While watching Kraanium at the Netherland Deathfest earlier this year I wondered why so many slam Death Metal band focus their attention writing lyrics and sporting artwork torturing women. Considering their lyrics are incomprehensible, and nobody listens to Death metal, and slam Death metal in particular, for the lyrics, they could write about virtually anything, or even nothing. After all, you can’t really distinguish the words when the singer is cupping the microphone or using a pitch, so why bother?
I understand that the purpose of using gory artwork is to chock the audience, but the same audience is now limited to people who enjoy this kind of visual companion, or do not care at all, so unless your objective is to be mentioned in articles such as these, you are not doing a great job at being controversial. Only Cannibal Corpse can still play that game because their album will maybe end up in the hands of some very old fashioned moms (one that doesn’t hang out on reddit and has seen so much worse) but they have also understood that writing misogynistic lyrics is not funny. The reason? Probably because they are all dads with daughters and they don’t feel good about kind of message.
Now, although i do enjoy listening to slam Death metal band, i don’t feel good about buying albums where a woman’s guts is spread all over the place and lyrics are detailing so many ways to torture half of this planet off bands who think doing this is funny. What I would like to see is also some imagination. Like I said earlier, many slam Death metal obsess over this subject making it a cliche. It’s like Gangsta rap. It sounded violent and menacing when N.W.A. was shouting Fuck tha police but it quickly descended into parody when they released 1000 miles and running with a video where they outrun the FBI. The song is still good but the tone and the message is completely different. No wonder Dr Dre then focused on creating mostly party anthem. That’s what he was good at, not being political or controversial. Therefore, here are some other themes slam Death metal band could follow if they still want to be controversial, or at least a bit original.
Carcass may have inspired a litany of bands dressed as mad surgeons but their first objective lyrically was to denounce the torture made on animals. Their message might have fallen mostly on deaf ears but Cattle Decapitation heard it loud and clear and proved you could release albums with the same gory content as the best Death metal bands but with more meaning. Songs like A living, breathing piece of defecating meat or Forced gender reassignnment are quite gory, to say the least, but don’t talk about murder for the sake of it. Just turn on the news, you will find plenty of content to talk about, and you might even get pissed off enough to summon some emotions when screaming.
If you insist on writing about gratuitous torture, why not talk about men? Castrator is an all girl slam Death metal band focused on doing the same kind of lyrics than Devourement or Vulvectomy but with more male oriented blood splattering. Call it a revenge fantasy or just imagination, these women are doing something different. You don’t even need to take a feminist point of view. Since most fans or Slam, gore grind or porno gore grind insist that this is all fun and there is no hatred against women in the lyrics or artwork, why not just look at yourself and think of all the different ways you could be slaughtered. Hell, why not a concept album about your own band going through a meat grinder? Use your imagination!
Although they play more technical Death metal, Wormed also have inintelligible vocals (even more so on their first album) and slamming riffs that would make Dying Fetus proud. What they don’t do however, is talk about gore and just focus on the wonders of mass destruction that could be found in space. Even better: they let a robotic voice announce the songs! Nothing too complicated to do with a bit of technology. Just plug your iphone in the PA just like every band with samples and select the track you want to announce next song. Wormed are just a great example that you don’t have to do much to distinguish yourself from the pack.
Finally, with the new craze swiping around the world, it won’t be long before a lot of people will grow tired of Pokemons. It will then be the time to release a concept albums about murdering the damn creatures! With hundreds of them, you can fill up at least ten albums full of songs about how to cook them all. Considering how much imagination so many bands have on killing one gender, i expect to see the same level of detail when talking about creatures that have spawned generations and generations of incredible variations.
I guess my whole point is that slam Death metal are either truly misogynistic or are just trying to fit in in a genre with many codes and rules, including naming yourself after some made up method of torture specifically about women. I am an hopeful person by nature and although i have no doubt that there are misogynist in slam Death metal, or in Death metal as a whole, i still think a lot of people just don’t try to understand that focusing on violence against women is not a harmless pass-time and is only perpetuating a culture of violence that makes real victims. What I am asking is not to change the world but just to be more imaginative and write lyrics about something else. Not because of an ideology but just to show some originality.