Doom metal is a version of heavy metal music, spawned off from thrash metal, that uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a heavier/deeper sound than other genres. The intent of the lyrics and music are to evoke a sense of despair and dread.
Electric guitars, bass guitar and drum are the instruments used; keyboards have been used, but sparingly. Guitarists (including bass guitar) prefer distortion and often 'down tune' their instruments to access the very low notes, to generate that characteristic "heavy" bass wall of sound. This heavy sound is further defined by slow tempos and use of dissonance. Vocalists prefer 'clean' vocals, but growling and screaming are often featured.
The main influence of doom metal is a re-visit to heavy metal's roots with the early work of Black Sabbath with songs such as "Black Sabbath", "Electric Funeral" and "Into the Void". As the 1980s progressed new bands from England, USA and Sweden defined the genre as distinct, including: Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, Pentagram, Saint Vitus and Candlemass.
Lyrics are generally pessimistic in introspective was or using symbolism with themes such as: suffering, depression, fear, grief, dread, drugs (or addiction), religion (Christian and/or ancient Pagan), death and anger.
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