Category Archives: Death Metal

Death Metal is chiefly characterized by the monstrous and demonic vocals. Smug faggots call it “cookie monster” vocals, but usually such faggots would not be able to win a fight against cookie monster, let alone the average death metal vocalist. The music can be simplistic or intricate, in common time or with bizarre time signatures. Orchestral instruments, or even operatic vocals have been incorporated at times.

Departe – Failure, Subside (Season of Mist)

I was turned off by the muddy production at first, but as I listened I realized that i wasn’t going to hear something cliche or easy to define.  What had initially been deemed hazy became atmospheric. This made me want to hear more, and so I knew that the lights had to be turned off.  It was time for an inner journey.

The guitars created a wall of sound,  Rather than sadden with melody, they chilled with icy notes.  This wasn’t a flow.  This was an ever-present moment of agony.  These weren’t riffs, per se, but musical accompaniments to inner horror.  Ghastly chords chimed hauntingly as I was pulled deeper.  This music created a mental place.

Whenever there was melody, it was never a repeated theme – more like remembrance of dark times, as if I were recalling moments of pain, each summoned memory replacing the one that was re-lived moments before..

Stertorous voices expressed the torture of the words.  As I descended into madness, there came a passage in “Ashes in Bloom” that was like the parting of clouds, but the sky behind was more terrifying.  Inside this new patch of sound, the voice suddenly changed to that of an intensely emotional bard.    I felt as if the song had purposely prepared me to be crushed.  This is mastery.

As powerful as the ideas are, the methods are not used for each song.  The heartfelt singing does not burst into every song, nor does it bear the same qualities upon every appearance.  The only predictable thing about this album is that it will immerse the listener in gloom.  

“Sing, oh children of loss, your cracked hands grasping for wonder in emptiness”