Mark Williamson (drums, bass, guitar, vocals)
General Surgery, early Carcass, Impetigo, The Exploited
Anything goregrind; also see top five records below
1. Impetigo – Ultimo Mondo Cannibale
I absolutely love Ultimo Mondo Cannibale and adore Horror of the Zombies. Everything about them is raw lo-fi horror and you can tell the band is having an insane amount of fun making their music. The bass is outstanding and the vocals go from brutal to laughable from line-to-line. It’s an album that really solidifies that goregrind, at the end of the day, is a fun genre. You can take all your favourite horror movies and mash them into a song you love with nothing more than a guitar and determination. These guys are definitely what inspired me to get into goregrind as my mainstay genre.
2. Repulsion – Horrified
Repulsion’s Horrified. Standing still listening to this album is a challenge if there ever was one, the second stench of burning flesh kicks in you want to mosh. I don’t know how it does it, but this album makes you want to go absolutely nuts. The production on it is so bloody raw and the bass tone is skull crushing. This album was one to show me how raw speed sounded, it wasn’t …And Justice for All or something with a clicky sampled bass drum and an EQ’d to perfection guitar. It was a drummer bashing the kit to bits with a muddy guitar overlaying it and a bass tone from the gods pounding the rest of the song into submission. my main fault with Necrostalgia, in my opinion, was the mix since, in the end, the bass guitar was near inaudible which I’m rectifying on Hacksaw 2. The mix on the thing is much boomier but way less loud. If you listen to Impetigo’s “Boneyard”, it’s got that sort of lo tone.
My main connection with this album is over the summer I worked as a cleaner in a hotel, the kind that works in the basement with his hand half way round the toilet to unclog the thing. The job wasn’t pleasant in any way and I spent most of my time with my head going back to my room wanting to record. So I’d slog through my shift and go home and by the time I was back any inspiration I had was gone, so I fell asleep at 4 in the afternoon, woke up 6, then barely slept for work the next day and did that 5 days a week. When I was plodding through Spotify in work to get something good on I saw Horrified in the recommended section for me. So, I decided to put it on and HOLY FUCK, I looped that one album for an entire 8-hour shift so I probably listened to it 20+ times that day. The same day I went home and wrote “dreading sundown” and LOVED IT. Within a week, I had “gore soaked abertoir” and within 3 months I had Necrostalgia. So Horrified is probably the one album that kicked me up the arse musically and taught me that your song can be nothing more than a minute of blast beats and fizzy guitar but as long as you play it with raw fucking gore you can make something sound brutal.
3. Nails – You Will Never be One of Us
I don’t like many hardcore bands and I don’t like going to many hardcore shows where you get those crowdkilling nose lug assholes who think it’s cool to punch people standing at the side of a pit then justify it by saying get out the pit if you can’t handle it, when they weren’t in the pit to bloody begin with. But anyway, with my almost predisposed dislike to most things hardcore, I listened to Nails since the album art looked cool and I’d never heard of them at the time and it felt like I’d been beaten in an alley by a song. It’s an album with raw fucking rage in every track with ear piercing feedback and a guitar tone that’d give anyone above 50 an aneurysm. It’s the album that influenced my songwriting the most I’d say because after that I don’t want my music to speak to you or tell you a story, I just want it to punch you in the fucking head.
4. Six Feet Under – Bringer of Blood
I’m gonna be fully honest and say I’ve listened to two songs off of Bringer of Blood and only one was recent. I heard the album in my early teens when I was just getting into my second year in high school, so I was in that weird transitional phase where you sort of pick what people see you as, whether you’re the sporty guy or the geeky guy. Well I was the horror guy. I started off as the yoyo guy in the first year but the less said about that the better (lol). So, I was wandering around on YouTube after getting my computer and discovering SO MANY HORROR MOVIES.
I found Fulci, Bava, Hooper, and so many other directors and films I couldn’t even dream of existing, but again at the time I was around 12 so talking my mum into buying me a copy of Zombie Holocaust would be a bit of a roadblock. So, I took to any way I could find to see even snippets of these movies and that’s where the YouTube wander comes into it. I found a music video made using Zombie Flesh Eaters or Zombi 2, whichever you prefer, and the song in the video was sick in the head by Six Feet Under. Now I’ve always listened to metal as my favorite genre as far back as I can remember, but at 12 I was rocking Dragonforce and Rammstein but then I heard Six Feet Under and my jaw dropped. I didn’t know a singer could sound like that or a guitar sound like that or even that a drummer could play like that. It was like hearing a horror movie turned into a song and I absolutely loved it. Since then the horror theme has sort of stuck and my love for both genres has grown more and more over time.
5. Exhumed – Gore Metal
This album debatably created the gore metal genre, though I will argue Impetigo did it till the day I die. It’s got all you want with the churning guitars and booming drums, although without a shadow of a doubt my favourite part is the vocals, how can you not love a guy screeching GORE FUCKING METAL at the top of his lungs. The only reason this sits further down on the list really is I don’t have much of a connection to it since I’d already been into goregrind for a while before hearing it. By the time it came to my ears I thought it was just a really good and solid album with some amazing songwriting but it doesn’t really have a whole lot to make it stand out when compared to something like Repulsion for me.
Another part that takes it down a notch is Exhumed’s insistence to re-record the whole album and release it as Gore Metal: A Necrospective. It’s a re-recording that has all the life and lo-fi goodness of the original sapped out of it. I mean, it demonstrates how much they’ve improved and learned over the years but I don’t think they needed to re-record one of their founding albums to do it.