Staff Infections

February 2017

posted on 2/2017   By: Jeremy Morse

Sometimes, particularly when the world seems to be going to Hell in a handbasket, it feels a bit silly to blather on about heavy metal, but opening up a political can of worms in this column is probably sillier. Chances are you get enough political bombardment from both sides of the aisle on social media and every other kind of media, anyway. So, for better or worse, we’re going to whistle past the graveyard here and keep the discussion metal-related. On to what we’ve been listening to…

In case you missed it, the Last Rites staff participated in another knock-down, drag-out Battle Royal, pitting New York death metal icons Suffocation and Immolation against each other. Immolation eked out a win in the staff vote, while Suffocation scored a comparably tight victory in the Twitter poll. Both bands being much on the staff’s minds and, consequently, on the staff’s playlists has created a veritable fustercluck in the process of determining what the album of the month is. There is a six-way tie for first place, including four Immolation albums, and two Suffocation albums, with Kreator’s recently released Gods of Violence horning in on the action as well.

Dawn of Possession, Here in After, and Close to A World Below all made multiple appearances on staff playlists, and some lucky pricks around here were even granted access to the band’s forthcoming LP, Atonement. For Suffocation’s part, Effigy of the Forgotten and Souls to Deny both popped up on more than one list. As much as I would like to fill this piece up with Suffocation and Immolation tracks, I fear that might run the risk of oversaturation, so I’ll leave you with one song from each band.

Oh, but I can’t leave you without a posing a discussion question. The subject of keyboards in metal came up during talks in our staff area. I, being the designated staff cretin, am largely opposed to them, while the rest of the staff has little or no issue with them. In general, I find keyboards about as appealing as frosting on a steak. Metal is, for the most part, harsh and aggressive, and keyboards, despite the myriad sounds they generate, are not. There are exceptions of course: Type O Negative, Rainbow, and Nocturnus each managed to make great heavy metal while prominently featuring keyboards, but, most of the time, when a band has a full-time keyboard player, said player is going to find things to do to justify his existence, and those things will, assuredly, fuck up what might otherwise be good heavy metal. What say you, gentle reader, keyboards in metal: yay or nay? Be sure to share your opinion along with your playlist in the comments.

 • • • • •

Zach Duvall

Venenum - Trance of Death
Immolation - Dawn of Possession
Autopsy - Mental Funeral
Neil Young - On the Beach
Asunder - A Clarion Call
Master's Hammer - Vagus Vetus


Immolation - Majesty & Decay
Behexen - The Poisonous Path
Exodus - Tempo of the Damned
Ahab - The Call of the Wretched Sea
Incantation - Vanquished in Vengeance
Death - The Sound of Perseverence

Andrew Edmunds

Dead Instrument - See Through Negative
Disrupt - Unrest
Power Trip - Manifest Decimation
Immolation - Kingdom Of Conspiracy
Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls
Judas Priest - Painkiller

Michael Wuensch

Disharmony - Goddamn the Sun
Savatage - Power of the Night
Hymn - Perish
Immolation - Here In After
Immolation - Atonement
Gorephilia - Severed Monolith

Chris Redar

Guns n Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Seputus - Man Does Not Give
Guns n Roses - Use Your Illusion II
Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
Guns n Roses - GnR Lies
Bjork - Post

Mirela Travar

Sanctuary - Into the Mirror Black
Dead Man - Euphoria
Bolt Thrower - Those Once Loyal
Primordial - Spirit the Earth Aflame
13th Floor Elevators - Easter Everywhere
Nevermore - The Obsidian Conspiracy

K. Scott Ross

Suffocation - Effigy of the Forgotten
VI - De Praestigiis Angelorum
Antaeus - Condemnation
Zao - The Well-Intentioned Virus
Pat Metheny - Offramp
Boy Harsher - Yr Body Is Nothing

Konrad Kantor

Mulatu Astatke - Ethio Jazz Vol. 1
Suffocation - Pierced from Within
Suffocation - Effigy of the Forgotten
Immolation - Close to a World Below
Murg - Varg & Björn
Graupel - Auf alten Wegen...

Evan Thompson

Drudkh - Autumn Aurora
Devin Townsend Project - Addicted
Bison B.C. - Dark Ages
Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
Dance with the Dead - Out of Body
Dance with the Dead - Near Dark

Danhammer Obstkrieg

Immolation - Atonement
Suffocation - Souls to Deny
AFI - AFI (The Blood Album)
Yann Tiersen - EUSA
Manetheren - The End
GZA - Liquid Swords

Dave Schalek

Carcass - Reek of Putrefaction
Kreator - Gods of Violence
Harvest Gulgaltha - Altars of Devotion
Invasion - Destroyer of Mankind
Tomb Mold - Primordial Malignity
Death Metal Dads Podcasts - Episodes 1-9

Matthew Cooper

Sanctuary - Refuge Denied
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
Mangog - Mangog Awakens
Black Sabbath - Born Again
Rigor Mortis - 1986 Demo
Kreator - Terrible Certainty

Dave Pirtle

Overkill - The Grinding Wheel
Bill + Phil - Songs of Darkness and Despair
Panikk - Discarded Existence
Opeth - Sorceress
Shaarimoth - Temple of the Adversarial Fire
Kreator - Gods of Violence

Jeremy Morse

ImmolationDawn of Possession
Immolation Here in After
ImmolationFailures for Gods
ImmolationClose to a World Below
SuffocationBreeding the Spawn
Suffocation Souls to Deny

 • • • • •