Top 10 Death Metal releases from the 80s

The Fallen The Horde The North The Pit
First Post June 09, 2021 06:12 AM

I've just put a list up of my top 10 Death Metal releases from the 80s.

I'd be really interested to hear what others would or wouldn't include in theirs. You can do so either on this thread or as a comment on the list itself.

I'm sure Daniel must have an opinion at the very least. He's never short of one.

June 09, 2021 03:01 PM

Go on, I'll bite first.

I don't disagree with the majority included on your list (have to revisit that Opprobrium album before commenting on it - and Carcass would not make my list) but I would re-order them.

1) Obituary - Slowly We Rot, this is simply a huge album for me as it was my gateway album into death metal and genuinely listening to this for the first time is one of the greatest moments of my life.

2) Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness, probably one of the most essential death metal releases of all time.  Total non-conformity from Trey with certain keys or scales make this an album that challenged the very form of music itself.

3) Pestilence - Consuming Impulse, to quote my review "This was all from a band several thousand of miles away from the developing US death metal scene, yet the Dutch band from Enschede, Overijssel dropped an album of such magnitude and presence that it could trade blows with the Morbid Angel's and Obituary's of the time and only narrowly lose out on points."

4) Death - Leprosy, no argument from me here, top of the pile of Death releases for the 80's.  Huge strides taken from the debut in just a year, pushing the band and the genre further forwards than we imagined possible.

5) Death - Scream Bloody Gore, surprised myself with the inclusion of this behind Pestilence but in all honesty I just know the Pestilence album better and I think that this album's importance is more relevant terms of the genre definition it did at the time.  The best was very much still yet to come from Chuck at this point.

6) Autopsy - Severed Survival, filthy stuff put plain and simple.  Plug in, no fuck's left to give death metal that crushes all in its path.  Reifert pulls another early death metal classic out of thin air and lands on his feet again.

7) Macabre - Gloom, upping the unpredictability stakes ten-fold is what Macabre do best.  Nineteen tracks of serial killer themed blasting two minute grind is a superb night out in my book.

8) Possessed - Seven Churches, the birth of death/thrash gets a look in towards the end of the list.  Not as highly-rated as perhaps some of my peers would want to see it I know but this release sort of passes me by most of the time nowadays.

9) Terrorizer - World Downfall, we are getting to the bottom of the barrel now for me and these last two only really qualify for the fact that they were released in a decade with limited number of releases.

10) Bolt Thrower - Realm of Chaos, not that I hate it but I have big problems with the production on this making it one of the most stifled sounding death metal albums of the time.

June 09, 2021 08:27 PM

I'm not as clued up on death metal as some of you guys, but here's my list for what it's worth:

#1 Possessed - Seven Churches
#2 Terrorizer - World Downfall
#3 Autopsy - Severed Survival
#4 Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness
#5 Sempiternal Deathreign - The Spooky Gloom
#6 Poison - Into the Abyss
#7 Bolt Thrower - In Battle There Is No Law!
#8 Pestilence - Consuming Impulse
#9 Death - Leprosy
#10 Vulcano - Bloody Vengeance

Early death metal is much more up my street than the later, more defined and brutal sound. I know the Poison album was originally a demo, but it sounds fine all the same and I love it.

I've never heard the Incubus album from Ben's list or the Macabre album from Vinny's so I must check them out.

June 09, 2021 11:41 PM

I'm sure Daniel must have an opinion at the very least. He's never short of one.

Quoted Ben

Damn right I do Ben. This is my sweet spot right here. Before I give you my top ten, here's a few things worth noting:

1. I haven't considered Terrorizer's "World Downfall" for inclusion as I regard it as a straight-up grindcore record rather than a death metal or deathgrind one. Otherwise it would have come in at number three on my list as it was a big release for me personally.

2. I've included the Sepultura & Protector releases despite their generally being more closely linked to thrash metal. The first couple of Sepultura releases are about a 50/50 death/thrash combination in my opinion while the Protector E.P. is pretty much a mid-way transition point between "Seven Churches" & Morbid Angel so I've never understood why it's not regarded as an early death metal release in all honesty.

3. I've omitted Sepultura's "Bestial Devastation" E.P. (despite the fact that it's strong enough for inclusion when viewed in isolation) due to the fact that it was only available as a part of the split E.P. with Overdose during the 1980's which reduces its quality & also makes it more thrash oriented as an overall package. "Bestial Devastation" was re-released as its own entity in the early 1990's but came with an additional re-recording.

Anyway.... here's my top ten death metal releases of the 1980's:

01. Morbid Angel – “Altars Of Madness” (1989)

02. Carcass – “Symphonies Of Sickness” (1989)

03. Pestilence – “Consuming Impulse” (1989)

04. Death – “Leprosy” (1988)

05. Bolt Thrower – “Realm Of Chaos” (1989)

06. Protector – “Misanthropy” E.P. (1987)

07. Morbid Angel – “Abominations Of Desolation” (1986)

08. Sepultura – “Morbid Visions” (1986)

09. Death – “Scream Bloody Gore” (1987)

10. Obituary – “Slowly We Rot” (1989)

The Fallen The Horde The North The Pit
June 10, 2021 01:23 AM

Sonny, I've been listening to that Sempiternal Deathreign album this week. I liked it more than I thought I would, particularly the doom sections. I can see why you'd dig it so much. I don't think it's great as a death metal album though, so kinda wish they'd just gone all out on the doom! Certainly an interesting listen.

The Fallen The Horde The North The Pit
June 10, 2021 01:24 AM

Daniel, I really should check out that Protector EP more thoroughly. The track I checked out previously a) definitely contained death metal and b) sounded pretty damn good.