The Worst Death Metal Songs of All Time

Heavy metal has always had its share of dark songs, many focusing on grim topics like cannibalism, sexual abuse and self-mutilation. Unfortunately, however, some bands cross into pure fetishism with unoriginal production techniques and low-quality vocal takes.

Impaled’s track “Rest In Faeces As Rectal Mung Flows” paints a vivid picture of a graveyard filled with excrement – it features lyrics like, “Rest in Faeces while Rectal Mung Flows.”

1. Iced Earth – The Glorious Burden

Slipknot’s second LP, Iowa, contains an unforgettable track that will send chills up your spine: its closing track. Boasting distant screams and tribal percussion while frontman Corey Taylor laughs outright – this track is dark, unnerving and downright chilling – an example of Slipknot using their arsenal to craft unsettling music that takes you deeper into darkness than ever imagined before.

Jon Schaffer’s Iced Earth are one of the bands people most love to criticise – with good cause. Over the years he’s become more and more of an oppressive dictator over time and last year was one of January 6’s most notorious participants. Unfortunately, their last album The Glorious Burden marked their low point – packed with the same faceless, riffing style they had used previously and held together by bland production that feels more like cardboard than metal.

Valley Forge and Red Baron/Blue Max stand out as stand-out songs on this album, boasting great down-tuned thrashing riffs with catchy chorus shrieks that save it from its overall lackluster mediocrity; but even they cannot save it from its forgettable, repetitive, and forgettable nature; sold well nevertheless and will soon be forgotten after another insipid release comes along; death metal seems to do this so often that musical skills need only match lyrical content such as misogyny, torture murdering murdering murdering and infestation – death metal is just another form of metal music where both genres coexist – both musically and lyrically!

2. Cannibal Corpse – Hammer Smashed Face

Cannibal Corpse are best known for their disturbing album art and dark, depressing lyrics; yet they also boast one of the most impressive records in metal history. A mainstay for over three decades, they’ve never wavered from their uncompromisingly extreme sound or style, but haven’t always remained consistent within the studio environment.

Hammer Smashed Face was their debut EP release from 1993 and remains their most well-known song today, likely thanks to its appearance in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective movie. This pummelling track begins with Paul’s drumming sounding like a rusty chainsaw before breaking out into an intense, violent thrash section; bass guitar provides a deep primordial groove, while vocals include harsh growls, gurgles, banshee shrieks and howls that are difficult to understand.

Death metal music has long been associated with macabre imagery, and this album stands out as some of their darkest work to date. Even if death metal music isn’t your cup of tea, this production alone should make for worthwhile listening – die-hard fans won’t be able to look past these macabre lyrics about murder, mutilation and monstrous creatures!

The lyrics in this track are not only revolting but also quite offensive to many listeners; they depict women as prostitutes and are therefore highly offensive. Furthermore, its production sounds outdated from its recording date in the early ’90s; thus making this track an uncomfortable listen. Yet still a classic track in metal music history; simply not one of its finest tunes.

3. Whitechapel – Relentless Pestilence

Heavy metal is known to be quite an offensive genre. From cannibalism, rape, self-mutilation and sexual deviancy to cannibalism, pedophilia, terrorism and sexual deviancy; its music often explores these topics – for better or worse. Some bands do push beyond what might be acceptable, however; one such band is Florida death metal outfit Whitechapel who made their debut album Relentless Pestilence with surprising good music that still conveyed disgusting lyrics.

Songs like “Curtain” and “Downfall Pt. 1” show off the band’s ability to craft compelling death metal tracks that are both entertaining and catchy, such as their signature Addams Family sounding groove riff (starting a minute and a half into “Curtain”) while also packing more hooks into one song than many bands can manage across an album’s worth of material.

Relentless Pestilence’s production is exceptional as well. Helmed by legendary producer Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Shadows Fall and Hatebreed), the album showcases an ideal mix of technical death metal with raw edge. Wikstrand and Tholl shine brilliantly as guitar duos with powerful chops that truly display some impressive talent.

Whitechapel have certainly perfected their sound over six albums, combining elements of thrash and death metal that work beautifully on this record, creating an engaging experience for listeners. Here’s hoping they continue delivering quality death metal music into the future; look out for their second release Engrossed in Decay later this year.

4. Slipknot – Iowa

Slipknot are well known for their dark and disturbing lyrics, yet Iowa from their sophomore effort truly stands out. Boasting its unnerving imagery and haunting atmosphere it may very well be one of the most terrifying metal songs ever released.

“Hole in My Soul” is far from being a sophomore slump; featuring the band at their most unstable and aggressive, it provides the ideal opener to an album full of death and depravity. Dark and eerie, it features distant screams from Taylor as he laughs madly while tribal percussion conjures images of post-apocalyptic wasteland landscapes.

Slipknot’s lyrics are as provocative as their production; with Corey branding today’s generation as “new abortions” due to not living their own lives or following rules without question, and believing what they’re told. This powerful message resonates strongly during live shows of Slipknot.

People = Shit is another stand-out track from this band’s live set which often gets an enthusiastic reaction from audiences when performed live. An integral component of their live show, People = Shit also stands out among studio recordings as one of their best studio efforts and a fan favourite; featuring an expansive, punch you in the face chorus that adds another level of aggression and imagery that distinguishes this act from its peers.

Bloodbath have staked their claim as masters of gore with 2004’s Nightmares Made Flesh album featuring many macabre and violent songs, most notably “Eaten”. With its dark imagery and brutal and clear vocal delivery from Peter Tgtgren, its menacing tune leaves audiences uncomfortable.

5. Bloodbath – Eaten

Music can evoke powerful feelings, from joy to anger and sadness. Music can also make people sick – death metal music in particular has the ability to do this by its lyrics, production or aura alone – death metal has an uncanny ability to do this. With lyrics that depict murder, cannibalism, mutilation and monsters often being featured within its tracks, death metal often seems like noise for noise’s sake.

Bloodbath is a death metal supergroup featuring members from Opeth and Katatonia among others. On their 2004 album Nightmares Made Flesh, Bloodbath included “Eaten”, an extremely grotesque track depicting cannibalism and mutilation that ranks as one of the gnarliest songs ever created within this genre.

Interesting enough, this song was used in a recent psychological study examining music and its effect on desensitisation to violence. Researchers at Macquarie University played Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” or BLOODBATH’s “Eaten” through headphones before showing a picture depicting violent imagery to participants – to no effect; their study concluded that neither song incited violence.

Cannibal Corpse’s iconic “Hammer Smashed Face” stands as an epitome of death metal music; it features disembodied voices, tribal drums and brutal guitar riffs to form its unique soundscape.

This song served as the highlight of the album and left listeners stunned. Additionally, this marked the first time Chris Swano of Witchery and Satanic Slaughter (Witchery/Satanic Slaughter) wasn’t on vocal duties – Martin Axenrot of Katatonia took over for Chris to create more melodic tracks that appealed more broadly.