Is Pennsylvania Death Metal the future? | Metaljesus Magazine


A recent article from Noisey said that Philadelphia has one of the worlds best punk scenes right now. What the article didn’t touch on was the high quality of the regions death metal scene. Currently bombarded with a legion of top notch bands, the fans are loving it. Vince Neilstein, an editor at the massive metal blog and news site Metalsucks recently speculated “People may start talking about the mid-2010s Southeastern Pennsylvania death metal scene in the same vaunted tones they currently reserve for early ’90s Tampa.” In other words, Pennsylvania, especially Southeast Pennsylvania death metal is rapidly rising.

So where did metal start in the Keystone state? One of the first, and best known bands to come out of the region was the legendary Poison who came to LA from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Yet what about real metal? Things got brutal in 1989 when Incantation started in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. These crazed death metallers born from the Flood Town were among the first wave of death metal maniacs. Their debut demos have gone down in legend as proof of the raw potential and magic of the Pennsylvania death metal scene. Other stalwart bands that lasted over the years were Rumpelstiltskin Grinder and Leprosy. More recently, the neo thrash group Vektors has been blowing minds across the globe.

So where does that leave us today? What makes us love Pennsylvania death metal so much? Well simply look at the high quality of the bands. The most significant is probably Rivers of Nihil who are one of the few from the new generation who have a full length out. Another key group is Black Crown Initiate a group who are putting together some top notch progressive and technical death metal magic. Not a lot of bands have their skills, period. A final group I’d like to touch on is Coffin Dust who almost seem to me like a Morbid Angel for a new age with powerful atmospherics, incredible riffs, and the ability to start circle pits that spin straight to hell.

To better understand this scene I think its important to realize where how this scene kind of grew up. I had the good fortune of growing up in West Chester, Pennsylvania. This area tends to be lower middle class. A lot of people have low level service jobs, and this is directly contrasted to the rows of mansions found in wealthier districts. There is a certain class disparity here that helps to set up a climate ripe for death metal. More than that, the distinctly middle class suburban areas are strongly conformist, furthermore, this is a strongly Christianized area of the country with lots of churches and a strong religious backbone. All of this makes for the perfect milieu for death metal to thrive. I remember being exposed to death metal groups from a pretty young age. I clearly recall listening to all sorts of heavy bands from Behemoth to Dying Fetus in middle school with my buddies. There is full on death metal indoctrination here. On a recent visit I walked into a cafe and was shocked to here Cynic going on in the background, progressive metal at its finest.

For now, Pennsylvania death metal seems to be rising rapidly. There are strong personalities and lots of interested labels (Two key ones right now are Unholy Anarchy Records and Contorted Records). People are starting to take a notice, this scene may indeed one day become greater than its origins. The influence of these bands is starting to reach out and touch groups in neighboring regions. Boys and girls let your heads start banging this is Pennsylvania Death Metal and now after years of practice and playing basements they are ready to rise out and take over the world!

Written by-

Matt Bacon (Metaljesus Magazine)


[Album Review] KILL OR CURE


Kill or Cure, a surprisingly heavy metal band has done it all.  With their new album, they have set a new hope for modern heavy metal.

From the first track “from Paris to Berlin”, a listener would be confused whether its heavy metal or something other than metal. To be precise, they have given interesting set of progress in their tracks. Do not underestimate them for they are the complete surprise package with the progressing tracks from the start to the end.

Their newly released album kill or Cure has set the name right. They have named their influence from disturbed, Metallica, arch enemy, trivium, iced earth, iron Maiden, within temptation, nightwish and megadeth. Being old school listeners, they have set the music into next level of quality promising music. Comparing them to the international level and also the work done behind is incredibly brilliant. Got to admit, they make you listen to them in a loop rather than a single listen.

Ratings : 90%

To stream their music online :

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– Shwetha Kamath (Metaljesus Magazine)

It doesn’t matter how you wear your hair, it’s what’s inside your head!

So read the defining lyrics of the S.O.D. Classic Metal Forces. I think that now more than ever Billy Milano’s legendary words are important for us to remember. In a world where free speech and personal liberties are ever more threatened metal heads need to stay together. Yet, like Milano implied, it’s not just metal guys we need to reach out to, anyone who supports the ideals often espoused by metal should be welcomed to the fold, because, in the long run, it’s more than the music, it is our personal lives and independence that is at threat here.

What provoked my writing of this article is a simple and rather mundane anecdote. I live in the Passy neighborhood of Paris, it’s an area defined by conformity and hypocrisy. For the first time Tuesday a dude saw my Slayer sweatshirt and flashed me the horns. This small gesture made my day, that even in this cesspool of neo-Fascism and societal oppression metal can live. Historically metal and punk music has been tied to independence movements, both from government oppression (as in Iran) or through societies tyranny. (Which as Bakunin tells us can be more oppressive than the legalized despotism of the state) Yet there are lots of people who support our ideals without calling themselves metal heads or punks.


So what do we need to do if we want to stay free? Well, though metal is often an insular and isolated culture (For good reason) we need to open up more and try to share the key ideals behind extreme music to our peers. A world made exclusively of metal fans, while admittedly totally awesome in concept, probably will never happen. (Although with Deafheaven in Apple ads you never know) So for now what we need to do is reach out and share the core ideals, of liberty, equality, and always watching each others backs. This way, even if we can’t always spread the music, bit by bit we can open people up to the other things that draw us to metal. The endless search for freedom that drives us all.

We need to help the whole world if we want metal to continue to strive on allowed to do what it will. If we become complacent we could become oppressed and limited, not allowed to spread the music we all know and love. For the good of our genre, and beyond that, our futures as human beings are inextricably tied to ascertaining our own basic liberty.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past, searching, like Gatsby for our very own green light.

– Matt Bacon (Metaljesus Magazine)