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Early death metal, early black metal and its foundational hybrids


To the Metal Hall:

Do you think a different category should exist to group not bands but the albums that
qualitatively add to something more than the sum of its evident influences, at a time when
death metal and black metal were not wholly solidified as aesthetic and ideological sub-genres?
 
For instance the first demos, albums or eps from these bands:
Sodom, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Messiah, Pentagram or Merciless (to name a few).
 
Example:
Could we say that the first Bathory album is really black metal? Or do we only acknowledge
that its elements and design presages black metal?
 
What itís undeniable is that the music on that album is something different to everything
else at that time and most importantly, something beyond the influences that compose it.
 
The early Pentagram demos featured on the Dark Legions Archive are under the label black metal; however the review reads that the music is compositionally death metal yet the assembly of the music is a hybrid of speed/death metal and quotes Kreator and Destruction.
 
This same example applies to many early metal albums.  Metal that compositionally may be rooted in an "older" sub-genre or sub-genres but conceptually presaged new sub-genres to come, however by the early nature of the music it may be somewhat alien to the older and new genres.  Some refer to this type of music as proto death-black approximately 1983-1987.
 
Should metal music that surpassed its original influences and created the foundational work for others to develop from, be referred to as the sub-genre it helped to develop or as the sub-genre it came from?  Or from a historical point of view, do these proto-styles constitute a legitimate sub-genre on its own?

It is in the nature of some of us to point out the differences, while others' nature is to perceive the similarities. Some of us have the spiritual inclination for accuracy, while a few others' predilection is to be practical.

Just like the human body can be divided simply into head, limbs and torso, or we can talk about the more than 600 hundred muscles, it is obvious that division can be logically exercised to your chosen number of categories.

So the people who say metal is only rock music, nothing more or nothing less, aren't illogical: they are simply talking about the instrumentation. Others go on length about "droning depressive pagan black metal"; "Italian neo-progressive power metal"; "Japanese noise punk heavy metal" etc. where most of the 666 categories and descriptions exist for the sake of superficialities, not essence.

Thus, start by asking the question: what agenda does it mostly serve to add this category? Is it more honourable, or rather more disrespectful, to add the materials to an existing category?

Firearms went through development stages as well: match lock, wheel lock, flint lock, cap and ball, etc. Early death/black was a necessary stepping stone development stage to more settled forms.

Quote
Some refer to this type of music as proto death-black approximately 1983-1987

I've always found this definition to be adequately informative, especially considering that the people who use it tend to do so sparingly and with heightened discretion.

Proto death/black metal = a rough mix of the two, oftentimes with circumstantial production values.  Simple enough.

This is a good topic because it shows something about Metal fans and the insecurity we have when something is labeled outside of our holy genres and we feel it should belong to us.

Speed Metal is to blame really, for it started both genres. Speed Metal isn't a poplar term: it doesn't roll off the tongue well, it's not recieved well, and is trumped by the fictional "Thrash-Metal."

"Thrash Metal" isn't even passing. Bathory, Sodom, Amebix, Celtic Frost and Venom... they all belong to us right? BLACK METAL! Along with Slayer, Sepultura, Kreator, Exodus, Carnivore and Exhorder...right? DEATH METAL!

Wrong.
And it sucks...

I also feel this burn, but in the vigilance that is empiricism, it's best to go with accuracy. Proto-Death/Black Metal isn't really a genre, but more of a description of those albums' influence on what was to come. Those bands stated above (among many more) violently progressed Speed Metal into evolution. It just shows that their innovation and creativity was so powerful that the confines of that genre could BARELY hold that sound anymore before the threshhold would eventually break into a new genre.