A list that was doomed to extinction has now properly presented itself back at the forefronts. I had to leave it in stagnation for a good amount of time, to reflect on its deathly nature. Here are 10 more albums you should know about!
089. Beyond Creation – “The Aura”, 2011
Wanking is a sport of endurance and vigorous training to achieve a AHEM! load of pleasurable discharge. And what a discharge it is, in reference to Beyond Creation. A band that has made a name for itself for being labeled a band of wankery, guitar wankery that is. I am hardly in the marginal crowed that would call them such, but I needed a good adjective to roll with, so fuck off. You can get the vibe from their neo-classical style riffing and solos, very reminiscent of Necrophagist, but boy when they hit it right, it just jumps leaps and bounds. To me they don’t wank around, because the directive in playing is set in path and destination, they make an effort to have direction, not just aimlessly play around to try and impress. Definitely a memorable album, and a piece of music I consistently usurp more than once in a while.
088. Devourment – “Molesting the Decapitated”, 1999
Here is something different for the pseudo intellectuals. The fact that I was into this band/album at the beginning of their inception is no surprise, because this is chocked full of shock and disgust, that absolutely fed my teen angst. But to actually have longevity and curiously finding itself being played to this day, is something of a rarity for a band of this nature. It’s supposedly in the category of what they call “slam death”, or “slamming death” or “wigger death metal”, or…. fuck it I don’t care to divulge any longer. The music is played in chugging patterns, with insanely fast drumming and a gurgling vocalist. It has some cool samples from what sounds to be serial killers, which sets the tone rather well for the music. It keeps itself interesting, when it gets to a slow chugging passage and then drives itself back to a speedily recovery. Its just the perfect soundscape for folding your clothes or doing the dishes, maybe even washing the car. Highly recommended and definitely a pivotal piece in the history of extreme music.
087. Exhumed – “Gore Metal”, 1998 I remember this band fondly, it was around the time I was getting my ducks in a row in regards to Carcass and the whole grind-core infused death metal bands. This is definitely in a league with thrash and death metal. The musicianship is solid and it only borrows in the style and lyrical nature of grindcore, no 10 second long tracks here, or undecipherable noise (my mom would debate that). This has some really great anthems and catchy tunes, that are sure to impress your friends at any bbq or social outing. This was the album that invited me into the world of Exhumed, and I found it to be rather comfortable, with their incessant interest in the world of gore and forensics, almost comedic and never to be taken too seriously. The music boasts some cool leads and chug a chug, alongside their ability to perform some vocal ability I have rarely heard on a death metal record.
086. Vehemence – “Helping the World to See”, 2004 Melodic and progressive, all the while remaining in the death metal ranks, sign me up. Usually when I hear the term “melodic” and “death metal”, I assume the band is some kind of symphonic metal band that shares clean singing and a terribly annoying amount of symphonic parts, basically your run of the mill exploitative band trying to commercialize the genre. With Vehemence its a brutal entree, with all the melodic, progressive and death metal parts melded together proportionately.
085. Decapitated – “Winds of Creation”, 2000
Back when I had a subscription to Terrorizer magazine, I remember reading about a band with teenagers playing death metal I was instantly paying attention. Being 15 years younger myself, I was intrigued by the idea of equally aged individuals playing the genre of music I love. Straight forward brutal death metal, played with precision and finesse are qualities that are hard to look past. I thought it was only fitting to include their debut album, which to me profiles the bands discography well. The drumming of Vitek was speedily played along to harmonious guitar riffing, and melodic leads. Vocals are standard fare growling, never letting out of a scream, but just stirring the pot of death metal goodness.
084. Cynic – “Focus”, 1993
Experimental, genre breaking, original and the list goes on. Cynic and Atheist were creating music that melded together both elements of metal and jazz. Not only musically bounding grounds of different kinds of music but implementing lyrical ideas that delve deep into science fiction and eastern religion, which was not common for a death metal band. This opened up a whole new world of possibility for a rather one sided kind of music. I am sure Death’s “Human”, and Pestilence was a pivotal piece in this sound being introduced at the time. No, instead of following the flock and talking of how many ways you can defile and destroy the human body they pursued a more sophisticated approach. If this was a top 10 list, you can guarantee this album would be one of those 10.
083. Incantation – “Mortal Throne of the Nazarene”, 1994
To the untrained ear, picking out a Incantation album can be a tiresome task, they have done little change in regard to their formula of death metal, in fact they grow more and more into the sound they developed throughout the years. One album to me has become iconic of their sound and truly represents what they are all about, which is playing raw doom laden death metal. They are not afraid to speed things up, and then bring it all to a slow forebode. Arrangements are all around creating and developing a dark atmosphere, making their own devilish interludes and melodies. The Ibex Moon has become something iconic of the band, as an illustrating track of their sound. I think it’s also worth mentioning that they released “Upon the Throne of the Apocalypse”, which has the rough mixes of this album, that in my opinion sounds even better than what is on their studio release. Another fun fact, I was in rehab with the engineer of this album, credited as “Mr. Bill”. Oh and just look at that artwork! absolutely amazing, like most of their album covers.
082. Cryptopsy – “None so Vile”, 1996 From the beginning of the title track, it’s like a spontaneous whiplash reaction. Having first heard Cryptopsy there was little words that I can say to describe it. It’s just all hell and fury, chaotic and speed I never heard before from a death metal band. They really broadened the possibilities and potential for death metal music. Though they did stride from their initial sound, much like Decapitated, their first couple releases really do leave a long lasting appeal and value. Odd time signatures, insanely fast drumming, Bass riffing like straight off of a Primus album an unconventional approach to what you may be expecting from your traditional death metal band. Top notch shit here folks, top notch.
081. Deicide – “Once Upon the Cross”, 1995 I don’t who stole Glen Benton’s lunch money, but one thing is still for sure, the guy is all kinds of pissed off because of it. From his not so humble beginnings to his later releases he still remains as one of the most pissed off and angry vocalists in Death Metal. What makes his vocal approach so refreshing is his ability to enunciate and growl out decipherable lyrics. I mean in all honesty I could care less about his anti-god agenda but it is refreshing to not have to question whether or not what is being growled is even the lyrics you’re reading on the cd-inlay. And yes, like much of the bands on this list it is a insanely difficult task to just pick one album from their discography, because it’s arguably impossible to do. This release to me, illustrates enough from all of their music to really give you a solid kick to the balls, and remind you how insanely ferocious and beastly death metal really is. Whether or not Glen is willing to forgive the christian bully that stole his lunch money, one thing is for sure, it benefits us greatly, because he has put out some of the most addicting and awesome death metal.
080. Autopsy – “Severed Survival”, 1989 The year of this release, Chris Reifert doing both vocals and drumming just scales of credibility this band has at their helm. Being at the early stages of death metal, one has little expectations, but holy shit they perform at a caliber that really places the bar high for the up-comers. Guitars speedily trailing along, while bass slaps the shit out of your ears and the drumming just pummels. Meanwhile things will settle down into a doomy passage that just forces you to nod your head. Being only 5 years old at the release of this album, I can happily say it deserves all the recognition and praise. This alongside Death’s, Scream Bloody Gore are the real forerunners for the definitive representatives of the genre.