Proof, if proof were needed, that metal seeks out extremes, death metal took on the dark lyrical themes of thrash and dragged them even further into the shadows.
Musically, death metal is as likely to hop on a screaming thrash riff as it is to use a bone-crushingly slow Black Sabbath bassline. It’s also noted for taking the complex song structures from '70s prog and the more experimental side of thrash.
Lyrically death metal is preoccupied with, well, death. However it’s not about suicide and devil worship as tends to be the case with black metal.
Key band: Death
Death by name, death by nature. Death were the forerunners of the scene and pioneered the dark subject matter and growling vocals that would define the sub-genre.
Key album: Carcass - Heartwork (1993)
Moving on from their grindcore beginnings, Heartwork shows how prog-influenced and melodic death could be.
Key track: Morbid Angel - Rapture (1993)
This track is as death as it gets, boasting manic guitars and mystical lyrics with more than a hint of bloody murder.
Death Metal Invasion