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The original post

Posted by psykometal on 08.06.2012 at 19:43
This is a topic I've been meaning to explore for some time but just haven't gotten around to it until now. Is there a difference between "slams" and "breakdowns", if so, what are they (because they both sound about the same to me)? Keep in mind I am not a musician but I do hang around with musician friends (none of them are into extreme metal though) so I do have an understanding of music terminology/lingo and I do have a good deal of knowledge about different techniques and what they are because I love reading reviews (especially reviews written by musicians since they do use musician terminology and I like knowing that stuff). Also, why are breakdowns cool in Death metal, especially in Brutal Death metal, but not cool in Deathcore?

I ask these questions because I read reviews all the time about Brutal Death metal bands like Dying Fetus where the reviewer will talk about how "the breakdowns in DF songs are so brutal!" but then they'll review a Deathcore album and write how "the breakdowns in this song suck so bad" and "the whole genre of deathcore is such bullshit because of all the breakdowns". And same with "Slam Death metal" like Pathology and Abominable Putridity, people will write reviews praising the "slams" (which sound like breakdowns to me) but then turn around and bitch about breakdowns in a Deathcore album. What gives? Is there some kind of unwritten rule somewhere that says "Breakdowns are only cool when used in Death metal but not in Deathcore?", or are they just played differently between the 2 genres and something about the way they're played in Deathcore makes them "gay" [or whatever] or am I just the first person to notice that there seems to be a double standard where breakdowns are concerned?



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slampig

Posts: 20

Age: 27
From: USA

  11.12.2012 at 06:36
Alrighty. here are my thoughts on Deathcore Breakdowns vs. Slamdeath Slams. i don't know a whole hell of a lot about Deathcore, but from the little i've heard, it seems to me like a lot of Deathcore songs stick to one key and only the notes in that key (it's very diatonic, in other words). the songs build up to a Breakdown, which is usually a rhythmic riff on one low note. Breakdowns tend to be kind of syncopated, in a very stuttery, off-the-beat kind of way, with a lot of rests in between the notes. every time i listen to a Deathcore Breakdown, it feels like the song is tripping over cracks in a sidewalk. and i don't remember ever hearing much vox during any Breakdown i've heard, but it's been a while since i've heard any, so i might be wrong about that. that's about all i know about Breakdowns.

Slamdeath, on the other hand, is very chromatic (the guitar/bass parts use a lot of notes that are outside of the key they're playing in). your average Slamdeath song is nothing but Slams. Slam after Slam after Slam, with maybe a couple of bars of transition material in between them. maybe not. a Slam is a really short (usually only 1 bar long, sometimes 2), really low, rhythmic riff on the guitar. they tend to use more notes than you'd see in a Deathcore Breakdown, and those notes are usually really close to the root of the key (within a minor 3rd). rests in between the notes of a Slam are really rare (Abominable Putridity's new album is a big exception). you'll see some syncopation in Slams, but usually without any rests. as far as form goes, most slams are AAAB (1 bar of Slam, repeated 2 more times, and then a variation). and then you'll see AAAB again, then again, then again. the biggest thing that changes in between them is the drumming, so imo drumming is suuuuuuuuper important in a Slamdeath song. a Slamdeath band with a bad/boring drummer is like spaghetti with a bad sauce. and, of course, growling during a Slam happens all the time. and yes, most Slamdeath vocalists are hard as fuck to understand. that's because most of them inhale, instead of exhaling. here's a pretty good youtube video on how to do the inhaling/guttural growl (and then he goes into how to inhale pigsqueal, if you're interested):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA8XhBf3PzQ
Jaeryd17‍
Desert Mouse

Posts: 600

Age: 23
From: USA

  21.02.2013 at 20:20
Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-CG1CBelCM

I thought this was funny. Keep in mind that at the end of the video he comments on how he knows there are great deathcore bands out there, he's just doing a satire on all the really generic bands.

Also, I have a burning question... if what I've learned of brutal death metal is true at all, shouldn't Aeon be labelled just death metal? Here on Metal Storm, Aeon is labelled as brutal death metal... who the hell put that on there? I've only listened to Aeons Black, but it didn't sound at all like anyone's description of brutal death metal.
----
"It is not your sin—it is your self-satisfaction that crieth unto heaven; your very sparingness in sin crieth unto heaven!

Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the frenzy with which ye should be inoculated?"

psykometal
Staffpool

Posts: 4606

Age: 29
From: USA

  21.02.2013 at 23:18
Written by Jaeryd17‍ on 21.02.2013 at 20:20

Also, I have a burning question... if what I've learned of brutal death metal is true at all, shouldn't Aeon be labelled just death metal? Here on Metal Storm, Aeon is labelled as brutal death metal... who the hell put that on there? I've only listened to Aeons Black, but it didn't sound at all like anyone's description of brutal death metal.

No clue, I'm not the one who built the profile but I have removed the brutal tag since they are not brutal death metal. I never paid close enough attention to notice they were tagged as "brutal" before so thanks for bringing that to my attention.

I was wondering why you were asking about Aeon being a BDM band.
----
~Zep~
Jaeryd17‍
Desert Mouse

Posts: 600

Age: 23
From: USA

  21.02.2013 at 23:34
Written by psykometal on 21.02.2013 at 23:18

No clue, I'm not the one who built the profile but I have removed the brutal tag since they are not brutal death metal. I never paid close enough attention to notice they were tagged as "brutal" before so thanks for bringing that to my attention.

I was wondering why you were asking about Aeon being a BDM band.

lol yeah that was the first band I've listened to with the tag "brutal death metal" so I wasn't at all aware of what brutal death metal really was. Now I know. That's what I get for putting all my trust in the Metal Storm genre tags.
----
"It is not your sin—it is your self-satisfaction that crieth unto heaven; your very sparingness in sin crieth unto heaven!

Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the frenzy with which ye should be inoculated?"

psykometal
Staffpool

Posts: 4606

Age: 29
From: USA

  22.02.2013 at 02:32
Written by Jaeryd17‍ on 21.02.2013 at 23:34

lol yeah that was the first band I've listened to with the tag "brutal death metal" so I wasn't at all aware of what brutal death metal really was. Now I know. That's what I get for putting all my trust in the Metal Storm genre tags.

Well, typically MS genre tags are fairly accurate but every now and again some get added by people that aren't entirely familiar with the genre. Which is why there is a reporting system in place for such things.
----
~Zep~
squidrick420

Posts: 187

Age: 22
From: USA

  06.03.2013 at 02:18
I am not a big deathcore fan, although i was into it for a little bit when it first showed up and wasn't blown out of proportion yet. The difference in the kind of breakdowns are quite easy to spot from my standpoint as a musician; a "slam death" style breakdown goes back to the early thrash breakdowns which simply took a riff and cut it in half time then "slammed" it in peoples faces, this grew and adapted to the emerging death metal styles who took the same concept and altered it slightly and in many cases it still retained melodic value.

The deathcore breakdown on the other hand is a different story, although the idea of the slam breakdown speed change was kept, the riffs took on a simpler form usually revolving around one or two really low heavy sounding notes with a less straight forward pattern and more of a "groove metal chug" kind of thing. These were the early breakdowns of deathcore, they also used the metalcore style technical palm mute riff thing, but slowed it down some. Later deathcore uses an even simpler formula; verse = breakdown, bridge = breakdown of breakdown, chorus/refrain = new breakdown, repeat, end with a triple breakdown (cut in half 3 times).

I would also like to add that early deathcore is not the worst stuff in the world, however this horse shit they are passing off as music these days (chelsea grin, bmth, suicide silence, atilla, oceano, and several others) is absolute talentless garbage that anybody who knows how to palm mute, hit open stings on the bass, or play blast beats can do.
nasmith

Posts: 112

Age: 18
From: USA

  13.03.2013 at 00:22
Funny thing is, people have been using slam and brutal death metal interchangeably on this thread as opposed to deathcore, when they're not even the same per se. XD

Although slam is usually considered a subgenre of BDM, it's more breakdown-oriented than straight BDM, maybe even more so than deathcore IMHO. The general difference between the breakdowns of DC and SBDM has already been stated (and yes, they're both types of breakdowns goddammit).
psykometal
Staffpool

Posts: 4606

Age: 29
From: USA

  13.03.2013 at 02:23
Written by nasmith on 13.03.2013 at 00:22

Although slam is usually considered a subgenre of BDM, it's more breakdown-oriented than straight BDM, maybe even more so than deathcore IMHO.

Yea, lots of slam bands out there are definitely more breakdown heavy than deathcore.
----
~Zep~
brutalix

Posts: 1
From: Pakistan
  04.04.2013 at 10:31
I listen to almost every genre of metal,from grindcore to symphonic metal and i think slams are kinda better because most deathcore breakdowns sound the same and thats why its so easy to spot one in a song.the breakdowns in reign supreme album of dying fetus is completely unique and so are lamb of gods breakdowns.while every slam is different from the other like the slams in scourge of iron(cannibal corpse) are completely different from the ones in eaten(bloodbath).so im with slams and everyone stay metal \m/ :banger2::metal:

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