What is......Death Metal



Death Metal

What is it?​

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal that includes heavily distorted guitars, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes. It's basically early black metal and thrash thrown together. The genre became popular in the late 80's/early 90's when a large quantity of death metal bands were signed to very popular labels.

Death metal came about in the 80's and was inspired by a number of thrash bands, including Slayer and Kreator.

Death metal lyrics are often about slasher film-stylized violence and sometimes touch on topics like Satanism, anti-religion, Occultism, mysticism, philosophy and social commentary. A lot of the bands don't actually participate in these things, though, they just use it as their lyrical content.

Some examples of death metal bands:

There are many subgenres of death metal:

Tech death metal/prog death metal is more complex and includes dynamic song structures, uncommon time signatures, atypical rhythms and unusual harmonies and melodies. Death metal elements are fused with elements of progressive rock, jazz or classical music. Some examples of tech/prog death metal bands:

Melodic death metal (also known as melodeath) consists of heavy metal music mixed with some death metal elements, such as growled vocals and blastbeats. Some examples of melodic death metal bands:

Death/Doom is basically doom metal's slow tempos and melancholic atmosphere with the elements of death metal. Some examples of death/doom bands:

Goregrind/Deathgrind includes the speed, brevity and intensity of grindcore with the complexity of death metal. Shrieking vocals are the main style. Some examples of goregrind/deathgrind bands (two with a thing for farm animals, lol):

Blackened death metal consists of black metal elements fused with death metal elements. Their lyrics often consist of evil themes, Satanism, and occultism. Some examples of blackened death metal bands:

Deathcore is the fusion of death metal and metalcore. Fast drumming, tremolo picking, down-tuned guitars, and partially growled vocals are combined with screamed vocals, melodic riffs and breakdowns. Some examples of deathcore bands are:

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Chuck Schuldiner

Chuck Schuldiner is a very important name in death metal. He was the singer of the band Death, who are hailed as one of the pioneers of death metal. Chuck, who is considered 'The Father of Death Metal', was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1999, which he would battle until his death. In 2001, he got pneumonia and died on December 13th. He was 34 years old.


Prisoner of rock'n'roll
Jan 20, 2010
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Imo, death metal is characterized by the vocals more than anything else. All of the genres above I'm not into that much. Bit of death, mostly thrash and prog-variations for me.


Sub Sonic Soul Shaker
Jan 18, 2006
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Hey Thanks Foxy for the break down and in depth information about Death metal.
I guess I have mixed emotions about this type of music..
Some of it I like some I don't..
I'm all for a band creating something awesome to listen too. and from what I see there is some talent with the musicians..
Maybe as Flip said.. The vocals seemed to be the strong points.
Getting past those is where I run into that brick wall.. Not to mention I'm not into satanic or ********* lyrics..
but what other sound would go well with satanic subjects right??
You must have to constantly straighten your pictures on the walls when you crank that stuff up Foxy..;)


I have neighbours that are huge rap/hip hop/pop fans who I'm sure want to stop by my place and punch me for blasting my stuff, haha.

Glad you guys took the time to read it (it took freaking forever to type this and find the music, lol). If you guys want to check something cool out, there is actually a death metal/jazz fusion. Athiest has an album out that will surprise you. Here are some songs from the album:

Of course, other songs have the signature death metal elements but it's interesting to see a death metal band incorporate jazz into the mix.
Last edited by a moderator:
Mar 3, 2010
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The temple of boom
Very cool. People who don't know much about death metal or black metal will learn something from your posts for sure. You know exactly what you're talking about.

Btw I think you meant the band Atheist instead of Autopsy right?


Yeah, thanks, lol, I didn't realize I put Autopsy. I was listening to them earlier and must have typed it like a failboat.

Soot and Stars

Sep 23, 2009
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Small Town NH, USA
I went through every song on here completely Foxy and for the positive feedback, I first starte with Atheist because it sounded different and they are the ones I ended up liking best as well. I also thought the whistling part of Despised Icon was cool! I agree that after hearing these Black Metal has a nice variety of sounds.

I wouldn't say this is the negative part but I have to get some perspective as a newb on this. Do you listen to Death Metal bands straight through or mixed in with other genres. For me I would be able to listen to it in short burst and appreciate the energy behind it but I noticed that in a long run of songs it can be draining. As a fan, how is it for you being used to the genre! Anyway, I'll check out the other genres in full but I'm metaled out tonight! I might need some Carpenters now or something! :heheh:

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