Before there was slam metal as we know it today, there was NYDM. When I discovered NYDM, I was listening to Morbid Angel, Obituary, Napalm Death, and all the other classics. I loved those bands, but it wasn't quite scratching the itch. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew I wanted to hear something more... When I first heard the slamming slamz of the NYDM sound, it was like someone reached into my brain and pulled out the sounds I had in my head and put them onto, er, cassette. It was as though I had found my musical soulmate! On that note, this is far from a comprehensive study of NYDM, but here is an overview of the bands that I liked the most.
I will start with my favorite NYDM band. They don't get nearly as much press as Suffocation or Internal Bleeding, despite sharing some members, but in my opinion they are better than either. That's right, better than Suffo!! They aren't as accessible as Suffo because they don't really use melody as much, they just fuckin' slam, slam, and slam some more. "Sermon of Mockery" is their best release, although I like all of their records. After "Sermon" they changed their style up, and followed it up with the "Hatredangeranddisgust" EP and "System of the Animal" LP. Unlike "Sermon," which is just pure death metal, those two records pretty much sound like hardcore, or more specifically like Hatebreed playing death metal covers. They're good for sure, but nothing like "Sermon." I recommend that you download all of them, but definitely don't sleep on "Sermon."
Buffalo's Baphomet get no love! OK, they're definitely not the best band of all time, but they don't have to be, they just have to slam- and slam they do. Baphomet is one of those bands that are sort of like Kraft singles: you know they're a shitty, half-assed imitation of the real thing, but you can't help but binge on them every now and then anyway. With that said, I would say this record is for genre enthusiasts only... but still awesome! It's meat-and-potatoes NYDM with no frills or fancy shit, but for some of us, that's just what the doctor ordered.
If you were into this shit in the 90s, you remember how controversial Internal Bleeding were. Lots of people hated on them for their Long Island guido steez, but "Voracious Contempt" struck a chord with all kinds of douchebags and meatheads such as myself. Years later, I was at a Suffocation show in Poughkeepsie, and the fat guy who was singing for them at the time was sweating my girlfriend at the time super hard because she was a skinny indie girl with good hair. In her words, "he wanted it bad." Malamor also played that show, who almost warrant a paragraph in this post... but not quite. They will be featured in the upcoming post entitled "Bands who are named after marshmallows." Anyway, Internal Bleeding didn't invent the "slamz for slamz' sake" style, but they definitely popularized it. For those about the slam, we salute you!
I'm not going to write about Suffocation because I hope everybody reading this is more than familiar with them. All I'm going to say is this: do you remember the Spazz song "The Egg On The Hirax Cover"? They should have written one called "The Killer Robot On The Effigy Of The Forgotten Cover." If you'd like to read more about our thoughts on Suffocation, please read this article which goes into extensive detail on Frank Mullen's Trump Plaza shirt from the "Effigy" photo shoot.
These guys were B-level for sure, and not that great. Their record was pretty much just OK, except for the song "Prophecies Foretold" which was fucking siiiiiiiiiiiiiiick! I was equal parts bummed and surprised that I couldn't find the studio version of the song on Youtube, but you can at least catch a live version above. Watching them bounce to the slam parts is worth a LOL or two when you're not busy moshing your balls off.
I am extremely disappointed that I couldn't find any of their songs on Youtube! It's 2009, shouldn't every song by every obscure Long Island slam metal band be available within like four mouse clicks?! Where's Al Gore, I would like to lodge a complaint. In any case, Disfigured were like thinking man's NYDM. Their song structures were more interesting and nuanced than other B-level bands like, say, Dehumanized, and they could definitely play their instruments a lot better. The drummer, whose name I forget, was particularly good. I know it was something French-sounding, we'll just call him George St. Pierre for now. Anyway, these guys were/are highly underrated, and if there is any justice in the world they will attain legendary kvlt status like Ripping Corpse and Havohej. If you want to impress the Guttural Slamming Brutality Crew with how down you are with NYDM, do yourself a favor and download their EP, "Prelude to Dimentia."
Repudilation / Entorturement / 420
I am lumping all three of these bands together because they shared many of the same members, and were similar in sound and spirit. I could go on forever about them, but for now I'll just say that all you need to know is that these guys were the first geniuses to combine rap and slam metal! Also, the drummer for Repudilation used an ice bell for a ride, which is kind of hilarious and awesome at the same time. And let's talk about how amazingly awful these kids were at naming bands. I mean, it just went from bad to worse! Repudilation is at least a real word, but Entorturement is one of the worst names ever. It was a big source of inspiration for Lucho and I when we named our band Disengorgmentification. But then they managed to one-up themselves by calling their next band fucking 420! It's like the best part of ICP, Internal Bleeding, and Cypress Hill all wrapped up into one. Needless to say I love all three of these bands a lot! If anyone has the full version of the 420 album in the video above, please link it in the comments!!
I'll conclude with one of the godfathers of NYDM. They're really more of the Demolition Hammer style of half-thrash, half-death metal in that they never blast and never really slam, but if you listen closely like the RCA dog, you can def hear the roots of slam in there. Because they were on JL America, the only label shittier than Wild Rags, it was kind of hard to get into Morpheus Descends back in the day. If you were really down with NYDM, though, you tracked that shit down because you saw the dudes in Suffocation rocking Morpheus Descends shirts all the time. And you knew that if it was good enough for Terrence Hobbes, it was fucking good enough for you!! Anyway, if you're into Incantation or that style of sludgy, proto-NYDM, make sure you track this shit down. CORPSE UNDER GLASS!