Death Metal?

Kynisk Sokol

Ancient Mariner
Onhell said:
I disagree. Change in direction by no means means decline in quality. Further more, popularity due to change in direction, and just as a thought better quality, does not make a band "bad" or "sell outs".

I'd be inclined to agree but in the case of Amorphis and Therion, their changes were for the worse. Nu Amorphis and Nu Therion are hilariously awful in their attempts to be 'progressive' and 'open-minded'(TM). Listening to The Karelian Isthmus and Beyond Sanctorum might not make you look cutting edge and 'open-minded'(TM), but I'd imagine the music would be a lot better.

As for At the Gates, they declined after With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness when Alf Svensson left the fold. The hallmarks of Svensson's songwriting - long melodically and rhythmically irregular phrases, unusually dissonant phrasing, the consistent use of inversion and retrograde inversion and the generally broad technical palette - predominate throughout the band's early work, and are consistently present in Svensson's post-ATG work (and notably absent in ATG after his departure). Slaughter of the Soul basically sounds like Pantera with weedunhdunhwiddleSQUEEE! at the end of every phrase. One of the most horrendously overrated and damaging albums to metal as well as paving the way for the Gothenburg craze (as if death metal wasn't terrible enough during the mid-90s thanks to bands like Internal Bleeding and Dying Fetus spreading da slamz) and the metalcore boom.

And no, I'm not some elitist (OH NOES!1) who only listens to death metal, I hardly listen to metal at all these days to be honest.
 

Albie

Keeping an open eye on the Weeping Angels.
Onhell said:
I disagree. Change in direction by no means means decline in quality. Further more, popularity due to change in direction, and just as a thought better quality, does not make a band "bad" or "sell outs".
I agree, Onhell.

@Blackie: I can only really relate to Amorphis on this subject, but their change has been - not necessarily for the better, but in the same token not worse - well received in my opinion. I do rate Karelian Isthmus as a very, very good album, but The Elegy and Tuonela are better.

Kreator gets that same sort of stick and I just can't understand why. So it may not be ones cup of tea, but it is quite rare for this band to release an album that is not of good quality.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Kynisk Sokol said:
I'd be inclined to agree but in the case of Amorphis and Therion, their changes were for the worse. Nu Amorphis and Nu Therion are hilariously awful in their attempts to be 'progressive' and 'open-minded'(TM). Listening to The Karelian Isthmus and Beyond Sanctorum might not make you look cutting edge and 'open-minded'(TM), but I'd imagine the music would be a lot better.

Again, that's a matter of opinion, I think Eclipse and Silent Waters are Amorphis's best stuff since the Charleston.  Though Therion's Gothic Kabbalah is crap, but their double album Lemuria/Serius B was brilliant.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Kynisk Sokol said:
As for At the Gates, they declined after With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness when Alf Svensson left the fold.

That's an opinion you're entitled to. It has to do with taste of course.

Kynisk Sokol said:
The hallmarks of Svensson's songwriting - long melodically and rhythmically irregular phrases, unusually dissonant phrasing, the consistent use of inversion and retrograde inversion and the generally broad technical palette - predominate throughout the band's early work, and are consistently present in Svensson's post-ATG work (and notably absent in ATG after his departure).

I know these albums and I know their style. They are pretty unique in the death metal genre and certainly can be seen as classics. However, they're not easy to get into immediately. Every 5 seconds the rhythm and the tempo changes. Some songs don't sound like songs but like copy-pasted riffs, just randomly done.

Terminal Spirit Disease (an album you skipped) contains structure and more melodies which stick in your mind (at least in mine), e.g. the song Forever Blind is an excellent example of a very dynamic & melodic and powerful song. SOTSoul is not my favourite ATG record either. Less melodies, less catchy songs. But the song Blinded By Fear and the album's production and sound are very memorable, a lot of fans like it. Pantera's music (esp. Pantera's style) does not even sound one second like it.

@Albie: you did not mention Amorphis' most famous breakthrough album "Tales From The Thousand Lakes".
You're not gonna tell me that you didn't hear it, are you? ;)
IMO by far their best album. I also like KI very much, and I am less into newer Amorphis.
 

Albie

Keeping an open eye on the Weeping Angels.
Forostar said:
@Albie: you did not mention Amorphis' most famous breakthrough album "Tales From The Thousand Lakes".
You're not gonna tell me that you didn't hear it, are you? ;)
IMO by far their best album. I also like KI very much, and I am less into newer Amorphis.
I do have Tales from a Thousand Lakes, but I really do prefer The Karelian Isthmus. For some reason, I just find it a little too monotonous. This may be that I have not given it as much of a listen as I should, but when I do play it I switch of very quickly.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Alright, but too monotonuous? There's quite some variation. I thought the melodies and the atmosphere enriched the material a lot and the power and the grunts (power and the glory! ;) ) were still there. The best of both (Amorphis) worlds. This intro still gives me the shivers, so do some other parts, e.g. when the clean vocals come in for the first time. Productionwise, the guitars are blowing out of the speakers - great car music as well.

Did you hear that the guitar harmony in KI's "Exile Of The Sons Of Uisliu" is ripped off from Maiden's "Alexander the Great"?
 

Albie

Keeping an open eye on the Weeping Angels.
Forostar said:
Did you hear that the guitar harmony in KI's "Exile Of The Sons Of Uisliu" is ripped off from Maiden's "Alexander the Great"?
It's been a while since I last listened to it and (God help me for saying this) Alexander the Great is not a track I listen to that often. So all in all, I've not noticed. :)

However, I am playing it as I type and have just noticed it (from about 2:00 minutes in).
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Albie said:
It's been a while since I last listened to it and (God help me for saying this) Alexander the Great is not a track I listen to that often.

Don't blame you at all! "And then Alexander woke up, and then he made himself breakfast, and then he washed the dishes, and then he went to his grocery lists: must conquer In-di-A!, and then tell my troops C-ya la-tr-A! And then Alexander marched and marched....." *UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHH*
 

Shrike

Trooper
Long time since I was last here, but I have a kind of follow-up-question.

As I said earlier, Opeth got me into the genre. I continued to Katatonia's early albums which I really enjoy, especially Brave Murder Day, then I got into Bloodbath recently (mainly Breeding Death and Unblessing the Purity), onto Entombed and Morbid Angel (Domination and Altars of Madness so far). So far I'm liking it, but I was wondering if anyone could recommend some more "groovy" type DM. As in, easy on the crazy-fast blast beats, and with more Sabbath-ish riffs? I've come to appreciate fast DM more than I used to (couldn't stand blast beats at all until I got into UtP), but I still prefer the segments that are slow and heavy rather than fast and heavy.

Anyone dare to make a guess as to what I might like?
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Well, well, it went very fast! :)

A band which I really would like to recommend is Gorefest, Holland's biggest death metal artist since the mid-nineties (after the break-up of "Pestilence"), and they feature Holland's best allround metal-drummer Ed Warby (also known from Ayreon). The drums are really cool, but the powerful grunts are also very prominent.

Old must-have albums are "False" (1992), which is my favourite album, and "Erase" (1994). Later they went more Thin Lizzy (not the vocals!), which was a both loved and hated period, but big chance you might like that as well.

Back to "False".

006beafc2125eb1a499b2c7de3879d75_full.jpg


The cool thing is that the album features social-critical lyrics which was and still is pretty rare in death metal. Only Napalm Death comes to mind and they aren't even completely death metal.

Their latest album "Rise To Ruin" (2007) is very strong, back to the roots, but it has definitely a lot of fast songs, to be honest. Here more info on wikipedia, and later you could check out their myspace as well, though that one might only show new songs(?)



If you would like to try slower bands, I absolutely recommend My Dying Bride. Really brilliant. They are doom metal, but their songs have very atmospherical parts but also heavy death metal parts. A lot of songs contain tempo changes as well. The singer started out as a pure grunter (one of the best ones, also live on stage, together with the one from Gorefest and the one from Opeth), later on he varied this with his clean vocals, after that he only used his clean vocals, and since the last let's say 7, 8 years, he varies it again, which is imo the best thing, vocalwise.

My favourite albums are the first four and their sixth, if I only could choose one favourite, I'd choose "Turn Loose the Swans",

Turn%20Loose%20the%20Swans.jpg


but they did so many more great ones. If you try this band, and don't like the first album you'll hear, please try a next album.

Right now I'll post the whole studio-album discography with the explanation of the vocals:

(1992) As the Flower Withers - grunts only
(1993) Turn Loose the Swans - grunts and clean vocals
(1995) The Angel and the Dark River - mostly clean (or even only clean vocals, sorry can't remember)
(1996) Like Gods of the Sun - only clean vocals
(1998) 34.788%...Complete - only clean vocals - this is their most experimental album, I'd wait with buying that one
(1999) The Light at the End of the World - The return of the grunts - grunts and clean vocals
(2001) The Dreadful Hours - grunts and clean vocals
(2004) Songs of Darkness, Words of Light - grunts and clean vocals
(2006) A Line of Deathless Kings - grunts and clean vocals

Wikipedia-link

Edit:
I forgot to mention one import aspect of My Dying Bride. The first four albums feature violist/keyboard-player Martin Powell. The violin (an instrument pretty unique in death/doom metal) gave MDB’s music an extra sinister and melancholic character, and it was very much appreciated. After he left, a lot of fans felt something was missing. Still I find “The Light at the End of the World ”

34721tlateotw_medium.jpg


a more than excellent album (the best without the violin), and live on stage the band still rules. Definitely check them out at a festival, if you have the chance. The same goes for Gorefest, who rule live.
 

Shrike

Trooper
Who, "ask and ye shall receive" indeed :p

I'll get to work checking them out. I did hear of MDB when I first checked out Katatonia (which were also doom/death in the beginning), but I never checked them out properly. Gorefest I've heard of but shied away from simply from the name I guess (which to some extent is true for MDB). DM musically is one thing, but the whole "gory guts and blood"-lyrics can sometimes be a bit over the top for me. I guess I'll give them a shot though.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
For me too. Both MDB and Gorefest don't have those lyrics apart from Gorefest's debut album "Mindloss".
So the name Gorefest is really misleading indeed.

I hope you'll enjoy at least one of these bands. :)
 

Ardius

Trooper
Kynisk Sokol said:
Oh. My. God.

In all seriousness now, I like the appreciation of Bolt Thrower around these parts. Sure, most of their output is very similar, but it's also very consistent, especially when you consider the amount of great death metal groups that declined in quality after one or two albums (Deicide, Dismember, Amorphis, Therion, Slammification, At the Gates, Disgrace, Vader, the list goes on). How many death metal groups have 8 high quality albums? Not a lot, if any, really. My favourite is probably ...For Victory.

Yeah, I finally got my hands on a couple more Bolt Thrower CDs today, theyre hard to find in shops. Now I have In Battle There Is No Law, Warmaster, ...For Victory and Those Once Loyal.
I'm liking ...For Victory a lot, but I prefer Those Once Loyal and In Battle There Is No Law at the moment.
 
Top