...cause I can't understand a word!
There was an uproar here in Oz a few years a go when Pungent Stench toured. Christian groups were up in arms about the content of their songs. National television jumped on the bandwagon, and showed all these evil PS concerts, complete with lyrics written at the bottom of the screen so everyone could see how offensive they were. Naturally, if they didn't have them printed, no one would have understood 1 word!

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Not very. Like you said, if I can't understand it (which happens often in these two genres of metal), I won't care for it. Unless the music in question is part of a concept album where the lyrics are critical in understanding and following the story. This begs the question of whether there is actually a black or death metal concept album...
I think you've hit the nail on the head. If the music appeals in any way, then sooner or later you check out the lyrics. Ive done this in the past and am sometimes pleasantly surprised when the lyrics are not just about disembowelment. Or Satanic disembowelment. Or satanic disembowelment with some kind of sex involved.
I think it depends sometimes. There are bands I love who have great lyrics and other bands whose lyrics are laughable. I don't care too much, what's important is that the music somehow speaks to the listener in some way.

I've always heard that people can't understand the lyrics in metal music and I can see their point somewhat. But the larger point is that Metal is still the type of music where you look up the lyrics and read the liner notes and get all intense about the band you love. So you're willing to go the extra mile to find out what that bands about. Whereas with more popular forms of music...well, most people just want a beat they can dance to. And that's cool too.

Christians...and anyone else who protests and gets all up in arms about shit that is out their control is ridiculous and just serve as cheap entertainment for me.
I agree. Lyrics are the icing on the cake but it is the music that's important. I read lyrics and think "yeah, sounds good" but that's it. I hear music and it makes me feel sad, angry, happy, energized, nostalgic etc. Good lyrics make me think. good music makes me feel.
Ironically enough, lyrics do matter. Mostly due to the fact that the lyrics are what distinguish the stylistic differences between the two. Black deals mostly with darkness and Satanic themes, where death metal deals with brutality and gore. There's an art to be able to describe the things that they do without sounding repetitive and stupid.


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