Cannibal Corpse – Tomb of the Mutilated
Courting controversy the world over with their graphic cover art and explicit lyrical content, cynics may attribute Cannibal Corpse’s ascent to the top of the death metal pack as a byproduct of said controversies. Anyone into the genre knows otherwise, with the Corpse’s standing built on a rock solid discography. Many of their early albums are noteworthy, but Tomb of the Mutilated is perhaps their most notorious and disturbing, home to fan favourite “Hammer Smashed Face”, which weaseled it’s way into Jim Carrey’s smash comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective in 1994. The rhythmic bombardment of ever present duo Alex Webster and Paul Mazurkiewicz, the frenzied riffs and leads of Bob Rusey and Jack Owen,and Chris Barnes’ guttural growls all assimilate to create what could be considered the quintessential death metal sound.
Alice In Chains- Dirt
Alice in Chains have always been the most outright metal of the big four of grunge. This is in part down to their guitarist, Jerry Cantrell. His iron plated riffs and wah soaked lead licks all over Dirt clearly show their metal credentials, perhaps even more so than the fact they played the Clash of the Titans tour. Rain When I Die’s intro adds alt rock flavours with its weird intro and soaring chorus.There is an ever-present feeling of darkness, which reflects the place the band were in when recording it. Having narrowly escaped getting caught in the LA riots a level of darkness is to be expected, but it comes chiefly from vocalist Layne Staley’s performance. He was struggling with the heroin addiction that would later take his life, and there’s just something in the way he uses his voice across the album that envelops the listener in his personal darkness. This is heightened with the enchanting harmonies provided by Cantrell. Musically speaking the album touches on straight up metal- Them Bones, ballads- Down In a Hole, and dirges- Sickman. Each is pulled off with fantastic form. It’s a moving album that shows just how much light and happiness can come from the darkest of times. Nirvana might have brought grunge to the mainstream with Nevermind the year previous, but Dirt deserves equal respect and adoration as a masterpiece from the grunge scene. More than that it’s a metal masterpiece that will always stand the test of time.