Dustin Boltjes has a lot of reasons to be pumped right now. His band Skeletonwitch released its fifth (and possibly best) full-length, Serpents Unleashed, on Tuesday (probably the most important item on this list). The Ohio quintet just kicked off a string of tourdates alongside The Black Dahlia Murder. Oh, and he and bandmate Chance Garnette appear in the latest episode of Kids Interview Bands (definitely the most hilarious). Album cycle hoopla aside, the drummer is also pretty psyched about the current state of death metal. We'll let him take it from here. "Death metal is alive and breathing! The last year or so has been monumental for new death metal releases. In particular, the wave of classic death metal bands (i.e. Gorguts, Suffocation, Carcass) returning to reclaim the throne and prove to the newer wave of death metal bands that not only are these bands alive, but quite frankly still doing it better, some 20-plus years later." So we present to you Dustin's "Death Metal Is Not Dead" playlist, complete with three old-school bonus selections. Feel free to listen along here and don't forget to pick up a copy of Skeletonwitch's killer new record here.
Gorguts' "Forgotten Arrows" (from 2013's Colored Sands) Gorguts has been and always will be my absolute favorite death metal band. It started with Considered Dead in the early '90s and with every album since they have managed to keep you on your toes and constantly evolve. When they disappeared after the amazing From Wisdom to Hate, I accepted that they were gone forever. Then out of nowhere, words began to spread of a newly reformed Gorguts with an unbelievable lineup to back the genius that is Luc Lemay. I began to grow increasingly impatient, like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, to hear this "new" Gorguts. After an extensive wait, HOLY SHIT! They not only returned with a vengeance, but in my opinion have released the best death metal album to come out in the last decade. Hail the mighty GORGUTS!
Suffocation's "Purgatorial Punishment" (from 2013's Pinnacle Of Bedlam) Suffocation has done it again. Absolutely crushing release from these guys. In a world full of cookie cutter "death metal" bands, they have continued to set the bar in brutality. And to all of you "deathcore" breakdown kings, this band truly understands what a breakdown riff should consist of. Period. Wimps and poseurs, take note.
Carcass's "Captive Bolt Pistol" (from 2013's Surgical Steel) I've always been that guy that thought Heartwork was and will always be their best record to date. I love the grindier, grittier approach on Necroticism, but Heartwork just really hit it home for me. Now they have returned and pretty much took the best parts of both those records and meshed them into one killer death metal album. Welcome back Carcass! We've missed you...
The Black Dahlia Murder's "Into The Everblack" (from 2013's Everblack) I honestly was never a fan of these guys until we toured with them and I got to witness night after night just how unbelievably talented these dudes are. In my opinion, these guys are single-handedly one of the best modern death metal bands to emerge post-2000. And with every record, they've gotten more vicious. This album is without a doubt TBDM at its finest. Cannot wait to hit the road with these guys again in October!
Wormed's "Stellar Depopulation" (from 2013's Exodromos) Razor sharp and unrelenting. I don't listen to a lot of the more technical death metal, but once I heard this, I was completely blown away. I cannot get enough of this record. Approach with caution...
Dordeduh's "Cumpăt" (from 2012's Dar De Duh) A friend of mine turned me on to these guys. I don't know much about them, but I do know that this is the perfect album to smoke some weed, kick back and take the journey into madness. Stellar fucking record!
Portal's "Kilter" (from 2013's Vexovoid) This a complete and total mindfuck. 'Nuff said...
The last three songs for my playlist are from classic death metal albums. These songs rule and still hold strong this many years later:
Deicide's "In Hell I Burn" (from 1992's Legion) I can remember listening to this record on acid when I was 16 years old and truly getting scared. Hands down, one of the most evil records ever created.
Disincarnate's "Stench of Paradise Burning" (from 1993's Dreams Of The Carrion Kind) One of my all time favorite death metal records. The song writing is perfect. It's brutal, melodic and quite frankly way ahead of its time. James Murphy's soloing on this record is as good as it gets! If you've never heard this album, go listen to it right now!
Cannibal Corpse's "Shredded Humans" (from 1990's Eaten Back To Life) This was technically the first death metal song I had ever heard with young 14 year old virgin ears. And I fell in love. Brutal, uncompromising and hilariously awesome gory lyrics to go along with it! This album made me wanna play drums like this. And now, 23 years later, it's still a huge influence of mine.
*Order Serpents Unleashed here.
**Skeletonwitch tour dates (2013 dates with The Black Dahlia Murder, Fallujah, Noisem and Wolvhammer; 2014 dates with Amon Amarth and Enslaved):
31-Oct Ritual Ottawa, Canada 1-Nov Rum Runners London, Canada 2-Nov Mod Club Toronto, Canada 4-Nov Crocks Thunder Bay, Canada 6-Nov WECC Winnipeg, Canada 7-Nov Louis' Saskatoon, Canada 8-Nov Avenue Theatre Edmonton, Canada 9-Nov THE DEN Calgary, Canada 11-Nov The Biltmore Vancouver, Canada 12-Nov The Center Spokane, WA 13-Nov Wow Hall Eugene, OR 14-Nov Whiskey Dicks South Lake Tahoe, CA 15-Nov Strummers Fresno, CA 16-Nov Glasshouse Pomona, CA 17-Nov The Rock Tucson, AZ 18-Nov Tricky Falls El Paso, TX 19-Nov Club Patron Odessa, TX 20-Nov Conservatory Oklahoma City, OK 21-Nov Outland Ballroom Springfield, MO 22-Nov Firebird St Louis, MO 23-Nov BLUE MOOSE Iowa City, IA 24-Nov The Castle Theatre Bloomington, IL 25-Nov Mojoes Joliet, IL 26-Nov The Intersection Grand Rapids, MI 27-Nov The Machine Shop Flint, MI 17-Jan House of Blues Las Vegas, NV 18-Jan Club Red Phoenix, AZ 20-Jan Backstage Live San Antonio, TX 21-Jan House of Blues Dallas, TX 22-Jan House of Blues Houston, TX 23-Jan Siberia New Orleans, LA 24-Jan Center Stage Atlanta, GA 25-Jan The Ritz Tampa, FL 26-Jan Revolution Fort Lauderdale, FL 28-Jan The Jinx Savannah, GA 29-Jan THE FILLMORE Charlotte, NC 30-Jan The Norva Norfolk, VA 31-Jan The Fillmore Silver Spring, MD 1-Feb House of Blues Boston, MA 3-Feb TLA Philadelphia, PA 4-Feb Irving Plaza New York, NY 5-Feb Irving Plaza New York, NY 7-Feb House Of Blues Chicago, IL 8-Feb Mill City Nights Minneapolis, MN 9-Feb Granada Theatre Lawrence, KS 11-Feb Summit Music Hall Denver, CO 12-Feb Murray Theatre Salt Lake City, UT 14-Feb Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA 15-Feb The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA 16-Feb House of Blues San Diego San Diego, CA
***We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here.
Past entries include:
Ihsahn Earthless Watain Orange Goblin God Is An Astronaut Primitive Man Gorguts Exhumed Ulcerate Pelican Scale The Summit Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2) Mouth Of The Architect Howl Kings Destroy Zozobra Call of the Void Saint Vitus Bar Coliseum Woe Anciients Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid) Intronaut BATILLUS Inter Arma Helen Money Misery Index Ancient VVisdom Holy Grail Rotten Sound Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2) Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2) Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2) Early Graves All That Remains Bison B.C. A Life Once Lost Fight Amp Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander) Vision of Disorder Grave Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2) "Best of" Rush (Part 1) (Part 2) Dawnbringer Ufomammut Shadows Fall Horseback Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2) Torche "Best of" Meshuggah Astra Pallbearer Barren Earth Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)