Is there death rock like death metal

Death metal


Stylistic features


The Polish death metal band Vader

The "typical" Death Metal ranges from slow, rolling riffs (for example with Bolt Thrower or Hypocrisy) to very fast "clubbing" (Cannibal Corpse or Morbid Angel). The guitars are very often tuned down by at least one whole tone, often two or more. Another characteristic that can be seen is abrupt changes in tempo or rhythm.

In Death Metal, extremely distorted, center-reduced and compressed sounds are used for guitar and bass, whereby in this genre transistor sounds or "hard clipping" (sawing sound by radically cutting off the level peaks in the signal) and multiple extreme distortions are used (as in the Sunlight studio sound of the old Entombed / Dismember who worked with the Boss HM-2 distortion effects pedal and a small Peavey bandit amplifier turned to the limit). In contrast, for example, to Thrash or Power Metal, where more emphasis is placed on the more harmonious, pure tube sounds and on soft clipping, a gentle dampening of the signal peaks with a less sawing and more “singing” basic sound, and which is often Mesa Boogie Mark IV and similar tube amplifiers are used and where often only slightly distorted bass sounds or clean, "crisp" bass sounds are used. Death metal guitar sounds usually sound much rougher, more concise and less harmonious, the individual nuances and the dynamics of the guitar playing are often less pronounced or not recognizable due to strong compression in favor of a more powerful overall sound of the guitars. In addition, the instruments are often relatively loud in relation to the vocals and are more in the foreground of the overall sound than with Thrash and Power Metal.

The lyrics are often difficult to understand due to the predominant guttural style of singing in the genre (“growling”, “grunting”). Bands such as Amorphis and Edge of Sanity introduced clear vocals alternating with typical death metal vocals. This innovation, also known as “clean vocals”, came up in the early 1990s. Well known for this style element is the band Opeth from Stockholm, which apart from death metal can be classified in progressive metal.

Subgenres and currents

  • Brutal death metal is a term used to distinguish it from other death metal currents, especially melodic death metal. Typical features are deep, often extremely difficult to understand growls, many blast beats and very deeply tuned string instruments. The New York based band Suffocation is often considered the founder of this genre. Many brutal death metal bands play technically very demanding death metal (besides suffocation for example Origin), but that doesn't apply to every band. Devourment is also often assigned to this genre, as it is very difficult to distinguish between Slam Death Metal and Brutal Death Metal.
  • Deathgrind is made up of Death Metal and Grindcore, with the proportions of the respective music styles varying from music group to music group. Frequently used stylistic devices are blast beats, which are combined with typical metal riffing. The omission of blast beats combined with grindcore riffing, in which guitar solos usually do not occur, is rather rare. Known for this combination of stylistic devices are z. B. the bands Cattle Decapitation or Brujeria. In retrospect, bands such as Napalm Death, Impetigo and Blood, among others, are considered to be the initiators of this subgenre, which with subspecies such as the Goregrind (early Carcass, Haemorrhage, Dead Infection, Last Days of Humanity), the Porngrind (GUT, Dead) and the Cybergrind (The Berzerker) is not to be confused. The latter can be seen as the most extreme styles from the combination of Death Metal and Grindcore.
  • Death 'n' roll refers to Death Metal, which contains influences from Rock ’n’ Roll. In the mid-1990s, music groups such as Entombed or Crack Up developed this style, but it soon disappeared again in the underground. However, there are still some bands that follow this style, for example the US American Six Feet Under.
  • Florida death metal shows clear similarities to Thrash Metal. In particular, the so-called Bay Area Thrash Metal, as well as the German bands Kreator, Destruction and Sodom, whose style, according to some musicians, already included the first Death Metal trademarks, have contributed to the development of the current. The Florida scene is now considered to be the origin of Death Metal.
  • Melodic Death Metal is a current that originally came from Scandinavia and is still strongly represented there today. The bands At the Gates, Dark Tranquility and In Flames are considered pioneers. In the recent past, some American music bands have also adapted this style and mixed it with hardcore. Well-known representatives are Killswitch Engage and The Black Dahlia Murder. Today this crossover is known as Metalcore.
  • New York Death Metal is a current that was developed around the state of New York in the USA in the early 1990s. The local bands like Suffocation, Internal Bleeding or Pyrexia mixed Death Metal with New York Hardcore.
  • Old school death metal refers to the distinction from younger, more modern ”currents, the original style, which was mainly played in the mid / late 1980s and early 1990s. Old School stands for “old school” music. In addition to the original groups of that time, for example Master or Morgoth, there are also younger bands who still play this style today based on their role models, for example Death Breath or Necrovation.
  • The Swedish death metal is partly seen as a counter-movement to Florida Death Metal or generally to the very technical Death Metal of North America. In contrast to this, the music of the Swedish bands is much more catchy and the song structures are easier to understand. The production in the Sunlight Studio has proven to be a special trademark. The scene is considered a trailblazer for Melodic Death Metal and Death ’n’ Roll. Local centers are in particular Gothenburg and Stockholm. Early representatives are Treblinka and Morbid, from which inter alia. Tiamat and Nihilist emerged. This way of playing was developed around 1990 by bands such as the Nihilist successor bands Entombed, Dismember and Unleashed.
  • Slam death metal is considered a further development of New York Death Metal. Characteristic is the use of breakdowns, distorted guttural vocals, as well as the change between blastbeats and Doom-Metal borrowings. The pioneers here are the Devourment from Texas, according to which the genre is sometimes also considered Texas death metal referred to as. Slam Death Metal overlaps strongly with Brutal Death Metal, since Slam Death Metal is also a very extreme variety of Death Metal.
  • Technical death metal originated in the USA in the early 1990s and was soon played by European groups. All bands that play technically sophisticated Death Metal are summarized under this name. There are bands that have been influenced by progressive rock, such as Atheist or Dååth. Some groups like Cynic[23] or Pavor also show parallels to jazz. Golem, Decapitated and Spawn of Possession, on the other hand, refer to classical music in their influences and the German band Necrophagist also uses neoclassical elements.
  • Death Doom combines Doom Metal with Deathgrunts and other elements of Death Metal. As in other Doom styles, keyboards are often used in this one. The earliest representatives are Dream Death and Goatlord[24]Other well-known representatives are Mourning Beloveth and Katatonia (the early albums). Some bands in this genre such as My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost (the early albums) were also instrumental in the development of Gothic Metal, which is why the music of some groups in this genre like to be called Gothic doom referred to as.

Ideology and poetry

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Please make sure to substantiate or remove the relationship to NS symbols; see disc.

The followers of this style see it as an expression of the negative aspects of the world and see their scene as a counter-concept to a fun culture, but this direction starts at a different point. A typical feature of death metal lyrics is a pessimistic worldview in diametrical opposition to the motif of the "always winning 'good'" ",[25] which is why death is considered the lyrical pivot of this musical genre.

Said nihilism was initially expressed almost exclusively in splatter texts, which were always preserved in Death Metal. The use of such poetry in connection with appropriate visualization on record covers is often seen outside of the metal scene as glorifying violence and repulsive. As a result, some albums by death metal bands such as Cannibal Corpse were indexed in Germany and other countries[26] or can no longer be legally sold. On the other hand, it adds to the cult of death metal bands.

Occasionally there is satanic or anti-Christian symbolism in Death Metal. This is to be understood as an expression of aversion to a supposedly good world or a Christian society. However, such tendencies are more likely to be found in Black Metal, while evil in Death Metal is characterized by suffering-causing activities such as murder, rape, torture, mutilation and cannibalism.[27] Still, some musicians understand Satanism as part of Death Metal: Deicide singer and bassist Glen Benton "proclaimed that Death Metal and Satanism had to go hand in hand."[28]Darkthrone drummer Fenriz said that Death Metal "has nothing to do with criticism of social grievances or splatter lyrics", but for him means "occultism, esotericism and dark stories".[29] Michayah Belfagor (Nefandus, Ofermod) sees Death Metal and Black Metal as identical and defined by Satanism.[30]

There are a few Christian death metal bands such as Mortification.

Similar to Satanism, it is with the use of symbols from the time of National Socialism, such as Siegrunen, swastikas or similar symbols, which are rare in the rather apolitical Death Metal. Most of these symbols are used without a political background, as the aim of said symbols is to express the evil and the bad in the world. Since the time of National Socialism is considered to be an extremely dark period in human history, they are still used occasionally today, with the “heyday” going from the mid-1980s to the early to mid-1990s. Due to increased indexing and the mainly apolitical attitude of Death Metal fans, such symbols are used less often again today.

Nevertheless, some bands address political and socially critical issues. Especially on the part of the black metal scene, these bands were and are disparagingly called "life metal"[31][32] or "Greenhouse Effect Death Metal"[33] designated.

With the development of the scene, the texts changed. The topic was approached with differentiated means. A certain similarity to the idea of ​​vanitas as in the baroque era became more and more apparent. For example, parallels between the Tears of the fatherland by Andreas Gryphius and Epitaph for Humanity from Vader. Bands like Death, Cynic, Pestilence or Gorefest took up philosophical and political topics; according to Mystery Flame from the webzine Avant-garde metal before Cynic it was “inconceivable to combine spirituality with death metal”.[34] Surrealist texts were also used, for example. B. Darkthrone on their first LP Soulside Journey picked up.


Death metal fans in the Fantasy nightclub, 1994[35]



  • Albert Mudrian, Mike Borrink: Choosing Death: The Amazing History of Death Metal & Grindcore (Foreword by John Peel). I.P. Verlag Jeske / Mader, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-931624-35-8
  • Philip Akoto: Inhuman underground music? Death fascination between entertainment and rebellion using the example of Gothic, Metal and Industrial music. Telos, 2006, ISBN 3-933060-21-4
  • Joel Mciver: Extreme Metal - The dictionary of the new metal scene. Grosser & Stein, Pforzheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-86735-292-5
  • Miss instruction: Death on Arrival: Death Metal / Grindcore. In: testcard # 1: Pop and Destruction. 4th edition. Ventil Verlag, Mainz 2004, ISBN 3-931555-00-3


  • Daniel Ekeroth: Swedish death metal. Bazillion Points, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9796163-1-0
  • Garry Sharpe-Young: Death metal. Zonda Books, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9582684-4-8
  • Natalie J. Purcell: Death Metal Music: The Passion and Politics of a Subculture. McFarland & Company, 2003, ISBN 0-7864-1585-1
  • Keith Kahn-Harris: Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge. Berg Publishers, Oxford 2006, ISBN 1-84520-399-2
  • Jason Forster: Commodified Evil’s Wayward Children: Black Metal and Death Metal as Purveyors of an Alternative Form of Modern Escapism. VDM Verlag, Saarbrücken 2008, ISBN 978-3-639-01060-2

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Death metal (English)
  2. ↑ Albert Mudrian: Choosing Death - The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore. ISBN 1-932595-04-X, pp. 55ff.
  3. ↑ Bettina Roccor: Heavy metal art. Commerce. heresy. Iron Pages (I.P. Verlag Jeske / Mader), Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-931624-07-2 (dissertation), p. 115
  4. Sympathies
  5. abIgnacio Coluccio: NIHILIST - Nihilist - CD - Candlelight Records - 2005@ 1 @ 2 Template: Dead Link / (Page no longer available, search inWeb archives) Info: The link was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
  6. abGrim_Rieper, soulsatzero: The AUTOPSY special
  7. ↑ Albert Mudrian: Choosing Death - The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore. ISBN 1-932595-04-X, pp. 17ff.
  8. ↑ Varg Vikernes: A Burzum Story: Part I - The Origin And Meaning
  9. ↑ Jason Arnopp: "WE ARE BUT SLAVES OF THE ONE WITH HORNS ...". In Kerrang!, No. 436, March 27, 1993, pp. 42-46
  10. ↑ Brother Clé: Dark Icon Gallery In Ablaze, No. 5, May / June 1995, p. 56
  11. - Intro (Memento of the original dated November 16, 2007 in Internet Archive) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@ 1 @ 2 Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. ↑ Luxi Lahtinen: BATHORY - An Epic Interview With Quorthon
  13. Death metal (Memento from December 31, 2007 in Internet Archive)
  14. BATHORY (Memento from March 24, 2009 in Internet Archive)
  15. ↑ Lenti Chiriac: INTERVIEW FROM HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE # 3, NOVEMBER 1994. Translated into English by Bogdan Gheoca and Iulian Petrovici
  16. ↑ Dave Ling: Assault and Bathory. In Metal hammer, 1987
  17. ↑ Peter McManus: STRANGER THAN STRANGE - Quorthon uncloacks his secrets in an exclusive interview .... In Power Metal Magazine, 1987
  18. Bathory - Bathory
  19. Bathory - The Return
  20. Interview with Don of the Dead of Nunslaughter (Memento of the original from August 24, 2011 on WebCite) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@ 1 @ 2 Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  21. ↑ Stefan Glas: Death | Death By Metal. In: Rock hard. No 327, August 2014, p.105.
  22. ↑ Götz Kühnemund: Possessed. Seven Churches. In: Rock hard. No. 13 ( [accessed on September 23, 2014]).
  23. ↑ gift: Review - CYNIC - Focus
  24. Bandlist Goatlord. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  25. ^ "Black Metal and Death Metal Music [...] are complimentary forms of commodified evil whose respective natures and essences effectively situate them in diametrical opposition to the" good guys always win "motif; and hence to the overly optimistic form of consolation it engenders. In fact, as we have seen, by contrast they suggest to us that the ability to overcome our problems, and cope with the world’s atrocities, lies not in the vain hope that justice will prevail, but rather, in embracing evil; and thereby in actively cultivating what will be termed a desensitizing ethos of utter indifference to the plight and suffering of others. "Jason Forster: Commodified Evil’s Wayward Children: Black Metal and Death Metal as Purveyors of an Alternative Form of Modern Escapism (PDF; 1.2 MB). University of Canterbury 2006, pp. 130f.
  26. Indexed phonograms (Memento from July 25, 2005 in Internet Archive)
  27. ↑ “By contrast, for Death Metal, with its lyrical focus on every conceivable variety of murder, rape, sadistic torture, dismemberment and cannibalism, the types of voluntary activities that most characterize the notion of moral evil are those that cause physical suffering. As such, they fall squarely under the rubric of moral evil as it is secularly and contemporarily defined, where the focus and impact of such activities become unequivocally temporal. For, in secular discourse, moral evil is defined as that ‘evil that occurs when an intelligent being knowingly and deliberately inflicts suffering upon another sentient being’. " Jason Forster: Commodified Evil’s Wayward Children: Black Metal and Death Metal as Purveyors of an Alternative Form of Modern Escapism. (PDF; 1.2 MB) University of Canterbury 2006, p. 44f.
  28. ^ Christian Dornbusch, Hans-Peter Killguss: Unholy alliances b. Unrast Verlag, Münster 2005, ISBN 3-89771-817-0, page 26.
  29. ^ Christian Dornbusch, Hans-Peter Killguss: Unholy alliances. Black Metal between Satanism, Paganism and Neo-Nazism. Unrast Verlag, Münster 2005, ISBN 3-89771-817-0, page 28.
  30. ↑ Stewart Voegtlinhrsg = Interview: Ofermod. November 14, 2008, accessed November 27, 2009.
  31. ↑ Bård "Faust" Eithun: BURZUM in "Orcustus - The Shadow Of The Golden Fire" mag in early '92
  32. ↑ Bård "Faust" Eithun: from Bad Faust Mag
  33. ↑ Robert Müller: Satanic verses. In Metal hammer, June 1993, p. 160
  34. ↑ Mystery Flame: Negura Bunget - Catching The Light Beyond Transylvania (Memento of the original from May 16, 2013 in Internet Archive) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@ 1 @ 2 Template: Webachiv / IABot /, June 10, 2010, accessed on November 27, 2012
  35. ↑ A. Bean stalk, C. Maier: We are a big family. In: Munich city magazine, Issue 05/1994, pp. 3, 40-44