Death’s Door // October 2017

Welcome to Death’s Door, nerds. We’re freshly past Our Lord and Infernal Master’s designated holiday, and I’m so hopped up on candy and the blood of the non-believers that I can’t even function. Despite my shot adrenal glands and ever-expanding waistline, there’s a whole lot of premium death metal to cover, as has been the custom in this most nefarious year of 2017. Praise be. October is typically a fantastic month for premier releases, especially in the world of metal. In that regard, this October did not disappoint. Melodic death metal in particular saw a glut of fantastic releases, while death-doom and progressive death metal both unleashed releases that are poised to transform the way we think about death metal as a whole. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 2017 is one of the finest years for death metal of nearly every shape and type in recent memory. This is legitimately the second golden age of death metal, and I hope and pray it continues in perpetuity. Regardless, let’s celebrate the health of the music we love while it continues to fester and rot in new and unexpected ways. Our picks this month pull from many different sectors of the death metal world. Post your picks in the comments and let us know what you loved/what we missed. Let’s do this.

Grind My Gears – Posers Inc. and Grind Against Trump

This edition of Grind My Gears belongs to an upcoming compilation with a more than deliberate message. A glance at the artwork should give you a clue as to what that message is. Some publications and blogs keep their cards pretty close to their chest when it comes to the burning issue of the day. We don’t. That’s why I’m using my space here to help promote an upcoming compilation from newly founded label Posers Inc. Grind Against Trump won’t solve any of these issues overnight but it’s a start. This compilation of grind, violence and ‘core stands for something when most are content with simply sitting and playing the voyeur. Organiser and label founder Benjamin James took some time out from his day to day life to answer a few questions about the compilation, who it will benefit and why it is a necessary step.

Benighted – Necrobreed

French death metal masters Benighted have been at this for a while. Being formed in 1998, Necrobreed is their 8th album, and it shows that the band can change and get with the times. Their early work was borderline black metal, then switching to deathgrind, and today, they’ve arrived at modern death metal. They’ve always had a unique touch to their sound, something that made them immediately identifiable. And while Necrobreed is ferocious, tight, and overall a showcase of their current choice of genre, it’s also the least Benighted they’ve ever been. If that’s not a problem, then you’ll be in for a ride.

Black Hate – Through the Darkness

How many black metal bands in the past have proven to be truly progressive, innovative or even avant garde? You might find several bands that fit that niche. Even some big acts in black metal could be included under the Progressive black metal umbrella, such as Enslaved and Ihsahn. Let’s turn our attention to Black Hate now. Hailing from Mexico, the promising group have released an album that pushes the “black metal” label in directions seldom seen. With Through the Darkness we have an album that breathes new life into tired black metal tropes and dares to stand on it’s own. So what do they do differently that sets them apart from their peers? What can we correlate Through the Darkness with to find out what makes it unique?

From Deicide to Self-Destruction: How a Death Metal Pioneer Fell Behind the Pack

Way back in 2012, Paul Mazurkiewicz (drummer for Cannibal Corpse) sat down with Billboard (via Metal Injection) and was posed an interesting question: who are death metal’s Big 4? Now, boiling any genre down to a definitive group of four is realistically impossible – as important as the Big 4 of thrash are to the genre, bands like Sepultura, Overkill, Kreator and Destruction deserve just as significant a portion of credit. So too was the case with Mazurkiewicz’s naming of Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Deicide and Suffocation as the Big 4 of death metal, which leaves out a whole slew of bands seminal to the genre’s evolution (Death, Bolt Thrower, Obituary, Autopsy, Carcass and innumerable others). Yet, in terms of balancing popularity, influence and an active status, it’s hard to argue with Mazurkiewicz’s picks; all four bands are nothing short of genre pioneers who played pivotal roles in defining death metal from its post-thrash transitional stage. However, when we fast forward to the genre’s current landscape, it’s clear time hasn’t been as kind to the infamous blasphemers from the Sunshine State as it has for the rest of DM’s Big 4. Despite being near the top of the pack in terms of influence and album sales, Deicide has experienced a noticeable fall from grace from their prime in the early-nineties. But the question is – why? What caused these luminaries to become lost?

Hey! Listen to Blurricane!

Grindcore is probably the one metal subgenre that I’ve never gotten fully “into.” It isn’t that I don’t like it—I think Pig Destroyer’s Phantom Limb is pretty rad, and I’ve enjoyed bands that use elements of grindcore in their music (e.g. Trap Them, Cattle Decapitation, The Red Chord, etc.), but…

Dave Davidson of Revocation: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

In just one more week, Revocation are about to drop an absolute bomb on the metal world in the form of the fantastic Great Is Our Sin. Coming off of their excellent 2014 album Deathless, this new record is an all-out assault on eardrums the the world over, sporting some of the band’s meanest and most mosh-friendly tunes to date. Take this and add a heap of atonal/experimental death metal flourishes, loads of d-beats and more solos than you’ll know what to deal with and then cap things off with a Slayer cover. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s exactly what Great Is Our Sin is, and it’s an immediately essential piece of modern metal. I got a chance to speak with Revocation’s frontman and overall guitar wizard Dave Davidson this past Monday about the album’s songwriting process, working with Marty Friedman, upcoming tour plans and a lot more.