Phoenix Amongst The Ashes
10 May 2011
by Tom Dare
It’s one thing to detune your guitars into oblivion for the entire running time of an album, but it’s rather another to do it just by writing horrifically nasty songs. Album number five from Hate Eternal is a prime example of just how Erik Rutan’s evil genius in this regard is far more effective at flaying the skin from your face than the easier alternative. [Read more →]
Levelling The Plane Of Existence
7 February 2011
by Tom Dare
It is perhaps fitting that Abysmal Dawn’s third record should be released so close to the anniversary of that seminal first Possessed album. That the doomsayers that have been claiming death metal was just a walking corpse simply waiting for the final gory takedown are proving to be so spectacularly wrong is entirely down to bands like this releasing records of this quality.
Carving Out the Eyes of God
Metal Blade Records
19 June 2009
by Tom Gibbons
Like a squaddie returning home to his doting girlfriend after a lengthy service in the Helmand Province, Carving Out The Eyes Of God ditches the foreplay and goes right in for the kill. Systematically producing a new album’s worth of ferocious Black/Death metal every 3 years has done nothing to blunt Goatwhore‘s ardour for fucked up noise.
Markus Vanhala from the self-proclaimed, “Finnish melodic death kings of metal”, Omnium Gatherum, is giving us some jibberjabber. We bloody love Finnish people. Perkele! Yksi olut! Kiitos! Other Finnish words!
What was your highlight of 2008?
There were lots of highlights in our career in 2008 as Omnium Gatherum released our best work to date, the fourth album, The Redshift, which I’m still proud of and after already many months so that’s somethin’ new, haha. The album went Top 30 in Finland which was cool indeed and we also did great tours with Dark Tranquillity in UK and with Nile and Grave in Europe and a lots of good Finnish headlining gigs. Happy days, memorial nights and hangöveric [We don’t know why there’s an umlaut there either – Ed] mornings!
Trevor Strnad, vocalist with mighty, Michigan death metalcore heavyweights, The Black Dahlia Murder talks about his hernia, that kid who punched him and his band’s wonderfully-titled new album. Kids, eh?!
After releasing a best-selling tome on Metallica in 2004, Joel McIver (pictured) seems to have given Slayer the same treatment this year. Joe Shooman chats to the metal guru about what he’s seen along the way.
First time you discovered the band (as a fan and as a journalist)?
I didn’t actually pick up on Slayer until South Of Heaven in 1988, but then quickly went back to their previous stuff and acquainted myself. I’d heard so much about Reign In Blood that when I finally got to hear it, it felt like a major occurrence in my life – a door that I was about to walk through that couldn’t be closed again!
Reformed Carcass have been re-releasing their back catalogue and playing every metal festival around this year. Bob Mulhouse meets Michael Amott – the man responsible for practically the whole of modern extreme metal.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” says Michael Amott, guitarist with Carcass (temporarily) and Arch Enemy (permanently). “We had our first show the other night – and there were some fuckups, but it was basically fine. “Y’know, my motto has always been ‘Loud, wrong and confident’. There were some little things where your brain goes, ‘Hmm, what’s next?’, but you throw a few shapes and you’re OK!”
Carcass, for those who’ve been hibernating for the last two decades, are responsible for a hell of a lot. Starting life in parallel with Napalm Death, whose early grindcore sound evolved out of the underground punk scene in the early ’80s, the band recorded two albums of grind for the Earache label before Amott joined them in 1990.
Mike, a British-born Swede who had got to know the band through the tape-trading scene, was a perfect recruit for them, already playing in a death metal band, Carnage, which he’d formed on the back of his love of punk and extreme metal.
Watch the video to ‘Heartwork’ by Carcass
“I started with Kiss, then moved towards the Sex Pistols and Discharge,” he recalls. “I loved anything with shouting and lots of aggression. As a young kid I was into the speed of it, so when Metallica came along it just clicked for me: they had the aggression and speed of hardcore punk with the tightness, heaviness and guitar tone of metal. Then I was into Slayer – and from then on, it was all about trying to find the next, most evil band, which took me into the death metal scene.”
“It was great,” he adds, “because we were all 16 or 17 and finding out about Morbid Angel and Obituary when they were just doing demos. Death’s first album came out then, too, and there was all the German stuff – Kreator and Destruction – which I loved and which also fed into the death metal movement. It was crude, not as well played as the American stuff, and therefore it was much more harsh and violent, which I loved. I thought ‘Fuck yeah, this is it!’”
However, Amott was also a huge fan of hard-rock guitarists such as Michael Schenker and John Norum of Europe – and brought a newfound melodic awareness to the band. The first Carcass album on which he appeared was Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious (1991), which featured a prototype of what we now recognise as melodic death metal.
Watch the video to ‘Incarnated Solvent Abuse’ by Carcass
Fans were split between shock at the departure of the old, grindcore style and elation at this new, technical sound – but almost two decades later, Necroticism is almost universally recognised as a classic.
After another album, the superb Heartwork (1993), Amott departed to Arch Enemy, where he remains today. Carcass themselves split three years later, but demand always remained strong for a reunion – and with the international melodic death metal scene now a commercial reality, there’s been no better time to do it than now.
“I don’t hold myself responsible for anything!” laughs Amott modestly – but we know better. Carcass changed everything, if you were a death metal fan – see them while you can. The reunion won’t last forever.