Jul 032016

Rearview Mirror


For this Sunday’s look back into metal’s past I have Bardo Methodology to thank for the idea of focusing on Unanimated. Last week, that site featured an excellent interview of Richard Cabeza by Niklas Göransson, which reminded me not only of Unanimated’s past glories but also of the fact that the band is still alive, though it’s anyone’s guess when they will complete work on a fourth album.

As Göransson notes, Cabeza is “Stockholm death metal royalty” (though he has lived in Dallas, Texas, for the last 14 years). In addition to being one of Unanimated’s founding members in 1989, he was a bass player for Dismember and Murder Squad, a vocalist for General Surgery, and a live member of Satyricon and Dark Funeral. Continue reading »

Nov 042011

(The first two albums by Sweden’s Dissection are among my all-time favorite metal albums. So I was most interested in this guest post by a writer who goes by the name Kazz.  He identifies six bands who faithful Dissection fans should get to know.)

I remember hearing Dissection for the first time right after their debut LP, The Somberlain, dropped. This was back in the day before the internet was the primary tool for discovering metal, and for American fans of European metal the options were limited to blind purchases from import mail-order distros, or if you were lucky enough to live in a city with a good metal record store, you might have been able to get a recommendation from a knowledgeable clerk (remember those?).

The second wave of black metal was in full swing, but I was more tuned into the nascent Gothenburg melodic death metal scene. The NWOBHM-influenced twin lead-guitar harmonies over a death metal framework made these early melodic death releases fresh, rare, and worth import CD prices for anyone who loved both melody and brutality.

Some of those early In Flames and Dark Tranquillity records had a much more blackened vibe in the early days, particularly in their vocal delivery. But it wasn’t until I got my hands on The Somberlain that I really found anyone who very effectively merged melody with a black metal framework. Dissection made their name by infusing their black metal with a layer of melody which ensured that each song was memorable, together with strong musicianship and compelling lyrics and imagery. By keeping most of their NWOBHM-isms in the minor scale, they maintained a sense of darkness and foreboding over the blasting, thrashing framework of technically-proficient black metal. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »