Continuing our SDM series (this happens every 5th episode because there is too much great death metal out there for us to cover in single-band episodes), this episode’s theme is “new material from the genre’s leaders”: every one of these albums was released in 2012. Plus, this is really a tribute to all these classic DM bands!
“Sarcophagic Frenzy” from Cannibal Corpse’s Torture (Metal Blade)
Hard to believe that Torture is Cannibal’s 12th studio album since their 1990 debut, Eaten Back to Life! These Buffalo, New York natives later moved to Tampa to pioneer the “Tampa Death Metal” scene and record with producer Scott Burns at Morrisound Studios. Cannibal still sounds as vital as ever, despite the band’s creative nadir in the late ’90s after founding vocalist Chris Barnes departed to form Six Feet Under. Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz and bassist Alex Webster are the only original members still in the band. Watch them slay on the Decibel tour this summer with Napalm Death and Immolation!
“Encountering the Divine” from Grave’s Endless Procession of Souls (Century Media)
This is Grave’s 10th studio album since their 1991 debut, Into the Grave. This Swedish group is considered royalty among old-school Swedish death along with Unleashed, Entombed and Dismember, and guitarist/vocalist Ola Lindgren is the only original member still in the band.
“Gathering the Batallions” from Unleashed’s Odalheim (Nuclear Blast)
Odalheim is Unleashed’s 11th studio album since their 1991 debut, Where No Life Dwells. Like Grave, this is another Swedish band which paved the way for the NWOSDM movement. Bassist/vocalist Johnny Hedlund and drummer Anders Schultz are the only original members still in the band; in fact, Hedlund played in an early line-up of Nihilist, which spawned Entombed.
“The Gods Who Light Up the Sky at the Gate of Sethu” from Nile’s At the Gate of Sethu (Nuclear Blast)
This is Nile’s 7th studio album since their 1995 debut EP, Festivals of Atonement. This band is from our home state of South Carolina in Greenville and quickly gained recognition for their wild Egyptian mythology references. Guitarist/vocalist Karl Sanders is the only original member still in the band. As opposed to Unleashed, this guitar solo from Nile is all about speed and fretboard gymnastics, though the song gets slightly theatrical near the end.
“Red-Skinned Scapegoat” from Cryptopsy’s Cryptopsy (Cryptopsy/Candlelight)
This self-titled record is Cryptopsy’s 7th studio album since their 1994 debut, Blasphemy Made Flesh. One of Canada’s most popular metal bands, Cryptopsy hail from Montréal, and guitarist Jon Levasseur and drummer Flo Mounier (considered one of metal’s top skinsmen) are the only original members still with the group. This self-titled album is considered a back-to-their-roots release of the tech-death that made them famous. Last year, they also released a two-CD compilation with three new songs, The Best of Us Bleed.
“18 Days” from Six Feet Under’s Undead (Metal Blade)
Undead is Six Feet Under’s 9th studio album since their 1995 debut, Haunted. Their 10th album, Unborn, was just released in February of this year. Vocalist Chris Barnes—who left Cannibal Corpse to head SFU—is the only original member still in the band, which once boasted Allen West of Obituary and Terry Butler of Death. Depending on whom you ask, SFU is both worshiped by fans and reviled by critics worldwide. Stay tuned, as there’s a SFU episode in our future!
“Redirect the Evil” from Master’s The New Elite (Pulverised)
The New Elite is Master’s 11th (or 12th, depending on which you’re counting) studio album since their 1990 debut, Master. Guitarist/vocalist Paul Speckmann is the only original member still in the band and is without a doubt one of the hardest working musicians in the metal underground. He hails from Chicago and was a member of Warcry when they were included on the fourth of Metal Blade’s ultra-famous Metal Massacre compilations. He moved to the Czech Republic to pursue his band—how metal is that?!?
“Der Landser” from Asphyx’s Deathhammer (Century Media)
Deathhammer is Asphyx’s 8th studio album since their 1991 debut, The Rack, not counting the Crush the Cenotaph EP or the Soulburn record. Vocalist Martin Van Drunen and drummer Bob Bagchus are the only original members still in the band. This group is considered among the top Dutch death/thrash bands of metal’s early years along with Pestilence (Martin Van Drunen sang on the first two Pestilence albums, including their 1989 sophomore release, Consuming Impulse, which was just inducted into the Decibel Hall of Fame by our friend Chris Dick).
“Transcend into Absolute Dissolution” from Incantation’s Vanquish in Vengeance (Listenable)
Vanquish in Vengeance is Incantation’s 9th studio album since their 1992 debut, Onward to Golgotha.
Guitarist John McEntee is the only original member still in the band. Compared to other Northeast DM bands like Immolation, Suffocation and other bands whose names end in -tion, Incantation have consistently released strong DM that never veers off-course. Incantation are also featured in our Episode 011: Best of 2012, so please check that out!
“Broken People” from Autopsy’s All Tomorrow’s Funerals (Peaceville)
All Tomorrow’s Funerals is a remastered collection of all four OOP EPs, rarities, and brand new studio recordings from these Bay Area death metal mavens. What we find fascinating about this band is that their sound really hasn’t changed much from their humble beginnings: still raw production, grumbly vocals, etc. This song is a brand-new track from this compilation and still sounds like early ’90s DM! How do they do that?!?