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Last Active 02-18-22 2:56 am
Joined 02-16-22

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06.13.24 Post sludgy post-sludge recs pls06.09.24 Rec me dm ahead of its time

Rec me dm ahead of its time

Looking for bands who pioneered or revolutionized a style of death metal as well as bands who released a one-of-a-kind album that could have majorly influenced a subgenre or even created a new one, had other bands picked up on the ideas presented on it.
1Timeghoul
1992-1994 Discography


1 rec per user.
2Entombed
Left Hand Path


Can be a classic...
3Lemming Project
Hate and Despise


...or an obscure little gem.
4Suffocation
Effigy of the Forgotten


Preferrably from the 80s or 90s, but more recent stuff is cool, too.
5Cryptopsy
Blasphemy Made Flesh
6Gorguts
Obscura
7Atheist
Piece of Time
8Demilich
Nespithe


Rec'd by Grimlin

This is exactly the kind of album I was hoping to discover. You could have told me this was released in the 2020s and I would have believed it. Somehow, these guys have managed to write an album that transcends the boundaries of time. It grooves, it twists, and that bass tone is pure bliss. It's been a while since I've heard a record worthy of an instant 4.5. Cheers, kind stranger.

4.5
9!T.O.O.H.!
Order and Punishment


Rec'd by Hawkz

Death metal?! More like the soundtrack to a psychotic episode. This is a straight-up demented carousel ride and honestly a lot to take in. I had to lower the volume for fear of having the cops called on me, that's how nutty those vocals are. Řád a trest certainly qualifies as unique, but I'm not sure humanity would benefit if most extreme music sounded like this. As a standalone work of art, however, this is nothing less than admirable. Appropriate rating:

4.249
10Atrocity
Hallucinations


Rec'd by Hyperion1001

Abundant with riffs full of spite and bile, this 1990 prototech album fires off banger after banger. Even on a first listen, each track offered something instantly memorable. The songs' structures and overall writing are forward-thinking, technically adept and, at the same time, weirdly catchy. Usually not super interested in solos, but these were nothing short of excellent. Spun this twice in a row and, just like with Nespithe, will keep revisiting it in the upcoming weeks. Truly excellent stuff that will likely keep growing on me.

4.3
11Effluence
Psychocephalic Spawning


Rec'd by Avagantamos

Yeah, that's enough "music" for today. In all seriousness, though, this was a nice palate cleanser. Kinda reminiscient of a slightly more avant-garde Encenathrakh (whom I enjoy a great deal), with a heavier emphasis on creating repulsive soundscapes. This is probably best enjoyed in bursts rather than as an album in the proper sense. Not sure about the "ahead of its time" aspect, but it is indeed fairly unique in its approach. And to think one man came up with all this... This is the tunnel of horror to !T.O.O.H.!'s carousel ride.

3,6
12Dark Tranquillity
Skydancer


Rec'd by Zac124

I understand the members weren't even in their 20s at the time of release, which is kinda ridiculous given the vision and creativity on display here. As previously mentioned, melodeath has never really been my cup of tea, but this was a pleasant surprise. The less playful writing combined with Anders's underdeveloped, almost bm-esque technique made this a lot more intriguing than most modern mdm I've heard. Even if DT weren't the first to put out a de facto melodeath album (see Davey's comment below), there's no doubt they were trailblazers. All that being said, this still doesn't captivate me as much as other styles of dm and The Gallery feels like the superior album.

(Adjusted this rating after checking Sentenced. Enjoyed the latter a bit more, but this is on par due to the more creative use of melodies.)

3,4
13Grotesque
Incantation


Rec'd by Ray91

This EP - and I cannot stress this enough - riffs very, very hard. Most of the writing could easily pass as modern osdm worship, i.e. it's so advanced and combines so many styles, only someone from the future or someone with paramount creativity could have come up with this in 1990. I'm not saying this is a genre-defining release, but it's baffling to me how these guys were this inspired in the mail-order era.

4.1
14Cynic
Focus


Rec'd by StormChaser

5
15Deeds of Flesh
Gradually Melted


Rec'd by Jurtz

This is the kind of music that gets me through work. Just like the commenters in the rev thread, I adore the pummeling drum sound. Guitars are appropriately malevolent. It's questionable how influential/original this was compared to other early bdm, though. It's clearly more modern than early Suffo and other prominent contemporaries, but also came out years later. Would love to read the rationale behind the pick in the comments.

Provisional rating as this prompted me to go back and properly rate all Deeds releases once I've gone through this list.

3.9
16Therion
Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas


Rec'd by Dreamflight

There's a welcome dose of experimentation going on here, especially in the last five tracks. The arabesque folk part in The Ritual Dance of the Yezidis got me good. I like how Therion fused different styles one wouldn't necessarily associate with a band tagged as symphonic and, as someone who isn't too fond of synths in metal, feel like this could act as a nice segue into the symph end of the spectrum for anyone interested. In some spots, the guitar work felt overly simplistic and/or derivative. Overall, I had a good time with the tunes, but this isn't something I'll likely come back to. Might check out their first two albums in the near future.

2.8
17Nocturnus
The Key


Rec'd by Butkuiss

The quintessential prototech album and pretty much the definition of "ahead of its time". My one major gripe with this one and the sole reason I haven't 5'd this yet are the keys. While they do enhance the atmosphere at certain points, they're downright obnoxious most of the time - be it the choice of tone, the actual melody or the timing. If only they had used them more sparsely. Alas, they didn't. My initial 4 still stands. Make no mistake, though, this is a stone-cold classic. For me, this is some of the greatest songwriting ever, metal or otherwise, dragged down by one major flaw I just can't ignore.

4.2
18Augury
Concealed


Rec'd by Dedes

You weren't lying about the fun part, that's for sure. Considering this came out in 2004, I'm convinced this served as a blueprint for many a band from the late 2000s and 2010s wave of prog death. At least I haven't heard an earlier version of this modern interpretation of the style. Interestingly, this is a good bit more experimental than many later adopters, even if my appreciation for the female cleans is limited. It's nice to hear some of Dominic Lapointe's earlier work, and his basslines rule expectedly hard. I like Augury's later stuff better, but agree that this is very entertatining and pleasantly varied.

3.7
19Civerous
Maze Envy


Rec'd by bighubbabuddha

A doomy, at times blackened, even proggy banger of an album with a spot-on production. While it's rooted in the osdm scene, it often reveals decidedly modern undertones. Maze Envy is an amalgamation of all things dark, yet it leaves the listener plenty of room to breathe and offers foreboding moments of dreamy, introspective instrumentation. I'm positive it will end up on many aoty lists, mine included. It's hardly revolutionary, let alone groundbreaking, but I can see why it was recommended. It's a distinctive experience bigger than the sum of its parts and, despite its bleakness, very memorable.

4.2
20Imprecation
Theurgia Goetia Summa


Rec'd by botb

This one was super filthy. The drummer stumbling over those blasts with what sounds like a purely antebrachial technique definitely adds to the charm. The keys are tastefully placed and a lot more bearable than on, say, The Key. Would have been nice to hear the material in reverse order, i.e. starting with the oldest, to have a better sense of the band's progression towards a doomier, more atmospheric sound. This compilation of recordings going back as far as '92 is not exactly Onward to Golgotha, but then again, what is? Still, Imprecation demonstrate some impressive writing chops here, creating some pretty vicious material that makes many of the more established bands of that time sound tame in comparison.

3.8
21Wicked Innocence
Omnipotence


Rec'd by Uzumaki

What a perfect fit for this list! Truly ahead of its time and full of surprises, Omnipotence is an unpredictable collage of progressive ideas. If those gutturals weren't so unintentionally funny in a few spots and if Wicked Innocence had dared to break away from their down- and mid-tempo comfort zone more often, this would be an instant classic. As is, this is an excellent jazzy death metal release without a single dull moment. One might think that a fusion of genres like this would result in a chaotic mess without clear structures, but far from it. Each track has its identity and still works like a cog in a well-oiled machine. The production holds up incredibly well, too. This is an impressive work of art and one of the highlights on this list. Shame about the spotty (if properly unhinged) vocal performance, which demonstrably could have lent this one a lot more punch. Don't want to nitpick, though. Perfect rec.

4.3
22Obliveon
From This Day Forward


Rec'd by PizzaBear

Thrash is another genre I never felt the urge to delve into. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Beneath the Remains, Reign in Blood and Terminal Redux as much as the next guy, but the sound as a whole doesn't really appeal to me. Nonetheless, I had a great time with this. Obliveon weave in plenty of prog here, and the slight dm leanings in the vocal delivery added a layer of urgency. Writing-wise, this is so much more advanced and intellectually stimulating than the stuff put out by bands like the Teutonic Four around the same time. As my sample size is laughably small, I won't act as if I were able to comprehend how original or influential this was, though, so I have to judge it solely on its own merits.

3.8
23Sentenced
North from Here


Rec'd by DaveyMonsoon

After my first spin of North from Here a few months back, I gave it a flat 3, but with this second listen, I've warmed up to it a little (apart from the cringeworthy lyrics). Obviously, these Finnish lads incorporated the heavy use of melody in a completely different way than their Gothenburg contemporaries and were influenced by the bm scene, so while DT's early material served as a template for the sound I associate with mdm, this feels more like a melodic bm album with faint hints of early tech death in the vein of Atheist et al. I liked this one a tad better than Skydancer, but just like the latter, it's too far outside my listening habits to warrant regular revisits. Even so, I can appreciate it for what it represents: one of the earliest attempts at melodic death metal and a solid one at that.

3.4
24Adramelech
Psychostasia


Rec'd by Galbador

Alright, so this is yet another addition to the seemingly never-ending lineup of excellent 90s Finnish dm albums. While I agree that this is one of the meatiest, I'd argue that, for the sake of this list, bands like Demigod and Convulse are better representatives of the more straight-forward facet of that style - simply because they did it several years earlier. Naturally, Psychostasia is a lot more refined, but unlike Demilich's milestone album, for example, Adramelech don't really try anything new here. Fortunately, that's not a requirement for making this album as excellent as it is. The density of high-quality riffs is astounding and supported well by the crushing production. Essential Finndeath for sure.

4.2
25Pan.Thy.Monium
Khaooohs And Kon-Fus-Ion


Rec'd by MiloRuggles

The people who bought this around the time of its release must've felt like they had just discovered the holy grail of avant-garde dm - all three of them. In all likelihood, this is one of, if not the earliest manifestation of quasi- and actual sax tones in death metal, which wouldn't see a lasting revival until way into the 2010s. The two non-Vangelis tracks on this one seamlessly blend different dm styles, doom, jazz of both the free and regular variety, blues bits and so much more. The result is a monolithic, truly unique record bursting with sprawling imagination. A magnificent addition to this list.

4.3
26Necrophagist
Epitaph


Rec'd by BAT

Back when this came out and in the years that followed, this was hailed as the ultimate form of dm in my circle of friends. As insane as the technical prowess of the musicians involved in this was/is and as influental as this album has undoubtedly been for modern tech death, it has always felt soulless and disjointed to me. The writing just sucks. No, not the actual guitars, bass or drums - those are close to perfection - but these collections of impressive, almost show-offy riffs, sweeps and solos simply don't work as songs for me. They're just stapled together without a sense for songwriting, without any direction. Some of the musicians who followed in Suiçmez's and Münzner's footsteps have done a better job at turning their savant-like skills into actual songs. The magic of listening to this for the first time two decades ago can't be overstated, nor can it be recaptured, but this won't hit my playlists anytime soon.

3.7
27Portal
Seepia


Rec'd by GiaNXGX

There's no band quite like Portal. I can't help but admire their sheer determination to provide the listener with techy black death so lo-fi it sounds like it was recorded with a single mic from 1876 placed inside an airtight safe stuffed to the brim with glass wool and placed four rooms away from the amps, then played back with Gameboy earbuds buried at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Their output is an acquired taste and far from easy listening, but very rewarding if you're in the right mood for it. This one was no different and, in hindsight, not exactly an energizing breakfast soundtrack. They knew what they were aiming for right from the start and got it right on their first try. I prefer Outre and Swarth, though.

3.5
28Flourishing
The Sum of All Fossils


Rec'd by Demon of the Fall

This was right up my alley and another great fit for this list. Jalapeno's rev and the soundoffs already sum up my thoughts on this one quite nicely, so I'll make this short. The combination of sludge, tech, core, drone and avant-garde makes this a one-of-a-kind experience that towers above 90% of early 2010s dm.

4.2
29diSEMBOWELMENT
Transcendence into the Peripheral


Rec'd by Somebody

Incredibly heavy and gloomy for its time. It's astounding how those ethereal melodies seem to just float right before your eyes. While I love doomy death, deathy doom like this just drags me down. This is clearly a cornerstone of modern doom and, as such, absolutely belongs on this list. Mind-blowing music that I won't come back to for the sake of my mental health.

3.7 (4.5 if you enjoy staring into the void)
30Rippikoulu
Musta Seremonia


Rec'd by Somebody

In contrast, this was a lot less taxing. Another excellent early representation of doom death and yet another gem from Finland. Sounds great for a demo from '93, too.

4.0
31Chthe'ilist
Le Dernier Crépuscule


Rec'd by Somebody

Disso, tech, doom, and atmosphere in spades - this one has it all. As noted, it's not reinventing the wheel, but still very much a self-contained microcosmos not unlike Maze Envy or Infrared Horizon. At the very least, this definitely warrants being recced and I'm glad it was.

4.2
32Howls of Ebb
Vigils of the 3rd Eye


Rec'd by Somebody

In an unexpected turn of events, this was significantly less weird than I thought it was going to be. That's not to say Howls of Ebb's debut doesn't belong on this list, because it's still properly experimental, just more easily digestible than anticipated. Fun stuff.

3.6
33Infester
To the Depths... In Degradation


Rec'd by Somebody

Imagine jamming this stuff in your rehearsal room in 1994. This is pure filth and contains some of the most unadulteratedly evil-sounding material ever conceived. A fitting finish to this list.

4.0
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