What makes a metal band a death metal band? And how do you differentiate between a death metal band and another type of extreme metal band?

For those not at least somewhat familiar with the trappings of metal music, you can probably see where this categorization can get tricky.

That's why there have been many times that non-death metal bands get labeled as death metal, especially by those not necessarily in the know — whether it's a metal listener, a music publication or someone else. In this list, we've rounded up a handful of glaring times that bands were "wrongly accused" of being death metal.

See the list toward the bottom of this post.

READ MORE: The History of Death Metal

Merriam-Webster defines "death metal" as a type of heavy metal music that is characterized by the use of dark, violent or gory imagery. But even with that said, it's very difficult to completely convey the musical style in words, wouldn't you say?

If a band has distorted, low-tuned guitars with sonorous percussion, fast tempos and guttural vocals, are they death metal? Does the imagery have to be morbid? Do they have to be influenced by Possessed, Death or Morbid Angel?

Metalheads know, others don't. So without further ado, dive into the mis-categorizations below. And underneath the list, find Loudwire's ranking of the best death metal albums ever — handy for those looking to go deeper into the subgenre.

10 Times Bands Were Wrongly Accused of Being Death Metal

Is it fair or splitting hairs? None of these metal bands are death metal bands, yet they all have received the death metal tag at one time or another.

Sometimes, it's from a listener who may not be familiar with the metal subgenre designations. Other times, it's an error from a publication or TV show.

But none of these bands would ever really be considered death metal — at least not by most metal listeners and critics of the genre. What do you make of these various metal mis-categorizations?

Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp

Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985

Here's our picks for the Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985

Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff

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