Albert Mudrian – Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore (Reissue)


Released twelve years ago, Albert Mudrian’s anthology of Death Metal has stood the test of time; an engaging read taking you on a loose zig-zag through the birth and, um, death of Death Metal. Unveiled through the eyes of its’ progenitors, there is method to the tale that begins in England, moves to Tampa, takes in Entombed and Scandinavia and reserves a special mention for the oft overlooked Dutch input of Gorefest and Pestilence.

Undertaking a task as complicated as trying to find the true source of the Nile (Karl Sanders – badoom tish!), Mudrian begins his tale by trying to uncover the birth of what became known as Death Metal, settling on Napalm Death and their 1985 era hybrid (Siege meets Discharge meets Celtic Frost) of hardcore punk, thrash and a desire to be harder, faster, sicker than everyone else. The book then focuses on the influence of their Scum release (Earache) on other vital artists, like Morbid Angel (via Pete Sandoval, then in Terrorizer) and the incestuous, small nature of the scene where, due to tape trading and pen palling, most of Death Metal’s predominant protagonists all knew and inspired each other.

As the tales unfurl, you find yourself swept up and wanting to revisiting all the classic albums that are mentioned – Possessed ‘s Seven Churches (Combat), Pestilence Consvming Impvlse (Roadrunner), Massacre From Beyond (the story of Massacre’s signing to Earache being another fun aside revealed in the book) and Master Master (Displeased) forming part of my own soundtrack while reading.

The re-issue picks things up as the roots of recovery were just sprouting through the top soil at the tail end of the 90’s, highlighting the rise of a new DM general in Nile. After touching on the diversification of Death Metal of this millennium, including the mind-sucking brilliance of Portal and their focus on eldritch, dark atmospheres, Mudrian covers the popularity of technical Death Metal (a section that introduced me to Necrophagist and Obscura as you can’t help but be enthused to check all the recommends as you go) over the last decade. The tome now concludes by covering the return to the scene of the apex predators with Carcass, At The Gates, Death (DTA) and others reforming to reap the benefits of their respective legacies and the rewards of the now lucrative and high profile festival market, and to satisfy an urge that, in the case of Bill Steer, they didn’t even know they had. If you read the original, the added content is an agreeable appendix.

Peppered with short anecdotes, but above all an informative and enjoyable potted history of Death Metal, all imparted with the enthusiastic love that a doting parent has for a child, Choosing Death is an affectionate, if whistlestop, walk through of the story of Death Metal to date. In the authors’ own words, he is “Just  a fan. Just like you.” He just happens to be a damn good writer who has written The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore. And updated it.

Buy the book here:




Rock N Shock Announces Hatebreed, Soulfly, Sanctuary and Soilwork

rock and shock 2016 first band announcement

The 12th edition of the annual Rock and Shock Festival has announced its first wave of musical acts for 2015, taking the stage at The Worcester Palladium in Worcester MA. Hatebreed will be the headliner, performing a special 20th anniversary, retrospective set. They will be joined by Soulfly, Sanctuary, Soilwork, Decapitated, Shattered Sun, Brick By Brick, Crumbsuckers, Get Scared, Eyes Set To Kill, The Rocking Dead, New Volume, Twiztid, Blaze, Boondox, Prozak, Wolfpac, Scum, Kissing Candice, and more bands tbd. This is added to the acclaimed horror convention portion of the event taking place at the DCU Center next door, headlined by film legend George A. Romero, actor Doug Bradley, American Horror Story actress Naomi Grossman, WWF Wrestling legend Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and more.



From Facebook :

SPOILER ALERT! After providing you with a handful of the talented guests that will be appearing at the convention at the DCU Center, we are giving YOU a sneak peak of a portion of our music lineup for the Rock and Shock concert at the Worcester Palladium! Some of the bands that will be performing this year include: Hatebreed (playing their 20th anniversary set), Soulfly, Sanctuary, Soilwork, Decapitated, Shattered Sun, Brick By Brick, Crumbsuckers, Get Scared, Eyes Set To Kill, The Rocking Dead, New Volume, Twiztid, Blaze, Boondox, Prozak, Wolfpac, Scum, Kissing Candice, and many more to be announced!! Stay tuned for more exciting news coming your way!


SPOILER ALERT! After providing you with a handful of the talented guests that will be appearing at the convention at the…

Posted by Rock And Shock on Friday, June 26, 2015


Smash The System – Barney Greenway of Napalm Death


napalm death

The journey from being a small Grindcore band from the West Midlands to one of the largest extreme metal bands in the UK is a long one. With over three and a half decades under their belt, Napalm Death have forged themselves a place as one of the most respected bands on the scene, both for their hard work and their values. While the band may have been through numerous line-up changes in that time the juggernaut has never slowed its charge throughout the years, and 2015 is no exception. Ghost Cult chats to Napalm Death’s vocalist Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway in the aftermath of their latest album release Apex Predator -Easy Meat (Century Media Records).

The sound may feel like they’re long way from Scum, From Enslavement to Obliteration or Utopia Banished but despite the evolution in sound, the roots of their music remain firm.

“I just think it’s been a natural gradual thing. If you take where we are now to where it was in 1987 before I was part of it or the other guys then it’s actually quite remarkable how close we are to those early albums. People say sometimes ‘how come you don’t make any albums with 20 or 30 half a minute songs’ but if you listened to our albums you could take 3 of those songs and put them into one of ours, so its not really that different its just a question of I guess the duration, although we do still have some really short ones on our albums. We don’t have a checklist before we go into albums, we just write the best that we can at the particular time. I guess because extremity is in our blood musically we’re always going to make something that’s a bit mad. It’s just very natural steps forward. If anything we’ve brought what were fringe elements in the band and have become very forthright now that that kind of very almost non metal non punk side of things, that is bands like Swans, Killing Joke, My Bloody Valentine and Slab, that’s that more ambient side of things has come into the band and with that its given us an extra dimension to the sound.”


The progression over their sixteen album career may have been vast, but they’re not looking back or living in the past.

“I gave up counting probably about 13 albums ago to be honest. When you really think about it you think ‘Oh Bloody Hell,’ but I prefer to let things take their natural course. It is like calendars, if it wasn’t having to remember important things I have to do I wouldn’t bother with one. I just like to live life and let it take its course.”

“It’s interesting because when you go into a studio, certainly for me, I’m quite confident when I’m doing stuff with Napalm. There’s always this thing when I’m making a new album that you kind of think ‘is this stuff good enough? Are people going to like it compared to the last album? Does it have the same thrust? Is it going to leave a similar impression?’, and you do always worry about that. It takes on a life of its own though once it’s in the studio. That extra ambiance, certainly from Napalms experiences that extra spontaneity that we get in the studio. Nothing is ever 100% before you enter the studio doors, there’s always something extra that sits on top of it once you get in and record the bloody thing. I was nervous about it when we did the album but now its done I just think that it is certainly not a radical departure from anything Napalm’s ever done. That’s a good thing, it means were not loosing our extremity or the things that the band is known for, and secondly that we like to do it. So I think its just a couple of steps forward really. I couldn’t break it down into a scientific formula for you, all I can say is that my feeling about it now, although its still quite fresh in the memory obviously is that its just a couple of steps forward. Even though it’s really extreme stuff, it still has the songs, and I think the song writing is getting better and better as we go along, at least to me.”