It is generally accepted that death metal as a separate style of extreme music was invented either by Possessed in 1985 with their album Seven Churches, or by Death in 1987 with their album Scream Bloody Gore. In fact, there are many opinions, and the debate on the subject goes on. Karl Sanders of the death metal band Nile shared his opinion on the subject.
In a recent interview with Jorge Fretes of Goetia Media, Sanders revealed his own idea that modern death metal owes its emergence in the first place and would not be what it is today without Slayer’s 1985 second album Hell Awaits or Kreator’s 1986 second album Pleasure To Kill.
I think you have to talk about the pioneers, you know? Chuck Schuldiner and Death wrote the books. Morbid Angel Altars Of Madness wrote the book. As far as pioneers, Possessed Seven Churches wrote a new book. If we think a little back further on pivotal things in the development of death metal, there are the first couple of Slayer records. Everything up to Hell Awaits and Reign In Blood became a Bible upon which extreme metal was built.
Obviously Slayer was kind of thrash metal, but they wrote a Bible with their music. I think no death metal today would be what it is without Hell Awaits or early Kreator Pleasure To Kill. That’s a fucking masterpiece.
Karl Sanders is the co-founder, guitarist and vocalist of the American death metal band Nile. Besides the band he has a solo side-project, which he founded in 2004 and which presents an ambient-folk on Egyptian themes. His last solo album Saurian Apocalypse was released in 2022.