We recently spoke with South Florida native and current Assistant Professor of English at Fayetteville State University, Dr. Dean Swinford about his opeing salvo into the realm of fiction with the first installment in a trilogy Death Metal Epic I: The Inverted Katabasis. A passionate author and even more passionate fan of metal, Dr. Swinford approaches both discordant axes with reverence and sociological charisma.
This was a golden opportunity, not only to ask the author of the first metal-generated serious work of literature what the protagonist looks like in his mind's eye, but also to ask what kind of bands one should listen to while reading the book. His five suggestions are classics with a slight Floridian bent.
With this, we will prove that you can take the man out of Florida, but you can't take the Florida out of the man. And given the state's recent rally to further embarrass itself at a national and human level, these are positives. Metal positives.
5. Death - Symbolic
Central Florida's enduring lords of metal. The literary value of Chuck Schuldiner's everyman's health struggles before his premature passing in 2001 of brain cancer is mirrored in protagonist David Fosberg's day-to-day.
4. Thergothon - Stream From the Heavens
Finland's masters of "funeral metal" released this album after they disbanded from their short three-year life span. The effects are somewhere between a twenty-four hour Ingmar Bergman marathon and images of starving puppies. You know, depressing in the suicidal kind of way.
3. Malevolent Creation - The Ten Commandments
Unfortunately he didn't appear on this album, but our buddy Alex Marquez went on to drum for this outfit on a number of releases.
2. Cathedral - Forest of Equilibrium
This is, without a doubt, one of the best all-around metal debuts ever. Creepy. Epic. Given its sound and release date, we can only guess as to its impact on a nascent Dr. Swinford.
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1. Cynic - Focus
If anybody ever even has the nerve or balls to question Florida's metal scene, one spin of this album should put all questions to rest. You can't talk metal and Florida without Paul Masvidal's band coming up at least once.