The classics are all well and good but there’s a shit ton of obscure DEATH METAL out there that demands to be heard! To that end, we’ve selected ANOTHER 10 obscure old-school death metal albums you NEED to hear.
This is Part 2…..there’s plenty more to come!
Lemming Project – Hate and Despise (1992) [Germany]
Infused with a multitude of tempo changes and a schizophrenic demeanour, Lemming Project lived up to their oddball name on their second album, Hate and Despise.
It’s fair to say that Lemming Project’s obscurity can be attributed to their being ‘ahead of their time’. Of course, Hate and Despise was recognisably death metal (with an abundance of chugging riffs)) but it was certainly not in the same cauterized vein as Swedish trend-setters Entombed, Dismember etc. Nor was it as shockingly heavy as Obituary, Deicide or Cannibal Corpse. Instead, these eccentric pioneers were determinedly unconventional; perpetually hovering on the periphery of being a full-blown technical death metal outfit without fully committing to the cause.
By 1992, death metal had taken hold and the sub-genres own limited trappings were already beginning to reveal themselves…..a fact that makes Hate and Despise all the more surprising considering Lemming Project were already toying with death metal’s foundations and building their own paean to extremity and experimentalism.
Necrosanct – Incarnate (1992) [UK]
Proof that the UK did have bands that could deliver the filthiest sound of purist evil imaginable, Necrosanct’s Incarnate still sounds shockingly abrasive today.
Veering dangerously close to total pandemonium, Necrosanct fashioned a death metal album that made up in violence what it lacked in finesse. Brutal, in the strongest sense of the word, and designed for those who feasted on the sounds of hell made flesh, Incarnate is possibly the most timeless album on this list, as ferocious and unpredictable now as it was in 1992.
There’s something so utterly unhinged about the Martin Van Dunen (Pestilence / Asphyx) meets John Tardy (Obituary) vocals that sends Incarnate rushing headlong into the realms of madness. Somehow, frontman Ant Ryan managed to take the tonality of Van Drunen and the unintelligible nature of Tardy’s animalistic gurgles and vomit up something even more disturbing. The result, when layered over Necrosanct’s blurred riffing, was nothing less than hell incarnate!
Polluted Inheritance – Ecocide (1992) [Netherlands]
Largely forgotten and sorely underrated, Dutch death metal masters Polluted Inheritance arrived fully formed in 1992 with a debut album that could stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Death’s Human!
That’s quite the statement but Ecocide is quite the album.
With comprehensible growls (although, admittedly, not always great lyrics) backed up by sterling musicians navigating their way through complex, yet catchy, structures, this album is easily the equal of any album presenting itself as technical death metal in the early 90’s.
A blisteringly fast lesson in aggression, speed, progression, dynamics and fantastically crafted death metal, Ecocide demands to be heard!
Demilich – Nespithe (1993) [Finland]
A true oddity and an album that sounds like no other, Demilich‘s Nespithe took the world completely by surprise when its cavernous compositions and Antti Boman’s ultra, ultra low gutturals instantly marked them out as technical death metal innovators!
The sounds that emanated from these crazy Finns were otherworldly; tentacled and slimy like a Lovecraftian nightmare made audibly flesh with bass lines and riffs slithering amongst each other without ever actually making contact. The result was an altogether alien experience that shouldn’t have worked but somehow came together to deliver one of the most unique moments in death metal history.
Surrealistic and as bewildering as it was on release, Nespithe may be the only album released by Demilich but it sure as hell left an indelible mark on the technical death metal landscape.
Morgue – Eroded Thoughts (1993) [USA]
Morgue‘s only full-length album sure ain’t the perfect old school death metal album – with originality not exactly its strongpoint – but Eroded Thoughts still retains its power to pummel you into submission with it’s Autopsy-esque excursions into crushing death metal supremacy!
The slowest, heaviest grooves informed much of Eroded Thoughts 7 tracks; with an Asphyx meets the aforementioned Autopy approach adopted for the majority of the album. However, the 90’s burgeoning obsession with technicality soon reared its head on the ferocious likes of “Plagued Birth”, as Morgue proved that they could deliver speed, precision and contorted riffs to rival the work of Pestilence and early Gorguts.
A melting-pot of influences, Eroded Thoughts may lack clarity in its compositions but its disparate charm still lies in its ability to deliver high-density riffs with a schizophrenic sense of dynamics!