The main difference between Black and Death Metal is…

Black Metal and Death Metal. Two of the most prominent Extreme Metal genres (the most prominent being Thrash Metal), which both still haven’t been properly introduced to the mainstream audience.

To most non-metalheads Black and Death Metal are probably the same but there are lots of differences between these two. I’m not talking about church burnings and murders, or self-mutilating and wishing for everyone to committ suicide. I’m also not talking about the actual music, which is way different though. Just listen to Immortal and then listen to Cannibal Corpse and tell me they sound the same.

In my opinion, the main difference between Black and Death Metal is… (make the jump)


Yes, Black is a color (technically it isn’t because black and white are just shades but let’s not be wiseguys now) and Death isn’t (even though Death would be the most metal color ever) but that’s not my point.

There are multiple facts that support my point, #1 being…

Abbath wants you for Black Metal


Corpsepaint is just one element that makes Black Metal stand out. While some Death Metal bands drench themselves in fake blood, none (as far as I know) use corpsepaint, the way Black Metallers use it.

Where does corpsepaint come from? Some may say Arthur Brown, Kiss or Alice Cooper invented it but it’s debatable whether they had any influence on Black Metallers or not.

In Black Metal circles it’s more accepted that Black Metallers simply want to look as pale as a dead body or look like a skeleton.

So, that’s my first point. Black Metallers use corpsepaint, Death Metallers don’t. If you’re living on the moon, the moon man doesn’t wear corpsepaint and you seriously have absolutely no idea what corpsepaint is, well, then you probably shouldn’t read this site. To explain it anyhow, just look at the picture above of Abbath, singer of Immortal. Or just Google “Corpsepaint”, I bet you’ll find some funny pictures.

And my #2 point is…

Varg no like black dudes

White supremacy

While it’s unfair to associate all Black Metal bands with white supremacy or nazi sympathies, it’s undeniable that Black Metal features a lot (= too much), and much more, far-right-wingers, than any other metal genre.
Why else would be there an entire sub-genre dedicated to those people? I’m talking about Nation Socialist Black Metal, NSBM for short.

I decided to include a picture of Varg Vikernes, infamous arsonist and murderer, of Burzum because he’s been vocal about his far-right believes (Odinism, in his case) in the past.

Again, I want to point out that it’s unfair to treat all Black Metal bands as nazis. There are lots of bands who probably couldn’t care less about politics and would much prefer going into the forests to act like trolls. Also, some so-called NSBM bands use nazi antics only for shock-value. I’m not one to judge if that’s better or worse.

And my last point, the big #3 is…

Typical BM album cover

Album artwork

Most Black Metal album covers are black and white. Sometimes simple pictures, like the one on the left of an arson, or paintings, like Burzum’s ‘Hvis lyset tar oss,’ for example.

According to Black Metallers of the very first hour, they were fed-up with the colorful album covers of Death Metal bands (what a way to support my point, eh?) and that’s why they chose black and white.

Death Metal covers usually indeed feature colorful drawings, like the one down below (in this case Cannibal Corpse’s ‘Eaten Back to Life’).

Typical DM album cover

Death Metal artworks usually depict over-the-top brutality, which goes with the deep love for horror movies, of the originators or Death Metal.

Which one is more offending though? Both aren’t to me but Burzum’s album cover above is a picture of a burnt down church and Cannibal’s cover is a comic of a zombie eating itself. I’d probably go with Burzum’s because it’s the glorification of a crime.

Obviously, all my points are shallow and superficial but I’m a shallow and superficial man. What can I do? Both genres have their highs and lows and I usually can enjoy both, even though I tend (way) more to Death Metal.

And now, to end this article properly I’m posting a video of a Blackened Death Metal band. You guessed it, Behemoth.

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