90's Death Metal Week, Part 7
The final album in our (almost) week-long 90's DM journey is one that I hold near and dear to my heart, an early release from the Czech Republic's own resident Hessians KRABATHOR. This band has always been the pet project of one Petr "Christopher" Krystof (right), and has been populated by a revolving cast of hired-gun musicians since its birth in 1988. But I was lucky enough to catch these guys in a club the size of my living room in Eureka, California, about a decade ago, while Krabathor counted amongst their ranks the Bearded Behemoth, bassist/vocalist Paul Speckmann. If you are not already familiar with the Speckmann legacy, his body of work and reputation throughout the decades, you are a bag full of tools. There's no two ways about it.
Needless to say, the show was fucking EPIC in the fullest and most resounding sense of the word, and afterwards I instantly set out to locate the entire back catalog of this crushing colossus of sonic sorcery. As it turns out, I actually came to prefer Krabathor's pre-Speckmann (pre-1999) recorded work over their newer stuff, and as the years wore on, I found myself gravitating toward Cool Mortification more and more often.
I dunno. I've seen my share of bands live, but there's something about being face-to-face in cramped quarters with a group of dudes from halfway around the planet, boozed to the gills and banging your head in a universal catharsis that defies language or cultural difference. For some reason, I still feel a strange personal connection with Krabathor, and every time I put on one of their albums it feels like the return of an old friend. Overly sentimental? Probably. But generic Eastern European death metal does that to me.