Morbid Angel is an American death metal band based in Tampa, Florida. UK music magazine Terrorizer ranked Morbid Angel's 1989 debut Altars of Madness first in its list 'Top 40 greatest death metal albums'. Decibel Magazine also rated guitarist Trey Azagthoth as the number one 'death metal guitarist ever'. The band's songs are complex in arrangement, owing to the considerable technical skills of both Azagthoth and drummer Pete Sandoval, who also played in the grindcore band Terrorizer. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Morbid Angel is the third best-selling death metal band in the United States (after Cannibal Corpse and Deicide with sales of over 445,000, with their third album Covenant being the best-selling death metal album of all time with over 127,000 units sold.
Suffocation is an American death metal band that was formed in 1989 in Long Island, New York. The band comprises vocalist Frank Mullen, guitarists Terrance Hobbs and Guy Marchais, drummer Mike Smith and bassist Derek Boyer. Suffocation rose to prominence of death metal and created a blueprint for the genre for the 1990s with their 1991 debut album Effigy of the Forgotten and released six studio albums since its formation.
The band's grindcore-influenced technical death metal style uses guttural vocals with a bottom-heavy guitar sound; complex, fast guitar riffs and drumming, and a sophisticated sense of songwriting.
Having delivered five killer albums boasting some of the most potent, technical and abrasive metal unleashed over the last decade, it would be easy for Revocation to sit back and rest upon their laurels. However, with their constant drive to push their sound ever forward and refusal to compromise their integrity, this could never be the case – and Great Is Our Sin is their most dynamic, boundary-pushing and weighty release to date. For vocalist/guitarist Dave Davidson, the goal has never been about trying to please others. “Thinking critically about my own style and being self-motivated has had a very strong impact on me as a musician and songwriter. We try not to think too much about extraneous forces when we’re writing so we can focus on creating music for ourselves first and foremost.“
Hitting the road with 2014′s Deathless, the band shared stages with the likes of Crowbar and the mighty Cannibal Corpse, drawing in legions of new fans. When it came time to follow it up, the quartet – rounded out by guitarist Dan Gargiulio, bassist Brett Bamberger, and recently recruited drummer Ash Pearson – had their work cut out for them, and their response to the challenge is a record that grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go. Never forcing anything, the songs that would comprise Great Is Our Sin came together organically, and while the members being spread all around North America would have been an impediment to some, Revocation drew strength from it. “Writing comes pretty naturally for us, but logistics are more of an issue since everyone lives in different places. Ash would fly in from Vancouver, and he and I would jam together at our practice space in Boston. We didn’t have the luxury of getting together to jam whenever we felt like it, but in a way I think it actually made us more focused, since we had to make the most of our time together and not procrastinate. Added to that, Ash is an incredible player and he has a really diverse style which we’ve utilized a lot on the album. He can really go off behind the kit, playing some very intense technical stuff, as well as bringing in some more diverse elements drawn from his influences outside the metal realm.” Reuniting with producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Bleeding Through), who also helmed Deathless and 2012′s Teratogenesis EP, the record packs the requisite punch, yet retains the organic feel with which it was conceived. Known for their technical prowess, the band remained dedicated to upping the ante without ever losing sight of the importance of good songwriting. Opener “Arbiters Of The Apocalypse” makes this abundantly clear, blending together breakneck thrash, crunching death metal flavors, plenty of visceral fret abuse as well as compelling yet unforced melodies. While they rarely hold back the aggression, it is very much pushed to the fore on the likes of “Communion” and “Copernican Heresy”, which are as savage as the band have ever sounded. However, they also retain and build upon the proggier aspects of their sound, as well as embracing triumphant “fist-in-the-air” moments, most notably on the chorus of “Arbiters” and the blistering solo that slashes through “Crumbling Imperium”. “We’ve always had a bit of a prog element to our sound, I think we’ve all just gotten better as musicians so we feel more comfortable pushing the envelope even more than before,” Davidson states. “Likewise, I try to write melodies and solos that aesthetically fit the mood of the part, and for me both those sections needed something really epic sounding, especially on the ‘Arbiters’ chorus. I was initially planning on screaming for that part, but the riff felt very anthemic to me, so I came up with a melody that was more in line with the triumphant nature of it.” That legendary shredder Marty Friedman unleashes a solo on “The Exaltation” was a dream come true for Davidson, and certainly gives the track an extra kick in the pants. “Marty has always been a huge influence on me and is someone I really respect. His solo on ‘The Exaltation’ has all the elements that I love in his playing, especially the element of surprise.“
While the songs come together to make for a cohesive record that is engaging from front to back, they are further united by the lyrical concept penned by Davidson. The title itself appropriated from Charles Darwin’s quote: “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin“, Davidson went about building a theme that was not only fittingly expansive, but also had real resonance with regard to contemporary society. “The concept revolves around the folly of man throughout the ages. Some themes come from historical references that are hundreds of years old, yet sadly these themes are still very relevant today due to mankind’s refusal to learn from the lessons history has taught us, time and time again.” To this end, the vocalist tackles issues such as political corruption and the buying and selling of lawmakers on “Only The Spineless Survive”, while on “Theatre Of Horror” he reflects on the place of public execution in Medieval times, and the manner in which it was supposed to shock and entertain the populace. Furthermore, he vents his anger and frustrations over the very real problems presented by climate change on epic closer “Cleaving The Ice Giants”, and the aptly titled “Monolithic Ignorance”.
Regardless of the state of the world, nothing is going to slow Revocation down any time soon. Whilst the lineup has changed over the ten years the band has been in existence, Davidson’s passion has never waned, and they are arguably sounding better than ever as they look toward the future. “We can’t wait to bring these songs out on the road and perform them for different audiences all over the world. ‘Great Is Our Sin’ is a new chapter for the band, and collectively we feel that it is our defining record to date.”
Withered formed in mid 2003 by Chris Freeman and Mike Thompson (founding members of the political/crust/grind outfit, Social Infestation). Coming out of a dark period riddled with death & depression, they were driven to explore the darker attributes of life and created a torturous yet liberating form of music. they accomplished this by combining norwegian black metal anguish, early swedish death metal riffing, modern american doom, and dramatic guitar melodies all while still clinging to their punk and grind roots. to culminate this, they needed an unrelenting percussion force. they called upon long time friend and accomplished drummer, Wes Kever (ex puaka balava w/ Mike T.). after writing a few songs they realized it was time to find the bassist that could audibly obliterate their listeners. They called upon Greg Hess (ex leechmilk). His menacing sludgy background helped cultivate withered's intense sound. withered immediately started touring and stirring up a frenzy in the eastern US with a 3 song demo.
Lifeforce records took notice of the bands efforts and a contract was inked in early '05. their debut album "memento mori" was released in fall 2005 and gained incredible praise throughout the world. Decibel magazine gave "Memento Mori" the 4th position in their "top 40 albums of 2005". Every song on "Memento Mori" reminds you that death is patiently awaiting your inevitable arrival and that you can either welcome it with open arms or be dragged into it kicking and screaming. Songs like "the fear and pain that cripples me" are an unrelenting force of grind and metal while the almost nine minute epic "like locusts" embraces the darkest corners of life & conciousness with lulling guitar melodies, majestic riffage, and blistering verses.
2006 was a tough year. Withered parted ways with Greg Hess and Wes Kever just after completing a successful tour supporting Vital Remains and Dismember. They had to step down due to their family obligations and inability to tour at Withered's pace. In Early '07, withered recruited Mike Longoria and Beau Brandon. Both hail from El Paso, TX (eventually moving to Atlanta) where they had known each other for decades and had played together in numerous bands (founding member's of Waited). Their history together provided the foundation for creating a formidable rhythm section. They have been able to over-fill some pretty big shoes left behind by Hess and Kever and have taken withered's music to the next level.
In December '07, withered signed to Prosthetic records. their 2nd full length was immediately named "one of the top 25 most anticipated albums of 2008" by Decibel magazine. "Folie Circulaire" hit the streets on June 24th of '08 and is already gaining tremendous praise. It transcends all sub-genres of extreme music effortlessly and with unsurpassed continuity. The lyrical content and theme of the album challenges you to open your mind and consider humanity's ugly truths. It features a cover of Necrophobic's Into Armageddon and Barney Greenway (Napalm Death) makes a guest vocal appearance on two tracks.