Biohazard, the Hardcore veterans from Brooklyn (New York), USA, originally formed in 1987, were one of the first to combine Hardcore with Hip Hop elements. They’ve released two demos (in 1988 and 1989), nine studio albums and two live albums (1997’s No Holds Barred is one of my favorite live albums of all times). They wrote legendary songs like Punishment, Tales from the Hard Side or Shades of Grey. As the band had to undergo several line-up changes throughout the years I would need a whole paragraph to mention all of them. But thanks to Wikipedia we have this amazing graph:
Deafheaven. With Roads to Judah these guys released one of the best albums of the year 2011 – if you don’t own it yet, you know what to do. Formed in 2010 in California, USA, Deafheaven soon signed a deal with Jacob Bannon’s Deathwish Inc. and released a 7″ vinyl single that featured two songs that were taken from the group’s demo. In 2011 Roads to Judah followed.
Drautran is a Black-/Pagan-Metal band from Kiel in Germany and was formed in 1996. They have released one demo (Unter dem Banner der Nordwinde) in 2000 and a debut album called Throne of the Depths in 2007. Their interesting logo design was created by Blotan, a “writer, musician and maverick, commuting between Germany and Norway.” (source).
Coffinworm is a Black-, Sludge-, Doom-Metal band from Indianapolis, USA, formed in 2007. They have released two full length albums to this day – When All Became None in 2010 and Great Bringer Of Night in 2012.
Great Bringer of Night’s album cover – created by Bryan Proteau – is a classic hand drawn illustration with genre-typical elements: skulls, gravestones, snakes and a cross. What makes the artwork stand out is its iconography due to the minimalistic sujet. The cross obviously is the dominant part of the illustration surrounded by lots of black space and being unseen in its construction.
Bloodbath is a Death Metal supergroup from Stockholm, Sweden, founded in 1998. And the term supergroup isn’t exaggerated (at least for Death Metal standards, not Lady Gaga standards): The founding members were Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) on vocals, Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, etc.) on drums, Anders “Blakkheim” Nyström (Katatonia, Diabolical Masquerade) on guitar, and Jonas Renkse (Katatonia, October Tide) on bass. In 2005 Åkerfeldt
Upheaval is a Technical Death Metal band from Paris, France. And it appears the city of love is a perfect environment for writing brutal Death Metal songs. After releasing a self-titled demo in 2009 Upheaval released the EP Incubate the Wasteland in 2011 via Galy Records. Unfortunately their EP is only 20 minutes long because I’d love to hear more. Their logo as well as Incubate the Wasteland’s cover artwork are really well done (admittedly the cover artwork is more horizontally centered than symmetric). On first sight I thought that the baby on the machine throne is picking its nose while the third eye is watching me – kind of disturbing.
Time for another Death Metal legend: Dismember. One of the forefathers of Swedish Death Metal (alongside Entombed) formed in 1988 and unfortunately split up in October 2011. After four demos (Dismembered in 1988, Last Blasphemies in 1989, Rehearsal in 1989 and Reborn in Blasphemy in 1990) the band has released eight full length albums (among them classics like 1991’s Like an Ever Flowing Stream, 1995’s Massive Killing Capacity or 1997’s Death Metal). Their classic logo is pure symmetric gold. Perhaps because its outer shape looks a bit like the batsignal … Anyway, just for nostalgia, here’s Casket Garden’s music video from 1995. No symmetric content at all, but I don’t care.