Cynic – “Focus”

October 1, 2009

Focus almost never happened. Hurricane Andrew (a Category 5 storm that devastated South Florida in 1992), bassists frequently exiting and three separate visits to Morrisound Studios could’ve cost the world Cynic.

D.R.I. – “Dealing With It”

September 1, 2009

It’s hard to say who was more shocked—punks or metalheads—by hardcore band D.R.I. signing with Metal Blade Records via the label’s new Death Records imprint in 1985.

Judge – “Bringin’ It Down”

August 1, 2009

Upon finding out the next album our vaunted Hall of Fame was going to open its pearly gates to was slated to be Judge’s Bringin’ It Down, an anticipatory buzz broke out amongst the extreme music luminaries hanging around the Decibel table at the most recent Maryland Deathfest.

S.O.D. – “Speak English or Die”

July 1, 2009

In 1985, the hardcore punk and metal scenes were like the pre-Civil Rights deep South: segregated. The two just didn’t mix.

Nile – “Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka”

June 17, 2009

Nile didn’t play cribbage with the Lord of all Fevers and Plagues. Entrails were never ripped from an unfortunate virgin’s cunt as far as we know.

Suffocation – “Effigy of the Forgotten”

May 1, 2009

When five unassuming, working-class dudes from Nassau County (Long Island, NY) released their debut full-length in 1991, it initially didn’t seem destined to have the atomic bomb of impact that it would eventually ascertain with the passage of time.

Autopsy – “Mental Funeral”

April 1, 2009

There is influence and under the influence. California’s Autopsy were both.

Discordance Axis – “The Inalienable Dreamless”

March 17, 2009

Dateline: Summer 2000. My former band has just finished our 30-minute spot on the rickety stage at New York City’s CBGB as one of eight opening acts for what is supposed to be grindcore experimentalists Discordance Axis’ last show.

Incantation – “Onward to Golgotha”

February 17, 2009

By 1989, John McEntee was growing increasingly disenchanted with his membership in technical thrash band Revenant. With the aid of Revenant drummer Paul Ledney, McEntee set out to pursue his own brand of blackened death metal, christening it Incantation.

Candlemass – “Nightfall”

January 1, 2009

From a brief moment in 1986, bassist, songwriter and lyricist Leif Edling, almost by sheer willpower alone, managed to raise the leaden monolith of Candlemass from their murky depths and into an upright position.