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.

95 – Taylor Swift

We’re back! Sorry. Not much going on, anyway. First, Matt Harvey of Exhumed’s dumb statement about Nazis and Toilet ov Hell’s great response. Oli from Archspire wanting to fight Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying. Indie labels creating their own streaming services. The unfortunate news that Todd Honeycutt, the bassist for Enfold Darkness has committed suicide. Then, new stuff from Mastodon, Shokran, Soften the Glare (featuring Ryan Martinie from Mudvayne), Taylor Swift, Unleash the Archers, and Archspire. Also, Messengers by August Burns Red is 10! We also discuss me going back to Slipknot’s latest and thinking it’s not bad. Enjoy!

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.

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?

Gruesome – Dimensions of Horror

For a band with such an explicit mission statement, Gruesome’s music is a complex and frustrating beast to analyze. The quartet broke out last year with a debut album (Savage Land) and lineup that embodied the concept of an “on paper” scenario; one of those perfect storms of marketing that whets the palates of…

PHOTOS: Napalm Death, Exhumed, Iron Reagan, Black Crown Initiate—February 3rd, 2015 @ Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA

Grindcore legends Napalm Death teamed up with Voivod [not pictured], Exhumed, Iron Reagan, and Black Crown Initiate for one of the heaviest tours of the winter season. Several members of the Heavy Blog staff attended dates of this tour, even interviewing Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway, and resident photographer Maclyn Bean…

Gruesome (Exhumed, Possessed, ex-Malevolent Creation) Announce Death-Worshipping Debut Album, Savage Land

Gruesome is a death metal supergroup of sorts with one goal in mind: to worship and celebrate the iconic sound of the early Death records. Consisting of Matt Harvey (Exhumed), Daniel Gonzalez (Possessed), Gus Rios (ex-Malevolent Creation) and Robin Mazen (Derketa), Gruesome has been on my radar ever since they formed last year, and…

Dates Announced for Through Space and Grind Tour 2015; Headliners Napalm Death Reveal New Album Details

Confirming recent speculation and leaked dates, the “Through Space and Grind Tour” has been officially announced for an early 2015 run, with an all-star lineup that includes Napalm Death, Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Reagan and Black Crown Initiate for the entirety of the tour and Ringworm, Theories, Dayglo Abortions and Phobia in select cities. Dates revealed after the jump! Jan 27 Miami, FL Grand…