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

ANTAGONIST Вечность Смерти

Album · 2019 · Melodic Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
One of the many modern extreme metal bands to emerge from the vastness of the Russian Federation, this band ANTAGONIST comes from the far eastern city of Vladivostok and formed in 2017 with the members of Dmitry Strobykin (bass), Roman Kim (drums), Tatiana Markova (guitar), Andrey Primachenko (guitar) and Roman Kayukov (vocals). This seems to be a popular name for metal bands as there is a tech trash band from Wisconsin, USA, a California based metalcore band and yet another thrash metal band from Germany. While this was forgivable before the advent of the search engine, all i can ask myself is why would a band take a name that has been used in such abundance?

This ANTAGONIST for some reason uses an English moniker but has released its debut album Вечность Смерти (BYESH-na-ya SMYER-tee) which means “Eternity of Death” in the Russian language with all the track titles and lyrics in Russian. Whatever the case, ANTAGONIST is a ferocious band that performs a thrash metal infused mix of death metal and does a fairly decent job in cranking out ten strong tracks which hover around the 43 minute mark. This is pretty much by the books thrashy death metal with the emphasis on melodic hooks but done so bombastically with twin guitar ferocity and slower breakdowns between the rampaging riff monster attacks.

In fact the breakdowns are out of the metalcore playbook but for the most part the thrash metal riffing made more intense with blastbeats and other death metal elements dominates Вечность Смерти. The band is quite competent and performs this style of music like a champ but in the creativity department this is pretty mediocre as it sounds like a generic blueprint rather than a band that has found its own voice however ANTAGONIST doesn’t really sound like any other band particularly either. To my ears the rampaging metal style is more akin to tech thrash giants Vektor with some deathcore elements thrown in. Some thrash guitar solos also join in.

The guttural growling vocal style of Roman Kayukov is perfectly done but becomes a little monotonous as does the compositional one-dimensionality of this album. Not a bad listening experience when you just want to zone out to some kick ass death metal with thrash and core elements but there really isn’t anything on Вечность Смерти that invites a return visit. Perhaps a welcome live band for a remote setting such as Vladivostok but if ANTAGONIST wants to compete on the now global market, these guys need to step up their game a bit. The musicianship is certainly there.

ИМПЕРИЯ IMPERYA Наёмники

Album · 2019 · Melodic Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Coming from the city of Temryuk, Russia which sits just across from the southern Ukrainian enclave of Crimea, the band Империя ( Imperya ) which means “Empire” is one of those bands that formed all the way back in 1995 but never had the chance to release any product until recently. Apparently the brainchild of the duo of Roman Aguryanov (guitar) and Alexander Aguryanov (vocals), the band offers little info about its history but has had many lineup changes over its 25 years of existence.

While remaining an independent band, Империя ( Imperya ) has finally released its so far only album in 2019 titled Наёмники ( Nah-YOHM - kee ) which translates into “Mercenaries” which are of course soldiers of fortune who fight for a cause and often resort to violence. This band is obviously not interested in a greater international audience since all song titles and lyrics are in the Russian language but in the modern world where foreign languages add an exotic flair, i suspect that many non-Russian speakers will still be interested.

What we have here is Russia’s answer to Amon Amarth as Империя ( Imperya ) delivers a convincing and competent version of melodic death metal with local folk flavors fortified with catchy melodic hooks and death metal bombast complete with the growly vocals however Империя ( Imperya ) is certainly no one-trick pony and does a great job at implementing various tempos and dynamics to keep this short album of just under 31 minutes from becoming too derivative or in any way stale.

While the main melo-death flavors may remind of Amon Amarth, the band is talented enough to offer various personal stamps such as the call and respond differing vocal styles on “Безымянный” and the ferocity displayed on “Славим” showcases the band’s tight knit all out assault with the twin guitar attacks of Kiril Kucherenko and Roman Aguryanov whizzing around the bombastic rhythm section of bassist Petr Lemeshtenko and drummer Eldar Mekhtiev.

While i would hardly declare Империя ( Imperya ) a band to get hugely excited about at least in the terms of creativity, for those who love the melo-death sounds of bands like Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Insomnium and of course Amon Amarth, Империя ( Imperya ) does deliver a high quality album that is in the same league as its predecessors probably due to the fact that the core members have been at it since as far back as 1995 when this style of melo-death was coming of age.

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER Miasma

Album · 2005 · Melodic Death Metal
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UMUR
"Miasma" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Michigan based death metal act The Black Dahlia Murder. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in July 2005. It´s the successor to "Unhallowed" from 2003 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as drummer Cory Grady has been replaced by Zach Gibson.

The material on "Miasma" pretty much continue the melodic death metal style of "Unhallowed (2003)". It´s sharp, predominantly fast-paced and energetic melodic death metal, and features both deep growling vocals and high pitched screaming vocals. It´s all delivered by skilled musicians who are more than capable of handling their instruments with great conviction and passion. At 10 tracks and 33:48 minutes of playing time "Miasma" doesn´t overstay its welcome and the relatively short playing time is perfect for this release. The Black Dahlia Murder simply don´t write varied enough material for much longer releases. It´s a criticism which sounds much harder on paper than it is actually meant, because if you give "Miasma" enough spins, the tracks begin to stand out a bit more. Ultimately a bit more variation between tracks could have made "Miasma" a more memorable release though (the same can be said about most of the band´s albums).

With that out of the way each track featured on the album is still an incredibly powerful and catchy listening experience on an individual level. Not a single track is of a sub par qaulity to the rest, and the consistent quality of the tracks and the skillful delivery of the material are some of the greatest assets of the album. "Miasma" features a powerful and detailed sound production too, which is another great asset and upon conclusion it´s a high quality album through and through. The lack of variation between tracks is a minor issue, but not enough for me not to grant the album a 4 star (80%) rating.

SEANCE Awakening of the Gods

Album · 2009 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Awakening of the Gods" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Seance. The album was released through Pulverised Records in January 2009. Seance were formed in 1990 and released two studio albums before disbanding in 1998. Three of the five members who played on the band´s second full-length studio album "Saltrubbed Eyes (1993)" reunited in 2008: Miqūe Flesh (drums), Tony "Toxine" Vargfrost (guitars), and Johan Larsson (vocals, bass). They added second guitarist Rille Rimfalt to the ranks and recorded "Awakening of the Gods" as a four-piece.

Stylistically Seance pretty much pick up where they left off on "Saltrubbed Eyes (1993)". It´s relatively diverse death metal, with quite a few thrash metal influences in the riffs and rhythms (and even the occassional traditional heavy metal/hard rock influnced moment), but also a few nods towards deathgrind. The latter is a minor part of the band´s sound, but there are a couple of fast blasting parts featured on the album, which point in that direction. It´s not an album which follows a particular style/scene sound (for example old school Swedish death metal, or the more technical US variant), but it´s not a unique sounding release either. The vocals are deep growling, but the growls are unfortunately a bit one-dimensional in style. The instrumental part of the music is very well executed.

"Awakening of the Gods" features a raw and powerful sound production, and the songwriting is also of a decent quality. That doesn´t mean that it´s an outstanding release by any means, but it´s a solid release, which is enjoyable enough while it plays. It´s pretty much the same feeling I had listening to their preceding releases. Solid death metal, but not outstanding. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

PYREXIA Age of the Wicked

Album · 2007 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Age of the Wicked" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Pyrexia. The album was released through Unique Leader Records in January 2007. It´s been 10 years since the release of "System of the Animal" from 1997, but while the band didn´t release anything in those years other than the "Cruelty Beyond Submission" compilation in 2004, they were far from inactive as they teamed up with Trevor Peres (Obituary) in 2000 and released "The Cleansing (2001)" album under the Catastrophic monicker. It was a relatively short lived project though and band leader/guitarist Chris Basile soon opted to continue with the Pyrexia name instead. Basile is the only remaining original member of the band, and in fact he is also the only remaining member of the lineup who recorded the predecessor.

Somehow the material on "Age of the Wicked" still sound like Pyrexia though. Brutal technical death metal with a hardcore edge. The latter is as dominant an influence here as it was on "System of the Animal (1997)". An integral part of the band´s sound. While Pyrexia are probably tired of being compared to Suffocation, it is the most obvious reference, although the hardcore influences are more audible when it comes to Pyrexia. The vocals are for example not conventional growling, but more a combination of growling and deep aggressive hardcore shouting (no screaming core vocals) and many of the heavy grooves are also hardcore influenced, although they are presented in a death metal context.

The material on the 10 track, 30:04 minutes long album is relentless in its intensity and brutality. It´s like being punched in the face throughout the full playing time. There´s not a second wasted on breathers, and it´s almost impossible to sit still while being treated to one aggressive and groove laden brutal track after another. It´s sharp, it´s hard edged, and it´s furious and raw...but it´s also a bit one-dimensional. Not that the band aren´t good at incorporating tempo changes and breaks, but it´s still not an album where the tracks stand out much.

It´s not a major issue and the band have also wisely kept the playing time at half an hour, which means the album doesn´t overstay its welcome, but a little more variation and hook laden moments wouldn´t have been a negative. "Age of the Wicked" features high level musicianship and a raw and well sounding production, so while there is a small issue with the songwriting being a bit one-dimensional, it´s still a quality release deserving a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

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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