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Technical death metal

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Technical death metal

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Technical death metal, or tech death for short, is a term used to describe bands in the subgenre death metal. As death metal bands began further exploring the genre, they experimented with a variety of song structures, tempos, and playing techniques from other genres to create music that changed the style. As a result of such experimentation, such as the works of Cynic and Cryptopsy, the subform of tech death established itself as a complex and varied musical style.

A general explanation of technical death metal is that it incorporates a variety of influences from other genres of music to compose music that is thought to be unexpected, difficult to play and difficult to comprehend. Songs tend to be written without distinct choruses, with varied or layered time signatures, and sometimes dissonant or atonal guitar riffs. Frequently the result is the appearance of chaos followed or surrounded by a thick grove.

The experimentation of death metal bands started in the late 1980s and early 1990s in some parts of Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Monstrosity, and Vital Remains albums. The subform had its forefather, Cynic, in 1993 with they released their album 'Focus'. It incorporated influences from jazz and fusion to create a sound different from normal death metal. While Cynic became recognised for their technicality, it wasn't fully understood until the mid 1990s when other bands created music that furthered what where then the borders of death metal. By Cryptopsy's 1996 release of 'None So Vile', it was thought that certain bands were creating music that was too varied and technical to be generalized as standard death metal.

While both are considered technical, Cryptopsy and Cynic exhibited very different types of sounds. Cryptopsy displayed a natural progression of the technical nature of death metal into a more complex form; Cynic used their jazz influences to create some mellow passages that were considered as technical as they were extreme. These differences divided technical death metal into two distinct, yet equally technical styles. Those thought to of followed Cryptopsy's ideals focused on the unique drum patterns and rapid guitar solos; whereas bands following Cynic's ideals built up thought provoking melodies, various time signatures and detailed bass lines.

While there are many bands that would cite either band as an influence, some bands are considered tech death because they defy categorization as standard death metal. The result of a plethora of death metal bands is that any experimentation that uses different types of technical playing abilities in the genre is considered technical death metal.

Similar genres have been emerging as a result of the current metalcore trend. Mathcore (Also known as technical metalcore) are bands that use a lot of breakdowns from the hardcore scene while using many elements from genres considered extreme metal. The term "mathcore" generally refers to bands that incorporate unorthodox rhythms, chord progressions, and different elements of technical death metal.

See also

Heavy metal
Black metal - Death metal - Doom metal - Folk metal - Glam metal - Gothic metal - Grindcore - Industrial metal - Neo-classical metal - Power metal - Progressive metal - Symphonic metal - Thrash metal
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