Death ‘n’ Roll – the ugly as sin, bastardised son of death metal and 70’s hard rock – is a term that the originators of the sound rarely acknowledge without scepticism but sums up the grit, groove and barely restrained gore of a sound that can only be described as….Death ‘N’ Mutherfuckin’ Roll!
A sub-genre that has unearthed a multitude of classic albums over nearly three decades, Worship Metal has shortlisted 10 of the finest slabs of groove-laden death ’n’ roll in existence…..so bang that head like it’s 1975 and shred those vocal chords like it’s 1990; death ‘n’ roll is gonna rock your bleedin’ socks off!
Xysma – “Above The Horizon”
Taken from the album: Yeah (1990)
Undisputed pioneers of death ’n’ roll, Finland’s Xysma arrived on the scene in 1990 with a fully formed fusion of 70’s heavy metal – particularly the doomier moments of Sabbath – combined with death metal’s aggression and growled vocals and voila! Death ‘n’ roll was born!
Take your pick from any of the sublime moments found on full length debut Yeah but “Above The Horizon” is our stand out track. Mid-tempo groove, classic song structure, vocals that recall Demilich’s Antti Boman (lower than low gargles in other words) and a morbid sense of fun – Xysma certainly knew how to milk every last drop out of a grin-inducing fuzzy as fuck riff – results in an often neglected track that is practically the pinnacle of death ‘n’ roll.
Convulse – “The Green Is Grey”
Taken from the album: Reflections (1994)
“The Green Is Grey” is a true death ‘n’ roll masterclass infused with stonking riffs that would arguably have benefitted from not including those gargled vocals!
Nevertheless, Finland’s Convulse were/are an experimental death metal band at heart and their off-beat rhythms (could this be considered jazz ‘n’ death ‘n’ roll?) produced a twisted take on the upbeat rhythms of good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll and added layers of death metal menace.
Batshit crazy, utterly unique and completely brilliant!
Pungent Stench – “Klyster Boogie”
Taken from the album: Club Mondo Bizarre: For Members Only (1994)
Primal boogie. Death metal boogie. “Klyster Boogie“!
For many fans, Pungent Stench’s chunky riffs and neanderthal beats hit an all-time low on 1994’s oddly alluring yet opinion-splitting Club Mondo Bizarre: For Members Only. Regardless, one song scaled the peaks of death ‘n’ roll and that song was the gonzo crunch of “Klyster Boogie”.
The most base grooves imaginable thump and stomp their way around the garbled growl of Don Cochino and in one fell (foul) swoop Pungent Stench contributed one of the sloppiest, stenchiest (unsurprisingly) and sickest songs to ever grace the sub-genre!
Dismember – “Casket Garden”
Taken from the album: Massive Killing Capacity (1995)
Here come the big guns! That classic death ‘n’ roll guitar tone fashioned into a deathly sing-along anthem for the ages, Dismember’s dalliance with the groovier side of death metal truly took flight on “Casket Garden“.
Dropping brutality in favour of melody, Dismember arguably hit their stride here – if keeping up with Entombed’s Wolverine Blues was their foremost priority of course – and while some may bemoan the cleanliness of this chugging epic, Dismember were arguably proving that they too could conquer this death ‘n’ roll lark with relative ease.
A groove machine with, ironically, massive killing capacity. This shit still slays!
Carcass – “Tomorrow Belongs To Nobody”
Taken from the album: Swansong (1996)
The much maligned Swansong may be Carcass’ weakest album – which doesn’t really mean much when preceded by such pioneering genius – but it is home to “Tomorrow Belongs To Nobody“, a high-speed romp through everything that Carcass had been working towards; supremely heavy yet still accessible metal played to perfection!
Huge crunchy riffs, Jeff Walker’s amusing, intricate and expertly delivered wordplay and a chorus that gnaws its way into your cerebral areas far too easily, “Tomorrow Belongs To Nobody” is actually prime Carcass at their commercial peak.
Ignore the naysayers, this shit rocks!