Death Growls, blast beating and distorted guitars: These are the sounds of death metal. Based on one poll out there, here are the top 10 death metal bands of all time.
Chuck Schuldiner created the many variations of the Death lineup over the years and is known as the "Father of Death Metal." In response, Schuldiner said, "I don't think I should take the credits for this death metal stuff. I'm just a guy from a band, and I think Death is a metal band." In 2001, Schuldiner passed away from pneumonia after being weakened by a recently diagnosed brain tumor.
2. Cannibal Corpse
Because of their horror-based lyrics and gruesome image, Cannibal Corpse has been banned in several countries, namely Australia and Germany. In response to the violence in their songs, vocalist George Fisher said, "There's nothing ever serious. We're not thinking of anybody in particular that we're trying to kill ... The people doing the killing in our songs are zombies."
This Polish band adopted their name from the villain of the 'Star Wars' movies, as the forming members were fans. As of now, the current lineup features only one original member -- the other three have all joined in 2008.
4. Morbid Angel
Created in 1983, the band is considered crucial in the development of death metal. They hold the record for best-selling death metal album in the United States with the album 'Covenant.'
5. Amon Amarth
Originally called Scum, the band changed its name to Amon Amarth, which is an alternate name for Mount Doom from 'Lord of the Rings.' The name means "mountain of fate." The band's lyrics often refer to Norse mythology and the Viking Age.
Bloodbath is a Swedish death metal supergroup that has had different members from album to album. 'Nightmares Made Flesh' is the only album without lead singer Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth. Akerfeldt was replaced by Peter Tagtgren from Hypocrisy, who stayed only long enough to record this album.
Kataklysm calls their sound "northern hyperblast," which they adopted after seeing a commercial describing the band Fear Factory as "hyperblast." The "blast" refers to the typical death metal use of "blast beats" provided by their drummer. The band is also known for incorporating movie quotes into its music.
Lead singer Karl Sanders' interest in Egyptology has been a strong influence on Nile's music and lyrics. Horror novelist H.P. Lovecraft is also an influence in the band and many of its lyrics are based on his works. This accounts for the grammatical peculiarities found in the songs.
9. Six Feet Under
Cannibal Corpse vocalist Chris Barnes created Six Feet Under so he could break away from the speedy sound of Cannibal Corpse and make something more "grooving."
Suffocation are credited with the invention of the subgenre 'Brutal Death Metal' and introducing the 'Death Growl.' Death Metal magazine commented on their 1991 EP by saying it was the first death metal album to fuse elements of punk, hardcore, grindcore and doom metal.