Death metal (also det; Eng. Death metal, from death- "death") is an extreme subgenre of metal.
Having absorbed the speed and complexity of thrash metal performance, death metal stood out first in a separate subgenre of this direction (it is sometimes called proto-death), and then into an independent genre in the mid-1980s.
Thrash groups, among which the most famous are Slayer, Kreator and Celtic Frost, who emphasized heaviness and speed of sound, as well as more distorted, aggressive-sounding vocals, influenced its appearance to a large extent. One of the most influential proto-death metal recordings is Possessed's debut full-length album Seven Churches, released in 1985. Sometimes this work (along with the debut album of the band Death) is called the first death metal album.
Death metal reached its peak in 1992-1993 thanks to the work of the bands Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Obituary. The popularity of the genre was also influenced, for example, by the strong rivalry between the Norwegian black metal scene and the Swedish death metal scene. The vocals are characterized by the use of specific masculine (and sometimes feminine - as an example of Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy) growl (growling), which often turns the lyrics into obscure "bestial" growl. Sometimes screaming is also used, which is distinguished by an extremely high and hysterical tone (screeching scream). In softer areas of death metal (melodic death metal), clean vocals can sometimes be used.
A rather large role in the subject matter of a significant number of death metal bands is played by the Satanic theme. So, for example, Satanism is or was the main theme of such groups as Deicide, Morbid Angel, Possessed.
Occultism, mysticism, and philosophy are also found in the subject. Some death metal bands, such as Napalm Death, actively exploit topics of social injustice, and social issues are often raised by groups in interviews. The texts of the Misery Index and Dying Fetus groups are devoted to socio-political issues.
Over time, philosophical lyrics (later Death work) or just descriptive themes also appeared.
The most important death metal labels were Earache Records, Relativity Records and Roadrunner Records. For example, Carcass, Napalm Death, Morbid Angel and Entombed were published on Earache Records, and Obituary and Pestilence on Roadrunner Records. Not all labels were death metal labels, they could have a distant relationship, even just to metal. Nevertheless, they became the flagship of death metal bands throughout the 90s of the XX century. Subsequently, new labels appeared that promoted the genre, such as Nuclear Blast, Century Media Records, and Peaceville. Many of the labels, in addition to promoting death metal, have successfully promoted other “metal” genres throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
In September 1990, the manager of the band Death Eric Greif decided to organize the first US death metal festival, which was called "Day of Death" (English Day of Death). The festival was held in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 26 groups of this genre took part in it.
Since 2009, the death metal festival "Deathfest" has been held in England.