Death metal and I are casually dating. I’m certainly attracted to its chunky riffs but I don’t know if I’m ready for a serious relationship.
Regular readers know I usually go for crusty or sludgy girls, so it’s an exciting adventure to be exploring death metal properly for the first time.
This week I went back to the late 80s/early 90s and dabbled in a little Incantation, Obituary and Carcass.
Incantation – Mortal Throne of Nazarene.
At first listen, this doomy take on death metal felt disappointingly flat and lacking in dynamics. The production was muffled and lacked punch. My neck was thoroughly unmoved.
On my best headphones however it was improved and the modulating riffs became more interesting. There are curious shifts in tempo, irregular rhythms and snatches of sickly melody that warrant further investigation.
The subsonic growling that passes for vocals literally sound like the irritated bowels of hell.
Obituary – Slowly We Rot.
I never got into this first time around as it was far too extreme for my tender young ears. I do remember admiring the shirts though and trying to copy that logo onto my exercise books because it looked so cool.
I very nearly turned back halfway through one song. That voice! It’s horrible and not in a good way. Like a rabid boar being slowly eviscerated.
Yet I pressed on and was rewarded. By rights I should hate this as classic Florida death metal and I do not get along (get behind me, Morbid Angel)… but there’s a meatiness to these riffs that I can really get my teeth into.
Being unafraid to dabble in slower tempos too makes Obituary alright in my book.
Carcass – Heartwork.
I have crapped on this from a great height in not so distant posts… and yet, and yet I am finally warming to it. A bit.
I don’t think much of the vocals, the parts that inspired melo-death are horrid and the solos get on my tits.
But the riffs! Oh, the riffs! The may be (relatively) clean and well-defined and lacking in the sewer-grade filth that typically stirs my loins but my, do they pack a delicious, if surgical, punch to the kidneys.
May the adventures in death metal continue…