Horror Of Horrors – Sounds Of Eerie (1994)
Horror of Horrors‘ little known debut, Sounds Of Eerie, is a curiousty that’s for sure…..but it’s also an under-appreciated gem that’s ripe for rediscovery!
An old-school slab of death metal sickness, what Horror Of Horrors may have lacked in originality they more than made up for in brutality and Sounds Of Eerie is actually a strong debut from a band who would go on to boast having Kevin Talley (ex-Dying Fetus, ex-Misery Index, ex-Six Feet Under, ex-Suffocation), in its ranks.
Sinister, occasionally thrashy and focused on delivering nothing but a harrowing experience, this was horrifically heavy stuff in 1994 and precious few bands were matching Horror of Horrors in the ferocity stakes.
Master – On The Seventh Day God Created… Master (1991)
When it comes to death metal, Paul Speckmann is a god amongst men and Master‘s second official full length album, On The Seventh Day God Created… Master, remains a highpoint in what has been a formidable career that is still going strong!
With Master historically operating primarily on the fringes of barbaric thrash, it’s most notable that On The Seventh Day God Created… Master found the band, in death metal terms at least, at both their most brutal and most technical.
It can be no coincidence that the arrival of Cynic‘s Paul Masvidal on guitar helped push On The Seventh Day God Created… Master into the realms of ‘must-hear’ status but this was still very much Paul Speckmann’s show…..with his triumphant guttural bellow effortlessly leading the charge!
Morta Skuld – Dying Remains (1993)
Wisconsin’s Morta Skuld kinda got lost in the early 90’s barrage of quality death metal bands, despite Dying Remains proving to be a highly atmospheric, incredibly well executed, descent into outstandingly heavy, mid-tempo death metal.
Predominantly playing at an Obituary-esque pace, Morta Skuld‘s material trod a fine death/doom line but sudden bursts of thrash-like speed kept it from wallowing in the Peaceville gutter alongside early Anathema, Paradise Lost etc. Ironically, Peaceville Records re-released a fully remastered edition of Dying Remains back in 2013, giving OSDM fans a chance to devour this beast once again.
A saturated genre may have stalled Morta Skuld‘s carrer in the early 90’s but with 2017’s Wounds Deeper Than Time and 2020’s Suffer For Nothing proving particularly effective, it seems Morta Skuld‘s time may still come!
Resurrection – Embalmed Existence (1993)
Florida’s Resurrection may have arrived a little late to the Floridian death metal party – and you’re really gonna be up against it when the likes of Deicide, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Atheist and Death are your nearest competition – but their 1993 debut, Embalmed Existence, should still be considered more than just a footnote in the annals of early 90’s death metal.
Fully embracing the progressive nature of the majority of their peers, Resurrection‘s skill lay in tempering the blast beats with slamming grooves, varied pace and a penchant for otherworldly and eerie experimentation.
The over use of soundbites is a distraction but the music on display is nothing less than impressive throughout, with a strong sense of Obituary‘s circa Cause Of Death informing much of the work found on Embalmed Existence. Not that Resurrection were copying John Tardy and the boys wholesale. Instead, their series of slowly decaying anthems and, sometimes, measured and sedate pace, draws comparison with Obituary‘s sophomore album while affording them their own cloying sense of overriding menace.
Revenant – Prophecies Of A Dying World (1991)
A death/thrash colossus, Revenant‘s one and only full length remains a fast and frantic, technically audacious slab of semi-forgotten brilliance!
These New Jersey boys were a class act and they somehow managed to conjure an album that perfectly encapsulated the forward-thinking nature of early-90’s metal, while – at this stage – also giving Chuck Schuldiner a run for his money in the ‘progressive’ stakes.
Revenant would stop and start on a dime, toying with pace and tempo at will and embracing crushing doom passages when they weren’t slashing and thrashing their way through hyper-speed death metal.
Precious few bands could match such a dark, multi-layered, multi-faceted work of ever-changing tempo and arrangement, making Prophecies Of A Dying World an absolute meisterwerk; under-appreciated or otherwise!
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