The lines below reflect only a small portion of Metal΄s rarities. There is a gazillion of extremely collectible and hard to find albums out there and many have gained a mythical status. Here are some of the most precious gems every collector dreams about.

You should be very careful when dealing with people selling any of the CDs below. Most of these have been re-released or -worst – bootlegged many times over the years. If you are after the original copy, make absolutely sure it is indeed the original copy and not a cheap bootleg or a later re-release that is being sold as the first copy. All efforts have been made to present the most accurate information. If you spot any mistakes please let us know.

MERCILESS – The Awakening
MERCILESS – The Awakening
Deathlike Silence Productions (1990)

Cat Number: ANTI-MOSH 001 Matrix code: DURECO [01] ANTIMOSH 01

The first (of all the nine altogether) releases of Deathlike Silence which are all very, very rare and expensive. Deathlike Silence founded by Euronymous (aka Øystein Aarseth) in the late 1980's and lasted until his murder in 1993. This is the debut of Sweden’s Merciless, one of the pioneers of the Death Metal scene soon to emerge in their country. The album is simply a masterpiece blending influences from Possessed, Slayer, Kreator, old Bathory and adding their own craft.
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THUNDER RIDER - Tales Of Darkness & Light
THUNDER RIDER – Tales Of Darkness & Light
Self released (1997)
Matrix code: W.O 603032-1 RSB IFPI L801 S.O TR01-2

An exceptional epic metal album by Canada’s best kept secret! First released on vinyl in 1989 (estimated value $150) this album is an adventurous mystical journey into the realms of impressive heroic metalness! Thunder Rider stand proudly next to Warlord, old Manowar, Omen and Manilla Road as classic timeless warriors of another age. Very difficult to find, this CD is worth every penny!
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Combat Records/ Under One Flag (1988)
Cat Number: CD FLAG 21, Matrix code: CD FLAG 21 MPO 03@

The second release by one of the most underestimated Thrash bands of the 1980’s! Raw and intense as – arguably – Thrash Metal should be, this little gem is not just a rarity but an awesome release too. Highly recommended! Apparently, there is also another CD release (1988) by I.R.S Metal (who also released the US vinyl edition of the album) with Catalogue Number IRCD – 42195 and Matrix Code: IRSD 42195 5842111
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Necrophagia - Season of the Dead
NECROPHAGIA - Season Of The Dead
New Renaissance Records (1987)
Cat Number: NRCD-15, Matrix code: NRCD15 W.O.+8044-1

Proto Death Metal that makes the perfect soundtrack for a cult horror movie! Creepy and haunted this is not your average release to get into. Driven by a bursting creative obsession with zombie and gore subject matter, this album stood the test of time as an almost unique wonder of Metal extremity. At least two different re-releases exist with the one by Areadeath Productions (2007) to include an extra CD with many demo recordings as bonus. The original New Renaissance pressing can be found for around $100.
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EXCRUCIATE Passage Of Life
EXCRUCIATE - Passage Of Life
Thrash Records (1993)

Cat Number: 852314, Matrix code: 852314 MPO 02 @@@ 9

Yet another early 1990’s Swedish Death Metal gem, at the time ignored by the fans and the press, to emerge several years later into cult status. What makes Excruciate different from the pack is their ability to come up with sophisticated and complex arrangements but without passing across the ‘progressive’ border or being too technical. It has been reported that copies of this CD sold for around $400.
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IMMORTALIS - Indicium De Mortuis.jpg

IMMORTALIS – Indicium De Mortuis

Morbid Music (1991)

Cat Number: 08457062 Matrix code: 60901 08457062

The only album ever released by this legendary German Death Metal band. Fast and aggressive with intelligent arrangements this is undoubtedly one of the best albums ever released on this particular genre. Immortalis were doomed to stay forever underground known only to a handful of enthusiasts…. up until the age of file sharing.
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MUTIILATION -Remains Of A Ruined Dead Cursed Soul.jpg
MUTIILATION - Remains Of A Ruined, Dead, Cursed Soul
Drakkar Productions (1999)
Cat Number: DKCD008, Matrix Code: DK CD008

The first original press of Drakkar Productions was limited to 1000 copies. The material is from the 1993 unreleased debut album "Evil: The Gestalt of Abomination" plus two tracks from 1996. Undoubtedly a cult Black Metal release, very raw and uncompromising! Market value: $100+ find it on ebay
ANACRUSIS - Suffering Hour.jpg
ANACRUSIS - Suffering Hour
Metal Blade (1990)
Cat Number: 7 72432-2, Matrix code: MASTERED BY NIMBUS 72432-2 (V)

An underestimated and overlooked Thrash gem from the early 1990’s. Very original material way above the average due to their progressive approach – which later became prominent of their sound. Excellent in technical terms with a high degree of complexity. The original Metal Blade release can be found for $150-$250
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RAZOR - Shotgun Justice.jpg
RAZOR - Shotgun Justice
Fringe (1990)
Cat Number: FPD3094, Matrix code: 708/FPD-3094 | |||||| ||||| ||||| |||| |||| made by/fabrique par DISQUE AMERICA & CANADA

The sixth album from the Canadian thrashers Razor. Widely regarded as their best work ever, this album is an outstanding mix of speed and aggression! Collectors should keep in mind that versions of this CD with matrix code FPD3094 are bootlegs! The matrix of the original Fringe release is the one mentioned above and it is very hard to read. It has more characters plus symbols that are engraved and printed backwards. Over the past few years copies of "Shotgun Justice” (both originals and bootlegs) were sold for anything between $199 - $270.
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DESTRUCTION -The Least Successful Human Cannonball

DESTRUCTION - The Least Successful Human Cannonball
Brain Butcher (1998)

Catalogue number: BBC 0715, Matrix code: A0100240106-0101 14 A0

A highly controversial album which the band does not consider as part of their official discography any more. After two EP’s, the last release of their ‘neo-Destruction’ era is a thrashing groovy mix of intensity and insanity. Very experimental, this album incorporates a range of different styles and influences. Copies of this CD are being sold for around $100.
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ANGEL DUST Into The Dark Past.jpg
ANGEL DUST - Into The Dark Past
Scratch Records (1986)
Cat Number: 880 534 CD Matrix code: 880534CD X-724 A

Classic German Speed/Thrash of the 1980’s! This is their first recording and is much differentiated from their later Power Metal approach. Apparently there are at least four known bootlegs of this CD. The only original is the Scratch Records pressing made in Japan. Copies with these matrix numbers: USDM 4013 MH #880534 13358-1 and 13358-1 are bootlegs. find it on ebay
TARGET - Master Project Genesis
TARGET - Master Project Genesis
AAARRG Records (1989)

This is one of the cases that the bootleg is very well made that even has the original matrix code! The only way to tell which is the original copy is the text in the outer edge of the CD. On the bootleg the word "prohibited” is spelled wrong: "proibited” and in two other circumstances words have no space in between them: instead of "no lending” it is written "nolending”. On the music side, this is an excellent album of technical Thrash in the vein of Mekong Delta (also in the same label at the time). Market value $250+
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MASQUERADE – Masquerade
MASQUERADE – Masquerade
Dino Music (1992)
Cat Number: DINCD 15 Matrix code: CD PLANT MFG DINCD15 CDM 01

After 2 self-released singles in 1991 and 1992 (extremely difficult to find too), Sweden’s Masquerade release their first album. An extremely well made melodic metal in the vein of their Norwegian neighbours TNT with touches of Def Leppard and maybe some Whitesnake too. The original Dino Music press can be found for $60-$90
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WARRIOR - Fighting For The Earth.jpg

WARRIOR - Fighting For The Earth
Metal Blade (1991)
Cat Number: 9 26531-2 Matrix code: 1 26531-2 SRC-01 M1S2

An excellent US 1980’s Heavy album that was originally released on vinyl in 1985. The CD came from Metal Blade in 1991 and apparently there was also another CD release in Austria from 10 Records. Additionally, the album was also pressed in limited copies in Japan and was released there via the Burrn! Legendary Master Series in December of 1993. The Japanese edition (Mint with Obi) goes for $250 and the Metal Blade CD for around $50 find it on ebay

GODDEFIED - Abysmal Grief.jpg
GODDEFIED - Abysmal Grief, MCD
Wild Rags Records (1993)
Cat Number: WRR041 Matrix code: 55614X1 WRR-041

As with nearly all Wild Rags releases, this one is really rare and the only way you might find it is on ebay once in a blue moon. Six short tracks of early Swedish Death Metal in the path of Dismember and Entombed. Blood Harvest re-released it on 10” vinyl (limited to 500) in 2008. The MCD was released in slim jewelcase and had two major spelling mistakes (the band name and one song title). Value: $90-$120 find it on ebay

HEXENHAUS The Edge Of Eternity.jpg
HEXENHAUS - The Edge Of Eternity
Active Records (1990)
Cat Number: CD ATV 13 Matrix code: ATV CD 13 MPO 01 Q.

Arguably, there are some similarities of this album with the aforementioned Master Project Genesis by Target. Both albums incorporate a complex, almost progressive, technical Thrash that will please the adventurous listener. The original Active Records copy can be yours for around $60. Beware of cheap-made bootlegs coming from various sellers.find it on ebay

Scratch Records (1988)
Cat Number: 10822 CD Matrix code: 7841-2 P+O-2102-A 10-88

Excellent Thrash in the German tradition! This is their third album and perhaps the best of their 1980’s era. Copies of the original Scratch Records have been sold for more than $200. There are also two re-releases. One from Battle Cry Records (2006) and one from Laserlight / Delta music (1990) that has a different title (The Devil's Tongue) and a different cover. Matrix number of the Laserlight reissue is SONOPRESS D-3043/15197 A find it on ebay


BROCAS HELM - Black Death
Gargoyle Records (1997)
Cat Number: 13-8801 Matrix code: IFPI L809 01 4352 OWR 01202

Brocas Helm is the definition of the cult status! Musically and otherwise their obscurity (with the positive meaning of the word) deserves your attention. ‘Black Death’ is their second album and was originally released on vinyl in 1988. Nearly ten years later it is first pressed on CD and soon after becomes a hot collector’s item. The 2005 Eat Metal Records re-release with the bonus material is also worth checking. The original Gargoyle Records CD has market value of around $80 - $100 find it on ebay

PARAGON World Of Sin
PARAGON - World Of Sin
Blue Merle Records (1995)
Cat Number: EDEL 0086222 Matrix code: RAD 8622-2 IFPI L571 optimal

Paragon is definitely an underestimated force in the field of speed/power metal. This is their first album (an EP titled ‘Into The Black’ was also circulated by the band a year before in 500 copies) and due to the fact that their label went soon out of business it has always been next to impossible to find. If you ever see one of the 1500 copies that were pressed make sure you take it home! find it on ebay

EULOGY The Essence
EULOGY – The Essence
Cenotaph Records (1994)
Cat Number: CTR008 Matrix code: PLIZ CD CTR 008 CD [ K 42678 A ]

Floridian Death Metal from a mythical band that honours the path of Morbid Angel. This 4 track EP, apart from the somehow strange female vocals has an incredibly good approach to the genre without being over the top brutal and without any unnecessary gimmicks. This CD is fairly difficult to find but occasionally there are copies being sold for quite reasonable prices considering its collecting value. find it on ebay

INCUBUS Serpent Temptation
INCUBUS - Serpent Temptation
Radiation (1996)
Cat Number: RAD124 Matrix code : BOD NB RAD 0124-2

This is simply a fantastic debut of the same band that later changed its name to Opprobrium. Although the CD of the album was issued in 1996, it was first released on vinyl in 1988 and arguably it should have been one of the most acclaimed Death/Thrash records of all time! A real underground gem, a well-crafted and quality work that deserves to be heard. Note that the CD version (this and the 2007 re-release) has a lot of re-recorded parts and makes it VERY different from the original vinyl release. Music-wise, we recommend the LP version. The Radiation CD goes for around $200 find it on ebay

AXIOM Vicious Circle.jpg

AXIOM - Vicious Circle
Axiom International (1990)
Cat Number: 02091991CD Matrix code : 02091991CD USOD02

Not to be confused with another seven (or so) bands of the same name, this Ohio based Power Metal act marks yet another fabulous gem to the treasures of high-valued collectible albums. Self-released by the band to an unknown (but most certainly) very limited amount of copies, this is not only one of the most rare Power Metal CDs but also an extremely good and original musical work! It was also released on tape while four songs with a different mix made it to a vinyl EP (300 copies) which was used as a promo for the CD. Market value of the CD $250-$300 find it on ebay

ADX Suprématie La Terreur
ADX – Suprématie/ La Terreur
Sydney Productions (1988)
Cat Number: 192772 Matrix code: MCD 192772 MPO 01 @

Perhaps the most rare and valuable Metal CD from France. Released on the cult label Sydney Productions and includes the two albums of ADX: Suprématie (1987) and La Terreur (1986). Beware of bootleg copies as it was bootlegged by the famous Greek bootlegger Unisound. Easy to identify the bootleg because it has the albums in reverse order (first the La Terreur instead of the Suprématie). Copies of the original can go up to the $500 - $600 range find it on ebay

Platonic Records (1991)
Cat Number: PLACD 3 Matrix code: PLACD-3 12 A1 DADC AUSTRIA

A mythical release, almost a kind of urban legend among collectors and metalheads in general. It is a fact, however, that one copy was sold for $3800 making it the most expensive Icelandic album ever sold! This sale was also covered by the Icelandic media. At least another copy was sold for $2200 and several others in the $700 - $1000+ range. ‘The Entity’ was pressed in 1000 copies most of them distributed locally in Iceland and there is also an LP edition of 1000 copies too that usually sells for max $400 depending on the condition. find it on ebay

TYRANT Mean Machine
TYRANT - Mean Machine
Hot Blood Records (1988)
Cat Number: 8712 Matrix code: 8712-CD 12 A1 MASTERED BY DADC AUSTRIA

Those who worship in the temple of 1980’s Teutonic Metal know very well the glory of Tyrant! Not to be confused with another 17 bands that carry the same name, these guys were among the cream of traditional German heavy/speed metal (call it Accept meets Priest with unlimited booze!). This is their first album originally released on LP in 1984. The Hot Blood Records edition is the first on CD and fairly difficult to find (around $100-$150). There are another three CD re-releases by Gama, Aurophon and Battle Cry Records and three different vinyl pressings all from 1984 (Mausoleum, Banzai and Gama). A highly recommended album nevertheless. find it on ebay

IMPACT Take The Pain

IMPACT - Take The Pain
Avanzada Metalica (1991)
Cat Number: AMCD 101 Matrix code: 7C AMCD 101-2 SRC+01 M151

Amazingly good Thrash in the US tradition of the genre. Their only album was released via the Mexican label Avanzada Metalica and indeed made an impact on the underground press of the early 1990’s. At a later point, the band themselves have also pressed copies of this same CD which – technically - are considered bootlegs. A couple of confirmed sales for the original pressing: one for $410 and one for $847. find it on ebay

DETENTE Recognize no Authority
DETENTE - Recognize no Authority
Roadracer (1990)
Cat Number: RO 9695-2 Matrix code: SONOPRESS D-2539 / RO96952 B

Originally released on LP (1986) the first CD pressing was this one as part of the infamous Roadracer Price Killers series. The only other official CD re-release is from Cognitive Records in 2007. There are 2 bootlegs: one in 1990 and one in 2002. Both have nearly the same cover with the re-release. Music-wise, here is one of the earliest Thrash/punk crossover bands with distinctive vocals courtesy of Dawn Crosby (Fear Of God - RIP). Apparently, along with the CD of Circle Jerks this is the rarest of all the Price Killers series. find it on ebay

SCREAMER Target: Earth
SCREAMER – Target: Earth
New Renaissance Records (1988)
Cat Number: NRCD-52 Matrix code: NRCD52 W.O.# 9273-1 A 1

Simply a fantastic album in the vein of early Queensryche, early Fates Warning and early Crimson Glory. In other words, quality US Heavy/Power Metal with a healthy dose of Progressive. If you are into this style this is a must-have by all means! The original first release was pressed in 500 copies. There is also an official re-release by the same label on 1000 hand numbered copies (2006) and a couple of cheap bootlegs. You may find one of those first 500 copies for around $150-$200 find it on ebay

STORMWITCH The Beauty And The Beast
STORMWITCH – The Beauty And The Beast
Scratch Records (1987)
Cat Number: 880 763-909 Matrix code: 880.763-908 P+O-0834-A 12-87

Fourth album from a German band that follows the early Helloween path of Power Metal. This is a CD that has been re-released at least three times with several bonus tracks. However, if you want the very first pressing from 1987 on Scratch Records you will have to invest in the $150 range. The other remarkable releases are the 1991 LaserLight ($30 - $40) and the 2005 from Battle Cry Records. find it on ebay

to be continued