Today, Narcotic Wasteland’s sophomore album, Delerium Tremens, was released on Megaforce/MRI. Initially started as a side project by former Nile guitarist Dallas Toler-Wade, the band is now his full time project. Being in such an influential death metal band as Nile, then moving on to Narcotic Wasteland makes the singer/guitarist qualified to talk about death metal, and Toler-Wade shared a list of 10 death metal albums that were influential to him, in no particular order. Relive the memories below, and pick up Deleriuim Tremens here.
Bolt Thrower, Warmaster
As a young musician, I was always looking for the next heavy thing not only in my own ideas, but in the bands I was discovering at the time. This album blew my mind wide open to what is actually possible in death metal. While I was already familiar with this band, Warmaster made me really pay attention. The super heavy tonality of the guitar riffs, the churning double bass drumming through the entire album, and the spot on lyrics about the self-inflicted demise of mankind really hit home with me, and I wear this influence on my sleeve with great pride.
Napalm Death, Harmony Corruption
I remember borrowing this cassette from a friend, and being totally encased in goose bumps while we listened to it in my truck. At the time I had a fairly powerful stereo system in the ole truck. Kenwood cassette player, some 100000000 watt power amp, and 12 inch MTX terminators behind the seat. This album is killer from one end to the other, spanning many topics. While it was Death Metal to my ears I also felt a sort of punk vibe from it. The level of aggression in the music is kind of insane, and stands the test of time for me.
I really liked the first album too, but to me this album broke some new ground on many fronts. On the first listen one of the things that really stuck out to me was the bass guitar. I loved how loud it was in the mix, and I thought it really added to the brutality of the songs. There is a lot of great guitar work on this record. There are times on this recording that sounds to me like the record is playing backwards. This one stayed on repeat for quite some time.
Death, Spiritual Healing
Again I was already a fan of this band, but when I heard this for the first time to me it sounded like a band that was really refining what they were doing. I really like all of the Death albums, but this one will always be my favorite because it was more refined than the earlier releases, but not as fancy as the albums after it. For me it is just right. No super flashy drums here. Great songs with innovative yet straight forward guitar playing. The subject nature of the lyrics is very fitting for a band named Death.
Sepultura, Beneath the Remains
Where do we even start with this one?! I don’t even remember how I discovered this album, but I do remember covering some of their songs in my first band. I love the simplistic but effective style this album has. The relentless speed was a bit of a jaw dropper to me. This is representative of a band on fire, working on their craft and playing from the heart. I think this album was not just an influence on me, but a big influence on many people looking for the next level of heaviness overall. This is yet another timeless classic.