Monday, August 24, 2009

Is Death Metal going more experimental?

Question: So where do you as a label see death metal going next? faster, heavier or possibly more obscure? I see psychadelic DM like bands like australia's portal who were mentioned in a previous question but not acknowleged. I also see bands like the boy will drown getting weirder and adding more experimental parts. I also see the current big bands like nile, hate eternal and behemoth being around for a while.

I dont know where you see the genre going but id be keen to know? From:

Answer: If you can predict how music scenes are going to develop in the future with any degree of accuracy, then an A&R job awaits for you at a label like Earache, my friend. We do this for a living and luckily have unearthed a fair proportion of decent bands over the years, but we still make bad choices a lot of the time because its hard to second-guess the future tastes of the notoriously hard-to-please die-hard DM fans.

Some people argue that DM doesn't need to change with any trends, it came into existance to defy the very idea of metal having any trends or fashions whatsoever.'Only Death is Real'- so the saying went. But time moves on, a new younger generation of fans are now embracing the no frills all out brutality of DM, and it seems the old-school DM bands are becoming somewhat dinosaur creatures in the eyes of this younger crowd.

Nowadays the DM scene is made of two types of bands - 1) DM Legends,aged in their 30s or 40s and 2) Teenagers playing Deathcore.

The Australian band Portal don't impress me much.I doubt they will lead or spearhead any kind of scene, the drummer is poor, the songs unmemorable, though the band sport a nifty line in outrageous headgear- see video below. The idea of experimental/avante garde or psychedelic DM being the next wave is as valid as any other prediction,but I'm not betting on it,personally.

We had Akercocke on Earache for a number of albums recently.This is a band who wholeheartedly embrace the idea of pushing the envelope with some experimental/avant garde touches.The band were and still are a hit with music critics and the albums received 10 out of 10 marks and album of the year accolades, but for some reason Akercocke did not leap into the big-league of DM acts. This was not what was expected to happen, and left us dumbfounded.

This desire to experiment is actually a Black Metal trait,not a DM one, and I recall Akercocke would have to make conscious efforts to stop themselves from going too far in the studio at times.They needed to strike a balance between all out blasting DM and excursions into new, experimental territory, which the band enjoyed playing and the critics lapped up.However talented they were, they did not strike a chord with the DM hordes, which is why I say, its so hard to predict exactly what DM fans will like.

What the hordes actually wanted instead was simple Suffocation-style DM with hardcore style breakdowns done in a more brutal DM way. Chug chug squeal, chug-chug-----chugg------chuggggg is the signature of Deathcore and it is the fastest growing strand of DM, by miles.

I actually love this style precisely because its success was so unexpected, and the scene sprang up without the approval or permission of anyone except the kids who make it what it is.Long-standing, respected music journalists cite their disapproval of this upstart scene with scathing, vitriolic reviews yet 6 months later the same band typically appears in the US Billboard top 200 charts.Granted its mostly a US phenomenon at present, but Deathcore truly is a genuinely new and grass-roots (if myspace driven) and thriving scene.

This topic is currently dividing opinion in the DM community like no other.

Heres Portal with Glumurphonal


Anonymous said...


From your response, am I right to assume that Akercocke have parted ways with Earache?

Such a shame they never relly took off. Chronozon was the best death metal album Earache had released since Covenant.

Definitely no vinyl release now, eh?



Anonymous said...

wow this guy really doesn't know shit.Dismissing portal and appreciating crap like deathcore and Aker'cock'