In our ongoing series of guest columns, we’ve asked a bunch of metal’s heaviest hitters to provide us with a list of five albums they think will change you — either for the better or worse. Today, we hear from Robert De Miro (a.k.a. “Nico”) of Kaotoxin Records.
My first encounter with metal as a musical genre was around 1989, when I was 15. I went on a short holidays with a friend of mine and his brother-in-law had that Metallica Garage Days tape playing in the car. That was a revelation to me. I then started to haunt local record stores and grab whatever heavier albums I could get my hands on. These releases have been landmarks, to me.
Napalm Death — Scum
Second release I’ve ever bought (first one was Slayer’s Live Undead). It was so freakingly dark to me that I almost had some kind of frightening when putting the LP to spin each time. The feeling was rotten, dark, smelling like a corpse’s armpit and, then I’ve started understanding the music itself and it made sense and became my first “classic.”
Death — Spiritual Healing
I’ve always been in love with Death. I had the chance to meet Chuck Schuldiner on the Human tour, but, Spiritual Healing, for its constant soloing battle between two of the most quintessential Death Metal guitarists ever, stays a true landmark to me.
Misery Loves Co. — Your Vision Was Never Mine to Share
I don’t remember how I came across this one, but I’ve always been some sort of pop music lover, in a way and, “On top of the world” is, to me, the perfect song. Desperate, cold, dark yet utterly catchy and memorable. It’s only seconded by Katatonia’s In the White, in my opinion.
Deathspell Omega — Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon
Sure, Mayhem started that Avantgarde Black Metal thing with Grand Declaration Of War, but Deathspell Omega and that particular release put it at its best, ever. Completely awkward, twisted, senseless, yet impressively solid, massive, heavy, beautiful and with the only vocals I’ve heard I can dub as “totally possessed.”
Eye of Solitude — Awoken by Crows (digital EP)
When my buddy Daniel Neagoe, vocalist for the Brutal Death Metal band Unfathomable Ruination, sent me that little (then untitled) promo in late 2011, saying Eye Of Solitude, one of his “other projects” was searching for a label, I can swear that, hearing the song “Suffocating Silence,” I could have had given him my anal virginity to be able to sign that band. Fortunately, he just agreed for the deal without the sexual counterpart. Now, the tracks of the said promo are available on the Awoken by Crows EP, first single off their second full-length, Sui Caedere and that particular song is the perfect mix of everything above: the Death Metal feel (hear these vocals?), the heaviness and darkness I loved feeling in Napalm Death, the catchiness and desperation of Misery Loves Co. and the forward-thinking style-blending approach of Deathspell Omega adapted to Funeral Doom.
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