Death Metal Underground

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

by Brett Stevens
August 19, 2013 –

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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6 comments

  • Anthony

    Cryptopsy was a great band back in the early to mid ’90s. Their demos and their first two albums were a fine example of what made death metal great. I do think that their material from Whisper Supremacy onwards was the forerunner of most modern spazzy “death metal,” possibly even moreso than Human Remains et al.

  • Invisible Sandwich

    If it’s not stylistic, you’d expect to eventually find some good works under the “alt-metal” umbrella. On the other hand, the other example (low quality death metal written in an “authentic” style) isn’t hard to find.

    One possiblility is that the skilled songwriters with profound leanings but limited interest in the actual aesthetic are working in different genres, which could explain things like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, My Bloody Valentine, blatant non-metal that is praised here to varying degrees.

    1. dismal ventriloquist

      Can anyone tell me how My Blood Valentine is praise worthy? I understand their contribution to a genre of music by solidifying it’s aesthetic/production, but the music accomplishes the same goals that their peers aimed for. Pop music, but what makes it different or better from the other shoegaze or dream pop bands of their time?

  • Bad News

    When the spirit is weak, there is only flesh (nothing to say or lyrical regurgitation becomes simpler mom and dad or the government make me mad lyrics, just music for the sake of it becomes a Dimmu Borgir level commercialization). The truth is in the mind, your imagination, dreams… (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjSKWrq2hGc). Flesh sullies this spirit until all that remains are the most mundane human ways (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6U5bV6R8sQ), but the flesh always crumbles (the Cradle of Filth fan who was the cool rebel in High School is now a fat, balding Burger King manager).

  • Pruritic Sores

    Stop dancing around the obvious:

    It’s all the same shit, nu, alt, indie, math, drone, sludge, wahtever.

    It’s all rock-metal.

    That is to say, rock music with a surface of metal to make the listeners feel “rebellious.”

    It’s Lindsay Lohan wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt, thinking about all the cocaine she did on the set of The Parent Trap.