How to Be a Death Metal Musician

death metal musicians

Death metal musicians glorify violence through their music. From singing about rape, murder or asshole victims to producing music that’s both exciting and menacing – such as Sweden’s LIK – death metal musicians glorify violence with each note they produce.

Death metal bands’ ability to push boundaries despite criticism has shown their determination and courage, so find out more about death metal music and those that create it!

Chuck Schuldiner

Chuck Schuldiner was one of the most revered and influential death metal musicians ever, being guitarist/vocalist of Death from 1987 until 1998. Throughout these seven albums he set the standard for brutality and musical excellence that would go on to define death metal today.

After his younger brother passed away in 1983, Schuldiner took up playing guitar as an outlet to cope with his grief and found solace in heavy metal music. Its heavy nature appealed to him particularly its fast pace and use of distortion – so much so that soon thereafter he formed Mantas with bassist Rick Rozz and drummer Kam Lee before changing names to Death later on in 1986.

Over the following years, they released several full-length albums, such as 1988’s Leprosy featuring new guitarist James Murphy. For 1991’s Human, Schuldiner took an innovative and technically focused approach by recruiting Paul Masvidal from tech-death pioneers Cynic and fretless bassist Steve DiGiorgio into an ensemble which would become at the cutting edge of early 1990s metal music.

Schuldiner used his lyrics to explore topics ranging from addiction (“Pull the Plug”) and mental trauma (“Altering the Future”). His vocal range extended from guttural growls to the signature ear-piercing screams associated with his genre.

As his brain tumor reappeared early 2001, the metal community rallied around him. Many bands donated memorabilia for a benefit album to raise funds for his medical bills; and he continued working on a second Control Denied record, tentatively entitled When Man and Machine Collide until cancer claimed his body.

Unwavering Consistency

As a death metal musician, it’s crucial that you remain true to the genre and don’t give in to trends by changing styles in an attempt to stay trendy. Doing something different may result in never reaching the results that were sought out – consistency requires time; have faith in yourself and trust your abilities!

Many of the top death metal bands have maintained consistency throughout their careers, particularly older acts but also younger acts such as Cannibal Corpse who has released albums at an almost mechanical pace since they formed in the early Nineties; even with going through an irreparable frontman change which could’ve taken them out, they remain one of the most exciting and vital acts still active today.

Ireland’s Vircolac are another great example, producing unholy noise and heartbreaking yearning that have delighted fans of black metal and horror-influenced genres for nearly two decades now. Their 2017 release Le Dernier Crepuscle was an absolute savage assault on the senses that will please any fan of old-school death metal or grindcore alike.

Bloodbath are an iconic band known for consistently great work over their long career, helping turn Opeth and Katatonia fans onto old-school death metal with their aggressive guitar riffing, sophisticated growling vocals, and socially aware lyrics – they were one of the pioneers behind first wave of death metal pioneers.

Visionary Songwriting

Death metal music is an aggressive style characterized by rapidly playing heavily distorted guitars and bass with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, often accompanied by aggressive drumming and vocals that often include growls or shouts to express emotion.

The top death metal bands understand the power of songwriting, and their sound arsenal allows them to craft memorable melodies that leave lasting impressions. Furthermore, these skilled bands excel at blending riffs with complex time signatures and intricate basslines into captivating songs that set death metal apart from more conventional rock and punk genres.

Chuck Schuldiner was the mastermind behind death metal, and it’s his visionary songwriting approach that has kept it at the top of underground music since its creation. While early releases focused on gory imagery and thrashy riffs, later albums took more psychological approaches; for example, songs on Symbolic explored emotional betrayal and abuse of power–an altogether different take from earlier material.

Modern acts like Mortuous, Pyrrhon and Cognitive are constantly pushing the limits of death metal with each album they release. Their 2018 effort Matricide showed how to balance technical proficiency with an ominous atmosphere and fierce riffs for maximum impact.

Death’s early work remains an iconic example of death metal, and has inspired numerous bands to try to replicate its success. Due to this fact, Death remains an influential legacy within death metal history.


Death metal music features many groups that rely on screaming vocals and aggressive aggression to make their point, yet some groups possess an unique charisma that elevates them beyond simple sound waves. One such group is Portland quartet Ossuarium who sound like thunderous church organs filled with decayed bones on their 2017 debut Living Tomb. Despite not being as viscerally morbid or intense as other acts featured here, their dark atmosphere makes them hard to resist.

Misery Index have an unwavering intensity that makes their music one of the most punishing death metal acts ever seen. Their thrashy chainsaw guitar sound was instrumental in starting up the new old school movement and drawing fans of Katatonia and Opeth into death metal music for themselves. Their unique brand of brutal death metal music features otherworldly solos with deep growling in order to become one of the most merciless death metal acts ever!

Finland’s Sceptic stand out among death metal bands by being an effective blend of melodic and punishing styles; their melodic but punishing approach stands out in an industry full of bands taking the same route with OSDM.

Death frontman Chuck Schuldiner deserves praise as an exceptional visionary. His skill in blending aggression and melody made his band stand out among competitors and earned the admiration of death metal fans everywhere. Furthermore, his songwriting expertise and profound lyrics set an exemplary standard for how dark music could incorporate meaningful themes.


Death metal musicians must possess tremendous drive. This can be seen through how bands like Desecresy have relentlessly released albums since 2010’s Arches of Entropy; each release becoming darker and darker; Cadaveric Incubator have shown with 2018’s Matricide that they can push brutality and atmosphere further than ever.

Death metal’s signature vocal style is known as “death growls.” This distinct voice requires enormous lung power to convey feelings of rage, foreboding and menace – from guttural grunts to the shrieks heard in songs by Deicide and Dying Fetus. Recently, psychologist Joshua Thompson conducted a study that used established personality assessment tools to analyze personality traits among self-proclaimed death metal fans and non-fans and found those with lower empathy scores were more likely to appreciate its music.

Death’s music was defined by Chuck Schuldiner’s unique songwriting talent and unfaltering drive to push boundaries in death metal for over three decades. His visionary approach allowed him to compose compositions which seamlessly blended aggression, melodic elements and technicality into an unforgettable sound; his willingness to explore dark themes made their lyrics far more poignant than their contemporaries’ lyrics; Death was unstoppable even after Schuldiner passed suddenly away as lead vocalist.