Last week, I did something that I hardly ever do. I downloaded some albums. I did this because they are very hard to find, out of print albums, that are often expensive in physical form. I also did it because I wanted to hear them. Last year, an article on slam metal appeared in Decibel. In it, Sgt. D of Metal Inquisition posted a list of five essential slam albums. I only owned one of them. So, last week, in the midst of my latest slam kick, I downloaded the other four albums. I feel bad about it, because I don't care for downloading, but I did it anyway. I wanted to hear these albums.
CEPHALOTRIPSY: UTEROVAGINAL INSERTION OF EXTIRPATED ANOMALIESThat's quite the mouthful of a name, huh? This is a newer slam band and they perfectly embody everything that slam has become. The music sounds filthy and downright disgusting. The vocals are delivered in a half frog croak, half cricket chirp style. The music has a lot of bottom end and the slams come fast and furious. The album art is typically grotesque. The album is a bit overly long with fourteen tracks and clocking in at slightly less than an hour, but that's okay. Cephalotripsy is essentially the quintessential example of a modern slam death band, for better or for worse, depending on your feelings for the genre.
DYING FETUS: KILLING ON ADRENALINEI have a couple of albums by Dying Fetus already, so I knew what to expect. This album though, blows the other two albums I own out of the water. The music sounds a little more like technical brutal death with some grindcore elements present as well. It's fast and very brutal. There are frequent guitar sweeps and leads accentuating the music. The slams are presnet here, but this album came before the genre was really fully developed. This is a better album than the prior two Dying Fetus albums I have heard, which are their most recent. It's clear that this band was better earlier and helped lay some foundation for the genre as it currently stands.
ENTORTUREMENT: DESCEND INTO DEPRIVATIONOkay, this one's a little weird. At least the last track is weird. Up until then, we have a bunch of songs that sound a little like Devourment and Internal Bleeding, the first really true slam bands. The last track actually features rapping. I'm not kidding, rapping in a death metal vocal style. It's no secret that slam death takes some influence from rap, but this is just crazy. A lot of the music also sounds as if it takes influence from rap beats. Just a crazy album all the way through.
PYREXIA: SERMON OF MOCKERYPyrexia arrived about the same time as Suffocation and was one of the major influences on the genre. Their sound is similar to Suffocation except with some more breakdowns which later became the slams in more modern slam death. They are not as technically gifted as Suffocation, but otherwise sound a lot like the band. Of these four albums, I think this is my favorite.