Retro-Review: ‘Death Metal’ by Dismember

In 1997, Dismember decided to release an album with the most obvious title in the world: Death Metal. Death Metal is exactly what it says, death metal. For more than 40 minutes, you’ll hear the Swedes play some pretty straightforward fair, staying true to the sound which they in part innovated in the late 80s and early 90s, along with better-known Swedes, Entombed. Whereas Entombed … Continue reading Retro-Review: ‘Death Metal’ by Dismember

Retro-Review: ‘Fit to be Tied’ by Aversion

The 1992 album Fit to be Tied  by the band Aversion is probably the best album of that year you’ve never heard of. Sure, there are a lot of bands that I’ve talked about that may be obscure, but they haven’t been forgotten like Aversion has been. Fit to be Tied is 33 minutes of that fused thrash metal and punk goodness that people like … Continue reading Retro-Review: ‘Fit to be Tied’ by Aversion

Retro-Review: ‘Dreamt about Dreaming’ by Lull

Mick Harris was a busy guy in the early 90s. Not only did he perform one last album with Napalm Death, but he also went on to found a new musical project in Scorn. At the same time that he was working on Scorn, he also had another project, the dark ambient sound-making machine known as Lull. That’s right, ambient music. Almost a different planet … Continue reading Retro-Review: ‘Dreamt about Dreaming’ by Lull

Scorn album ‘Vae Solis’ sounds very familiar

 You’d think a reunion of the lineup that recorded side A of Napalm Death’s breakthrough album, 1987’s Scum, would reignite a fuse on a barrel of TNT. Well, you’d be wrong. Sure, Scorn’s 1992 debut album Vae Solis leaves an impression. But that impression is largely “man, this sure sounds like Godflesh.” Officially, the only two members of Scorn on Vae Solis are Scum drummer … Continue reading Scorn album ‘Vae Solis’ sounds very familiar

D.R.I.’s ‘Crossover’ melds metal, punk perfectly

When you talk about punk music, a lot of those on the outside looking in think of people with facial piercings and multi-colored hair shaved into mohawks who wear leather jackets adorned with spikes and studs listening to bands that can’t play their instruments and shout incoherently instead of sing. Well, those people on the outside are wrong … sort of. Punk is partially that, … Continue reading D.R.I.’s ‘Crossover’ melds metal, punk perfectly

‘Death to Capitalist Hardcore’ by Sore Throat a short, hard mess

When it comes to British grindcore band Sore Throat, you can at least say they know how to squeeze things. Their 1987 Death to Capitalist Hardcore EP would be a double album for regular bands. Why’s that? Well, Death to Capitalist Hardcore squeezes 45 songs, if you can call them that, into 18 minutes and 29 seconds. You heard me right. They make Napalm Death’s … Continue reading ‘Death to Capitalist Hardcore’ by Sore Throat a short, hard mess

‘Defiance’ wraps darkness, angst in beautiful package

Don’t let the energetic and catchy music fool you, Assemblage 23’s 2002 album, Defiance, matches those two qualities with just as much darkness and anger. Whereas the last album I reviewed, Skinny Puppy’s Last Rights, was abrasive and challenging, Defiance is almost catchy and danceable. Assemblage 23, unlike Skinny Puppy, uses traditional song structure. Their verses are built around a certain number of syllables which … Continue reading ‘Defiance’ wraps darkness, angst in beautiful package

Skinny Puppy’s ‘Last Rights’ both abrasive, intriguing

When you start listening to Skinny Puppy’s 1992 album Last Rights, I would advise the following: Don’t expects songs you can sing, hum or whistle along with. Don’t expect catchy choruses or memorable hooks. Don’t expect to get it on the first listen. Now that you’re prepared, let me tell you why I recommend this album while at the same time it’s a little difficult … Continue reading Skinny Puppy’s ‘Last Rights’ both abrasive, intriguing