Our countdown of the best Bay Area metal albums continues today with this installment: the 10 best ever. And guess which band comes up a lot on this one?
10. Blue Cheer, Outsideinside
Blue Cheer's corrosive take on the Eddie Cochran nugget "Summertime Blues" is frequently cited as a pivotal proto-metal moment, but it was the band's 1968 effort Outsideinside that elevated the punishing attack of bassist Dickie Peterson and guitarist Leigh Stevens to a higher, heavier plane. "Come and Get It" delivers the locomotive wallop of a Motörhead tune, even though it was tracked when a pre-Hawkwind Lemmy was still shifting amps for Hendrix. Factor in the flanged drums and fuzz-fueled fury of "Just a Little Bit," the headlong 90-second instrumental assault of "Magnolia Caboose Babyfinger," and the cowbell-banging mayhem of "Babylon," and you have a cornerstone of future heaviness. -- Dave Pehling
9. Death Angel, The Ultra-Violence
Recorded when the members of Death Angel were under the age of 20 (precocious monster drummer Andy Galeon was all of 14), The Ultra-Violence bristles with relentless, youthful energy. Even if the intricate, interlocking guitar parts of "Thrashers," "Evil Priest" and "Kill As One" owe an obvious debt to Metallica's complex riff architecture (Kirk Hammett produced the demo that preceded the 1987 album), the breakneck ferocity heard on Death Angel's punishing debut outweighs any possible criticism over originality. The 10-minute title track can go toe-to-toe with Metallica's "The Four Horsemen" and Exodus's "Deliver Us to Evil" as one of the great thrash epics of the decade. -- Dave Pehling