On we now march to 1992 and while the calibre of albums doesn’t quite match those released in 1991, there was still an abundance of quality emerging from around the world.
The 5 greatest death metal albums of 1992…..
5. Morpheus Descends – Ritual Of Infinity
New York death metal par excellence, Morpheus Descends may not be as well known outside of niche death metal circles as Immolation but in 1992, these guys were the superior act, with Ritual Of Infinity proving to be a proto-tech death album of unrivalled complexity and shattering talent!
Dank, dark and decidedly devilish, Morpheus Descends were capable of nerve-severing ferocity while still maintaining a level of ‘catchiness’ which would appeal as much to the neck-muscles as those over-stimulated cerebral’s. With one foot in the old-school and one in the still-opening door of technical death metal’s future, Morpheus Descends certainly paved the way for those bands who morphed traditional death metal into ever-changing sounds as the decade drew on.
Morpheus Descends were there at the beginning though, and Ritual Of Infinity – their only full length album – remains a milestone of jaw-dropping intensity.
4. Atrocity – Todessehnsucht
Todessehnsucht (meaning ‘Longing For Death’ if you do not sprechen sie Deutsch) was the second studio album by German tech death metallers Atrocity and it would prove to be one of the pinnacle releases of the genre!
Technical to the extreme and absurdly progressive, the Glen Benton-esque growls and barks of Alexander Krull were efficiently offset by Atrocity’s onslaught of samples, keyboard interludes, woozy song structures and Chuck Schuldiner influenced flights of progressive fancy.
Determined and distinctive, Atrocity were operating at a ridiculously high level on Todessehnsucht and their own brand of vicious yet vicarious technical death metal remains a joy to behold.
An often overlooked masterpiece!
3. Cannibal Corpse – Tomb of the Mutilated
With their 3rd album, Tomb of the Mutilated, Cannibal Corpse perfectly encapsulated the grim and grisly aesthetic they’d been aiming for with, what can only be described as, the perfect semblance of over-the-top aggression (comically so) and censorship baiting artwork – unsurprisingly, they succeeded!
A balls-to-the-wall gore metal triumph, this album can only be described as a musical milestone in death metal (and metal in general) with the boundaries of obscenity and decency pushed as far as they could feasibly go. This was a band who knew exactly what they wanted to achieve and by wallowing in the eviscerated innards of unimaginable horror – while also polishing their overall sound – they achieved infamy and became the biggest death metal band on the planet.
Opener “Hammer Smashed Face” may have been the cataclysmic door-opener that enabled Cannibal Corpse to leap into the big leagues, but the likes of “I Cum Blood” and “Entrails Ripped From A Virgin’s Cunt” were just as brutal and equally as incendiary.
2. Incantation – Onward to Golgotha
Dark, evil and deliciously demonic, Incantation’s debut was the sound of descending into the wretched bowels of hell made flesh; unrelenting, extreme and as disturbing as a pit full of contorted, flesh-stripped bodies.
Just a cursory glance at the song titles unveils the bands intentions: “Blasphemous Cremation”, “Rotting Spiritual Embodiment,” “Christening the Afterbirth”. Revelling in sludgy, misanthropic malice, Onward To Golgotha is a masterpiece of doomy, dirge-ridden disease and should go down in history as one of the dirtiest sounding death metal records to be released.
If Incantation’s modus operandi was to disturb and disgust then they should consider themselves 100% effective. In the annals of death metal few can live up to this sick blast of grandiose extremity and in a genre where it can be notoriously difficult to stand out from the pack, Incantation’s diabolical debut elevated them to the upper echelons of the scene.
1. Demigod – Slumber Of Sullen Eyes
The best death metal album of 1992? You’d better believe it!
In 1992, Finnish death metallers Demigod may have released their debut album, Slumber Of Sullen Eyes, to little fanfare but this album’s reputation has grown substantially over the years, and is now revered as one of the most chillingly atmospheric, morbidly dark and fiendishly melodic death metal albums of the early 90’s!
Demigod didn’t adhere to the crushing, buzzsaw brutality of their Nordic cousins and, instead, they adopted a more nuanced style informed by diversity, doom-influences and a characteristically Finnish low-end which rumbles so effectively as to induce involuntary bowel movements.
Each track on this beast is decidedly distinct and delivers the kind of depth not usually associated with death metal. While heavy as all hell, it’s the sombre melodies and intricate interplay – which incorporates everything from tremolo riffing to Bolt Thrower-esque groove – which marks out Slumber Of Sullen Eyes as a cult item and an all-time death metal classic.
The finest Finnish death metal album in existence? Only Demilich’s Nespithe challenges it!