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RapeTheDead
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:13 pm 
 

We all like EXTREME music here, right? That's why I love this shit! I wanna hear the most insane, fastest and fucked-up sounds I possibly can. That being said, I still like hearing nuanced musical composition backing it up, though; something like powerviolence or drone usually comes off as little more than sheer sonic abrasion to me, and that's not necessarily the same thing as extremity. I think when a band can hide a few occasional interesting, not-too-crazy melodies behind quirky songwriting and a rough aesthetic it makes the music even more excessive and chaotic, counter-intuitively. This led me to think about what I'm actually looking for when I hunt down "extreme" music, what it even means to be "extreme" as a band and whether you can even isolate that concept in itself, and most importantly, which of the two "extreme metal" genres harness extremity to a greater and more effective extent.

Death metal seems like the more obvious candidate at first due to the thick, all-consuming heaviness it embodies. Nothing can compare to a fat death metal riff when you wanna let loose in the pit. The whole subgenre arose from thrash bands just trying to one-up each other in sickfuckery, whether it meant they had to play faster, snarl more or write more direct and punishing riffs, they did it. Total brutality is the goal, and though it doesn't happen rapidly the genre does slowly reinvent itself to try and get closer to the source of brutality; the genre slowly morphing into the styles of brutal and tech-death through the turn of the century exemplifies this; though one can point to genre progenitors such as None So Vile and Molesting the Decapitated, the shift in style wasn't as obvious back then. More recently, death metal has evolved by fusing modern production and compositional sensibilities with riffs and atmospheres more influenced by older death metal (read: Incantationcore). Change is slow, but the envelope is always being pushed in death metal. Technical complexity is one aspect of extremity which death metal may hold supreme over black metal; pursuit of extremity in death metal can be said, to some extent, to require greater instrumental chops than pursuit in extremity of black metal does. There's more notes, so that must mean death metal is going farther and harder, right?

Perhaps that's your opinion, but there's a whole other side to this story. I mean, some people wouldn't even use technical complexity as a criterion for extremity. One could even suggest that a sloppier performance a la something like Vampires of Black Imperial Blood sounds much more genuine and passionate and in turn, more extreme (when it's done right, of course). Even amidst death metal's punishing abrasion, I'll still never be more shocked by how...prickly an album sounded than I was when I fiest heard Ulver's Nattens Madrigal. Whereas death metal is backed by the bass, black metal's sonic ferocity comes from the treble. Sure, it's not as superficially flashy or insane as death metal might be, but in one way or another, whether you hear it the first time you spin a record or the tenth, there's an emphasis on being "different" in black metal that doesn't always manifest itself in easily noticeable ways. Though the style isn't quite as consistent due to the experimentation, you could argue black metal's more extreme because it changes form and reinvents things in uncomfortable ways with a greater frequency. Black metal quickly frayed off into a variety of different sub-styles in the wake of the second wave, and some of the stranger experiments like Fleurety touch on some divinely twisted atmospheres death metal can't quite reach. Though I can't say I'm in alignment with Satanic Warmaster's ideologies, I am intrigued by the notion often espoused by Werwolf that black metal needs to break borders by shocking and offending people through unpopular lyrical topics--in short, one could say NSBM is extreme in its own way. The metaphysical/spiritual/"divine" focus of black metal may lend it a shade of intellectual extremity that death metal's straightforward, blunt gore can't quite capture. And of course, there's an entire sub-style of "norsecore" black metal bands that just sound like Marduk and blast and scream about Satan. What's possibly more extreme than that?

So, which of the genres is more extreme to you? I don't want you to just say "death metal" or "black metal" followed by a few youtube links to your favorite extremities. Tell me why you find the music extreme and what "extreme" as a concept in music really means to you, because that's what I really want to find out with this thread. Hell, you could probably even make a good argument for doom metal's position over both of these genres if you really wanted to. We're changing the meaning of extremity in music with each passing day!
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hots_towel
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:42 pm 
 

id throw my vote for death metal also, though not by much. Im not much of a black metal listener, but for the longest time i was under the impression that BM was the most extreme form of metal you could get to. I based this solely on the amount of fans BM has though. not the best way to make an assumption.

Death metal is very hit or miss for me personally. i feel like there are a lot of death metal bands out there that are such incompetent writers that dont put much in their songs to latch onto. they just chug at their instruments and mindlessly growl complete nonsense. I suppose you could argue that THAT is the difference between regular death metal, and brutal -death-grindcore or whatever.

but still growling is cool if youre doing it in sync with the rhythm. and make sure there even IS rhythm to begin with.
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FasterDisaster
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:55 pm 
 

Grindcore.
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teh_Foxx0rz
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:02 pm 
 

I feel black metal artists have a tendency to just simply be more insane. And thus it leads them to create music that you really have to be insane to pull off, like Fleurety's early material (though sometimes even evolving from sonically insane to compositionally insane (Arcturus, Sigh, etc.)).


I guess the major difference between death metal and black metal is that death metal intends to bludgeon you with its blunt but direct brutality, whereas black metal intends to slice your soul to pieces with its icy serrated edge even if it has to sneak up on you to do so.

Though that's not really answering the question. If I had to make a decision, I kind of feel that black metal also has more paths to go down to be extreme (texture, or speed, or production levels, or something), whereas, though I might be coming from a position of ignorance, death metal only has one direction to go in to become more extreme, which is just being punchier, deeper, louder. And from what little I've heard there seems to be a "wall" for sheer brutality (even with being off-beat and techincal). Though I'd be happy for people to try and demonstrate that otherwise!

So to me black metal just has the edge in that it has really crazy people who have been willing to risk aspects of themselves in creating it even just musically, whereas death metal tends to have a lot more kind of "normal" people producing it who want to stay within the boundaries of living a relatively normal life.

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tomcat_ha
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:05 pm 
 

i've become desensitized to such a extend that both death and black metal are just another style of music to me.
Some extreme punk might still give me a kick of energy however.

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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:05 pm 
 

Death Metal. When you say something is "extremely x", it often means "taking the essential quality of x, pushed to its utmost limit". In that understanding, extreme = radical. So death metal cones out as more extreme, in that it takes essential elements like brutality and/or technical complexity and radicalizes them. But content and message- wise, death metal sometimes only serves the purpose of the audio equivalent of a gore horror movie. Other times, it uses horrific violence to push listeners toward someyhing that's totally un-violent (veganism fir instance.)

Black Metal. The raw, primitive stuff can be literally painful to hear. That's extreme in a way! It can also be such indistinct fuzz that you can easily ignore it. But black metal wins the extremity derby for the content. Yeah I know there are many I'm-so-evil fake-ass Satanists just playing the image. However, the fact that it's even argued who is and who's not true to such misanthropic beliefs suggests that some of them are indeed being honest about what they sing. Whereas nobody non-retarded accuses a death metal band of being real cannibals/necro-rapists or whatever.

So black metal is narrowly more extreme. Sound-wise, the aggregate of death metal might be more extreme; but black metal gets my vote because of the ideological side, plus the occasions of subgenres where bm can sound "worse".
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RapeTheDead
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:19 pm 
 

FasterDisaster and tomcat_ha: I understand that you might consider certain genres of punk to be more extreme. However, those aren't metal genres and that isn't what the discussion is about.
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InnesI
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:34 pm 
 

First off I would like to say that there is always individually more extreme bands of either genre. What we speak about here is genres seen as a whole. I think it is quite clear that death metal is more extreme than black metal. Truth be told most black metal does not push the boundaries musically the same way death metal does. We have to, in some regard, judge somethings "extremeness" in relation to how people in general react to it. Black metal tends to keep to atmosphere and melody while death metal more often tends to be complex and more focused on rythm. I think we can see this in how non-metal heads react to either genre. I'd say if a non-metal head has a band they appreciate it is more likely to be a black metal band than it is a death metal band. Bands like Watain and Burzum have a surprisingly big crossover with non-metal people. At the same time I cant think of any death metal outlets that have the same.

I also think we can look at it from the gender perspective. While females are a huge minority in all of metal they are so more when it comes to death metal if we compare it to black metal. I think this is also a sign of black metal having greater overall appeal, and thus being less extreme, than death metal.

However, black metal band usually have a more extreme image, and in some cases Im sure the people behind the mask are mentally instable as well. Either way they are more likely to portray themselves in an extreme light publicly. Death metal musicians however tend to just be whoever they are and not care all to much about image or protraying a certain extreme side of themselves.

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Abominatrix
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:49 pm 
 

SOmehow, once I heard some noise stuff and really early Swans (the lattter of which I hated by the way), I stopped thinking of music in terms of extremity. I don't believe it's possible to go more extreme than that and I wouldn't really want it, either....I mean I respect bands trying to take things to the next level but it's just never been that important to me to be faster, heavier, more ugly/hard to listen to....
Some albums I like happen to be that way, tha'ts all...

I can't even decide whether extremity means pushing to the limit as a musician, or making something that's utterly challenging for a listener to take in. If we go for the former than probably some jazz music is the most extreme of all.

I guess I just can't answer the question.
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mark of the devil
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:05 pm 
 

Why can't it be Black/Death. I think you pointed out death metal due to its sonic "fatness" but some of these hybrid bands have the thickness of death metal with the insanity of black metal. IMO, the most sonically extreme album out there in terms of sheer ferocity and violence is Conqueror's War.Cult.Supremecy which is more black metal than death metal I think.

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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:27 am 
 

In terms of just sonic brutality death metal would be the winner, its more heavy and intense, though the real winner would be grindcore.

Anyway I prefer black metal because the atmosphere, the darkness and the feeling of the music, its more than a combination of blast beats, screams and guitar riffs, when its well done of course.

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Unity
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:13 am 
 

Death Metal to me is more extreme than Black Metal. While BM can many times be quite beautiful, majestic and atmospheric, DM is ugly and uncomfortable, and its lyrics are far more unpleasant. And Grindcore is even more extreme than DM.
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PosesionMetalica
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:15 pm 
 

...


Last edited by PosesionMetalica on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Twin_guitar_attack
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:54 pm 
 

I think both have really extreme stuff. I think maybe the most abrasive stuff I've ever heard is Anaal Nathrakh and Insect Warfare, so I'd really say grindcore beats them both IMO.

I'd say maybe death metal - ther'es not much death metal I can relax/chill to, whereas some black metal like Vynterache or Drudkh is really chilled and hypnotic, coldn't consider any DM to be hypnotic.
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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:11 pm 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
Grindcore.

I too am going to agree with this.

Although to be fair, it depends entirely on your definition of extreme. Tallying up blast beats and distortion pedals won't do any good, you have to have some criteria. A song could be very accessible even if it's still loaded with blast beats and speed, and likewise a song could be very unpleasant and grating without either of those things. So if you're measuring extremity in terms of being able to push the limits of comfort, then I think black metal would win. But another fair interpretation would be extreme in the sense that classic heavy metal is extreme: it's got to be technical, fast, flashy, aesthetically overstimulating, and brutal, so a band like Necrophagist fits the bill well here, much more so than a Darkthrone or a Carpathian Forest.

Of the two options given in the OP, I think black metal is more extreme. But to me, grind is more extreme than either, because it does a good job fulfilling both interpretations though never exactly mastering either. A multitude of depressing, ugly, and expressionist grind bands exist in ways that parallel black metal, but there are also a lot of grind bands that have tunes so unorthodox in a technical or compositional sense that even to a death metal fan, they must be listened to with a new approach. Seldom do you find a metalhead that won't describe Napalm Death, Anaal Nathrakh, Pig Destroyer, or Rotten Sound as extreme.
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Arkhane
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:35 am 
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBP8imm03Mo

This. There is no audible note, and that snare is just awful. It just sounds like a giant blender. You really can't get more extreme than literally grinding every instrument with a steel cutter with a bunch of electricity running through it and amplifying the sound through a really big speaker. I think this not only knocks death metal out of the park due to the incessant violent soundwall, but it knocks black metal out of the park too since it really pushes the extremity of metal as an umbrella genre, so much to the point where I can't see it getting any more extreme than this.

On that note, I have a love/hate deal with this band. It's so stupid, it's funny... but it's so noisy that it's stupid.
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adace
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:51 am 
 

Can't really say which is more extreme as it varies from band to band, but like CF_Mono I'd argue that overall grindcore is more extreme than either.

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Kutulu
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:22 am 
 

Here's my two cents. Death metal is entertainment, to me. It's a horror movie, a comic book, or a medical documentary on TLC. It can be shocking, heavy and abrasive, but it is more easily disregarded, quickly digested and you wouldn't change your mind or life based on it's contents. It's creator's you could grab a beer with.

Black metal is an ideology, an ethos, a religion. Black metal's message and purpose is as fundamental to it's existing as tremolo riffing and lo-fi production. Similar to punk rock. It's art, or a movement. It's producers can be dangerous and disjointed.

Death metal is like seeing a beheading video online, you may feel uncomfortable, or shiver with disgust, but it won't stay with you forever. Black metal is a philosophical question that can make you take account and evaluate who you are and what you believe.
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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:09 am 
 

Arkhane wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBP8imm03Mo

This. There is no audible note, and that snare is just awful. It just sounds like a giant blender. You really can't get more extreme than literally grinding every instrument with a steel cutter with a bunch of electricity running through it and amplifying the sound through a really big speaker. I think this not only knocks death metal out of the park due to the incessant violent soundwall, but it knocks black metal out of the park too since it really pushes the extremity of metal as an umbrella genre, so much to the point where I can't see it getting any more extreme than this.

On that note, I have a love/hate deal with this band. It's so stupid, it's funny... but it's so noisy that it's stupid.

I actually listen to them sometimes, though that song can be a bore, as a goregrind album it's moderately interesting.
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Foralltime
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:10 am 
 

Today it really depends on the artist. Many of the modern day black metal bands/musicians tend to go for the atmosphere over the brutality. So I would say that death metal has the edge here. But really as I see it, looking only at the music, even in the 90's death metal was more brutal (which deosen't mean better) then black metal. It was heavier, faster, the deep growls also are (for me at least) more brutal than any so called "shrieks". If you compare Dismember or Entombed first album to Mayhem first full length (despite the later being released few years later), you can easily tell that Dismember or Entombed are heavier and more brutal from the sonic perspective.
And that said I come to conclusion that it really depends on the perspective. To some the harsh production, image and lyrics, as well as the tremolo picked riffs might be more brutal then the death metal esthetics. It really depends on the listener.
When it comes to me, I always loved the atmosphere that black metal could create with its brutality. The brutality of black metal is different than the brutality of death metal, still I love both.
Here are examples how both can be brutal as fuck:
-Black metal:
Spoiler: show

Spoiler: show

-Death metal:
Spoiler: show

Spoiler: show
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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:36 am 
 

Foralltime wrote:
, the deep growls also are (for me at least) more brutal than any so called "shrieks".


Though I mostly agree with you in this case I disagre, I find more disturbing(and disgusting for the non metal fan) the typically raspy vocals of bm, and when they are really high pitched screams they are more scary and noisy.

I experimented this with friends or workmates who dont like metal or at least extreme metal, and they found much more disgusting and annoying those schrieks rather than the super low/deep growls.

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LuoaR
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:26 pm 
 

Ok this might confuse some.

I am a fan of Black Metal for more than 15 years but honestly I think Death Metal is the more extreme of the two. Death Metal "sounds" more evil with its vocal style, and with its general downtuning of guitars. When i occasionaly listen to Death Metal, I feel a lot of the time as if i'm listening to the Devil himself.

Why not Black Metal you ask? well, i've listened to so much Black Metal that nothing really makes me feel evil anymore. or maybe ever did. I just clicked with Black Metal. Black Metal to me invokes more of a nature, fantasy-based darkness and coldness in the world. HOw can you compare natural feelings like that to something like Murder, Incest, Rape, Satan (which I am aware BM is also a fond lyric user of), etc?\

So yeah, I think DM is more extreme, but I also don't care for it much.

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RapeTheDead
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:04 pm 
 

Lots of interesting responses so far, folks! I'm glad to see there's a few representatives for both camps and this hasn't been too one-sided at all. I know it's a pretty broad topic subject to a lot of interpretation but that's part of what I hope will make it a thread that brings lasting discussion.

CF_Mono, adace, Arkhane and anyone else shoehorning grindcore/goregrind in: Look, I know grindcore's sheer sonic abrasion makes it an greater candidate for "most extreme genre there is", (trust me, I acknowledge A Divine Proclamation of Finishing the Present Existence is one of the most punishing things ever put to record) but that's not what I intended the discussion to be about, it's more about comparing the relative extremity of death and black metal. Grindcore is punk in essence, this is a discussion about extremity within the metal spectrum. I do admit I probably should have mentioned extreme punk's influence on both subgenres, but I'd prefer if grind/crust/etc were discussed in terms of their influence on death and black metal rather than stacking it up as its own entity against death/black metal in a sort of extremity girth-measuring contest. That actually provides a good tangent: Is death metal the more extreme of the two because the grindcore influence is immediately and frequently visible? At the same time, one can certainly not deny the influence a band like Amebix had on black metal stylistically, nor can I deny the nastiness of things like Bone Awl, Dragged Into Sunlight or Martyrdod.

mark of the devil wrote:
Why can't it be Black/Death. I think you pointed out death metal due to its sonic "fatness" but some of these hybrid bands have the thickness of death metal with the insanity of black metal. IMO, the most sonically extreme album out there in terms of sheer ferocity and violence is Conqueror's War.Cult.Supremecy which is more black metal than death metal I think.


This was one of my favorite answers. The heaviest, most extreme and freshest sounding bands seem to be the ones that can get the most out of both genres in their synthesis. Bolzer's Aura is something I've been spinning a lot recently, and I can't really tell if it's death or black metal, but it's all the more strange and heavy for it. Recent extreme metal trends seem to point towards bands playing with various blends of the two styles in effort to achieve greater chaos.

Kutulu wrote:
Here's my two cents. Death metal is entertainment, to me. It's a horror movie, a comic book, or a medical documentary on TLC. It can be shocking, heavy and abrasive, but it is more easily disregarded, quickly digested and you wouldn't change your mind or life based on it's contents. It's creator's you could grab a beer with.

Black metal is an ideology, an ethos, a religion. Black metal's message and purpose is as fundamental to it's existing as tremolo riffing and lo-fi production. Similar to punk rock. It's art, or a movement. It's producers can be dangerous and disjointed.

Death metal is like seeing a beheading video online, you may feel uncomfortable, or shiver with disgust, but it won't stay with you forever. Black metal is a philosophical question that can make you take account and evaluate who you are and what you believe.


A few other users (severzhavnot and InnesI I think) made points along the lines of the above as well, and this seems to highlight what I think might literally be the key difference between the two subgenres. Death metal's shock of extremity comes in its immediate force, whereas black metal's extremity lingers and festers in the brain. This is because death metal approaches extremity with sonic abrasion as a starting point, whereas in black metal there can still be "pretty" melodies but the extremity derives more from the abrasive ideology. Death metal is extreme at first, but becomes more coherent and enjoyable once further comprehended and understood. Black metal is simple and inviting at first, but its insanity and unpleasantness may become highlighted with further digestion. That really seems to be the only thing that separates the two genres for me stylistically at this point: I mean, when I listen to something like this, the line that divides death and black metal in terms of aesthetic becomes blurred and meaningless for me.
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Arkhane
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:29 pm 
 

I'll try to word this as well as I can, because my thoughts are trying to escape and they aren't wording themselves properly.

Death metal, for the most part, tends to focus on or invoke extremes in regards to being alive. Meaning, physical torture or war, physical torment of Christ, physically skull-fucking someone with a flaming hatchet attached to a tractor PTO while surgically inserting a kidney stone you just passed into their urethra after marinating it in a lamb's asshole while it was boiled alive. Any kind of physical pain or physical pleasure you feel or cause to someone or something else is included in the majority of death metal, or at least the really extreme savage stuff.

Black metal, on the other hand, puts mental torture and well-being into perspective, which is where the spiritual belief resides. As in whether you are trying to soothe your mental well being with thoughts on after-life, fantasy, power, war and death, among many others or you are trying to torture yourself or someone else by aggravating any mental illness you or your audience may have, or any doubts about the aforementioned spiritual beliefs. It's the idea of being in that state of inhumanity that sets you free and lets you virtually escape from the constraints of living. That is what many 'outsiders' see in black metal, but their own mentality just implements whatever the lyrics or the atmosphere is projecting into their own set of beliefs, and it usually becomes very distorted and warped, and that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Because it opens their eyes. This is where the extremity lies, in the fact that you really have to open your mind if you even want to attempt to embrace black metal, and sadly not a lot of people want to do that.

But seeing as this topic is about which is more extreme between death and black metal, and not goregrind like I posted earlier (although it can fall into death metal, I dunno, whatever you guys think), I think the candle has to go to black metal. You can endure so much more physical pain knowing there is a purpose or a destination than you can knowing that there is no hope or future left; you can also enjoy your physical pleasures when your mind is sound. And that "knowing" is brought entirely into question by the majority of black metal musicians out there.

RapeTheDead, my apologies for not discussing the topic as you stated before-hand.
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Vamos
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:34 pm 
 

Personally, I see both as sides of the same (extreme) coin and think both are equally extreme, just in different ways as they both have different aims.

To get a tad philosophical, making the distinction between the passions and the intellect, I would say that death metal, with it's sonic brutality, down tuning, low/guttural vocals and themes focused on the most part on the flesh (torture, gore, cannibalism, necrophilia, etc) aims with it's extremity to incite the passions. Whereas black metal with it's high tuning, high pitched vocals/screams and themes focused on the most part on the mind (ideologies, culture, ancestry, etc) aims to satisfy the intellect. Death metal aims for the lower which is usually thought of as the passions (low guttural vocals, low tuning, etc) and black metal aims for the higher or the intellect (high pitched screams, high tuning, etc).

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Arkhane
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:06 am 
 

Everything I said is what Vamos just stated, just he outlined it more clearly than I could and our opinions differ slightly.
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Kutulu
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:31 am 
 

You could even draw the parallel between physical harm and mental harm, when you're talking about insanity and the like. There is plenty of Death Metal that deals with psychology, but I mean as far as the personal visceral reaction to the music. USBM, for example, seems to focus on this mental anguish more than their European counterparts.

In regards to 'passion vs. intellect', it leaves out a huge part of BM which is the spiritual. The spiritual aspect of life transcends that which would be physical, 'passion', and prods a more figuratively distant subject than the intellectual can perceive or ponder.

This is where the 'worship music' aspect of Black Metal comes in. Those who use it as a venue to express their religious and spiritual identities.
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PhilosophicalFrog
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:47 am 
 

Ultimately, I think when speaking in terms of extremities, one can ignore the sound of the music itself and really just focus on what the music did to people, the people associated with the music. When put that way, black metal is easily the most extreme. What other genre of music is filled with murders...?
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SynapticPlasticity
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:23 pm 
 

I'm probably going to have to go the black/death answer posted by mark of the devil simply because it combines the heaviness and the sheer intensity of death metal with the abrasiveness and bleak atmosphere offered by black metal. However, as far as the two genres themselves go, I think the average death metal band is more likely to be more extreme than the average black metal band, but as far as total extremity I think both genres are quite evenly matched despite their different approaches. This is quite noticeable when comparing the more experimental/avant garde bands from both genres. It would be fair to say that a band like Ulcerate would be just as intense, extreme and unapproachable as a band like Deathspell Omega.
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RapeTheDead
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:36 pm 
 

PhilosophicalFrog wrote:
What other genre of music is filled with murders...?


Biggie and Pac would like to have a word with you. :P Interestingly enough, that's part of the reason I consider hip-hop to rival even metal and punk in extremity at times.

Black metal slowly seems to be gaining the lead due to its "extremity of intellect"...but I mean, the ideologies espoused in (some) death metal are just as passionate and perhaps even as "spiritual" as black metal, the message just isn't voiced as openly.

Something about this quote made me really excited:

Vamos wrote:
I would say that death metal, with it's sonic brutality, down tuning, low/guttural vocals and themes focused on the most part on the flesh (torture, gore, cannibalism, necrophilia, etc) aims with it's extremity to incite the passions. Whereas black metal with it's high tuning, high pitched vocals/screams and themes focused on the most part on the mind (ideologies, culture, ancestry, etc) aims to satisfy the intellect. Death metal aims for the lower which is usually thought of as the passions (low guttural vocals, low tuning, etc) and black metal aims for the higher or the intellect (high pitched screams, high tuning, etc).


The focus on lower and higher frequencies in comparison to our minds was what got me. I'm gonna get metaphysical as fuck here, but I think there's some sort of relation between wavelengths and how they connect with/alter our consciousness. Lower frequencies are more the realm of the reptilian brain, higher frequencies allow us to get in tune with our higher consciousness on some sixth-dimensional level or something. If death metal and black metal are just two sides of the same coin (which is more-or-less true), they're providing a complete exploration of our psyche in terms of extremity, which is why they arose and currently exist as sort of a duality in extreme metal. Does that make sense or do I just sound like some hippie dick?
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:50 pm 
 

I admittedly had to think about this one a while, but if we're speaking about each genre at its most intense, I think I'd give death metal the edge. To me, extremity isn't a synonym for heaviness - it's something that I'd find easier to gauge based on my reaction to it. Music can be heavy without necessarily being extreme (Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, for example, is an extremely heavy album in my opinion but I wouldn't call it extreme in the least bit), so with that in mind I'd think that extremity is more defined by how it actually makes you feel. And I feel like most black metal is only as intense as your immersion in its ethos. Most black metal sounds rather blasphemous, but at its most intense it's often characterized by very triumphant, self-glorifying sounds, which are hardly extreme points of view. There's not a lot of black metal I'd describe as sounding legitimately hateful, which is the most visceral and immediately "extreme" type of emotion I'd say it's capable of invoking with the tropes of the genre in mind (though bands like Black Beasts certainly hold their own against death metal when working in such realms, that's for sure).

Meanwhile, at its utmost intensity, death metal is absolutely frenzied, manic, almost seemingly operating on a level of primality beyond awareness of its composers. I'm not talking about something like, say, Morbid Angel, but the wave of bands that took American Disgorge and multiplied that band's fervor by 3,000. A couple good examples of it would be Enmity or Putridity. This kind of death metal rarely uses any repeated motifs, it shifts in ways that are uncomfortable to the human ear, it spits in the face of mathematical and compositional symmetry but not often enough for it to seem like an intentional human-coordinated effort. I feel like, when music like this exists, which so blatantly defies the musical sense of logic that we try to recognize, it's hardly even a fair comparison. Most black metal on similar levels of intensity operates within a single frame of mind, generally holding a static tempo and being extreme primarily through its relentlessness. Meanwhile, the extremes of death metal can more easily use a multidirectional approach which doesn't give the listener any breathing room, any common ground to find respite from the atmosphere it generates. Advantage: death metal.
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Arkhane
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:30 am 
 

Kutulu wrote:
You could even draw the parallel between physical harm and mental harm, when you're talking about insanity and the like. There is plenty of Death Metal that deals with psychology, but I mean as far as the personal visceral reaction to the music. USBM, for example, seems to focus on this mental anguish more than their European counterparts.

In regards to 'passion vs. intellect', it leaves out a huge part of BM which is the spiritual. The spiritual aspect of life transcends that which would be physical, 'passion', and prods a more figuratively distant subject than the intellectual can perceive or ponder.

This is where the 'worship music' aspect of Black Metal comes in. Those who use it as a venue to express their religious and spiritual identities.

Here's the question though: Doesn't spirituality dwell within the mental aspect of black metal? Regardless of what you believe in, the act of belief is indeed exercised by the brain, is it not?
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ScratchMyBack
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:21 pm 
 

I'm surprised none of you decided to take this from another angle: Sludge Metal as another inbred cousin of the extreme metal family. As an exercise in argumentation, I'm going to make a case for why Sludge is more extreme or at the very least as equally extreme as the too more popular fronts of extreme metal. I'll separate the arguments to several categories:

1) Lyrically - While Black Metal touches on the spiritual side of extremity and Death Metal touches on the visceral and tangible extend of extremity, everyone can agree that very much of it's content is of the fantastical rather than reality. Sludge on the other hand exposes the extreme side of how people's lives can be wrecked by their very surrounding and to a certain extend, drives them to tangible self harm. This touches both what Black Metal and Death Metal wishes to talk about, with gritty realism. On one hand, it touches on how the culture that they sing about destroys the psychological will for a person to live. This to a certain extend, does touch on a man's spirituality or how he has others perceive them and what worth he has in society. Sludge also critiques religion on how it has created broken homes or how it is the cause of their destruction. The other part is the self destruction that echoes Death Metal's destruction. This destruction however, isn't the same as gore or murder, but in the form of traits that destroys a man's humanity such as alcoholism, drugs, suicide, depression or even abusive relationships. This leads to the same thought of pain and suffering that can be inflicted onto the human body. In conclusion to this, Sludge's traits in terms of content touches on the physical destruction of a human being as well as the spiritual decay of a person and his surroundings.

2) Musically - Sludge comes into two parts. The mid-tempo pace that can abrupt hardcore speed. Another part is the slow dragging doom laden riffs that pulls the listener to the musician's pace rather than the listener. This is extreme because Sludge most of the time refuses to follow the tempos that music normally carry itself. Music in general can come in various time signatures while adhering to certain structure. Sludge in general drags or even jumps at any pace they wish to. This resonates in the psychological damage a person may go through when they are emotionally harmed. At one point they can be sitting in a corner with a bottle of beer rambling about how religion is fucked or poverty gave no meaning in their life, the next thing you know, they're beating their relatives with a steel chair or trying to drown their cousins. It is psychological trauma and bipolarism put into a blender and poured into Doom Metal.

3) Aesthetically - Death Metal has the image of tough guys who can actually create damage with you as a chainsaw and look like they're mentally fucked. Black Metal has this sense of evil and dread or even anti-religious. Sludge carries this image of your alcoholic uncle who relapsed after rehab, looks damaged and wants to hurt you because you are probably the cause of his problems in the first place. It is extreme because their issues while violent, is set in the real world and could happen to you at any time. It is that extremeness in it's aesthetics that is missing in most Death Metal and Black Metal. The sense of how that person who is whipping or beating a kid can exist in that corner. The reminder that even you can fall into madness when you go through drug addiction, poverty, depression, suicidal tendencies, alcoholism or even abuse.

In conclusion, Sludge drags everything to their pace and refuses you to go back to your world. They're a reminder how extremities in this world does not only belong to them, but also in your mind and your hands that have capabilities to create that destruction. Death Metal can show you destruction, but it's all hokey pokey, horror movie material. Black Metal may push you spiritually, questioning your existence or religion and even your basic moral code. But Sludge, is about how shit can fuck up and you are part of that shit.

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Arkhane
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:00 pm 
 

ScratchMyBack wrote:
I'm surprised none of you decided to take this from another angle: Sludge Metal as another inbred cousin of the extreme metal family.

Read the OP post, and then his other post correcting us.
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teh_Foxx0rz
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:43 am 
 

Arkhane wrote:
Read the OP post, and then his other post correcting us.

What's wrong here?
RapeTheDead wrote:
Hell, you could probably even make a good argument for doom metal's position over both of these genres if you really wanted to. We're changing the meaning of extremity in music with each passing day!

RapeTheDead wrote:
I understand that you might consider certain genres of punk to be more extreme. However, those aren't metal genres and that isn't what the discussion is about.

ScratchMyBack wrote:
Sludge Metal

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Panflute
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:34 am 
 

Morbid Angel because they're TOO EXTREME.
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Yayattasa
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:05 pm 
 

Neither, I'd probably go with grindcore (so yeah, it leans a bit into death metal).
Funeral doom metal may also be extremely extreme, but it's not always the case.
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Arkhane wrote:
Damn, I thought this thread was headed for closure. Good save, whoever saved it but I'm too lazy to scroll up right now.

oh my god people disagreed on something for several pages stop the presses

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Byrain
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:02 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
I can't even decide whether extremity means pushing to the limit as a musician, or making something that's utterly challenging for a listener to take in. If we go for the former than probably some jazz music is the most extreme of all.


There is jazz that fits both criteria, for the latter see Julian Bonequi who is also one hell of a drummer or something abrasively noisy like eD.jARED.

There is also lots of industrial and experimental music that can be pretty challenging like Nurse With Wound or Church of Raism. As far as metal goes, I'd vote for some of the more extreme doom like Ataraxie or if quality is not the primary interest then Vonn.

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Arkhane
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:01 pm 
 

teh_Foxx0rz wrote:
Arkhane wrote:
Read the OP post, and then his other post correcting us.

What's wrong here?
RapeTheDead wrote:
Hell, you could probably even make a good argument for doom metal's position over both of these genres if you really wanted to. We're changing the meaning of extremity in music with each passing day!

RapeTheDead wrote:
I understand that you might consider certain genres of punk to be more extreme. However, those aren't metal genres and that isn't what the discussion is about.

ScratchMyBack wrote:
Sludge Metal

Got me there. :grumble:
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RapeTheDead
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:47 pm 
 

Yeah sludge metal is certainly fair game, and ScratchMyBack brought up some excellent points, too- injected new life into the discussion. Sludge metal touches upon something that is undeniably real; whereas death and black metal often stay rooted in fantastical meanderings, sludge metal's heaviness comes from that it can speak from experience. Even Crowbar feels amazingly heavy with their powerful riffs and melody because of how genuine the pain feels in the music. The combination of hardcore with doom can be devastatingly crushing, and it's good to see people posting some other examples of extreme doom, too. Doom's inaccessibility, while only partially overlapping into the spectrum of "extreme metal", cannot be overlooked. Often it feels as though the punk side of things is what is giving sludge its bite, however. The doom flavor simply drapes a weary, despondent vibe over the extremity provided primarily by the hardcore side of things. That being said, P.H.O.B.O.S., Catacombs and Wormphlegm are fucking intense. Nonetheless, extreme doom's weight often comes from the subgenre outside of metal's influence on the riffing, with the traditional doom influence mostly being in terms of the pacing of the music. Sludge seems even less accessible than either death or black metal sometimes, and funeral doom can't be ignored either.
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