Thursday, February 23, 2012

Swedish Death Metal - Part 2

Part 2 of the musical tour through Swedish death metal.

"Necronomicon" -by- Hypocrisy -from- Obsculum Obscenum
Hypocrisy are a band that has managed to straddle the line between the old-school Swedish sound and the newer melodic death metal sound. Unsurprisingly, then, their best album came at a point in time right between those two styles' peaks.

"My Ending Quest" -by- Gorement -from- The Ending Quest
In any music scene, some bands will manage to slip between the cracks and be forgotten. Such is the case with Gorement, who began releasing demos in 1991 but didn't record their one and only album until 1994. By then, Swedish death metal was starting to change. Had it come a just few years earlier, I believe The Ending Quest would have stood right beside Left Hand Path and Like an Ever Flowing Stream in the annals of metal history. I personally like it better than either of those, and that's saying something.

"Silence, and the Firmament Withdrew" -by- Dark Tranquility
By the mid 90s, melodic death metal was in full swing. The "big three" bands from Gothenburg (At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity, and In Flames) had all begun releasing albums. At this point, the early vocalist shuffle between the latter two had occurred, and the new lineups began recording those bands' most popular and influential early albums.

"Artifacts of the Black Rain" -by- In Flames -from- The Jester Race
At the Gates split up this year, but by then the melodic death metal movement was already charging ahead at full speed. The third major Gothenburg band released their first album with Anders Fridén, the former Dark Tranquillity vocalist, which became one of the classics of the style.

"Trail of Tears" -by- Gates of Ishtar -from- The Dawn of Flames
In the wake of this new development in death metal, a legion of imitators emerged. One of the earliest and best of these was Gates of Ishtar, who released three albums from 1996-1998 before disbanding.

That does it for part 2. In part 3 we'll see some of the different groups to emerge from the fertile and varied ground these two main types of Swedish death metal had plowed.

Part 1 1988-1992
Part 2 1993-1997
Part 3 1998-2002
Part 4 2003-2007
Part 5 2008-2012

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