Afraid to Listen..What is Death Metal and why aren't people afraid to listen to it?
First off listening to Death Metal does not immediately result in death, although it may be a side effect. Death Metal, like other Heavy Metal subgroups, is infused with twisted guitar sounds, harsh vocals, and manic rhythms. But Death Metal is further classified by the extremely heavy nature of the music and unique sound as well as the macabre subject matter. You will note the same unearthly quality of the growls emanating from the vocalist. Growls and grunts that are sometimes incoherent are present in other types of Heavy Metal, but again not to the level that Death Metal boasts.
By mixing the speed of Thrash Metal and the rawness of Black Metal and bringing it to the boiling point, Death Metal surged in the mid 80s as a mostly underground movement. You might say it went underground as a recoil from the more glamorous side of the Mtv Metal. As the music gained popularity, as with Heavy Metal in general, it angered as many listeners as it enticed. Mainstream music was shocked by the violence and could not comprehend the abrupt, ragged, pounding sound. And the once underground music was injected back into mainstream culture through media correlations to real world violence involving teens it created a backlash of controversy. This controversy fueled the disdain from some and the migration of others. The most well known purveyor of Death Metal was Slayer but the music they delivered was only a precursor to the storm that has come since. Even with an almost complete disregard to melody, bruising vocals, and implementation of note progressions at light-speed the music is mostly known for its sinister themes.
Death Metal is violence to the extreme. Depicting acts of mutilation and rape against the living and the dead with an in your face attitude, Death Metal pulls no punches. When you listen to Death Metal there is very little left to the imagination and a clear link to its unfortunate name. So, basically, Death Metal is a slasher musical. It is horror set to music and its sole purpose is to scare the hell out of your parents. It is a haven for those that are different and seeking understanding, it is an oulet for the anger of youth, it is the next level of shock in the Heavy Metal history book, and it is not for the squemish. All that aside it is still music, and it is still expression even if some can not or will not let it be understood. Contrary to its name, Death Metal is alive and to its followers it is 'til death do us part. But listeners beware, with rythms and beats that heavy you could bang your head clean off your shoulders.
Written by David Council