Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Masacre - Requiem (1991)

   Nice relaxing acoustic melodies are introducing the first full-lenght album of the Colombian Masacre. Which band had important influence on the the very depths of the South American underground scene.
   The followings are not so calm and chilling, but it's a very interesting album, balancing on the borderline of genres, between catchy melodies to noise, and stepping back and forth from musical structure to chaos. Quite diverse themes and ideas changing each other in that way. Usually it's a death metal band, but like in the case of bands from South America, the style features are not so evident, and including various influences. Mid speed, massive hammering and occasional melodic slow downs changing each other with deep growling that often ends up in insane screaming that reminds to black metal styled vocals. It's a very raw album for sure, but they managed putting together those different influences. This chaotic main view became the main feature of the band's early period. With "Requiem" they gave a new dark shade to the extreme scene.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mortuary - Blackened Images (1991)

   The extreme music wave had no boundaries, excellent bands appeared from various of locations. Mortuary is one of the plenty underrated bands who left behind some awesome feeling by their music.
   "Blackened Images" could define well what old school death metal means. A very intense thrash influenced album that operates with killer speed hammering, effective occasional changes and catchy themes. A very raw record which takes advantage through it's rude and primitive style. That primitiveness gave the feeling that makes the album so effective. It's the starting push of a young band who wanted to show some impressive musical brutality. It sounds very putrid and noisy, which is probably the result of their low budget and poor recording circumstances, but this is exaclty that adds a lot to it's overwhelming feeling. Even the occasional weird moments are strenghtening their effectiveness. "Blackened Images" counts as a masterpiece in it's raw and rude style.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hole - Pretty on the Inside (1991)

   While in the '70s the references to drug addiction in music life could be figured out from crazy and senseless lyrics and weird musical ideas, the '90s were even more harsh in that way. Some newcoming styles simply left no doubts in the listener about the musicians high level of drug abuse and even put that in focus.
   Already at first listening it's clear that the members of Hole didn't have many clear moments while they wrote and recorded "Pretty on the Inside", but exactly this made this album extraordinary. A group of women in the those times uprising grunge wave with it's simple, catchy, but often very ravaged sound, couldn't avoid to sparke wider attention. But it was more about than some light pop-rockin'. They showed a far distorted world of personal and mental issues unleashed by a heavily self-destructive lifestyle and expressed by mind wrecking noise rock. The combination of sometimes melodic, sometimes chaotic themes, explicit lyrics and Courtney Love's singing that often changes into narrative style and ends up in screaming was musically on a borderline in plenty ways. Involved the past times punk behaviour, the mainstream pop-rock sound, and even some elements of the lately developing sludge metal. A quite complex album in feeling and influences, but it's more like spontaneous than well composed. Pretty only on the outside or on the inside, or none of these, it's the listeners job to decide.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Kyuss - Wretch (1991)

   Kyuss was maybe the most influental pioneer band of the stoner rock genre, which is often called as desert rock. And also famous about intense cannabis abuse as a source of inspiration for the bands and as a common way of entartainment between the circle of fans.
   Their first full-lenght album, "Wretch" could define the features of this genre very well. The direct influences of the heaviest bands from the '70s (of course their self-destructive feeling included) placed into the '90s, like a modern sound of the old school hard rock music. That may not sound surprising in isolated-desolated areas where time seem to be stuck. The "Wretch" album has all features which may be common in this style and lately were picked up by others who chosed to follow this path with their music. The lately most usual mid-speed and psychedelic sound, low toned, heavy riffs, but also faster and groovy themes, and references to the '70s of course. The love songs and ballads were not taken from the past times, Kyuss more liked to be rude, badass, to ruin the possible romantic opportunities and found more importance in earthly pleasures and cool vehicles only.

Hexx - Morbid Reality (1991)

   Hexx started in the early '80s as a heavy/power metal band lately influenced by the Bay Area thrash scene. But on their third album they went further and tried themselves in the new and influental extreme musical trends and their music involved more aggressive thrash, and even death metal features.
   The outcome of that change was something unusual, which is out of line of the thrash/death albums that time, even if in style it fits perfectly. On the side of speed they tried to increase the intensity of their music with piling up more themes than they would usually needed. That time it may sounded weird, now it could be called as technical or progressive ambitions. Even if officially "Morbid Reality" is not sorted to the technical thrash or death albums probably because of good reasons, their imaginations showing similarity to that concept. So it could be another way to experiment with producing chaotic music, because in chaos they may found the main intensity that could show something new on the fields of extreme metal.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fear of God - Within the Veil (1991)

   While the early '90s metal scene was overwhelmed by the wave of death metal, there were a few bands which didn't tried to merge into the actual trends.
   Fear of God had it's musical influences by the earlier waves of the '80s, but it wasn't a "just keep playin' old school" project, but a genuine mix of those influences according to the actual sound. The singer Dawn Crosby could be found as someone mainly responsible for the foundation of Fear of God, shortly after her previous band, Détente was split up. So the thrash metal influence is evident, but an uncommon mix of heavy metal with gothic/doom touch was the main characteristic of "Within the Veil". While in Détente a more aggressive, shouting vocal style could be heard from miss Crosby, in Fear of God she involved gloomy and psychedelic-like singing too, that gave a melancholic atmosphere to the music. And of course it suspected common unconscious travels to beyond supported by heavy drug abuse and self-destruction. Oppose to the actual trends, it was not about extreme intensity or aggressiveness, more like about desperate struggles of an inner-self that is slowly falling apart and consumes itself. "Within the Veil" was an extraordinary and less known classic of the '90s metal scene.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Ripping Corpse - Dreaming With the Dead (1991)

   Ripping Corpse's "Dreaming With the Dead" is an outstanding masterpiece of the all-time thrash scene. But sadly very a underrated one the same time.
   About their influences Slayer have to be mentioned because of the vocal style and some reminding themes. In intensity they went further into the direction of death metal. Speed changes are common and effective. Excellent themes bonding together the diversive show up of their musical ambitions. There are no boring moments or miserably repetative parts on this album, it's just rampaging through with it's boundless insane aggressiveness. About lyrics the world of horror they found the most inspiring. Compared to other cultic albums of the thrash genre, "Dreaming With the Dead" rising above with it's technical knowledge and well composed structure. And also showed that playing intense by massive and endless hammering is only one thing, but creating a contrast could exceed that level. Perfect album in all-round.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Corpus Rottus - Rituals of Silence (1991)

   The line of one album underground bands of the early '90s may seem endless, and it includes dozens of underrated bands which were worthy for more attention than what they had in their times.
   "Rituals of Silence" by Corpus Rottus could be a really enjoyable record for the fans of old school sounding death metal. It includes everything why this style could be liked. Intense, massive thrash influenced hammering, diversive and awesome themes, noisy, heavy aggressiveness. The sound of their short and wild solos reminding to Massacre, but they had their own style in general. No signs of any amateur experimenting or path searching ambitions, it was a short, but quite stunning abum for a start. Their pure, wild music wasn't on a lower level at any aspects than any of it's coetaneouses made by the "death metal elite". In the very depths of underground "Rituals of Silence" still counts as an everlasting classic amongst the plenty of it's forgotten bloodthirsty companions from the golden age of death metal.

Immolation - Dawn of Possession (1991)

   Immolation's "Dawn of Possession" was a very heavy and intense album even in the early '90s death metal scene. That time the appearence of brutal bands wasn't surprising at all, but even in this was an upper level, and Immolation had immidiately hit that level.
   This album was further than most others both in heaviness and quality. The brutal, animalistic vocals not narrating the usual blasphemous lyrics, but setting them onto a higher level. From a more phylosophic, individual aspect they criticise religion. Of course this anti-religios view also includes an apocalyptic perspective, but having more sense than the lyrics that most bands wrote in similar topics. "Dawn of Possession" in not a performance of a simple wilder-wannabe band, but a well composed album in all round. And it's overwhelming sound couldn't be confused with any others, this raw brutality became the feature of Immolation and made them a well respected band in the underground scene. Which status they still own until nowadays.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Suffocation - Effigy of the Forgotten (1991)

   After the style what is called now as "old school death metal" seemed to reach it's borders, still something more intense had to come. The appearence of Suffocation meant the beginning of something new.
   After the musical minimalism temporarily couldn't show anything new, things turned into the opposite way, it was time to play more complex music. Suffocation opened to that way with their appearence. "Effigy of the Forgotten" was more raw than it's coetaneous albums in the genre, but not because of it's experimenting ambitions. Their technical brutal death music lay down the basics of modern sounding death metal. Not only to play fast was the new trend, but to pile complex themes, accord them together, to find the balance and to not create a complete chaos. It required higher skills of course than playing fast only, but it's too easy to get lost in the maze of technical chaos that way and lose the feeling. Suffocation had no problems to make it, and became one of the most well known of death metal bands with their raw brutality.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Goatlord - Reflections of the Solstice (1991)

   Goatlord was maybe the first band from those who experimented with death/doom the first time. Their debut came later than the other pioneers of this unpopular style, but the sounding suspects some really ancient origin.
   Nowadays because of that sounding, the vocal style and the lyrical topics "Reflections of the Solstice" fits into black/death too. It's exaggeratedly blasphemous, and having the lack of any catchy melodies or emotional atmosphere. The slowing down doom influences extending the effect of the cruel and compromise-less feeling that they are showing. Occasional speed ups are also common, and they reminding to the most ancient bands with black metal influences. No matter the slow downs and the extented parts, it's a quite aggressive album in general. Bands which similarly involved directly or instinctly extreme genres this way, were more common in South America, but Goatlord couldn't be confused with them because they had features which lately became specific both in death/doom and black/death styles. It's definitely a unique album of extreme metal.

Broken Hope - Swamped in Gore (1991)

   After the appearence of Cannibal Corpse slowly more and more gory bands were formed. Broken Hope was known about their brutally low vocal style, which was one of the lowest ones in the genre, and their limitless grinding music.
   While the late albums tried to exceed the limits of the previous ones in brutality, "Swamped in Gore" had a contrast with mid speed groovy themes, which ended up with such intensity that could fit even into grindcore. That often changing speed and style made it probably their most diversive album, and the incredibly deep and wretched growlings turned the main picture so rude as possible. Like some frequent continuous pressure that always wants to disturb the listener's peace and keep haunting to return with the most absurd, and gruesomely sick lyrical topics. This kind of insanity fits perfectly in one line with Cannibal Corpse, Autopsy and Pungent Stench. Even if "Swamped in Gore" didn't exceed most of other death metal albums in main intensity that time, with it's exaggerated style and brutal sounding it surely exceeded them.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Massacre - From Beyond (1991)

   After a long lasting struggle, in 1991 finally came the moment for Massacre. The band was formed by ex-Death members who played on the side of Chuck Schuldiner during the albums "Leprosy" and "Spiritual Healing", and with Kam Lee, who was the former vocalist of Death in it's demo times, a legendary line-up was teamed up.
   "From Beyond" could be a perfect definition of what we call now as old school death metal. A rough, intense album with catchy themes and short, noisy but very badass and demoralizing solos which sounding like they're referring to some netherworld origin. It's strongly thrash influenced all around, but the aggressiveness and the sounding are pointing through on what the fans of extreme music were used to from thrash bands in general. Plus Kam Lee's deep growling also became an icon of the death metal genre, and simply couldn't be confused with any other vocal styles. "From Beyond" was a very unique musical event that couldn't be repeated.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Autopsy - Mental Funeral (1991)

   Autopsy was also one of those few bands who tried to slow down, while most others raced with each other who can play faster and more intense.
   Chris Reifert's name was known before by Death's "Scream Bloody Gore", and in Autopsy he not only sat behind the drums, but did the vocals too. Their first album, "Severed Survival" was already an exaggerated and pretty sick record even compared to the main death metal scene, but they exceeded themselves in musical sickness with "Mental Funeral". That's because they slowed down and by adding some ominous doom influenced  and mid speed melodies, it became one of the sickest albums of those times. The fast hammering was reduced compared to "Severed Survival" and it's usually there for creating chaos, disharmony and to cast the listener into the depths of a distrorted world of horror and disgust. If operating with the nauseous melodies were not enough, the most revolting lyrical topics about gore, death and necrophilia are wishing a good appetite. An everlasting classic of death metal.  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cannibal Corpse - Butchered at Birth (1991)

   Cannibal Corpse is the most well known and best selling death metal band, also a common "introduction band" into metal for beginners. Many people's opinion that they are overrated, and they were only seeking for attention, but let's just take a closer look.
   Usually when someone's hearing their music the first time, the most common reactions are turning the music off as soon as possible with swearwords, or laughing cause it's couldn't be taken seriously. After "Eaten Back to Life" they had a notable musical progression, their songs turned more intense and raw the same time, but "Butchered at Birth" also includes a lot of weird, sick melodies. It was some new way how to introduce sickness musically, and the never ending insane hammering added a stressing feeling to the main view. The brutally deep vocals, which may reminding many listeners to some wild boar's grunting or to Cookie Monster, are growling about the the most absurd topics of gore and horror including very hideous existing aberrations with endless violence. With the most disturbing and disgusting visuals on their cover arts, it was a perfect recipe for a scandal, if the lyrics were not enough already. Those lyrics, which are not understandable at all by the common opinion. Cannibal Corpse was trying to break through all possible borders the same time, that made them the most notorious band of the genre, wether the audience found them annoying or made them smile.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pungent Stench - For God Your Soul... For Me Your Flesh (1990)

   Even though Pungent Stench was only a death metal band, their name was often found on the side of goregrind and grindcore bands. They became widely infamous before extreme music fans very soon in the early '90s with their gory and morbid humor based music.
   On some imaginary scale which may grade bands after how disgusting topics they were into, Pungent Stench would be in the main line next to bands like Autopsy and Cannibal Corpse. This ambition impregnated even into their sounding, because the whole album sounds very putrid and gives the impression that even the vocals were recorded in some cesspool. They were not far from grindcore with their simple, catchy themes, but there was a lack of frequent grinding parts. Their approach of extremity wasn't so common, because it couldn't be taken seriously, but if it could be for some reason, it was usually very effective. Pungent Stench was very determined about to follow, or better to say: to lead in this way and kept shocking the audience with their loathsome issues.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Delirium - Zzooouhh (1990)

   Delirium is one of the many forgotten and hidden gems of the early '90s. As a one album band, their name was never widely known, even though (or exactly because) they were a pioneer band of death/doom.
   Probably their favorite band was Celtic Frost and they listened that band from day to night, because most of the themes and even the sounding of "Zzooouhh" is reminding to them. Their mid speed and slow, notorious themes are referring back to them all the time with the combination of some disharmony and occasional fast hammering. The brutally deep growling vocal style is turning the main view into a way sick level that could be compared maybe to Autopsy. In truth not the direct will to mix the two genres was leading them into death/doom, but an ominous and deeply sick feeling that they wanted to put into highlights. And the most obvious way to express such feelings is to extend showing them. Plus all was made under the strong influence of Celtic Frost. "Zzooouhh" is an interesting event of extreme metal.

Entombed - Left Hand Path (1990)

   Entombed was a band that was well known in undergound circles already when they appeared. As Nihilist they became notorious in the late '80s, and after their frontman was quit and formed Unleashed, they continued playing as Entombed.
   They didn't had to wait for long for a contract and they continued their career as one of the most influental death metal bands, and as a main influence for the birth of the Swedish death metal scene on the side of Unleashed and Grave. "Left Hand Path" became a remarkable classic of the genre, created by alerady well experienced musicians. They determined the ordinary style of old schoold Swedish death metal by dirty and dim sound, evident thrash themes and references and definitely rude main view. Made by of the oldest death metal bands, the album may count as an authentic introduction into the genre and could be entertaining by it's various other influences that increased it's enjoyability. Unlike most other Swedish classics, the "Left Hand Path" had plenty of nice surprises, like occasional dark melodies such as intense brutality, common speed changes and a rough atmosphere that reminds to the heaviest horror classics.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Carnage - Dark Recollections (1990)

   Carnage's one and only album counts as one of the earliest acts of the lately infamous Swedish death metal scene, and also belongs to it's most important local influences.
   That's not only because of the timing, but "Dark Recollections" sounded so brutal and rough, that was impressive even in the main scene. There were many ways to show musical aggressiveness, brutality and sickness, to be exaggerated in all-round, but Carnage raised over most of it's coetaneouses, because their music reached a very impressive level at all of those features. It was an effective combination of cruel brutality and sickly insane feeling. On the side of heavy themes, massive intense hammering, dirty, noisy sounding; a very insane vocal style is taking care of the listeners hardpressed entertaining, which is occasionally turning artificially distorted to sound even more animalistic. Maybe early Morgoth could be compared to this raw, extremely intense noisy rampage, that incidentally just reached the boundaries of death metal as a start. This masterpiece counts as a stunning starting push in the development of a scene and took a role from defining it's characteristic features.

Tiamat - Sumerian Cry (1990)

   Tiamat is more known as a common good old favorite band for the fans of gothic music, or as a metal classic before the less modest mainstream audience. But as plenty of similar bands that time, they also tried themselves first in the uprising extreme underground as one of it's pioneers in the Swedish scene.
   Tiamat didn't play usual death metal, their music included various different musical influences, like heavy and doom metal themes, and they tried small unusual experiments, like occasionally involving jazz elements, some Near Eastern feeling, mysterious whispers in the middle of hammering, acoustic moments, or writing lyrics inspired by Sumerian poetry. The main view is not as bloodthirsty as it could be expected, no matter the common intense speed, or the deep growling narratives. The whole sounding is far lighter than it's used to be in this genre, and the mix of their uncommon ideas are turning the album to a more listener-friendly way. It was shown that the  boundaies of death metal were too tight for their musical creativity, but "Sumerian Cry" gave a new color - a brighter shade absolutely - to the genre.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Paradise Lost - Lost Paradise (1990)

   Before Paradise Lost became known as a gothic metal band, they made one of the first death/doom albums with their debut "Lost Paradise". In truth they were pioneers of both styles, and that change was more like a progression than a sudden change.
   "Lost Paradise" wasn't a usual mix of death and doom metal genres, they had their own genuine style with their slow, gloomy melodies and themes. No doubts that it was an experiment, like involving things that were uncommon according to the musical scene back than. It's probably the most intense album of the early death/doom style by showing the largest diversity in themes. While this style is usually about simple, slowly repetitive, heavy and extented themes, for Paradise Lost it was like a perfect opportunity to unleash their creativity. So it's not a minimalist album at all, but shows something very new by weird impressions both in lyrics and themes. These sometimes melancholic, sometimes sickening melodies with their unique atmosphere became an unrepeatable icon of the genre.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Blasphemy - Fallen Angel of Doom (1990)

   There is another kind of black/death metal, which is somehow far different from the usual blackened death style. It's also less known and far less popular. The roots of this uncommon style are leading back to Blasphemy.
   The better known black/death bands involved the atmospheric influences of ordinary black metal, and their themes are more melodic. Before their appearence Blasphemy created something that lacks all of these features. "Fallen Angel of Doom" is a brutal, noisy grinding without any melodies, Just aggressive, disharmonic, blasphemous destruction. That means the death metal influences having the main lead in guitar themes and vocal style , while the simple and ultra fast black style hammering giving the basics. The sound is somewhere between the two. Instead of the impression of a sizzling rehearsal, it's like a rough, low budget studio record (usually it is for real). Sounds a bit cleaner than old school black, but still it's endlessly dirty and noisy. This new approach showed an alternative passage in musical extremity.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter - Into Darkness (1990)

   The usual ambitions in extreme music were to extend the borders in speed and aggressiveness. To play always faster, more intense, more brutal. A very few bands tried the opposite way, by reaching extremity in slowing down. Both ways are counting as musical minimalism, but by involving doom influences it was further into that minimalistic way.
   The first determined step in that way was made by Winter. "Into Darkness" is like a perfect example how to evolve death and doom metal. The basic death themes and the deep growling stayed, but because of slowing down everything became simpler, and the atmosphere also had an important role. This tempo could fit even into funeral doom, so it was some kind of advenced experiment that time, because even the death/doom style wasn't formed completely yet. Some mid speed appears sometimes to create a balance and to break with rage the endlessly extented despair that's spreading from this album. The oppressive feeling of a cruel and eternal frost was well introduced, and "Into Darkness" is not only a basic album "into death/doom", but also a masterpiece.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Morbius - The Shades Below (1990)

   Even though Morbius was not only there at the uprising of death metal, but also recorded a demo tape that sounded more stunning than the first tryings of most bigger bands of the genre, their name still remained unknown.
   The reason why is also unknown, but "The Shades Below" was used later as a promo again without sparking notable attention, and much later came out from the pile of the forgotten, dusty '90s demo tapes and had a remastered reissue. It could fit for the role of a full-lenght debut album too. "The Shades Below" was not only longer, but musically far more complex than how early demo tapes used to be. The sound could be called professional too according to the recording circumstances, because they were able to show the maximum from a rehearsal quality. The noisy solo themes and distorted melodies created a genuine atmosphere that couldn't be compared to any of the big names of early death metal. But the feeling is similar to early Paradise Lost. It could sound like a weird or unexpected comparison, but even if the chance of any direct or indirect influence seems unrealistic, there is some analogy. However, "The Shades Below" is an underrated and very interesting old school classic.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Master - Master (1990)

   Paul Speckmann's Master was haunting the American underground scene since the early '80s with it's thrashy death hammering, and because of this they are one of the earliest bands of this style. A pioneer band of death metal too.
   Being influenced mostly by Motörhead, Venom and Slayer, they've decided to play something more aggressive with a more serious background concept. Societal and political topics became their most usual lyrical features, and later their only topic. The Speckmann industries operated under various names (Death Strike, Funeral Bitch, Speckmann Project, Abomination), like a musical dump. But under the name of Master they became better known. It was also their most permanent project. While most other projects didn't go further than raw rehearsal records, the first full-lenght Master album summerized their early works powered by Morrisound recordings. It was also the best one of their early period, and a classical album of the genre as well.