Death Metal

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Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It typically employs heavily distorted guitars, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes.

Building from the musical structure of thrash metal, death metal emerged during the mid 1980s. It was mainly inspired by thrash metal acts like Slayer, Kreator and Celtic Frost. Along with the band Death and its frontman Chuck Schuldiner (who is often referred to as "the father of death metal"), bands like Possessed and Morbid Angel are often considered pioneers of the genre. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, death metal gained more media attention as popular record labels like Earache and Roadrunner began to sign death metal bands at a rapid rate. Since then, death metal has diversified, spawning a rich variety of subgenres.

Inclusive death metal music subgenres:

  • Brutal death metal See: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/subgenre/brutal-death-metal
  • Melodic death metal See: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/subgenre/melodic-death-metal
  • Swedish death metal, also referred to as Scandinavian death metal, should not be confused with melodeath. This genre is characterized by its focus on raw energy and aggression. The guitars are typically extremely distorted and downtuned, and, in addition to traditional death metal elements, artists within this subgenre also draw on hardcore punk and early thrash metal. While not restricted to Sweden, the genre is called death metal because it was largely popularized by death metal artists from Sweden, such as Carnage, Nihilist, early Entombed, Dismember, Grave, and Unleashed. Seeing that many of the prominent artists within this genre were located in around Stockholm, it is sometimes referred to as the Stockholm sound in contrast with the Gothenburg sound. While big in the 1990s, the popularity of this genre waned in the 2000s, as melodeath became more popular, but recently a number of bands based in Eastern Europe, such as Brutally Deceased and Morbider, have taken up the Stockholm sound and are bringing it back onto the scene.
  • Death-grind combines elements from death metal with element of grindcore. From grindcore, the genre inherits song brevity (with the average length being 2:30), emphasis on fast picking and blastbeating as well as the lyrical content (which means that a lot of death-grind deals with gore, pornography or socio-politics). From death metal, it inherits song complexity and focus on performance and technique, although guitar solos are not as common as in other styles of death metal. When Napalm Death started to gravitate towards death metal from pure grindcore, they developed a death-grind sound, and they are probably the most influential band in the death-grind genre. Other death-grind acts are Lock Up, Terrorizer, and Pig Destroyer. On MMA, those death-grind artists and releases that lean more towards grindcore are included under grindcore, while those that lean more towards death metal are included under death metal.
  • Technical/progressive (or tech/prog) death metal See: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/subgenre/technical-death-metal
  • Blackened death metal combines death metal and black metal, of lyrically the focus is typically on Satanism, occultism and anti-religion. Behemoth is considered one of the most influential blackened death metal bands.
  • Death ‘n’ roll See: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/subgenre/death-n-roll


The following subgenres are NOT listed under death metal in the MMA:

  • Grindcore: has its own sugbenre section.
  • Death-thrash: included under thrash metal.
  • Deathcore: included under metalcore.
  • Doom-death: included under doom metal.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_metal

Written by Time Signature.

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • Nightfly (leader)
  • Vim Fuego
  • TheHeavyMetalCat

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death metal Music Reviews

CENTURIES OF DECAY Centuries of Decay

Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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voila_la_scorie
"Centuries of Decay" is the self-titled debut and only release so far by this band who are said to mix black metal and death metal in a progressive death metal style. The band was formed in Toronto by two brothers who are originally from Prince Edward Island, land of Anne of Green Gables and the signing of the Canadian Constitution.

And potatoes! Lots of potatoes!

Centuries of Decay released this album in 2017 and then in 2018 went on to win the Wacken Metal Battle Canada National Final.

At the heart of it, Centuries of Decay is a mid-tempo-paced, modern metal band with harsh vocals that sound like a midway point between the guttural bellowing of death metal and the higher, wet-meat shredded throat shrieks of some black metal bands. The lyrics are quite clear if you follow along with them in print. Riffs can be steady, pulses of badadum badadum or more complex. Double bass is used when necessary to affect speed or intensity, but the band is more about creating songs that stretch out a bit with lyrics about struggle against oppressive forces, determination and perseverance, and hating the bastards who shove you down.

Honestly, this was another album that took me a few careful listens to begin to see it beyond the obvious modern metal band stylistic accoutrements. When you've heard enough bands, you start to look for the things that make tracks stand out even if it's just enough to make them stand out from one another. There are a few things on this album such as clean vocals that don't sound like the metalcore type on a couple of tracks; a curious classically influenced piano bit that closes out the last couple of minutes of the track, "Rise"; the melodic black metal riffing in the title track; the eerie beginning with clean guitar and bass and creepy muttering voices at the start of "Asylum"; the smooth, clean-guitar, jazzy section in "Odyssey"; the snarly breakdown in "Asylum", and the pleasant, strummed acoustic guitar finale of the album at the end of "Demise". With each subsequent listen, the subtleties and nice touches reveal themselves more.

However, while each track has been written and recorded with care and skill, I must return to the fact that I was not immediately smitten by the album. I could hear it was very good but I didn't have any tracks leap out at me. In fact, a week from now I might not remember what I heard that I liked in what tracks. This might be due to overkill as I have been trying to digest several dozen new albums from the last half year.

Another slight problem I have with this album is the recording volume is quite low. The CD needs the volume turned up a few notches more than regular CDs and even the download from Bandcamp doesn't deliver the weight that should be there. Less volume lessens the impact of the music, I think. This one needs the dial twisted way over.

I think we're talking about a very good album here. But I do have the nagging suspicion that there are plenty of other bands capable of recording a similar album. Who knows? Maybe I'm missing something?

LUTHARÖ Unleash the Beast

EP · 2018 · Melodic Death Metal
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voila_la_scorie
"Unleash the Beast" is the second EP released by melodic death metal band LUTHARO. The band has no full-length albums to date but did release their third EP earlier in 2020.

The track list includes a brief intro and four songs between 5:31 and 7:08. The band's style is actually more of a melodic death metal blended with intense moments of thrash, with vocalist Krista Shipperbottom pulling off some soaring high notes as well as plenty of ferocious death bellows. She also has the ability to slip in some more standard metal vocals, going high but raspy.

"Unleash the Beast" delivers more or less straightforward melodic death metal crossed with thrashy moments and perhaps hints of power metal. Their web site claims they have a little something for everybody. The riffs go from simple chugging to more involved finger-work and speedy tremolo picking. The speed stays pretty much middle of the metal road, though easily lurching into fifth gear when appropriate and never dragging its ass either. There’s never a dull moment to be sure. The musicians all deliver as well as one would expect from this kind of band with tight guitar interplay and some tasteful solos plus some abrupt switches of tempo from the drum kit. Strangely, I have to say that after a few listens the songs have yet to fully grasp my affections (i.e. am I writing this review too prematurely?).

Perhaps it's because melo death is not my first choice for metal pleasures or perhaps it's because I recently and coincidentally picked up a few bands playing a similar style and so, aside from the fact that it's a woman singing in this band, I'm not hearing something groundbreaking. I just find the music here - while satisfying on a technical level - doesn't quite have me gripping any seats or grasping the safety bar with white knuckles. The band is firing away, all systems go, but my response always seems to be more analytical than emotional. My apologies to the band!

Certainly not a disappointment, however. Ms. Shipperbottom's voice is sometimes the highlight of a song. An unexpected death roar or ear-piercing wail makes me utter, "Ah, you got me!" The music is really good, but I feel it's rather “to be expected” for the genre. It’s worthy to mention that the one review on Metal Archives praises this album outright, the rating an impressive 89%. Other reviews give sufficient hype to this EP and the band as well.

If melodic death metal crossed with thrash is something that excites you and you can't get enough, you should consider checking out LUTHARO. As for me, I have no regrets purchasing this EP on disc but I feel it's more of an album from which I can pull off tracks for a mixed playlist rather than an album I deeply desire to listen to often. Or maybe I just haven't really heard this album right yet?

Songs to check out would be "Black Scorpion" and "Temple of the Damned". In the meantime, I'm going to see how their latest EP sounds. The reviews I’ve read claim the band has become even better!

BEGRIME EXEMIOUS The Enslavement Conquest

Album · 2016 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
Begrime Exemious are said to have started out as a death metal/black metal band, but listening to this album, their third full-length, I'd say they are pure old school death metal.

The music is intense and brutal with typical, barely comprehensible guttural vocals. The tempos alternate between speedy and more mid-tempo where they can blast you with heavy riffs. There are times when the rhythm or riffs abruptly change. The lead guitar goes melodic at times and tends to avoid dive bombs. The band this album most reminds me of is perhaps Dismember, but it's also a lot like other classic Swedish death metal bands.

The track "Conscription Woes" is a great example of that thundering, pummeling, not-too-fast death metal that drops in a killer riff with some very tasty wah-wah guitar effect. "Noose for a Monarch" is also a ripper with a killer riff.

Many of the songs seem to start right away, like the producer yelled, "Go!" as he pressed the recording button. There's a real feeling of haste! "Crusade Towards Self-Destruction" is also mentioned in my notes as being great.

The final track, "When the Vultures Leave" is unusual because it fades in and at the end, fades out again. But it's a killer track that reminds me of watching massive boulders fall on a mountainside village.

This album impresses me every time I listen to it. So, I've decided to get the one before this one too!

REINCARNATION Seed of Hate

EP · 1995 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
REINCARNATION has been around a while. Starting as an old school death metal band in 1993 in Almería, Andulusia, Spain, the band first broke up in 1999 but then reformed in 2004 and has been around ever since. In the 90s the band released this debut EP titled SEED OF HATE and a full-length titled “Void.” In the 2000, the band released another album and another EP but has been fairly sparse in what it puts out.

This band is considered an early follower of the brutal death metal pioneers Suffocation with an old school knack for crafting dense hyperactive guitar riffs, brutal drumming abuse and some of the ugliest guttural growls in the world of extreme metal unlike some of the newer brutal death bands that focus exclusively on gore and horror on steroids and screaming like their private parts are being filleted in a Nija machine.

This band pretty much nails the Suffocation sound but it has some quirks to it as well. The second track “The Way Of The Flesh” for example has some super high register bass grooves that almost sound like they are reaching for funk but an interesting contrast to the down-tuned guitar riffs and the evil as fuck vocal growls. Add to that some sound samples of some happy choir sounds and it’s all good.

This EP of four tracks is only about 14 minutes long but in that short time, REINCARNATION does an excellent job of capturing that old school early 90s spirit with the extra adrenalized touches of bands like Suffocation, Internal Bleeding and Pyrexia. While not the most original band in the world, the few extra touches do add to the enjoyment value of it. The drums trade off between blastbeats and simple keep-the-timing boom boom, however there are some nice percussive gymnastics at play as well.

This is guttural ugliness at its finest however the production as a first timer is a bit on the muddy side but this kind of filthy raw music isn’t really affected by it. There are the occasional Morbid Angel inspired guitar squeals and rampaging speedfests but overall this is a somewhat middle of the road release in the tempo department although it’s considered brutal death metal. Whatever the case, it’s thoroughly enjoyable and worthy of sitting next to other Spanish death metal acts like Avulsed, Teitanblood, Wormed and Machetazo.

DAMNATORY Docta Ignorantia

EP · 1993 · Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The second DAMNATORY release is another short EP titled DOCTA IGNORANTIA that came out two years after the first. While the band would only release two EPs and no albums during its existence from 1991 to around the 2000 timeline, there were many demos released before, in between and after. Everything the band recorded can be obtained on the 2018 compilation “The Complete Disgoregraphy 1991-2003.”

DOCTA IGNORANTIA finds the band improving its old school death metal sound in virtually every way. While the production is better than the muddy “Hybridized Deformity” and the EP appears on the Black Jack label, this is still very much an underground sounding raw death metal release in the vein of early Incantation, Immolation, Dead Congregation and many other 90s old school death metal bands that sounded like they emerged from the bowels of hell.

DOCTA IGNROANTIA featured five tracks and although they only amounted to slightly over 18 minutes of playing time, provided enough variation and intensity to give a full-album experience and the brevity sometimes keeps things from stagnating which can easily happen in this type of extreme metal if the band cruises on automatic pilot.

The intro title track is an ominous swirling of creepy keyboards that sets a foreboding atmosphere and provides the perfect tone for the album. Once the death metal rampage begins, the atmospheric keyboard parts remain as opportune backdrops that emerge at select moments. On the metal side of things, DOCTA IGNORANTIA sounds a lot like “Hybridized Deformity” with down-tuned chugging heavy guitar riffing, bass and drums (no blastbeats) however this one provides faster tempos although the doomy segments still exist but less emphasized.

Overall this is a much better representation of DAMNATORY and if you only check out one release from this Swiss band then this would be the one i recommend. Unfortunately DAMNATORY never really went anywhere. Switzerland wasn’t exactly a hotbed of death metal and this was before the internet became popular so promoting yourself in the isolation of the Swiss Alps must’ve been nearly impossible. Although DAMNATORY may not have been the most original band, they nailed that filthy raw old school sound and probably sounds closest to what Incantation was doing on albums like “Onward To Golgotha.” Well worth checking out for those who can’t get enough of those primeval sounds of the early 90s.

death metal movie reviews

NAPALM DEATH Punishment in Capitals

Movie · 2003 · Death Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Punishment In Capitals is a 2002 live DVD (also available on CD) by British extreme metal icons Napalm Death, released after their triumphant Enemy Of The Music Business album won back the praise of fans and critics after their experimental string of records in the nineties.

The band play a mixture of every era in their career up to that point, the catchy nineties singles ‘Breed To Breathe,’ and ‘Greed Killing,’ sit side by side with mid era death inspired fare such as ‘Suffer The Children,’ and ‘World Keeps Turning,’ which blends against the band’s early grindcore material era like ‘Scum,’ ‘Lucid Fairy Tale,’ and the famous ‘You Suffer,’ in a set list which also leans heavily on the band’s then newest, and still arguably best album Enemy Of The Music Business.

Standout tracks include an energetic version of ‘Hung,’ as well as ‘Can’t Play Won’t Play,’ and ‘Narcoleptic,’ which was as yet unreleased at the time of recording. With a set-list of this caliber, Punishment In Capitals should be a rewarding viewing experience for most Napalm Death fans and would serve well as an introduction to the band for potential fans as well.

Interestingly, the DVD recording retains all the dead air, waiting out-of-breathe and other non-musical moments in between tracks, presenting you the gig as it actually happened and not inter-cutting the show with outside material to create some false sense of professionalism or excitement. This is a double edged sword as it is commendable but may still irritate viewers raised on slicker, fast paced major label DVD releases.

The production is fairly good in terms of audio recording quality and mix, with simple camera work and editing covering the visual side of things. Although not the most impressive looking DVD ever released, it serves well for Napalm Death to deliver an energetic a sweaty performance. My only major gripe is that for the first half of the show shots of drummer Danny Herrera are very few and far between, but this is remedied later on.

There are a fair amount of extras too, including two bootleg quality recordings in Tokyo from 1996, a six track selection from a Chilean gig in 1997 as well as a hidden Easter Egg (a live-in-a-TV-studio version of ‘If The Truth Be Known,’ accessible by making the image’s eyes glow red my navigating the menu.) In addition to the musical extras there is also a documentary, which while not masterfully crafted is worth at least one watch, covering topics such as Barney’s haircut, the effect of foreign food on the bowels and the charity for which this gig was in aide of.

Overall, Punishment In Capitals is a worthwhile DVD purchase that will give you a good selection of Napalm Death material, both in the concert itself and with a nice selection of extras. Definitely recommended viewing for fans of the band.

ZYKLON Storm Detonation Live

Movie · 2006 · Death Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
This DVD captures Norwegian death metal band Zyklon on their 'Aeon,' era tour Live; the tracklisting on the wonderful but slightly short DVD is made up of tracks from the bands excellent first two albums.

The band are on top form and deliver the material fantastically live, They never miss a step, and are ruthlessly professional.

Song's from the band's debut album are much better here with new singer Tony 'SecthDamon,' Ingebrigtsen. Who has a better voice to match the material than Daemon did.

Furthermore the audio and visual quality is great, and apart from a little intro interrupting the first 20 seconds of fan favorite 'Core Solution,' there's very little to complain about whatsoever.

Indeed, with such a brilliant performance, a good production and an excellent track listing, this DVD is a real must-have for any Zyklon fan.

AMON AMARTH Wrath of the Norsemen

Movie · 2006 · Melodic Death Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Talk about value for money, from a band like Amon Amarth you wouldn’t expect them to be able to afford such a crazily generous and in depth DVD package when some of the bigger bands can’t afford anything even half this good.

The Set comes in a glorious 3 DVD digipak with detailed artwork, a full booklet and an awesome little viking crown that keeps it closed. Then you get Five full concerts (with 22, 16,13, 11 and 9 tracks respectively) and a documentary.

The main feature; a 22 track concert from Cologne in 2005 is an incredible affair with crystal clear sound, Huge guitar tones, amazingly heavy drums and nice clunky bass. The camera work is of a higher quality than even some of the biggest metal bands’ DVDs and again the sound is immense.

Then theres the performance, the band are absolutely electric delivering furious renditions of material from all eras a their career from the massive ‘Amon Amarth,’ and ‘Fate of Norns,’ to catchy closer ‘Death In Fire,’ and the crowd just lap it up.

Vocalist Johan Hegg absolutely commands the stage, engaging the crowd at every opportunity and singing his heart out while the band hammer through their classics like ‘heavy,’ is going out of style.

On top of all that you have a great light show, huge Amon Amath banners, more pyro than a kiss concert and an interlude with about thirty Viking reenactors sword fighting on stage! That feature is worth the money alone, the show is probably one of the best metal concerts on the market and I can’t stress how good the sound and picture are; then on top of all that you get the rest of the set, featuring virtually ever Amon Amarth song ever written, and performances from ‘Waken Open Air festival,’ ‘Summer Breeze Festival,’ and two more indoor concerts in Europe.

If you like Amon Amarth Buy this right now. If you don’t, you will within thirty seconds of watching this.

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