Crash (formerly Pavement) is basically known as the label where taste goes to die; purveyors of all things metal-related more often handled by shovel than hand, it's a label that functions more as an Ebay clearinghouse for incredibly mediocre, easily dismissed albums that wouldn't have seen the light of day elsewhere. Despite this impressive dedication to the most prosaic and unremarkable albums of the metal scene, occasionally an item of striking quality will slip through the cracks and find its way to the printing press. This post will detail a handful of them, just to make you feel better when you drop $50 on 40 discs sometime and come up with 4 you actually ever listen to.
Internal Bleeding - Driven to Conquer
It took these guys three albums to get their shit together, and even then it was hardly something you would call ingenious, but Internal Bleeding actually managed to put together a pretty solid grower of an album in "Driven to Conquer." Coming from an era before slam proper was really defined, this album (and its predecessors, in a sloppier and less enjoyable fashion) brings bands like Dying Fetus or Dyscrasia to mind in its odd, off-kilter combination of NYDM and hardcore. "Driven to Conquer" isn't exceptionally different from the two albums before it, but it seems as though with this one the band really figured out the perfect ratio of Suffocation to 25 Ta Life, resulting in an album which, while definitely occupying more a place of historical fascination than regular listening, stands up even today.
Murder Squad - Unsane, Insane, and Mentally Deranged
An unabashed Autopsy knock-off that even features Chris Reifert doing... stuff (I defy anyone to actually explain what his role on the album is,) "Unsane, Insane, and Mentally Deranged" is without a doubt the best of this surprisingly broad field of releases. An obsessive devotion to the Autopsy style paradoxically results in a surprisingly unique sound, since it's filtered through the playing of a bunch of Swedish kids who didn't grow up in the US in the late '80s. If someone tried to recreate Autopsy while knowing a bit too well what a death/doom/sludge mixture "should" sound like, you'd get something like this. More remarkable than that is that it actually turned out well.
Crowbar - Obedience Thru Suffering
It's Fucking Crowbar You Dicks
Stop by tomorrow for the concluding roundup.