Undeath frontman Alex Jones offers a crash course in death metal with his essential albums - Knotfest
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Undeath frontman Alex Jones offers a crash course in death metal with his essential albums

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in Culture on September 6, 2021

New York’s emerging purveyors of extremity share the albums, both old and new, that best showcase the muscle of the genre.

Rochester death metal crew Undeath had a breakout 2020 with their well-received full length debut, Lesions of A Different Kind.

Armed with an incredible genre IQ and the technical proficiency to properly execute the nuanced sound, Undeath emerged as part of a new generation of death metal contributors that tapped into the classic while offering something contemporary.

Fans that took to the staples of the subcategory found themselves intrigued, while an entirely new generation of fans looked to Undeath as their conduit to the greater culture of the sound. In the vein of the greats like Deicide, Malevolent Creation, Morbid Angel, and Cannibal Corpse, Undeath’s modernization of the sound retains the integrity of death metal without repeating what has already been done.

Currently trekking on the Up From the Sewer Tour, Undeath have joined a collective forged in brutality, sharing the stage with Rivers of Nihil, Carnifex, After the Bural, and genre ambassadors The Black Dahlia Murder. The eclectic mesh of extremity speaks volumes about the health of the genre but what is more impressive is how in just three short years, Undeath are able to keep such established company. The band’s repertoire is rooted in their reverence – Undeath play skull crushing death metal because they love skull crushing death metal.

In sharing their creative foundation, vocalist Alex Jones detailed some requisite listening for fans looking to get a crash course in the genre. He explains, “Just about every list of essential death metal albums on the internet is going to, correctly, tell you that you need to listen to Altars of Madness (Morbid Angel), The Bleeding (Cannibal Corpse), etc. So we thought we’d mix it up a little bit and suggest some badass albums that might fly under the radar of someone first getting into the genre but are still just as worthy of your attention.

Hope you find something you dig!”

Adramelech – Psychostasia


Jones – First LP from the Finnish masters. Definitely a must listen if you’re at all familiar with newer bands like Tomb Mold and Blood Incantation.


Vomit Forth – Northeastern Deprivation


Jones – This is just total no-bullshit, fuck your life death metal served up east coast style. Huge emphasis on groove and no shortage of jump-da-fuck-up parts. One of the best new bands.


Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall

Jones – Most death metal essentials lists out there are going to recommend “Graves of the Arcangels” for first time Dead Congregation listeners, and while that album is certifiably amazing and deserving of all the praise it gets, I tend to lean more toward its successor for repeat listens. There’s a million bands out there trying to ape this style but these guys have always done it the best.


Deeds of Flesh – Path of the Weakening

Jones – Did Erik Lindmark ever record a bad riff? I highly doubt it. R.I.P. to the legend. Amazing album from an amazing band.


Defeated Sanity – Chapters of Repugnance

Jones – You’re going to be hard pressed to find a more beloved brutal death metal band than Defeated Sanity, and for good reason. Consistently flawless blend of whiplash inducing, mind-frying technicality and brain-smoothing breakdowns. This album is a great place to start with them.


Phobophilic – Undimensioned Identities

Jones – Fantastic new band from North Dakota who just happen to be our Prosthetic label mates. Everyone in Undeath was blown away by this demo when it dropped and we’re eagerly awakening the full-length. Riffs for days.


Morpheus Descends – Ritual of Infinity

Jones – Super underrated New York Death Metal that never quite got the shine that their peers in Suffocation and Internal Bleeding did, but just as worth your time. Love this album.


Cannibal Corpse – Kill

Jones – You didn’t really think we were going to get through this list without mentioning cannibal corpse at least once, right? Undeath is all about the Barnes records but the shit that really gets us endangering ourselves and those around us is the Corpsegrinder material, and Kill is one of the best collection of death metal songs ever. An absolute must-listen


Kalibas – Product of Hard Living

Jones – Rochester legends. Weirdo, off-kilter death metal from a city full of off-kilter weirdos. Members went on to play in other sick bands like Sulaco, Nuclear Assault and Order of the Dead. Can’t recommend this one enough.


Anatomia – Dissected Humanity

Jones – Legitimately kind of scary death-doom from Japan. Great album to scare your Five Finger Death Punch loving family members with.


Catch Undeath on the Up From the Sewer Tour along with Rivers of Nihil, Carnifex, After the Burial and The Black Dahlia Murder. Get dates and tickets below.


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