Death Metal

Taking the most extreme elements of bands such as Venom and Slayer, a new movement emerged in Florida in the mid-1980s, headed by Chuck Schuldiner. This new wave of metal aimed to be brutally heavy whilst still maintaining a high level of technicality and musicianship. Early death metal emulated the blistering pace, heavy riffs and intensity of thrash metal but expanded on the macabre imagery of thrash and black metal by focusing on satanism, death and gore. Throughout the 80s, Florida continued to be the epicentre of the subgenre, producing influential bands such as Obituary, Morbid Angel and Deicide

The musical style is characterised by incredibly fast double bass and blast beat drum patterns, accompanied by heavily distorted guitars utilising palm muting and tremolo picking. These are combined to create technical, chaotic riffs and the solos are highly virtuosic. Most distinctive is the vocal delivery which often employs low ‘death growls’ on themes of horror, violence and occultism.

Notable artists:


Morbid Angel



Cannibal Corpse


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