J. Bennett

Carcass – “Necroticism – Descanting The Insalubrious”

September 1, 2005

Liverpudlian grind titans Carcass may not have invented grindcore with 1991’s Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious, but they certainly opened it up to a magnitude of previously unfathomed possibilities.

Entombed – “Left Hand Path”

August 1, 2005

Death metal was still in its infancy when Left Hand Path came roaring out of Stockholm like Satan’s official theme music—a deafening cavalcade of impossibly thick guitars, guttural vocal incantations, and gore-drenched lyrics that struck a considerable contrast—well, the guitars, anyway—to the burgeoning Floridian death-swarm (Obituary, Death, Morbid Angel) of the day.

Anthrax – “Among the Living”

July 1, 2005

1987 was a big year for coke-metal and bad hair: Def Leppard’s Hysteria, Mötley Crüe’s Girls, Girls, Girls, Whitesnake’s Whitesnake, and Guns n’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction were all bum-rushing the charts like a pack of wild junkies tearing through Steven Tyler’s medicine cabinet at 4AM—which most of them were, anyway.

Life of Agony – “River Runs Red”

May 1, 2005

When I was sixteen years old, I listened to four records obsessively: Metallica’s …And Justice For All …, Kyuss’ Blues For the Red Sun, the first Danzig album, and Life Of Agony’s River Runs Red—the last of which I thought was my own private musical discovery (like every other jackass with cable, I saw the video for “Through And Through” on Headbanger’s Ball).

At the Gates – “Slaughter of the Soul”

March 1, 2005

In May of 1995, At the Gates entered Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden, to record what would be their fourth and final full-length, Slaughter of the Soul.

Slayer – “Reign in Blood”

November 2, 2004

Having already unleashed two merciless lo-fi shredding clinics via Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits, Slayer’s urban-Satanist lyrics and ultra-violent guitar acrobatics were far too inaccessible for West Hollywood’s coke-metal scene and way too sketchy for the Bay Area’s newly viable thrash contingency.