Metal has been one of the most intricate music genres of all time. And although many tried to ostracize it, it is still undeniable that it requires splendid skills to master such sophisticated genre.
Since its inception, metal has been in constant change. We saw it devolved into multiple sub-genres, which just added to the musical spectrum that it has. Among these categories, the heavy metal and black metal are the most popular. Many guitar geeks just want to gain mastery of any of this field. But which of these two genres got the edge over the other? Read the answer by reading this death metal vs. black metal article.
Nobody can just ignore death metal songs. They have a unique and compelling harmony that can break any eardrums easily. Of course, many seasoned guitarists would say that it is a highly revered form of metal. It has a good foundation since it was never a product of a fluke. In fact, you should know that death metal shares the same grounds as of thrash metal.
But unlike thrash metal, death metal doesn't contain any form of effete vocals. Some guitarist thinks that this foppish characteristic of a thrash breaks the "forceful" quality that a metal should exhibit. Fortunately, death metal was able to eliminate such factor. Moreover, innovators replaced any effeminate nuances with high pace drumming.
Because death metal puts its focus on the instruments, it became a technical genre of metal. If you can play a death metal piece skillfully, then it is safe to say that you got an astute affinity in music that other practitioners don't have. Many hate to admit it, but death metal is indeed an advanced musical subgenre.
When it comes to theme, death metal is quite narrow. We all know that this genre usually signifies occultism and anything that is rigid. Of course, it has an extreme concern about death, which is the very reason for its name.
Death metal is a huge umbrella. Specifically, there are a lot of subgenres that are under its care. Apparently, music luminaries and scholars consider these subgenres as legitimate. Moreover, they give importance to these musical branches, as they have big contributions to the development of the sonic industry.
One good example of a death metal subgenre is the semi-industrial metal, which is popularized by the band Fear Factory. It has an impressive appeal to the ears, as it is quite soothing and trembling at the same time. Meanwhile, there are types of death metal that use a dark, slow, and surreal theme. Just search for the band Celtic Frost, and you'll get what we are saying.
On the other hand, groups like Devourment has an inclination on deep pit riffing. Specifically, it is a death metal that exhibits a lot of strong riff and licks. Specifically, death metal has a strong emphasis on speed and intensity (blast beats).
Check out this video of Fear Factory:
However, you should know that there are other branches of death metal that were not able to evolve fully. Such of these are the varieties of progressive death metal and the infamous "tech death." Despite this, death metal is still flourishing. In fact, it would not even surprise us if there are new varieties of death metal that would come out shortly.
It is quite hard to describe what black metal is, considering that it has unclear origins. Some suggest that this metal genre was created by numerous elite Europeans way back in the 80s. This is the primary reason why black metal sounds odd and tasteless to most Western musicians. Therefore, you should not ever place black metal side by side with death metal.
One of the major distinction of black metal and death metal is their uniformity and monotony. While death metal has a lot of unique subgenres and sound, black metal just sound the same. In short, it didn't evolve at all. It is not a progressive type of music that has the potential to change unless people will spend time on it. But for the meantime, we assume that it is impossible.
Why did we say that? The answer is pretty simple. Most of the fans of black metal don't care about the quality of the music. For them, musical technicalities and skills are not important. Instead, they give more priority to the meaning of the song, which is quite perplexed if we discuss fully. On the surface, the genre represents rationality and predation. Moreover, it is apparent that this genre exhibits strong opposition towards Christianity.
At this point, we can say that black metal is a morbid type of music. But notably, some enthusiasts think that black metal promotes intellectually.
When it comes to musical quality, black metal is not acceptable to the modern ears. Specifically, the sound it produces is almost dissonant and incomprehensible. The guitars and drums don't exhibit suave and finesse that should be present in a metal genre. Furthermore, their vocals are effeminate and screaming. It has no bass and intensity at all. Instead, it just gives emphasis to the mood.
One more thing, the guitars on black metal are always set on the E. Meanwhile, death metal guitarists usually play their instruments on the lower notes.
There are only a few known sub genres of black metal, with each of them focusing on a particular theme rather than style. One good example is the National Socialist Black Metal (or the Aryan Black Metal).
Specifically, this genre promulgates Nazism and other related ideology. If you dig deeper to this genre, you'll discover that it has traces of European paganism and neo-Nazi ideology as well. Of course, its main objective is to opposite major religions such Islam and Christianity.
Meanwhile, there is also the symphonic black metal. It is a unique subgenre of black metal that integrates various elements of the orchestra. Practitioners under this theme would usually use the traditional workstation keyboards to imitate those orchestra symphonies. Therefore, you would still be able to hear arrangements that include brass, woodwind, and string instruments.
But perhaps the unique among the black metal subgenres is the unblack metal. People sometimes call this as the Christian black metal. The main distinction of this subgenre is its strong opposition against Satanism, which is common in black metal. Instead, Christian black metal has a lot of Christian imagery in their lyrics and album. Even at this point, this subgenre is still controversial. After all, the pioneers of black metal are anti-Christians.
These are the major distinctions between a death metal and black metal. For amateurs, they might sound the same. But when you let a practitioner listen to them, the latter will certainly hear their differences.
When it comes to quality and musical technicality, it is quite clear that death metal has the edge. It is a masterful subgenre of metal that has been continuously evolving. On the flip side, black metal will remain static. It doesn't put importance on any musical complexities, but rather gives it focus on its theme and meaning.
If you want to improve your prowess as a musician, you should opt to explore death metal. But if you just want to be "edgy" and semantic, then the black metal is the right route for you.
Did you learn from this article? Which of these genres would you love to play? Tell us in the comment section below!
Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don’t want to drop my zeal–especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!