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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Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained (2017)

There are twelve notes. There are twenty-six letters. We can form them into combinations/patterns. The ones that stay with us are the ones that communicate. This takes us above the level of riff (metal), harmony (jazz/rock), and into the realm of melody, which uses phrase and harmony as means of strengthening the expression of a melody, or a unique combination which resembles the psychological sensation of a certain experience.

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Destruction Record More Re-Recordings

German eighties speed metal legends Destruction have a new album of pointless re-recorded versions of more of their “greatest hits” coming out November 10th on Nuclear Blast Records. As usual, Hessians should stick to the originals. Varg Vikernes of Burzum even said that Infernal Overkill was one of his favorites.

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