For whatever reason, people ask me questions about everything from streetwear to their resume to convincing their girl to let them PIITB. I think that’s awesome, because I pretty much never get tired of giving people advice! But hands down, the single most commonly asked question is “DEAR SARJENT D WAT SLAM BANDS SHOULD I LIEK PLS RSPND!!!”
I could just list a bunch of bands, but the truth is that the answer to that question really depends on how much experience you have with the genre– it’s important to take things slowly, or you could end up hurting yourself and others! With that in mind, here’s the four basic TIERS OF SLAM. Where do you rank??
ENTRY LEVEL (SLAM099: Remedial Slam)
It is important to start with the most accessible bands to build your tolerance. I suggest beginners check out proto-slam/NYDM and the slammier br00tal death bands: they’ll ease you into the world of slam without leaving the safe, familiar confines of traditional death metal. This stuff isn’t REALLY slam, but it’s close enough enough to prepare your anus for the real thing.
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL (Topics In Slam)
If your reaction to the entry level bands was, “this is pretty cool I guess but WHERE IS THE PIT RIFFMENT, BRO??” then you are ready to move on to tr00 slam! But proceed with caution: you’re still learning. My research suggests that the most easily-digestible ‘real’ slam for newcomers is the Russian bands like KATALEPSY and ABOMINABLE PUTRIDITY, most likely because they occasionally border on deathcore and their HM 2-like guitar sound is appealing to metalfags who aren’t quite ready to abandon dinosaur metal. DEVOURMENT are another great choice, thanks to their super catchy, bouncy riffs and polished production (by genre standards).
I don’t personally like this tier of slam all that much. It’s stuck in that awkward “neither here nor there” place where it doesn’t have the charm of old NYDM nor the crushing brutality of the advanced level bands, but it’s the most popular tier of slam from what I can tell. Basically, if someone tells you their favorite slam band is ABOMINABLE PUTRIDITY that’s kind of like saying their favorite hardcore band is HAVE HEART: it doesn’t exactly make them a poser since that’s a more-or-less credible band, but it does tell you their taste level is still relatively undeveloped.
ADVANCED LEVEL (Slam Seminar / independent study in pitt riffment)
When you immediately discard a so-called slam band at the first appearance of tremolo picking, skank beats, or anything resembling a chorus, you are ready to appreciate REAL slam. While it may be tempting to skip right to this tier, I really can’t stress enough how important it is to work your way up to it. The truth is that most people simply aren’t ready for material this advanced, as I’ve learned the hard way over the years!
What I mean is, I used to immediately recommend these bands to anyone who asked me for new slamz, only to be met with gay, weaksauce responses like “IDK I can’t really get into the vocals” or “All the songs sound the same, they’re kind of boring.” That was usually followed by “OK so what are some other bands that sound like Katalepsy?”
Much like snorting a fat line of 99% pure coke would put an inexperienced lightweight in the hospital, advanced level slam is simply too much for most people because it is PURE PITT RIFFMENT! There is absolutely no melody, dynamics, song structure, or anything else that will resemble the comfortable, familiar conventions of highly traditional, rock and roll-based genres like metal and hardcore. Just relentless, crushing SLAMS one after the other, with zero fucks given about “songwriting” or other flowery, pretentious artsiness.
S-RANK (unlocked only by finishing New Slam+ with 101% completion rating when you have a Sweatpants save on your memory card)
Only the most dedicated slam enthusiasts will have the determination its takes to reach S-Rank, staring slackjawed as the boss of pitt riffment bellows “Now you’re ready to see my TRUE FORM!!” and reveals slams so high-level that you thought they were just schoolyard rumors! Even experienced slammers can have trouble appreciating the incredibly advanced-level techniques displayed by these artists. To most, they will just sound like sloppy, underproduced, amateurish garbage… and that’s exactly what they are, yet it is also why they are the most sophisticated, avant-garde auteurs who are pushing the boundaries of the genre into places that few of us can even visualize (srs). Don’t feel bad if your mind is blown, just keep SLAMMING THAT SICKNESS!!
Check DJ TWOSTACKS COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO SLAM for extra credit!