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11.03.17 50 Great Widely Understood Death Metal 11.08.11 Off To Utrecht
01.01.11 1993 Death Metal Supreme

Off To Utrecht

I'm flying off to Utrecht on Sunday to partake in some conference, so I figured it would be a good excuse to finally go on a proper early Dutch death metal bender. I opted to compile what I've come across for now for you guys to take a look and possibly share further recs, or mock my lack of taste.rThe majority of the records here are death/doom, but there's some progressive leanings here and there. Self-imposed restriction of full albums only, no demos or EP's. Alphabetical order.
1Beyond Belief
Towards The Diabolical Experiment

Professional and sturdy is the name of the game here. Prefer this to their second album, as it lost the defined clean bits and added some modern (back then) riffs. It's a bit unremarkable in places, but it's well executed nevertheless.

Strikes a pretty fine balance between the first demo's raw heaviness and its successor's keyboard leanings, throwing in a dash more innovation. The first Dutch metal album I checked out, by the way. Pity they never made a follow-up.

Continues the band's trek away from the raw doom/death of their demo, somewhat progressive without being too over the top or letting go of musicality. One of my favorite records to wander towards the borders of death metal, Chiaroscuro does it superbly. Without missing a beat.
4Etherial Winds
Find The Way... Together

Excuse the questionable album title, and the fittingly awkward softer moments... the riffs do make up for it. Some rhythms are pleasantly choppy. Just stomach the saccharine cleans, the intro is inexcusable...
Greetings From Hell

The fast parts are a bit faster than what the rest of the pack offers, but that just makes the slow parts all the more punishing. One of the heaviest things on this list, some of the sheer pulverizing potential gets lost in the slightly tinny sound.
6Mystic Charm
Shadows Of The Unknown

Perfectly executed, maintaining the optimal balance of its components for maximum impact. One of the best doom/death albums ever conceived. Also, pay attention, all you wannabe female metal growlers, this is how it's done.
Estranged Dimensions

One hell of a riff-fest, this album is firmly rooted in death/thrash. The riffing offered within is very varied and never gets old, effortlessly switching gears and exploiting the plodding paces to great effect. Big thumbs up.
8Perpetual Demise

Less proggy than Creepmime's Chiaroscuro, but compensates for it with some good groove. Very underrated album, one of my favorites on here, pity they fell apart before the follow-up. Some of the best tritone use I've ever heard. Also, I think these guys were from Utrecht?
9Sad Whisperings
Sensitive To Autumn

Very strong all-around album, with firm riffs and soaring, non-cheesy melodies, be it in the form of clean parts or solos. Excellent, non-flashy musicianship. Not the most innovative thing on the face of the planet, but it's awesome for what it is. Check it out.
10Sempiternal Deathreign
The Spooky Gloom

Forefathers of doom/death... historic significance is key here, as the music is a bit underwhelming in comparison to the others. Still, it's worth a trip to the very formative days of the genre - getting to hear how it all started out is an interesting experience.
11Spina Bifida

Don't let the weird tone put you off, once you get used to the buzz one of the guitarists set up as his tone the music starts pounding your face in. Definitely worth a shot, give it a spin sometime.
Gentle Push To Paradise

Somewhat amorphic. The riffage does a pretty good job of keeping your attention, and is a little different from what other bands were doing at the time. Not really revolutionary, but a little refreshing. Don't mind the cover.
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