I love death metal. Like, LOVE it. Without the glorious, blood-drenched cacophonies of Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, Obituary, and Deicide, my tender high school years would have been even lamer, and I’m sure I’d have turned out quite differently as a music fan, and as a person in general. There’s just something about the raw, feral energy and unrelenting brutality of a good death metal album that really speaks to you when you’re fifteen and stuck living in the middle of nowhere, as one particular horde of intrepid Swedish kids figured out a couple decades ago. Were it not for their intense energy, motivation, and de(ad)ication, the world would have never seen the likes of Carcass, At the Gates, Grave, Dismember, or Nihilist, and I’d probably be rocking a Fall Out Boy babydoll instead of a Coffins longsleeve right now. Thanks to Daniel Ekeroth’s mighty guide to Swedish Death Metal, we now know who to thank, and just how much of our extreme metal world they’ve painted with their bloody fingerprints.