Metal Music Genres Family Tree

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Heavy Metal Sub-Genres


Metal, or heavy metal, is a genre of rock music characterized by its thick, massive sound, complex structures, and loudness. The genre's roots are in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, and it typically employs heavy use of distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often aggressive vocals.

Bands: Led Zeppelin (featuring Jimmy Page) , Black Sabbath (featuring Tony Iommi) and Deep Purple (featuring Ritchie Blackmore)

Heavy Metal

Heavy metal is a louder, more aggressive genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, primarily in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, powerful sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion and extended guitar solos.

Bands: Alice Cooper, Kiss, Aerosmith and Eddie Van Halen

Glam Metal

Glam metal, also known as hair metal, combines the flashy looks of glam rock with the heavy sound of metal. Popular in the 1980s, bands like Mötley Crüe and Poison characterized the genre by their use of makeup, teased hair, and theatrical antics.

Bands: Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses and Poison

see also Guns N' Roses albums discography

Thrash Metal

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal characterized by its fast tempo and aggression. Thrash blends the speed and malice of hardcore punk with the technical guitar solos of heavy metal. It emerged in the early 1980s with bands like Metallica and Slayer.

Bands: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax

see also Metallica singles and albums discography

Groove Metal

Groove metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that takes the intensity and sonic weight of traditional heavy metal and infuses it with a more pronounced rhythmic swing, often reminiscent of hardcore punk or thrash metal. Bands like Pantera and Lamb of God are notable examples.

Bands: Pantera (featuring Dimebag Darrell) White Zombie, Machine Head, and Sepultura. Successful groove metal acts of the 2000s include Lamb of God, DevilDriver, and Five Finger Death Punch

Death Metal

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that uses heavily distorted guitars, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, and complex song structures. It emphasizes an aggressive, powerful sound with lyrical themes often revolving around violence, decay, and death.

Bands: Death, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary (you get the naming!)

Doom Metal

Doom metal is a form of heavy metal that evokes a sense of impending doom in its music, which is typically slower and has thicker, heavier sound. Emphasis is on melancholy, despair, and grief with bands like Candlemass and Black Sabbath (in their early days).

Bands: Black Sabbath influenced Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Trouble and Candlemass have been referred to as "the Big Four of Doom Metal"

Nu Metal

Nu Metal combines elements of metal music with other genres, including hip hop, industrial, grunge, and punk. It is characterized by its heavy guitar riffs, turntable scratches, and diverse vocal techniques. Bands like Linkin Park and Korn are key players in this genre.

Bands: Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Rammstein, Slipknot

play my version of 'Foxy Lady' by Hendrix

See also Metal genre blog posts

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