Autopsy have a mini CD coming out December 15th titled Puncturing the Grotesque on Peaceville Records.2 Comments
Death metal was born in 1983 with the unholy quartet of Sodom, Bathory, Hellhammer and Slayer, but it took many years to translate the new style into a full-fledged monster, which happened sometime in 1990-1991. In the interregnum, bands such as Possessed, Kreator, Destruction and Merciless took the speed metal approach, the broken drums of thrash, and the vocals and guitar techniques of death metal and made an intermediate style.
Dr. Shrinker comes to us from that era with this compilation of demos from its period of existence from 1987 to 1990. The tracklist breaks down as follows:
“Wedding the Grotesque” (1989)
- Tools Of The Trade
- Mesmerization (Of A Corpse)
- Rawhead Rex
- Cerebral Seizure
- Dead By Dawn
- Open-Heart Surgery
- No Way To Live
- Pronounced Dead
- Chunk Blower
- Bacterial Encroachment
- Wedding The Grotesque
- Tighten The Tourniquet
- Germ Farm
- The Command
- March Of The Undead
- Graphic Violence
- Inverted Direction
- Free At Lasssst!!!
“The Eponym” (1990)
These tracks display the conventions of that period pushing toward something more extreme: verses like the German speed metal bands, choruses like Swedish band Merciless with a bit of melody, and shifts from verse/chorus structure and fills much like later American band Nunslaughter. These songs display the holdover from 1970s metal through Venom which manifests in strong rhythm hooks to the vocal cadence of choruses balanced by driving inertia in the verses, deviating with strange fills that foreshadow future song developments. In this, part of the genesis of death metal can be seen: the transition from conventional song structures to entirely riff-driven evolution of theme as manifested itself on classics of the genre like Onward to Golgotha.
Showing the speed metal heritage, riffs are often single-picked and emphasize an internal rhythm, in contrast to the phrasal riffs to come later. Their simplicity in phrase allows the production of a basic driving rhythm which storms up against the ends of each iteration, creating a sense of a pile-up that conveys urgency to the listener. This ploughs into the chorus and creates a feeling of intensity with repetition, which is very much like the 1980s, a cross between Gordon Gekko and nuclear warfare. An interesting outlier is “March of the Undead,” which could have come off Cryptic Slaughter Convicted (and, at 1:21, has a song length to match).
While Dr. Shrinker does a great job of this style, the problem for me — and others — is that this style seems dated and the bands interchangeable at this point. You could throw on an album by Necronomicon, Merciless, Kreator, Destruction or late-80s Sodom and get the same experience and roughly the same riff archetypes. For this reason, Grotesque Wedlock remains in the purchasing domain of people who love this speed/death hybrid style and metal historians.6 Comments
Hammerheart Records will re-issue Swedish black/heavy/death metal band Grotesque In the Embrace of Evil plus the first release of the band which shortly succeeded it, At the Gates Gardens of Grief. These will be released on vinyl on August 21, 2015.
Grotesque, like Merciless, Morbid, Slaughter Lord, Tormentor (Hungary) and Sarcofago, represented an interstitial state in black metal where bands still in the style of older speed/death like Possessed moved into a sound that approximated black metal without the musical developments of the full genre as came bursting out of Norway shortly afterwards.
When members of Grotesque moved on to form At the Gates, they took their music more in a direction of melodic black metal, starting with their first EP, Gardens of Grief, which showcases their unconventional approach to songwriting and solid melodic development.
The Lurking Fear ludicrously claim that:
The Lurking Fear is bringing sheer, natural weirdness and horror back to the scene, as we want our death metal ugly, twisted and possessed.
Riffs should stir up real feelings of repulsion, and disgust deep down in your soul, and vocals should sounds like hounds of hell howling at the moon.
Autarcie could be easily dismissed for being assembled from the elements we expect from narcissistic yet generic post-black metal or “modern metal.” Instead, it presents to us a transition between black metal and either assimilation or a new form which is organic and local, and yet while the band does more with the elements of modern metal than that genre, its failure to conquer the modern mindset within precludes it from achieving the ancient sensibility and sensation of black metal, leaving it as identifiably “post-metal” in spirit but second-wave black metal in form.4 Comments
Tomas Lindberg’s (At the Gates) awful new band The Lurking Fear released a new music for some awful new track that sucks off their upcoming album you shouldn’t care about as it will surely suck that comes out later this year on Century Media Records.10 Comments
The Lurking Fear, the new band with Tomas Lindberg and Adrian Erlandsson from At the Gates, previewed a new track from their upcoming Out of the Voiceless Grave debut album which comes out August 11th on Century Media.12 Comments
The Lurking Fear, the H.P. Lovecraft themed Swedish death metal band featuring At the Gates members Tomas Lindberg on the mic and Adrian Erlandsson behind the kit and Jonas Stålhammar from God Macabre on guitar, is releasing their debut album Out of the Voiceless Grave August 11th on Century Media. Hopefully the rest of the record will be better than the preview track, which sounded like a simplified, phoned-in and more boring Lucky Charms version of Grotesque. Will Tomas Lindberg take off the trucker hat and put the black leather trench coat back on?3 Comments
Tags: Adrian Erlandsson, century media, century media records, death metal, h.p. lovecraft, jonas stålhammar, Lovecraft, mainstream metal, Sweden, the lurking fear, Tomas Lindberg, upcoming album, upcoming release
As America’s conservative renaissance thrives through its flourishing Alt Right movement, the time is ripe for a full fledged rebirth of its black metal identity.
With the genre having reached rock bottom in recent years due to pop punk and screamo influences, beta male journalism, communist ideologies, and a faux transcendentalist philosophy, we can begin to right the ship by exhuming and examining the cadaver of its formative age.56 Comments
Tags: abazagorath, American black metal, black 'n roll, Black Metal, crypto-indie, deafheaven, death metal, demoncy, depressive suicidal black metal, elegy records, emo, hipster invasion, judas iscariot, liturgy, moribund records, national socialist black metal, Nihilism, nsbm, pop punk, profanatica, scenesters, screamo, thrash metal, USBM, War Metal
The Lurking Fear, a side project of At the Gates members including Tomas Lindberg, preview a new track, “Winged Death” from their upcoming self-titled EP that is coming out soon. The band also has an album, Out Of The Voiceless Grave, coming out August 11th on Century Media. Death Metal Underground’s staff are not giddy with anticipation but rather unsurprisingly disappointed.