In this little death metal archaeology project I let myself be guided by the coolness of cover art, carefully selecting only the finest fruits of my labor to share with you, dear readers.
Caducity were from Belgium. They played "epic death metal." Have you ever heard of this subgenre? I sure haven't. This stuff is really bizarre, especially the fluctuations in tempo. Their first album, released in 1995, was entitled The Weiliaon Wielder Quest, and it featured hit singles such as "Gymbrea's Enriching Wisdom, Part I: The Sorcery of Chaos Hanzwarin, Part II: Savouring of the Tricorn Flesh." Whoa.
Invocator were Danes playing death/thrash. They clearly practiced a lot. Excursion Demise came out in 1991, but to me this stuff still sounds as weird as it must've sounded back then. I generally hate self-consciously "technical" music, but the coolest thing about Invocator is that they're not wanky at all. The fast riffs manage to be both ripping and intricate, while the thrash breaks achieve heaviness through convolution. Also, the title track features some rabid mosh sections that sound waaay ahead of their time. Listen at 2:07. Is that...metalcore? Throwing in such a brutally simplistic riff only adds to the inhuman atmosphere... Invocator rules!
This came from Sweden in 1993. Morpheus have virtually nothing to do with the "Swedish sound," though, and that makes Son of Hypnos an even weirder dead end on the evolutionary tree of death metal. If anything, this album seems to anticipate the "clicky" or "clinical" tech-death that would arise later in the 90s. These riffs follow a totally alien logic, refusing to make any concessions to the listener but still COMPELLING him to headbang. So fucking weird. Someone gave this a 15% on Metal Archives because of the "horrible" production, and while I can't really fault him on his decision, I totally disagree.