Growlers

Waaaay back when I was in high school, and just getting into Metal, the basic credo was; the faster the better. Actually, when I first got into the metal scene, I thought AC/DC was fast enough and Metallica was too fast. I was later introduced to faster and faster music, and people that actually liked them. Good thing I was an impressionable youth, because it didn’t take me long to like it as well.

I guess you could say I ramped up with Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and then in a couple of years, I was into full blown Death Metal. The way I wrote that sounds like it’s a drug of some sort, but it’s more of attuning your ears to the speed 🙂 Otherwise it all sounds like garbage. Granted, to some, me recently, it does sound like garbage. I think I enjoyed the early days of Death Metal. Groups like Death, Morbid Angle, Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura and Sinister filled my ears with all the grinding speed and gory vocals I could handle. This, of course, was all before the internet, and I would have to troll through the tape/cd stores to find stuff. Some was better than others, but I was young and had money to burn. But there was a problem.

I also started getting into industrial and punk at the time. Old punk, new, didn’t really matter. It still had a speed and edge to it that I liked. And the Industrial was something that was really different to me and struck a certain cord. Along with this, my general tastes in music started to spread past death metal, and metal in general. I still liked it, but there was so much more to try and enjoy.It went on and on like this, and death metal pretty much fell to the side.

Over the years I would actually grow to hate the vocals in death metal. To me it seemed like a waste of a perfectly good band to have such craptacular vocals. I mean, you didn’t have to know how to sing that well, but to basically growl into the mic was just a little much for me. So I dropped it and chose metal that had real vocals for the longest time.

With eMusic, I wanted to try new bands and not be that limited to what I already had. I made sure to download stuff that hadn’t heard before. There was a lot of death metal there, or at least death metal type vocals. So there was a lot of music that I just skipped over. Looking back, it was a shame because, odds are, there was some stuff in there I would have liked.

Something happened recently. I don’t think it was anything in particular, but for some reason, my love of Death Metal came back. I think I got nostalgic or something, downloaded something I remembered, and just gave it a shot. That’s the best of my recollection. After that, I was hooked again. Nothing slower than 1000bpm(I’m sure I’m exaggerating) would do. Anthrax was too slow. Slayer was borderline. I needed that speed again, and this time, the vocals didn’t matter. In fact, for some strange reason, if it was fast and not death like, then it wouldn’t do.

I bugged a friend of mine for band suggestions since I’d been out of the ‘scene’ for some time. This is what he came back with(a subset, haven’t found it all):

Amorphis
Behemoth
Eluveitie
Ensiferum
Melechesh
Nile
Opeth
Primordial
Skyforger

This was just the first list, but it gave me a good starting point.

As mentioned, I haven’t listened to half of them as I just haven’t been able to find them. But of this list, for me, Nile and Behemoth really really stand out. They’re the fast, and talented, death metal that I was looking for. Amorphis hasn’t really done it for me. Which is a little odd as it was the kind of metal I was looking for previously. Good metal with a great singer. But it wasn’t filling the need like Nile was. And Opeth, it’s very progressive, and I can’t get into that right now. I should look again for the others.

Thanks to XM Radio, I was also able to add one more to this list: The Black Dahlia Murders. Very cool stuff.

And so, for the past few months, that’s all I’ve been listening to in the car and at work. Well, that, and the older stuff. I happened to find a lot of the stuff I used to listen to in high school online.

Anything slower than that I keep trying to go back to, but it’s just not working. At one point I was bothered by this. The music here is much more aggressive than stuff I had been listening to, and I was worried that it was saying something about me. But my overall temperament or attitude about life hasn’t changed, so I’m not worried anymore. If anything, I’m kind of excited as this opens up another music stream for me. Something that I’ve purposely been avoiding.

That’s kinda cool.

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