TABES, Cadavera Tabes Absumebat (1999, self-released)

The skull:
The title translates to “The corpses were consumed by decay,” which seems somewhat redundant over a picture of a skull, but there you have it. Also, there’s the obvious disagreement in number, but that’s okay. We’d rather see one skull than many corpses, and this is a fine photo featuring some of the shoddiest Photoshop masking I’ve ever seen. Although, this being from 1999, it was probably from PaintShop Pro or one of the other free/shareware graphics editing packages of the day. Can you even imagine how long it would have taken to download a warez version of Photoshop on dial-up? Then again, maybe these young Frenchmen had an isdn connection at their school.

The music:
Amateur-hour death metal with a corny horrorshow vibe, Tabes was almost certainly these musicians’ first band. The playing is hilariously messy, and you can picture with total clarity the look of brow-furrowed concentration on the the faces of the guitarists as they struggle to (not exactly) nail their (not at all) challenging parts, and you can practically hear the drummer counting to himself as he gamely attempts to keep the train on the rails. Tabes are actually kind of charming in their high-school ineptitude, but god damn, this is some terrible shit. Makes me really glad my high school band left no recorded output!
— Friar Johnsen