How You Discovered Underground Metal

Carpe Mortem

Benevolently Batshit
Aug 21, 2013
Always fun to see what band people started with. I mean let's be honest... the majority of us here are basically metalhead hipsters who heard a band nobody else knew as kids or teenagers, and afterwards became obsessed with plundering the sweet, secretive booty of the underground world.

I was obsessed with vampires when I was in junior high, obviously, and this was one of the songs included in a vampire-themed mp3 pack. Still a great fuckin song, and I'm actually surprised I could even find it nowadays. Made me realize what amazing music is out there, hiding away from the lights of public appreciation.
[ame=""]Contaminated 5.0, a Relapse collection from 2003[/ame]

Back in the days when all that you could find in most CD stores were your Slayer and Rob Zombie types, I stumbled across this. Opened my ears up to what metal could be. One of the first underground metal releases I heard. I knew all the standard bearers of metal through friends, but this was the first time I dipped into the lesser known waters.
For me it was actually through goth rock. When I was 16 I was into a lot of goth rock and would just explore the Amazon recommends. Something led to Anathema's Alternative 4, which led to My Dying Bride, which led to Opeth (notebook metal represent!). Then from there I got obsessed with Opeth, bought a bunch of Opeth shirts, started swapping CDs with other metal heads at high school, heard Cannibal Corpse, Arch Enemy and Dimmu Borgir, you know, the "mainstream underground" so to speak.

Eventually I got ahold of the Century Black Firestarter CD for $3, which contained a ton of great black metal, and that was basically it.


A search in heavy metal (whilst I was looking for things like Metallica, megadeth, and whatnot) kicked back cannibal corpse and bolt thrower.
Napster is where I found Lazarus X in the 'vampire metal' playlist pack, along with this song 'Bloodlust' by some very defunct band called Spawn.
In high school I had a friend that was into it. I pretty much stuck to the big 4 and some pet bands, but when he sent me something good I'd keep it on the playlist. Eventually I got bored of the same old and searched for more of the new stuff. Somehow it developed into a hobby, actively searching for new bands.
My dad's CD collection was the entry point, containing largely major label stuff (mostly trad, power, hair, and thrash) but as I started to explore further I came across some relatively obscure or odd-ball stuff, like Reverend and Witchhammer for the former, and Arcturus and Winter (he thought it read Winger at the CD store) for the latter. At the time I avoided downloading completely however, so I was still limited to what I could get my dad to buy. In his CD database he also had bands marked that he wanted material of but hadn't found, and one was Heathen. Reading that Victims of Deception was supposed to be a must for AJFA fans and that the band offered it free on their website I went to check it out and immediately fell in love with it (as well as Breaking the Silence). I started to check the Metal-Archives a bit more regularly and I think it might have been there that I discovered Anacrusis and a few others also offered free material. With this sudden influx of new material I became insatiable, and at one point I embraced piracy and went on a massive blogspot binge, mostly focused on trad/power and thrash metal.

EDIT: An Iron Maiden fan forum was also a good place to break out of my Maiden-only fanboy phase, reading about preferred bands from others with generally similar preferences. I was introduced to most of the major styles of metal and first heard of bands like Artillery and Atheist there.
I'm a child of the mp3 generation. I plundered Napster collecting music of rare NWOBHM bands, based on what I'd read in the liner notes of Metallica's Garage Inc. Along with that, some of the first bands I stumbled across were Mayhem, Impetigo, Pentagram (US), and an obscure one called Malicious Hate. Having dial-up meant I usually only downloaded 1 or 2 songs of a band.

I also plundered, collecting local (New Zealand) music of genres I liked.

Now after all this time, some of the bands return no search results online, and I wouldn't be surprised if I have a few songs that not even the musicians themselves have any more.
I was born during an occult ritual deep in the woods. I was left there alone in frostbitten darkness but then a pack of wolves found me and led me to the Satan's fucking glory. I had first sex when I was five. I've never heard a popular band.

Discovered black metal radio through some site I was on. I use to go to Virgin megastore (when it was still around) and listen to a shit ton of music with "interesting album covers". Emperor was my first BM band. Before then I use to listen to shitty popular shit or whatever was on Headbanger's Ball.
Haha ohhh Headbanger's Ball... I actually discovered a few bands through their compilation albums. I gotta say volume 1 was vastly superior to volume 2, and I have no idea if they kept making them after that.
Ohh, I was actually talking about the tv show that use to come on on MTV. I did have a few of the c.d.s, myself, too. Tbh, I can't even remember what was on them. :lol: Once in awhile, though, they'd play some popular extreme metal like Behemoth.
I never got a chance to watch the actual tv show. I can assure you the albums were mainly shit haha. The second being even shittier than the first. They're good just for beginners/ young metalhead education. If it weren't for those compilations, I wouldn't know the names of any Meshuggah songs for instance, because I don't like them.
June 1973 I was eight years old.

I blame my Aunt for playing her Black Sabbath records back then. :worship: :headbang:

And I blame my older cousins for playing Deep Purple records who I remember hearing as well back in 1973.

There was no underground to speak of back then. Just been a fan of both bands ever since 1973.

***I was living in Cali from 1983-1993 and remember Slayer from their clubs days and also Metallica. They aren't underground anymore.
I heard Ride the Lightning at a friend's house and the rest is history....

No but seriously, if I remember the progression it was something close to this:

Metallica--->Pantera-->Fear Factory-->In Flames--->(death metal)-->Emperor-->(black metal)-->underground
One of my older cousins was a huge metal fan, and when joined the marines in 89 he left me his tape collection and the rest is history.

my first taste of "extreme" metal was when I popped this baby into my Sony "TranSound" ... which I still have today, lol.