Death’s Door 2017 // Death Metal’s Year in Review

Welcome to the final installment of Death’s Door in the Year of Our Nefarious Overlord 2017! Wipe your feet on the mat, remove that stupid holiday-induced smile from your face, and prepare yourself for ultimate year-end audio brutalization. Because, quite frankly, 2017 was one of the best years for death metal in decades. A bold statement indeed, and thankfully one with plenty of data in the form of amazing records to back it up. The overwhelming number of releases in this dirtiest of metal subgenres, coupled with the breadth of quality releases in each of the branches of the death metal tree, all accumulate to create one of the most impressive lists of death metal albums in a given year since the early 1990s. 2017 presented us with exceptional records at such an alarming clip that it was often a full-time task to keep track of them. Death metal this year was in equal measure mind-numbingly technical, socially forward-thinking, compositionally adventurous, and reverent of the past, generating albums that displayed with full clarity all that makes this music the metal behemoth that it is. What a time to be alive. In our final segment of Death’s Door for the year, we will be highlighting the trends and movements within death metal that we found to be the most significant, as well as our own personal top 15 death metal records on the year. Prepare yourself. Madness awaits.

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Gutslit Cut “From One Ear To Another”

Oh boy do we have something hot and nasty for you to start off the week. Cobwebs in your ears from a long weekend looking at the bottom of a bottle? Just pissed that it’s Monday and Bob from HR won’t stop chewing with his mouth open? We’ve got something for you. Coming fresh from their upcoming sophomore release Amputheatre, we’ve got a brand new track from India’s deathgrind destroyers Gutslit. One of my favourite tracks from this release, we present you with “From Ear To Ear,” as always, over the jump.

Expulsion – Nightmare Future

Ever been in a real fight? A knock-down, drag-out brawl where chairs are launched, punches are thrown, and elbows are swung? Yeah, me either. Let’s be real, when a bunch of drunk dudes decide they want to start a fight for no reason whatsoever my first reaction is typically “check, please…”. There’s a part of me that wants to get into the thick of it, though. That primal, untapped portion of my psyche that not-so-secretly desires to feel the force of a fist slamming into my jaw, and my own bone-splintering retort. But I generally like my face (and most others’ faces as well), so seeing my handsome visage brutally disfigured over a disagreement regarding whose football team is the unequivocal and absolute best seems a bit silly. Thanks to our infernal overlords that we have grindcore and death metal to give wannabe brawlers such as myself a much less painful and infinitely more enjoyable release! Expulsion is the latest death/grind band to cross my ears and allay those violent urges, and with their debut album Nightmare Future they create a violent dystopia harsh and brutal enough to slake even the most fervent extreme metal fan’s bloodlust.

Release Day Roundup – 7/14/17

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the the day’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year end list. Enjoy!

Buckshot Facelift – Ulcer Island

Music has the tendency to be incredibly evocative on emotional and psychological levels. Sometimes it takes us to dark forests, barren deserts, long-forgotten kingdoms, and landscapes of mystery. In other instances, we are comforted by the familiar and nostalgic. That song that brings us back to the carefully catered soundtracks of nervous first dates, the album that comforted us as we processed the death of a loved one, or maybe that old, scratched CD filled with random songs we partied with our friends to. Music is an effective vehicle to propel us through our own psyches, exploring caverns of thought and imagination that are seldom so effectively realized. Not all of these evocations are pleasant, however. Like when music makes us feel like we’re swimming frantically away from a ravenous battery of starving barracuda. Buckshot Facelift live squarely in this final, most aggressive and discomfiting of camps. Prepare your ears accordingly.

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.