Review: 1. Deteriorate - "Devoured": Rippingly fast muscle riffs alternate with sparse but foundational structures for decision within the song, resulting in a songwriting format which supports both simple looping and motion toward larger design.
2. Morpheus Descends - "Immortal Coil": Descendents of this band formed the New York style of death metal and the primitive ancestry here shows with its shuddering rhythm riffs and reliance on recursive conclusion to its varied patterns which, shifting themes like a classic piece, string together a basic rhythm to a changing tonal landscape.
3. Killing Addiction - "Omega Factor": Clanging heavy strumming death metal utilizes detuned muffled chords to build riffing which states its point and doubles it in inexorable rhythm, staggered riff breakdowns and the racing transitions which provide life-sustaining spatial variation. Vomiting howls at an edge of searing distortion bulwark the peripatetic but uniformly centricist riff mutation in progress, adding a texture to otherwise often tonally abrupt and rhythmically reductive music.
4. Nokturnel - "My Hell": In a style that would become popular a handful of years later, Nokturnel slice out ripping tremelo riff patterns with dynamic silence used for effect to punctuate transitions and phrase fills, cramming vocals into a whisper of overbooked syllables crowding the point of impact for each rhythm. Internal harmony and a sense of chaotic noise accompaniment for melody distinguish this track from its counterparts, and its constant clatter drums predict the explosion in racing grindcore style beats in death and black metal.
5. Organic Infest - "Carnal Waste": Featuring the worst guitar sound ever recorded, this scratchy atmospheric confinement delineates careful riffs taking the vein of an overall song rhythm and giving it great momentum, only to vary in opposition in a style reminiscent of Deicide meeting an old school crustcore band.
6. Skeletal Earth - "Green Solution": Using heaviness as its clearance, this band indulges in roaring riffs that return to consistent grooves in rhythm riffing and such alternate between chaos that is structure, and structure that essentially holds rhythmic position with similarity. Heavy metal and punk influences are subtle yet fundamental to this engrossing work.
7. Excruciating Pain - "Liquid Flesh": One of the oldest styles of death metal with its pervasive classic metal influence in reduced hardcore style representation, showing through here as riffs shift adroitly to a transposition of tempo, demonstrates the effectiveness of motion tremelo riffs alternated with downstrummed conclusive repetitions. Pitch harmonics, rhythm led by growling, and thunderous double bass fit this album directly into death metal canon.
8. Disastrous Murmur - "Dinner is Served": Rampaging thunderslam music freewheelingly moves between ideas and then unifies them with a pervasive rhythmic vector combining the darker old school reverberations with chunkier almost New York styled percussive riffing.
9. Acheron - "Thou Art Lord": Death metal with a tendency more toward the columnar structures of alternating tonal jumps converging on a shifting point of centricist return allows itself the freedom to open up its internal tonal shifts toward simple recombinant variation between three themes, allowing a consistent motif of shifting texture and focus of sound to, in ways similar to the techniques of black metal, maintain an obscure but melodic presence of song.
10. Beherit - "Nocturnal Evil": From the atmospheric styles of simple grindcore-enhanced black metal, Beherit have wrought with this album a change toward melodic uptake in riff convergence and a great focus on structure and its abrupt variation to illustrate a dogma of chaos to this music. Bathory and Terrorizer influenced with highly punkish denouement.
11. Vicious Circle - "Fist of God": Crossover music mixed into death and progressive metal riffs with a chanting clean vocalist, reminiscent of later DRI meets Ripping Corpse, but with a high degree of riff-salad style structural variation that ends up becoming narrative and although maintained by rhythmic unification, often discordantly unfocused in structural evolution.
12. Immortal - "Call of the Winter Moon": A breath of winter in this Bathory-inspired epic which paints the romantic spaciousness of the night through long phrase riffs which alternate into a fusion of their themes for chaotic emergence of central melodic tendencies, placing a surging energy within the consistent for a refreshing access to life's core of mystical chaos.
13. Master's Hammer - "Among the Hills": Heavy metal groove riffing forms the basis of this technical work, which likes to present a harmonic space and then thrust it against violent change to feed an energy for its own return. More deftly articulating this transition type than its peers, Master's Hammer use keyboards as almost political counterpoint to the song's motion tendency, much in the way negative space is here used, but the end result is highly listenable and although goofy and groovy, evocative of the violence in black metal.
14. Blasphemy - "Elders of the Apocalypse": Slamming grindcore riffs over clattering drums allow Blasphemy to create a driving consistency interrupted by melodic interlude and the blasting impact of sudden silence, assembling a metallic legion of ideas which conclude with the nothingness inherent in reality, as expressed by seemingly chaotic variations that fuse themselves through rhythm and direction.
15. Samael - "Worship Him": Dark heavy trudging rhythm stacks chords into almost deadened melodies which rise in structural variation toward conclusion in minor discord, remaining there only until the greatest shifts of song structure resolve them with modal equilibrium. In the style often of heavy metal-influenced black metal bands, this groundbreaking work emphasizes the graceful melody of epic inspiration behind the genre.
16. Impaled Nazarene - "Apolokia": Blasting maniac metal from this band builds on the work of early Bathory with similar long phrase structures which rarely vary percussion but shift the overall melodic drive to the music within relaxing rhythmic structures, enforcing an organic framework of time which supports these Doppleresque convergences of melody.
17. Pyogenesis - "Still Burn in Fire": Rambling dirges of counterpoint rhythms merge to isolate a melodic ascension, defined by the finer textures of female vocal off-rhythm to accentuate both its firm conclusion and its structural yet chaotic body. Phrases are longer than most death bands, but slow doomy passages build like speed/death crossover bands in the vein of Kreator of Sepultura, which a more pop radio sense of vocal lyricism leading each song toward conclusion and decay.
18. Crucifix - "Vaporized": Strict harmonic structures make this collection of riffs work together in a will toward conclusion and absolutism, defined in the broad and highly visual way these tones are anchored by the motion of even interval riff phrases toward fixed melodic resolution. Engrossing, physical rhythm accentuates the facility this band demonstrates for creation of attractive yet functional riff texture.