Worship Metal casts its critical eye over 10 MORE under-appreciated classics of early 90’s AMERICAN DEATH METAL and you can forget the big guns of the genre, as we’re focusing on those albums that tend to slip under the radar!
Enough has been said about these classic acts already.
Instead, this feature is here to highlight just some of those early 90’s American death metal classics which deserve far more love and attention.
Baphomet – The Dead Shall Inherit (1992)
Easily one of the finest death metal releases of the early 90’s, it’s utterly unfathomable that Baphomet‘s The Dead Shall Inherit isn’t as revered as it probably should be.
Rigidly sticking to death metal’s fundamental principles, it’s the incessant chug of mid-tempo devastation which hits the hardest; delivering track after track of guttural brutality while keeping one foot in the murky waters of death/thrash and the other in the even murkier wasteland occupied by the likes of Bolt Thrower and Benediction.
While diversity was hardly Baphomet‘s strong point – with the majority of The Dead Shall Inheritmaintaining the same sense of structure and pace throughout – the thrill comes from experiencing an album which lurks in early death metal’s darkest corner, waiting patiently but eager to rip you limb from limb.
An East Coast death metal classic and no mistake!
*Baphomet changed their name to Banished in 1992 and 1993’s Deliver Me Unto Pain is also worth checking out!
Broken Hope – Swamped In Gore (1991)
As early examples of brutal death metal go, you’d be hard pressed to find a more convincing album than Broken Hope‘s malformed debut, Swamped In Gore!
These pioneers of putridity out-growled, out-blasted and out-grooved the majority of their peers and with any essence of thrash all but jettisoned entirely, it was left to Joe Ptacek’s ultra-low vomitous gutturals and Broken Hope‘s focus on crushing breakdowns and gore-obsessed grooves to herald a new dawn in death metal extremity.
A superb companion piece to Suffocation‘s Effigy Of The Forgotten (released a month after Swamped In Gore!), Broken Hope‘s contribution to death metal should not be underestimated….just give the title track a spin and revel in its chugging brutality and often mid-paced morbidity.
Brutality – When The Sky Turn Black (1994)
Ferociously fucking heavy, Brutality‘s When The Sky Turns Black was the follow-up to their outstanding debut Screams Of Anguish, and found the band branching out into ever more progressive realms.
With some of the finest acoustic interludes ever conceived, Brutality were capable of out-playing their peers on every level, with an uncanny knack for melody and serious style tempering the brutality (obviously) on display throughout. The art of dynamics may not always be a pre-requisite when it comes to death metal but Brutality were masters of the art, resulting in a collection of songs which were varied and consistently impressive.
Hailing from Tampa Bay, Florida meant Brutality had some serious competition to contend with (Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation, Morbid Angel amongst many others) but when compared to the big guns of 1994, When The Sky Turns Black proved itself to be more than just the equal of 1994 classics such as World Demise and The Bleeding.
Demented Ted – Promises Impure (1993)
Demented Ted may have released just the one album but Promises Impure was still an album worthy of reverence, despite its ‘one and done’ status.
At times brutally simple, Demented Ted were still savvy enough to incorporate groove and technicality to create a satisfying mix of all that made early 90’s death metal so damn satisfying.
One of those albums that has been seemingly lost to the annals of time but sure as hell warrants rediscovery, Promises Impure will undoubtedly encourage nostalgic feelings and a tingling in those soft parts that remember the joy of death metal discovery back in the early 1990’s!
Hellwitch – Syzgial Miscreancy (1990)
Is Hellwitch’s Syzygial Miscreancy technical thrash or technical death metal? We’re leaning towards technical death metal in this instance and given that in 1990 the boundaries between the two subgenres were being ceremoniously broken on a regular basis, we feel warranted in doing so!
Easily one of the most technically audacious, forward-thinking, brain-frazzling albums of the era, Syzygial Miscreancy must have sounded like it was from another planet back in 1990; such was its ability to shock with extreme blasts of speed, tempo-changes and schizoid vocals.
Sounding like a certifiably insane version of Sadus (which speaks volumes for how gonzo this album is), this short, sharp and savage assault on the senses somehow remained cohesive amidst a blitzkrieg of sounds. Syzygial Miscreancy remains a cult curio well worth the underground devotion it so fervently inspires.