Category Sub-Genres

Power Metal

POWER METAL (1976-present)

Power Metal is a sub-genre of Heavy Metal combining characteristics of traditional metal with speed metal, often within symphonic context. Generally, Power Metal is characterized by a more uplifting sound, in contrast to the heaviness and dissonance prevalent in styles such as Doom Metal and Death Metal. Power Metal bands usually have anthem-like songs with fantasy-based subject matter and strong choruses, thus creating a theatrical, dramatic and emotionally “powerful” sound.

Power MetalThe term was first used in the middle of the ’80s and refers to two different but related styles : the first pioneered and largely practiced in North America with...

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Gothic Metal

GOTHIC METAL (1990-present)

Gothic Metal (or Goth Metal) is a sub-genre of Heavy Metal and Gothic Rock that combines the heaviness of Heavy Metal with the dark atmospheres of Gothic Rock. The music of Gothic Metal is diverse with bands known to adopt the Gothic approach to different styles of Heavy Metal music. The genre originated during the early 1990s in Europe originally as an outgrowth of Death-Doom, a fusion of Death Metal and Doom Metal. Lyrics are generally dark and introspective with inspiration from gothic fiction as well as personal experiences.

Gothic MetalPioneers of Gothic Metal (although the bands themselves never claim the title of Gothic-Metal) include Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema, all from the north of England...

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Doom Metal

DOOM METAL (1982-present)

Doom Metal is a form of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much “thicker” or “heavier” sound than other metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for Doom Metal with songs such as “Black Sabbath”, “Children of the Grave”, “Electric Funeral” and “Into the Void”. During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England (Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General), the United States (Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Trouble) and Sweden (Candlemass, Count Raven) defined Doom Metal as a distinct genre.

Characteristics

Doom MetalInstrumentation – The electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit a...

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Early / Classic Metal

EARLY / CLASSIC METAL (1966-1971)

Traditional Heavy Metal, also known as Classic Metal, or simply Heavy Metal, is the seminal genre of Heavy Metal music before the genre “evolved and splintered into many different styles and sub-genres.” It is characterized by mid-to-fast-tempo riffs, by thumping basslines, crunchy riffs, extended lead guitar solos, and clean, often high-pitched vocals and anthemic choruses. It is not generally categorized as a sub-genre of Metal, but the main genre of it.

Terminology

Classic MetalThe short, original, and proper term for this genre is “Heavy Metal”, but as Michka Assayas notes in his Dictionary of Rock, the term “Heavy Metal” may sometimes be used in different senses...

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Death Metal

DEATH METAL (1985-present)

Death Metal is an extreme sub-genre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals and screams, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick or blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes and chromatic chord progressions.

Death MetalBuilding from the musical structure of Thrash Metal and early Black Metal, Death Metal emerged during the mid-1980s. Bands such as Venom, Celtic Frost, Slayer, and Kreator, were important influences on the genre’s creation. Possessed and Death, along with bands such as Obituary, Autopsy and Morbid Angel, are often considered pioneers of the genre...

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Black Metal

BLACK METAL (1981-present)

Black Metal is an extreme sub-genre and subculture of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw (lo-fi) recording, unconventional song structures and an emphasis on atmosphere, though many different characteristics and techniques may be employed. Artists often appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms.

Initially a synonym for “Satanic Metal,” Black Metal is often met with hostility from mainstream culture, due to the actions and ideologies associated with it. Many artists express extreme anti-Christian and misanthropic views, advocating various forms of Satanism or ethnic paganism...

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Thrash Metal

THRASH METAL (1983-present)

Thrash Metal is an extreme sub-genre of heavy metal music characterized by its fast tempo and overall aggression. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and reproach for The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, an approach which partially overlaps with the hardcore genre.

Thrash MetalFour American bands – Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer, are credited with pioneering and popularizing the genre. The Clash of the Titans tour (1990–1991), which featured Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, is considered the genre’s pinnacle, after which Thrash Metal saw a decline in popularity throughout the decade...

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New Wave of British Heavy Metal

NEW WAVE OF BRITISH HEAVY METAL (1979-1983)

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal (commonly abbreviated in NWOBHM) was a nationwide musical movement that started in the late 1970s in the United Kingdom and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. The term was first used by journalist Geoff Barton in the May 1979 issue of the British music newspaper Sounds, as a way of describing the emergence of new heavy metal bands in the late 1970s, during the period of Punk rock’s decline and the dominance of new wave music.

New Wave of British Heavy MetalThe New Wave of British Heavy Metal began as an underground phenomenon parallel to Punk and largely ignored by the media, which, only through the promotion of rock DJ Neal Kay and Sounds’ campaigning, reached the public conscience and gained radio coverage, recognition an...

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