Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cianide - The Dying Truth (1992)

   While death metal had it's golden age, the basics of the less popular death/doom style were layed down in the darkest depths of the underground scene.
   Cianide's "The Dying Truth" is a death/doom masterpiece, and in importance only could be compared to Winter. It's pure, compromise-less and overwhelming heaviness, without any aesthetic or melodic features. There is no escape, no salvation or temporary break, only the inevitable approach of death. Such as Winter, their music could be a perfect example to define the features of death/doom. Heavy, strongly distorted riffs, demoralizing feeling, slow speed occasionally interrupted by fast hammering, deep growling, noisy sound and a very dark atmosphere are the main features of this musical report from the Netherworld. Even though this album is unfortunately underrated, it's an everlasting classic of the genre, that took a remarkable part to determine the basic characteristics of death/doom.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Malhavoc - Premeditated Murder (1992)

   Not everyone was so fascinated by the uprising extreme metal waves to follow the same sample in self-expression. Some found other alternative ways to reach the same intensity in music.
   Malhavoc was inspired by thrash metal at the beginning, but soon they turned further into a darker direction of electronic music. They mixed metal with industrial, which was nothing new since Godflesh and Ministry appeared, but it wasn't a common ambition, nor popular before wider audience. And if the location is Canada, Skinny Puppy have to be mentioned as a possible influence too. Malhavoc went even further than the mentioned other projects and created it's own genuine style with the lyrical concept of sexuality and philosophical, societal topics. "Premeditated Murder" was the second full-lenght album of the band, which turned closer to ordinary metal compared to the first one. It shows their various influences and a less unifyed view. While the mayor part of the album is more into industrial, some songs referring to the ordinary heavy/thrash influences, and only the artificially distorted vocals are telling that it's the same band. The main view is diversive in feeling and impression, balancing between aggression, self-destruction, sexuality and chaotic randomness as the album goes on. A less known, underrated but extraordinary record of the genre!

Mortification - Scrolls of the Megilloth (1992)

   Mortification debuted as a thrash influenced death metal band, but from their second album, "Scrolls of the Megilloth" the thrash influences were completely gone.
   Instead of those the listener recieves a very intense death metal material with powerful riffings. Their second coming showed a better quality both in sound and themes, and only could be compared to the "elite bands" of the genre. Some experimenting ambitions also showed up by common changings in speed, that made the main view more exciting. The interesting thing about the band, that while blasphemous lyrics are the most common in this style when it comes to religious topics; they are doubtlessly a Christian death metal band. They built up a whole Christian concept around their lyrical topics, which was probably necessary, cause growling gospels may sound weird. It's something uncommon for real, especially from one of the earliest extreme bands in Australia, but it proved their creativity and turned the genre more colorful. "Scrolls of the Megilloth" is not only an excellent death metal album but probably one of the most brutal aspects of how to love our brethrens.

Multiplex - World (1992)

    Extreme metal only slowly oozed into Japan without any significant wider attention. Most of the earliest bands stayed in the depths of unferground and reached only the most obsessed metal fanatics.
   Similar to most Japanese bands, Multiplex was pretty good in practising abstraction. Even if they were determined to play in an exact style, the direct musical influences of other bands would be hard to mention. It's clear that their music is the mix of death metal and grindcore, but the features that referring to others are missing. They created an own possible approach of the genre, which gave them (and to Japanese bands in general) a lot of credit in genuineness. "World" is a quite raw and experimenting album, with a wide range of themes. It sounds like the band tried all possibilites how to play death/grind, but not at the ordinary way, because their music lacks completely the simple, punk influenced features of grindcore. This weird, very raw heaviness represents a less known, but interesting experiment the style of death/grind.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sabbat - Evoke (1992)

   The Japanese thrash/black metal veterans started to shock their small local audience in the mid '80s with a more heavy metal oriented music. Soon after the appearence of black metal, their style became harser too.
   'Evoke', their second full-lenght album showed more from these harsh ambitions and had better quality in sound. Venom, Celtic Frost and Bathory should be mentioned in first line as their possible musical influences, but they were never really involved into the new wave. They kept their heavy metal influences all the time. It's like they stayed loyal to the old school sound and style of the '80s. The slowly uprising black metal gave only a darker tone to their music which took place between the most genuine bands of the extreme scene. Not only the themes referring to heavy metal, but the occasional appearence of high yowling vocals too. Their style is like a different and very original approach of blasphemous extremities. The song structures and album compositions telling about a freer musical concept, and far wider borders than it was usual in the genre.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bloodbath - Traumatic Memories (1992)

    Like most early extreme metal albums from Eastern Europe, "Traumatic Memories" by Bloodbath also didn't remain in the best quality for the after-ages.
   They count as a poineer band of this style in Serbia, founded in the late '80s. The interesting thing about this album is it's various educible influences. It's not an ordinary thrash/death album, more like an experimenting one. Classical heavy metal themes are common, and they occasionally created some melodic theatrical atmopshere by keyboards which in style referring to the '80s. These changes are mostly sudden, unexpected and it's doubtful if they truelly succeeded with their preferred effect. In general it's an intense, aggressive album, but the weaker sound quality and the atmopsheric sound turning it much lighter. "Traumatic Memories" is a far more colorful album than it would be usual from a thrash/death band, creates a bridge and transition between the '80s style and the early '90s extreme metal, by involving both.

Monastery - Far from Christ (1992)

   The appearence of extreme metal wasn't so successful and overwhelming everywhere even if the timing was right.
   Monastery tried to involve into the actual wave and was between the first bands who tried to establish a death metal scene in Hungary. After their disappearence their name was completely forgotten as well, even though they tried to return a decade later by joining to the that time actual nu-metal wave. "Far from Christ" was an endeavor to create something that fits into the main scene both in technical level and quality. It's a rare ambition in Hungary by the way. It was an ordinary death metal album so to say with simple themes and consolidated intensity. All-in one it takes place in the midfield. Sadly for the quality requirements the album couldn't match because of the low local possibilities of recording extreme metal, and it still had only the tape edition from '92 since today. Despite of the lower quality, the music is still enjoyable and became an interesting relic of old school times.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Disastrous Murmur - Rhapsodies in Red (1992)

   Even though plenty of bands chosed to introduce limitless sickness with their music, not many succeeded on a really impressive level like Disastrous Murmur did with their debut already.
   Since Pungent Stench similar ambitions were not new in Austria, but while the precursos tried to pile up the most absurd collection of hideous things, Disastrous Murmur found it's passion in pure gore. "Rhapsodies in Red" is a masterpiece of the genre in all-round, and could be compared only to the sickness level of Pungent Stench, early Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, Autopsy and Accidental Suicide. Heavily wretched sounding vocals guiding the listener into the depths of a slaughter pit, where everything was set on for endless suffering and disgust. Simple, but very catchy themes, excellent noisy and dirty sound that's fits to the style well, and intense, diversive, often grindcore styled drumms are the main characteristics of the album. Perfection in sickness, brutality, insanity and all sort of filth.

Miasma - Changes (1992)

  Miasma belongs to the lots of forgotten bands from the early '90s extreme scene. They had only one full-lenght album, and soon they disappeared after the middle of the decade.
   "Changes" had a catchy and harsh atmoshpere by it's noisy and massive sound. It's a raw album with mostly basic themes, and these are often immature at a few songs and couldn't reach the preferred effect. The main feeling by the sound, the butally deep vocals and the often brutal death-like hammering can compense that weak point. With this comes the endlessly blasphemous concept and lyrics. "Changes" was extraordinary because of it's very noisy sound and intensity that gave such a brutal feeling to their music that was remarkable even in those thimes, when extreme metal was all around and bands rivaled with each other who can show up with a more brutal production. Compared to other bands with similar concept (like Acheron or Deicide), Miasma was fit into that imaginary competition.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Magnus - I Was Watching My Death (1992)

   Magnus debuted as a power/thrash band with ordinary heavy metal influences. And as an important founding component of the Polish metal scene in the late '80s.
   Their sound reached better quality with time and their music became more aggressive, influenced by the progression of the main scene. That means the intensity and and pure aggressiveness of death metal was included, but the concept kept lying on the basics of thrash metal. The previous speed/heavy features still could be found occasionly. "I Was Watching My Death" was already a musically mature album by a well experienced band. The album shows large diversity in themes by balancing on the borderline of genres, and creating one whole from thier different characteristics. And they often end up in insane rampaging of course. Even if this style had no lack of high speed, and playing intense is one of it's most important features, compared to others that time, Magnus reached a remarkable level. A very classy classic from old school times!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cryptic Tales - Anathema (1992)

    Extreme music appeared with some delay in Eastern Europe. Bands in this area had to face with the same difficulites in the early and mid '90s like Western or South American bands had to almost one decade earlier. The difference was: their names remained more or less unknown for the main scene.
   As a veteran band of the Polish underground scene, Cryptic Tales had a demo tape that was so to say precocious for a demo. Many bands would be glad to produce the same quality for a full-lenght album that could be heard  on "Anathema". On the side of the old school extreme ambitions, experimenting features were show up which gave some new tone to their music. They tried to emphasize the heaviness of their themes and they tried that with common slow downs and strong atmosphere. These slow downs made "Anathema" one of rare Death/Doom records of those times which style was everything but popular. Small ideas could spice up things well. The short classical string instrument (probably double bass) and acustic parts gave an awesome atmosphere to the main view. It's melancholic and heavy the same time, shows a great contrast with the ordinary death metal features and creates balance with the doom influences. And of course proves how well composed this demo was.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Demigod - Slumber of Sullen Eyes (1992)

   Probably the heaviest record from the classics of the Finnish old school death metal scene was Demigod's "Slumber of Sullen Eyes".
   Not only the album's brutality made it extraordinary, but the excellent composing of their songs and the way how they forged the high diversity of their musical ambitions into one whole. Not only the evident brutality or the excellent sound made the album so heavy, but complex themes too. There is nothing that could be called flourish or boringly repeating on this album. Their music is balancing between the rawest manifestation of the genre by reaching the borders of extremity and a more melodic, classical direction that is usual at the Finnish scene. The complexity increasing the effect of extremism, the melodies and their importance are showing up for the listener completely by paying attention on the details, so it's possible the find always some new tone or feeling in their music. "Slumber of Sullen Eyes" is a genuine classic of the genre.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Purtenance - Member of Immortal Damnation (1992)

   For long Purtenance's "Member of Immortal Damnation" was a less known classic of the Finnish death metal scene. Thanks to the band's regroup several years ago, this album turned back too from the mist of the ancient forgotten records of the genre.
   Unlike other death metal classics from Finland, this album lacks the main balance, and partly because of the experimental ambitions, partly because it sounds like the band didn't find it's exact style yet, the album is quite chaothic both in themes and sound. The melodic ambitions of Finnish bands in general are there in occasional atmospheric parts, but they sound like more to serve as some breaks between the intense hammerings. These melodies gave some theatrical impression to the album which is completely disappearing like they shouldn't have any influence as the music turns wilder. It's a quite raw album, and exactly this rawness and the noisy sound gave it's main aggressive feature, not the intensity of the music, because these turning it heavier to listen. A rare and interesting classic from the forgotten tombs of damnation!

Unbounded Terror - Nest of Affliction (1992)

   As one of the plenty of one album bands of the old school death metal era, Unbounded Terror strenghtened the Spanish underground scene. Or better to say as one of the first bands in the genre, they belonged to the founders of the scene in Spain.
   "Nest of Affliction" is rich in influences, and covers most usual parameters of the genre. The common mid speed with simple basic themes and effective atmospheric parts may remind to the oldest heralds of extreme metal (like Celtic Frost), and with the occasional slow downs their music turns closer to death/doom. There is no lack of speed though, but the edgeless sound taking the effect of their intensity. This way their music gives the same impression like British od Swedish death metal bands. Deep growling vocals are assisting, but they also losing from their harshness, and sounded more like deep murmurring. Fortunately the re-release solved the problems, and the highly increased the albums enjoyable level. It has great themes and spirit, and became a remarkable classic of the early '90s death metal scene.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Feretrum - From Far Beyond (1992)

   Mediterranean countries were never front-rankers in metal, and extreme metal is even more rare there to appear, but if it appear, it means something extraordinary.
   Not because of the location, but the intensity, temper and the brutal feeling that these bands often have. "From Far Beyond" by Feretrum was a barely known and very aggressive album. It's heaviness was based on the very noisy sounding and the raw themes. These both together created a cold and very unfriendly atmosphere, and the quite insane vocal style and the occasional melodies turned the main view into a sick direction. Feretrum didn't show anything revolutionary, but the feeling of their music was impressive and couldn't be compared to anything else that time. It was like some accidental unique mix of raw brutality and sickness. As one of the lots of forgotten old school death metal bands, Feretrum was probably barely known even in it's homeland, because of the very limited number of tape copies they had. Fortunately few years ago "From Far Beyond" was remastared and re-released, and this deviant, extremely sick album is widely available.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Necrophiliac - Chaopula - Citadel of Mirrors (1992)

   Necrophiliac's "Chaopula - Citadel of Mirrors" was an interesting, but sadly underrated event in extreme metal.
   The concept is gore and the most hideous perversions, but even musically they reached an endlessly sick level. The vocals are reminding to grindcore with their shifting style between wretched sounding cawing and some distorted, almost guttural growling. The music is staying behind the borders of death metal meanwhile, but it's more complex and technical in themes than usual, and often very melodic too. Speed changes are also common and sometimes unexpected, but they doesn't made the music completely chaotic, but creating some morbid harmony instead. This unusual mix of diversity turned the album quite heavy and harder to listen for unprepaared ears. It's certainly one of the sickest deah metal acts alongside old Carcass, Autpsy, Cannibal Corpse and Accidental Suicide. The album is musically closer to old Carcass, but lacks the extreme intensity and it's more focused on the main insane feeling instead. A real masterpiece of musickness!