Idol Listening

Summer Slaughter Celebrity Playlist: Arch Enemy Guitarist Michael Amott’s Top Ten Death Metal Songs of All Time


Summer Slaughter Idol Listening
MetalSucks is a proud sponsor of this year’s Summer Slaughter tour featuring Arch Enemy, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obscura, After the Burial, Cattle Decapitation and Beyond Creation. We’ve asked one member of every band on the tour to assemble a themed playlist for our Idol Listening series and we’ll be counting down one per week until the tour begins in late July. Get dates for Summer Slaughter right here to make sure you don’t miss it!

If there’s any authority to trust on death metal it’s Michael Fucking Amott, a man who’s been there and done that a hundred times over, so we asked the Arch Enemy guitarist to share his ten favorite death metal songs of all-time. In the Q&A that follows, Amott talks about how underrated Atheist are, the current Morbid Angel brouhaha and his lack of confidence in modern death metal. 

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1. Morbid Angel – “Maze Of Torment”
2. Death – “Left to Die”
3. Atheist – “On They Slay”
4. Carcass – “Exhume To Consume”
5. Obituary – “Find The Arise” (Demo Version)
6. Terrorizer – “Dead Shall Rise”
7. Repulsion – “Radiation Sickness”
8. Dismember – “Skin Her Alive”
9. Nihilist – “Abnormally Deceased”
10. Autopsy – “Charred Remains”

What’s your opinion on the current Morbid Angel kerfuffle?

I don’t have an opinion about it, really. I’ll always love the music that the band produced in their early years and that’s enough for me. I wish them luck in their future endeavours!

Atheist! Such an underrated band way ahead of their time. Discuss.

I agree, I first heard this band on the “Raging Death” compilation LP when they were still called R.A.V.A.G.E. The debut Atheist album Piece Of Time was massively delayed, and when it finally came out it didn’t seem to make the impact on the scene that it should’ve. It’s an amazing album though and it impressed me a lot. Personally, I did not appreciate the band beyond their early tapes and debut LP – too much jazz/fusion influences for my taste. I am however aware of the fact this made them interesting to a lot of people in the scene. Actually, I have a feeling that even Chuck from Death was paying attention to Atheist’s musical evolution?

Are all these songs you’ve chosen music that you still listen to frequently, or just your favorite classics?

I still listen to this kind of stuff now and again, but mostly this playlist represents my musical roots on the heavier side of the spectrum. Certainly, an album like Morbid Angel’s Altar Of Madness, for example, is hugely influential and has been important to heavy metal’s development.

How do some of the newer death metal bands coming out today stack up against the oldies?

It doesn’t do it for me. I never got into the more clinical and technical approach to DM and I’m not overly interested in hearing the younger bands trying to re-create the sounds of yesteryear either. I’d like to think I am still open minded though and if it actually features strong songwriting and not just speed and technicality I’d be interested in hearing it.

If I could write an album — of any kind of music — with any living musician, it would be _______.

I can’t think of anything specific right now. When I do co-writing I do it with people who have a different perspective than my own… I like to learn and see music from a different point of view. I’d also like to write music for some of my old heroes as I feel they might need a little help in getting back on track in the songwriting department… I’m pretty sure they’d disagree though, haha!

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