UNDEATH Vocalist Discusses Why Metal Fans Love To Categorize Music So Much

If there’s one thing that fans of extreme metal love more than being hateful on the internet, it’s compartmentalizing the music they love. A band that might seem terrifyingly incomprehensible to the majority of the general populous is neatly filed away into the “raw-vampyric-bandcamp-black-metal” section of the average contemporary metal listener’s brain. This propensity for rigorous classification is just one of the innumerable ways that us fans make sense of this highly nonsensical music that we love so dearly, but it can also be a source of heated debate. God help you if you define Cannibal Corpse as “OSDM” or Paysage d’Hiver as “atmoblack” around the wrong people. This compartmentalization is something that we all do personally and socially on a daily basis, whether we cop to it or not, and it remains a very fine line to walk if your extreme-metal-lexicon isn’t up to date.

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So, with all this in mind, where does one start with a band like Last Days of Humanity? There’s the hard facts to get out of the way first, which is that they’re goregrind pioneers whose album covers are adorned with the kind of harrowing crime scene and autopsy imagery that you’d find in abundance on shock sites like rotten.com back in the day. Although the band’s visual component is a massive barrier to entry for most sensible people, if you can stomach it enough to actually listen to the music, you’ll be greeted with a pitch-black sense of humor that most other goregrind bands have since adopted (or ripped off wholesale). The band’s songs rarely stretch past the one-minute mark (most don’t even make it beyond thirty seconds), and they bear titles like “Covered With Faeces as Decoration” and “Reeking Mush Beneath Each Cavity”. They’ve even “covered” Metallica‘s “Nothing Else Matters,” slashing the original utterly histrionic ballad’s six-and-a-half-minute runtime to a mere 27 seconds. You can level a lot of claims at Last Days of Humanity, but you can’t say they aren’t efficient.

Returning to the original point at hand, even a band like Last Days of Humanity, who so often seem to exist solely to spit in the face of established categorization, have been handily categorized by metal fans. It’s what we do. What we lack in social skills and bathing regimens we attempt to make up for in pattern recognition. The music of Last Days of Humanity is anarchic, but it’s a specific kind of anarchy, and once you’ve seen it in practice on an album like Putrefaction in Progress, you see its shadow looming over all of their many, many imitators. Discovering these sorts of things is like being let in on an open secret that was right under your nose for years, and it’s one of the countless things that makes being a fan of a world of music that’s perpetually locked into a game of brinksmanship with itself so rewarding. If you get it, you get it. If you don’t, don’t sweat it – Ed Sheeran always has new stuff on the way.

I know I’m supposed to recommend a specific album on these things, and we’ll return to that more dedicated programming next week, but honestly if the description of the band that I provided above entices you at all then you can’t really go wrong with any of their albums. I’m partial to Putrefaction in Progress and Hymns of Indigestible Suppuration, both of which showcase the absolutely ferocious heights that Last Days of Humanity (and goregrind as a whole) are capable of reaching. The band even released an excellent album last year, Horrific Compositions of Decompositions, their first in about 15 years, which aside from its goofy creepypasta cover art is just as intense and dizzying as anything the band has released before. It’s hard to go wrong with this band. Just enjoy the ride.

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