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Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2022 5:10 am
Posts: 159
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2023 11:43 pm 

I'm trying to think of like, different kinds of Death Metal. Obviously, to some extent every band is going to bring something different to the table and the vast majority of bands try to have their own style. Though I do believe a lot of bands end up falling into sorts of niches and categories, and I'm not just going to list adjective-death metal subgenres. Something I think will be a trend is that just because something is hugely popular it doesn't mean it's the most influential in terms of how many bands take cues from them. Here's what I'm thinking of, lemme know if I forget anything.

Florida OSDM, my personal favorite. This branches in numerous ways. Death's first two albums are essential building blocks to this genre, in terms of production and sound but riffing wise not the most influential. I would say Cannibal Corpse (not originally from Florida) and Morbid Angel are the most influential out of the two. Morbid Angel spawned a wave of inspired bands through it's death metal mysticism, most notably Nile. Cannibal Corpse defined much of the imagery and the all-over-the-place riffing styles that influenced generations of metal bands. Death, while being very popular, does not have many mid-to-later imitators beyond the band Gruesome formed in tribute.

Though, when it comes to OSDM in general, (if you think brutal death metal can be OSDM), I think Suffocation would be the most influential, with their more obviously hardcore-influenced sound, which leads to the next branch of styles. Suffocation influenced slam, which leads into a heaping of branches I don't know much about or particularly care for, and also straight up Suffocation-esque bands like early Internal Bleeding, and also later influenced "Touring Modern Pure Death Metal" which is some dumb name I made up that I'll describe shortly.

Another OSDM branch is "European but not Swedeath Short-Lived Old School Death Metal". Like early Sentenced, early Atrocity, early/later Morgoth, or Demigod. These European bands did a few death metal albums in the 90s and then fucked off to another genre or broke up.

With the dawn of the 90s, thrash would fade out, but not with a whimper as Deathrash arose like a screeching last minute death throe in the early 1990s, think bands like Solstice, Demolition Hammer, and Sadus. Though, this would be short-lived as they'd either change genre or not do much else. Later on, you'd get something more modern and less raw with bands like the overproduced Revocation who realized "wait, what if death metal was combined with thrash metal?" for a second time.

Old School Death Metal then leads into the New School, which I would say branches like this, to my knowledge. You have the "Touring Modern Pure Death Metal", which isn't particularly melodic or warranting any other kind of genre label, the riffing is less about hooks or memorable songwriting and more about something for the pit (no offense to fans of these bands, that's just how I see it). Think 200 Stab Wounds or Cattle Decapitation. Then there's "Weird Progressive Atmospheric Bullshit" where people use words like "Cavernous" or "Primitive", they're not trying to write a hit song or make the pit move, they're trying to make an interesting texture or air or vibe with their instruments without venturing too far as to defy expectations. The most accessible of which would be "Blood Incantation", a band where they can get the pit moving and stopping multiple times in one song. The term "progressive" here can either denote traditional prog riffing or the literal meaning of complex songwriting. Another would be "Thick Hopeless Death Metal" (I'm not trying to start genres, nobody is gonna use these terms, I'm just making silly names as to categorize what I'm hearing) which definitely has crossover with the first branch I mentioned but I'm talking about bands like "Frozen Soul" or "Gatecreeper". These bands feel bleak, even if I don't particularly care for the music.

Okay onto melodic death metal, this can entail numerous things like, "Proto-Core Shit from Sweden", a part of Swedeath, whatever that shit mid-to-later Carcass was doing, influencing a part of "This is Borderline -Core". "This is Borderline -Core" describes either melodic bands like the Black Dahlia Murder, or extremely overproduced technical death metal like Archspire that are closer to Infant Annihilator than Cannibal Corpse on the death metal spectrum.

Swedeath also entails Entombed which influences the sound of a lot of bands that fall into "Modern Hardcore-Influenced Death Metal", separate from Suffocation-worship or Slam. "Modern Hardcore-Influenced Death Metal" also describes "Sanguisugabogg"-esque bands, essentially being hardcore guys making death metal.

Death/Doom describes many things. In my experience, it either describes slower death metal like Asphyx or early Paradise Lost, or something really fucking slow like what the fuck oh my god this is so slow. Paradise Lost among other things inspired "Gothic Bullshit", which I would classify bands like post-Gothic Paradise Lost until they weren't any kind of Death or all the fucking beauty and the beast bands or bands like My Dying Bride that take cues from the European School of Melody (a term I made up) but very slow and not positive sounding like european-style power metal or Iron Maiden or something.

Black/Death Metal. Oh my god the contrast in sounds this one has is a bit bizarre. You got "Melodic Bullshit" like Sacrementum and Dissection, "Extreme Metal for your Dad" like Behemoth, and then fucking War Metal (not to be confused with Warm Metal which is very hot) like Archgoat, Weregoat, Blasphemy and Beherit.

I feel like I have to at least mention grindcore. Anyways, that's all I could think of. Let nobody tell you all death metal sounds the same.

Metal freak

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 4914
Location: Montréal
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2023 1:12 pm 

I like these thought out threads and posts, although it's always hard to give full answers to them as they go in every direction. So yeah, just for the sake of simplicitiy, I'll make a post about the OSDM section, as some of the things you said popped to my eyes and I have a slightly different perspective.

Not that I don't agree with your take on Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse being highly influential. But I think that early Death, while it didn't have all that many imitators, was very influential. If you have a chance to revisit Leprosy, I recommend you do. And while you're listening to it, try to imagine that the album came out, not in 1988, but maybe in 2022, and it would actually make sense. The album didn't age a day, and is still very aligned with what osdm revival bands are doing today. When we talk about bands like Blood Incantation, we often think of Morbid Angel, Demilich and Timeghoul as major influences, but Death's Leprosy's style is very much found within that osdm revival trend, led by bands like Blood Incantation.

I'll look into the other paragraphs you wrote later, but as far as osdm and osdm revival is concerned, I think early Death, especially Leprosy was very influential, even if the most copied style of Death is the stuff from Human-Symbolic, and also, interestingly enough, The Sound of Perserverance.

Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:08 am
Posts: 350
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2023 2:23 pm 

With regards to the OSDM-revival thing, now if memory serves me correct, the context for this was that in the late 90s/early 00s, the dominant sounding death metal was high-tech, well produced blasty stuff like Nile, "Litany"-era Vader, and lots of bad Suffocation and Cannibal clones (most of which have now been forgotten).

Around that time there was a retro-death metal movement which kinda began with bands like The Ravenous and Murder Squad (both of which started during that era but featured big-name guys from older death metal bands), then Funebrarum took the mantle and I'd argue that the OSDM revival began with them.
So at the outset the OSDM revival was an attempt to hark back to the more atmospheric and 'dank' elements of death metal that had been forgotten for a decade (taking influence from bands like Autopsy, Entombed, Incantation, Funebre and the likes), that 89-92 style of death metal was massively unfashionable in 1999/2000.


Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 2697
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2023 4:50 pm 

Did anyone come up with a better name for caverncore? Portal, Grave Miasma, Antediluvian, Funebrarum, Mitochondrion and whatnot. I really dig a bunch of those bands. The atmosphere and esoteric, spooky vibes just drawn me over the focus on any individual riff. Some would say that is a detriment to good death metal, which ehhh is a fair criticism of the style.

Caverndeath is almost as bad. I don't really need to carve subgenres up even further, but it does just sort of happen when trying to use a shorthand to describe a particular style.


Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2023 6:56 pm
Posts: 577
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2023 5:28 pm 

I really don't have anything to add to the post, because you pretty much cover all the angles that death metal has but I only wanted so say that for me, death metal is carrying the flag of metal as a genre at least for the last couple of years. Is the genre that has more diversity and more creativity of all modern metal.

And I want to recommend the EP of Dying Fetus, Grotesque Impalement. I hear it today and made me smile all the way home, really a very funny and groovy as fuck album, it has a pretty awesome cover of Baphomet, which for the death metal fans, is a piece of cake, really great stuff.

Long live death metal, the natural conclusion of heavy music.

Sonic Death
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2022 11:55 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2023 7:51 pm 

newp wrote:
Did anyone come up with a better name for caverncore? Portal, Grave Miasma, Antediluvian, Funebrarum, Mitochondrion and whatnot. I really dig a bunch of those bands. The atmosphere and esoteric, spooky vibes just drawn me over the focus on any individual riff. Some would say that is a detriment to good death metal, which ehhh is a fair criticism of the style.

Caverndeath is almost as bad. I don't really need to carve subgenres up even further, but it does just sort of happen when trying to use a shorthand to describe a particular style.

Well, wind-tunnel death metal is better term for such bands if you ask me, although I doubt it will stick, but then again that's certainly the best description of that style


Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:36 am
Posts: 2505
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2023 2:34 am 

i think the more wanky tech death that was all the rage 20 years ago deserves a mention as it's own distinct niche - necrophagist, neuraxis, gorod, quo vadis, etc.
All the best bands are affiliated with Satan. -Bart Simpson

Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2023 5:44 pm
Posts: 105
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2023 9:37 am 

A lot of death metal's "diversity" can be chalked up to the fact that anything with low, guttural vocals got lumped in as death metal or one of its variants (and conversely, anything with high pitched screechy vocals has somebody online calling it "blackened"). It's not that hard for a genre to be musically diverse with such loose criteria, especially when it's about 35 years old.

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