Tracing The Musical Path

Tomorrow, I fly to Chicago to go see seminal Swedish Death Metal band At The Gates perform at one of their few US tour dates on the Suicidal Final Tour 2008 which functions as the fair-well tour that the band never had when they broke up in the 90’s just before I discovered their awesome music.

As the show draws near, I’ve been thinking about the musical evolution of various forms of extreme metal music and how sometimes you can pick out a clear path from one end of the spectrum to the other. For example, one can easily trace the development from Black Sabbath to At the Gates:

  1. Black Sabbath Black Sabbath (1970): proto-metal with traces of its blues origin
  2. Black Sabbath Paranoid (1970): early heavy metal
  3. Judas Priest Sad Wings of Destiny (1976): beginning of classic heavy metal
  4. Judas Priest Stained Class (1978): classic heavy metal with first hints of speed/thrash metal
  5. Slayer Show No Mercy (1983): early speed/thrash metal with clear lineage from Judas Priest’s sound
  6. Slayer Hell Awaits (1985): thrash metal – much darker with proto-death metal elements
  7. Possessed Seven Churches (1985): proto-death metal with traces of thrash origins
  8. Death Scream Bloody Gore (1987): early death metal with most thrash elements stripped away
  9. Morbid Angel Alters of Madness (1989): seminal early death metal
  10. Entombed Left Hand Path (1990): death metal with early hints of the melodic death metal sound
  11. At The Gates Gardens of Grief (1991): early At The Gates with only hints of their future sound
  12. At The Gates With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness (1993): Early melodic death metal sound
  13. At The Gates Slaughter Of The Soul (1995): Classic melodic death metal album
Now I am not saying that the bands later in the list were directly influenced by bands earlier in the list, but if you listen to these albums in order you can clearly hear the relationships and the evolution of the sound.
That’s our little metal history lesson for today… ‘Til next time keep it metal!
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