Possessed and Death may have brought death metal to life, but Obituary brought it to fruition. After releasing some demos as Xecutioner as far back as 1986, the five-man band debuted as Obituary in 1989 with Slowly We Rot, and in a word, the album was landmark. The previous forays into what would quickly become tagged as death metal -- primarily by the above-mentioned bands, Possessed and Death, along with grindcore innovators Repulsion and Napalm Death -- were exercises in relentlessness. These bands took the breakneck abandon of Slayer's Reign in Blood one step further, to the point of sheer, sometimes even ridiculous musical abandon. Obituary, on the other hand, varied their tempo considerably -- and did so at the absolute height of speed metal nonetheless.
Yes, the band could play at breakneck speed, but within the same song, guitarists Allen West and Trevor Peres could slow the tempo down to dirge-like levels in a moment's notice, all the while keeping the music as heavy as hell thanks to down-tuned guitars and the snarling vocals of John Tardy. As a result, Slowly We Rot made quite a splash back in 1989, influencing an entire legion of death metal bands in Florida: Morbid Angel, Deicide, Malevolent Creation, Cannibal Corpse, and numerous others now forgotten among the thousands of international bands that followed. In a way, Slowly We Rot was the prototypical death metal album, establishing a template that would come to define the style (one that is distinct from grindcore or black metal, it should be pointed out).
A few albums followed -- Cause of Death (1990) and The End Complete (1992), both also very influential -- but by the mid-'90s Obituary had run their course and the band splintered, reuniting now and then. Yet even as the bandmembers went their separate ways (most notably West going on to much success as the guitarist of Six Feet Under), Obituary continued to stand tall as one of the definitive death metal bands, if not the definitive (a distinction that probably goes to Death, whose James Murphy actually was a bandmember for a while).
A long period without recording was ended in 2005 when the band released Frozen in Time. Although Xecutioners Return followed just two years later, it appeared on a different label (Candlelight instead of the band's perennial Roadrunner) and it was recorded without guitarist West (whose alcohol and drug problems led to his being replaced by Ralph Santolla of Millenium and Deicide fame). Darkest Day followed in 2009, also on Candlelight. Both Santolla and longtime bassist Frank Watkins left not long after, and in 2014 the band released its crowd-funded ninth album, Inked in Blood. It was the first Obituary album to feature Kenny Andrews on lead guitar and Terry Butler on bass. The album performed surprisingly well on the charts, resulting in Obituary's first appearance on the U.S. album charts. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi
Founded by three teenagers in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1982, Corrosion of Conformity began as an underground band and went on to transform heavy music, challenging boundaries and serving as what Decibel Magazine called “a crucial stylistic lynchpin in the bridge between metal and punk” that “irrevocably reshaped crossover’s sonic possibilities.”
Thirty years and many changes later, COC’s original trio is back with a self-titled release for London-based independent Candlelight Records.
“Corrosion of Conformity isn’t a comeback album or an example of diminishing returns,” Invisible Oranges observed. “It’s a testament to immense talent and the elusive endowment of staying power.”
In the summer of 2010, COC’s founding members—bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, drummer/vocalist Reed Mullin and guitarist Woody Weatherman—gathered at Weatherman’s farm in Virginia to get to work again after a five-year hiatus. With longtime vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan busy working with metal supergroup Down back home in New Orleans, COC began playing together as a three-piece for the first time since the mid-1980s.
That’s the same lineup behind 1985’s Animosity, widely considered a crossover classic. While the trio re-visited songs from that album and 1987’s Technocracy, this was not just an exercise in nostalgia, and they soon began writing new material.
“It was a little strange at first but pretty quickly it felt like we hadn’t missed a beat,” recalled Dean.
After touring the U.S. and Europe with bands including Goatsnake and Clutch, and appearances at festivals like Deathfest and Roadburn,, COC joined with longtime producer John Custer in early 2011 to begin recording what would be the band’s first release since 2005’s critically acclaimed In the Arms of God, which featured Stanton Moore of Galactic on the drums filling in for an injured Mullin. COC recorded all 11 tracks at Dave Grohl's Studio 606 in Los Angeles with help from Foo Fighters' engineer John Lousteau.
During the sessions, Custer commented on COC’s uncanny ability when in the studio to “behave as a single organism.”
Corrosion of Conformity was officially released on February 28, 2012, with artwork that features a revamp of the band’s iconic spiked-skull logo by Seldon Hunt (Melvins, High on Fire). Critics and fans alike have greeted it warmly.
“Corrosion of Conformity not only brings back one of heavy rock’s most seminal and defining bands, but it pushes that band into new ground it’s never yet known,” observed The Obelisk. “The achievement is substantial, the performances crisp, the production clear but organic, but sure enough, these elements and the varied aesthetic of the band come together to create something wholly stronger than its parts.”
Corrosion of Conformity is the band’s first release with Candlelight, which has also hosted bands including Opeth and Orange Goblin. “Animosity is one of my favorite records ever,” said Candlelight’s Steve Beatty. “To have COC on Candlelight with that line-up is simply mouthwatering.”
The band plans to embark on a world tour starting in the United States in March 2012, including three performances at this year's SXSW Music Conference in Austin. Joining them for most of those U.S. dates will be Torche, Valient Thorr and A Storm of Light—a lineup that Dean noted is “really compatible without every band doing the same thing.” COC will then head to Europe and the UK with Black Cobra and Zoroaster.
The original members of COC are excited to be working together again.
“Mike, Woody and I essentially learned how to play music together and cultivated our own style, sound, and unspoken language,” said Mullin. “Re-bonding with them musically has been the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Controversy has plagued Florida-based quartet Deicide. During their first tour in 1992, the band was severely criticized for their statements in favor of animal sacrifices. Their Stockholm, Sweden, concert was canceled after four songs when a bomb was discovered on-stage. Led by vocalist/bass player Glen Benton, Deicide has delivered some of the goriest sounds to ever emanate from the Sunshine State. Their songs continue to radiate with the brutal attack of satanic death metal.
Formed in 1987, Deicide quickly released two demos -- Feasting the Beast in 1987 and Sacrificial in 1989 -- under the name Amon. Signing with Roadrunner Records, they changed their name and released their first full-length CD, featuring all six demo tracks, in 1990. They didn't tour until releasing their second album, Legion, in 1992. A string of albums followed, including Amon: Feasting the Beast (1993), Once Upon the Cross (1995), Serpents of the Light (1997), the live When Satan Lives (1998), Insineratehymn (2000), In Torment, In Hell (2001), Scars of the Crucifix (2004), and Stench of Redemption (2006). Deicide's Till Death Do Us Part was released on Earache Records in April 2008. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi
Trouble is an American metal band noted as one of the pioneers of their genre. The band created a distinct style taking influences of the British heavy metal bands Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, and psychedelic rock of the 1970s. A critically acclaimed group, their first two albums, Psalm 9 and The Skull are cited as landmarks of doom metal. To date, Trouble has released nine studio albums including their latest release,"The Distortion Field" (July 2013 on FRW Music) featuring new singer Kyle Thomas that charted on Billboard (#25 in Top New Artist/Heatseekers and #125 in Top Independent Albums) and ranked in CMJ’s Top 50 Loud Rock Albums (#48). The band is currently writing material for a new album intended for a 2016 release and has plans to hit the road.
Arising from the death metal hotbed of Florida in the early '90s (but originally from Buffalo, New York), Malevolent Creation tend to be somewhat overlooked in discussions of groups that helped define the sound and style of American death metal. Initially inspired by the sonic and lyrical extremity of Slayer, the group landed a deal with Roadrunner Records at the dawn of the '90s, featuring a lineup of vocalist Brett Hoffmann, guitarists Phil Fasciana and Jeff Juskiewicz, bassist Jason Blachowicz, and drummer Mark Simpson. Their 1991 debut album, The Ten Commandments, became something of a landmark in the death metal underground, expanding on the early work of Slayer and fellow Floridians Death. Its sequel, 1992's Retribution, was just as strong, featuring two new members added from Solstice -- guitarist Rob Barrett (who replaced Juskiewicz) and drummer Alex Marquez. Barrett and Marquez were replaced by John Rubin (who had been in a very early lineup of the band) and "Crazy" Larry Hawke for 1993's Stillborn, which disappointed many of the group's faithful and signaled an acrimonious end to their relationship with Roadrunner.
Those label difficulties nearly broke Malevolent Creation apart, but they eventually resurfaced on Pavement Music with a more progressive, technical approach and an even more revamped lineup on 1995's Eternal. Hoffmann was gone, with the vocals now handled by bassist Blachowicz, while guitarists Fasciana and Rubin were joined by ex-Suffocation drummer Dave Culross. The remixes/outtakes/demos collection Joe Black appeared in 1996, followed the next year by In Cold Blood, which featured guitarist John Paul Soars taking Rubin's place, and drummer Derek Roddy replacing Culross. For 1998's The Fine Art of Murder, Fasciana (now doubling on keyboards) brought vocalist Hoffmann, guitarist Barrett, and drummer Culross back to the fold, along with new bassist Gordon Simms. The Pavement label retrospective Manifestation appeared in 2000, followed toward the end of the year by the all-new Envenomed. The sequel to Envenomed came out two years later, followed a few months afterward by drummer Justin DiPinto's last album with the group, The Will to Kill. The band continued to stay productive, releasing Warkult in 2004 and Doomsday X in 2007. In 2010 Malevolent Creation released their 11th studio album, Invidious Dominion. In 2014 the band inked an international record deal with Century Media, and in 2015 released their first studio album for the label, Dead Man's Path. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
Part of the New York hardcore scene, Madball originated back in 1989, as a side project of the legendary outfit Agnostic Front (Madball vocalist Freddy Cricien's older brother is none other than AF's Roger Miret). After releasing the "Ball of Destruction" single in the same year, an early version of the band began playing live. It wasn't until 1991 when Madball truly hit their stride, when the lineup of Freddy Cricien on vocals, guitarists Matt Henderson and Vinnie Stigma, drummer Will Shepler, and bassist Hoya joined forces. The new version of the band quickly recorded and released an EP called Droppin' Many Suckas, which eventually led to the band signing with Roadrunner in 1994. By releasing a pair of straight-ahead hardcore full-lengths (1994's Set It Off and 1996's Demonstrating My Style) and touring steadily, the band built a sizeable fan base outside their hometown. Now a quartet consisting of Cricien, Henderson, Hoya, and new drummer John Lafatta, the band recorded what many consider their finest album yet, Look My Way, which was released in the spring of 1998. Hold It Down followed two years later. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
Brought forth in 1988, BROKEN HOPE was the brainchild of guitarist/chief-lyricist-songwriter, Jeremy Wagner. Though Jeremy was still attending High School, his passion and drive for bringing the band out of obscurity was apparent from the start. In 1989 and 1990, BROKEN HOPE recorded two demo tapes which landed them a deal with the underground label, Grind Core records. In 1991, BROKEN HOPE spewed forth their debut album, Swamped In Gore, which subsequently launched the band out of the underground and into the mainstream. Swamped In Gore was not only ahead of its time musically but it was also the first digitally-recorded death-metal album yet again showing the forward thinking of the then fledgling act. By 1993, BROKEN HOPE broke away from their first record label and quickly was immediately approached by Metal Blade Records. BROKEN HOPE released four albums with Metal Blade Records: The Bowels of Repugnance, Repulsive Conception, Loathing, and the re-release of Swamped In Gore. 1995's Repulsive Conception, reached CMJ New Music Monthly's Metal Top 25 chart, as did the follow-up, 1997's Loathing. The first four albums are stellar examples of the fury and sheer brutality possessed by BROKEN HOPE, and is also the albums that etched BROKEN HOPE’s place in death-metal history. The first decade for the band was filled with non-stop writing, touring, and constant visibility with each album. BROKEN HOPE’s music has received praise from bands such as SLIPKNOT, DEVILDRIVER, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, DYING FETUS and many more. By the end of the ‘90’s, BROKEN HOPE produced and released their fifth album: 1999’s, Grotesque Blessings. After North American and European, BH founder—Jeremy Wagner—cleaned house and put Broken Hope into “metal hibernation” in 2002. In 2007, BROKEN HOPE’s original Loathing lineup sat down face-to-face to discuss reuniting and doing a world tour. Due to personal scheduling conflicts, the guys were unable to make anything happen after this special meeting. On January 20, 2010, original BROKEN HOPE vocalist Joe Ptacek committed suicide. He was only 37 years old. Before his death, Ptacek met with Jeremy Wagner and Shaun Glass and discussed the resurrection of BROKEN HOPE. With Ptacek’s death, Wagner and Glass took time off to reconsider their next moves. In 2012, Jeremy Wagner resurrected BROKEN HOPE and vowed to make the band a full-time monster—forever. BROKEN HOPE made their long awaited return to the realm of Death Metal on the highly successful Carnival of Death tour. BH’s high-intensity COD live offerings received top-praise, and confirmed that not only was BROKEN HOPE back, they were also more rabid than ever.
The band went on to perform at the 2013 editions of Extremefest (Germany) and Maryland Death Fest to stellar reviews which leads us to a new chapter in the annals of BROKEN HOPE. In 2013, BROKEN HOPE put pen to paper and signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records. Their sixth album, OMEN of DISEASE, released in October 2013 release. OMEN of DISEASE opened with a big first week, hitting #2 most-added at US radio, nearly breaking into the top 10 at CMJ, and with the track “Womb Of Horrors” added as a Flavor Track at Music Choice. OMEN of DISEASE also dropped with nearly 1,100 copies sold in its first week of release. Omen Of Disease is available via Century Media Records. Trevor Strnad of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER makes a guest appearance on backing vocals for the track, “Rendered Into Lard,” and OMEN of DISEASE also features the artwork and return of BROKEN HOPES’s former (and brilliant) album cover artist, Wes Benscoter (SLAYER, KREATOR, MORTICIAN plus many more). BROKEN HOPE has supported OMEN of DISEASE with non-stop touring over the last year-and-a-half with tours including DEICIDE, IMMOLATION, OCEANO, and festival appearances at BRUTAL ASSAULT, NEUROTIC DEATHFEST, OBSCENE EXTREME, and more. BROKEN HOPE recently overhauled their lineup with the addition of Matt Szlachta (ex-CHIMAIRA) on lead-guitars, and bassist, Diego Soria (Disgorge). BROKEN HOPE are preparing to do their FIRST-EVER “HEADLINE” TOUR across EUROPE this April (2015). They will embark on the “APRIL ATROCITY TOUR” with their friends in INTERNAL BLEEDING. While BROKEN HOPE tour, they’re also writing their 7th album which will see release from CENTURY MEDIA sometime in 2015.
Hailing from Tampa, Florida - GENERICHRIST was formed in 2004 by vocalist Tony Anderson. The band's sound is a mixture of Punk/Thrash combined with Death Metal that is an experience in horror, sleaze and violence! GENERICHRIST is currently in support of their latest record, "Taste Of Death" which was released in 2015 on the Horror Pain Gore Productions label out of Philadelphia. They have put out many demo's, splits and EP’s throughout the years and they are currently working on a new record for 2016.