10 amazing heavy metal albums that you can’t find on Spotify

Albums by Sleep, Judas Priest and Iron Monkey
(Image credit: Press)

In terms of an elevator pitch, Spotify’s “every album you ever wanted for under a tenner a month” is a pretty strong one. Unfortunately, it isn’t actually true. Yeah, all the big ones are there: you aren’t going to run out of Metallica or Iron Maiden albums to listen to. But, if you’re a proper completist – someone who is looking to dig deep into every facet of heavy music – then there are plenty of interesting, worthwhile and, in some cases, absolutely essential albums that you won’t find on the platform. Here are just 10 of them.

Metal Hammer line break

Judas Priest – Jugulator (1997)

Jugulator is one of a pair of albums that Judas Priest released whilst fronted by Tim “Ripper” Owens. It has something of a bad rap these days, was poorly received at the time and, considering it isn’t on Spotify, is frustratingly tricky to reevaluate. When you do, though, you’ll hear some far better music than you’ve been led to believe.

Sleep – Jerusalem (1999)

This is a complicated one. Sleep’s Dopesmoker is on Spotify, and that’s basically this album polished up a decade on from its original release. However, the original incarnation of the band’s one-song stoner metal trip, Jerusalem – which was released in 1999 after an arduous writing process and plenty of record label wrangles – is not available to stream. Purely as a comparison point, that’s a shame.

Rollins Band – Weight (1994)

For such an iconic figure in heavy music, Henry Rollins’ back-catalogue on Spotify is sparse. 1989’s Hard Volume, 1992’s The End Of Silence and 1997’s Come In And Burn are all missing from the Rollins Band discography, but it’s 1994’s Weight that’s the greatest omission. It was the band’s biggest-selling album and featured a genuine crossover hit in the form of Liar. What’s Spotify playing at?!

Melvins – Lysol (1992)

The fourth album by Melvins – one of the most influential Seattle bands of the grunge generation – bridges the gap between their brutal, sludgy indie years and the weird flights of fancy they took on major label Atlantic. So why is Lysol not on streaming services? We couldn’t tell you – all we do know is that you’re missing out on bangers like Hung Bunny and With Teeth.

Iron Monkey – Our Problem (1998)

Iron Monkey were among the most brilliantly unhinged metal bands of the 1990s. In a baffling turn of events, though, both of their albums with late, great frontman Johnny Morrow (1996’s self-titled debut and follow-up Our Problem) are absent from Spotify. Our Problem especially is a cult classic, not to mention one of the great British metal albums of its era.

Vio-lence – Oppressing The Masses (1990)

Whilst 1988’s Eternal Nightmare is a classic Vio-lence album, the fact that neither of the Bay Area thrashers’ ’90s follow-ups are is a real shame. 1990’s Oppressing The Masses doesn’t get loads of love these days, but it’s still worth hearing for some pre-Machine Head Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel tunes, some excellent hardcore gang vocals and some proper neck-snapping thrash.

Will Haven – The Hierophant (2007)

Will Haven’s MVP is frontman Grady Avenell, so when he left in 2007 it was a blow. However, the band are still capable of peeling out some awesome metallic hardcore/post-metal. They did so on The Hierophant, on which they replaced Grady with Jeff Jaworski. It was Jaworski’s only full-length with Haven and he does a decent job. Yet, thanks to Spotify, you’ll never hear it.

Boris – Dronevil (2005)

Japanese experimental crew Boris have got a lot of albums: 29, to be precise – and that’s without including any of their collaboration albums! So, you might not have missed the fact that their 2005 double album, one disc of ambient noise and one of doom metal that are actually both meant to be played simultaneously, is missing from Spotify. Shame that.

Discordance Axis – Ulterior (1995)

It might only be just under 18 minutes long but, if you’re a grindcore fan, then the fact that you can’t stream New Jersey legends Discordance Axis’ debut album is a pretty shocking oversight. It’s 26 tracks of warpspeed fury, certainly compared with where the band would go in the aftermath. Considering their status in the genre, it’s mad you can’t hear Ulterior on Spotify.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.