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The Rise of Death Metal in Tampa Bay

            The Tampa Bay area of Florida was highly influential in the rise of death metal as it was the centre of a large death metal culture. This culture developed with the introduction of prominent bands and personalities, primarily Chuck Schuldiner of 'Death', as well as 'Deicide', 'Morbid Angel', 'Possessed' and 'Cannibal Corpse', who all contributed to the evolution and development of the genre. The significant Morrisound Studios was also situated in Tampa which rapidly became a world renowned home of death metal, where the production took a great leap in the quality of heavy metal sound production.
             One of the leading pioneers of this subgenre of heavy metal, which emerged out of Tampa Bay, Florida, into mainstream culture in the late 1980's, was Chuck Schuldiner and his band 'Death'. "He not only helped spawn an entire extreme genre around gore and technical guitar wizardry, but like horror movies sometimes do, 'Death' also challenged our notions of life" (Gotrich, 2011). He is credited by many as the "godfather of death metal music" (Renda, 1999) and "showed the foresight and courage to not only help create the rules of death metal, but to demonstrate how to break them" (von Nagel, 2011). Schuldiner has been praised by many big figures within the metal culture, with Monte Connor, current President of Nuclear Blast Entertainment, stating "As far as I'm concerned Chuck Schuldiner was pretty much the godfather of death metal and Death were pretty much the first death metal band" (Connor, 2014, as cited in Dunn, 2014). Dr Keith Kahn-Harris highlights in his book "Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge", that the death metal scene preceded Death with bands such as 'Nasty Savage' but it was Schuldiner's "personal patronage and efforts" (Kahn-Harris, 2014) which led to it's expansion. This was originally marked by the 1986 album release of what Kahn-Harris considers one of the first death metal albums, "Scream Bloody Gore".

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