For fans of no-nonsense death metal of the early '90s variety, Pathology is an answered prayer. The San Diego-based quintet recently released the fittingly titled 'Awaken to the Suffering' album, which features new additions vocalist Jonathan Huber and second guitarist Kevin Schwartz. The record was tracked this past summer at Lambesis Studios by producer Daniel Castleman (As I Lay Dying, Impending Doom) and features some of the most lyrically and musically jarring material of their career. Noisecreep caught up with Pathology drum abuser Dave Astor for our 'Five Albums That Changed My Life' feature. As you'll see below, he picks some absolutely essential death and grind records.
Crossed Out (1991)
"When I was a kid, I use to go to this club in San Diego called the Che' Cafe. I saw a San Diego band there called Crossed Out. They were a power violence band with short songs from 30 sec to one minute long. It was one of the toughest and heaviest things I have seen to this day. After seeing them it inspired me to start my first band, The Locust."
'Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious'
"I saw Carcass on the Necroticism tour in '92 with Napalm Death; I won tickets on the radio. This album was a huge influence on me. I'm a big fan of the medical and gore thing they've got going on. When I formed Pathology, this album played a big part in influencing the direction I wanted to go."
"After hearing this album, I was forever hooked. It has one of my favorite drummers on it, Dave Culross. This and all of their other albums are great."
'None So Vile'
"I first heard this in 1999; It blew me away. Some of the coolest and fastest drumming I ever heard at the time. I remember I could not find this album for a while, but I finally got hold of it in '99 when I went to Japan with my old band."
Napalm Death (1990)
"The first death metal album I ever owned was Napalm Death's Scum. I really became a fan when I saw them on Headbanger's Ball, the "Triple Thrash Threat" for the song 'Suffer the Children.' Still to this day, drummer Mick Harris on all of the old stuff is the best; he had so much energy and played so fast."