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:
You must be registered for see images
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.