My cousin Dave was in an Albany-area death metal band called Strychnine back in the late 1990s. He was the lead guitarist & songwriter, and they released one six-song demo called A Time Will Come. The band split up before too long, and he and the bassist and drummer picked up a new guitarist and vocalist and formed Held Under, which existed from 2000-2007, playing out often and recording a couple of self-released albums.

While Held Under’s recordings sounded more professional, their strange mix of flavor-of-the-month melodic metal (In Flames) and brutal death metal (Dying Fetus) didn’t do much for me. Kudos to Dave for working with a vocalist that liked Swedish melodic death, but to my ears the vocals made the songs sound sort of generic. I liked the raw, more old-school sound of Strychnine. You knew what you were getting; if you like old school death metal with harsh, growling vocals, check them out.

The link above is for Strychnine’s Myspace page, where one of the former members has posted their demo. I found their page this afternoon, and spent a little while listening to the songs, which I hadn’t heard in something like 10 years. My favorite track is “A Time Will Come,” which is a seven-minute epic!


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