Welcome to “Extreme Scene”
Extreme Scene is a new blog on all things Extreme Metal. Wikipedia views this as “a loosely defined umbrella term for a number of related heavy metal music subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. It has been defined as a cluster of metal subgenres characterized by sonic, verbal and visual transgression.” Whatever…
This blog is an homage of sorts to the great journalist Don Kaye, who wrote a regular blog called “Death Vine” for Kerrang! in the 1980’s, where he would write about all the underground metal acts of the time, such as Kreator, Celtic Frost and a little-known band called Metallica.
My Top Five Extreme Bands
My Big Five of Extreme Metal (EM) would have to be pretty off the wall. I really don’t categorize Metallica as EM these days, as they have taken a more commercial approach. However, I still rate Slayer as a top EM band, even though they have got much bigger than other underground outfits. Their last album Repentless was pretty solid but lacked some of the killer tunes that marked out Seasons In The Abyss or South Of Heaven. However, leaving aside Rain In Blood, maybe Undisputed Attitude best sums up their f*k you stance. Great slabs of punky thrash to get you up and at them.
You want extreme? How about Into The Pandemonium as a prime example of ferocity allied to artistic intention? You go from the sludge of “Mexican Radio” to the Drum N’ Bass of “One In Their Pride“. The Swiss outfit came into their own with that one album, yet created a body of work that will last well into the next century. Tom G. Warrior (nee Fischer) is a genius – make sure you check out his latest outfit Triptykon to see how the extreme brilliance is continuing today.
Kreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen and they are often credited with helping pioneer death metal and black metal by containing several elements of what was to become those genres. They originally performed a speed metal style with Venom influences.
They are EM in their attack and ferocity. Their Pleasure To Kill album is widely regarded as a classic EM record and they have also had the balls to go out and expand their sound on such minor classics as Endorama.
These techno death metal EM maniacs hail from Liverpool in England and have produced some of the most potent music known. They have a technical ability matched to a brutality that slays most of the world. They produced several masterpiece albums, among them the seminal Heartwork record that one Joshua Toomey (of the Talk Toomey podcast) gushed about to Jeff Walker (bassist/growler) in a recent interview. Even though Walker regards Symphonies of Sickness as best in class, Heartwork is generally regarded as their magnum opus.
The most diverse, Avante Garde and authentic EM band ever is Enslaved. Enslaved was formed in July 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson (also known as Kjetil Grutle) when they were 13 and 17 years old, respectively. The band name was inspired by an Immortal demo track, “Enslaved in Rot.” After many line-up changes throughout their career, Bjørnson and Kjellson are the only remaining original members. By 2004 the line-up solidified with guitarist Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal, drummer Cato Bekkevold, and keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen. Their albums in the 1990s were Frost in 1994, Eld in 1997, and Blodhemn in 1999. Their latest release is 2015’s In Times.
Thanks for reading and let me know who your top 5 are on the Decibel Geek Facebook Page!
See you next time…