For my metal dollar, it doesn't really get much better than New Jersey's Human Remains.
Despite a minimal, spotty discography comprised of a couple demos, a couple singles, and a couple EP's, these guys forged a truly unique and inspired sound before disappearing into the grindcore ether well before their time was up. When I try to imagine what the PERFECT death metal band would sound like, my brain comes up with something pretty goddamn close to Human Remains. Weird, atonal guitar riffage with plenty of rapid volume knob manipulation, strange harmonics, and kind of a 'Middle Eastern' feel, blasting drums, schizophrenic changes, early-90's-Florida vocals -- A truly freaky and cacophonous concoction, superbly crafted without sounding the least bit pretentious or artsy-fartsy, blazingly speedy and crushing without falling into any of the well-worn conventions of the genre. So good. So, so good.
Human Remains' two most accessible recordings were released in 1992 and 1996, the first being an EP entitled Admirations Most Deep And Foul (shown above), and the second another short-player called Using Sickness As A Hero (shown at right). While the 3-song Admirations suffers from the expected lack of decent production, it is nonetheless a crippling mission statement from an obscure and multi-talented band, and the 7-song Sickness follows up nicely, with better production and improved songwriting.
These guys definitely share some common ground soundwise with Obscura-era Gorguts (although HR is more dynamically challenging and less repetitive), and could probably even be compared, evolution-wise, to bands like Brutal Truth or even a jazz-less Cynic. Guys from this band went on to play in such disparate and successful metal groups as Municipal Waste, Burnt By The Sun, and Discordance Axis, which led to a Relapse Records re-issue/discography called Where Were You When... in 2002.
This shit KILLS, straight up.
Download both EP's in ONE handy file right HERE
Buy the Relapse discography HERE
Human Remains on Myspace