Taking a complete 360 on Nu-Metal, as we like to mix it up on Top Shelf Tuesday; today we focus on death ‘n’ roll. Not to be mistaken with death rock, which is closer to goth rock, another cookie we shall crumble in an upcoming edition.
Death ‘n’ roll is a mixture of death metal and good old rock ‘n’ roll. As you will see many bands mix different genres of metal with rock ‘n’ roll, whether it be black, thrash, grind, death or doom. Just like how the late Chuck Berry invented rock ‘n’ roll, Entombed invented the style known as death ‘n’ roll with the phenomenal “Wolverine Blues” record.
Death ‘n’ roll has come a long way from its formations in the early 90’s and is a fun way for one to listen to death metal. Not everyone takes death metal seriously; i.e. reads every lyric as gospel. C’mon some of the lyrics are laughable. The media, however, will never get it; the whole idea of death metal.
One band who share a sick sense of humour with their audience is Austria’s death ‘n’ roll pranksters, Pungent Stench, who on this clip below are interviewed on Australian TV in the 90’s. Taking a look at the death metal scene and how the Australian media wanted live shows banned, it is some hilarious viewing with the responses given by band members, notably drummer, Alex Wank. (The name says it all)
Origin: Vienna. Austria
Years active: 1988-1995. 1999-2007
Pungent Stench was born in Austria in 1988 although members got together from 1985 to practice and what have you. There is no band more humourous when it comes to black metal than this lot. If metal was a film they would be categorised as a black comedy. Early days, from the demo for ‘Mucous Secretion” (1988), the split with Disharmonic Orchestra (1989), their debut EP, “Extreme Deformity” (1990), second split, “Blood, Pus & Gastric Juice / Confess All Goodness” (1990); to their debut LP, “For God Your Soul… for Me Your Flesh” (1990) and the follow-up “Been Caught Buttering” (1991), Pungent Stench started as a grindcore act, much like their peers Carcass, later progressing to strictly death metal.
Sick Bizarre Defaced Creation, taken from “Been Caught Buttering” (1991)
It wasn’t until the release of their third LP, “Dirty Rhymes and Psychotronic Beats” (1993) when the style changed incorporating a lot more rock ‘n’ roll into their music. Note the same year as “Wolverine Blues” hit unleashing the new style known as Death ‘n’ roll to the masses.
Viva La Muerte, taken from “Dirty Rhymes and Psychotronic Beats” (1993)
Why can the Bodies Fly, taken from “Dirty Rhymes and Psychotronic Beats” (1993)
Leading the band of misfits was founding members, drummer, Alex “Rector Stench” Wank and vocalist, guitarist, Martin “Don Cochino” Schirenc. Jacek Perkowski was bassist from 1988 until 1995; numerous bassists to follow included the likes of Mario “Reverend Mausna” Klausner from 2001 til 2004, and again in 2005, with Fabio Testi filling in during 2004. Gregor “El Gore” Marboe was the final bassist from 2006 until 2007.
There has been some controversy since the disbandment in 2007 as discussed by Mr. Stench on the official band page http://www.pungentstench.org/index.php/attention.html
“The attempt of a Pungent Stench member to start this band again and to present it as a “Reunion” is pure nonsense and a fake.
Pungent Stench was formed, created & lead by Mr. Stench and nobody else. The goal was reached with the other guy, but that doesn´t allow him to “re-form” the band again under the Pungent Stench moniker (or anything related). This attempt was made to cheat the supporters and promoters to make some quick cash and nothing else.
By no means I will sit back and see my creation abused – legal action has already been taken. This Church is foul – and this Church will burn!”
Mr. Stench/Alex Wank
The Amp Hymn, taken from “Ampeuaty” (2003)
Origin: Stuttgart, Germany.
Years Active: 2000-2002 (as Maggotcunt),2002-present.
Known as Maggotcunt during their formative years from 2000 til 2002, a name change to Debauchery was perhaps a good decision on Thomas “The Bloodbeast” Gurraths’ part, due to the fact that he taught philosophy as a ‘student teacher’ at Stuttgart high school. It surely would make up for an interesting conversation with fellow students.
Student: So I heard you played in a band, Sir? What was their name?
Student: … sorry, sir?
Blood for the Blood God, taken from “Rage of the Blood Beast” (2004)
Despite rumours from a UK News article, (which was taken down) of a death metal teacher being sacked, when Gurrath was only a practicing teacher who chose the band over his career choices to teach in 2010.
Let there be Blood, taken from “Kings of Carnage” (2013)
Current members joining Gurrath include bassist, Dennis “The Bloodpriest” Ward and Oliver “The Bloodhammer” Zellmann who replaced co- founder Dani on drums.
German Warmachine, taken from “F**k Humanity ” (2015)
FACTS FOR THE FANS
– DEBAUCHERY kills since 2003.
– Don`t trust the internet.
– Don`t trust Wikipedia.
– Thomas has never been a teacher, only a student teacher.
– DEBAUCHERY never ever sued anybody.
– DEBAUCHERY is vegetarian.
– DEBAUCHERY plays live. No playback.
– DEBAUCHERY has nothing against women.
– DEBAUCHERY has no sociocritical message.
– DEBAUCHERY does not intend to provoke anybody, we just do what we like. We like monsters & naked women & red paint.
– DEBAUCHERY`s main cover artist is Adrian Smith. He did a lot for Games Workshop & Warhammer.
– Most of the DEBAUCHERY CDs were recorded by Dennis Ward (Krokus, Unisonic).
– The DEBAUCHERY Kill Team are no rockstars and are not rich either. Music is our passion and we enjoy what we do.
Heavy Metal Monsternaut, taken from “Thunderbeast” (2016)
Origin: Asunción,Paraguay,South America.
Years active: 2002-Present.
Forming from the ashes of Paraguay natives, Slow Agony were vocalist David Arriola and guitarist Marcelo Arriola. Both members went from playing strictly death metal to the innovative music created with The Profane, who is described as mixing punk, hardcore and death metal, achieving a dirty rock sound. Safe to say the band plays death ‘n’ roll like a boss.
Death’s Squad, taken from “Chaosbreed” (2007)
Sinfest, taken from “Raw Sessions Vol. 1” (2013)
Origin: Oslo. Norway.
Years active: 2004-present.
Starting out as a project for guitarist Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir) going by the Chrome Project moniker until becoming a thing in 2004, with the release of the debut, “Doomsday Rock ‘n Roll” (2006) and it’s first single, Serial Killer/ The Angels Fall.
Serial Killer, taken from “Doomsday Rock ‘n’ Roll” (2006)
Joining founding member Shagrath is drummer Tony White (Old Man’s Child), vocalist Shady Blue, with bassist Ogee and lead guitarist Damage Karlsen who replaced both Björn Luna and Ricky Black, respectively in 2012. Eddie Guz was replaced by Shady Blue in 2009.
Bulldogs Unleashed, taken from “3rd Round Knockout” (2011)
Origin: New Orleans, Louisiana. United States
Years active: 1997-present.
After the break-up of Acid Bath in 1997, guitarist Sammy Duet formed a band with Ben Falgoust (Soilent Green) joining a year later as the vocalist. After the demo release of Serenades to the Tides of Blood (1998), the debut LP, The Eclipse of Ages into Black (2000) hit the stores.
Original guitarist Ben Stout was replaced by Tim Holsinger in 2002 and left a year later in 2003. The follow-up, Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun (2003) featured fan favourite Blood Guilt Eucharist, among other satanic songs of worship and disorder.
Blood Guilt Eucharist, taken from “Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun” (2003)
“A Haunting Curse” (2006) followed, emphasising the style of music on display. Goatwhore clearly was a death metal band that incorporated elements of black metal and sludge. Natives of New Orleans and part of the NOLA scene, sludge was a common ground covered by their peers, with the likes of Crowbar, Eyehategod, Down, Superjoint Ritual etc.
Former drummer Zak Nolan was replaced by current drummer Zack Simmons. Original bassist, Patrick Bruders was also replaced by Nathan Bergeron in 2004.
Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult, taken from “A Haunting Curse” (2006)
The album that followed, “Carving Out the Eyes of God” (2009) saw a change in style with more of a rock element to the music. Hence the introduction of death ‘n’ roll to the band. Present bassist James Harvey replaced Bergeron in 2009.
Apocalyptic Havoc, taken from “Carving Out the Eyes of God” (2009)
Death ‘n’ roll seems to become more relevant with each release of Goatwhore with the likes of “Blood for the Master” (2012) and “Constricting Rage of the Merciless” (2014).
When Steel and Bone Meet, taken from “Blood for the Master” (2012)
Baring Teeth for Revolt, taken from “Constricting Rage of the Merciless” (2014)
With a new record to drop on June 23rd entitled “Vengeful Ascension” (2017) it will be interesting to see how the sound progresses. If two brand new tracks below are anything to go by Goatwhore fans are in for a treat.
Origin: Canberra, ACT. Australia
Years Active: 1993- unknown
Formed by in Canberra by frontman Brad Nicholson, Pod People released their debut EP, “Pod People.” (1995) The band was reformed in 1996 with bassist Dave Drynan, drummer Maggs and guitarists Josh Nixon (I-Exist, Blood Duster) and Mel Walker. The follow-up EP, “Swingin’ Beef” (1998) was surpassed by the third EP, “Soil” (1997), which featured the song Goin’ South on Triple J’s, Full Metal Racket compilation to promote the metal program.
Goin’ South, taken from the EP, “Soil” (1999)
The debut full-length, “Doom Saloon” (2002) which featured the thick, dirty riffs of the opening track, Filling the void. It was clear the style of music expressed was doom metal with elements of sludge, stoner and death metal. Death ‘n’ roll was relevant with strong influences from the Entombed, “Wolverine Blues” era.
Filling the void, taken from “Doom Saloon” (2002)
After a split with Daredevil, “In the End” (2005), things seemed quiet in the studio for Pod People, however, follow up LP, “Mons Animae Mortuorum” (2008) soon dropped and it was not the end for Pod People at that time.
Liar, taken from “Mons Animae Mortuorum” (2008)
Things since have been quiet on the Pod People camp with members venturing to other projects and the like. Check out I Exist and The Ruiner for good Aussie music in a similar vein.
I Exist (2008-present)
The Ruiner (2012-present)
Years active: 1987-1989 (as Nihilist), 1989-2014 2014-present (as Entombed A.D.)
After the name change from Nihilist, Entombed released a demo for, “But Life Goes On” (1989) and the iconic debut, “Left Hand Path” (1990) dropped, destined to be a death metal classic. The line-up featured, vocalist Lars-Göran Petrov, guitarist/bassist Uffe Cederlund, lead guitarist Alex Hellid and drummer Nicke Andersson. Both Cederlund and Anderson also co-wrote the songs.
Left Hand Path, taken from “Left Hand Path” (1990)
The follow-up, “Clandestine” (1991) saw Andersson replace Petrov on lead vocals with Cederlund providing backing vocals. Lars Rosenberg took over on bass letting Cederlund concentrate on guitar. The record featured fan favourites such as Sinners Bleed, Stranger Aeons, and Crawl.
Stranger Aeons, taken from “Clandestine” (1991)
It was third LP, “Wolverine Blues”(1993), which saw the return of Petrov to lead vocals. Death ‘n’ Roll was born and it is here the name originated, with many bands taking a keen interest in the style. Songs such as title track, Wolverine Blues, and Hollowman stood out as classic examples of the new found genre and highlights in the band’s vast career.
Wolverine Blues, taken from “Wolverine Blues”(1993)
The follow-up, “To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth” (1997) took the death ‘n’ roll step to a whole different level with a bluesy tinge, at times showing similarities to Swedish garage-rock sensations The Hellacopters.
Damn Deal Done, taken from “To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth” (1997)
Changing things up even more with the disliked by many old school fans, however, deemed underrated by some, “Same difference” (1998) was something completely different from the band. Elements of punk can even be heard in the example below with the track, What you need.
Line-up changes on the album saw Peter Stjärnvind replace long-time drummer Andersson and newcomer Jörgen Sandström take over Rosenberg on bass.
What you need, taken from “Same difference” (1998)
“Uprising” (2000) was a return to form, sticking to the same lineup. “Morning Star” (2001) and “Inferno” (2003) would follow, with a compilation of covers in between, “Sons of Satan Praise the Lord” (2002), featuring Andersson and Rosenberg back on some tracks.
Seeing Red, taken from “Uprising” (2000)
I for an Eye, taken from “Morning Star” (2001)
“Serpent Saints – The Ten Amendments” (2007) would be the final LP for Entombed and it featured a line-up change with newcomers, Nico Elgstrand on bass and drummer, Olle Dahlstedt joining Petrov and Helid.
Entombed A.D. was formed in 2014 from the ashes of Entombed. The only original member, Petrov was joined by drummer, Dahlstedt and Elgstrand moved to guitar with Victor Brandt replacing him on bass. The debut, “Back to the Front” (2014) was followed by “Dead Dawn” (2016)
Entombed A.D. Dead Dawn, taken from “Dead Dawn” (2016)
Origin: Åmål (early), Karlstad (later). Sweden.
Years active: 2002-present.
Swedish death ‘n’ roll group The Generals have kept the same line-up with vocalist/ bassist, Hednar leading the pack of generals “pun intended”, which include the drummer, Martin “Metal” Svensson (Invasion), and the guitar duo of Dick and Rickard (Haddock).
The debut “Stand Up Straight” (2009) was followed by “Blood for Blood”(2013).
Split Vision Snap Decision, taken from “Stand Up Straight” (2009)
Blood for Blood, taken from “Blood for Blood”(2013)
Origin: Melbourne, Victoria. Australia.
Years active: 1991-present.
Forming as a grindcore band in Melbourne with vocalist/bassist Jason P.C., drummer Brick and guitarist Anthony Barry, the demo “Menstrual Soup” (1992) was released showing the lads humour with song titles such as Knee Deep in Menstrual Blood and Swine in Shit.
The debut EP, the aptly titled, “Fisting the Dead” (1993) saw bassist Jason joined by vocalist Tony and drummer Shane (Too Much T.H.C. in My System) Rout. In good grindcore style, twenty-five songs were over in under twenty minutes. The follow-up EP, “Yeest” (1996) saw Matt Rizzo ‘Maidhorn’ on drums with guitarist Fin McCarthy joining Jason and Tony. The two EP’s were also merged together for a compilation the same year.
The debut full-length, “Str8outtanorthcote” (1997) featured newcomer Euan Heriot on drums with Fin Alman on guitar and banjo, yes banjo! Hilarious song titles include; Givin’StiffToTheStiff, TheMeatSong(Stiffy in McDonalds), WhereDoesAllTheMoneyGoWhenReleasingAFullLengthAlbum and the lovely titled, ShovedUpYourPisshole.
The line-up was kept short and sweet with listings for P.C. – Bass, Vocals (high), Tony- Vocals, M-Low- Guitars and Rizzo-Drums for the controversially titled “Cunt” (2000). With songs such as; ILoveItWhenJoePesciSwears, IJustFinishedSuckingOffMetalheadsInTheMensUrinals, ATrackSuitIsNotAppropriateMetalApparel, Don’tCallMeHomeboyYa’Cunt and the hard rocking, PornStoreStiffi, which a video was made for and can be seen below; Blood Duster were in fine form.
Pornstorestiffi, taken from “Cunt” (2000)
The line-up was extended for the self-titled, “Blood Duster” (2003) with Lowpantz, Bolt-Thrower and JJ LaWhore listed as guitarists, joining Jason, Tony, and Rizzo. Kicking things off with a play on words perhaps with the AC/DC anthem, For those about to rock, we have ForThoseAboutToFuck. All class with IWannaDoItWithADonna, DrinkFightFuck and the catchy SixSixSixteen.
SixSixSixteen, taken from “Blood Duster” (2003)
“Lyden nå” (2007) was the follow-up with three parts; Disc 1: ‘The Now Sound Volume I”, Disc 2: “The Now Sound Volume II” and Disc 3: “SlowAndLongina”, which was a digital twenty-one-minute instrumental track. Humour was there as always with the cleverly titled, MyspaceYourFace, the politically correct, TheKidsCanGetFucked and the stomping tune, PissStomper, video included for your pleasure below.
PissStomper, taken from “Lyden Nå” (2007)
A 12″ vinyl was created titled, “Kvlt” (2012) which was limited to 60 copies with the original pressing etched as a fuck you to the music industry.
Origin: Liverpool, England. United Kingdom.
Years active: 1985-1986 (as Disattack),1986-1996,2007-present
Starting as a strict grindcore outfit, the debut LP, “Reek of Putrefaction” (1988) was released via Earache Records, after interest brought from the demo, “Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment” (1987). The line-up featured bassist/vocalist Jeff Waker, guitarist Bill Steer and drummer Ken Owen. Still, fan and crowd favourites to this day include grinding gems such as Genital Grinder and Pyosisified (Rotten to the Gore). The follow-up full-length, “Symphonies of Sickness” (1989) brought new grind classics to the table with the likes of Reek of Putrefaction, Exhume to Consume and Slash Dementia.
A fourth member was added to the three-piece of Walker, Steer, and Owen with additional guitar from Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars) on “Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious” (1991). The album saw the style change with a melodic death metal sound present. The music was more guitar driven with an edgy feel to it. Death ‘n’ roll was on the horizon.
Incarnated Solvent Abuse, taken from “Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious” (1991)
Corporal Jigsore Quandary
Sticking with the same line-up on “Heartwork” (1993) even more of a death ‘n’ roll sound was present with the likes of No Love Lost, title-track, Heartwork and fan favourite Buried Dreams.
Hearwork, taken from “Heartwork” (1993)
No Love Lost
Carlo Regadas replaced Amott on guitar on “Swansong” (1996), which was the final album for some time until the return from the godfathers of grind. Taking death ‘n’ roll to the next level with, the Nuclear Blast release of, “Surgical Steel” (2014). Walker and Steer were joined by Dan Wilding on record and guitarist Ben Ash now joins longtime guitarist Steer, making the final cut to the stellar line-up.
The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills, taken from “Surgical Steel” (2013)
Unfit for Human Consumption.
Let Them Hang.
Years active: 2013-present.
Origin: Berlin. Germany.
Years active: 1991-present.
Oops!… I Killed Again, taken from “The Bowls of Wrath” (2014)
Conan’s First Date.
Origin: Szentendre, Hungary.
Years active: 2008-present.
The Werewolf Rising, taken from the EP, “Effigies” (2009)
Origin: Goes, Zeeland. Netherlands.
Years active: 1989-1998,2005-2009.
Fear, taken from “Erase” (1994)
Origin: Oslo, Norway.
Years active: 1999-present.
What Bleeds Must be Butchered, taken from “A Life Less Necessary” (2009)
Leaving you all with a play on words of the Neil Young classic, Keep on Rocking in the Free World.
Take it away Carcass!
Keep on Rotting in the Free World, taken from “Swansong” (1996)