N.M.E. are by far one of the most underrated black metal pioneers of the 80's. Although they are pretty well known to a lot of people who seek out obscure stuff of the 80's, they still are more then deserving of a much bigger level of recognition for their contribution to the sound that became what black metal would turn into around 1986.
N.M.E.'s sound was an awesome, sludgy-as-shit form of black metal that took more influence from Hellhammer and Venom then their more thrash-oriented black metal brethren of the time, such as Obsessed-era Sodom, Bulldozer, and Tormentor (Hun). The production on the Unholy Death LP captures this perfectly, with it's chunky, meaty bass, reverb-drenched guitar, pummeling drums, and Brian Llapitan's snarly, Cronos-meets-Tom Warrior-like vocals, all coming together as one devastatingly sluggish black metal monstrosity with enough force to demolish the Great Wall of China with nothing but a flick of the wrist. The Machine of War demo captures the band in a slightly muddier fashion, but the muddiness actually suits band's ugly way of playing adequately enough to make it perfectly listenable, especially considering it's a demo tape from 1985, of which I assume wasn't recorded with the biggest of budgets.
Enjoy these two fantastic recordings from one of black metal's finest pioneering bands of the 80's, the mighty N.M.E.!
Machine of War Demo
Unholy Death LP