Label: Black Mark
Originally issued in a vinyl run of only 1,000 copies, Bathory's 1984 debut set the blueprint for the Norwegian black metal horde that would follow it. Recorded on 4-track in songwriter/guitarist Quorthon's garage, the static wash of guitars and gargling Satanist vocals remain about the earliest example of black metal, along with Venom's Black Metal album. (Black Metal -- though not as stylistically influential -- actually coined the term two years before.) In interviews, Quorthon has said he'd never heard Venom and was instead taking his cues from Sabbath, Motorhead and even punk rock.