I love Death Metal because it speaks to my primal nature, I guess. I mean, that’s as good an explanation as any. Truth is, I just need it. If I go too long without listening to it, say a week, if I’m off on some power metal kick or something, I start getting whiny and annoying and I have to put on Mortician’s “House by the cemetery” and just man the fuck up.
The following are ten personal go-to tracks that always quench my thirst for brutality:
Nile is a historically accurate ancient Egypt-themed death metal band. I’ve been into them since 1997, and this is my fave track off my fave album, 2005’s Annihilation of the Wicked. It doesn’t have the exotic Middle Eastern instrumentation of much of their other music, but it’s a relentless fucking monster of a song, and I’ll never get tired of it. Seen ’em live.
Exhumed is just crazy, and this early track from them, off 1998’s Gore Metal, is off-the-rails nuts, and it’s quite possibly the first song I ever heard by them, on a Relapse Records comp back in the day. The dual vocals, the alternating gutturals and highs, afford the listener no reprieve from the relentless brutality of the song. It makes me want to get in a folding chair fight.
I’ve seen them live twice, both amazing shows. I have a shirt with a sawblade on the back and “Gore Fucking Metal” splattered across it in a bloody font. It became too big for me after I lost weight but I ripped the sleeves off, making it both wearable again and even sicker than it had previously been.
Here’s a couple live pics
I took, probably around 2013 or so.
It’s hard to choose a single favorite Cannibal Corpse song, as I’ve purchased every album upon release, physical copies(even the most recent one, I hunted it down), for the last two decades. I’ve also purchased the DVDs and have seen them live on numerous occasions. Alex and George are the friendliest guys, and they always take the time to stroll through the crowd for selfies and hugs and autographs etc. Here’s me, 100lbs heavier with George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher in 2012. I’m so fat in this I hesitate to even post it, but it’s Cannibal Corpse.
One of my all-time fave tracks has gotta be “Decency Defied” off 2004’s “The Wretched Spawn.” It’s about a serial killer who stalks women and cuts off their tattoos, which he keeps as souvenirs. I love both CC eras, with Chris Barnes and his 1996 replacement, George, but I love the way George enunciates, the clarity of the words. No lyric sheet necessary. This is one of their catchier/groovier numbers, of which there are always at least one or two of on every album. They’re always my favorites because I do love catchy.
Obituary are four rednecks from Tampa, and quite possibly my favorite Death Metal band. So much groove, so heavy, so much Celtic Frost influence, and again, so catchy. And so many slow to mid-paced songs, which I love. Can’t go wrong with the title track from 1989’s slowly we rot. Here’s an amazing 2017 performance of it that gives me goosebumps. I almost got to see them live once, but the venue they were booked to play shut down a couple of months before the show was scheduled to take place.
I wish I could hook up that trademark crunchy chainsaw Swedish guitar tone to an IV and jab it into my veins and replace my blood with it. That’s how much I love that tone. This is a fine example of it, though wolverine blues was hated on by many as a “sellout” album. To my ears, it’s their masterpiece. The bass on this just fucking snarls and growls beneath the blanket of delicious Swedish distortion. And when the line “I got an appetite, like a wolf, and I am always hungry for more” line comes on, eargasm.
Six feet under, originally a side project featuring members of cannibal corpse and obituary, made a masterpiece of an album in 1995 with Haunted. They got shittier with each subsequent album before returning to form for a couple of albums a few years ago, then started to get shitty again. But that first album is absolute perfection. Seen them live, great show.
I prefer the David Vincent era of Morbid Angel overall, but this track from 2000’s Gateways To Annihilation is such a sludgy, monolithic slab of slow, syrupy death metal that it’s got to be included in this list. Saw this lineup live in 2000, opening for Pantera.
Death got progressively proggier as time went on, a process which culminated in 1998’s “The Sound of Perseverance,” but as amazing as that prog stuff is, I’ll always reach for 1988’s Leprosy over any of the later stuff.
Asphyx is a great band, and I can’t listen to “Deathhammer” from the 2012 album of the same name without turning the volume up as loud as it will go on whatever device I’m listening to it on.
I’m not a huge suffocation fan, but I love this track and they blew me away when I saw them live.
These aren’t necessarily my top ten, because that would be impossible to narrow down, but most of them would have to make the list by default, if such a list were possible.