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How the 90s nearly saw the end of extreme metal

Death and thrash metal stormed into the 90s in rude and bloody health. So why did that decade see both scenes nearly come off their rails?

“I was at the Hard Rock Café in Tampa, Florida,” recollects Metal Blade Records founder, Brian Slagel, “and there was this really weird-looking guitar on the wall, with this really strange paint job, really crazy colours and it said that Kerry King had played it. I thought, ‘There’s no way Kerry ever played this thing!’ So I took a picture of it and texted it to him. His response summed everything up. He just said, ‘The 90s were weird…’”

From the archive

From the archive


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