What is Swedish Death Metal? Well, for my untrained ear, it’s Death Metal from Sweden. For those much more versed in the extreme, it’s a unique a death metal sound that is influenced by early hardcore punk as opposed to other forms of Death Metal that heavily rely on early Thrash as their starting point.
Just so you can get a feel of the popularity of Death Metal in Sweden, let me show you the first line of a list of Death bands from Sweden: Scar Symmetry, Hypocrisy, Tiamat, Nightrage, Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Meshuggah, Amon Amarth, Edge of Sanity, Opeth, and The Haunted. That is just the first line of ten. Most of the bands in this line are very popular and are used as influences to up and comers now.
You could make an argument that Meshuggah, Opeth, and the epic Amon Amarth are three of the biggest extreme acts in the world right now. What sparked my interest in Swedish Death Metal today is the band “Uncanny.”
More after the warp:
Uncanny of course hails from Sweden and formed in early 1990. They only stayed together for four years, but from the information I can find they are included in a list of some of the most influential acts in the Country. How can this be? I’ve never heard of them.
In fact when you look around and research the roots of Swedish Death Metal you will have problems finding the root bands. The bands that started what has become a worldwide phenomenon don’t get much respect from writers, researchers, or journalists. I’m sure if I wanted to take some in depth look at the genre through print media I would find what I’m looking for, but being an internet writer I was pretty shocked at the lack of information on the early days that was accessible online.
If you look up early days of Glam, you will find out everything you wanted to know about the Sunset Strip, Motley Crue, Poison, RATT, and so on. Thrash has pages and pages of material on how the sound was developed and the bands that started it. Swedish Death Metal has very little, and the stuff on Wiki can’t really be trusted. So if you’re a fan of the genre and have library and bookstore phobia what can you do?
What you can do it start with the new album MCMXCI MCMXCIV. This is the full collection of work by the aforementioned Uncanny. The album contains a monstrous 30 songs from 1991’s Transportation to the Uncanny, 1992’s Nyktalgia, 1993’s Split release with Ancient Rites, and 1994’s Full Album Splenium for Nyktophobia. These 30 songs create the base sound of Swedish Death Metal and make you realize the sound has changed in bands like Amon Amarth, but the fundamentals are still there.
I hope the album will give you the feeling that this “history without a past” deserves some recognition on the world’s biggest medium in the internet. For me it’s embarrassing to have never heard of a band that is sited as a major influence on an entire genre.
Finding and learning about Uncanny for some might be like that young misunderstood teenager stumbling on Metallica for the first time. We all deserve that feeling!
You can pick up the album at: www.darkdescent.net
Show me your horns,
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