Is nu/alt/indie metal at the same level of quality as old school underground death metal?

A reader writes:

Do you think the new underground waves bands like Cryptopsy are good like the old school bands. Or do you think that death metal is the only good option?

The new school metal has not, so far, come close to what the older death metal was able to do.

I don’t think this is stylistic, so much that people are thinking about different things. When you think about things like death metal, the big topics in life like death and justice and war, you are able to make death metal (complex thoughts). When you think about yourself, who are you gonna party with and what your parents are doing that you don’t like, you end up with nu-metal, metalcore, indie metal and other new-wave underground metal band types.

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Resurrection of the old school spirit in Atlanta, GA

sadistic_ritual-death_metal_atlanta_georgiaHistory is a big circle, and it’s coming around again. According to the loafers at Creative Loafing Atlanta, Atlanta, GA has resurrected an old school style metal scene.

First, these bands are playing 1985-1995 fodder. Second, they live together and promote each other. Finally, there’s no hint of the nu-core blight that has afflicted metal from 1998 through the present day, which allows these bands to develop their own take on an older sound.

For example, Sadistic Ritual sounds like Kreator…. to a point. Somewhere, they diverge and find their own voice, although as a demo band, they’re still trying to get a handle on that. But the fact is that they’re aping the past in form without aping its content, which separates them from the nu-thrash “revival” that first ripped off 1980s speed metal, then Swedish death metal, and now has moved on to punk.

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Non-profit old school metal zine Codex Obscurum launches

codex-obscurum-zineCodex Obscurum fills a void left open when the old school fled to the basement in advance of encroaching hardcore hybrids like metalcore and nu-metal: the print zine that exists to promote a community against impossible odds.

For those who weren’t there, back in the “old days” (like, 20 years ago), zines were the most common means of spreading information. You couldn’t buy death metal in regular record stores, society hated it and often tried to ban it, and most people regarded metalheads as declasse outcastes who should be viewed with suspicion.

Enter the zines. For the price of postage, sometimes plus a little more for printing costs, although most were paid for (unknowingly) by corporate stooge employers, you would get fifty pages of xeroxed hand-drawn mayhem delivered to your door, including interviews and reviews of your favorite bands, and the all-important advertising by mail-order distros that you otherwise did not know existed.

Codex Obscurum fills this void with its release this week. To get a copy, you “mail-order them, old school style. No profit, you’ll just be paying for postage costs.” The publishers describe it as “a New England based old-school print zine dedicated to music, art, and all things dark.” And it looks traditional: fifty xeroxed pages of wisdom, chaos and brilliance.

To order, send $3 plus shipping via BigCartel.

Direct all further questions to the staff through their Facebook page.

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Vallenfyre: old school death metal

Old school death metal from Paradise Lost, Extinction of Mankind, My Dying Bride and Doom members:

Adrian, the drummer of Vallenfyre, is also the drummer for the band Paradise Lost. I’ve known him for quite a long time, because the European death metal scene a long time ago was quite small and everyone knew each other and traded tapes. It was a little bit incestuous at times because everyone knew each other. Scoot, the bass player, he played in Doom and Extinction of Mankind. He was my roommate back 20 years ago, he shared a house with me. We’ve remained friends since then and I couldn’t think of anyone else to do it when the idea to do this band came up. Hamish, the lead guitarist, he’s another old friend and he’s in My Dying Bride, which was kind of the same genre as Paradise Lost. He’s my drinking buddy and we go out drinking. Mully, the other guitarist in the band, every Thursday night we go listen to old metal and get drunk and we’re all friends so it kind of easy to choose these people.

{snip}

The main subject is that we’re trying to play it like a proper old school death metal band in the production and the song writing and most elements of it. We also incorporate a lot of other elements we grew up with like the crust punk scene, the doom scene, and like the grind scene. We wanted to make it something that instantly transports us back to ’86 or ’87. Apart from that there wasn’t really a big plan behind it, it was just to get that sound really. – Metal Funderground

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Angerot – The Splendid Iniquity (2018)

The Upper Midwest of the United States absorbed quite a lot of Scandinavian immigrants over the course of history. For quite a while there was a story that a Viking king had laid claim to some land in the Midwest, but the Kensington runes that ‘proved’ this have been shown to be fake. First off, many learned people pointed out that the runes used were incongruous with the supposed dating of the artifact, and second it was shown that the engravings were not nearly as old as they would have to be if they were really of Viking provenance. The death metal band Angerot hails from Sioux City, South Dakota and uses the moniker “Swede Worship” to distinguish themselves from the approximately twenty hundred million other bands that imitate the old Swedish Death metal.

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Goath – II: Opposition

Great Goath!  First impression is, this new output from Goath is pretty darn good. The artwork seems excellent. Some of their other releases didn’t quite do it for me, but this one hits the spot. There is a nice mix of basic time signature riffs. The main thing is that the high level of aggression in all the instruments and vocals works on this one, whereas the other stuff I heard before was boring and lower pitched, like war metal kinda, with some Deicide. The whole thing sounds really old school underground, not aiming for total show-off or the best production, but instead going for authenticity and aggressiveness.
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Underground Record Labels in 2159 Pt. 3

The pigeon decided to return.  Had it not, the retro-Powermetalers would have maimed him fatally, with buckshot fire. Despite his cute appearance with those tiny post apocalyptic goggles of his, he would have then been eaten slowly by cockroaches over time after falling from grace.  Before he returned to Daryl he grabbed a 5 Bolivar silver coin from what was left of Panama. It was hard to fly back over the 500 foot wall that Trump had built, back in the technology age.  Not only did it have retracting metal spikes on top, but there was a moat with alligators on both sides.  Dead bodies were strewn along both sides of the fence, with vital organs missing.  No one ever came in.  No one got out alive either. Fortunately for Latin America, the wall mitigated the radiation winds on that side.

Upon the bird’s return, Daryl noticed the silver Panamanian coin in his beak.  It was a very low mintage coin and he was thrilled of the indication that there was power still now in that region of the world.

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