Some time ago, seminal band Slayer — who along with Bathory and Hellhammer created the germinal material and style of death metal — decided to call it a day after thirty-seven years of recording, touring, and generally causing problems. Upon the announcement of their retirement, many nascent and older Slayer fans came out of the woodwork, so the band has added a second leg to its tour.4 Comments
Summer is just around the corner, and you are no doubt thinking of your favorite Mexican beers — among the best in the world, like their death metal — to relax in the sun with. Do not drink Corona Light, of course, but the newly-minted Corona Especial in twelve-packs for the American market might bring out a smile. Alternatively, you can try a Modelo Especial Chelada.12 Comments
Some bands gained prominence because of their influence on other musicians but were given less credit by fans years later because they no longer had current releases. The Dutch death metal assault Sinister crafted three albums of great influence but then faded away in the mid-1990s, leading to fewer people mentioning their place in the death metal canon.19 Comments
Raging black metal band Sammath posted a set from their show of February 24, 2018, at an unspecified location in The Netherlands, showing the furious assault of this intense yet melodic band at its maximum ferocity. Having burst into life in 1994, Sammath made a name for itself with albums such as Strijd and Godless Arrogance in a career arc spanning a decade and a half.3 Comments
Most people compare this music to Motorhead, but in my mind, it resembles a fusion between Black Flag and folk music like the old Bob Seeger tracks that limousine liberals pretended to like along with their Harry Belafonte and Leonard Bernstein LPs. A strong punk energy and rhythm pervades the music while a vocal-driven melodic sense guides each song to a quasi-ironic, bittersweet but triumphant conclusion.5 Comments
If someone goes on this tour, make sure to hand Justin Broadrick a telephone to signify that this album has been phoned in. As the term implies, when content creators are no longer focused on making their work significant, an “it’ll do” mentality results. This fits within what Godflesh and related Broadrick-acts have done through their careers.9 Comments
Few places charm the radiant, open soul like the Tobacco Barn. These little additions to Brookshire Brothers stores are the one place in the world where you can buy smokes and beer in an enthusiastic and friendly setting with far more variety than you will find in a liquor store or anything short of an old-fashioned tobacconist.10 Comments
Furious Dutch black metal band Sammath have issued forth a live recording of “Godless” featuring founder/guitarist Jan Kruitwagen on vocals. The band takes a high-intensity old school approach to this track, emphasizing the multitude of death metal and black metal influences on this band, but with technical aptitude making the song flow together in the style of later black metal.5 Comments
Apparently there is a magic character out there that slays Apple devices. When trying to parse it, they become as confused as a voter analyzing policy or the average person contemplating the mysteries of the cosmos. Similarly, the Apple devices freeze, then crash, which allows a hostile attacker to do whatever they want.32 Comments
Listen to a track from the upcoming Hadeon from longstanding Dutch band Pestilence, one is immediately struck by the similarity to late-1990s Morbid Angel: the riffs are there, albeit a bit impatient and tightly circular, but the whole experience is not. What is missing? To understand this, we must go to the core of what made death metal what it is.
If you wanted to explain to a normal person what death metal is, looking at the core of its spirit, you might haul out Slayer Hell Awaits, Hellhammer Apocalyptic Raids, and Bathory The Return… because these influenced the techniques, composition, and spirit of death metal. From Hellhammer and Slayer, it got its song structure and aesthetics; from Bathory its themes and riff technique.
Death metal took the original idea of metal, formed when Black Sabbath and others began using power chords to make phrasal riffs instead of harmony-oriented open chord riffs, and developed it further. This is different than doing something “new” or “progressing” because it means undertaking the much harder task of developing an idea further at a structural level instead of just changing aesthetics.
With the rise of underground metal, death metal adopted chromatic riffing and made the interplay between riffs form a narrative to each song. This abolished typical rock song structure and, because the guitar served as a melodic instrument instead of a harmonic one, forced vocals, bass and drums into a background role. How well the riffs fit together and portrayed an atmosphere, idea, or sensation defined the quality of the music.
Pestilence came from a solid death metal background with Consuming Impulse but showed a speed metal styled approach on Malleus Maleficarum, and this tension has stayed with the band for its entire career. The speed metal style of verse and chorus built on a singular theme that is present in the music is easier to jam on and use harmony to complement, where death metal rarely explicitly states its theme, only silhouetting it in the interaction between its many riffs. With speed metal, bands can set up a chord progression and develop it in layers of internal commentary like jazz, and this puts vocals back in position number one among the lead instruments.
“Non-Physical Existent” is a two-riff song with both based on the same note progression. It creates its intensity through the clash between a ripping circular high speed riff and a slower chromatic riff that uses odd harmony to distinguish notes in an otherwise linear theme. The song breaks into a solo section over one of the riffs, and has a type of turnaround the drops into the faster riff as a return. But there is no real interplay nor any narrative.
From the riffs themselves, this is a good song, but unfortunately, it is not death metal. Nor will it last because essentially it is a closed-circuit video of itself, a riff commented on by another, without resembling any particular experience or emotion, therefore being a null journey, more like stasis in space while riffs loop. It is better than not bad, but still not of real interest to the death metal fan.22 Comments