10 essential death country albums

About the list: "Death country" is probably the most misinterpreted, misused and misunderstood of all subgenres. I'm therefore pleased to provide you with a list with the most obvious albums. As you might have realized: all the genres, subgenres and labels are not mutually exclusive. In fact, very far from that.



 Cover Album Artist





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Satan is Watching




Those Poor Bastards

With this extreme album they raised the bar for death country and pushed themselves a little bit further towards the abyss. There are many different branches and twigs in the genre. This is evil doom country.





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Psalms for the Spiritually Dead




Sons of Perdition

Definitely more "death" than "country". The idea for the album was “overwhelmingly bleak”. The dreadful "Psalm of Slumber" concludes the album. Read the transcription here. This is apocalyptic doom country. Digital only.





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Ballads and Mental Breakdowns





Uncle Sinner

Uncle Sinner’s modus operandi is take a couple of songs you adore from the copious well of root music, bring them to the smithy and forge them into a new shape and form, but still possible to discern. This is dark canadiana.





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 Head Home





This is a very rough album with a feverish intensity. The album was self-released in 2006, then remastered and re-released in 2007. The rest is history. The songs "Down to Rest", "O Lee O" and "Ground Stump" stand out. 





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In the Cold Light of Day





This is death country from UK. This kind of music thrives in all climate and time zones. The music and lyrics are dark, on the verge to pitch-black. This particular twig of the subgenre can be termed british rural realism.





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Death Country





Reverend Elvis

This is death country from Germany. To avoid any confusions the album is also called "Death Country". This precaution is unneccessary. There's no risk for this album to be perceived in another way.




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 Wrong Side of Memphis





Johnny Dowd


"Be content with your life, it may not get any better". How true. Johnny Dowd is a late bloomer. The demo songs were recorded by him alone in the office of his moving company. The album is packed with murder, death and evil.





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With Signs Following




Creech Holler

The title is a direct reference to "The Church of Jesus Christ with Signs Following". They are also called "Snake Handlers". The music consists of original and traditional songs, as well as an occasional cover. Creech Holler is not for everyone. 




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The 5th Sin-Phonie




The Dead Brothers

This is death country from Switzerland. According to themselves: "The greatest and strangest funeral combo of the world. Who would imagine that rock'n'roll took a different, more sombre route hidden in the Swiss mountains."




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Mainstream Death Country




 Hank Ray

The album title is a contradiction in terms. There's no such thing as "mainstream" in the subgenre. Hank Ray, the Godfather of Death Country, is of course no stranger to this fact. This is death country with a bias towards rockabilly. 



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