All Shall Perish guitarist Ben Orum picks six songs to die with.
We have neither the budget nor the imagination of BBC Radio, so we've borrowed from their Desert Island Discs program to bring you our own scaled down version, dubbed Six Songs To Die With. Every week we ask a noteworthy musical guest to select the six songs they'd be stranded with on an obligatory desert island. Hypothetically, said guest will be dying on this island, so they've been advised to choose wisely. Selections appear in no particular order.
Oakland, California's All Shall Perish has been a staple of the extreme metal scene for ten years now. In that time, the band has toured the world and released four albums with Nuclear Blast Records. Rhythm guitarist and ASP founding member Ben Orum has seen and heard a lot, so we figured he'd be a good candidate for Six Songs To Die With.
"Slaughter of Innocence" - Retribution
: When I first got into death metal back in 1992, I was in 7th grade. Up until then I was mostly jamming Young MC, MC Hammer and my absolute favorite, Another Bad Creation. I grew up in the small town of Lafayette, CA. When Lafayette got its first independent CD store (CD Spot), my life changed. CD Spot happened to be on my walk home from school. I decided one day to venture into the store hoping to find the new MC Hammer, when I stumbled upon Malevolent Creation's new album cover for Retribution. Back in 1992, CDs came in these enormous sleeves, which were awesome because it really showcased the cover art. The owner of the store saw that I was interested in the CD, and he let me listen to it on headphones in the store. I plugged in and was instantly blown away. The chaos of this record was almost too much for a young boy to process, but I continued to listen. How was he screaming like that? How was the drummer playing so fast? I was hooked. For the next 3 years I bought up as much death metal as I could afford thanks to that awesome little store. It was a real bummer when the store closed down, but eventually I got a car and was able to find other places to get my CD fix. Fast forward to present day, here I am at 32 years old and I still completely back this CD! All the tracks are awesome but the track I have chosen here, "Slaughter of Innocence," is one of my favorite death metal songs of all time. 2:00-2:30 is when the magic happens here, easily the heaviest 30 seconds in metal ever recorded.
"Night's Blood" - Storm of The Light's Bane
: This song is beyond epic. I remember taking a creative writing class in high school where we were allowed to bring in any one song we wanted to play for the class. Once the song started on the boombox, everyone would go silent and write whatever came to their mind while listening to the song. I played Dissection "Night's Blood" for the class, all 6:42 seconds of it! It was really interesting to see the facial reactions of everyone in the class as the song played, because most of them had only been exposed to the Dave Matthews band or Phish. When the song was over, and with a smile on her face, the teacher read what she wrote while listening to the track: "Complete unintelligible noise, absolutely no talent and worthless." When it was my turn to share I quickly corrected her, explaining to her and the class how incredibly complex the piece actually was, like any guitar geek would. I absolutely love everything about this song. 4:54... Pretty sure every band out there has stolen this classic Dissection cymbal grab pattern with the vocal build up by now. Listen to this with some good headphones. NOW!.
"Dogs" - Animals
: I grew up with my mom constantly blasting Pink Floyd in the car at full volume! I love Pink Floyd. I'd say by the early age of 12, I could have easily written a book about Roger Waters' feud with David Gilmour and the rest of the band. My mom made sure to give me a full Pink Floyd education, and years later I really have to thank her for it. Pink Floyd's music instantly takes me back to so many special times in my life; they are a very special band for me. Everyone has that special band :) The track I have chosen is entitled "Dogs" and it comes off the Animals album released in 1977. For whatever reason, my mom had never played this record while I was growing up, so when I discovered it, it was like striking gold. "Dogs" is a lengthy journey that I have often turned on in the All Shall Perish van during one of our killer overnight tour drives. After it ends, someone always asks, "That was crazy, who was that!?" They are always surprised by the answer!
"Slit Your Guts" - None So Vile
: To me, None So Vile is classic for two reasons. The first would be its cover art. Something about it is very intriging to me, almost haunting. Everytime I see it, it grabs my my attention and instantly takes me back to being 16 years old in 1996 buying it the day it came out. Reason number 2: in a time before all of this computer drum quantizing fuckery that has become so standard, NSV is incredibly raw, groovy and insanely good. My favorite track off the disc is "Slit Your Guts." The drums on that track are so chaotic and real. It sounds like it was recorded in a few takes, and has an overwhelming sense of urgency to the music, which I absolutely love.
"Coconut Woman" - Very Best Of Harry Belafonte
: When my son Greyson was born, this song would always put the biggest smile on his face. Every time I listen to it, it reminds me of how lucky I am to have him and how special our time together is. The All Shall Perish guys would often stop by my house and find me playing this song while dancing around with Greyson in my arms. It soon became a band favorite that has been in the van playlist rotation for years now :)
"Harper Lewis" - Station
: I recently discovered this band while listening to Neurosis on Pandora. I now have their entire catalog, and play them constantly in my screen printing shop (WeNeedMerch
). They are probably my favorite of the many post rock bands out there. The track I picked, titled "Harper Lewis," has an amazing build up in the beginning and at 3:13 has one of the coolest tapping riffs I've ever heard. When I went to see them live in San Francisco not too long ago, I was very impressed by guitar player Mike Sullivan and his ability to layer guitar tracks with his loop station. They blew me away!