DEATHCORE VS SLAM METAL
Slam Death Metal is a subgenre of Brutal Death Metal that focuses on slow or midtempo (as well as breakdown-style) sections built on chromatic, palm-muted riffs – so called “slams”.
Compared to brutal death metal’s basic songwriting aesthetics, blast beats and guitar solos are less important, though blast beat/tremolo riff sections are frequently applied. The visual aesthetics are quite similar, though slam death metal usually takes the macabre and violent look of brutal death metal to its extreme.
The genre has its origin in the 1990s New York death metal scene (which in turn brought in influences from the sound, attitude and aesthetic of New York Hardcore), where bands such as Suffocation pioneered the use of slam riffs. Devourment and Internal Bleeding are often considered the first true slam bands, as they popularized many of the genre’s songwriting conventions and visual aesthetics. Other notable “slam” bands include Cephalotripsy and Short Bus Pile Up. The vocals normally consist of extremely low-pitched, unintelligible death grunts, frequently featuring Hip Hop-inspired vocal rhythms. Hip hop elements often appear in the drumbeats as well.
The genre is sometimes compared to or confused with Nu Metal due to the use of chugging atonal riffs and rap/hip hop influences, and Deathcore due to the guttural vocals, focus on breakdowns and general “tough guy” aesthetic. However, true Slam Death has few real connections to these subgenres apart from certain hybrid bands such as Waking the Cadaver.
Some people are still confused about the difference between SLAM METAL and DEATHCORE. While they may seem similar to the novice observer, the truth is that they couldn’t be more different — in fact, they really have nothing at all to do with each other (srs). Think of it like Islam and Christianity: they some common roots, but at the end of the day they really have nothing to do with each other and will never see eye-to-eye.
PART 1: THE MUSIC
Breakdowns are single-note, palm-muted, chugga-chugga riffs, essentially the same thing you’ve been hearing since “Raining Blood” and Pantera’s “Domination” only tuned down a little lower.
In terms of arrangement and overall songwriting, slam is more about stringing together one slam riff after the next, creating a relentless, crushing steamroller kind of feel. There’s really not much resembling a “rock song,” as opposed to deathcore, which uses more or less traditional rock song structures. Deathcore songs have verses, choruses, bridges, and use breakdowns as just that: an overt “here is the mosh part” kind of thing.
Slam often uses extensive syncopation (which is essentially accenting the up-beat, rather than the down-beat), such as many of the riffs in this song. Syncopation is what makes things like breakbeats sound “funky,” so that’s probably explains why people often say that slam “sounds like rap-metal,” even when it doesn’t at all.
Slam never, ever uses the skank beat (sounds too much like old school dinosaur metal). Slam is primarily mid-tempo slam riffs, with blasts/gravity blasts used as accents.
PART 2: THE VOCALS
Deathcore kids, being more concerned with looking cool and having sweet merch than their actual music, generally take the easy way out when it comes to vocals. Instead of true guttural vocals, they use weak, inhaled bree-bree vocals
When it comes to vocals, slam is all about the lowest, sickest fucking gutturals possible. No melody, no variation or dynamics, DEFINITELY no intelligible lyrics that little girls would be able to sing along to. There is never any high-pitched screaming, clean vocals, hardcore-style shouting, or anything but sick, sewer-sludge gutturals.