The definitive collection of essential death metal albums 100>90

The title sounds authoritative, but I am by no means a music expert, I just have listened to death metal music religiously for over a decade, and have definitely grown my ears to hear what I think to be monumental releases in the genre. I also wanted to post this, because I always have this inclination to write a review about a release that has already been covered a million times over by those who are a lot better suited to the task. With all of that in mind, here is my inexperienced, but definitive collection of essential death metal releases.

note: though list in numerical order, the numbers do not indicate a hierarchy or from worse to greatest, vice versa. It is signify’s nothing more, than just being a numerical list.

100. Arcturus – “Sideshow Symphonies”, 2005  
The notorious and apparent cult band Arcturus meant absolutely nothing to me, if you were to ask my opinion of their earliest releases, but by chance I was exposed to their newer material featuring the vocals of ICX Vortex. This is avant-garde at its finest, very experimental and a space voyage imagination. Some songs are a little ridiculous and come off as annoying more so than enjoyable, but its all easily forgettable. Nothing really death metal about this release, but I am choosing only the essential and significant pieces

099. Dismember – “Indecent and Obscene”, 1993
There is a whole slew of bands who have garnered the “gothenburg” sound, most notably coined by Entombed. If you were initiated by this sound from Bloodbath, just a quick listen to Dismember will familiarize yourself on those muffled and buzz saw riffs. To me the band who perfected this sound, and has the strongest attraction is Dismember, the most pinnacle of their discography being Indecent and Obscene.

098. Suffocation – “Pierced from Within”, 1995
Maligned with some kind of hate machine, comes New

York’s Suffocation, a household death metal name alongside Cannibal Corpse, back in the  inception of this genre. Arguably their best full length album. To me their music reached its peak with the release of Catatonia, and haven’t been able to capture the sound or hatred this album delivers. Frank Mullen is the hands down epitome of what a death metal vocalist should sound like, guttural, all the while well enunciated and easy to decipher. If you haven’t heard this album, you are definitely not a death metal fan.

097. Absymal Dawn – “Programmed to Consume”, 2008
A current generation death metal band that comes off with something refreshing and new to the table is a hard commodity these days. So when you hear something like Abysmal Dawn you quickly take notice. It was hard for me to pinpoint their best release, but if narrowed down, Programmed to Consume, takes the cake. Inspired and technical prowess, keeps it interesting.

096. Bloodbath – “Resurrection through Carnage”, 2002
Back when shopping in a record store wasn’t an entirely foreign concept, I would make some shot in the dark purchases. Usually queuing in on label, and any identifiable band members. In the case of Bloodbath, I knew nothing of them, I had no idea that Akerfeldt from Opeth was any part of this project. It was a blind purchase, that opened me up to a whole world of new death metal. Them coining their sound from bands like Carnage, Entombed and as mentioned earlier Dismember. Popularly described as buzz saw guitars in tone. This release in particular marks an incredible leap in the genre, by creating some of the most addicting melodies. To me they took a token genre and just juiced it up. Disappointingly none of their future work could outdo Resurrection through Carnage, the Fathomless Mastery coming the closest still fell short.

095. Cannibal Corpse – “Tomb of the Mutilated”, 1992 
Difficult to pinpoint the pinnacle of their discography, Cannibal Corpse is a warhorse in regards to their music of the 90’s. After the polishing of their sound in the 2000’s, they left behind a primitive sound and graduated in the musical elites of the genre. Definitely a wise decision ditching Barnes in favor of Fisher, but it’s undeniable some of their best music was with Barnes at the helm. It’s actually funny I am including Tomb of the Mutilated on this list, considering this was one of my least favorite albums of their discography growing up, but now it definitely is considered the best in my opinion. Harsh angry and definitive of the genre.

094. Carcass – “Necroticism Descanting the Insalubrious”, 1991  
Carcass should be called the polar opposite, because that is the best way to describe their music of the past, and their music of the present. What I believe to be the happy medium? Necroticism Descanting The Insalubrious, a mouthful for sure. I consider their earliest work just a gimmick and hardly credible enough to be considered anything enjoyable to sit down and listen to. And their newer material is just too polished, and borderline commercial, that it just isn’t enjoyable. For more of my thoughts on this release CLICK HERE.

093. Cynic – “Focus”, 1993 
Experimentation and progressiveness to a genre of metal that relied heavily, on well HEAVY, it would almost seem like a sure fire way to fail. But Cynic ambitiously boldly ventured a soundscape that was very pioneering and ahead of its time, still unparalleled by any current generation band. They definitely laid the foundation for experimental metal bands. Cynic alongside Atheist would fuse together elements of Jazz and other symphonic instrumentation that would surprisingly mesh together rather well. Yes an acquired sound, but once given the chance, you will find one of the most rewarding experiences in music. If the term “sci-fi” had a soundtrack, I am sure it would heavily borrow from Cynic’s music.

092. Deeds of Flesh – “Inbreeding the Anthropophagi”, 1998
It’s hard to decide what Deeds of Flesh album to put on the list, because to me their new material is fucking phenomenal! that being said, I am going to go with the safe route and pick one of their tried and true albums. I want their newer work to get some wear and tear on the tires, before putting it on the list. Even narrowing it down to their earlier work is difficult, they never really put out a “bad” album, but their earlier work doesn’t hold much variety, its like a continuous flow of the same sound. So what album to me, best signifies their sound? Inbreeding The Anthropophagi! A chaotic and unrelenting death metal masterpiece. A good use of samples to signify the subject matter. This is old school death metal at its finest.

091. Immolation – “Close to a World Below”, 2000
Immolation alongside bands like Gorguts, really became staples of the genre. Their sound is unique, they do not go the cookie cutter route. In fact the first releases were well beyond their time, but Close to a World Below came out as their greatest effort, just in time to awaken a stagnant genre. Dark, bombastic drumming and odd time signatures, add some strong lead and solo work, and you have one of the greatest death metal albums of all time. It’s also worth mention the lyrical content, and the rare ability of the vocalists to enunciate and make the vocals very distinguishable in the mix.

090. Hour of Penance – “Sedition”, 2012 
A developmental masterpiece, something of groundbreaking in comparison to their other releases. The drumming is inhuman, the solo and lead work is very memorable. It just moves along like a stealth jet. Each track stands on its own, all the while having a fluid transition. For a newer death metal band, I took notice of them quickly. Unfortunately the future work is really disappointing.

Hope you all enjoyed, next post will be going through 90 > 80

Ebola Syndrom movie review (full of spoilers)

(insert now cliche, but obligatory reference to
Ebola in the states) Meet Kai, a otherwise ordinary man who likes the finer things in life, particularly raping dead African woman, making love to a chicken breast, oh and using collapsible objects as weapons. We meet Kai right in the beginning of the movie, having sex with his bosses wife, naturally the boss returns home and all hell breaks loose. Kai almost gets castrated, but he escapes unscathed leaving a bloodbath and one severed tongue behind him (penis intact*). There is also one minor but significant detail that needs to remain fresh in your minds, and that is the daughter in the apartment, that remains alive. This beginning scene also gets you accustomed to some of the classic and funny dialogue that comes out of Kai’s mouth.

Lets fast forward 10 years to Johannesburg, South Africa, where Kai gets a job as a lowly restaurant employee. Poor Kai just cant catch a break his bosses girlfriend is constantly picking on him, for no apparent reason. Before American Pie, Kai was making love to poultry, and not even thinking twice before serving his semen fused chicken breast to customers, this kind of ill behavior can be seen throughout the entire movie.
Kai and his boss get the brilliant idea to save some money on pork, by going out to a tribe of Zulu natives who unbeknownst them are dying from the Ebola virus. The sight of dying villagers and strange voodoo rituals does not scare them one bit from saving a little extra money on pork. The buy their meat and our on their way, but not before brilliantly running into a tree (very softly mind you), and the truck just dies. While the boss man is fixing the truck, Kai is found raping a dead african women, (he never loses his class) where he contracts the ebola virus. This where all the real mayhem begins.
After contracting the virus, we learn Kai is 1/10 of the individuals who can supposedly contract the deadly virus and be a carrier of it, but not be fatally effected by it. Once his boss learns of the potentially fatal condition of his employee, his only concern is keeping him around because of his hard work and cheap pay required. All the while his girlfriend is plotting to get rid of Kai (she really hates the guy). This then leads to the murder and cannibalizing of them, then leading to a complete and total outbreak of the Ebola virus. Kai robs them and jumps ship to Hong Kong, where he continues his sexual deviance and murderous rampage.
Something I forgot to mention earlier is that the girl who witnessed Kai murdering her mother and father, was later found at the restaurant of Kai in Johannesburg, and she has the weird premonitions of him, because of his scent. This drives her back to Hong Kong to try and put a stop to him.

There is so much disgustingly wrong with this movie, that you would think its grotesque appearance would be a great deterrent to most, from watching. The thing about this movie is that the humor is so strongly evident, that you cant ever take the film too seriously, and I think that fact, intertwined with the sadistic and taboo acts in the movie, make it entertaining enough. It also has some really good musical scores throughout the film. Anthony Wong’s performance is always worth the admission price, I liked him also in Bun man. He just puts on an outrageous and funny performance, which is wrong on many levels considering the nature of the movie.

when prioritized beliefs often contradict

It wasn’t made apparent to me my often pessimistic and cynical characteristics until my mid to late 20’s. I never made it a priority to become this way, it wasn’t like I spent a lot of effort in my days, plotting and scheming how I can become the half empty cup of the group. It just kind of happened this way by what I think is accident. I do believe optimism and hopeful individuals all have a characteristic of some kind of faith system. It is imperative to believe in something that gives your life order, something that you’re accountable to. So your work and efforts do not go unnoticed, and you make wise choices and decisions. Obviously this ability can also be used for pessimistic individuals, but I think in the broader scale; their pessimism is strewn with nihilism, whether objective, existential or whatever other by-product. In that case, to truly believe in something, would be contradictory to their own worldview.

Disillusionment is the main active ingredient to religion, it keeps all thoughts at bay, in the faith that there is something out there that is looking out for their best interest. I have had this frame of thinking for a large majority of my life, and it was through this disillusionment that I would put precedence in my beliefs and not into responsibility. What eventually happened, is that I became a domesticated animal, without any ability to survive in real life situations. I was like a lion taken care of for its youth into early adult hood, and forced back out into the jungle. This is where I learned not only the abandonment of what I felt like was god, but also the predatory habits of humans, which I think are not at all coincidental with the rest of the animal kingdom. This whole process changed my worldview greatly, it diminished my great amount of faith in life, in god and in my fellow man. Initially this was the most scary time in my life, because for once I honestly questioned the existence of god, of a god. I tried to persuade myself out of it, would look at good days as a sign, and bad days as recognition to my disobedience to sky gods. This went on for several years, several suicide attempts, and still at my heart of hearts I feel the disillusionment, the “you’re kidding yourself”, mentality. Ask any brimstone bible beating preacher, and they will tell you that is Satan. That is the dark lord of this world, wishing to pull me down into the clutches of hell and ass rape me with a torch for eternity. With my luck, they could very well be right.

But this whole cosmological ATM machine belief system is all very contradictory to me. So I chalk up my bad luck for being disobedient, and then I chalk up the good in my life, for being obedient and living humbly before the lord. This whole idea, this whole theology is very selfish. We human beings have no capacity to do good without the constructs of some sort of  hell/heaven, good/bad judgment. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and seems to be more valuable for delusion sake.

whores of mankind

For some reason I get a lot of fake profiles +’ing my posts. Its not entirely obtrusive, but misleading and deceptive. If I had a way to block you whores I would.

chaos resembling a clearer picture

How can something abstract be conceptualized? the architecture of chaos is indistinguishable, there is no blueprint, no planned idea, just chaos resembling a clearer picture. If I took any enjoyment in the arts, it would be in the capability to create something from nothing. With having no blueprint, no clear idea, just a stroke of inspiration, and the canvas of choice to bring to life the ideas in our minds. Do I draw skyscrapers? or do I let my soul spill out onto paper. That is the difference to me from traditional art, to abstract art. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a fine line to abstract from just a colorful barf thrown together to make up some kind of indistinguishable sludge. The line is crossed onto music, movies and any other “art”.

Maybe we can learn more about our existence from the abstract.

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