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Ill-Starred Son
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 pm
Posts: 798
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 9:54 pm 
 

So, I have never thought that there was any difference between black/death, death/black and blackened death metal and considered them all terms for the same style, which I figured was basically bands who just cross black metal and death metal, for example, like many war metal bands like Archgoat, Revenge, Blasphemy, Conqueror, etc...or even bands like Belphegor or Behemoth, but apparently some people consider these to all be different styles, like the guy in the video I'm going to post.

The overall 2-part question would be: "do you believe there are any differences between black/death, death/black and blackened death metal?"

and if so: "what do you see the differences being?"

And as the question gets more involved I'd ask "does this site choose to put "death" or "black" first, in terns of "black/death" vs "death/black" because the former style is considered the dominant style?"

I think that might be the case.

But the thing is, I see it making sense to put, for example, "black" first if you think the band has more black metal in it, but I really don't see why there should be a difference between black/death metal and blackened death metal.

According to the guy in the video I will post, who plays different riffs on his guitar that he considers black/death and blackened death, I think he believes that black/death metal is more of a 50/50 mix between both styles, where I think he sees blackened death metal as being primarily death metal with black metal influence, like maybe 75% death metal and 25% black metal.

I wish we could do polls on this forum cause I'd like to see how many people voted that these are different styles.

Also, for anyone who thinks these are different styles I'd like them to post some examples of different bands that represent each.

Another guy I talked to online was adamant that black/death and blackened death metal are different and that Acheron from Tampa, who I've honestly never listened to much and who is listed here as "death/black", was in his opinion the band to found the "black/death" style and that blackened death is entirely different.

I mean, my thing is that I like different sub-genres and find them interesting, but if you are going to make different sub-genres at least make them sound different, because naming different sub-genres black/death and blackened death is just confusing to me.

Here's the video I was mentioning where a guy plays what he considers both black/death and blackened death metal riffs on his guitar to try to distinguish between the 2 styles, if they really are 2 styles at all that is...


https://youtu.be/XlzMR9a29A0

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HviteGuden
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:24 am
Posts: 348
Location: Russia
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 10:15 pm 
 

For me, there's no anything complex about that. I've always been taking "blackened death" as a general description for a mix of black and death metal. "Black/death" or "death/black" logically describes proportions of genres. So, I don't take blackened death metal as death metal with black metal influence. Death metal with black metal influence is death/black. Black metal with death metal influence is black/death. Blackened death just refers to all bands mixing black and death, regardless of the proportions.


Last edited by HviteGuden on Mon May 18, 2020 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LithoJazzoSphere
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
Posts: 1829
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 10:24 pm 
 

Essentially I see it that blackened death metal is death metal with some black metal influences - death/black is a fairly even mixture (possibly with death slightly predominating) such that both camps could accept them as being part of their own (or both might equally reject them if they suck). Because "deathened black metal" is an awkward term, black/death is an easy enough way to say that, meaning black metal with some death metal influences, but it could also just mean another 55/45 mixture of black with death, depending on the context.

Edit: haha, and so the disagreement already begins. I guess we'll see if any kind of consensus emerges among everyone else. I wonder if it has anything to do with which side of the fence you tend to come from. For the record I listen to some black metal, but I'm primarily a death metal guy.

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Ill-Starred Son
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 pm
Posts: 798
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 10:31 pm 
 

HviteGuden wrote:
For me, there's no anything complex about that. I've always was taking "blackened death" as a general description for a mix of black and death metal. "Black/death" or "death/black" logically describes proportions of genres. So, I don't take blackened death metal as death metal with black metal influence. Death metal with black metal influence is death/black. Black metal with death metal influence is black/death. Blackened death just refers to all bands mixing black and death, regardless of the proportions.


I agree with you on black/death being black w/ death influences and vice versa for death/black, and it seems like you are saying that in your opinion blackened death could mean EITHER black/death or death/black and is a generic description for both of them am I right?

So, did you watch the video I posted, and if so, do you think the guitarist on there is incorrect with his assessments of some of the riffs he's playing being black/death and others as blackened death?

Would you perhaps consider him to be playing death/black during the parts he considers himself to be playing blackened death metal?

Because it does not seem that everyone is in agreement on this.

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Ill-Starred Son
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 pm
Posts: 798
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 10:41 pm 
 

LithoJazzoSphere wrote:
Essentially I see it that blackened death metal is death metal with some black metal influences - death/black is a fairly even mixture (possibly with death slightly predominating) such that both camps could accept them as being part of their own (or both might equally reject them if they suck). Because "deathened black metal" is an awkward term, black/death is an easy enough way to say that, meaning black metal with some death metal influences, but it could also just mean another 55/45 mixture of black with death, depending on the context.

Edit: haha, and so the disagreement already begins. I guess we'll see if any kind of consensus emerges among everyone else. I wonder if it has anything to do with which side of the fence you tend to come from. For the record I listen to some black metal, but I'm primarily a death metal guy.


Please watch the video I posted and see what you think of the guitarists interpretations on there.

I am not even sure what I think because first when I thought about this I was not considering death/black as a genre but only the difference between black/death and blackened death, so in that case I considered black/death a 50/50 mix and blackened death to be more like 75% death metal and 25% black.

But now that I am considering death/black I think that, in whatever proportions, at least on this site, black/death is probably meant to speak of black metal bands with a slight death metal influence, for example, many war metal bands like Blasphemy, Conqueror, Revenge, etc...whereas death/black are death metal bands with some black metal influence like Mitochondrian, but even on here I don't agree with many of their assessements.

For example, Order From Chaos is listed as black/death but i think they have more death than black, and Sadistik Exekution is listed as death/black but I think they have more black than death.

As for blackened death metal, I honestly don't see why it should be different from death/black, meaning death metal with a black metal influence, because the way it sounds sounds as if black metal has been added to death metal.

I don't think it needs to be so confusing lol.

I certainly would say that one of the 3 sub-sub genres is NOT necessary, and i think that blackened death is the one that is least necessary.

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LithoJazzoSphere
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
Posts: 1829
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 10:59 pm 
 

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
Please watch the video I posted and see what you think of the guitarists interpretations on there.


I don't find the video that useful. The first third is a waste of time and just makes things confusing. Without scrutinizing the video in detail, it seems that his "blackened death metal" persona had more tremolo picking, riffing in higher octaves, and ringing of open strings, which are loosely more common attributes of black metal playing. But it also had more muted chugging, which is more common to death than black, so that's not so helpful. And he doesn't explain anything anyway.

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
I don't think it needs to be so confusing lol.


I think it's inherent to the nature of the sub-genrification that goes on in metal. Just look at the power metal threads we've had recently and how wide a range of sounds they constitute. A lot of them may have power metal influences, but more properly belong to progressive, thrash, heavy, speed, or other genres. It's no different in other genres, including these ones. Especially when it's quite subjective what the mix of a given band is, and I may key in on different elements of their sound than someone else, which give us opposite opinions on which genre they fall under. It's also the same way that two people could look at an image that has a mixture of blue and green, and while they might agree that both colors are present in some proportion, one might insist that blue is dominant, while the other sees more green than blue.

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
I certainly would say that one of the 3 sub-sub genres is NOT necessary, and i think that blackened death is the one that is least necessary.


I just don't see that happening. It's the most common one at least that I observe, and rolls most easily off the tongue.


Last edited by LithoJazzoSphere on Mon May 18, 2020 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HviteGuden
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:24 am
Posts: 348
Location: Russia
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 11:25 pm 
 

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
HviteGuden wrote:
For me, there's no anything complex about that. I've always was taking "blackened death" as a general description for a mix of black and death metal. "Black/death" or "death/black" logically describes proportions of genres. So, I don't take blackened death metal as death metal with black metal influence. Death metal with black metal influence is death/black. Black metal with death metal influence is black/death. Blackened death just refers to all bands mixing black and death, regardless of the proportions.


I agree with you on black/death being black w/ death influences and vice versa for death/black, and it seems like you are saying that in your opinion blackened death could mean EITHER black/death or death/black and is a generic description for both of them am I right?

So, did you watch the video I posted, and if so, do you think the guitarist on there is incorrect with his assessments of some of the riffs he's playing being black/death and others as blackened death?

Would you perhaps consider him to be playing death/black during the parts he considers himself to be playing blackened death metal?

Because it does not seem that everyone is in agreement on this.

Well, yeah, for me blackened death could mean either black/death or death/black and is a generic description for both of them. When we talk about mixing black and death overall.

Yeah, I've seen the video. According to my point of view, it should be called "Black/Death Metal VS Death/Black Metal" not "Black/Death Metal VS Blackened Death Metal", as on the odd riffs he tries to be more black metal, while on the even riffs he tries to be more death metal. Mostly he succeeds with the proportions.

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Ill-Starred Son
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 pm
Posts: 798
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 12:17 am 
 

LithoJazzoSphere wrote:
Ill-Starred Son wrote:
Please watch the video I posted and see what you think of the guitarists interpretations on there.


I don't find the video that useful. The first third is a waste of time and just makes things confusing. Without scrutinizing the video in detail, it seems that his "blackened death metal" persona had more tremolo picking, riffing in higher octaves, and ringing of open strings, which are loosely more common attributes of black metal playing. But it also had more muted chugging, which is more common to death than black, so that's not so helpful. And he doesn't explain anything anyway.

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
I don't think it needs to be so confusing lol.


I think it's inherent to the nature of the sub-genrification that goes on in metal. Just look at the power metal threads we've had recently and how wide a range of sounds they constitute. A lot of them may have power metal influences, but more properly belong to progressive, thrash, heavy, speed, or other genres. It's no different in other genres, including these ones. Especially when it's quite subjective what the mix of a given band is, and I may key in on different elements of their sound than someone else, which give us opposite opinions on which genre they fall under. It's also the same way that two people could look at an image that has a mixture of blue and green, and while they might agree that both colors are present in some proportion, one might insist that blue is dominant, while the other sees more green than blue.

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
I certainly would say that one of the 3 sub-sub genres is NOT necessary, and i think that blackened death is the one that is least necessary.


I just don't see that happening. It's the most common one at least that I observe, and rolls most easily off the tongue.


Ok thanks for your comments on the video cause I was wondering how useful it was, and you sound like you know more about guitar theory than me so it's cool to hear info from someone that knows more, though I still think it's a good thing for us to take into account here as others may disagree and find it useful.

The thing is, for me, that sub-genres are useful IMO, but these three are sub-SUB-genres, meaning we are going one layer removed from death or black etc, and that's where things get really muddled.

I know this site is really into being accurate, so I'm interested in some of the mods perspectives on these 3 sub-sub genres as well, because I am thinking that for some of them they must have in mind specifically what they mean when they label different bands under them.

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SkankFistOGwet
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:14 am
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 1:05 am 
 

I get what the op is getting at, but at this point, with all these subgenres, I just call it how I hear it. Granted we have bands like Belphegor and Necrophobic who clearly state the style they play, but otherwise it's all subjective, right?

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joppek
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:36 am
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Location: Suomi Finland Perkele
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 2:43 am 
 

my intuition says black/death and death/black are the same thing and can have both in any ratio (as long as both remain significant, so not something stupid like 100:1). one has to be first and the other last in a term like that regardless of how 50/50 it is - when i see a banana/chocolate cupcake, i'm not gonna assume there's more banana than chocolate; just that there's some amount of both.

blackened death metal on the other hand i perceive to be death metal dominant, because... well, you take a bunch of death metal and then just blacken it a bit. i don't know where these pastry thoughts are coming from, but if you leave your cake in the oven for too long, it's still predominantly cake, even tho' the crust is now blackened a bit.
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laxskinn
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 179
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 3:04 am 
 

The fact that blackened death metal exists separately from death/black and black/death is probably just because "black" is an adjective so it just sounds good when you say it. If it actually had a separate defined meaning I guess there should also be deathed black metal.

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Gravetemplar
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:08 am
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Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 4:01 am 
 

I don't use "blackened" as a genre descriptor, most of the times it means it has little to do with actual black metal and it's just confusing. Like how "blackened sludge" is just sludge with a few blastbeats here and there and "blackened death metal" is usually just death metal. As a matter of fact, I think it's far easier to play "death/black" (more death metal influence) than "black/death". I could name a lot of bands like Diocletian or Teitanblood that are clearly more death metal than black but not the other way around. I'm not even sure what some bands that play "black/death" (more black metal influence) would be.

tl;dr i just use black metal, death metal and death/black (for bands like Diocletian, Teitanblood, etc).

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LithoJazzoSphere
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 7:27 am 
 

Gravetemplar wrote:
I'm not even sure what some bands that play "black/death" (more black metal influence) would be.


Behemoth on Pandemonic Incantations I'd say is still a black metal band with death influences creeping in. Dissection's first two albums are primarily black with some death influence before it mostly took over on their third.

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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:01 am 
 

LithoJazzoSphere wrote:
Gravetemplar wrote:
I'm not even sure what some bands that play "black/death" (more black metal influence) would be.


Behemoth on Pandemonic Incantations I'd say is still a black metal band with death influences creeping in. Dissection's first two albums are primarily black with some death influence before it mostly took over on their third.

I don't hear much death metal in Dissection. Maybe some melodeath but those melodic elements are precisely what made melodeath "less death metal", if you catch my drift. I would simply call Dissection melodic black metal.

I need to listen to that Behemoth album though.

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blackmantram
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:51 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 11:07 am 
 

SkankFistOGwet wrote:
but otherwise it's all subjective, right?


No, genres are by no means subjective, there's indeed a room for "error" when you're trying to draw lines between some of them but generally speaking they are well defined and bound by certain rules. You can of course make up your own genres but when you start creating genres for each band out there they start getting useless, that's why I always considered these discussions kind of pointless, in the end you realize that the terms "black/death metal", "death/black metal", "blackened death metal" and so on are perfectly interchangeable, they're used to describe the same thing, It's up to you whether to put one word over the other based on subjective aspects such as how much of certain genre you think they are using the most of or perhaps which of both genres you like better or which way you think it reads prettier...

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HeavenDuff
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:37 pm 
 

black/death and death/black should basically be the same thing. I like to write is a black/death because it has a nice ring to my ear and it reminds me of the bubonic plague that is also often refered to as black death. Black/death or death/black is a mix of the two genres that doesn't strongly prioritizes a genre over the other. Sometimes people sort them in different order, placing the "predominant" genre at the beginning, but it gets a little too nitpicky for my taste at this point. If there is a strong presence of both genres in the music, it can be basically either of them. I'm thinking about bands like Blasphemy, Archgoat, Conqueror and the likes.

In a sense, the pioneers of black and death, bands like Sarcófago or Celtic Frost, kind of fitted the bill, but they had very proeminent thrash metal elements, and since they were more proto-black and proto-death, I think it's best, at least when trying to define genres, to not include them right away.

I remember having a similar discussion here on the forum last year, and someone said that black/death bands were different from the proto-black/proto-death bands in the way that they were mixing back the two genres together after they actually defined each other as very distinct genres. And I agree with that.

Blackened death metal is not a mix of both genres. Blackened death has death metal at it's very core. I'm thinking about Demigod and onward Behemoth, later Hate or God Dethroned. Blackened death metal is death metal. It has death metal structures, riffing, etc. but it has some elements of black metal, like tremolo picked riffs, some of the vocals, themes and aesthetics or atmosphere.

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Ill-Starred Son
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 12:31 am 
 

So it still seems like there isn't 1 overall true consensus here, though most of us, myself included, do agree that with black/death and death/black that whatever comes first is the dominant genre.

But I just don't see a need for the term "blackened death metal" then because that would essentially be the same thing as death/black in my opinion, so I don't know why this site sometimes continues to use all 3 terms and why blackened death metal ever became a term other than it sounding good.

This is why I thought that the video didn't make sense in terms of this guy and actually quite a few other people I've heard of insisting that blackened death is entirely different from either black/death or death/black.

Seems like maybe the guy in the video meant for blackened death metal to mean the same as death/black....but as one guy pointed out, I'm also not totally sure i can think of a real lot of bands who have black as the primary style with only a little death.

I guess one example for me would be Sadistik Exekution who I don't hear a whole lot of death metal in and mostly black, but they are similar to many early war metal bands like Blasphemy for example.

I continue to feel that blackened death and death/black are the same and the one or the other is not necessary, and it seems some others agree with me.

I mean, one way or another, can we all agree that it would be possible to do away with at least ONE of the 3 sub-sub-genres, and if so, which one do you think is the least necessary, and which of the 2 genres do you think are really one in the same?

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LithoJazzoSphere
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 7:50 am 
 

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
But I just don't see a need for the term "blackened death metal" then because that would essentially be the same thing as death/black in my opinion, so I don't know why this site sometimes continues to use all 3 terms and why blackened death metal ever became a term other than it sounding good.


Well, that's exactly why those sorts of terms catch on. People like familiar things, so "blackened" reminds them of the Metallica song or the style of food, so that's easy to remember, and as someone above pointed out, "black/death" was commonly used to describe the catastrophic plague, so that makes it fitting to also describe a metal genre.

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Dudeguy Jones
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 6:15 pm
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 2:49 pm 
 

I like keeping genre descriptions as simple as possible after many years of complicating things for myself. Lol.

Black/Death for things that are more black metal focused and Death/Black for things that are more death metal focused seems the most simple and stable.

I tried forcing everything into just "Death Metal" or "Black Metal" and it just doesn't work.

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LithoJazzoSphere
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 4:28 pm 
 

To a large extent the need for slicing up subgenres into increasingly minute categories is directly related to the number of bands and fans of them, and whether you're into either of those categories yourself. So someone who listens to nothing but hip-hop or classical may not even see the need for death metal, power metal, thrash metal, black metal and such, to them it might all just be "metal", or maybe even just "rock". But we're in the thick of it, so the niche subdivision is quite useful, and we can more easily even deal with a dozen different varieties each of death and black metal. But clearly the merging of black and death metal and the proliferation of it is still somewhat nascent and a little too nuanced for quite as much consensus yet.

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CrippledLucifer
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 5:08 am
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 5:55 am 
 

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
I guess one example for me would be Sadistik Exekution who I don't hear a whole lot of death metal in and mostly black, but they are similar to many early war metal bands like Blasphemy for example.

I think that SadEx would dispute that assessment, or, in their own words "We are death, fukk you!" I also think that those early war metal bands have more than just a bit of death metal in their sound. Like, some of that stuff sounds just like Reek of Putrefaction gone black metal, rather than black metal with some death touches.

Personally I understand black/death and death/black to be basically interchangeable, I just prefer black/death because it has a nicer ring to it. Blackened death metal has to me the connotations of bands like Zyklon, or early 00s Behemoth, Belphegor and the likes, who certainty sound like black and death metal, but also sound sharp and distinctly different from the caverncore black/death metal that's hegemonic these days. Maybe that's an outdated classification (I haven't heard anything in the Zyklon vein for more than 10 years at this point) but that's what the term has become associated to in my mind.
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Gameofmetal
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:57 pm
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:34 am 
 

Don't think there's any meaningful difference between black/death and death/black, basically never see anyone use the latter. I do generally see people use black/death as shorthand or interchangeable for bestial black metal or war metal whereas blackened death metal seems to typically refer to your Behemoths and Belphegor types, probably more modern death metal leaning bands with black metal influences.

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