Cannibal Corpse – Butchered At Birth [USA]
Cannibal Corpse had already announced their arrival with thrashier debut Eaten Back To Life(1990) but it was with Butchered At Birth that the world truly took notice of this death metal powerhouse.
Extreme metal had found its new poster boys and Cannibal Corpse weren’t about to miss an opportunity to out-gross, out-heavy and out-manoeuvre their death metal brethren at only the second time of asking.
Appropriately savage, the likes of “Meat Hook Sodomy” and “Gutted” delivered gore galore and with the band content to hammer home their message with precious little finesse, it was actually the lack of diversity and 100% commitment to brutality that endeared Butchered At Birth to the masses.
Simplicity in its most horrendous form.
Gorefest – Mindloss [Netherlands]
The dutch have never shied away from death metal’s delights and Gorefest ranked alongside Asphyx and Pestilence in the quality stakes, with debut album Mindloss proving particularly effective and decidedly memorable.
As direct a death metal album as you’d hoped to find, Mindloss forgoes experimentation for a more standardised appropriation of both the Scandianvian and Floridian sounds of the era, culminating in an album that hit hard with both Jan-Chris de Koeyer’s’s undeniably ferocious vocals and riffs that bulldozed their way into your brain.
One for the completists maybe but still another prime example of the quality emerging from the death metal ranks in 1991!
Master – On The Seventh Day God Created… Master [USA]
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!
Unleashed – Where No Life Dwells [Sweden]
Unleashed cannily unleashed the ultimate in hellish groove with their outstanding debut album, Where no Life Dwells, an album that showcased a band whose skill lay in perfectly alternating speed with an ominous atmosphere and no end of memorably brutal songs.
Unleashed‘s lyrical focus on Viking culture and folklore wouldn’t be fully realised until 1993’s Across The Open Sea. However, there’s no doubting that, even on their debut, Unleashedsounded like a pack of marauding vikings with “Before The Creation Of Time” and “If They Had Eyes” rampaging their way through your earholes with little to no mercy.
One of the big four of the Swedish death metal scene for bloody good reason, Where No Life Dwells was just the start for a band who’ve gone on to be the most reliable band in Swedish death metal history!
Carbonized – For The Security [Sweden]
Death/grind masters, Carbonized may be somewhat of a Swedish secret but those in the know understand that few bands from the Swedish scene were embracing such a progressive, polyrhythmic attitude combined with the most primitive, yet organic, blast beats around!
With all 3 members of Carbonized having intrinsic ties with Therion, it should come as no surprise that with For The Security, boundaries were being unceremoniously broken and a progressive attitude to death metal prevailed!
Technically advanced yet wallowing in urbanised filth, Carbonized were a shrieking, guttural shock wave of influences; with this Swedish version of UK d-beat punk – spliced with grind and formative death metal – proving both revolutionary and unique among Swedish death metal bands of the early 90’s.