Released in 1988 by Roadracer/MCA
Recommended Songs: Red Sharks, Where Dragons Rule, Lonely

Interesting Facts: In an era of sound-and-lookalike metal bands, Crimson Glory’s goal was to be immediately identifiable from the others, so they wore full-face metallic silver masks. While on tour in support of their self-titled debut album, they discovered how hot the masks would be on stage. To keep the mystique, they cut them down into a partial “Phantom of the Opera” style for the Transcendence (sophomore album) tour. Transcendence garnered the band much praise and attention internationally. They were cover of Kerrang! magazine in May 1989. At the 1989 Tampa Bay Music Awards Crimson Glory walked away with three awards that night – Most Outstanding Male Vocalist (Midnight), Most Outstanding Local Release (Transcendence) and Most Outstanding Metal Band (beating fellow Florida band Savatage for this one).


Released in 2012 by Century Media

Recommended Songs: Few Against Many, Losing My Mind, Glorious

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Released in 1991 by Atlantic Records

Recommended Songs: You Only Live Twice, Children, Savior from Anger, Six Stepsisters

Interesting Facts: Welcome to the Ball received Bay Area Music Awards nominations for “Best New Metal Album” and “Outstanding Metal Album” (other nominees included Metallica and Tesla). Their 2nd MTV video, “Children”, went beyond the exposure normally limited to metal bands on Headbangers Ball. It received regular daytime air play!


Released in 2005 by Steamhammer Records

Recommended Songs: The Haunting (feat. Simone Simons), The Black Halo, Moonlight

Interesting Facts: The Black Halo is a concept album inspired by Goethe’s Faust. Continuing the story introduced in Epica (2003), it is the second and final record in Kamelot’s two-part rock opera about Ariel (character based in Heinrich Faust from Goethe’s Faust). Epica tells Part 1 while The Black Halo tells Part 2. Goethe’s Faust is also broken into two parts. The Black Halo features guest appearances by Simone Simons (Epica), Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir), Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), and several others.


Released in 2004 by Locomotive Music 

Recommended Songs: Longing For the Woods Pt 1, Tree, Longing For the Woods Pt 3

Interesting Facts: The band does not reference 19th-century literature in their lyrics to any real extent, despite the fact the band takes its name from the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, and despite the allusion in the name of their album Far From the Madding Crowd to Thomas Hardy.


Released in 1988 by Noise Records
Recommended Songs: Conquistadores, Calico Jack

Interesting Facts: Port Royal expanded on the pirate theme introduced on Under Jolly Roger and established the band as “pirate metal” in the metal community. The album has sold nearly 1.8 million records worldwide. The song Conquistadores had some air play on MTVs Headbangers Ball. The music video is also the first recorded use of a 5 string bass in a metal context.


Released in 1998 by Castle Communications

Recommended Songs: Midnight Sun, I Can, Revelation

Interesting Facts: The album’s cover was inspired by The Smurfs, with Gargamel changed for the witch and the Smurfs for pumpkins. Also, as opposed to the more benign-looking pumpkin used on previous albums, a sinister-looking pumpkin is used to represent the “o” in the “Helloween” logo. Albeit with a few minor tweaks, it is still currently in use. The band Hanson have been known to use the album introduction as an entrance to their concerts.

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