Completely Covered Retrospective 6: Murder Earth

Des Moines has always been a pretty metal-loving town. Our biggest export helped define the genre in the 90s, and the east siders make sure that metal shows always draw well in town, be they touring acts or locals. So it seemed obvious to have that facet of the scene represented. The question was: who to pick?

I wanted an act that was capable of playing some good music, but would also have the good humor and willingness to take the project and run with it. To fit the bill, three acts stuck me as clear front runners: Dead Horse Trauma, Green Death, and Murder Earth. DHT was clearly the highest profile act in town at the time, and Green Death was and is probably the best metal band in town from a musical standpoint. Both acts were also incredibly busy, though, and I had some pretty serious doubts about whether or not either of them would say yes, or would be able to finish on time if they did.

Murder Earth had a much lower profile, and had no major plans at the time to tour the country or release a major album. They are, however, a bunch of REALLY competent metal musicians, who were just putting their head down and churning out some of the most underrated tunes in the metal scene. They also had one thing that neither DHT nor Green Death could claim: Ben Murphy.

The Murder Earth front man can scream with the best of them. But more importantly for my needs, he's insanely funny, incredibly creative, and more than willing to take the piss out of a project like this. Getting his band mates on board wound up being a chore and a half, and I had genuine concerns about the group's ability to get a song turned in, but Murphy managed to get everyone on the same page and, by they time they headed up to record at Nova Labs, the rest of the guys were even starting to like the song they'd come up with.

That is probably because the song is absolutely incredible. It's loud; thunderously so. Murphy absolutely wails through the thing, ripping out almost the entire song word for word, and making them all sound heavy as lead. The band was also able to let their disdain for Kanye shine through, courtesy of the autotuned opening, an omage to South Park's Kanye West episode.