10 amazing metal bands who only released one album

Albums by Snot, Probot and Control Denied
(Image credit: Press)

Metal is usually a long game. Metallica took 10 years to become the biggest heavy band in the world, while such newer names as Gojira are only starting to fill arenas after more than two decades of relentless riffing. However, on very rare occasions, a band can nail it on their very first album. And, on even rarer occasions, they never, ever follow that album up. Below are 10 heavy metal acts that we only ever heard from one time, but who absolutely nailed it during their tiny tenures.

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Nailbomb – Point Blank (1994)

During Sepultura’s downtime between Chaos A.D. and Roots, leader Max Cavalera teamed up with Fudge Tunnel’s Alex Newport for this incensed industrial metal project. Sole album Point Blank remains arguably the heaviest and most controversial thing to bear the Cavalera name (it has a gun pointing at a Vietnamese woman’s head on the cover, after all). The duo disbanded one year after the release as Max returned to Sepultura.

Probot – Probot (2004)

Arguably the most super of all the heavy supergroups, Probot saw Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl indulge his rowdier influences – and he tapped such icons as Lemmy and King Diamond to help. The project’s sole album is a love letter to metal in its myriad forms, from the beer-swilling Shake Your Blood to the Trouble-ish doom of My Tortured Soul. Because Dave is the busiest man alive, however, this swiftly became a one-and-done.

Snot – Get Some (1997)

Snot had all the hallmarks of nu metal stars in the making. Their debut album, Get Some, was an idiosyncratic statement that blended danceable funk with the genre-mandated jocular angst, released on major label Geffen before the band joined the blockbuster Ozzfest tour in 1998. However, singer Lynn Strait passed in a road accident, quickly putting the band on ice. They released a tribute disc then disappeared until 2008.

Repulsion – Horrified (1989)

Repulsion formed in 1984 and recorded their sole album two years later, making them founding players of the grindcore genre. Yet, Horrified didn’t actually come out until 1989, when it was released by Necrosis Records: the label headed by Jeff Walker and Bill Steer of Carcass. It’s a shame that it’s the band’s sole release, despite them still being active, since it’s proven itself a timeless explosion of fist-throwing rage.

Sanctity – Road To Bloodshed (2007)

Sanctity were an underground name in the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal until Trivium’s Matt Heafy saw them live. After that, the Asheville four-piece were signed to Roadrunner Records for their 2007 debut. With future Machine Head bassist Jared MacEachern on guitar and lead vocals, Road To Bloodshed was a riff-laden campaign of thrash- and melodeath-inspired fury. The band folded the following year when both Jared and bassist Derek Anderson left.

Handsome – Handsome (1997)

Ex-members of ’90s fixtures Helmet, Cro-Mags and Quicksand formed this post-hardcore supergroup in 1995. Their self-titled album was produced by Terry Date, somehow lending them even more pedigree, and it was a gritty yet melodic expression of alt-metal attitude. Although Handsome was meant to mark the start of a three-release deal with major label Epic, tensions within the band forced them to dissolve in 1998.

Inside Out – No Spiritual Surrender (1990)

Before Zack De La Rocha fronted Rage Against The Machine, he was a snarling punk singer in Inside Out. The four-piece only lasted from 1988 to ’91, during which time they released just one six-song EP. However, popularised by Zack’s later work, No Spiritual Surrender has become a cult classic of chugging, screaming anarchy. Now everybody from Linkin Park to Cult Of Luna has cited this lot as an influence.

Human Waste Project – E-lux (1997)

Like Snot, Human Waste Project seemed poised for stardom. The Huntington Beach nu metal upstarts offered a rare female voice in the genre through singer Aimee Echo, and they were signed to major label Hollywood Records. However, E-lux was criminally under-promoted, its single Powerstrip charting only in the UK at number 85. Then Aimee quickly got sick of the dick-swinging in the contemporary metal scene. So, in 1998, this four-piece folded.

Control Denied – The Fragile Art Of Existence (1999)

After Death released their swan song The Sound Of Perseverance in 1998, mastermind Chuck Schuldiner bolted from tech-death to progressive power metal in Control Denied. The band’s debut, The Fragile Art Of Existence, was a more majestic prospect than the guitarist’s prior day job, largely thanks to the squealing falsetto of singer Tim Aymar. No follow-up would ever materialise, heartbreakingly, as Chuck died of a brain tumour in 2001.

Bad Sign – Live And Learn (2017)

Formed in the UK, Bad Sign were a hyper-riffy hard rock/heavy metal force that could have gone far. Debut album Live And Learn was lauded in the national press when it came out in 2017, with all of its anthems flawlessly balancing emotion and musical force. That momentum sadly only lasted for another year, as Bad Sign called it quits in late 2018, citing the financial toll of being in a band.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.