V/A – Death Metal

No Halloween would be complete without, er, Helloween. Here’s an artifact from that band’s checkered past. It may be the first ever usage of the term “death metal.” In 1984, death metal hadn’t been invented yet, so instead we get artwork of a cannibal corpse eating guts that look like caramel apples — a Halloween delight, indeed.

Helloween – Oernst of Life

This split has more historical than musical value. (For full details, see here.) It contains the only released output (thankfully) by Dark Avenger (Ger). It also features early speed metal incarnations of Running Wild and Helloween, long before the former went pirate metal and the latter went, well, weenie. Hellhammer, of course, wins by a neutral country mile. It’s kind of inconceivable that Hellhammer and Helloween would share a split. Evidently Noise Records thought having “hell” in their names was good enough. This compilation is long out-of-print, but you can download it at the link below.

- Cosmo Lee

Various Artists – (1984) Death Metal [96.21MB .zip]