Let’s ruminate on the land of hope and gory: Repulsion and Carcass

For early grindcore artists, after album number two, there seemed to be but two choices, start playing death metal, or breakup. Carcass have all but disowned their first effort, 1988's ‘Reek of Putrefaction’. This is largely because the sound one finds herein is a messy wall of noise, even by the standards of artists who … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on the land of hope and gory: Repulsion and Carcass

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Let’s ruminate on the keepers of the speed: Nuclear Assault and Powermad

These are the metalheads that wear trainers and tracksuit bottoms, not spikes and leather. These are the metalheads that smile. These are the metalheads that run from one side of the stage to the other when launching into a guitar solo. And these are the metalheads whose drummers spin their sticks around in their hands. … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on the keepers of the speed: Nuclear Assault and Powermad

Let’s ruminate on thrash-prog, prog-thrash(?): Watchtower and DBC

Considering these two artists approach technical thrash from very different backgrounds, they ended up playing a remarkably similar style by 1989. Montreal’s DBC were a thrash/crossover band, who only managed to release two albums in their career, but still left a lasting impression on the scene. After releasing their self-titled ‘Dead Brain Cells’ of 1987, … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on thrash-prog, prog-thrash(?): Watchtower and DBC

Political correctness and the art of causing offence

The sentence ‘I find that offensive’ means ‘ I don’t like it’. Recently this commonplace observation has morphed into an anti PC war-cry. Advocates of political correctness are accused of trying to create a world without offence. Of trying to manufacture a right to be free from offence. Of attempting to control a cold, unforgiving … Continue reading Political correctness and the art of causing offence

Let’s ruminate on GRIND: Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror

Grindcore is another funny one in metal circles. Much like thrash, the rise of grindcore was either championed by punks playing death metal, or by death metallers playing punk. In both cases the results were simplistic extreme music taken to its most absurd conclusion: micro songs playing at lightning fast tempos. The lyrics, again, reflected … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on GRIND: Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror

Let’s ruminate on the next generation: Death and Sepultura

And so we finally turn our attentions to artists who were directly influenced by the pedigree of the early and mid -1980s. Although the two releases we will be looking at here are pretty much contemporary to the classic works of Slayer, Celtic Frost, Bathory and, Sodom, this was now a younger generation of artists, … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on the next generation: Death and Sepultura

Let’s ruminate on those between two worlds: Testament and Destruction

Thrash can be a funny one. In one respect it was a harder, faster, heavier version of its heavy metal forbears. The lyrics covered heavier subjects. References to love and relationships were ditched. This urgent music stood on a soap box and assumed the coming apocalypse was nigh. A certain level of musicianship was demanded … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on those between two worlds: Testament and Destruction

Let’s ruminate on the primitive future: N.M.E. and Merciless

By the late 1980s the homogenous blob that was known as extreme metal was slowly coming apart, with journalists and commentators forming and moulding the separate camps that were to define the following decades. There were artists however, that still resisted this trend, and played a form of hard thrash still lacking certain features that … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on the primitive future: N.M.E. and Merciless

Let’s ruminate on the real masters of thrash: Sadus and Coroner

Thrash is probably one of the heaviest forms of music to penetrate the mainstream psyche in any significant way. But this has so coloured the history of thrash that it tends to overstate the significance of artists like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and yes, even Slayer at times. The lesser known Teutonic scene defined by the … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on the real masters of thrash: Sadus and Coroner

Ildjarn – The black sheep of black metal (a word on the namesake)

In order to build something new, sometimes it is necessary to destroy that which is old. If black metal destroyed the mores of production values, song structures, crumbs of appeal for the listener, then the work of Ildjarn was undoubtedly the logical conclusion to this project. Talentless hack to some, misunderstood genius to others (me), … Continue reading Ildjarn – The black sheep of black metal (a word on the namesake)