How to Be Introduced into Death Metal?

By Simon Briand, France

Death Metal is a heavy metal subgenre. It is supposed to be more brutal and violent than any other kind of Metal subgenre and any other kind of music. Most of the time, Death Metal is labeled as brutal music without any means or purpose, listened to by beer-drinker dolts or violent brainless yobs. Nevertheless, in spite of the violence of the genre, this music is quite complex and the brutality is used to emphasize some themes that are very important to the bands. Furthermore, the listeners aren’t as dumb as some people may think. In concert, Death Metal fans just like to enjoy the flow of the music with some Heavy Metal rifs, such as the circle pit, the mosh pit or the Wall of Death… Today, I’m going to share with you some of my favourite titles from the best Death Metal bands to introduce you to this unfairly misunderstood genre . So be prepared for a good dose of heavy and loud music!

There is an exemple of a good Wall of Death, not as violent as it seems.

Death (Florida 1983-2001)

“Death,” with their first album “Scream Bloody Gore” released in 1987, created Death Metal (even though there is a debate where some people argue that the first true Death Metal album is “Seven Churches” (1985) by “Possessed,” However, I don’t consider this band as the creators of the genre.) Death was led by the talented guitarist-singer Chuck Schuldiner, who brought more and more virtue to the genre throughout every album. He is a legend to guitar players and people who want to emulate him. None of these albums are bad. They’re all unique and will uplift you. My personal favourite is their first album, but if you’re not really into sheer violence, you can begin your path with “Human,” released in 1991. If you like this album, you should listen to all of them. This song below is the one that introduced me to “Death”:

Cannibal Corpse (New York/ Florida 1988)

This band is one of the most well-known bands when you begin to get into Heavy Metal. Cannibal Corpse is also known for being a Brutal Death Metal band and for their graphic album covers drawn by Vince Locke. In fact, their lyrics are quiet graphic as well, telling us some gory and chilling stories, surrounded by the violence of the music to emphasize the violence of the stories (“Inhumane Harvest,” for instance, talks about kidnapping people for their organs as if they were cattle. If you’re sensible, do not watch the video clip), sung with a deep growly voice. I know for sure that it doesn’t fit everybody, however, I’ll make you discover the track “Scourge of Iron” from the 2012 album “Torture,” a heavy, but very technical track.

Obituary (Florida 1984)

Another band from Florida. In fact, most of the first Death metal bands come from the city of Tampa in Florida, and Obituary is one of the founding fathers of the genre. The band is different from the other ones because of the atypic growl of the singer John Tardy. With their album “Wolrd Demise” released in 1994, Obituary talks about the pollution problem that were occuring back in the 90’s (which had worsen more and more up to our days). This band is also special to me, because it’s one of the band that helped me to get into Heavy Metal, thanks to their cartoonish video clip “Violence”, a good title to describe the track and the band.

Cattle Decapitation (San Diego 1996)

Finally, a Death metal band from the West-cost. This band is labeled as Brutal Death Metal, and for sure, the music is as brutal as the lyrics are. Indeed, this band is mostly writing about the negative effects of human beings on our planet, we can say that they’re kind of misanthropic. Cattle Decapitation portrays throughout their album some distopian worlds where either animals are taking the control over humans or where Earth is giving back to humans everything they’ve done towards the Earth. The better example -and the best album in my opinion- would be “Death Atlas”, such a technical, beautiful and bitter album wich manages to spread the feelings of the band about this theme. In this album from 2019, it seems that they’ve predicted the current COVID event with “Bring Back The Plague”. However, I want to make you discover my favourite track “The Genocide”.

Sepultura(Belo Horizonte 1984)

We will now leave the United States for Brazil! Sepultura is the first band that my father showed me, back when I was still a child and a novice. This band is the biggest Metal band in South America. Always reinventing themselves, they were adding some tribal rime into their music as they were progressing throught time. Being born in Bazil, the membres are pollitically involved because of the corrupsion, propaganda and dictatorship’s issues. They’re lyrics often talk about repression, dictature, but also the Brazilian/ tribal pride.Nevertheless, a lot of the first hours fans do not continue to listen to Sepultura nowadays, because their first frontman, the great Max Cavalera, left the band in 1996, because of some issues with the band (after that, he began different project, whom “Soulfly”, “Cavalera Consperacy” with his brother, former drummer of Sepultura, who left some years after his brother, and “Killer be killed” for my favourites). He was replaced by Derrick Green (who is a great singer as well). The last album with Max Cavalera was “Roots” in 1996, the albums that would follow are considered less good, however, in my opinion, the best album of this era is their last, “Quadra”, released in 2020. However, I’m gonna to share with you the track “Territory” from Chaos A.D. (1993).

Gojira(Ondres 1996)

We end up this retrospective with a French band, and one of the most well-known Death Metal band in the world, having, for instance, opened for Metallica. Such as Cattle Decapitation, this band cares a lot about the Earth and the marine’s life, showed with tracks like “Flying Whales” or “Toxic Garbage Island”. They’re playing a Progressive Death Metal, a screaming voice rather than growling one, even though it’s quite complicated to find the limit between both of them, and some new guitare sounds that you won’t here anywhere else. They’re really close to natural theme and tribal rime, listening a Gojira’s album is a trully transcendantal experience, they manage to fill you up with a lot of emotions and the result is breathtking. The best exemple is their 2012 album “L’enfant Sauvage” (French Words which mean “The wild child”). This album is one of my favourite and it’s the one that I recommand you if you want to listen to Gojira, with the mezmerizing track “The Gift of Guilt”, a song so powerful that it could make you cry and relax you by the same time.

With this little selection, I hope you will be interessed by this new genre of music that is not the most listened nowadays. I wanted to share with you my passion and introduce you this genre which can deal with a lot of very deep subjects. If Death Metal interessed you, just search some more band who could fit more with what you research in music, I’ve just shared you some of my favourite band, there is some more that you can search if you want to discover more, it’s a very wide world:

Rotting Christ (Greece), Dying Fetus(Maryland), Bolt Thrower(England), Entombed (Stockholm), Massacre(Florida (Tampa once again)), Bloodbath(Stockholm), Disma(New Jersey)…

One of the line-up of Death, the creators of Death Metal.
One of the softest Cannibal Corpse cover that I could find. You can find some more in the internet if you’re curious!
The Back of the last Sepultura’s album “Quadra” with their iconic S shape logo, one of the best logo that could exist!

Dark Side of K Pop Industry

Luna Speidel, Belgium

Although K Pop generally classifies “popular music” within South Korea, the term is often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of Korean pop that is influenced by styles and genres from around the world. The Asian pop singers are becoming more and more popular and, therefore, the music industry is pushing them harder so they can be at their best on stage, which is understandable. CDs, music videos and interviews have been taking their lives to a point where it becomes too much. Is it normal that at almost every concert at least one of the group members faints? Is it normal that they are doing more then 30 different dance routines per night for many months? We should take a deeper look and see if this is human abuse or not.

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The multi-million dollar industry that is controlling the lives of the big stars, makes everything look so glamorous and nice. But what the fans and the outside world in general doesn’t know, is that behind that fake image the artists are working 12 hours and maybe more a day every day to make everything look perfect. This leads to a form of abuse and is often hidden by the industry itself. You can’t force someone to stay on their feet and give everything they’ve got on a stage in front of millions of their fans. The fainting and collapsing on stage is a message and gives all the hidden darkness away. The industry can’t control everything and certainly not health.

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When you become someone famous in that industry, your whole life is being controlled and getting out of it is almost impossible. Things like dating and getting married are not allowed, unless the significant other is approved by the industry. Everything is made for the artists to become more famous and for that to happen every detail counts. Most of the Kpop singers need to have plastic surgery to maintain their beauty and achieve the perfect look that the fans want. But again, this is something that the entire industry keeps secret so the performers look like natural perfection. Their diets are really strict and can go to a point where these celebrities starve themselves to keep up with their perfect body image. That’s also one of the things that causes the lack of energy and fainting on stage.

 

 

With all that negativity that’s hidden, you would think that the artists make a lot of money out of it so it’s at least worth something to them, but even on that level, the Kpop stars are victims of financial exploitation. For one show, a regular Kpop group generally earns $4000, 90% of which goes to the company and 10% gets divided between the singers. The singers are also threatened with blackmail so they don’t break the contracts, which are often for long terms, and stay in the groups. In the end, it’s a really dark industry that’s is created to give people what they want so the company gets to make as much money as they can.

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The Eurovision Song Contest

By Mareike Rupaner, Germany

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The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is an international competition in Europe. European nations must choose each year a singer, who represents their county. The best singer, who has the post points, wins the contest. He hosts the next contest in next year in May.

It all starts on the 24 March 1956 with seven nations. A very strict rule fo2r participants was to sing in their country’s national language, but it relaxed with the year 1973. After that in 1999 the participants could sing in every language, which they want. Today it’s mostly in English.

In the contest, the participants have two options to get points. One the one hand, normal people can vote with televoting by telephone or SMS. On the other hand, there is a national jury, for each participant, which gives the other country’s points. The point’s Scala starts at 1 – 8, 10, and 12 points.

Since the 1990’s more and more countries join to the contest, so the organizer takes two sem3i-finals to find the Top 50. Only the “Big Five”: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom are automatically in the Final.  The map shows, how many and in time the nations join to the contest by decade.

Fun Fact:  In 1974, ABBA wins the contest for Sweden

In 2015, the ESC celebrated 60 years anniversary. For the first time Australia joins to the contest and since that, it is very strong part in the contest.

The ESC is very important thing in Europe and in the European culture. Almost all nations of Europe join to one place, local or watching at the television.  Look and enjoy the next contest. On the 12th May, 2018, the Final is in Lisbon; don’t miss it or you can watch it next year 🙂

Take a look to the official site: https://eurovision.tv/ 4

ED SHEERAN

Paula Mota – Uruguay

Edward Christopher “Ed” Sheeran is a really talented singer and songwriter, who also play the guitar. He was born on February 17, 1991, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. With only 26 years old he is doing very well in his career, everybody knows him and loves his songs.

He has a characteristic romantic and melodic style, and sometimes he does some raps too. Besides singing and writing songs, he also plays the guitar. His talent led him to compose for important artists. ‘Love Yourself’, the ‘megahit’ of Justin Bieber, is an example. Like ‘Everything has Changed’, by Taylor Swift. He also did it for One Direction with ‘Little Things’ and ‘Over Again’. Also, originally, ‘Shape of You’ was written for Rihanna.

Sheeran comes from an artist family. His father John is an art curator and his mother Imogen is a jewelry designer. Also, he has an older brother, named Matthew, who has studied music at university and is now a classical composer. He had been playing music since he was a child in Framlingham, Suffolk, a small town of 3.000 inhabitants. His childhood was not perfect. His stuttering, reddish hair and the fact that it was not good for sports made him an easy target.

Sheeran started writing music in his early teens, recording a self-made album called Spinning Man when he was thirteen in 2004. In addition to making music at home -he put out an EP titled The Orange Room in 2005- he’d busk on the streets and play whatever stage he could find. At age of sixteen, Sheeran dropped out of school to start his professional music career in London.

In ‘Take it Back’, included in the deluxe edition of his album X (2014), sings: “For four years I did not have a place to stay, but that kept me focused (…). I went from sleeping in a subway station to sleeping with a movie star (…). You found me singing in the streets when it was cold. And now I’m perspiring on stage on a sold out tour.”

Sheeran made his first steps playing comedy, hip-hop and jazz clubs, and open-mic nights. Uploaded songs to the web and thousands of students began to share their music. It did not take long to get the attention of Elton John, today his musical godfather.

 

Nowadays, he is paired with Cherry Seaborn, his high school sweetheart, with whom he reunited in New York. Moreover, he has a group of friends he has known since he was 10 years old. He is doing pretty well, he is on the best moment of his career, and we can see that his personal life is going really well too. I believe that a lot of good things are coming with him. So be aware!!