Difference Between Black Metal and Death Metal (With Table)

Heavy metal is not lighthearted and laid-back like other mainstream music genres. Heavy metal is powerful, intense and cynical. Black metal and death metal are two sub-genres that come under the genre of heavy metal. Even though these two are fruits from the same tree, they have different flavours and tastes.

Black Metal vs Death Metal

The difference between black metal and death metal is that black metal deals with the theme of the soul, whereas death metal deals with the issue of the body. Death metal is brutal and explicit, there is no place for ambiguity in death metal, but black metal is not as straightforward as death metal. Black metal takes the help of symbolism while giving details.

Black metal is high-pitched, screaming with loud music that lacks bass. Black metal rejects Christianity and oppose it in their songs. Black metal expresses intense emotions and use symbolic figures to demonstrate the feelings eloquently. This music is about the soul, the essence.

Death metal, like its name, is metal music on the theme of death, pain and suffering. It sings songs of horror and pain. The lyrics of death metal is straightforward and expressive. Death metal is unapologetically brutal and showcases the gruesome truth of life and death. This is the music of the mortal body.

Comparison Table Between Black Metal and Death Metal

Parameters of ComparisonBlack MetalDeath Metal
ThemeBlack metal undertakes the theme of paganism, anti-Christianity and introspection.Death metal deals with the theme of death, destruction, pain, and suffering.
LyricsLyrics of black metal do not provide literal details. Lyrics of death metal provide explicit details.
Vocals Black metal uses high-pitched screaming and shrieked vocals.Death metal does not have any kind of weak vocals.
FormBlack metal is known as a spiritual form of music.Death metal is called an anatomical form of music.
BandsSome of the famous black metal bands are Immortal, Dark throne, Emperor, Bathory and Mayhem.Some of the popular death metals bands are Death, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Possessed and Suffocation.

What is Black Metal?

Black metal, a part of heavy metal music, has fast tempos, shrieked vocals and anti-Christian elements. The use of electric guitar and high-pitched screaming make black metal aggressive and bold.

Black metal believes in paganism and lashes Christianity. Anti-Christianity and introspection are the main themes of black metal. It is cynical yet realistic. Content of black metal includes symbolism rather than explicit details. Black metal is spiritual in its subject matter. It deals with the soul and not the body.

The evolution of black metal is not very notable. The techniques of music have not changed much. The musicians of this genre pay more attention to the meaning of lyrics instead of the technicalities. The lyrics oppose Christianity, and it does not have bass. It is always set in higher notes. It is mostly screaming, so it is often incomprehensible.

What is Death Metal?

Death metal music is a part of heavy metal. Death metal, even though it is a mystery to some, it has gained popularity in pop culture. Death metal often called satanic as it uses strong monstrous vocals, fast beats of drums and guitar. As its name implies, death metal involves loss of life and unfolds the conditions of the body.

The theme and subject matter of death metal is related to mortal bodies and their sufferings. It tells about death, violence, destruction and horror. Lyrics of death metal are vividly brutal, and there is no place for sugar coating or symbolism here. The details are expressive and explicit.

As stated above, death metal gives an account of the horror and terror of mortals and their lives. This genre is scary and also makes some people uncomfortable with its true and brutal lyrics. This metal genre brings out pessimistic, cynical emotions and thoughts.

Main Differences Between Black Metal and Death Metal

  1. Black metal and death metal have different themes. Black metal attempts the theme of paganism and also attacks Christianity. Introspection is also a major theme of this. Death metal, on the other hand, deals with the theme of death, destruction, pain, and suffering of the mortals.
  2. Lyrics of black metal do not offer literal details. Rather they work with symbolism. On the contrary, lyrics of death metal provide an explicit and clear-cut description of a situation or act.
  3. Vocals in black metal are shrieked and express anger. The singers use high-pitched screaming, while death metal does not have any kind of weak decaying vocals. They always have strong vocals.
  4. Black metal is known as a spiritual form of music. That is, it narrates the tale of the soul, whereas death metal is called an anatomical form of music. Death metal tells the tale of the body rather than the essence.
  5. Names of some popular black metal bands are – Immortal, Dark throne, Emperor, Bathory and Mayhem. And Names of some popular death metals bands are – Death, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Possessed and Suffocation.

Conclusion

Most people do not know the division in the metal genre of music. To a person with zero interest in metal music, the divisions will not make any distinction. But to a fan of this genre, the different types of heavy metal will have different significance. These two metals can not be placed side by side.

One can not decide which is better than the other as that is subjective and varies from person to person according to their taste. As it happens, one can easily point out how the genre of death metal has evolved with time. But on the other hand, black metal has not put much effort to develop itself according to the generation.

References

  1. https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/com_facpubs/35/
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=MAIbhnrNJBUC&oi=fnd&pg=PP8&dq=Black+Metal+and+Death+Metal&ots=E8UxtJqdLT&sig=htvxaAQKqFu-YVWSrgsGDwk5hOE
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