Death Metal Deconstruction: New fans of metal movement can expect five common traits

By Ethan Guinnuscio

Music genres are ever-expanding, including the broad genre of metal, which contains many different subgenres, including, but not limited to, death metal, nu-metal, alternative, progressive and thrash. From the first bands to truly make a dent (Iron Maiden, Metallica) to the newer bands that continue to make waves (Mastodon, Slipknot), metal has evolved from a Satanic act to something simply beautiful. Below is a list of what to expect when listening to everything from classic metal to death metal.

1. Vocals.

The further you get down the chain of metal, the harder it is to understand the lyrics coming from the lead singer. Cannibal Corpse is a prime example of this; if you don’t know what to listen for, all you’ll ever hear is someone clearing their throat while being possessed by the devil. If you’re not ready for that, you may want to stay with AC/DC and the like. Some bands noted for their vocals: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, System of a Down.

2. Instrumental solos. 

Complex and powerful drum/guitar solos are essential, and give other members of the band a chance to step forward into the limelight. One such drumming savant, Neil Peart from Rush (though not a metal band), is clearly on top of his class. Bands known for better solos: Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, Megadeth.

3. Length. On average, most songs are around three to five minutes long. However, there are definitely some outliers, including Tool, who has many songs passing 10 minutes. Slipknot’s second album, Iowa, has a track just past 15 minutes, and has a very dark creation, even if it’s the softest song on the whole album. Bands known for length: Tool, Dream Theater, Ea.

4. Concerts. Chances are, if you listen to a band enough, you’ll start to want to see them in concert. If you do so, you may want to stay away from the moshpit until you’re ready to possibly lose a finger or two. Many bands have a following that is less-than-appealing to the outside world, even though as a whole, metalheads are generally nice people. As an added bonus, there are some bands who seriously kick ass when live, so choose wisely. Bands known for powerful concerts: Rammstein, Slipknot, Lamb of God.

5. Respect. This may not have anything to do with the actual music the bands produce, but it sure is everything. Black Veil Brides may have a decent spread of music, but attitude is everything. On the other end of the spectrum, there are bands that respect everyone. Bands known for kicking out rude fans: Five Finger Death Punch, Iron Maiden, Nine Inch Nails.

There they are. The five things to think about whenever you decide to try out a metal band for the first time.

In Flames release arrives

In Flames, a heavy metal band hailing from Sweden, is set to release its newest album, Sounds From the Heart of Gothenburg, this week. The album contains 20 songs, all live versions of older songs, performed in 2014 at Scandinavium at, you guessed it, Gothenburg. The songs range from the very beginning, such as “Trigger,” “Take This Life,” and “Cloud Connected,” to newer hits, like “Rusted Nail” and “Through Oblivion.”

The band has been considered one of the forefathers of melodic death metal, and they have cultivated a signature sound that has had heads turning since 1994, the year they formed.

In Flames has released a total of 14 albums, 12 of them full studio albums. Sounds From the Heart of Gothenburg will mark the 15th total album and second video album.

As a whole, the Swedish metal band has been very successful, both in Europe and America. We can only hope they continue to make leaps and bounds into stardom.

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