One of those hopelessly un-commercial heavy metal outfits whose ultimate influence far exceeds their actual career-span success, Switzerland's Messiah enjoyed only temporary success -- particularly in Europe's Eastern Block -- before settling into their eventual cult status.
Formed in 1984 by vocalist/bassist R.K. "Tschosi" Wilhelm Kuhne), guitarist R.B. "Brogi" Remo Broggi and drummer R.H. "Jazzi" Heer, Messiah can be compared to similar early European thrash outfits like Hellhammer and Kreator, in that they inadvertently helped advance the development of death and black metal while simply trying to mosh away. In Messiah's case, that effort bore beautifully rotten fruit via 1986's cult classic Hymn to Abaramelyn album, which buried deceptively advanced technique under less-than-stellar recording technology and meshed the aforementioned thrash influences with death vocals and black metal's satanic lyrics (not to mention Brogi's corpse paint). A similarly wrought second effort entitled Extreme Cold Weather followed the very next year, but failed to advance their career prospects or, depending on who you ask, improve upon their debut. Yet Messiah carried on performing and recording regardless, undergoing occasional membership changes (most notably long-tenured drummer Steve Karrer and vocalists Andy Kaina and Christofer Johnsson, later of Carbonized and Therion) and lasting deep into the 90's with efforts like 1991's Psychomorphia E.P. and Choir of Horrors L.P., 1992's Rotten Perish L.P., and 1994's The Ballad of Jesus E.P. and Underground L.P. Messiah vanished for good at this point, but those early albums continue to be reissued with some regularity by different independent labels worldwide, and are regularly cited by future bands and fans for their small but no less important place in metal history.