Some bands have promise; these have veered off the road and are currently charring in a gasoline fire. Will they crawl out? Let’s find out!
Death metal had been well established for years by the early 90s. The genre was rapidly becoming an arms race of technicality with many bands attempting to use studio trickery to make records far beyond their musical ability in attempt to compete with their best contemporaries, e.g. Morbid Angel. Many brought in hired shredder studio musicians like James Murphy with drum tracks copy and pasted together onto tape from drum samples and “played” live with triggers activating those same pre-recorded samples at the slightest touch. At the same time, good grindcore bands were turning into second-rate death metal ones or worse, lame “melodic hardcore” which turned hardcore punk aesthetics into slit your wrists whine pop.
Lee Dorrian, vocalist of Napalm Death on the b-side of Scum and From Enslavement to Obliteration, was disgusted by Napalm Death writing material incorporating the worst, bouncy hit people aspects of death metal in an attempt to reach a wider audience and quit the band in 1989. He soon formed Cathedral with Gaz Jennings and Mark Griffiths over a shared love of older heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath, Candlemass, and Witchfinder General. Demos and an album on Dorrian’s old label Earache quickly followed.
French Canadian Viking-themed black metal/ambient band Sanctuaire announced on their Facebook page that they are in the final stages of mixing their upcoming record, Feu Sacré (Sacred Fire). Hopefully the band have continued improving their compositional skills which advanced from their oft pedestrian Helserkr demo collection to last year’s sometimes inspiring Le Sang sur l’Acier EP.
14 looong years after Dysangelium it feels amazing beeing in the studio again. Ventilator, Satanic Taki, Destroyer Eisen, Martin Witchskinner and Evil Chuck will promise you: something brutal will come! Be warned and stay tuned…
Old Disgruntled Bastard, one of the few quality metal blogs around, accused Death Metal Underground of writing clickbait on Facebook for our recent Sadistic Metal Reviews of older albums our staff had noticed to be inferior to the best of the past:
To Death Metal Underground: Certain albums have endured – for musical and extra-musical reasons – across decades and among generations of metalheads of diverse backgrounds, and the least they warrant is treatment with the respect they’ve earned. There is no revelation to be made and there is no current of general perception to be reversed by “raping sacred favorites”. Clickbait is distinctly unelitist and pissing in the wind for the fuck of it isn’t terribly smart either.
Death Metal Underground has received criticism for our review of limp-wristed, warmed-over Swedish heavy metal act In Flames. Our staff called them the Swedish version of Christian glam rock band Stryper. However despite being hard rock, Stryper were actually heavier, more sincere in purpose, and more aggressive than the Comic Sans In Flames. Stryper and the speed metal influenced glam rock of Skid Row were at least far more musical than Fredrik Nordstrom produced melodeaf such as post-Alf Svensson At the Gates, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquility, In Flames, and Soilwork. Stryper and Skid Row were at least well-versed in 60s and 70s riff rock while directly influenced by Metallica and Slayer:
Funderground party death ‘n’ roll and deathcore band Hail of Bullets has broken up according to a post on their Funbook page. Hail of Bullets’ illness was no reason to exist as a musical entity beyond lining the pockets and fattening the livers of Dutch death metal scene veterans through CD releases and festival gigs. Martin van Drunen quit the train wreck a while ago probably as death metal fans grew sick of the band’s constant stream of lame releases. The war is over Hail of Bullets. You lost and were executed for your crimes against metal music such as III: The Rommel Chronicles.
A new issue of the legendary Isten fanzine is being published later this year by Svart Records. Those foresighted enough to have purchased the Isten Fanzine: Don’t Break the Ghost compilation book will know how big of a deal this is. Isten was one of the most legendary death and black zines along with Metalion’s Slayer.