Throwback Thursday: Suffocation – “Pierced From Within”

SUFFOCATION-Pierced-from-Within-LP-BLACKPierced from Within is a continuation of Suffocation’s streak of death metal classics, but was also a huge leap forward for the band. From a creative and influential standpoint, the band had long since made its mark with 1991’s Effigy of the Forgotten, and if they broke up after this they would still have the legacy of a foundational death metal act (after all, Carnage only released one album and are rightly hailed as important as well). But this record, released in 1995, saw the band achieve an even higher level of greatness in terms of songwriting and production. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Incantation – Onward to Golgotha

IncantationIncantation’s debut album, Onward to Golgotha, is a definitive death metal classic. This is not only true of its influence on countless death metal (and black metal) bands that came after, but also as a representation of the genre at it’s best. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Ov… Soundgarden

Soundgarden2

You might find it strange to see a Soundgarden article on this website. But why is that? For many older metal fans, the term “Grunge” still holds a powerful emotional weight as the music that opened the gates for the benign, solo-less drivel of late-90s post-grunge and nu-metal. But this perception is actually deeply mistaken and unfair, as all the major Seattle bands (even Mudhoney) employed guitar solos and incorporated major metal influences into their sound. Soundgarden also seems like a puzzling choice for an extreme music site, especially for those casual listeners who are only familiar with their more widely-known works (e.g. “Black Hole Sun,” “Spoonman,” “Burden in My Hand”). And while there’s plenty to explore in Soundgarden’s more rock-oriented output, there’s a glorious, explosive quality to their heaviest songs that deserves greater attention. Though they’re known, along with Alice in Chains, as the more “metal-oriented” bands from the grunge movement, they’re even heavier than most metal fans give them credit for (or even themselves, Kim Thayil still bridles at the band being called “metal”). Continue reading

The Nine Circles ov… Darkthrone

darkthrone

Along with Bathory, Mayhem and a handful of other acts, Darkthrone is one of the most commonly recognized and iconic black metal bands of all time. And though they’ve moved through multiple musical phases — death metal, black metal, crust/punk/thrash, classic metal — one clear element shines through every record: Fenriz and Nocturno Culto are extremely passionate and devoted to creating good metal music. For me, discovering the band has fit the ideal story of heavy metal fandom. I first saw their album covers in a friend’s collection, and was enamored with the dark imagery and the whole mystique (the names, the corpse paint, etc.). I checked out a few songs, got a couple records, and since then it’s been the long journey of exploring each record and building up a set of favorite songs. Nine of those are listed below. Continue reading