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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DARK TRANQUILLITY The Gallery Album Cover The Gallery
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EDGE OF SANITY Crimson Album Cover Crimson
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GORGUTS Colored Sands Album Cover Colored Sands
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BEYOND CREATION The Aura Album Cover The Aura
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POSSESSED Revelations of Oblivion Album Cover Revelations of Oblivion
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MORBID ANGEL Altars of Madness Album Cover Altars of Madness
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death metal Music Reviews

HOUR OF PENANCE Misotheism

Album · 2019 · Technical Death Metal
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Kev Rowland
This Italian band may have no original members left, but guitarist Giulio Moschini has been there since before their second album, 2005’s ‘Pageantry For Martyrs’, and everyone on this their eighth album all played on 2017’s ‘Cast The First Stone’ as well. Apparently misotheism means either "hatred of God" or "hatred of the gods", so they’re not very happy with whatever deity you believe in, and that’s absolutely fine. They started off as a blackened death band all those years ago, but like many have changed their approach as they have worked through the ages, but whereas they were generally seen as a brutal death metal act, to me they have moved far more into the technical death metal area. This is an album that any fan of Nile (me! me!) will be taking a very serious listen to indeed. It has to be played loud, really loud, to get the full benefit of a rhythm section who are mixing and moving in multiple ways and refusing to always concentrate on blast beats and brain numbing attacks but can swing t around and even stop playing altogether if that is the right thing to do. Then at the front you have Moschini and his partner in crime Paolo Pieri (who also provides the vocals). These two have been twisting their complex riffs and lines together for nearly ten years now, and it shows. This is complex and complicated uncompromising death metal played by four guys who really have the chops.

This is music full of aggression, full of rage and hatred, from a band who are living it, not just playing at it. They mix and move, but if they had done it a little bit more then they may have ended up with an even better album than the one they did, but even as it stands this a great testament to a band who have now been around for more than 20 years and show no signs at all of slowing down and may only just be getting into their groove. Well worthy of investigation by those who enjoy the genre.

BEHEMOTH Satanica

Album · 1999 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Satanica" is the 4th full-length studio album by Polish death metal act Behemoth. The album was released through Avantgarde Music in October 1999. It´s the successor to "Pandemonic Incantations" from 1998. There´s been one lineup change since "Pandemonic Incantations (1998)" as bassist "Mefisto" has jumped ship. Lead vocalist/guitarist Adam "Nergal" Darski plays the bass instead, while a new second guitarist has been added to the ranks in Leszek "L-Kaos" Dziegielewski. Drummer Zbigniew Robert "Inferno" Promiński completes the lineup.

Behemoth started out as a black metal act, but on "Pandemonic Incantations (1998)" they played a blackened death metal style, and "Satanica" sees them moving even further into death metal territory and away from their black metal past. In fact I don´t hear a single black metal trait on "Satanica". This is through and through a death metal release. Artists like Morbid Angel and Nile come to mind at various times during the album, but at this point Behemoth began to sound a little more distinct and forge an original style. The material on the 8 track, 35:11 minutes long album is predominantly fast-paced and technically well played death metal. It´s rooted in early 90s US death metal but it´s not old school in a derivative fashion. Nergal has a mighty roar and his intelligible growling vocal style is incredibly potent. He has a passionate aggressive edge to his growls that´s greatly enjoyable and it´s one of the great assets of "Satanica". In addition to the guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, the music also features some keyboards, but they are usually placed relatively low in the mix, and are predominantly used for atmosphere enhancement rather than as a lead instrument or as a symphonic element.

The material is generally well written too, although not that many tracks stand out. The playing is on a high level and although the sound production could have been better, it´s still a relatively powerful sound, which suits the material reasonably well. So "Satanica" is upon conclusion a quality death metal album by Behemoth, although the relatively one-dimensional nature of the material, and a sound production which could have been more defined and powerful, do slightly drag the rating for the album down. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved though, and it might even be a bit too low.

SIX FEET UNDER Warpath

Album · 1997 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Warpath" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Florida based death metal act Six Feet Under. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in September 1997. Six Feet Under was initially formed as a side-project by lead vocalist Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse) and guitarist Allen West (Obituary), and their debut full-length studio album "Haunted (1995)" was recorded and released as such. When Barnes was fired from Cannibal Corpse in 1995, Six Feet Under became his main priority. "Warpath" would be the last Six Feet Under album to feature West. The remaining part of the lineup are bassist Terry Butler (Death, Massacre, Obituary) and drummer Greg Gall.

Stylistically the music on "Warpath" more or less continues down the same groove oriented old school death metal style of "Haunted (1995)". The guitar tone and often also the riffs lead your thoughts toward Obituary (which is only natural because it´s West playing), but Six Feet Under ultimately have their own take on death metal. Barnes has a convincing intelligible growling delivery, and also uses a higher pitched aggressive snarl, which is great for the variation of the vocals on the album. It´s not only the vocals which are a great asset to the music. The many simple, crushingly heavy, and groovy riffs, and the equally heavy and groove oriented rhythms, are also very catchy and and powerful.

The material on the 12 track, 41:30 minutes long album is generally well written and instantly catchy. It´s not everyday you´re able to growl along to almost every track on a death metal album the first time you listen to it, but "Warpath" is that kind of release. Highlights include the crushingly brutal and ultra groovy "War is Coming" and "Burning Blood", but tracks like "Nonexistence", "Animal Instinct", and the Holocaust cover "Death or Glory" are also worth a mention (the latter introduces the traditional heavy metal element, that the band would further pursue on subsequent releases). There are few slightly less interesting tracks featured on the album, but even those aren´t bad and still contribute to the overall feeling that "Warpath" is a quality death metal release.

"Warpath" features a very heavy and powerful sound production, which suits the material perfectly, and while the album isn´t the most varied or innovative you´ll ever hear in the genre, it definitely has a brutal grooving charm to it, that you don´t hear everyday in death metal. To my ears it´s a step up from "Haunted (1995)" as I find the material a bit more memorable, and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

ABORTED Global Flatline

Album · 2012 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Global Flatline" is the 7th full-length studio album by Belgian death metal act Aborted. The album was released through Century Media Records in January 2012. It´s the successor to "Strychnine.213" from 2008. Four years between albums is a bit unusual for Aborted, who are usually a very busy band. Both when it comes to releasing new material but also when it comes to touring. The four years between albums have not been spend doing nothing though. First off everyone in the lineup except lead vocalist/band founder Sven de Caluwé have been replaced. So this is an almost completely new lineup compared to the lineup who recorded "Strychnine.213 (2008)". Aborted also released the "Coronary Reconstruction" EP in 2010, so there´s also been one release to bridge the gap between "Strychnine.213 (2008)" and "Global Flatline".

Stylistically there are very few surprises if you´re familiar with the last couple of preceding releases by Aborted. It´s relatively brutal and technically well played death metal, featuring good rhythmic variation, some nicely played melodic guitar solos), and aggressive higher pitched snarling vocals complimented by deep growling ones. The band are very well playing, the songwriting professional and relatively catchy, and the sound production is powerful, clear sounding, and detailed. The lyrical subjects are as usual gore/horror themed, which song titles like "Fecal Forgery", "Our Father, Who Art of Feces", and "Vermicular, Obscene, Obese" are a testament to.

The material on the 13 track, 43:40 is relatively memorable, but it´s not instantly catchy, and in the case of most tracks, they require several spins before settling. Some of them feel a bit like filler material too, but there are standout tracks on the album like "Of Scabs and Boils" and "Expurgation Euphori". The former featuring a hardcore punk influenced rhythm (reminding me of early Carcass), and the latter being a more atmospheric slow paced track. Upon conclusion "Global Flatline" is another quality death metal release by Aborted, but it doesn´t stand out much in their discography. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

DYING FETUS Purification Through Violence

Album · 1996 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Purification Through Violence" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Maryland based death metal act Dying Fetus. The album was released through Pulverizer Records in August 1996. Dying Fetus were formed in 1991 and released two demos (compiled on the "Infatuation with Malevolence (1995)" compilation), before releasing "Purification Through Violence".

Stylistically the music on "Purification Through Violence" is extremely brutal and technically well played death metal. The music features both fast blasting and ultra heavy breakdowns, and there is generally a strong hardcore oriented groove influence on the album. Contemporary artists like Obituary and Suffocation are also known to incorporate quite a bit of groove to their death metal music, but this is different, although it´s obvious that Dying Fetus are influenced by especially Suffocation.

Dying Fetus try to take brutality to a new level on "Purification Through Violence" and sometimes being as brutal as possible seems like the only purpose of the album. For an album featuring 8 tracks and a full playing time of 28:42 minutes, it feels surprisingly long, which to my ears is due to the one-dimensional nature of the music. The various unintelligible growling vocal styles used on the album don´t really make it a more inviting nor memorable listen. It´s too bad it´s impossible to catch a phrase or a word just once or twice during the playing time, because violent sounding song titles like "Beaten Into Submission", "Skull Fuck", and "Raped on the Altar", definitely could have been interesting to investigate further. Oh well...that´s what a lyric sheet is for anyway.

When that is said "Purification Through Violence" is still a professional, well produced, very well played, and for the style well written album. Fans of the most brutal and technically well played part of the death metal spectrum should find it an enjoyable listen. To my ears the album could have prospered from just a few catchy moments and more variation between tracks, but a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved.

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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