Morgue – Eroded Thoughts (1993)
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 Autopsy 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!
Rottrevore – Iniquitous (1993)
Raw, rancid and utterly reprehensible, Rottrevore‘s debut full length was an ultra-guttural dose of diseased death metal and one which deserved far more acknowledgement on initial release!
Taking their cues from Finnish masters Demilich and Purtenance, the ‘Scandinavian’ aspects of Rottrevore‘s sound were stapled to the diabolically dark nature of Incantation, resulting in one of the grimiest death metal albums around.
Fuelled by politics and slathered in hate, Iniquitous should be considered the equal of anything served up by the likes of Incantation, Immolation and Autopsy and remains a highpoint – if under appreciated – example of early 90’s brutal death metal.
Rotten to the core!
Cianide – A Decent Into Hell (1994)
Cianide released a death/doom colossus in the lumpen, malformed shape of A Descent Into Hell, an album which deliberately deconstructed the technical sounds of mid 90’s death metal and slowly retreated back into the bowels of hell.
Here lies the most neanderthal, bare-boned death/doom riffs imaginable, plodding through endless eviscerated carcasses strewn across the Netherworld as Satan laughing, spreads his death/doom lovin’ wings!
A Descent Into Hell sure ain’t fun to ‘listen’ to but this suffocatingly dank and depressing act of primal catharsis still has the power to render you speechless…..with bursts of fleeting speed offering precious little respite from the ultra-heavy dirge which surrounds it.
Gutted – Bleed For Us To Live (1994)
Gutted excelled at their relatively unique blend of classic death metal with thrash and death/doom elements and with Bleed For Us To Live they delivered a true underground classic – one which provided just as many neck-wrecking grooves as their Swedish contemporaries Entombed, Grave etc.
The vocals are a revelation and some of the best in business, with range and clarity adding layers to what is a forceful showing of guttural power. Fortunately, the music matches this quality and intensity and remains both brutal yet ridiculously catchy.
The epitome of the sheer strength and breadth of 90’s American death metal, Bleed For Us To Live remains an absolute classic from an era that seemed to vomit forth albums of this calibre on a weekly basis!
Oppressor – Solstice Of Oppression (1994)
Perfectly balancing brutality with technical audacity and pioneering verve, Oppressor‘s Solstice Of Oppression remains a mid-90’s milestone of technical death metal without quite receiving the accolades afforded to Death‘s Human, Cynic‘s Focus and Atheist‘s Unquestionable Presence etc.
An accomplishment equal to all the classic albums listed above, Solstice of Oppression carved its own particular niche with ultra low gutturals, unyielding brutality and the melodic, experimental, progressive and jazzy influences expected of a 90’s progressive/technical death metal album.
Once you get over the fact that this band eventually became nu-metal chart-botherers Soil (with Oppressor‘s Tim King, Tom Schofield and Adam Zadel recruiting Broken Hope‘s Shaun Glass in the late 90’s), you’ll be confronted by an album which defines the very nature of 90’s death metal – a shining example of metal evolving at an alarming rate without forsaking its core principles.