heavy metal

Ask Your Dr. Which Metal is Right For You

Ozzy Osbourne We all know the number of sub-genres can be overwhelming, and whether you’re in the metal community and you don’t know what to listen to next. Or alternatively, you’re a beginner and don’t want to browse through the underground “Progressive-Sludge-Kawaii-Alien-Deathcore” to get to the good stuff. Here’s a list of metal subgenres that'll help you know what to expect, accompanied by a list of bands that are good for getting into the genre if you’re interested.

Thrash: Dynamic, fast tempos and “clean” shouty vocals with guitars that are often distorted and can be mistaken for “hard rock" Drumming also carries a style of fast, hard, and energetic beats that compliment the use of guitar shredding plus fast riffs many thrash metal bands use.
Bands: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath, Testament, Anthrax, and Exodus

Doom: Thick and slow guitar that are often tuned down to create an even darker ambiance; with vocals that are thick and carry a style of wailing and sounds of pain. Lyrics usually follow topics of grief, desperation, and anger. Doom has also been fused with death metal and created a sound considered “gothic metal.”
Bands: Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Pagan Altar, Anathema, My Dying Bride, and Type O Negative

Death: Heavily distorted low-tuned guitar with techniques of tremolo-picking and blast-beat drumming. Vocals are similar to low “growls” and “snarls” that go along with very deep vocal fry. During the '90s, death metal fused with doom metal and created another sub-genre called gothic metal.
Bands: Cannibal Corpse, Immolation, Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murder, Malevolent Creation, and Vader

Black: Fast tempos heavily laced with blast beats and songs that usually follow an innovative song structure. Vocals are described as shrieks with many black metal bands following a "raw" recording sound. Many of these bands also follow a certain “aesthetic” that consists of face paint and stage names. This presentation has led several black metal musicians to be called “anti-Christian” and “Murderers”
Bands: Mayhem, Emperor, Cradle of Filth, Venom, Enslaved, and Gorgoroth

Grunge: Blending of punk and heavy metal that originated in Seattle in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Raspy, shouty vocals with lazy sounding effort; and lyrics with themes of rebellion and freedom. Guitars are frequently distorted playing mainly power chords with an emphasis on creating an “authentic and raw” sound they were intending.
Bands: Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Melvins, and Sonic Youth

Alternative: Late 90’s to early 00’s radio rock, branching off of the 90’s grunge scene. Vocals are clean and usually “whiny” sounding with traditional distorted guitars. This sound later branched out into the later 00’s pop-punk scene.
Bands: System of a Down, Deftones, Linkin Park, Korn, Disturbed, and Rage Against the Machine

Power: Cross-genre of heavy and speed metal, taking characteristics for both. Power metal has a much more uplifting, faster, and “lighter” sound than traditional heavy metal. Clean vocals are often associated with high registers and wide ranges. Power metals lyricism is usually inspired by literature and fantasy legends.
Bands: Powerwolf, Dragon Force, Iced Earth, Hammerfall, Rhapsody of Fire, and Symphony X

Industrial: The most “artificial” subgenre, with industrial metal typically featuring synthesizers, sampling, and repeated use of guitar riffs. The shouty vocals followed by a dark guitar makes this genre comparable to gothic metal.
Bands: Nine Inch Nails, Fear Factory, Godflesh, Front Line Assembly, Marilyn Manson, and Rob Zombie

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    July 30, 2019

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