A few weeks back fellow Metal Inquisition staffer SkullKrusher posted some gems from his vinyl collection. I, of course, also have a respectable collection of metal vinyl, but instead I thought I'd share with you something else very special--my metal cassette collection.
Yes, I know that vinyl is much cooler, but I'm a child of the 80s; the audio cassette provided the soundtrack to much of my life. I still remember buying my first cassette in 5th grade (Ugly Kid Joe's As Ugly As They Wanna Be EP) and making my dad drive me to the Wiz so I could buy Metallica's black album (not worth the gas it cost). I spent countless hours of my teen years making shitty mix tapes from CDs and stuff I taped off of WSOU (back when they still played real metal). And really, when it comes to reproducing the muddy, lifeless production of Scott Burns what better choice is there than a hissing, mangled cassette?
And now, without further ado, I present to you six gems from my metal cassette collection:
Still to this day, Demilich's Nespithe remains one of the most twisted and original death metal albums of all time. Featuring the sickest guttural vocals ever recorded and bizarre, nonsensical song titles like "The Sixteenth Six-Tooth Son of Fourteen Four-Regional Dimensions (Still Unnamed)" these guys put Finland on the map when everyone was busy jerking off to Swedish death metal. I bought this cassette from drummer extraordinaire Dave Witte a few year ago when he was selling off his cassette collection (What an idiot!).
One of the few black metal bands that does not blow. These guys are like the Cynic of black metal. Not nearly as technical, but you can hear a lot of jazz and progressive influences. And instead of robot vocals you get weirdo goth vocals that sound like a cross between Leonard Cohen and Peter Murphy. A lot of the songs on this demo were re-recorded for their full length, which is awesome, but this remains my favorite stuff they've ever done because of the rawer production. I got this tape from Double Decker Records in Allentown, PA back when I was in college. They bought some dude's metal collection and it was the sickest I've ever seen. Just about every great metal record released in the 80s in either mint edition or still sealed as well as tons of early 90s black metal that must now be worth a small fortune (I still regret not having bought more, but I was a poor college student), and a bunch of tapes and t-shirts (I bought a size XL Dark Angel "LA Caffeine Machine" t-shit that was so big it came down to my knees).
I have no idea why I bought this tape. I can get into De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, but this fucking sucks. It's a live bootleg and it sounds like shit. I've only ever listened to it once and I couldn't even get through the first song. Is this at least worth anything?
Here's a fun game to play with friends when you're doing laps around the Newark airport waiting for someone's flight to arrive: put the Grindcrusher comp in your tape deck and see if you can name all the bands without looking at the case. Sure some of them are easy, but I dare most of you retards to tell the difference between Intense Degree and Sore Throat. When I played this game with Lucho Metales he couldn't even guess Repulsion (POSER)!
Gorguts's early material doesn't get nearly as much love as it deserves. As far as brutal mid-tempo 90s death metal goes, it doesn't get any better than this. Plus, it's one of the few albums Scott Burns ever produced that doesn't sound like complete shit. Blue Grape, they just don't make merch like you used to.
When I'm cruising over the Pulaski Skyway in my Mercury Cougar there's nothing better than singing along to this, my favorite Iron Maiden album, blasting out of my tape deck. When I saw them last month and they played "Moonchild" and "The Clairvoyant" during the encore I was so excited that I was momentarily able to forgot about Janick Gers prancing around onstage like a girl twirling his guitar.