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Oye! It’s Friday the 13th!

So, should I go into another horror rant or should I steer away? My choice would be to see what can be done, after all, a Friday the 13th doesn’t come every day, writes Luke Kenny.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2009 20:43 IST

Well, well, well, so it is! So, should I go into another horror rant or should I steer away? My choice would be to see what can be done, after all, a Friday the 13th doesn’t come every day.. err, it can’t, no? But this year has three Friday the 13ths, today being the second one. The third one is in November, so maybe you can expect another supernatural piece then.

However, since today is the second time around, what shall I talk about? Let me tell you about a genre of music that is considered largely ‘underground’. Death metal. Ok, now a lot of you are going to stop reading and turn the page but allow me to stop you.

Off-mainstream genre
Although death metal has been met with considerable hostility from mainstream culture, mainly because of the socially unattractive themes, imagery and scary stage personae surrounding many bands, it still has a multi-diversity that has spawned many subgenres, which cannot be argued with.

First up, for most of you out there, Metallica was considered the band that brought death metal into the mainstream in the late 80’s, but the seeds were sown by earlier metal acts like Slayer, Kreator and the uber metal band Celtic Frost.

In 1983, inspired by Iron Maiden,KISS and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, a band was formed called Death by a young man called Chuck Schuldiner. He wanted to take the existing metal sound and make it more intense, more guttural. This led to the release of the 1987 debut album called, Scream Bloody Gore.

Fans of heavy metal were blown away by the intense brutality of the music and it became a landmark in the annals of metal music. The music began to be called by the band, as in ‘Death’s metal’ and subsequently became the genre that we now know it as.

Legend’s legacy
Chuck Schuldiner has since gone on to be called the ‘Father of death metal’. And, although he died in 2001 from brain cancer, his legacy lives on.

So with the birth of death metal a new direction was forged for those headbangers and metal heads to let loose their frustration of the modern world and all its evils.

One of the interesting evolutions of death metal is the development of sub-genres like Melodic death metal (Dark Tranquility, Amon Amarth), Technical death metal (Opeth, Necrophagist), Brutal death metal (Nile, Cannibal Corpse), Doom metal (Autopsy, Paradise Lost), Deathcore (Despised Icon) and Goregrind (Rotten Sound, Cephalic Carnage).

Now most of the genres are self-explanatory and in case you have any doubts, the titles of bands (in brackets) would do more than give a clear picture of the kind of music one can expect to hear.

India metal
In fact, India has taken quite well to the genre with a varied amount of bands being death metal or close, one of the most prominent ones being Demonic Ressurection.

So, just as most genres of music these days have a recent distant past and will continue to have an evolutionary future, so also will death metal have an interesting ‘life’ ahead.. if I may say so.

First Published: Mar 13, 2009 20:32 IST