List of heavy metal genres
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Since the form's development in the late 1960's, Heavy metal has spawned a number of often overlapping subgenres.
Note that these definitions are often quite arbitrary, and while some fans have firm notions of what defines genres and subgenres--and which performers best exemplify those styles--others reject such notions as useless, or worse, limiting.
- Alternative metal - Imprecisely defined, but most "alternative metal" bands have an experimental bent. See Faith No More, Fantômas and Tomahawk. The Melvins and Meshuggah, Tool, Rage Against The Machine and Helmet.
- Australian war metal - Australian in origin, characterized by a fusion of death metal rhythm section with 1980's Thrash-style guitar riffs and vocals, particularly influenced by German thrash bands such as Sodom and Coroner; exponents of Australian war metal include Bestial Warlust, Destroyer666 & Gospel of the Horns.
- Black metal - Considered to be the most extreme subgenre of metal. Has its origins in early Thrash/Speed metal and is often characterised by satanic or occult lyrical themes. See Mayhem, Darkthrone, Immortal, Bathory and Venom.
- Blues rock Most important early Heavy Metal performers were rooted solidly in blues rock: Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin.
- Christian metal features explicitly Christian lyrics or themes.
- Circus metal incorporates circus or carnival elements in music or performances. See Mr. Bungle, Dog Fashion Disco, Secret Chiefs 3, Vicious Hairy Mary, Headkase and Darth Vegas .
- Comedy metal features pronounced humor and comedy. Comedy metal may have been unwittingly created by the film This Is Spinal Tap in the mid 1980s. Besides Spinal Tap, other comedians parodying metal have included UK project Bad News (featuring comedians from The Young Ones) and US comedian Bob Rivers. Comedy metal has also been created by metal musicans themselves, with some achieving commercial success (most notably Green Jelly and Scatterbrain). Comedy metal can be veried in humour, from being blatently offensive and politically incorrect (such as Anal Cunt), to more middle of the road humour (such as Canadian band Zimmer's Hole). Also see GWAR
- Death metal - extreme music with low-pitched guitars and growling, often incomprehensable vocals. See Cannibal Corpse, Bolt Thrower, Mortification, Death, Morbid Angel and Entombed.
- Doom metal is inspired largely by the lumbering dirges and stoned, paranoid darkness of Black Sabbath, and one of the very few heavy metal subgenres to prize feel and mood more than flashy technique, doom metal bands include Candlemass, Cathedral and Anathema.
- Epic metal incorporates high fantasy and related elements. See Manowar, Virgin Steele, Cirith Ungol, Omen, Medieval Steel, Bathory, DoomSword.
- Extreme metal is not a specific genre but a broader definition of some heavier and aggressive styles of metal including Black metal, Death metal, Doom metal, Grindcore, Hardcore and Thrash metal.
- Folk metal incorporates folk music instruments or themes. Skyclad is probably the most known band in this genre.See Subway to Sally and In Extremo.
- Goth metal is fusion of the bleak, icy atmospherics of goth rock with the loud guitars and aggression of heavy metal, finding the middle ground between the two styles in a melodramatic sense of theater and lyrical obsessions with religion and horror. Bands include Theatre of Tragedy, Paradise Lost, Lacrimosa, Tristania and My Dying Bride.
- Grindcore is influenced by Thrash metal, and also Hardcore and Punk, that takes its name from the "grinding" sound made by the atonal riffs 'grinding' into one another. The style is characterized by a vocal style similar to Death metal, rapid fire "blast beats" from double-kick drums and short songs. Exponents of the genre include Napalm Death (regarded as pioneers of the style), Carcass and Extreme Noise Terror.
- Grunge metal is sometimes seen as distinct from Grunge itself, although combining elements of both Grunge and metal. See Alice In Chains and King's X.
- Hair metal featured feel good anthems and flashy costumes. Bands include Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Skid Row, Poison, Dokken, Greg Howe, Vixen, and Cinderella.
- Hard rock overlapped often with blues rock. See Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Free, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and AC/DC.
- Hardcore was punk rock played at very high speed. See Bad Brains, Agnostic Front, Black Flag and Minor Threat. Overlaps often with speed metal.
- Industrial metal features elements of dance music, techno, and heavy, distorted guitars. Synthesizers and drum machines are heavily used in this sub-genre. See Nine Inch Nails, Fear Factory and Rammstein.
- Math Metal - This term was reportedly coined by Mudvayne frontman Chüd, and features bands such as the previously mentioned Meshuggah and the noisy, grindcore and jazz influenced band by the name The Dillinger Escape Plan.
- Melodic death metal Death and Morbid Angel are primary influences of the genre, which has been developed further by predominately Swedish bands such as Opeth, In Flames and Katatonia.
- Metalcore - This style is a fusion between Hardcore and Thrash Metal. Notable Metalcore artists include Hatebreed and Killswitch Engage.
- Neo-classical metal incorporates elements oor melodies from classical music, epecially works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and Niccolo Paganini. Yngwie J. Malmsteen is perhap-known proponent of this branch of metal, classical elements were used in heavy metal and hard rock date back to Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple and Eddie Van Halen's innovations in the late 1970s.
- New Wave of British Heavy Metal was a highly popular and rather melodic precursor to thrash metal. Major artists included Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon and Diamond Head.
- Nu metal features a pronounced hip hop influence, and guitar technique is often different from "traditional metal." Some argue Nu-Metal is a misnomer, stating the genre has very little to do with heavy metal. See Korn, Papa Roach, Staind, Slipknot, Orgy, System of a Down, Drowning Pool Machine Head and Limp Bizkit.
- Oriental metal is a sub-sub genre of death metal and incorporating influences from Jewish tradition and eastern music. See Salem and Orphaned Land.
- Party metal features lyrics celebrating drinking, rock or metal music, sex, and related topics. See Cheap Trick, Van Halen , KISS, Quiet Riot and some Judas Priest ("Living After Midnight", "Heading Out To The Highway," "Hot Rockin")
- Power metal features fantasy or science fiction themes. The most famous bands include Helloween, Blind Guardian and Hammerfall, all of them continental European, and Jag Panzer coming from the US.
- Progressive metal - combining elements of progressive rock and heavy metal. See Dream Theater, Symphony X, Stratovarius and DragonForce.
- Speed metal incorporated hardcore punk's speed with more traditional metal. Frequently overlaps with Thrash Metal: Watchtower, Racer X.
- Stoner metal overlaps with doom metal, and features heavy, sometimes slow and sludgily distorted riffs and the obvious influence of psychedelic music. See Black Sabbath, Budgie, Cathedral, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and Monster Magnet.
- Thrash metal: Incorporated hardcore punk's speed with traditional metal. Slayer, Overkill and early Metallica and Megadeth. As is true for many of the terms in this list, the moniker "thrash metal" was not always embraced by its supposed representatives; early on, Metallica referred to themselves as "power metal" (conflicting with the above definition of this term). Conversely, many more or less obscure bands, like Kreator, came up with equally obscure classifications for themselves, such as hate metal. Such labels were often soon forgotten or reused for something else.
- True metal - This term was coined back in the 1980s by US band Manowar, but came into wider use in the 1990s..
- SID Metal - A recent genre of metal which uses a SID chip. The Swedish band Machinae Supremacy is said to be the founder of this genre.
- Vedic metal was reportedly started by Indian band Rudra which combined death metal with eastern spiritual and folk elements to create a totally new genre called Vedic metal. Other groups include Canyon and Supremo from India, Hellraiser from Thailand and Brisko from Indonesia.
|Heavy metal | Genres|
|Alternative - Australian war - Black - Christian - Circus metal - Death - Doom - Epic - Hair metal - Goth - Metalcore - Neo-Classical metal - NWOBHM - Power - Oriental - Stoner - Sludge - Thrash - True metal|
|Grindcore - Industrial metal - Nu metal - Progressive metal|
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