Washington Think Tank with W.: Who Is the big fish in your little pond?

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Greetings, citizens! I hope you’re enjoying Sharkfest and not Shark Week. Discovery and I aren’t on speaking terms. I’m currently looking into getting Congressional authorization to go to war with them. I suppose I could try a work-around, but that sort of thing tends to only work once per Presidential term. “But Mr. President, why are you making all this hubbub about sharks?” Well, patriot, our glorious aquatic brethren have directly inspired this week’s think tank question, so strap on your floaties and try not to flounder too much in the deep water.

Today’s Question: Who Is the big fish in your little pond?

We metalheads are a reverent bunch, daily paying homage to the bands we deem most praiseworthy. However, metal is often a cruel ouroboros, and the greatest bands of yesteryear may be just small fries now (until they experience a glorious rebirth 14 years down the road). The top of the food chain is an ever-circulating feeding frenzy, but only the most vicious will survive. Just as the Megalodon and Ginsu sharks reigned for their respective eras but were eventually displaced, a new alpha predator will emerge. So, which band do you think is currently at the absolute top of your favorite subgenre? Who is totally unflushable and feeds off all the chum beneath them? Or conversely, who was once at the top but was eventually replaced when faster and stronger species evolved?

Sound off in the comments below.

Don’t know what the Washington Think Tank is? This is a weekly column where your former President poses a pressing question and allows the top minds at the Toilet ov Hell to investigate his query.

(Photo VIA)

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  • Tyree

    As far as grindcore goes, I think Napalm Death is still at the very top. Unflushable they are.

    Put that graphic on a poster now Dubya and sell me one!

    • I saw Napalm Death once. Their drummer puked in the middle of a song halfway through the set. After the song was finished he rinsed his mouth out and went back to it. That’s a trooper!

      • Tyree

        Hahaha, that’s super grindcore. I saw them once and was front row, it was the loudest concert I’ve ever been too.

        • W.

          Me too!

      • Wow he didn’t even eat it? What a fucking poser.

        • Tyree

          That’s goregrind you are thinking of.

        • It looked to be pretty voluminous. I don’t think it was a swallowable job.

      • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

        learned the puke and rally in 11th grade

      • Occams_Razor_Ramon

        It never ceases to impress me when a musician vomits on stage and just keeps going

        • Howard Dean

          Pssh. Athletes do it all the time. As do bulimics.

          • W.

            As do alcoholics!

      • crazytaco_12

        I saw Napalm Death a few years ago and this one fucking dumbass who was by me the whole time just kept yelling the whole show “You Suffer! You Suffer!”, as if yelling the song was going to make them play it any sooner. Finally, halfway into their set, the dude’s drinking a beer and then I see ND countdown and finally play the song, and after their show was over, the dude was like “Hey, did they play You Suffer”. Fucking hilarious.

    • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

      Napalm Death nearly played the Victoria & Albert last year, least likely grindcore venue ever, with a sound system designed to actually self destruct from the noise but were cancelled over fears that they might do serious damage to the building and its artwork as well.

    • W.

      You got it. Also, Utilitarian was such a killer album!

    • crazytaco_12

      Dude, I loved Utilitarian and thought that was such an underrated album. I really enjoy the newer sounds they incorporate into their music and they constantly seem to reinvent themselves while remaining true to the original product, also the lyrics were top notch as well. That may seriously be my favorite Napalm album; I’m stoked for their new disc.

      • W.

        It was really, really good. The vocal variations were a very nice touch.

  • Weekend Nachos. I’ve fanboyishly collected every piece of vinyl they’ve put out.

    • Tyree

      Are Weekend Nachos more power violence than grindcore?

      • I consider it PV.

        • Tyree

          Ok, I could never really pin down what they are.

          • Negrodamus

            I was looking at Wikipedia this week and someone had Pig Destroyer on there as death/grind and I was like wtf are you being serious now, everyone knows they are grindcore! Lol.

          • Tyree

            Lolz.

    • Occams_Razor_Ramon

      I want a Weekend Nachos/Nails tour right meow.

      • Me too, chico. Me too.

      • Stockhausen

        I want nachos this weekend, or now.

    • Negrodamus

      Weekend Nachos vs. Mammoth Grinder?

      • I had to go with Weekend Nachos because they’ve stayed (mostly) within one genre. MG have shifted their sound so much but they are the better band overall, in my opinion.

    • weekend Nachos is in my upper tier.

    • W.

      Powerviolence dog pile?

  • Gojira: as far a prog-death-metal-whatever-you-want-to-call-them

    I have a hard time describing how great and moving their music is to me. I can honestly say since I first heard them back in 2005 that there has never been a band that has come close to competing. I mean that across all genres too.

    GL

    • I’m with you on Gojira. Musical equivalent of sex.

    • W.

      I’m with you. Fallujah are not the second coming of death metal. Gojira have been here for a while now.

  • ………….:)………Archspire….

    • Dangit you beat me to it.

    • Death

      I might have missed this Archspire thing.

      • You will be enlightened next week.

        • Death

          Thank you Jack. Have you already forgiven me?

          • Hmmm I suppose

          • Death

            Thank you Jack! I can give you anything you want.

          • What if I want you to take something instead?

          • Death

            I can do it! What would you like me to take?

          • Death

            First I need to know your motive.

          • Motive? lOok at her! Get it away from me!

          • Death

            I understand. That thing is pretty scary. I’ll try my best.

          • Death

            By the way. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT!

          • Doesnt matter, yours now. NO TAKE BACKS!

          • Death

            BUT I DON’T WANT THAT THING! DAMN YOU LAW OF NO TAKE BACKS!

          • Stockhausen

            Gail the Snail?

          • Occams_Razor_Ramon

            Nobody WANTS to salt the snail, but she gives you no choice!

          • Stockhausen

            Now you’re just mashing it.

          • W.

            I’m gonna get real weird with it.

    • Dental_Damnation

      Vancouver metal definitely has something in the water with those guys, Anciients, Baptists, Nylithia, 3IOB, Skull Vultures, Bison, and on and on that list goes.

      • Just discovered Baptists recently, they have that Cursed vibe going on which I really dig.

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        I was surprised Bison got dropped by metal blade. Are they still together ?. DId you ever see blasphemy ?

        • Howard Dean

          Hail the Ross Bay Cult! Blasphemy! Conqueror! Revenge! Byah!

    • Stockhausen

      dood i am so many agrees!

      -Masterlord Steeldragon

    • W.

      Artificial Brain and Gorguts >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      • Are in a league of their own and as such do not qualify

        • W.

          So, apex predators?

          • No, there is no food chain, only them. The sole inhabitants of that realm.

        • Scrimm

          Also Luc is about the nicest mofo I’ve ever met.

          • W.

            Half of Gorguts’ posts on facebook are photos of him with regular joes.

          • Scrimm

            The guy loves to talk gear.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            to me deschristianize is the ultimate death metal album. I also subscribe to it’s lyrical content as it’s anti christian whithout pushing satanism which can often get silly as borne out by some black metal bands. It’s so i heavy i need one of these to lift it off my book shelf.

          • Scrimm

            I don’t know if I could pick a single death metal album. Maybe Considered Dead by Gorguts.

  • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

    SLAM: Guttural Slug (although I hear the new album release is delayed)

    • W.

      Bogus on the delay!

  • Guacamole Jim

    Gotta be honest here: nu metal got me into heavy music, so that’s my old species that got replaced. And the apex predator? I think @george_lynch:disqus was spot on when he said Gojira. There’s pretty much nobody else for me in metal who’s close to them.

    • Death

      Linkin Park got me into metal music. Now I dislike them so much.

      • Hybrid Theory and Meteora are timeless albums but everything else has been godsmack level bad.

        • Guacamole Jim

          I still love Hybrid Theory. That album will always hold a special place in my heart <3

        • Cock of Steele

          Godsmack and Dropkick Murphys got me into heavy music.

        • The Black Dahlia Burger

          I would have paid exorbitant amounts of money to see LP play Hybrid Theory at Download

  • KJM

    Saturnalia Temple are the apex predators of Stoner Metal.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2axTJD1Ni8

    • Howard Dean

      SLEEP.

  • Kevin Nash and Friends

    Every synthpop and black metal band ever. That’s what the big fish in my little pond is.

  • Death

    Krautrock: Can or Neu!
    Minimalism: Steve Reich
    Experimental: Ulver
    Post Rock: A Silver Mt. Zion
    Prog rock: King Crimson
    Experimental Rock: Circle and Swans
    Industrial: Throbbing Gristle
    Post Punk: Nick Cave and the Bad Seed
    Free Jazz: Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra or John Coltrane
    Jazz: Charles Mingus
    Jazz Fusion: Frank Zappa
    Neofolk: Current 93
    Noise: Skullflower
    Power Electronics: Whitehouse

    • Christian Molenaar

      Whoa, we like, like, the same things.

      • Death

        Far out dude

    • KJM

      Jazz Fusion: Mahavishnu Orchestra

      • Death

        I forgot to mention them. Also Return To Forever

      • Cock of Steele

        Funk: George Clinton and p-funk, his holy galactic preachers from the chocolate milkyway

        • Death

          Give back the funk

        • KJM

          Straight up.

        • I’m just assuming you’ve seen the movie PCU, correct?

          • KJM

            Everybody gets laid.

          • Cock of Steele

            It’s tasteless, disgusting, and offensive, I love it!

          • Cock of Steele

            Love that one, every old Republican to me is a “Cockman Oppressor” now

        • KJM
    • Mother Shabubu III

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQCTTvUqhOQ

      I’m going to zone out to some Neu!

      More metal bands and bands in general need to digest some krautrock. A genre where it’s not a bout the song, but rather like a map of sound across space. Swans are like the American krautrock band. Maybe Fantomas in some aspects.

      PS: You forgot Einstürzende Neubauten, du nudel-schwanz.

      • Death

        That’s one of my all time favourite albums.

        • Mother Shabubu III

          Dat Motorik beat.

          • Death

            It don’t matter if it’s in 4/4, it’s fucking goooooood!

    • Stockhausen

      Steve Reich for the win. I absolutely love Tehillim.

      • Death

        I love Music For 18 Musicians so much. Steve Reich was the main reason that got me to buy a marimba.

        • Stockhausen

          You own a marimba?? What brand/size??

          • Death

            It’s this one if I remember correctly. Had to do some saving to get it.
            http://www.thomann.de/fi/bergerault_marimba_mcbh.htm

          • Stockhausen

            That’s awesome. I went to school for percussion, and owning a 5 octave marimba is my dream. I miss getting to play every day, my hands are slowly getting out of shape.

          • Death

            I went to school for psychology. I did my music stuff in different places. And it’s no wonder that your hands are getting our of shape. You’re dead after all.

    • FLUSH’EM ALL

      • Death

        Do that and I’m gonna go back in time to make sure that you’ll never be born.

        • You have a time machine??

          • Death

            I’m the damn death, I can do what I want.

    • W.

      I really dig some Nick Cave.

  • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

    Baby Metal and King 810, duh. Flush everyone who does not agree

    • KJM

      Aw yeah

      • Kevin Nash and Friends

        Emmure and Insane Clown Posse bitches!

        • Death

          I watched a video about the latest gathering. It looked so horrible.

        • Det. Flushin Bohl

          Flushalos!

    • Cock of Steele

      Heretics shall face the coal!

    • Kevin Nash and Friends

      No man, Utopia is the big fish in my little pond! Them and Duran Duran. I have every Utopia album on vinyl.

  • Bolt Thrower is Megalodonlord of Battle Metal.

    • Death

      Is Battle Metal a thing?

    • Scrimm

      Amen. I will forever lament that they never put out an album with VanDrunen.

      • Hail of Bullets should satisfy your hunger, though.

        • Scrimm

          And they do a fine job of it. Hopefully we’ll be recording a HOB cover soon.

    • W.

      Bolt Thrower >>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • Gorgasm

    There’s too many great bands putting out unflushable albums this year.
    But as far as labels that have their shit going hard and heavy, Church of Fuck.

    http://churchoffuck.bandcamp.com/

  • Scrimm

    Iron Maiden. That will never change.

    • Cock of Steele

      They are the men on the silver mountain

  • Tyree

    Currently Dead Congregation is the top death metal, Unflushable. Come at at me bros, I’m right here!!!

    • Negrodamus

      Dead Congregation vs. Artificial Brain?

      • Howard Dean

        I really like Artificial Brain, but Dead Congregation takes a massive, healthy shit of souvlaki, baklava, and Satan all over AB. Those Greeks are the tops in DM right now.

        • Negrodamus

          Damn I need to check out that one again, I listened to about half of it but maybe it was late or my mind was on other things.

          • Howard Dean

            It’s totally a subjective/opinion thing. If you’re more into he techy/cleaner side of DM, you’ll probably like Artificial Brain more. If you’re more a fan of the gritty, evil, cavernous side of DM, you’ll be trumpeting the Dead Congregation horn like me.

            As for DC, the new album is killer (as I’ve said many times, my current AOTY), and their debut album, Graves of the Archangels, is just as good. Seriously.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54iw2NSk25E

          • Tyree

            TEETH INTO MOTHER FUCKING RED!!!!!!!!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29U55hcbAzw

        • W.

          I politely disagree.

      • W.

        AB >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        • Howard Dean

          No.

          • W.

            I see it has come to fisticuffs. Politician vs. Politician.

          • Howard Dean

            Fisticuffs. And machete fighting.

    • Howard Dean

      Truth, motherfuckers and lifelovers! Dead Congregation are kings of death metal right now! Byah!

      • Tyree

        That’s fucking right!!! Howard Dean speaks the truth.

    • W.

      Solid rec!

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    Deftones have been pretty much at the top for years, on my list anyway.

  • KJM

    You could call this Funeral Doom I guess. This and Triptykon are my unflushable records of the year thus far.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4VJN5_KU_Y

    • Sight Vnseen

      Good call on The Wounded Kings. Thanks for that one.

      • KJM

        Very disappointed that Sharie Neyland(singer) left the band. I just hope it was nothing serious.

    • Howard Dean

      Current kings of funeral doom: Esoteric and Evoken.

  • Occams_Razor_Ramon

    Mastodon. I am the highest order of fanboy when it comes to Mastodon. I even have shoes and a lighter (NO SHAME). While The Hunter was lackluster, I think Once More Round the Sun is fantastic. Sure, they might not be Prog/Sludge anymore, but their earlier albums in that vein are going to keep them at the top of genre for a while, I think

    • Death

      I really like Blood Mountain.

      • Occams_Razor_Ramon

        That was the first album of theirs I ever bought. Heard that drum intro to The Wolf is Loose and never looked back

        • Death

          I always keep looking back because I’m paranoid. No one is gonna suprise me with a knife.

          • Occams_Razor_Ramon

            I like to live dangerously

          • Death

            That life style will make us meet sooner.

          • Occams_Razor_Ramon

            I look forward to our inevitable game of Twister (That’s a Bogus Journey reference, WATCH IT)

          • Death

            No, it will be chess (The Seventh Seal reference because I was in that movie). And I will NEVER watch Bogus Journey.

          • KJM

            You sank my Battleship!!!!

          • Death

            Bingo!

          • Stockhausen

            You were great in Last Action Hero.

          • Death

            I don’t remember doing that. Maybe because I was addicted to heroin back then, but bow I’m clean as a clean thing.

    • KJM

      Blood Mountain and Crack The Skye are unflushable, at least 8/10 byaaahs. I even enjoyed seeing them on the Heritage Hunter tour.

    • W.

      You should get a tattoo on your Mastodong.

    • crazytaco_12

      I’d definitely say Mastodon is probably the alpha for metal as a whole in terms of sort of reaching that pinnacle, giant status of bands like Metallica, Maiden, and their ilk. Their releases are constantly interesting to me too so I think they are still doing a good job of moving forward the genre as well as retaining cred within the metal community.

  • Pig Destroyer, Brutal Truth and Gaza, i know 2 out 3 of these bands are basically done for but everything not named these is potential for toilet fodder.

    • Death

      I love me some Brutal Truth.

      • I’m hoping they hit up the NYC area one last time before Danny calls it quits. Haven’t heard anything yet.

  • KJM

    Unflushable classic Metal, 10/10 byaahs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR2CkcdwPAA

    • Death

      I’m afraid to say this (maybe), but I’ve never cared about this band.

      • KJM

        We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that.

        They were the first show I saw back in 1982. I also saw Ronnie’s 2nd to last show in 2009, and a few times in between.

        • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

          I don’t know if i mentioned it but i like strange highways more than dream evil, lock up the wolves, dehumanizer and devil you know. It just went right under the radar as far as sales and promotion went.

          • KJM

            I’m not even that familiar with Strange Highways.

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt

    That photoshop is beautiful.

    • W.

      Not mine, sadly.

  • FeelTheDarkness

    This laid the groundwork to awesomenesses!!!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABHxMyJFV1A

    • W.

      Agreed. Nuerosis are arguably the best post/sludge band around, although I think Cult of Luna give them a run for their money.

  • Randall Thor

    Blind Guardian has been and still is at the pinnacle of power metal.

  • guest

    I pretty much haven’t stopped listening to The Ocean’s “Pelagial” since it came out

    • a masterpiece!

    • W.

      Have you listened to their earlier stuff. Precambrian is killer!

      • guest

        I’ve gone as far back as Heliocentric/Anthropocentric. I need to get on that!

        • W.

          Do it!

  • Stockhausen

    A fine choice.

    EDIT: this was supposed to be posted as a reply to another comment. I’ll leave it here for the purposes of your ridicule

    • Howard Dean

      STOCKHAUSEN RIDES A HOVEROUND!

      • Stockhausen

        THESE WORDS ARE TRUE WORDS, VERY COMFY.

  • Stockhausen

    I predict that Black Crown Initiate are gong to end up on top of the proggy/tech-ish pile.

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    i think all of you should start listening Crib45’s Marching Through the Borderlines.
    A bit of Sludge and post and metal and whatnot. And a Sex…I mean Saxophone

  • Kevin Nash and Friends

    Not happy at the moment. Life is shit and I got nominated to do the Cold Water Challenge. I got pissed at five of my friends which I regret already because they didn’t deserve it. I’m in a dark place.

    • W.

      You need a friend, friend?

      • Kevin Nash and Friends

        Maybe. Usually when this happens I listen to the Crimson Idol by WASP and it helps me feel better but for once it did nothing. So for once I listened to some black metal, stuff like Celtic Frost and Mayhem and it helped me get my feelings out. I like black metal now because of its ability to help me get my feelings out.

  • your photoshop skills are unflushable, W.

    Fallujah. they are the only band that do what they currently do, and i love them. i understand the compressed sound argument (damn, you just can’t unhear that). if they get big enough, i could see more bands aping their style. i really feel that what they did was peek their heads into the tech death scene, and found certain tweaks that gave them the absolute upper hand, made them stand out from the crowd.

    • W.

      Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for this work.

  • CONVERGE ARE FLUSH PROOF

    #FLUSHFAX

  • Howard Dean

    This is going to get buried in the comments since I was slow on the draw, but Deathspell Omega are the alpha black metal band right now, and I would dare say the apex metal band of all subgenres at the moment. They have the perfect mix of grounded musical history and that “next level” and “otherworldly” feel that all apex/alpha bands possess. You don’t know where they are going to come from or what it will be like. It will be unlike anything you’ve experienced, and it will be amazing. That’s apex. The sound, the aesthetics, the vibe: all perfect. They are next level and they know it.

    • Death

      YES! I love Deathspell so much!

    • Randall Thor

      Idk, Ruins of Beverast are pretty incredible, but I personally prefer the more progressive approach of DSO’s later material (progressive as in their ever-changing style rather than progressive style of music.)

      • Howard Dean

        Agreed. TRoB is pretty stellar, but they can’t eclipse Deathspell. DsO just has an extra something–like you said, an ever-changing style–and it’s some of the only music around today that has the genuine weirdness/otherworldliness while maintaining a heaping pile of emotional depth to the sound.

        • Randall Thor

          What I find compelling about TRoB is their incredibly bleak and oppressive sound that is perfectly augmented by the production on their music.

          And new DSO definitely has started leaning into much more melodic post rock territory, I’m very interested to see where they go from here. I’m sure at some point in the next year or two they’ll just drop it unannounced.

          • Howard Dean

            Yeah, I’ve been waiting for Norma Evangelium Diaboli to just throw up a little blurb about a new DsO album, its cover art, and release date on their website. That’s usually how they do it. No fanfare.

            I’m very excited to see what they bring with the next album. Paracletus and Drought are phenomenal.

    • W.

      That’s an interesting selection, and I can back it.

  • Guppusmaximus

    In the midst of all this new Tech / Melodic Death Metal, I still find Death unflushable! “Individual” & “Symbolic” sound, to me, like they came out yesterday and still provide the benchmark on how to fuse melody & destruction with such grace & precision never mind the brilliant lyrical content. Had Mr. Shuldiner not left us in his prime, I truly believe that Control Denied would have evolved into one of the greatest bands if not The Greatest of them all!!

    • W.

      Symbolic is so gooooooood!

  • J.R.

    this album is perfection to my ears. I enjoy it more and more every time I play it. I have yet to find any other “epic black metal” type album that satisfies me like this one does.
    0/5 flushes. too big to fit down the pipe, but why would you want it to.

    • Randall Thor

      I prefer Summoning, but considering both bands are basically the same thing, you still win.

      • J.R.

        Many thanks, Lord Dragon. If I may ask, Does the Kinslayer share in your outstanding musical taste?

        • Randall Thor

          Sometimes his habits surface inside me and I end up listening to only old school demo tapes.

  • old_man_doom

    Mastodon. They are my white whale holy grail. This band inspired me to pursue my dreams of becoming a caveman, and with their help, I’m now an intermediate-level troglodyte.

  • Xan

    Corpsessed, Dead Congregation, Death, and Obituary are what I’ve been blasting for the majority of my time.

  • Anthrallica

    I have been listening to Woods V from Woods of Ypres daily since I first heard them here last week. I cannot get enough of this album. Fucking tippy-top of all other music in my life right now.

    • W.

      So great!

      • Anthrallica

        Between my oncoming divorce and the recent loss of my mother I have been in an emotional tailspin. This record has really helped me organize my feelings and better accept the finality of death and loss.

        • W.

          I can understand that. I went through a depression for several years of my life, and music with a similar emotional timbre really resonated with me. Sorry about what’s going on, though.

        • KJM

          My condolences.

  • crazytaco_12

    Obviously, Pallbearer seem to be the most popular in doom right now, but Windhand clearly have high marks and I think Pilgrim will definitely be getting more cred more into their career.

  • crazytaco_12

    Power Trip I currently hold as the best thrash act out right now, just no nonsense ferocity.

  • John Johnson

    Cattle Decapitation-Monolith of Inhumanity
    I will always treasure that record.
    Same thing with Impaled-Mondo Medicale

    • W.

      Yes, best deathgrind album ever.

  • Max

    As far as death metal goes, I now lean toward the idea that there ISN’T an “apex” anymore. My opinion’s not very valid because I don’t follow stuff closely enough nowadays, but the last time I did (early-mid ’00s) it was basically the likes of Nile and Hate Eternal who were considered the cream of that crop.

    And I liked them, but I gotta be honest: nowadays I hear stuff that I enjoy WAY more than those bands just compared on songwriting, let alone speed/brutality/complexity/whatever. For example, the other week when TovH posted the link to that new Beyond Creation single, I had to play it four times in a row like it was a fuckin’ pop song that got stuck in my head. I NEVER did that with Nile. Ditto the new Hour of Penance album: It’s way more listenable and catchy than a lot of the riff-salad BDM stuff, and yet just as heavy and fast. Bear in mind I had never heard of either of these apparently second-tier bands before 2014.

    It’s the same with Gorguts. Nobody as old as me would deny the situation back in the ’90s: We all knew that the likes of Entombed, Morbid Angel and Carcass would go down in metal history – they already had – whereas the likes of Gorguts and Suffocation were put by most people into the “Aw not another Morrisound band!” category, while Cynic were just considered too off-beat. And yet today, all three are rightly recognized to be just as seminal as the usual contenders. It’s testimony to the strength of death metal as a whole that even the supposedly second-tier bands are that good – especially when (speaking as a massive Carcass fan who never originally paid attention to Gorguts) Colored Sands blows the shit out of the already-great Surgical Steel.

    TLDR version: Death metal is a truly meritocratic level playing field. Nobody’s at the top of the game; just THEIR game.

    • W.

      This is a really well-thought-out reply. I appreciate your effort here. I think death metal is also wonderfully diverse, so stuff like Colored Sands and Labyrinth Constellation can exist next to Beyond Creation and Archspire. But, I will say that Colored Sands>Surgical Steel. By a long shot.

  • JWG

    Skagos, in a sub-genre yet to be exactly labelled, because they started with a spine of cascadian black metal then kind of evolved into their own post-metal post-rock post-everything genre that makes them kind of the only one doing what they do – the ‘best’ by default.

  • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

    would you agree that bogus journey is one of the few sequals that is better than the original ?

    • Occams_Razor_Ramon

      I do believe I would. I also think it’s a miracle it got made at all because it is just such a weird movie

  • FuzzyWookie

    I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Eluveitie, and even though they consistently release new stuff, there have only been a few hits on their last few albums. But man, can they hurdy-gurdy

  • TR00KVLT

    As staring-at-trees-and-thinking-about-stuff metal goes, I think Agalloch is my big fish. Black Lake Nidstang makes me want to go camping soo bad.

  • IronLawnmower

    Vomitor are gods of war metal.

    • Howard Dean

      Blasphemophagher > Vomitor.

      • IronLawnmower

        Never heard of them. Will check out.

        • Howard Dean

          #Byah!
          Blasphemophagher are disgustingly filthy bestial/war metal from Italy. Good shit.

          • IronLawnmower

            I like my metal like I like my hookers. Crusty raw and foreign.

          • Howard Dean

            That’s the only way to have ’em.