How many forms of Metal are there?

tamadrm

Platinum Member
There is some discussion on this forum,as to the origins of heavy metal.I was wondering,since there seems to be a different form of metal almost every week....how many actually are there;and what are the differences?

The second part of the question is,could you play it without double bass and blast beats ect.Kind of like the old fashon way,Like Bill Ward?Feel free to answer as serious(but not too serious) or as silly as you want.

Have at it !!!!

Steve B
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
Too many! Can I ask why everyone thinks Metal has to be ugly and evil. Is that a prerequisite.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
You seem to have created two threads by accident. I choose this one!

Well, there are a lot of sub-sub-subgenres of metal, but in broader terms I think you could pick a smaller set of subcategories of the main genre 'metal', which would give a decent cross-section of what's going on. A lot of the weirder-sounding names are combinations of the other subgenres or simply have an adjective to describe them more specifically, a bit like rock/hard rock...'funeral doom' is just doom metal that's even slower. It's a cultural thing too.

Anyway, let's see what I can come up with on the subject!

Death Metal is one of the most popular subgenres. Typically, death metal is played on guitars tuned down at least to D, if not B or A or even lower. Vocals will be low-pitched and growly sounding, with few melodic parts at all (if there are any, that would be called Melodic Death Metal, or sometimes Melodeath for short). Songs will be structurally complex with frequent tempo or time signature changes, half-time sections and the like. The drumming will be frenetic and complex. You would struggle to play this with one bass drum pedal. Overall sound is often quite harsh, metallic, and immediate. Cavernous reverb would be atypical. Lyrics are probably about violence and gore, horror-film style.

Black Metal is easily confused with death metal to the outsider. However, they've evolved alongside one another from different roots, and so are distinct from each other despite a few similarities. While black metal also features growly vocals, these will be either higher-pitched and shrieky (but not tonal) or sort of...gurgly. More like a cartoon demon than a big beefy monster, if that helps. Guitars in black metal are often in standard tuning, unlike death metal. The drums, while fast, tend not to be nearly as complex...you'd expect to find blast beats sustained for longer periods of time in black metal than death metal, or very fast continuous bass drum parts underneath a simple part for the hands (often with a 6/8 feel). Some bands use keyboard parts or even full orchestras, this is known as Symphonic Black Metal, though hardcore black metal fans don't consider anything except obscure norwegian bands with bad recordings to be true (or trv) black metal. You might be able to play black metal with one bass pedal but most bands feature heavy use of double bass parts that would be totally impossible with one pedal.
The overall sound is generally more cavernous and a bit thinner than death metal, though this varies. Lyrics will probably be about Satan.

Note: either of these genres might be referred to as Extreme Metal...it's not really a genre in its own right, although it seems to refer more to death metal than black metal. Apparently other genres can be included as well.

Doom Metal is the metal that most traces its roots to early Black Sabbath. A much heavier blues influence is present here. Characteristics are slow tempos (ranging from fairly slow to extremely slow), heavily overdriven but fairly vintage guitar tones, low tunings (although this also varies), more of a 'rock' sound overall (for metal). Drums are loud but fairly simple, with more sustained drum tones and washier cymbals. You could easily play this with one bass pedal, in fact many people do. Vocals can be growly but are often mostly or entirely melodic. Lyrics will probably be about doom or weed. There are lots of different kinds of doom metal (stoner doom, funeral doom, sludge doom) but they're more speed settings than anything else.

Thrash Metal features fast tempos, a slightly more 80s sound than death metal, vocals that can be either melodic (James Hetfield of Metallica) or yelled/growled (Tom Araya of Slayer). The feel is more punky than any of the other genres I've mentioned so far. The drums are fast but not very complex, you wouldn't usually find blast beats here.
Harmonised lead guitar is a common feature. Lyrics will probably be about beer.

Power Metal has most in common with thrash metal out of the things on this list, but is different in most ways apart from the tempo. Power metal is very melodic, featuring soaring vocals (possibly operatic), keyboards, harmonised lead parts, and often a slow harmonic tempo despite the fast overall tempo. The drums will be simple enough but very very fast. You can't do this with one foot, trust me, I would if I could! Lyrics will be about dragons, swords, steel, magic, things that are far away, and heroic deeds.

Folk Metal is a mixture of metal with european folk music. Tempos are usually not as fast as the other genres, but not as slow as doom. It's quite common to see bands with folk instruments alongside the usual guitars, drums and bass, e.g. violin, accordian, flute, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, folk harp, or any number of others. Vocals are often a mixture of death metal-esque growls and melodic vocals with a lot of grit. Lyrics are usually about beer OR vodka.

Obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but for the uninitiated that's a reasonable overview. There's more out there, of course, but that's the nature of music.

Hope this helps!
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
You're leaving out Hair Metal - all-American and about guns, booze, cars and girls. Superficial stuff when compared to Satan, the apocalypse and rotting flesh, but it is still metal. It's all goofy if you ask me, and I love it.

There are more categories of metal, I think, than there are people to listen to them.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
You seem to have created two threads by accident. I choose this one!

Well, there are a lot of sub-sub-subgenres of metal, but in broader terms I think you could pick a smaller set of subcategories of the main genre 'metal', which would give a decent cross-section of what's going on. A lot of the weirder-sounding names are combinations of the other subgenres or simply have an adjective to describe them more specifically, a bit like rock/hard rock...'funeral doom' is just doom metal that's even slower. It's a cultural thing too.

Anyway, let's see what I can come up with on the subject!

Death Metal is one of the most popular subgenres. Typically, death metal is played on guitars tuned down at least to D, if not B or A or even lower. Vocals will be low-pitched and growly sounding, with few melodic parts at all (if there are any, that would be called Melodic Death Metal, or sometimes Melodeath for short). Songs will be structurally complex with frequent tempo or time signature changes, half-time sections and the like. The drumming will be frenetic and complex. You would struggle to play this with one bass drum pedal. Overall sound is often quite harsh, metallic, and immediate. Cavernous reverb would be atypical. Lyrics are probably about violence and gore, horror-film style.

Black Metal is easily confused with death metal to the outsider. However, they've evolved alongside one another from different roots, and so are distinct from each other despite a few similarities. While black metal also features growly vocals, these will be either higher-pitched and shrieky (but not tonal) or sort of...gurgly. More like a cartoon demon than a big beefy monster, if that helps. Guitars in black metal are often in standard tuning, unlike death metal. The drums, while fast, tend not to be nearly as complex...you'd expect to find blast beats sustained for longer periods of time in black metal than death metal, or very fast continuous bass drum parts underneath a simple part for the hands (often with a 6/8 feel). Some bands use keyboard parts or even full orchestras, this is known as Symphonic Black Metal, though hardcore black metal fans don't consider anything except obscure norwegian bands with bad recordings to be true (or trv) black metal. You might be able to play black metal with one bass pedal but most bands feature heavy use of double bass parts that would be totally impossible with one pedal.
The overall sound is generally more cavernous and a bit thinner than death metal, though this varies. Lyrics will probably be about Satan.

Note: either of these genres might be referred to as Extreme Metal...it's not really a genre in its own right, although it seems to refer more to death metal than black metal. Apparently other genres can be included as well.

Doom Metal is the metal that most traces its roots to early Black Sabbath. A much heavier blues influence is present here. Characteristics are slow tempos (ranging from fairly slow to extremely slow), heavily overdriven but fairly vintage guitar tones, low tunings (although this also varies), more of a 'rock' sound overall (for metal). Drums are loud but fairly simple, with more sustained drum tones and washier cymbals. You could easily play this with one bass pedal, in fact many people do. Vocals can be growly but are often mostly or entirely melodic. Lyrics will probably be about doom or weed. There are lots of different kinds of doom metal (stoner doom, funeral doom, sludge doom) but they're more speed settings than anything else.

Thrash Metal features fast tempos, a slightly more 80s sound than death metal, vocals that can be either melodic (James Hetfield of Metallica) or yelled/growled (Tom Araya of Slayer). The feel is more punky than any of the other genres I've mentioned so far. The drums are fast but not very complex, you wouldn't usually find blast beats here.
Harmonised lead guitar is a common feature. Lyrics will probably be about beer.

Power Metal has most in common with thrash metal out of the things on this list, but is different in most ways apart from the tempo. Power metal is very melodic, featuring soaring vocals (possibly operatic), keyboards, harmonised lead parts, and often a slow harmonic tempo despite the fast overall tempo. The drums will be simple enough but very very fast. You can't do this with one foot, trust me, I would if I could! Lyrics will be about dragons, swords, steel, magic, things that are far away, and heroic deeds.

Folk Metal is a mixture of metal with european folk music. Tempos are usually not as fast as the other genres, but not as slow as doom. It's quite common to see bands with folk instruments alongside the usual guitars, drums and bass, e.g. violin, accordian, flute, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, folk harp, or any number of others. Vocals are often a mixture of death metal-esque growls and melodic vocals with a lot of grit. Lyrics are usually about beer OR vodka.

Obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but for the uninitiated that's a reasonable overview. There's more out there, of course, but that's the nature of music.

Hope this helps!
Yes I did,sorry folks.

Steve B
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
There are more categories of metal, I think, than there are people to listen to them.
Ha, in the friendliest possible way, I must call you out on this oft-repeated assertion, DMC. Every time there's a discussion about metal, you say something along the lines of 'there's more people who play metal than want to listen to it'. What I always think of in response to this is...don't the people who play metal also listen to it and constitute part of the audience? And surely in this latest example, there's less genres than bands, and less bands than people who listen to bands? Perhaps it does indeed look that way from the US, but in europe the audience for metal is vast. It may be counter-culture, or whatever, but it's certainly not a niche area of music.

Yes, I missed out hair metal, but I think it does sit seperately from the rest due to having been part of mainstream music and culture. People do still use the term 'heavy metal' to refer to bands with a traditional sound, probably a new wave of british heavy metal sound strictly speaking.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
(...) Perhaps it does indeed look that way from the US, but in europe the audience for metal is vast. It may be counter-culture, or whatever, but it's certainly not a niche area of music.
I like living in Europe ;-) Quite more metal going on here.

Peculiar, you did a great job with your classification post!!
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
for the uninitiated that's a reasonable overview.

Hope this helps!
Yes it did! I'm certainly in the uninitiated category, & found that most informative. I'm not really switched on by anything metal past the 70's, but I do hear occasional glimpses of brilliance in the modern stuff.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I don't play metal, but I can listen to it, all except the growling indistinguishable vocals on some versions. There's probably many metal players that don't listen to big band on a regular basis, lol.

Dennis
 

kettles

Gold Member
The genre classifications do come in handy. I listen to a small amount of death metal, but not really keen on technical death metal or black metal. But I listen to a lot of melodic death metal and hardcore. this would lead one to assume that I would like metalcore, but I can't really stand much of it. I love melodic hardcore, but you wouldn't consider that to be metal at all. I'm big on thrash and groove metal, don't care for much NWOBHM except for Maiden, don't like symphonic metal but I like a lot of power metal, just the fast stuff. I listen to a bit of grindcore but not keen on deathcore. Keen on stoner/doom/sludge and post metal. Recently started getting back into nu metal as well.

But today is jazz day so I'm going to listen to some of that. Specifically which jazz subgenre, I don't know :)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
For what it's worth, Wikipedia has it broken down into these categories:



1 Primary subgenres

1.1 Alternative metal
1.2 Avant-garde metal
1.3 Black metal
1.4 Christian metal
1.5 Death metal
1.5.1 Derivatives of death metal
1.5.1.1 Technical death metal
1.6 Doom metal
1.6.1 Derivatives of doom metal
1.6.1.1 Funeral doom
1.6.1.2 Drone metal
1.6.1.3 Sludge metal
1.7 Extreme metal
1.8 Glam metal
1.9 Gothic metal
1.10 Groove metal
1.11 Industrial metal
1.12 Neo-classical metal
1.13 Nu metal
1.14 Power metal
1.15 Speed metal
1.16 Symphonic metal
1.17 Thrash metal
1.18 Traditional heavy metal
1.19 Viking metal

2 Fusion subgenres

2.1 Crust punk
2.2 Folk metal
2.3 Funk metal
2.4 Grindcore
2.5 Metalcore
2.5.1 Derivatives of metalcore
2.5.1.1 Deathcore
2.6 Melodic death metal
2.7 Nintendocore
2.8 Post-metal
2.9 Progressive metal
2.9.1 Derivatives of progressive metal
2.9.1.1 Djent
2.10 Rap metal
2.11 Stoner metal
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
For what it's worth, Wikipedia has it broken down into these categories:

............................
If that lot doesn't aptly sum up the absurdity that's gripped an entire genre, nothing will.

As I said in the other thread, it's fracturing itself into oblivion. There's only so many ways you can divide yourself until there is nothing left.....at least nothing that has any real meaning or can be taken seriously.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
If that lot doesn't aptly sum up the absurdity that's gripped an entire genre, nothing will.

As I said in the other thread, it's fracturing itself into oblivion. There's only so many ways you can divide yourself until there is nothing left.....at least nothing that has any real meaning or can be taken seriously.
Heh...I won't even mention I see a few categories missing from the list.

But it is all a bit silly. Sure, I understand when trying to describe a band to someone, it's helppful to have some terms handy to give an accurate description, but it's become absurd that people feel this need to label bands into one category or another, as if music can easily be placed in simple little boxes, when the truth is many bands fit more than one category.

And then some sub-genres really don't sound different than others, but are only determines by the types of lyrics.
 

nickg

Silver Member
If that lot doesn't aptly sum up the absurdity that's gripped an entire genre, nothing will.

As I said in the other thread, it's fracturing itself into oblivion. There's only so many ways you can divide yourself until there is nothing left.....at least nothing that has any real meaning or can be taken seriously.
really....how much different is Sewer Metal from Railroad Car metal....how ridiculous. play fast....play even faster double kick....GROWL the vocals....as a fan brew some meth in your trailer and you're on your way.

and the constitution allows these people to vote. i'll put my wife, dog and house on the line saying these fans don't go to work wearing a suit or at least "business casual". welfare and workman's comp is a terrible thing to waste.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
......but it's become absurd that people feel this need to label bands into one category or another, as if music can easily be placed in simple little boxes, when the truth is many bands fit more than one category.

And then some sub-genres really don't sound different than others, but are only determines by the types of lyrics.
That's the crux of it unfortunately. Whilst my "metal is running through my veins, man" days are well and truely over. I still take a passing interest, for interest sake. As far as I can tell this madness is all being created from within. There seems to be such a desperate need for one act to disassociate itself from the next, that they feel the only way to do so it by creating yet another sub-genre that's even more ridiculous and (not so) far removed than the one that preceded it. The downside is, if I can't keep up, then I lose interest altogether. I much preferred the simpler days of "bang ya head til ya dead!" At least that wasn't lost on me. It was all music. I either dug it, or I didn't.....and at no stage did I give a rats behind what pigeonhole someone wanted to put it in. ;-)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
If that lot doesn't aptly sum up the absurdity that's gripped an entire genre, nothing will.

As I said in the other thread, it's fracturing itself into oblivion. There's only so many ways you can divide yourself until there is nothing left.....at least nothing that has any real meaning or can be taken seriously.
I don't see a problem, PFOG. Metal is a young man's genre. (And I say "man" because metal these days is mostly just for somewhat subversive males and the women who like them).

Thing is, young men who don't see themselves fitting into the ideal of suburban bliss and corporate game playing tend to look for a sense of identity. The sub-genres reflect that search - each representing a certain vibe / ideal / attitude. To be placed in the wrong category would mean being misunderstood.

Since metal isn't my form of expression I'd split it in a similar way to how jazz is split:

  • Old metal - equiv to rangtime to swing
  • Death metal - equiv to bop to hard bop
  • Doom - equiv to cool and third stream
  • Prog metal - yep, to prog
  • Metal fusion - equiv to jazz fusion
  • Noise metal - equivalent to free
Generally, I'll enjoy some old metal, doom and prog metal. I can't listen to the rest of it.

Dad would classify the metal genres like this:

  • Bloody horrible noise
:)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
The sub-genres reflect that search - each representing a certain vibe / ideal / attitude. To be placed in the wrong category would mean being misunderstood.
It could well be Pol.......or it could just be an honest reflection of how FOS the average male teenage metal fan is. As a former FOS teenage metal fan I can speak with a degree of authority on the matter. There's was no teenager more FOS than I....I know FOS when I see it....I lived and breathed FOS for quite a few years. :)


Disclaimer.....any FOS teenage metal fan who has issue with this post.....read the "emoticon thread". :) :)
 
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