1. Hammer Smashed Face
  2. I Cum Blood
  3. Addicted to Vaginal Skin
  4. Split Wide Open
  5. Necrophedophile
  6. The Cryptic Stench
  7. Entrails Ripped From a Virgins Cunt
  8. Post Mortal Ejaculation
  9. Beyond the Cemetery
CANNIBAL CORPSE - Tomb of the Mutilated

GENRE: Death metal
LABEL: Metal Blade
YEAR: 1992


Prior to Tomb of the Mutilated I hadn't really paid much attention to Cannibal Corpse, but then I heard their-at-that-time soon to become a hit "Hammer Smashed Face" in the radio and I was sold. This track also earned them a part in the Hollywood movie Ace Ventura - Pet Detective. After hearing the song in the radio it didn't take me very long to buy both Tomb of the Mutilated and the predecessor Butchered at Birth.

Somehow I've always found Tomb of the Mutilated to be more accessible than Butchered at Birth. I also think that it's an even more brutal effort than both Butchered at Birth and Eaten Back to Life. Tomb of the Mutilated wasn't exactly anything groundbreaking back then, but it certainly was the effort that cemented Cannibal Corpse's position as one of the most brutal outfits around. Many bands have been inspired the gory sickness and disturbing display of brutality on that effort. No doubt that Cannibal Corpse and definitely also Suffocation has been important inspirations in what later has been known as brutal US death metal.

To me Cannibal Corpse also reached their absolute high on Tomb of the Mutilated. Many will probably disagree, but I really don't think the band has been able to capture the same nerve and feel since. In many ways Tomb of the Mutilated is the perfect Cannibal Corpse album with its gut-churning guitars, its chunky bass, its deep guttural growls and its sick drumming. The effort was of course recorded in Morrisound Recording and produced by the at-that-time all present Scott Burns. The result was a clear, but heavy and chunky sound that would be an inspiration to others.

As with previous Cannibal Corpse albums the artwork on Tomb of the Mutilated naturally got censured in certain countries around the world including Germany - a very lame move in my opinion, but the cool thing about it is that it only made people more curious and that way it probably has benefited the band more than it has hurt them. To me Tomb of the Mutilated perfectly sums up the very essence of the Cannibal Corpse sound and therefore it also stand as my preferred record by the Americans.

  1. Dawn of Eternity
  2. Cryptic Remains
  3. Biohazard
  4. Chamber of Ages
  5. From Beyond
  6. Defeat Remains
  7. Succubus
  8. Symbolic Immortality
  9. Corpse Grinder
MASSACRE - From Beyond

GENRE: Death metal
LABEL: Earache
YEAR: 1991


As odd as it may sound I actually can thank MTV for making me discover this band. It was back in the heydays of death metal, back when MTV still had the guts to play metal two hours in a row.

The history of Massacre dates back as far as 1984. The band was formed by guitarist Allan West, bassist Mike Bordes and drummer Bill Andrews. The line-up was later expanded with vocalist Kam Lee and guitarist Rick Rozz. Rozz soon left Massacre and Bordes was replaced by Terry Butler. Eventually both Andrews and Butler left too, only to turn up in Death along with Rozz. Massacre disbanded shortly after, but was reformed by Lee and Rozz in 1990. After having split with Death Andrews and Butler rejoined the band in 1991 and recorded the debut From Beyond.

I remember seeing the video for "Chamber of Ages" on Headbanger's Ball - it was a rather simple and very gloomy video, but the music made quite an impression on me, especially the ominous intro to the song. Their simplistic, but highly captivating death metal made me pick up From Beyond almost right away. The album had all the familiar trademarks of Florida death metal around 1991 and earlier. It wasn't ultra fast or technical as we know it today. Instead it was rather simple death metal, but still with a good deal of speed. Lee's deep guttural growls were some of the most brutal ones back then. The album was of course recorded in Morrisound, but exceptionally at that time it wasn't Scott Burns who was handling the production, it was Colin Richardson and the band. Burns was only engineering the effort.

Songs like "Chamber of Ages", "From Beyond" and "Symbolic Immortality" were originally featured on their 1987 demo also titled From Beyond. A song like "Corpse Grinder" were written as far back as 1984 by Rozz and Lee when they played in Mantas [pre-Death] with Chuck Schuldiner [RIP].

Another thing that captured my attention right away was the amazing artwork. Edward J. Repka had really outdone himself with that one and this very day I still think there's something very captivating about it. It may be rather simple and in a way cartoon-like, but it just fit so well with the album title and music.

The band got a lot of recognition for From Beyond, but was never able to follow it up properly due to line-up problems amongst other things. I think it's a shame that they never was able to record anything afterwards that could live up to the standards that From Beyond set. The album is by all means a classic.

  1. Dehydrated
  2. The Process of Suffocation
  3. Suspended Animation
  4. The Trauma
  5. Chronic Infection
  6. Out of the Body
  7. Echoes of Death
  8. Deify Thy Master
  9. Proliferous Souls
  10. Reduced to Ashes
PESTILENCE - Consuming Impulse

GENRE: Death metal
COUNTRY: The Netherlands
LABEL: Roadrunner
YEAR: 1989


I remember hearing Pestilence for the first time on the Roadrunner sampler At Death's Door which also featured bands like Death, Obituary, Deicide, Morgoth, Malevolent Creation just to name a few. The track featured was "Out of the Body" and I was immediately blown away by bassist/vocalist Martin Van Drunen's psychotic vocals. They were and still are truly unique. After having heard the aforementioned song it didn't take me long to pick up Consuming Impulse and it got a lot of listens in the following years.

The music is somewhat unpolished and technical death metal. Both Patrick Uterwijk and Patrick Mameli had a great flair for writing some catchy and memorable arrangements. The band even used a bit of keyboard on "Echoes of Death" and guitar-effects on "Deify Thy Master" to add something extra to the soundscape. Most of the songs on the album are of a very high quality. But of course there's some there's better than others and my favourites have always been "The Trauma", "Out of the Body", "Echoes of Death", "Deify Thy Master" and the instrumental "Proliferous Souls", but I don't really think the rest of the songs are less good.

Recorded in Music Lab Studios in Berlin, Germany with producer Harris Johns [Tankard, Kreator, Immolation] the album has a much unpolished and somewhat dirty sound, but not in a way that it become a negative thing. The production suits the music perfectly and adds some rawness to the soundscape. Unfortunately Martin Van Drunen left the band in 1991 which I found to be a shame because his characteristic vocals helped to define the Pestilence sound, but Mameli soon took over the vocals and he did a fine job on Testimony of the Ancient and Spheres.

People can argue whether Consuming Impulse or the later Testimony of the Ancient is their best effort. I think I would go for Consuming Impulse because of it's more direct and raw approach, but both albums are great in their own way. I was not too happy when I heard Spheres which unfortunately would turn out to be last album from Pestilence. Spheres was just too experimental for my taste even though it has its moments. Still it's needless to say that death metal lost a great band when Pestilence disbanded around 1994.

  1. Left Hand Path
  2. Drowned
  3. Revel in Flesh
  4. When Life Has Ceased
  5. Supposed to Rot
  6. But Life Goes On
  7. Bitter Loss
  8. Morbid Devourment
  9. Abnormally Deceased
  10. The Truth Beyond
ENTOMBED - Left Hand Path

GENRE: Death metal
LABEL: Earache
YEAR: 1990


Now with the Nihilist [a.k.a. Entombed] demos being released on CD I thought it was appropriate to once again dig out the debut Left Hand Path from the Swedish death metallers and give it a spin or two. I remember seeing the video for the titletrack from the album on Headbanger's Ball. It was back in 1990 and I knew immediately that I needed that album. At that time I had just begun to explore the greatness of this kinda music but it didn't take me long to go buy the vinyl version of the album and it was in heavy rotation for a long, long time and I still listen to it on a regular basis. Anyway Left Hand Path were in my humble opinion a milestone in death metal back when it was released and today it is a true classic in the genre. It helped to define the sound of what today is known as Swedish old school death metal.

The album has a vibe and a thickness in sound that just carves straight into the bone like a knife through butter. There's not a single bad track on Left Hand Path and who doesn't remember growling along [or attempting] to classic lines such as; "What man has created man can destroy - bring to light that day of joy", well, I for one do. Songs like the titletrack "Left Hand Path", "Drowned" and "Revel in Flesh" not to mention "Supposed to Rot", "Abnormally Deceased" and "The Truth Beyond" is about as relentless as it gets and yet the songs have a somewhat groove feel to them. All the songs are brutal and savage but not in a way so it ever becomes monotone or dull. Left Hand Path is simply topnotch death metal from start to finish and the two bonus tracks ["Carnal Leftovers" and "Premature Autopsy"] on the CD version leaves nothing to be desired.

It was Left Hand Path that alongside with Dismember's Like An Everflowing Stream made Tomas Skogsberg and Sunlight Studio a household name in death metal circles. The album was soaked in a heavy, filthy and juicy production that gave the music an even more brutal and dirty feel. Despite a lot of effort and several attempts the sound and vibe that this album has have never really successfully been recreated even though Grave was close with their debut Into the Grave. Entombed has never in my opinion managed to top Left Hand Path and I doubt they ever will. The amazing cover artwork was of course done by Dan Seagrave but it was before he got really popular. The album stand as a testimony of what the band was capable of back in its early days. I could go on praising this album for hours but I guess I would just start to repeat myself so I guess I'd better stop here.

  1. ...And The Comes Lividity
  2. Stiff and Cold
  3. Disincarnated
  4. Considered Dead
  5. Rottenatomy
  6. Bodily Corrupted
  7. Waste of Mortality
  8. Drifting Remains
  9. Hematological Allergy
  10. Inoculated Life
GORGUTS - Considered Dead

GENRE: Death metal
LABEL: Roadrunner
YEAR: 1991


With the recent Roadrunner re-issue of the two first Gorguts albums Considered Dead and The Erosion of Sanity I thought it would be appropriate to write a few words about Considered Dead which in my humble opinion is the best of the two even though The Erosion of Sanity was a worthy successor to the debut. But somehow it didn't quite reach the same level as Considered Dead. However it was darn close in doing so but unfortunately that apparently wasn't good enough for Roadrunner and the band and label eventually parted ways. I remember hearing Gorguts for the first time on the death metal sampler Monsters of Death where they were featured with the song "Disincarnated" and that track immediately tricked my curiosity.

Considered Dead is a very organic and diverse album that consist of some spine splitting and technical death metal. Right from the short acoustic opener "…And Then Comes Lividity" the band proves that this is not just the usual kinda death metal but instead something a little out of the ordinary. Once the inhuman "Stiff and Cold" sets in the band instantly makes it clear that they are here with the intention of going for the throat. In particular songs like "Disincarnated", "Considered Dead", "Rottenatomy" and "Hematological Allergy" eradicates everything but also the beautiful yet brutal instrumental "Waste of Mortality" pulls teeth not to forget the closer "Inoculated Life" which by the way features a guest solo by guitar equilibrist James Murphy. Former Cannibal Corpse front man Chris Barnes did the background vocals on "Bodily Corrupted", "Rottenatomy" and "Hematological Allergy". Vocalist/guitarist Luc Lemay sings in a very cool and unique way where he kinda drags the end of the words out so the vocals sound even more twisted and inhuman. Considered Dead is a flawless effort that by all means live up to the term classic. I can only encourage you to get the re-release of this album if you don't already have it.

  1. Infected
  2. Bodybag
  3. Chopped in Half
  4. Circle of the Tyrants
  5. Dying
  6. Find the Arise
  7. Cause of Death
  8. Memories Remain
  9. Turned Inside Out
OBITUARY - Cause of Death

GENRE: Death metal
LABEL: Roadrunner
YEAR: 1990


Cause of Death, a true death metal classic by all means. The second album from Florida's Obituary was released back in 1990 and I remember it as it was yesterday; I had read about Obituary in Rock Hard Magazine and decided it was a band worth checking out. So I did and I remember hearing "Infected" blasting out in the headphones in the record store and I was immediately sold. Back in 1990 this was probably some of the most fucked up; twisted and evil stuff money could buy. I clearly remember seeing the cover artwork the first time, absolutely spellbinding.

Cause of Death was and still is an incredible CD. Guitar player Allan West was taking a break from the band at that time and he was shortly replaced by the guitar equilibrist James Murphy who at that point just had split with Death. He came in, in the last minute of the recording and there for only contributed with some leads. Obituary really put their name on the map with the release of Cause of Death. James Murphy is also the main reason that Cause... sound somewhat different than the rest of their albums.

Produced by Scott Burns, Cause of Death was blessed with a killer production that left nothing be desired though it was a little cleaner than the debut Slowly We Rot and their third album The End Complete .But songs like "Chopped in Half", "Find the Arise", "Cause of Death", "Memories Remain", "Turned Inside Out" and not to forget their amazing cover of the old Celtic Frost classic "Circle of the Tyrants" stand today as a testimony over Obituary's greatness. They never reached the same level of intensity and brilliancy again even though they were close with The End Complete.

  1. Overide of the Overture
  2. Soon to be Dead
  3. Bleed For Me
  4. And So is Life
  5. Dismembered
  6. Skin Her Alive
  7. Sickening Art
  8. In Death's Sleep
DISMEMBER - Like An Everflowing Stream

GENRE: Death metal
LABEL: Nuclear Blast
YEAR: 1991


In March 1991 Dismember entered the now legendary Sunlight Studios in Stockholm, Sweden with producer Tomas Skogsberg to record what would later become a death metal classic. Like An Everflowing Stream helped shape what would become the very epitome of the Swedish death metal sound. Of course one shouldn't forget equally great releases such as Entombed's Left Hand Path and Grave's Into the Grave but somehow Dismember really nailed it perfectly on the head.

A funny thing about Like An Everflowing Stream is that it was actually now-former Entombed drummer Nicke Andersson who played almost all the solos on the album despite the fact that Dismember already had two skilled guitarists. But the truth behind this is that the band was under severe time-pressure and that their recording line-up hadn't been playing together that long when they entered the studio. So being a little nervous about missing some details they asked Nicke to do the solos since he had already played on the Reborn in Blasphemy demo. Like An Everflowing Stream was released in May 1991 and was follow by overwhelmingly positive response from the entire metal press proving that this album indeed was something special

It wasn't really until the release of their equally great EP Pieces in 1992 that I discovered the greatness of this band. I clearly remember being on the lookout for some fierce and relentless death metal but most record stores at that time in my area only had mainstream and more traditional metal. I then remember that I at some point found an obscure record store in downtown Aarhus, a store that only had like two racks with metal records but damn it, if they hadn't records with bands like Autopsy, Benediction, Cadaver, Entombed and of course Dismember. I remember looking at the back cover of Like An Everflowing Stream and seeing the members covered in blood and with huge inverted crosses around their necks. I knew right away I had to buy that record.

  1. Living Monstrosity
  2. Altering the Future
  3. Defensive Personalities
  4. Within the Mind
  5. Spiritual Healing
  6. Low Life
  7. Genetic Reconstruction
  8. Killing Spree
DEATH - Spiritual Healing

GENRE: Death metal
LABEL: Combat / Under One Flag
YEAR: 1990


Man, I remember it as being yesterday when I first heard the song "Living Monstrosity" back in '90. It was as a part of an radio interview with Death bassist Terry Butler where he tried to explain the absence of front man Chuck Schuldiner from their European tour…anyway I liked the song so much that I went out and bought Spiritual Healing soon after. I clearly remember putting Spiritual Healing on the recorder player and I was stunned, literary blown away by the sincere brutality and obscurity that this album roamed. I seriously couldn't believe that anything could be so heavy and downright brutal. However it didn't take more than a couple of rotations before I fully realized the greatness of this album and from there on Spiritual Healing has to me been the ultimate death metal album and it still is to this very day.

Spiritual Healing was released 1990 and again there had been a line-up change since the previous album Leprosy. Gone was Massacre guitarist Rick Rozz. He was replaced by the relative unknown guitarist James Murphy. Now with two equally equilibristic guitarist-players in the band Spiritual Healing showed a more technical, powerful and complex side of Death than ever before. Produced by producer extra-ordinaire Scott Burns Spiritual Healing was soaked in a thick and lethal production that took the music to an even higher level of obscure brutality. Lyric-wise the band had also matured and gone were all the gore and zombie lyrics that had been an important part of their previous material but this had been replaced by more realistic yet very obscure lyrics. However Murphy got kicked out of Death soon after the release of the album because he was creating a bad vibe within the band according to Terry Butler. Murphy reappeared in Obituary short after. Death then recruited guitarist Paul Masvidal but he was quickly replaced by Albert Gonzales but apparently this didn't work out either 'cause later that year when the band was going to tour Europe Chuck decided to stay home because he was tired , fed up with playing death metal and singing the way he did according to Butler. So the band had to get last minute replacements in shape of drum-technician Louie Carrisalez who took over the vocal duties and guitarist Walter Thrashler.

But despite all the personal intrigues that apparently muddled this era of Death's history it doesn't deprive Spiritual Healing of its greatness.

  1. Climate Controller
  2. Tribal Vodoun
  3. Nocturne in B m
  4. Arctic Crypt
  5. Aquatica
  6. Subterranean Infiltrator
  7. Alter Reality
  8. Gridzone
NOCTURNUS - Thresholds

GENRE: Technical death metal
LABEL: Earache
YEAR: 1992


Back in 1992, Nocturnus put out their second album Thresholds, which I would describe as technical sci-fi death. A weird term; I know, but nonetheless very fitting. Nocturnus today still stand out as one of the pioneer bands in death metal.

Thresholds is an incredible showcase of technicality, brilliant musicianship and very unique compositions, which, in my own case, took quite a few spins in the CD player before I truly could appreciate the genius of this band.

The massive presence of keyboards/samples in their music provides an incredible scene for the music to unfold upon, and it really lets the listener drift into their world of science fiction. If you ever come across this masterpiece, don't hesitate to get it; it may take a few spins to sink in but it's worth the effort.

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