Okay, first off, this is not an entry on the lame American glam band. This is the old-school black metal band from Germany named POISON. They were actually really good, one of the more evil and necro sounding 1980s black metal bands. If they had landed a major record deal (they sort of got screwed over by Roadrunner Records) and put out many albums of music of the caliber of their demo material, they might rank up there with Sarcofago and early Mayhem as old-school black metal masters.
"Wake the Dead", from one of Poison's early demos
Forming in 1982, Poison put out quite a few demos and rehearsal tapes in the mid-1980s. 1984's Sons of Evil, 1985's Live Terror and Bestial Death, and 1986's Awakening of the Dead are the most important of their earlier demos. They had a very strong old-school black metal sound, with evil screeched vocals and playing that truly stands the test of time.
"Satan Commands", off of the Awakening of the Dead demo
One particularly interesting aspect of Poison's sound is their really intense drumming. They were probably one of the first bands to have such blasting drumming in their songs. You can hear it in the song above about halfway through.
In 1987, Poison was slated to participate on a sampler LP put out by Roadrunner Records. But in order to participate, they had to sign a contract with Roadrunner forbidding them from talking with any other record labels. As a result, they were never signed to a label for an actual long-term contract. Their 1987 demo Into the Abyss was later released as an actual album, in 1993. It is this demo/album for which they are most famous.
"Slaves (of the Crucifix)"--maybe their best-known song?
Poison is a sadly neglected band in the history of 1980s black metal. Their material really holds up well, even 20-plus years later.
Next time: FLAMES