Entombed – “To Ride, Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth”
Taken from the album: DCLXVI: To Ride Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth (1997)
You may have expected us to plump for something from Entombed’s death ’n’ roll benchmark Wolverine Blues (and perhaps we should have done!) but we wager that it’s the opening track from their fourth album that provides the heftiest dose of death ’n’ roll medication in Entombed’s entire back catalogue.
Simply put, “To Ride, Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth“, is a monster; it’s elephantine, it’s mammoth, it’s a steamroller slowly crushing your innards, it’s a Walrus using your nuts as a step-stool, it’s a….you get the picture.
Death ‘n’ roll incarnate.
Konkhra – “Misery”
Taken from the album: Weed Out The Weak (1997)
An American/Danish combo who, at the time of Weed Out The Weak, could boast of having Chris Kontos (Machine Head) on drums and the inimitable James Murphy (he of every half decent death/thrash band in existence) on guitar, Konkhra were going places in ’97 and “Misery” perfectly encapsulates why they were so revered.
Even if it does ironically sound like the death ‘n’ roll version of Machine Head’s “Davidian” (seriously, check out the intro up to 45 secs and tell us that’s not the main riff from the MH classic!), the pure power contained on “Misery” remains palpable and stands as testament to this death ‘n’ roll supergroup’s supreme talents!
The Crown – “Dead Man’s Song”
Taken from the album: The Deathrace King (2000)
“Dead Man’s Song” is a half death/thrash, half death ‘n’ roll rumble from an all-time classic album.
Channelling the melodic might of Maiden, the rabid thrash of late 80’s Kreator and Sodom and the all-conquering death metal their fellow countrymen pioneered, Sweden’s The Crown were at their peak on 2000’s The Deathrace King.
Despite these myriad of influences, at its core “Dead Man’s Song” is a reworking of rock’s glory years fed through a death/thrash mindset. The rhythms may be sped up but the melody remains, buried beneath coarse vocals but realised through contemptuously executed – yet still classic sounding – face melting solo’s; the face of rock ‘n’ roll acceptability distorted by death metal’s leering gaze.
Birds Of Prey – “To Kill A Co-Worker (You Ain’t My Fucking Boss, Man)”
Taken from the album: Weight Of The Wound (2006)
Featuring members of Alabama Thunderpussy, Human Remains, Baroness and Municipal Waste, Birds Of Prey’s “To Kill A Co-Worker” may begin like a blackened cajun(!) deathly thrashing with no hint of ‘roll’ but it soon settles into a dirty ass groove-fest that throws everything from sludge and crust punk into its fetid stew.
Like Entombed trawling knee deep through swampy terrain, Birds Of Prey beat the living shit out of you for the majority of the song, before riding one nasty ol’ boss hog solo home to the finishing line; a fitting end to a compositional clusterfuck!
Phazm – “Decay”
Taken from the album: Antebellum Death ‘N Roll (2006)
The clue’s in the album title. These French death ‘n’ rollers know their way around a warped fiendish groove and “Decay” reverberates with a catchy mid-tempo hammering that Phazm refuse to deviate from for the duration of the track.
The kind of single-minded bludgeoning that creeps under your skin, the simplicity of “Decay’s” main riff feels like doom ‘n’ death ‘n’ roll (yes, another variant!) and these dirty French rednecks certainly took a multifaceted approach to the sub-genre.
With a knowing wink to the sub-genre’s shortcomings, this curio retains its mesmerising appeal.