• Emil

50 YEARS OF METAL

Part III: Death ... The Only Solution ... the 1990s


This time I’ll spare you my silly astronomical metaphors … Yes. The 1990s were uneven and somewhat unfathomable in regards to metal. It’s also true that outstanding, proper metal saw the light of day during this decade. Transitioning from the 1980s, thrash metal has reached a new soaring peak and marked huge milestones in the early 1990s. By 1991 Metallica has reinvented itself, releasing perhaps the most popular metal album of all times: the hard ‘n’ heavy self-titled, which went on to officially sell over thirty-one million copies worldwide. Love it or hate it … the album brought a shit load of new fans to the fold. Also in 1991, Skid Row’s sophomore effort, Slave To The Grind, was the first ever album debuting at #1 in the Billboard 200! It was cool to be in the mainstream … even if just for a (short) while. Glam metal, which was prospering since the mid 1980s, peaked and fell, equally hard, in the early 1990s. We witnessed an unbelievable slew of great doom albums released, mainly due to the vintage genre cross pollinating with some of the newest extreme and, later in the decade, more melodic sub-genres. Just superb.


I personally lamented the untimely demise of glam and metal mainstream. I became rather bitter about the record industry’s “new found glory”, grunge, and the rest of the (insert your choice of expletive) that followed. (A/N: Sorry fellas, no grunge here.) Fortunately … FORTUNATELY, death and black metal underground JUST fucking exploded! This was an era when metal, taking full advantage of the most harrowing feelings and outrageous thoughts, entered the most sinister catacombs of the dark underground. By the middle of the decade the extreme underground scene evolved exponentially and thrived enormously, by crossing paths with other musical genres and metal sub-genres, in very creative and artistic ways. Will metal survive the imminent arrival of the new millennium?


Death … the only solution …



1990

OBITUARY

(USA)

Cause Of Death

Released on September 19, 1990

Death metal

Album's Spotify link


NOCTURNUS

(USA)

The Key


Released on October 1, 1990


Technical/progressive death metal


Album's Spotify link






OPPROBRIUM (INCUBUS)

(USA)

Beyond The Unknown


Released in 1990


Death metal/thrash metal


Album's Spotify link






MEGADETH

(USA)

Rust In Peace


Released on September 24, 1990


Thrash metal


Album's Spotify link






LYNCH MOB

(USA)

Wicked Sensation


Released on October 23, 1990


Hard rock/glam metal/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link







1991

SKID ROW

(USA)

Slave To The Grind

Released on June 11, 1991

Heavy metal

Album's Spotify link


SEPULTURA

(Brazil)

Arise


Released on March 25, 1991


Thrash metal/death metal


Album's Spotify link






DEATH

(USA)

Human


Released on October 22, 1991


Technical/progressive death metal


Album's Spotify link






ATHEIST

(USA)

Unquestionable Presence


Released on August 30, 1991


Technical/progressive death metal


Album's Spotify link






PESTILENCE

(Netherlands)

Testimony Of The Ancients


Released on September 3, 1991


Technical/progressive death metal


Album's Spotify link






BOLT THROWER

(UK)

War Master


Released in February 1991


Death metal


Album's Spotify link






CATHEDRAL

(UK)

Forest Of Equilibrium


Released on December 6, 1991


Doom metal


Album's Spotify link






DISMEMBER

(Sweden)

Like An Ever Flowing Stream


Released on May 28, 1991


Death metal


Album's YouTube link






ENTOMBED

(Sweden)

Clandestine


Released November 12, 1991


Death metal


Album's Spotify link






ASPHYX

(Netherlands)

The Rack


Released on April 13, 1991


Death metal/death-doom


Album's Spotify link







1992

EPIDEMIC

(USA)

Decameron

Released on August 3, 1992

Death metal/thrash metal

Album's Spotify link


SOLITUDE AETURNUS

(USA)

Beyond The Crimson Horizon


Released in August 1992


Epic doom metal


Album's Spotify link






INCANTATION

(USA)

Onward To Golgotha


Released on May 5, 1992


Death metal


Album's Spotify link






BLOOD

(Germany)

Christbait


Released in 1992


Death metal/grindcore


Album's Spotify link






DEMOLITION HAMMER

(USA)

Epidemic Of Violence


Released in March 1992


Thrash metal


Album's Spotify link







1993

BRUTALITY

(USA)

Screams Of Anguish

Released on September 28, 1993

Death metal

Album's Spotify link


BENEDICTION

(UK)

Transcend The Rubicon


Released on August 10, 1993


Death metal


Album's Spotify link






PARADISE LOST

(UK)

Icon


Released on September 28, 1993


Gothic metal/doom metal


Album's Spotify link






ANATHEMA

(UK)

Serenades


Released on February 28, 1993


Death-doom/Gothic metal


Album's Spotify link






MEMENTO MORI

(Sweden)

Rhymes Of Lunacy


Released in January 1993


Doom metal


Album's Spotify link







1994

EDGE OF SANITY

(Sweden)

Purgatory Afterglow

Released on October 1, 1994

Progressive/melodic death metal

Album's Spotify link


AMORPHIS

(Finland)

Tales From The Thousand Lakes


Released on July 12, 1994


Melodic death metal/death-doom/progressive metal/folk


Album's Spotify link





MACHINE HEAD

(USA)

Burn My Eyes


Released on August 9, 1994


Groove metal/thrash metal


Album's Spotify link






THE 3rd AND THE MORTAL

(Norway)

Tears Laid In Earth


Released on October 21, 1994


Doom metal


Album's Spotify link






GOREMENT

(Germany)

The Ending Quest


Released on May 15, 1994


Death metal/death-doom


Album's Spotify link







1995

DISSECTION

(Sweden)

Storm Of The Light's Bane

Released on November 17, 1995

Melodic black metal/melodic death metal/blackened death metal

Album's Spotify link


MY DYING BRIDE

(UK)

The Angel And The Dark River


Released on May 22, 1995


Doom metal/Gothic metal


Album's Spotify link






AT THE GATES

(Sweden)

Slaughter Of The Soul


Released October 3, 1995


Melodic death metal


Album's Spotify link






GAMMA RAY

(Germany)

Land Of The Free


Released May 29, 1995


Power metal


Album's Spotify link






SLAUGHTER

(USA)

Fear No Evil


Released May 2, 1995


Glam metal/hard rock


Album's Spotify link







1996

SATYRICON

(Norway)

Nemesis Divina

Released on April 22, 1996

Black metal

Album's Spotify link


CRYPTOSY

(Canada)

None So Vile


Released on July 3, 1996


Technical death metal


Album's Spotify link






SAMAEL

(Switzerland)

Passage


Released on August 19, 1996


Symphonic black metal/industrial metal


Album's Spotify link






STRATOVARIUS

(Finland)

Episode


Released on April 22, 1996


Power metal


Album's Spotify link






MERCYFUL FATE

(Denmark)

Into The Unknown


Released on August 20, 1996


Heavy metal


Album's Spotify link







1997

HAMMERFALL

(Sweden)

Glory To The Brave

Released on June 27, 1997

Power metal

Album's Spotify link


IN THE WOODS...

(Norway)

Omnio


Released on October 14, 1997


Avant-garde/progressive metal


Album's Spotify link






CROWN OF THORNS

(Sweden)

Eternal Death


Released in February 1997


Blackened death metal


Album's Spotify link






SOLEFALD

(Norway)

The Linear Scaffold


Released on July 12, 1997


Avant-garde/symphonic black metal


Album's Spotify link






SYMPHONY X

(USA)

The Divine Wings Of Tragedy


Released in 1997


Progressive/power metal/neoclassical metal


Album's Spotify link






1998

SOLSTICE