Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Metal genres and subgenres

Australian War Metal
Also referred to as Satanic war metal or simply as war metal and originating from Australia, it is characterized by a fusion of death metal rhythm section with 1980s thrash-style guitar riffs and vocals, particularly influenced by European thrash bands such as Sodom, Kreator and Coroner. The style also borrows its image and lyrical themes from early Black metal. Exponents of Australian war metal include Bestial Warlust, Destroyer 666 & Gospel Of The Horns.

Baroque Metal
Soft metal with a high influence from baroque musicians such as Johann Sebastian Bach. The best example is Alex Masi.

Black Metal
Considered to be the most extreme subgenre of metal. The genre has its origins in early thrash/speed metal and is often (but not always) characterised by Satanic or occult lyrical themes, usually 'screamed' out rather than sang. Venom and Bathory are credited with pioneering the genre. Other notable black metal artist include Darkthrone, Immortal, Emperor, Satyricon and Mayhem.

Blues Rock
Most important early heavy metal performers were rooted solidly in blues rock: Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin.

Christian Metal
This category can be any style of metal featuring explicitly Christian lyrics or themes. Examples include Stryper and Mortification.

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 musicians themselves, with some achieving commercial success (most notably Green Jelly and Scatterbrain). Comedy metal can be varied in humour, from being blatantly offensive and politically incorrect (such as Anal Cunt and Pungent Stench), to more middle of the road humour (such as Canadian band Zimmer's Hole and GWAR).

Death Metal
An extreme style of metal with low-pitched guitars and growling, often incomprehensible vocals. Lyrical themes of early death metal often centered around gore horror (hence the term), although the genre has since diversified. Examples Bolt Thrower, Mortification, Death, Morbid Angel, Deicide and Entombed. Also see Melodic death metal.

Doom Metal
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. Examples of epic metal include Manowar, Virgin Steele, Cirith Ungol, Omen, Medieval Steel, Bathory, DoomSword.

Extreme Metal
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
A style incorporates folk music instruments or themes. Skyclad is probably the most known band in this genre. See Subway To Sally and In Extremo.

Gore Metal
Subgenre that bases most lyrical inspiration on gore/horror and anything to be considered macabre and "Dark Taboo", Generally revolving around something sickening. Bands linked with this subgenre include: Mortician, Exhumed and quite obvious from the band-name Cannibal Corpse.
Goth Metal
A 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, My Dying Bride and Type O Negative.

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
Sometimes seen as distinct from grunge itself, although combining elements of both grunge and metal. Prominent grunge metal acts include Alice In Chains and King's X.

Hair Metal
Also referred to as glam metal or cock rock, it was a commercially popular style of metal in the 1980s. It features feel good anthems and flashy costumes. Bands include Mtley Cre, Ratt, Skid Row, Poison, Dokken, Greg Howe, Vixen and Cinderella.

Hard Rock
A progression from blues rock and early psychedelia and a precursor to heavy metal. It was pioneered in the mid to late 1960s by artist such as Jimi Hendrix and Steppenwolf, with British bands such as Led Zeppelin, Cream and Free developing it further. It is hard to distinguish hard rock from early heavy metal, some artist such as Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Queen and AC/DC fall into both styles.

Originating as extreme and chaotic version of punk rock but crossed over into Heavy metal due to its similarities in heaviness and aggression. It was also a pivotal influence to thrash metal and later grindcore and Metalcore. Some artists, most notably Suicidal Tendencies and D.R.I. crossed over styles from hardcore to heavy metal. Other notable hardcore acts include Bad Brains, Agnostic Front, Black Flag and Minor Threat.

Ice Metal
Incorporates sounds, imagery and themes related to ice zones, specifically Scandinavia. See Sonata Arctica.

Industrial Metal
Features elements of dance music, techno, and heavy, distorted guitars. Synthesizers and drum machines are heavily used in this sub-genre. Well known industrial metal acts include Marilyn Manson, Ministry, Rob Zombie/White Zombie, Fear Factory and Rammstein.

Math Metal
This term was reportedly coined by Mudvayne frontman Chd, and features bands such as Meshuggah and the noisy, grindcore and jazz influenced band by the name The Dillinger Escape Plan.

Melodic Death Metal
An offshoot of death metal, featuring melodic guitar riffs (sometimes acoustic), and in some examples occasional 'clean' singing. Death and Morbid Angel are primary influences of the genre, which has been developed further by predominately Swedish bands such as Entombed, At The Gates, Opeth, In Flames and Katatonia.

This style is a fusion between hardcore and thrash Metal. Notable metalcore artists include Hatebreed and Killswitch Engage.

Neo-Classical Metal
Incorporates elements or melodies from classical music, especially works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and Niccolo Paganini. Yngwie J. Malmsteen is a perhaps 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
Often abbreviated as NWOBHM, the term is used to describe British metal artists that emerged in the late 1970s/early 1980s in the wake of the 'original wave' of British metal artist such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. NWOBHM was hugely popular and is influential to virtually all sub-genres of heavy metal since. 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, Drowning Pool, Machine Head and Limp Bizkit.

Opera Metal
A genre of metal including operatic vocals. An example would be Nightwish.

Oriental Metal
A sub-sub genre of death metal and incorporating influences from Jewish tradition and eastern music. See Salem and Orphaned Land.

Party Metal
Also referred to as Pop metal, it features lyrics celebrating drinking, rock or metal music, sex, and related topics. The style often overlaps hair metal and hard rock. Notable artists include Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Queen, KISS, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Andrew WK 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
Speed metal has its origins in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal with bands such as Motorhead, Raven, Venom, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest often combining heavy metal with the speed of punk rock. The style often overlaps Thrash metal, although speed metal is regarded as being more melodic. Other notable speed metal acts include Watchtower and Racer X.

Stoner Metal
Also referred to as stoner rock, it overlaps with doom metal, and features heavy, sometimes slow and sludgily distorted riffs and the obvious influence of psychedelic music and more importantly the 1970s fuzz-distorted metal of Black Sabbath and Budgie. Exponents of the genre include Cathedral, Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age, Nebula, Fu Manchu and Monster Magnet.

Synth Metal
Soft form of metal strongly influenced by the sounds, forms and fashion of the 80's Synth pop, with synthethizers as predominant instruments and guitars only used in a clean, brilliant, bright way, in a second place. Best examples but not the only ones, are Sonata Arctica, Royal Hunt, Dark Moor, Wampas and Final Fight.

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. It was not the big four, it was actually the big five, Megadeth, Slayer, Exodus, Pantera, and Metallica.

True Metal
This term was coined back in the 1980s by US band Manowar, but came into wider use in the 1990s, when genres such as alternative metal and nu metal began to emerge to distinguish more "traditional" styles such as power metal.

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.

Viking Metal
Pioneered by Bathory, this is music including Viking-themed lyrics, and sometimes acoustic guitars and folk instruments. See also Thyrfing and Falkenbach.

Dark metal
Dark metal is a subgenre of heavy metal with stylistic origins coming from both gothic and extreme metal.
Alternative metal (or alt-metal) is a style of heavy metal and alternative rock.

Alternative metal
Alternative metal usually takes elements of heavy metal with influences from genres like alternative rock, and other genres not normally associated with metal. Alternative metal bands are often characterized by heavy guitar riffs, melodic vocals, unconventional sounds within other heavy metal genres, unconventional song structures and sometimes experimental approaches to heavy music.The term has been in usage since the 1980s, although it came into prominence in the 1990s.It has spawned several subgenres, including nu metal, which expands the alternative metal sound, commonly adding influences from hip hop and thrash .

Celtic metal
Celtic metal is a subgenre of folk metal that developed in the 1990s in Ireland. As the name suggests, the genre is a fusion of heavy metal and Celtic music. The early pioneers of the genre were the three Irish bands Cruachan, Primordial and Waylander. The genre has since expanded beyond Irish shores and is known to be performed today by bands from numerous other countries.

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