Hey guys! Time for more of Dave babbling about bands that got him into certain music subgenres! Today is the second wave of bands that influenced my journey further into the realms of death metal…..and what I can recall (kind of. I’ll be really thinking about who I discovered when, and was a big push musically for me.) of these moments in my life. My name begins with D, and this part is totally unplanned no lie. I’m pretty sure these next 4 bands all begin with the letter D…..so today you’re gonna get a lot of D, so prepare yourselves! These bands are more than notable enough in the death metal scene I won’t need to provide music, but maybe I will have to in the 3rd and 4th wave of bands I’ll chat about. Enjoy! Agree or disagree this batch of bands catapulted my love for death metal even further!
The time I discovered this wild band was when they were on Relapse Records. So technical, and so groovy. Gallagher is my homeboy, especially vocally. He has written some of the chunkiest riffs and nastiest grooves in extreme music, and as well as some of the wildest and more complex riffs. DF is an insanely diverse band who has held their ground as a grandfather for modern death metal. I think it may have been “Descend Into Depravity”…..the song “Your Treachery Will Die With You” was the first one I checked out as that was the latest release when I was browsing the Relapse Records website. The name influenced me, as it was the purpose since the band was spawned….and did it work. The follow up was a huge clincher for me, and the record I’m referring to is “Reign Supreme” which was the follow up to the 2009 album “Descend Into Depravity”.
One of the dirtiest, grooviest riffs John Gallagher has written on guitar for the band comes in the form of my favorite song “In The Trenches”. The introduction riff I can just repeat in my head for days……and it’s been stuck in that deep, dark place that is my head for long periods of time. The first time I caught them live was opening for HATEBREED? Weird bill but I went for Fetus. Second time was recently, this past February at Mohawk place where our tech metal behemoths Inertia opened up for them and was a glorious evening. DF has it all motherfuckers, bow down!
Here’s your second D, don’t feel so lucky now…..only a few more D’s to go(HA, HA)! Before I talk about their music, their guitarist Vogg is the only current founding member of the band that’s either alive or still in it. Unfortunately he lost his brother Vitek young who was the drummer in the band, in a terrible accident. Through many lineup changes the band has persevered and impressively stuck around. Recently, they got into another wreck (bad luck I’m going with) a handful of years ago I think during the tour for “Blood Mantra”. And most recently with the accusations from a serial lier (she’s lied to police before) about the band raping her, when her story and friend’s story don’t add up. BUT even after those shenanigans they’re still out playing but I don’t think a return to North America is possible (with that rape accusation looming over their heads still I have a feeling they will stay in Europe primarily). I luckily caught them on that run years before that night that tarnished their career (to an extent) opening for Gwar (who was cool but I really wanted to see my boys!) on the “Blood Mantra” tour cycle.
The album that was my initial discovery of Decaptiated was a controversial album “Carnival Is Forever”. It’s “controversial” in the sense it’s with (at the time) the new lineup after the wreck, and also because the die hard Decap fans are into their obsession with “Nihility” and “Winds Of Creation” which is totally understandable because they’re death metal classics. I’ll be damned though….the rhythm of “Homo Sum” is top fucking notch especially in that introduction of the track. Vogg has perfectly blended speed into his riffs to give it an occasionally thrash metal sound, but is still death metal as fuck. I get it bands go through changes, but everyone is entitled to an opinion and we all have different sets of ears. Vogg is one of my favorite guitarists in death metal not only for his obvious songwriting and guitar talents, but the inspiration as I previously stated to keep Decapitated around. I have a feeling that will be the only time I will ever see the guys, but maybe a miracle will happen and can come back to my neck of the woods. Thanks for everything Vogg!
I know it’s stereotypical…..but I was young and into death metal OKAY? I saw the name everywhere (on shirts and patches too at metal shows) on Relapse Records, and quickly understood why one of the earliest death metal bands known to date is held in such high regard. In Chuck Schuldiner’s later days he turned his death metal band into an experiment, getting super proggy with my favorite album of theirs “The Sound Of Perseverance”. With other great albums that get the love like “Spiritual Healing”, “Symbolic” And “Leprosy”, TSOP is definitely the oddball considering how straightforward they started out. I loved the direction they were going, showing you just can’t be a one trick pony as a band. Staying stale and stagnant gets boring, and personally think Chuck’s songwriting was evolving into a totally new musical territory. Some people don’t accept or like change, which is natural in some cases and digestible if with a valid, mature reason. Do they really need to discussed so much? The band was legendary while Chuck was alive, and their music speaks for itself. They may have pioneered the technical death metal movement by accident, or on purpose? Death rules, plain and fucking simple.
Before you all go WOAH WOAH let me address the black sheep in the room. WHY NOT THEM? WHY NOT THESE GUYS? A band like Deicide I tried hard to get into, but wasn’t really wowed at all. And upon further metal investigations Glenn Benton seemed like a douchebag. That’s just an example of one death metal band I just couldn’t jive with. There were also many great extreme bands I didn’t get into until a bit later, whom you may see in the third and fourth waves! 😉 BY FAR, one of the most underrated death metal bands came upon my radar browsing Nuclear Blast looking for more death metal. Sotelo’s songwriting is absolutely wild. I don’t know what era I got into….might have been “Polarity”? Their comeback album from 2017 “Axis Mundi” is a serious rager and return to form. They have a habit of taking their time with releases, but damn has it been worth it every time . Great music doesn’t happen overnight, folks. Sometimes….you need patience!
2003’s “As Time Begins” was a super ridiculous album. Vocalist Bill Robinson’s growls were so pure and raw, it set up a great debut for DB. It was so fast, so chaotic and so short. No the songs aren’t grindcore short but the record clocks in at 30 minutes at 9 songs. Archspire fast, aye? The follow up in 2008 “Diminishing Between Worlds” is a killer album, much more progressive. Matt changed things up with some longer songs, bigger structures and wild guitar leads (everything about Sotelo is purely impressive, obviously you can tell I’m a huge fan). 2 years later, they released their “Master Of Puppets” so to say. “Polarity” is a widely loved and respected album in the death metal community. The band combined the technical and progressive elements their first two albums were made of, and wow did it work. The latest album was “Axis Mundi” was really good too, continued in a similar vein mixing the tech and prog sound of the band……but added more groove to the band’s chaotic blistering sound. Bill’s gutturals get better ever album, and this was another example of that. Samus has been a highlight of every DB release but was even more prominent on this comeback album. He has made a consistent living off YouTube, so he stays on that channel and DB grabs a drummer to play their shows. He still records with the band, but I’d kill to see them live with Samus. I saw them a few years ago (2 years ago I think?) in Rochester with The Black Dahlia Murder, damn was I loving it. I got to see some of my death metal heroes in Decrepit Birth. LOVE, LOVE this band. SO under appreciated. Stay tuned for the last Monday in April for my third wave of death metal bands that influenced me!
Categories: Dave's Metal Journey