Death metal, according to Wikipedia, got its roots on three major influences: thrash metal, first wave black metal, and hardcore punk. During the middle part of the 1980s, death metal bands bloomed around Florida, United States. In broader sense, death metal is categorized as extreme metal, a subgenre of heavy metal music that also includes black metal, doom metal, and thrash metal. Grindcore and groove metal are derivatives of death metal while sub-subgenres placed directly under this subgenre include melodic death metal, slam death metal, symphonic death metal, and technical death metal.
Death metal can be combined with other genres/subgenres, forming blackened death metal, death doom, deathcore, deathgrind, death ‘n’ roll, goregrind, and pornogrind…
Slayer and Napalm Death are two death metal bands that are thought to be the progenitor of the subgenre. Following their bodies of work were a string of other bands that emerged with their own style, working together to better structure a foundation for what today comes to be known as death metal. Speaking of its characteristics, death metal is easily recognized through its musical instrumentation, vocals, and lyrics.
According to www.pandemia-deathmetal.com, most death metal bands have standardized setup: a vocalist, a bass player, two guitarists, and a drummer. The drummer in question oftentimes employs a technique known as double-bass blast beats. In addition to this standard setup, a band may add another element every now and again in the form of electronic keyboards. Vast use of techniques such as tremolo-picking and palm-muting on low-tuned guitars that are heavily distorted and fast is the most common identifier of the subgenre. Percussion is oftentimes played powerfully and aggressively. The genre’s other identifiers include: (a) abrupt tempo, time signature changes, and key, (b) chromatic chord progressions, (c) varied structure of song, and (d) melodic harmonies and riffs. But the easiest way to recognize death metal is through its hoarse roars known as death growls.
A death metal vocalist may create these growls through one of these three methods: true death growls, false chord screaming, and vocal fry screaming. In some bands, the screaming might be high-pitched occasionally. The lyrical content related to the subgenre typically revolves around violence, extending to philosophy, sci-fi, politics, mysticism, nature, horror, occultism, religion, and even Satanism. Violence as the center of lyrical content could be found on other genres but in order to associate a song with death metal, its violence-laden lyrical content elaborate more on extreme acts that may include necrophilia, cannibalism, rape, torture, dissection, and mutilation.