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Entry Level is a new series where musicians re-examine the records that piqued their interests in heavy and loud music as children and young adults.

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My early musical years were gelatinous, I would obsess over anything that just caught my ear. I had The Simpsons Sing the Blues on repeat. Then there was whatever my brother was listening to, which was Information Society's Hack, INXS's Kick, and Duran Duran's Notorious. Then when we got to South Florida, Miami bass was big. Also Genesis and some other British progressive [rock], Yes and the like. Fast forward to middle school -- 7th grade -- I was introduced to bands like Korn, Deftones, and Pantera almost all at once.

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Then came Domination from Morbid Angel. Everything about this record was life-altering. It was the heaviest thing I had ever encountered and to this day still stands. Covenant and Formulas Fatal to the Flesh are also on that list. Death metal is an incredibly expressive genre of music! Entombed, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Nile, all very different bands. Morbid Angel had what I needed at that point in my life [and] they set a standard of what I define as heavy. I chased the feeling it gave me in my own sound, in combination with the ferocity of tone and bite of the guitar tone. Aside from just guiding my sound, they opened my mind to so many different elements of music, aggressive or not. Then ultimately being able to work with Erik Rutan and getting to play with the guitar that tracked the record that sent me on that path in the first place was a pretty surreal experience that I’m so thankful to have had. That Gibson Explorer summoned me that fateful day in 1995, and I answered!

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Devin Estep is the guitarist and vocalist of sludge/doom metal band Ether Coven. Everything Is Temporary Except Suffering is out now on Century Media Records..

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