Green Eggs and Slam

MOAR OLD BANDS U MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT

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In the first installment of “OLD BANDS U MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT“, I shared a bunch of old bands that I like. Instead of coming up with a new description, I will just reuse the old one:

When I am not trolling simple-minded, entry-level elitists, I enjoy the soothing, dulcet tones of some classic thrash or death metal. I am definitely not any kind of metal encyclopedia or authority on the subject, but I have realized that (sadly) I’m old enough to have heard a few bands that many younger metal fans have not, just because I have been exposed to a lot of bands over the years — sort of like an ancient desert tortoise who is not a historian, but has seen history unfold before his eyes simply because he is old as fuck. Because I enjoy giving back to my community, I will share some of my favorite older bands in case any of you might like them. If you want to hate on me, that’s OK, too, so feel free to tell me I’m a poser, that everybody already knows about these bands, that I got some trivial detail wrong, or whatever else you think makes you “sound like u rly know what ur talking about.”

With that out of the way, here’s volume 2!

MYTHIC

Objectively speaking, this band is terrible (like pretty much any metal band with girls in it). For some reason, even though they sucked badly, I always had a soft spot for Mythic — they were so sloppy and primitive that it came off as super arty, deconstructionist noisegrind to me, although I don’t think that’s what they were aiming for. In any case, they have a 7″ on Relapse that’s probably still available — I can’t imagine that 2000 people or whatever actually wanted to pay money for it.

Trivia: I cannot say whether this is true or not, but I heard rumors for years that Mary from Mythic was dating Bill Steer, and that he would come visit her and stay in her dorm room in Pittsburgh.

WINTER

Aside from having a really cool logo, Winter were one of the first bands to blatantly rip off Celtic Frost (many years before that came trendy), and in my opinion still did it the best. There is a CD on Relapse called “Into Darkness/Eternal Frost” that I believe collects everything they did. I don’t have much else to say about them.

Trivia: There is another unsubstantiated rumor that Winter’s original drummer Scott Lewis (who also played on the first, and best, Brutal Truth album) works at Record Exchange in Pittsburgh.

BRUTAL TRUTH, Perpetual Conversion EP

Speaking of Brutal Truth, I’m not their biggest fan — I am especially not into their later stuff, which is what most of their current fans/beardos seem to like. However, I absolutely love the Perpetual Conversion EP they released after their first album, Extreme Conditions. It has just the right mix of death metal and grindcore, with some really huge riffs and polished, clean Colin Richardson production — the title track and “Walking Corpse” are the best songs they ever recorded, in my opinion.

DEVASTATION

This Texan thrash band kind of flew under the radar in the early 90s, probably because of the massive avalanche of generic thrash bands coming out at the time. I don’t think they were a great band, but this song has one of the tightest, most ass-ripping intros ever to grace the cutout bin during the 90s thrash glut. It starts at about 1:10 in the song above — YOU’RE MOSHING!!!

Trivia: When I saw Overcast in 1998 (with Disembodied and Turmoil), the guitarist was wearing a Devastation longsleeve. Pretty legit!

DEHUMANIZED

In terms of poor quality-to-quantity ratio, the NYDM glut of the late 90s gave the thrash glut a serious run for its money. One of the many NYDM bands that came and went without anybody really giving a shit was Dehumanized, who had a couple of demos and a full length that aren’t very memorable. They really only had one good song, but damn, what a song!!! The fucking intro!!!!

CATHEDRAL

At the time, I thought it was incredibly lame that Lee Dorian, who I thought very highly of due to his work with Napalm Death and Carcass, quit playing in those bands to start some hippie rock band that dressed like Blind Melon. I still think they’re pretty bad, but they definitely have their moments. I especially like the Soul Sacrifice EP — great production coupled with amazing songwriting that is melodic and catchy, yet still brutal as fuck. This record was easily ten to fifteen years ahead of its time.

UNSEEN TERROR

Another early Earache band that never got their due was the little-known Unseen Terror, who had a sick album called Human Error that is a real undiscovered gem. I don’t really know the whole story behind this record, but it has Shane Embury from Napalm Death on drums, Mitch from Heresy on guitar, and has about twenty songs of blistering thrash/grind that are either about nuclear war or Garfield. Seriously, about 25% of the songs on this album are about Garfield (my favorite is “Garfield For President“). It probably got next to no promotion at the time, but I always wondered why this album didn’t become more popular, because I think it’s brilliant.

DEPRECATED

I came across this demo back in ’98 or so, when slam bands were pretty hard to find, and played the shit out of it. Years later, I was interviewing Derek Boyer from Suffocation/Decrepit Birth when I found out he was in this band and was super stoked, because I always thought Deprecated were underrated. I think he summed it up best when he said “That band was just a bunch of 17 year-olds doing total Pyrexia worship,” but it has a certain raw, grimy charm that still grabs me.

EMBALMER

Cleveland is wretched, barren wasteland that should be burned to the earth and the soil sown with salt so nothing will ever grow there again. That said, it had a sick death metal scene in the 90s, with Embalmer at the forefront. I guess they got back together a few years ago, but this EP was the only thing they ever put out in the 90s (aside from their demos, which are excellent but not QUITE as sick as this). The super thick, sludgy production is what puts this one over the top, and it’s a must-listen for any fan of old school death metal and grind.

MONSTROSITY

Not too much to say about this band other than they are incredibly generic 90s Florida death metal, but I love generic FLDM, so that’s just fine by me. They are most notable for being Corpsegrinder’s old band, and have a few records from the 90s, all of which are solid (but you have go with Millenium, if for no other reason than the hilarious CGI cover art — looks like someone got a copy of Bryce and went a little crazy!).

ULCEROUS PHLEGM

Kind of a stretch to call this metal I guess, but these Euros are one of the few crust bands I like. Along with bands like G’Anx, Nuclear Death, and Blood, they took what the early Earache bands were doing and made it much more extreme. While they were much more punk than metal, they definitely laid the foundation for grindcore, goregrind, slam, and other more overtly metal styles. Although the guitars on this sound out of tune to me, I think it’s kind of amazing when you consider it’s from 1989.

COCK AND BALL TORTURE

It seemed like this band was getting some traction back in 2001-2002, but I haven’t heard from them in years. Maybe I missed something. Either way, when it comes to absurdly downtuned pornogrind, CBT is the only band who gives Gut a run for their money.

RESURRECTION

I will close with another fine example of generic, early 90s FLDM. Don’t know much about this band other than they had Alex Marquez on drums (pretty sure that was a requirement for all b-level FLDM bands) and that I used to have this record on clear vinyl. There’s some great riffing on here that’s up there with the best of them, but what really stands out are the ridiculous little spoken-word bits in between songs– anybody know what that was all about??

What is your favorite band in this edition of OLD BANDS U MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?? What is more ridiculous, Lee Dorian’s bell bottoms or the spoken-word guy on the Resurrection LP? Why don’t bands these days write songs about Garfield?

-Sergeant D.

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