Wednesday, February 25, 2009

how to tell the difference between death metal and "deathcore"

I listen to some death metal. I make absolutely no claims to be an expert, but I can tell the difference between melodic death metal, technical death metal, and brutal death metal by ear. So I'm not a total noob, right? Sometimes I browse for new bands to listen to and have recently been seeing more and more bands described as "deathcore." Initially I avoided these, but after seeing the tag multiple times, I started to wonder what it described. From listening to the music, I am still very unclear on what the difference is between "deathcore" and plain "death metal" but I think I have found a few differences.

From briefly browsing the bands considered "deathcore" on last.fm - these are the differences I have found. Please note that these are only general guidelines and I am still learning! Suggestions may be added in the comments.

1. Deathcore is made by Americans with short hair in black hoodies. Death Metal is made by people from anywhere else with long hair in black T-shirts.

1a. A Deathcore band may have a member with anime hair (aka emo hair). A Death Metal band will never have a member with anime hair, but may have a member with no hair (and a goatee).

2. Death Metal bands have symmetrical band name logos, Deathcore bands have asymmetrical logos.

3. Death Metal band names derive from diseases, causes of death, or something blasphemous, and generally end in "tion" or "ssion." Deathcore band names resemble post-hardcore/emo band names and generally sound like an X-Men name ("Whitechapel") or a sentence fragment from high school poetry ("A Black Rose Burial").

Examples

Deathcore:

Death Metal:
 

Deathcore:

Death Metal:

You may note that while nationality may have something to do with the distinction, ethnicity does not. However, age and BMI might?  I have also just noticed that Deathcore bands sometimes wear baseball caps.

However, none of these distinguishing features say anything about the sound of the music. I read last.fm's definition of the Deathcore tag. It explains that... "Though a sub-genre of metalcore, deathcore is heavily influenced by modern death metal in its speed, heaviness, and approach to chromatic, heavily palm muted riffing and dissonance. Lyrics may not always be in the death metal vein, but traditional growls, and screaming are prevalent, often combined with metalcore shouting or yelling vocals. Much of deathcore features breakdowns and heavy use of blasting."

Okay, what this seems to be saying to me is that, unlike Metalcore, which takes SOME elements from Death Metal (but otherwise might sound a little like Limp Bizkit), Deathcore takes ALL elements from Death Metal. Except for the lyrics. That should make it easy to tell them apart ... oh, wait... um...

I remember back in 1998 or so I really wanted to form a death metal band, specifically because it seemed like the only remaining underground music genre that was in no way trendy or fashionable. Sigh. Oh well. I guess there's still polka.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Style of guitar parts and tuning may differ between Death Metal and Deathcore. I'm not entirely sure, but it could be a possibility.

Could you also describe the differences between Technical Death Metal and Melodic Death Metal?

Anonymous said...

By guitar parts, I mean the composition.

waldoe said...

HAHA there is still polka