By ’91, death metal had grown physically, mentally and even spiritually, progressing from a small local scene in Florida with outposts in the Bay Area and Europe to a worldwide force stretching in all directions. This was the year death metal became ‘A Thing’, where all of its varying disciplines, splintering personalities and eclectic influences became manifest. As such, this 12 month period is packed with a dizzying array of classics from all across the spectrum, from stoner doom burnouts to techy jazz to punk beatdown. And it all happened a quarter century ago.
What follows is a list of the 25 landmark albums from this most important of years in death metal, organized in chronological order. This is not a best-of list or a countdown. No, this is a celebration of all things bloody and gory, downtuned and chugged, growled and grunted, loud and brutal, fast and slow. This is the heart of the Golden Age of death metal.