Assemblage
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02.19.22 Cover Artist Feature: Andreas Marschall02.17.22 Acts of God Appreciation thread
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Ranked: Proto-Death and Death in the early 80's

Gimme a moment to add everything on this list, because I do have about 35 entries or so and want to do some writeups for many of them and I already ran out of space for Seven Churches lol. This will focus on releases from '82 - '86. You'll find a lot of these may be rated .5 too high, but I give bonus points for when these things come out.
1Possessed
Seven Churches


1985

Upon relistening to this for the series, this record has revealed itself to me. Going through everything chronologically, this really does shine some light on the foundations of the genre. It was always going to be a toss up between this and the Death demo for first spot, but I am going to place myself on the side that agrees with this being a dm release. One review on metal-archives in my opinion put it best, when stated:

"So yeah, this is the first death metal album. Only death metal has guttural vocals, swirling riffs, uncontrolled solos, unpredictable time changes and a claustrophobic atmosphere. Only death metal aims to both suffocate and disorientate the listener into tight, ever-decreasing spirals of musical space, before pulling them out of the vortex and beating them round the head. The most extreme thrash never does this. “Seven Churches” does it constantly, paving the way for Morbid Angel, Death..."

Personal rating: 4.5 (at least). Also, it's a full length.
2Death
Death By Metal (Demo)


1984

Personal rating: 5.0
3Terminal Death
Faces of Death


One of the two gems of this list that has really given me a reason to make this. So, while you're all here, take a second to copy this link in your browser before continuing:

https://youtu.be/CAE4W-63ne4

There's only 2 ratings on this site, and it is exceptionally brutal.

1985

Personal rating: 4.5 (at least)
4Possessed
Death Metal Demo


1984

Personal rating: 4.0
5Death
Infernal Death (Demo)


1985

Personal rating: 4.0
6Messiah
Hymn to Abramelin


1986

Personal rating: 4.5
7Nuclear Death
Wake Me When I'm Dead


1986

So, obviously with this list taking part in the formative years of the genre, there will be about four or five releases that really stretch away from dm, and if there was a release that was at arm's length the most on here it will probably be this one. While I did my best to not include the thrashiest of numbers, and tried to distinctly seperate from any BM releases, this here is basically a grind treasure from the vault. Some impressively frightening sonic assault is punctuated here, but at the same time it is enjoyable and listenable, and with it being delivered in 1986, I feel I have to include it as a frontrunner in the early rise of the new tidal wave of extreme music that was to come. Only 9 votes on this site, but here's a link to cop to hear for yourself.

https://youtu.be/d6a7cbo5IVY

Personal rating: 4.5
8Protector
2 Track Demo Tape


1986

Abysmally underrated, and I absolutely adore that logo. Some pretty extreme stuff and their first song is 'Protector of Death'. Perfect.

https://youtu.be/uot69Q5bH64

Personal rating: 4.5
9Xecutioner
Demo 1986


1986 - (pre-Obituary)

note - I had to rearrange my list to get this up here, and considering my score it may have to go up even higher. But I couldn't live with it at the bottom with the stuff added after I made the list.

THIS is where IT IS. 2 songs, but nothing but a stone-cold FIVE. 1986, and there is nothing but legitimate OSDM across here.

https://youtu.be/6hxlHnQsd9E

Personal rating: 5.0
10Slaughter Lord
Taste of Blood


1986

This is something I'm going to have to come back to, and often, because it has got some slick riff-laden groove and syncopation that is very foundational to some of my favorite types of bands and the rhythmic quality that a lot of dm has developed when it matured away from the early thrash.

Personal rating: 4.5
11Insanity
Insanity


1985

Another hidden gem imo, and is similar to what I said above. Basically way brutal than it even needs to be for something in 1985, and someone mentioned that this may be the first album (at least in dm canon) with an "unreadable" logo. I might agree.

Give it a shot, there's only 4 votes here: https://youtu.be/L2BL6xI54Cc

Personal rating: 4.0
12Morbid Angel
Scream Forth Blasphemies


1986 (metal archives says '87)

I'm not a big Morbid Angel guy, but since I'll be going through year by year, I will finally be giving their stuff more the attention it deserves. This is definitely on the more extreme and brutal end than a lot of the other entries on here, and while I haven't fully absorbed it, I can tell something protozoic is there that never was before.

Personal rating: 4.0
13Sepultura
Bestial Devastation


1985

If there's some major bands that I haven't listened to much on this list, Sepultura is one of those that are high up it. Needless to say, this and Morbid Visions are the ones I have spun a handful of times the most, and I do got to say, there is some definite dm flourishes in the early stylings that seem pretty undeniable. The tagline "It's just thrash but with growled vocals" is something that comes up a lot, amongst the higher echelons of conversation between connoisseurs, and no doubt is applicable here, but for a listener like me I take that deep into consideration, because obviously then, it's becoming something more as an offshoot of thrash and it isn't even crossover because the other style doesn't exist yet. Be that as it may, instrumentally too, there are pinnings in this release that also play larger roles in death metal in years to come, specifically in song arrangement and the low end of rhythmic wanderings. I believe this qualifies, with more than a few moments that
14Sodom
Obsessed by Cruelty


sound dm to my ears.

Personal rating: 4.0
-------------------------------

1986

Here now, we are getting into the section where a few of the albums will have mostly little to do with dm, even though Sodom is credited with some touches in their earlier works before this to drive heavy metal and to an extent the dm sound forward, as their first release "Witching Hour" is in fact the oldest release I decided to include on my list. What is above however, is probably one of the most dm covers and titles of all time, that isn't really dm. Some passages in some songs do exist as moments of the sound in brevity, I'm thinking the title track and some songs in the middle, and will admit this entry is one of three or so that stand out from the other releases on this list. Still though, it is a pummeling debut.

Personal rating: 4.0
15Vulcano
Bloody Vengeance


1986

Mostly what I said above, this is really a thrash number without much resemblance otherwise, but as it seems, Possessed are not the only band to have a song titled "Death Metal", even if it isn't exactly death metal. While I am trying to stay in bounds as best I can with this list, I am taking liberty with one or two, here and there.

Personal rating: 4.0
16Samhain (DEN)
The Courier


1985

https://youtu.be/Esl442zXvvY

Personal rating: 4.0
17Sepultura
Morbid Visions


1986

Personal rating: 4.0
18Hellhammer
Satanic Rites


1983

Personal rating: 4.25
19Samhain (GER)
Lord of the Dead


1986

They're tagged just as thrash, but it's one of the ones I still would include in the proto-era.
20Sodom
In the Sign of Evil


1984

Personal rating: 4.0
21Possessed
Beyond the Gates


1986

Personal rating: 3.75/4.0
22Poison (DE)
Awakening of The Dead


1986

My favorite of the Poison releases, as it is the most structured and coherent. Idk if people think this band are knockoffs or whatever, but they're pretty dungeony especially on their earliest record Sons of Evil.

Personal rating: 4.0
23Morbid Angel
Bleed for Devil


(sometime around or after Sept.) 1986

Personal rating: 3.5/4.0
24Massacre
Chamber Of Ages (Demo)


1986

3.5/4.0
25Hellhammer
Apocalyptic Raids


1984

What would become Celtic Frost (have never listened), had brought about their own little raid with 3 demo/EP releases before this, in '83.

Personal rating: 4.0
26Death
Mutilation (Demo)


1986

I think this is the first Death to have Chuck MOSTLY on vocals. Pretty visceral performance.

Personal rating: 4.0/3.5
27Sodom
Witching Metal (demo)


1982

I don't know, I decided not to have Venom here, and this is super lo-fi but there's a historic charm to it I suppose.
28Kreator
End of the World (as Tormentor)


1984

Maybe I shouldn't include it? I enjoyed this, but found the previous Blitzkrieg to be much more lacking.
29Poison (DE)
Sons of Evil


1984

Personal rating: 3.5 - but from time to time I consider bumping it to a 4.
30Desexult
S.O.D.F.O.A.D.


1986

This is the same band as #15 Samhain (DEN), but after.

Personal rating: 3.5
31Samhain (GER)
Eternal Death


1986

The two songs on this out of the four that I enjoyed, are the last two which happen to already be on their earlier release.

Personal rating: 3.5
32Death
Back From The Dead (Demo)


1985

Personal rating: 3.5
33Slaughter (CAN)
Surrender or Die


1985

Basically chainsaw punk at it's core, but it's another liberty on this list, and Chuck had some time with them. Funnily, they're listed in the "fuck-off" section under the Thank-You's on the Death 'Mutilation' demo.

Personal rating: 3.5
34Death
Reign of Terror (Demo)


1984

I really rated some of these Death demos lows, idk what's wrong with me but it's how I feel about it. I believe the version I listened to had Zombie Attack as track 2, which is one of three Death instrumentals, and may be the first instrumental of its dm kind.

Personal rating: 3.5
35Sodom
Victims Of Death (demo)


1984

Personal rating: 3.5ish
36Deceased
The Evil Side of Religion [Demo]


1986

Personal rating: 3.0/3.5
37Massacre
Aggressive Tyrant


1986

This is kind of hard to listen to.

Personal rating: 3.0
38Poison (DE)
Bestial Death


1985

Personal rating: 3.0/2.5
39Infernal Majesty
Demo '86


This belongs somewhere around 20 but I'm not about rearranging the entire list for it at the moment, lol.

1986

Personal rating: 4.0
40Necrodeath
The Shining Pentagram


1985

Personal rating: 4.0
41Xecutioner
Metal Up Your Ass


1985

added to the database.

Xecutioner is pre-Obituary, but this isn't anything like their next release.

Personal rating: 3.5
42Necrophagia
Nightmare Continues


1985

added to database

Personal rating: a pretty good 4.0
43Minotaur
The Oath of Blood


April 1986

added to database.

Their first, and it's basically blackened thrash through and through, but this is incredibly formative heavy music. The instrumental Daddschal (track 3) is a must hear and the closer is sick as well, complete with an acoustic intro.

https://youtu.be/lj1_88LA7UQ


Personal rating: 4.5/5.0
44Minotaur
The Slaughter Continues


Nov 1986

added to database

https://youtu.be/YQXWZg62jVE

This doesn't quite pass the non-thrash, non BM scratch test like above, but it rips.

Personal rating: 4.5/4.0
45Corpse (SWE)
Black Dawn


most sources say '86, (only metal archives says '87)

added to database

Startup band before Grave. Basically all blackened thrash but track 3 'Rise Again' which has quite a few osdm nods.

Personal rating: 3.5/4.0
46Necrophagia
Death Is Fun.......


1984

added to database

Personal rating:
47Necrophagia
Rise from the Crypt


1984

added to database

Personal rating:
48Savage Death
Mass Genocide


1985

So this is a pretty crazy one, and honestly somewhat notable in its own right, but for real though does anybody know anything about this? Because my head did about a 360 within the first 5 seconds, and I guarantee the same would happen to most others as well, because uhm, it sounds like something we all know and love well here, so I'll let you peep and then you can double check that date.

https://youtu.be/W9G6jabMjlI

This and the Minotaur will have to be moved up on the list proper eventually. I didn't really care for their next release however.

Personal rating: 3.5
49Savage Death
Crucified in Hell


1986

Personal rating: 3.0
50Damnation (CAN)
Speed Anarchy


1986

Super primitive what sounds like crust punk if crust punk was a thing back then. 2/4's thrash, 1/4 punk, with a little sprinkling of something akin to 1/4 death on top. Starts to hold up more around 9 mins in, starting with 'Slamming In the Depths of Hell' and onward.

https://youtu.be/U7wpAP1YnX0

Personal rating: 2.5
51Sabbat (JPN)
Sabbat


1985

Thrash/black tag
52Obscurity (SWE)
Ovations To Death


1986

haven't heard but looks sweet
53Mutilator
Bloodstorm


1986
54Onslaught
Power from Hell


1985
55Onslaught
The Force


1986
56Hellpreacher
Resurrection


1986
57Blood
Deathcore


1986
58Atheist
Rotting in Hell


1985
59Hellwitch
Nosferatu


1984
60Hellwitch
Transgressive Sentience


1986

3.5
61Necropolis (USA-CA)
Death Metal


1986
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