Everyone of my friends know that for all of my diversified and open minded musical listening habits, I am a douchebag when it comes to peoples perception of what I like and people who recommend me music based on the fact that they don't think i'm listening to good enough material. I would like to note that if you recommend me something that you think i'll like, I will listen to it. But don't tell me that what i like is subpar and that you have some superior taste and are going to bless me with your infinite musical wisdom. You're a douchebag and I am going to stab you in the neck with my cassette tapes! I do my best not to do that to my friends (Although I do regularly recommend things to them, I try my best not to be an ass about it or to come off as though my taste is in any way superior. Our own tastes are our own tastes and no ones is better than the next persons.) and expect it in return. And if I ever hear 'You should listen to some real Metal like Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall' at another point in my life, I will slowly kill you. No joke. You get to die! I already told you, i'm an asshole. Now leave me alone!
So on to the point of this entry! A genre that I have been aware of for years, but only recently really found myself getting into is 'Death Metal'. For the longest time, I was exposed to this and that from the genres archives and it never phased me. I never cared. I mean, for a good period of time, bands like Cradle Of Filth, Strapping Young Lad, Dimmu Borgir & Hypocrisy were as heavy as I got. I had friends who liked Cannibal Corpse, The Berzerker, Cryptopsy and Suffocation and it didn't do anything for me, except show off a significant speed increase and lack of comprehension to my ears. And I was fine with this. I was happy with my Nu Metal, my Industrial/Electronic Rock and my Alternative/Hard Rock. This all changed, strangely enough, after I read a book. I've always been a fan of musically based books, mostly of the biographical nature. It came to my knowledge in early 2009, which looking into a new musically based book to check out, that there was a book written by Albert Mudrian about the history of early Death Metal. I was generally unfamiliar with the genre and on a whim decided to get the book, as it had been out since 2004 and a used copy was only a few bucks.
The book has easily become one of my favorite music-based books that i've ever read. I simply love the way it's written and the exposure I was given to bands that I probably wouldn't have seeked out on my own is a definite plus to me. It spoke of the tales of the early formations...these bands who had very little to go on as far as influences go and who just decided that they were bored and wanted to be fast and technical and angry and they didn't care about selling a bunch of records. They just wanted to have fun and be better than these other guys over here. I mean, at that time, the fastest bands in the world that people were even remotely aware of were bands like Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Testament, Metallica and Megadeth. Then in the late 80's, thanks to the tape trading underground (The earliest incarnation of mix tapes! One of my favorite pastimes), kids were starting to discover these newer, faster, meaner and nastier bands that maybe had one or two demos out and were being swapped around. Out of all this rubble came bands like Napalm Death, Carcass, Entombed (At the time known as Nihilist), Massacre, Bolt Thrower, Nocturnus, Morbid Angel, Death, Atheist (At the time known as R.A.V.A.G.E.), Brutality, Cynic and a shit ton of other bands who just wanted to play shows and have a good time and hang out with their friends and other bands.
Several of these bands would record a good number of major label albums over time. Some would record a couple albums and wither away. And even a smaller amount would get to record maybe one album and then disappear completely.
A few of these bands I actually don't like much past their first album, which is a disappoint to me as I do like all of the above mentioned bands. Two prime examples are Death & Morbid Angel. I love both of their first albums, especially Morbid Angel's "Altars Of Madness". And then, everything afterwards, i'm just not into, for various reasons. With the other band, Death, their first album "Scream Bloody Gore" is really good, albeit a bit harsh production wise and is often considered one of the key staples of the early Death Metal era. There are other bands who I actually don't really care for the early material. Notable here is Carcass and Napalm Death. Carcass's first album is just not my thing (I love the whole 'Old School Death Metal' scene, but the early stuff which is considered 'Grindcore' just isn't my thing). After the first album, they would make 4 really great albums (My favorites of which are actually their last two, "Heartwork" and "Swansong", which heavily paved the way for most of the entire 'Melodic Death Metal' scene. Beautiful blueprints, indeed.) which I listen to on a semi-regular basis. Napalm Death, I actually didn't get at first. Their earliest stuff still does nothing for me and it wasn't really until their 1994 release ("Fear, Emptiness, Despair") where I started to gain some interest and pay more attention. Soon after hearing some stuff from that release I was exposed to the next 2 albums in their discography, which have become not only my 2 favorite Napalm Death releases, but 2 of my favorite 'Death Metal' themed albums overall. 1996's "Diatribes" and 1997's "Inside The Torn Apart" are both Napalm Death's most melodic releases, but they don't lose their ferocity. Both albums are aggressive to the tip, but they're incredibly well crafted with many memorable cuts. After this period, I like Napalm Death a little less, but they still have a lot of good material here and there. And, to be honest, I do need to spend more time with the albums after those, so as to try and get a better feel for them.
I am going to cut myself off here (But I will continue) and give you guys some music based on what i've been speaking about. My plan is to coincide my rantings about the stuff I like (Or don't like) with audio examples, so that you can get a better idea of what i'm talking about. Enjoy!
Napalm Death - "Greed Killing" (From their 1996 release "Diatribes")
Napalm Death - "Cold Forgiveness" (From their 1996 release "Diatribes")
Napalm Death - "Breed To Breathe" (From their 1997 release "Inside The Torn Apart")
Carcass - "Keep On Rotting In The Free World" (From their 1995 release "Swansong")
Carcass - "Rock The Vote" (From their 1995 release "Swansong")
Carcass - "This Mortal Coil" (From their 1993 release "Heartwork")
Morbid Angel - "Immortal Rites" (From their 1989 release "Altars Of Madness")
Death - "Zombie Ritual" (From their 1987 release "Scream Bloody Gore")
To Be Continued...