Black metal and death metal
Heavy metal is probably one of the most complex genres in music. For most that are drawn to the more mainstream genres, pop or alternative rock for instance, heavy metal would appear to have an impenetrable world of its own. Not only does it gear towards enigmatic and cynical perspectives as whole, but also puts utter focus on particular themes and thus dividing it into sub-genres. Under the massive umbrella of heavy metal are black metal and death metal. They may sound altogether the same for someone who’s not really familiar with or new to the genre, but in fact, they are very different from one another in numerous ways, including themes, Â lyrical content, vocals, and instrumentation.
Black metal retains the romantic side of heavy metal. However, it lives on themes that are rather stern, cynical, yet still rational. It believes in paganism with the core principle that nature is the supreme order. It embraces nature’s role in the prevalence of natural selection, predation, and death. It opposes Christianity and ‘crowdism’- the belief that respecting the will of others is more important than standing up for a realistic one- which it believes to be backward. It also advocates introspection, morbidity, and organicism- a framework of differentiation from the masses. Â Enthusiasts would probably call this the thinking man’s metal. Death metal, on the other hand, has a more narrowed theme. As its name suggests, it primarily speaks of death, destruction, pain, and torment not particularly in the sweetest of ways. It incubates an obsession for doom and apocalypse. Other points of death metal interest would be Satanism, occultism, death, and suicide.
As far as lyrical content is concerned, black metal bands use symbolisms more often than literal details in their lyrics. Death metal bands do otherwise. Instead they throw in unembellished details of the act themselves.
In terms of vocals and instrumentation, death metal employs extreme brutality, intensity and speed. They use a special technique called “blast beats” to add the intensity to the music. ‘Death grunts’, described by guttural roars and growls often make it altogether rough and incomprehensible. It generally focuses on riffs and heaviness. Black metal, on the other hand is characterized by high-pitched screaming vocals, tremolo picked guitars, lacking bass and blast beats. Unlike its death metal, black metal gives more bearing on the mood and melodies. In addition, black metal guitars are frequently tuned to E, whereas death metal guitars are set on lower notes.
Although blast beats are employed in both sub-genres, they are intended for different purposes. Black metal bands use it as an element of dissonance, or simply an annoyance, while keeping up with the general flow of the drumming. Death bands practically play off of its technicality.
Examples of black metal bands would be Immortal, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Emperor, Burzum, Xasthur, and Dark Throne. Death, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, and Amon Amarth are some of the popular death metal bands.
- Black and death metal are sub-genres of heavy metal music.
- Black metal touches on the broader side of paganism, introspection, morbidity, organicism, anti-Christianity, and anti-crowdism. Death metal has its niche on death, destruction, pain, and suffering.
- Black metal lyrics are keener to symbolic content than literal details. Death metal, on the other hand, employs explicit details of the act or scenario.
- Both black and death metal use the blast beats technique to add intensity to their respective sub-genres.
- Death metal bands sing with death grunts, which are unintelligible roars and growls, putting more weight on riff. Black metal artists employ high-pitched screaming. They place better focus on the overall mood and melody rather than the heaviness.