Archive for April, 2009

History of Extreme Metal Part II (Dawn of Death Metal 1985-88)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2009 by EvanZ

For the second installment in this series, I’ve put together 11 blistering death metal tracks from the early days of death metal. I call it “Dawn of the Dead” (how original, right?). Here’s the linky: of the Dead – Death Metal

At this stage, death metal was not too far removed from thrash, except for the vocals, which had obviously become tuned down in pitch.

Here’s the track listing:

01 Possessed – “The Exorcist” – Seven Churches (1985)
Widely considered the first death metal album, or at least, the first LP.

02 Morbid Angel – “Unholy Blasphemies” – Abomination of Desolation
(released in 1991, but originally recorded in 1986 as a demo titled “cream Forth Blasphemies”)

03 Devastation (Chicago) – “Devastation” – A Creation of Ripping Death (demo) (1986)
One of the true early pioneers of death metal. Unfortunately, these guys never really made it, although they were apparently hugely influential on the scene at that time (along with Master, another Chicago-based death metal band).

04 Sepultura – “Show Me The Wrath” – Morbid Visions (1986)
Sepultura would quickly tone down their dm act and focus on thrash, but this album is still a classic.

05 Repulsion – “Black Nightmare” – Horrified re-issue (originally recorded for 1986 demo)

Coming out of Flint, Michigan in the mid-80’s, Repulsion was a huge influence on the nascent grindcore/death metal scenes. Their original 1986 demo was later released by the Carcass-founded Necrosis label in 1991.

06 Necrophagia – “Terminal Vision” – Season of the Dead (1987)
Aside from Devastation, probably the most often overlooked participants in the early dm scene.

07 Slaughter (Can) – “Nocturnal Hell” – Strappado (1987)
From our Canadian bros to the north! Never to be confused with the American glam act of the same name.

08 Death – “Zombie Ritual” – Scream Bloody Gore (1987)
You didn’t think I’d make a death metal list without Death, of course?

09 Pestilence – “Subordinate to The Domination” – Malleus Maleficarum (1988)
Pioneers of the Dutch dm scene. Martin van Drunen, the lead and instantly recognizable vocalist, would go on to form Asphyx.

10 Bolt Thrower – “Nuclear Annihilation” – In Battle There Is No Law (1988)
Performed three live sessions on the British John Peel radio show between 1988-1990.

11 Death – “Primitive Ways” – Leprosy (1988)
Death metal was now fully formed, and ready to take on the world…at least, for the next 4-5 years, until the major labels took control.