking a winner.

I Am War –  Outlive You All (Razor & Tie). Can you believe that the raging metalcore heydays of the then blooming 21st century are already approaching the twenty year mark? When did we get so much older? Oh well, that’s life… A lot of names pop up when taking a trip down metalcore memory lane, from the big dogs to the little guys, there was definitely no shortage of bands that came to offer their take on a stylized form of American hardcore meeting the Gothenburg sound. Among the myriad of bands that emerged at this time, few were as successful as Bleeding Through and Atreyu. While both bands were not necessarily too far removed from each other as a whole, deeper inspection clearly showed they represented two sides of the same coin. One, a bit burlier and beefier, almost deathly at times, and the other, more accessible and full of poppy sing-along choruses. With I Am War and their sole effort, Outlive You All, we get a really good medium between both Bleeding Through and Atreyu as this duo (trio if count producer, engineer and drummer, Mick Kenney) are comprised of Bleeding Through‘s Brandan Schieppati and Atreyu‘s Alex Varkatzas. In fact, Outlive You All is, to my ears, a damn near-perfect metalcore album, at the very least it’s a shining example of how metalcore had its own brand of seething, vicious, and attainable extremity. No keyboards, no overtly clean, sappy or crooning vocals, no sing-along choruses, just short, sharp, crisp bursts of blasty aggressive metalcore that extremely satisfies, gang shouts and all. Pretty much every attribute of what one likes about ‘core, be it hard or metal, are to be found within Outlive You All, and the album’s thirteen tracks. Granted, the band’s full-on, straight too the point approach can be a bit exhausting by the time you reach the album’s end, as constantly going for the jugular doesn’t leave room for much variation, but all in all this thing is a winner, winner…plus you get the awesome skills and contributions of Mick Kenney, you know, the man responsible for the brilliance of Anaal Nathrakh

God Macabre  – The Winterlong..(M.B.R. Records) . One of Sweden’s first death metal bands, the band was originally known by the moniker Macabre End and even released a demo before changing their name to God Macabre and eventually releasing their only real full-length album, The Winterlong…, in 1993. The problem for them was that by then the death metal world was already starting to change and morph here and there. One needs to look no further than Entombed‘s Wolverine Blues to see what I’m talking about. That classic Stockholm metal of death sound was becoming a been there done that thing that for the genre’s pioneers and not too many artists, critics, and, to a lesser extent, even fans alike were looking for another Swedeath album at the time. Too bad, because The Winterlong…, while clearly was a “typical” Swedish death metal album, the band actually incorporated quite a bit of atypical traits for the time and included not only some synths/keyboards into some of their song structures, but dabbled in a much more doom and gloom emotional vibe than most of their Swedish peers ever did. Thankfully, Relapse Records reissued the album back in 2014 with a remastered production as well as including an unreleased track and the three song demo recorded under the Macabre End name, thus allowing many to once again hear the magnificence of this band’s hard to find only effort.


Ripping Corpse Dreaming with The Dead, (Kraze Records). Malevolent Creation Ten Commandments, Bolt Thrower War Master, Death Human.  What do these albums have in common?  They all were released in 1991 one of the greatest years in Death Metal.  Also, in 1991 a death metal band from New Jersey called Ripping Corpse release their one and only studio album.  I remember being 15 walking from my house to Best Buy to buy death metal albums on a whim.  That is what we did back then.  We did not have the internet.  We had magazines and random chance.   When I looked at the cover, I was not even sure if it is was a metal band or not.  I had to look at the band members on the back to make decision that this was worth taking a chance on and boy was I right. The guitar duo of Erik Rutan (Ex Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal) and Shaune Kelley (Ex Hate Eternal, Dim-Mak) is one thing that makes this album so memorable.   The context of this and knowing that they also released just one album is incredibly intriguing.  Kelley and Rutan would later join up again for The Hate Eternal Album Fury and Flames.  The other thing to note about Ripping Corpse is how their sound was so different from everything else coming out.  Vocalist Scott Ruth had a delivery that was completely unique and different.  Not Guttural.  Corporal Death from Macabre might be the only comparison I can think of.  If you have never heard Ripping Corpse and are a fan of these guys other projects this is completely worth investing some time to find.


  1. Commented by: WWV

    Very cool to see TWO mentions of Hamartia, the first band that comes to my mind when lists like these show up. Also, got to give credit to Erik T. During the metalcore-era you were my guiding light!

  2. Commented by: Frisbeast

    Not surprised at all to see Hamartia on Eriks, list as we talked at lengths about them when he interviewed me years ago. But no mention of HUMAN REMAINS? Also have to throw in Crotchduster too!

  3. Commented by: Erik T

    Ooooh, yeah dammit, good call on the Human Remains

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