Mid to late 80’s is when the genre of death metal really started to become it’s own monster. Most people revere the 80’s pioneers but there is something that was going on in the early 90’s that was also just as magical. This is a list of MY favorite death metal albums from the early 90’s. I do not expect you to agree, I do not expect you to be happy, I do expect you to voice your opinion. Tell me how much you hate my list in the comments. Keep in mind this list is strictly early 90’s and North American. I said cuts because I am going to mention demos and EPs along with albums. Also, do not ask me why I didn’t mention Death. Check out the playlist at the bottom. This is my list of my favorite and what I call Top 10 Early 90’s North American Death Metal. I’ll probably change my mind and make another list some other time.
10.) Cannibal Corpse – Eaten Back to Life. Regardless of if you like or dislike Chris Barnes, regardless of how much you hate them for being mainstream, regardless if you live in Germany and can’t get a copy of their albums uncensored, Eaten Back To Life changed death metal. It does not matter if you think this album changed death metal for better or worse, its impact is what makes it one of my favorites. There was no worry about skill, timing, or complexity, Eaten Back To Life is about being the grossest, heaviest, vilest fucking album for it’s time.
9.) Suffocation – Human Waste. Releasing a year after Eaten Back To Life, Human Waste is about being the heaviest and also being the most serious. If anything rivals Cannibal Corpse in the heavy department for the early 90’s, it is Suffocation’s Human Waste. It may be only 23 minutes long, but it’s a pretty intense 23 minutes.
8.) Deicide – Deicide. “Book of the dead, pages bound in human flesh Feasting the beast, from the blood the words were said I am unseen, dreamt the sacred passage aloud Trapped in a dream of the Necronomicon”. If you are into death metal, you are into Evil Dead, if you are into Evil Dead, you blast “Dead By Dawn” when it comes on. Deicide‘s self titled album is a satanic hell ride with very subtle dark humor applied to it. It is Glen Benton’s serious demeanor that drives the sarcasm to your bone. The blistering solos of the Hoffman brothers accompanied by the eerie highs and lows of the vocals are what makes this album an instant classic.
7.) Gorguts – The Erosion of Sanity. When I think of the origins of the words technical death metal two things instantly come to mind, Darkthrone‘s Soulside Journey and that crazy bass from “With Their Flesh He’ll Create”. This album is heavy, technical and innovative.
6.) Obituary – Cause of Death. Three words, James Fuckin’ Murphy. If you do not like Obituary, you do not like metal, that is all there is to it. Sick album art, sick intro track, sick signature sound, You just can’t fuck with Obituary. If you have a friend that does not like Cause of Death, kill them with a broken CD or LP of Cause of Death and make it the official Cause of Death.
5.) Autopsy – Mental Funeral. Tooooooorrrnn Frommm Thheeee Woooommmbbb! Autopsy‘s Mental Funeral was all about the atmosphere. It sounded like it was recorded somewhere between 6 feet below and hell. There is such an amazing implement of doom and solid elements of death metal that this album was way ahead of it’s time.
4.) Rottrevore – Inquitous. You didn’t think I was really going to drone on about the classics did you?… I was going to but I decided to mention something off the radar a bit. The 92-94 american underground was way more intense than the mainstream was. Rottrevore was a sick band. Solid all around.
3.) Imprecation – Theurgia Goetia Summa. I am kind of cheating by mentioning this as a cut because this is a compilation of their work from 92-94. They are heavy, satanic and brutal. This is about as cult as it can get… oh wait we have two more cuts to talk about.
2.) Infester – To The Depth’s In Degradation. Racist as fuck but I do not care. This is one of the heaviest, evilest things your ears will ever hear on earth. The only thing that is more evil than this is if you were to die and come back from hell and tell the world about the things Satan whispered in your ear. This is dark shit. This is the most atmospheric, blaspheming cut from the early 90’s. If it were any more evil it would start playing by itself and sacrifice you to it’s self. I really do not know if the racism is meant for shock value, added in to offend people, keep the album cult, because they are racist, or just there for the fuck of it. You won’t understand a single word growled on this insanely heavy as fuck album anyway.
1.) Timeghoul – Tumultuous Travelings/Panaramic Twilight. Now I am really cheating here. I am putting two demos together and calling them a single release because they complete each other. This is the most insane death metal you will hear that you never listened to before. With themes of science fiction, space, and fantasy this is the only non evil or gore fest of a release(s) I have mentioned. Timeghoul were way ahead of their time. So far ahead death metal still has not caught up, and it has been over 20 years since these demos came out.
That is my current list. I am human my opinions change a lot. Share your feelings and picks below in the comments section.