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What's the appeal of Death Metal?

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What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Old 01-13-15, 04:24 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by beavis69
I would say the only band that has been able to successfully toe the line between some semblance of mainstream success while still appealing to a core metal audience is Mastodon. Some might say their newest release steps over into the hard rock category a little much but I would disagree and say you can still hear their progressive metal sound.

If your looking for what a good representation of a death metal band is Death is a good place to start (since they are given credit for pioneering the genre)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6G2...f63OSIyiIFOAe0
I watched about 1/2 and then pulled up a Slipknot vid for "Psychosocial." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5abamRO41fE

I know there must be a lot of nuances, but it appears to this novice ear that the two styles are pretty similar (the minor chord riffs, the growling, etc.). Maybe the documentary will delineate the differences, but at this point it seems to be a matter of degrees (admittedly, not even scratching the surface). I'm sure that to hardcore fans of the various genres, the difference is night & day.
Old 01-13-15, 04:27 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

I actually think they are just heavy metal, but it's hard to define them just because of King Diamonds vocal range. Not too many singers can hit those notes no matter what genre they are.
Old 01-13-15, 04:36 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by creekdipper
I watched about 1/2 and then pulled up a Slipknot vid for "Psychosocial." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5abamRO41fE

I know there must be a lot of nuances, but it appears to this novice ear that the two styles are pretty similar (the minor chord riffs, the growling, etc.). Maybe the documentary will delineate the differences, but at this point it seems to be a matter of degrees (admittedly, not even scratching the surface). I'm sure that to hardcore fans of the various genres, the difference is night & day.
One of the key differences between Slipknot and most other metal bands is the use of a DJ. This was a key part of the nu-metal genre in the late 90s although every band in the genre didn't have a DJ (Korn for example didn't until they decided to make an electronica record two years ago). Down tuned guitars and rap style vocals were another part.

I remember the documentary touches on nu-metal but I can't recall how much. If you look at what was happening in the early 90s with songs like Epic by Faith No More to the mid 90s with Panteras Vulgar Display of Power you can see where nu-metal combined the rock/rap influence with groove metal to form nu-metal. Honestly nu-metal is often looked at like hair metal from the 80s in that people who lived through it enjoy some of the bands (at least their albums released during the best years) but view most of it as a joke.

Edit: Just looked this up on wikis Nu Metal page and I'll paste it here. Touches on the death metal vocals you are hearing
Nu metal vocal styles range between singing, rapping, screaming and death growling, sometimes using multiple of these styles within one song. The lyrics of many nu metal bands focus on pain and personal alienation, similar to that of grunge,[34] rather than the themes of other metal subgenres.[7][26] Nu metal uses the traditional pop structure of verses, choruses and bridges, contrasting it with other metal genres such as thrash and death metal.
Old 01-13-15, 04:59 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by beavis69
I actually think they are just heavy metal, but it's hard to define them just because of King Diamonds vocal range. Not too many singers can hit those notes no matter what genre they are.
Allmusic lists Mercyful Fate as black metal.
Old 01-13-15, 06:02 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by Supermallet
Allmusic lists Mercyful Fate as black metal.
What are you doing here, mallet? You're supposed to be ordering the pizza.

Get back, JoJo!
Old 01-13-15, 06:59 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by Supermallet
Allmusic lists Mercyful Fate as black metal.
I would think of them more like Proto black metal, a big influence of the genre rather than officially belonging to it themselves.
Old 01-13-15, 07:08 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

All I know if I have very little to no interest in the newer "metal" which has nothing but screaming, growling, grunting, or whatever the new term is for those kind of vocals. I have no idea how that became so popular, but it's not for me.

I've even seen many people into metal say it's not metal anymore unless it has those kind of vocals, so it's likely I'm not even technically a fan of metal anymore. And then I wonder who gets to make up these genre labels. Found one called "mathcore" which has at least one "metal" like band that I like (Exotic Animal Petting Zoo).
Old 01-13-15, 07:38 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by Supermallet
Allmusic lists Mercyful Fate as black metal.
Mercyful Fate is black metal.

There are two genres of black metal on the nerdy heavy metal family tree.

The original black metal was the satanic, occult-themed stuff from the early to mid 80s: Mercyful Fate, Venom, Possessed, Bathory, Hellhammer, and Slayer could possibly be included here, too, though they're usually classified as speed or thrash.

Then the Nordic stuff like Burzum and Darkthrone popped up in the late 80s and early 90s and more or less co-opted the name. Now 'black metal' is almost exclusively used for the Scandinavians in corpsepaint.
Old 01-13-15, 08:19 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by hdnmickey
All I know if I have very little to no interest in the newer "metal" which has nothing but screaming, growling, grunting, or whatever the new term is for those kind of vocals. I have no idea how that became so popular, but it's not for me.

I've even seen many people into metal say it's not metal anymore unless it has those kind of vocals, so it's likely I'm not even technically a fan of metal anymore. And then I wonder who gets to make up these genre labels. Found one called "mathcore" which has at least one "metal" like band that I like (Exotic Animal Petting Zoo).
That makes me sad There should be lots of metal coming out that doesn't have growlie vocals. Power Metal for one, maybe Goth Metal, usually don't have any, and other genres are hit or miss (speed, thrash, doom, stoner etc...)
Old 01-13-15, 08:38 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by joeblow69
That makes me sad There should be lots of metal coming out that doesn't have growlie vocals. Power Metal for one, maybe Goth Metal, usually don't have any, and other genres are hit or miss (speed, thrash, doom, stoner etc...)
I've found some I would call metal. Not sure those looking for growls would agree, but they can go there way and I'll go mine.

I have noticed that many in these other sub groupings will have at least some of this growling type vocals mixed in. Likely to try appeal to that crowd that must have that included or they reject it. As long as it's only there for emphasis I've been able to find songs and albums I would be willing to listen to more than once.
Old 01-13-15, 08:50 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Old 01-13-15, 09:08 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

^^^ I'm sure a lot of work went into that graphic, but I really have to question the validity of anything that would classify Opeth as "Goth metal". That's just bizarre. And there's no DOOM genre!
Old 01-13-15, 09:18 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Yeah, as great of an effort as that flow chart is, it also just makes it more confusing. Not bad as a starter if people are not familiar with any of the bands going in.
Old 01-14-15, 02:07 AM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Yea there are a couple of questionable band choices on that (Sepultura and Children of Bodom under Thrash, Opeth under Goth) but it's a good starting point.

I think there a plenty of newer metal bands without the growling vocals. Bandcamp is one of my favorite places to find new bands because I think people can experiment more on their style when they aren't having to please a label. In fact many websites end of year list have alot of doom/stoner albums as their top picks (Pallbearer, YOB) as well as some power metal . Personally I'm sort of on the outs with doom right now, there are only so many 14+ minute long songs I can listen to in a given day
Old 01-14-15, 06:00 AM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Mastodon.
Old 01-14-15, 06:54 AM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

I think the appeal of death metal is twofold.

1. It has to do with finding a more intense experience. For me, my gateway drug was Motley Crue, which then got me into Iron Maiden, which led to Metallica, which took me to the even harder stuff like Obituary. It's like going from plain vanilla pornography, getting bored with it, then moving onto the gonzo stuff, and then seeking out the more extreme freakshow stuff. Or an athlete seeking out new challenges. Once you've climbed a little mountain, you want to climb a bigger mountain. Heavy metal music provides a really intense experience. I can't imagine that a George Strait concert or Taylor Swift concert provides anywhere near the level of intensity that Iron Maiden provides in the same arenas.

2. Death metal and thrash metal are technical forms of music. It's not a bunch of idiots witlessly bashing instruments. And, as joeblow mentioned upthread, the cookie monster vocals complement the music perfectly. The vocals mesh with the music and become another instrument.
Old 01-14-15, 07:25 AM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
I think the appeal of death metal is twofold.

1. It has to do with finding a more intense experience. For me, my gateway drug was Motley Crue, which then got me into Iron Maiden, which led to Metallica, which took me to the even harder stuff like Obituary. It's like going from plain vanilla pornography, getting bored with it, then moving onto the gonzo stuff, and then seeking out the more extreme freakshow stuff. Or an athlete seeking out new challenges. Once you've climbed a little mountain, you want to climb a bigger mountain. Heavy metal music provides a really intense experience. I can't imagine that a George Strait concert or Taylor Swift concert provides anywhere near the level of intensity that Iron Maiden provides in the same arenas.
I think that is actually a really good description of what you find with most metal fans. Generally people who start listening to metal go one of two ways, they dip their toes in the water and chalk it up to a phase or they start digging deeper to see where the rabbit hole leads.

I took sort of an odd path because I rebelled against listening to the guys like Slayer and Metallica because everyone was trying to cram them down my throat as the best bands ever. Hell, it wasn't until last year that I really sat down and listened to Iron Maidens discography and was completely blown away.
Old 01-14-15, 09:00 AM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

The appeal:
1. The family-like, insanely dedicated fan base. Feeling of belonging.
2. Bands that actually care and give the fans what they want.
3. The best bands can write good music.
4. Some of the best chops you'll find anywhere.
5. Arcane/nerdy genre arguments are fun.
Old 01-14-15, 10:03 AM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by The Black
Mastodon.
Love them, but is that supposed to be an exmaple of a newer band? The've been around for a lot longer than I originally thought when I first got into the more recent albums. They also seem to be more of a fit for Prog Rock than any harder metal category.
Old 01-14-15, 10:06 AM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
2. Death metal and thrash metal are technical forms of music. It's not a bunch of idiots witlessly bashing instruments. And, as joeblow mentioned upthread, the cookie monster vocals complement the music perfectly. The vocals mesh with the music and become another instrument.
Totally with you on the music side of those bands. They just lose me when the vocals start with that style (Cookie Monster would be an improvement in many cases) and never change. I'm sure they have their fans, but I would prefer those band do more instrumentals.
Old 01-14-15, 12:14 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Vocals will be the first thing to turn me off. I like the music behind power metal, but hate the vocals. As soon as I hear a pig squeal I'm done with the song forever. Thrash-style yelling is hit or miss. I don't like Slayer's vocals, but I do like The Haunted's (Dolving, not Aro).

I also wish more bands would put out double albums, one disc being instrumental.
Old 01-14-15, 02:41 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Most of the current acts vocals do kind of blend together, either with the monotone growl, or the bands have the mix clean and growl vocals (whether the same or two vocalists). I love the 80s thrash metal vocalists, you never mixed up Slayer, Anthrax, Overkill, Metallica, Megadeth, Motorhead, Testament, etc.
Old 01-14-15, 03:44 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

And now for something completely different
The mighty Celtic Frost

Old 01-14-15, 04:20 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Death metal basically started out in two places (more or less) - Sweden and Florida. Two very similar styles of music, but two very different sounds. Swedish bands (typically) were a little simpler and slower, whereas the Floridian bands were faster and more technical. But both have similar vocal styles.
Bands in both locations were also heavily influenced by bands such as Venom, Possessed and Celtic Frost. Since the early days, death metal has divided and subdivided into almost countless offshoots. The one that you as a religious person might find most offensive is black metal, which started in Norway with bands like Mayhem, Emperor and Immortal.
In the past few years, a new wave of bands have sprung up playing the old-school style of death metal. Most of these seem to be kids whose parents were fans of the original bands and these kids have been listening to it all their lives.
Personally, probably 80-90 per cent of my daily listening is death metal, especially Swedish bands. I've been listening to it since it started in the late 80's and continue to this day. Lyrically I don't really care what they sing about. I don't get my guidelines on how to live life from bands. I just love the riffs that the Swedish bands especially come up with.
Most people don't like it, and that's fine. That's what's great about music. If we all liked the same thing it would be very boring. I've been to the opera twice in Chicago, and hated it both times. I was bored silly. But it's just not my thing. My dad was a big country and western fan, and I hate it. Music is a very subjective thing.

Last edited by Phodg; 01-14-15 at 04:26 PM.
Old 01-14-15, 04:27 PM
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Re: What's the appeal of Death Metal?

Originally Posted by PerryD
Most of the current acts vocals do kind of blend together, either with the monotone growl, or the bands have the mix clean and growl vocals (whether the same or two vocalists). I love the 80s thrash metal vocalists, you never mixed up Slayer, Anthrax, Overkill, Metallica, Megadeth, Motorhead, Testament, etc.
Agreed. You could tell a band as soon as the singer opened his mouth.

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