Written by Sam Hughes (Features Writer)
The 1990s spawned many new bands in the brutal death metal scene. From New York to California, new sounds and styles of death that were progressively getting heavier, faster, and more technical were coming out. Today we will be taking a look at the top 10 brutal death metal albums, EPs, and demos of the ’90s.
10.) Scattered Remnants – Inherent Perversion
1996 provided many great brutal death releases, including Scattered Remnant’s critically acclaimed Inherent Perversion. This EP has a perfect mix of slow and evil riffs, along with fast, hard-hitting parts as well. The songwriting is very good here, it even has an acoustic guitar interlude. The album has an overall very scary, crushing sound to it, which places it at number ten on the list.
9.) Afterbirth – Psychopathic Embryotomy
Released in 1994, New York’s Afterbirth released their first demo entitled Psychopathic Embryotomy. Credited by some as the first slam demo ever, this demo has extremely low vocals, grinding blast beats, and many down-tuned, slamming riffs, accompanied by blazing fast drums, technical guitar work, and a very distinguishable bass tone.
8.) Deaden – Feast on the Flesh of the Dead
This release has a very dark sound to it. Evil, brutal, and heavy. Chicago’s Deaden brought a sick, gore-obsessed demo to the table back in 1996, and today it still holds up to brutal death metal’s standards. This demo is tuned low, played slow, and is full of gut-wrenching riffs, disgusting samples, and nasty vocals that any brutal death metal fan will love.
7.) Dehumanized – Prophecies Foretold
In 1998, Dehumanized brought more music to the New York death metal scene, with an extremely heavy, groove-laden debut album entitled Prophecies Foretold. Unlike the last few releases talked about on the list, this album is much more mid-paced, focusing more on groove and heavy riffs than speed. The songwriting is incredible and is sure to get any listener of the album to bang their head.
6.) Repudiation – Purging of Impurity
Like Dehumanized’s Prophecies Foretold, Repudilation’s 1996 demo was very focused on groove, rather than speed. This demo is full of slow, crushing riffs, but also has blazing fast drums to go with the few more technical, quicker riffs. Another demo believed by many to the first slam release, Repulilation’s Purging of Impurity will forever be a skull-crushingly classic piece of New York death metal.
5.) Pyrexia – Sermon of Mockery
Although some people see this band as a Suffocation clone, I believe Pyrexia’s 1993 demo album is a huge turning point for brutal death metal. Yes, it takes many aspects that Suffocation used in their early albums, but Pyrexia was able to add more speed, more groove, and more technicality than Suffocation ever did with their first two albums. I think this band released an album with the perfect mix of speed, brutality, and slamming riffs, and if anyone wants to hear what New York death metal should sound like, they need to listen to Pyrexia’s Sermon of Mockery.
4.) Disgorge – Cranial Impalement
Although put out much later than the previous releases mentioned, Disgorge changed brutal death metal forever with their debut album in 1999. Instead of focusing on groove, and mid-paced riffs, California’s Disgorge ditched everything the popular bands were doing and went full force with speed, aggression, technicality, and sheer brutality. Cranial Impalement sounds like a wall of impenetrable noise, riddled with extremely fast blast beats, punishing guitar work, and inhuman vocals. To the average fan of mainstream music, Disgorge would sound like a mess of loud noise, but to the average brutal death metal listener, Cranial Impalement is a masterpiece.
3.) Deeds of Flesh – Trading Pieces
Deeds of Flesh was another band in the ’90s that were pioneering new sounds that we know so well today. After their first EP Gradually Melted, Deeds of Flesh released their first album, Trading Pieces, which was not just brutal death metal but was technical death metal as well. This band created the genre of technical brutal death metal that so many metal fans today love. This album has so many memorable riffs, played at extreme speed and precision. Deeds of Flesh would go on to influence countless bands with their unique sound, putting them at number three on the list.
2.) Mortal Decay – Brutalizing Creations
Mortal Decay’s third demo, released in 1995 showed so much growth for the band. With heavier, more articulate songs and incredible vocals, Brutalizing Creations is a staple for brutal death metal, showing just how bizarre the genre can be. The vocals on this demo are easily the best part, they were so fresh and new to the brutal death metal scene, sounding lower and stranger than any other band had ever done. The demo has such an indescribably unique and different sound to it, putting it this high on the list.
1.) Internal Bleeding – Voracious Contempt
If you are a fan of brutal death metal, you probably saw this one coming. Internal Bleeding brought a fresh new sound to death metal in 1995. Regarded as the very first slam metal album ever released, New York’s Internal Bleeding took the average fast-paced, technical sound that death metal had, and stripped it to its bones, creating an extremely heavy, brutal, and groovy album, and would go on to influence every other slam band in existence.