Death metal: a genre in which fans of heavy music can explore the depths of their aggression and depravity, or a scene of Cookie Monsters making music about slicing and dicing the girls who wouldn’t date them in high school? For many, death metal is the final form of heavy metal as a whole; for others, it’s an inaccessible genre that’s either silly, offensive, or somehow both. This raises the question: what is death metal in 2021, and where will the genre go from here?
Thankfully, on this week’s episode of our heavy metal talk show Last Words, hosts Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves/Ex Man Podcast) and Zeena Koda (Everything’s Political Podcast) get their hands bloody with vocalist Tomas Lindberg of death metal game-changers At The Gates. Of course, while Tomas has plenty to say about death metal as a whole, he can’t talk about At The Gates without discussing their infamous 1995 masterpiece Slaughter of the Soul.
“What was the process like putting that album together,” asks Zeena, “and when you look back on it, what, to you, is one of your proudest moments?”
“I guess with that album, we were really disappointed with the music climate at the moment, in the metal underground,” says Tomas. “We were waiting for that album to come out, in a way, so we figured we had to do it ourselves. We went back and listened to all the records that we thought were classics, the old Judas Priest records, Dark Angel, Slayer, whatever — what makes these albums classics? How can we go around to do that? And that was the big challenge for us. We’d written all these complicated death metal records before, with a lot of riffs, and a lot of…death metal pop songs, I guess!”
Check out the full episode below:
And if that doesn’t have you screaming “GO!” in the mailman’s fucking face, check out the full, uncensored episode via the Last Words podcast:
Words by Chris Krovatin