Editors' Notes If one put the relentless, chugging riffs of the classic thrashers into a blender with the dark themes and quick blast beats of early black metal, sprinkling in a little bit of raw hardcore punk energy for flavor, the name of the recipe would be death metal. And by the late ‘80s, the dish was cooked and ready to come out of the oven. Early death metal saw the nuclear percussion of Morbid Angel and the corrosive riffs of Napalm Death and Cannibal Corpse; Death got technical with their complex rhythmic shifts, while Entombed overwhelmed with acidic walls of sound and primordial howls. As the ‘90s rolled on, groups like At the Gates and Lamb of God settled into a weird grooviness that turned headbanging into an athletic event. Down the line, Tomb Mold, Behemoth, and Gojira would turn up the distortion and play with a terrifying new intensity.

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