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Starter Kit To Brutal Death Metal

This list is tailored for both those who are familiar with death metal in general, and those who are not exposed at all, as long as one is looking to break themselves in to brutal death metal specifically. The list is divided into three parts: The pioneers of the genre, some of the more essential albums in the genre, and bands within (or maybe not exactly within) the genre that are more accessible than the others.
1 The Pioneers
2Cannibal Corpse
Butchered At Birth

The first band to really make the extreme gore image work, and they financed the genre's propensities in subject matter and lyrical content. THE CORPSE are also the only brutal band thus far to break the 100 song mark.
Effigy of the Forgotten

The band name itself is synonymous with 'brutal death metal.' Far and beyond the most influential band in the genre. Hell, their style of breakdowns influenced an entire sub-genre on their own. Also one of a relative few bands in the genre who not only utilize solos, but utilize them effectively.
4Deeds of Flesh
Gradually Melted

Early Deeds material drew a lot of inspiration from Suffocation and other death metal bands, but they quickly found a sound that was completely their own and influenced a great many bands (none of which have been able to accurately reproduce the style). Deeds of Flesh currently have the most voluminous discography of any brutal band sans Cannibal Corpse with 7 full length albums, an EP, and a DVD. Also the founders of Unique Leader Records.
Molesting the Decapitated

Not necessarily the first band to slam, but definitely the first to do it incredibly well, and easily the most influential band in the sub-genre.
Blasphemy Made Flesh

While the band doesn't hold up so well these days (in both quality and brutality), albums like None So Vile and Blasphemy Made Flesh were milestones of sorts in brutality.
7 The Essential
Pierced From Within

Pierced From Within is widely considered Suffocation's magnum opus and it isn't all that hard to see why. Most every characteristic of great brutal death was epitomized on this album, and it laid out the blueprint for many bands to follow.
9Deeds of Flesh
Inbreeding the Anthropophagi

Each of Deeds' five middle albums is a classic in the genre for one reason or another, but Inbreeding stands out because of its insurmountably chaotic song structures, the band's energy, and of course, brutality/technicality that is characteristic of the genre.
Consume the Forsaken

Consume the Forsaken is the very definition of 'brutality,' and it is still one of the most brutal albums in 2010. Diego Sanchez's riffwork is extremely unique and technical and AJ Magana's vocals are widely revered. Every fucking thing about the album is widely revered. Be forewarned though, there is nothing memorable, in terms of melody, about the album, hence its highly regarded status.
11Defeated Sanity
Psalms of the Moribund

Defeated Sanity are the most exciting, innovative, and brutal band in the genre today (the already-classic 'Psalms' is arguably the most brutal album out right now). Regnant over the genre, their legacy only looks to continue with their upcoming 2010 release 'Chapters of Repugnance.'
Perceptive Deception

Disavowed and Pyaemia's 2001 releases both represent the height of the Dutch death metal scene. In terms of quality, it is neck-and-neck between the albums, and will come down to a matter of personal preference. They provide nice contrasts though...Pyaemia is humorous in delivery, whereas Disavowed takes the serious approach; Pyaemia has a more laid back sound, whereas Disavowed is uncommonly energetic.
Cerebral Cereal

See Disavowed
14Decrepit Birth
...And Time Begins

And Time Begins is a defining brutal album that took the scene by storm in 2003, and set the bar (although, to inject my bias, I don't think DB ever topped Disgorge's 2002 effort) for future bands...before changing their style to a more melodic province.
Festival of Death

Love it or hate it, Brodequin have crafted a brutal death style that is all their own, and have somewhat pioneered the ultra-raw style that more and more bands are trying to emulate.

Mindfuck technical slam spearheaded by Phlegeton's extraordinary vocals.
17Abominable Putridity
In the End of Human Existence

Everyone needs a bit of primitive slam in their life. This is one of the best slam albums, and one of the easiest to get into.
18 The Accessible
19Hour of Penance
The Vile Conception

While their brutal label could be argued, their level of aggression and intensity cannot. Such intensity disciplines the listener with what to expect from truly brutal music.
20Fleshgod Apocalypse

The explicit classical elements in Fleshgod's song structures not only designate the band as a fitting segue into brutal death metal, but also death metal in general.
Extermination of Millions

There isn't anything inherently catchy or entry-level about the band by extraction, but their second album really seems to click with novitiates to the genre.
22Cannibal Corpse

Apparently many people initially listen to this band because of their gimmick and end up really liking the music. I'll confute the myth right here that they are a bad band. They are most certainly not, and as such are an excellent starting point.
None So Vile

Not only is None So Vile accessible in itself...but the band seems to get more and more accessible throughout their career. Find an album that fits and work backwards.
Colossal Titan Strife

Another band that I would hesitate to call brutal...but yet another band who make the transition from melodic or standard death metal into brutal death metal all the more smooth.
25Mass Infection
The Age of Recreation

Mass Infection present a refreshing and hearty arsenal of tremolo-styled riffs that border on melodic. A very approachable formula overall.
Annihilation of the Wicked

The massively popular Nile are another band who utilize typically non-metal sonic excursions in their music and lure in non-initiates. Nile are fairly brutal in their own right and many of their elements are likened to typical brutal music.
27Lykathea Aflame

While perhaps not an entirely accessible band on their own merit, those who love this band might find it easy to transition as most of the riffwork, production and drumming is typical of brutal music.
Onset of Putrefaction

Any lover of flashy guitar work or guitar solos will become quickly enamored by Necrophagist, and soon find themselves falling in love with some of the other aspects of their music as well...and as such, many important characteristics of brutal death.

30Abysmal Torment

Abysmal Torment from Malta are hands down the grooviest band in the genre and have insanely catchy riffing. They also have slight industrial elements in their music which, again, provides that extra hook.
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