A genre of music that is simply too diverse to define correctly.

Not all metal is aggressive, not all metal is fast, not all metal is about killing, not all metal is about Satan, and ALL metal is talented sophisticated music (save for the bands that just suck).

Metal has to be split up into multiple sub-genres because of how diverse it is.

Heavy Metal - generally refers to late 70s/early 80s bands that have their sound rooted in hard rock. Can also describe bands that don't really fit into any other sub-genre. Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden are the big 3 bands of heavy metal, but earlier hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple are sometimes called heavy metal.

Speed Metal - a type of heavy metal that is faster and can have influences of punk in their rhythms. Not many bands are exclusively referred to as speed metal, because speed metal is hardly distinguishable from thrash metal. Motorhead and Venom, two British bands, are sometimes regarded as definitive of the style.

Thrash Metal - this happened after the New Wave of British Heavy Metal when American bands started to combine it with elements of hardcore punk (there are many other genres to combine punk with metal as well). Bands in this genre play fast riffs with a lot of palm muting and the guitars are often tuned to standard E or standard E flat; many of these guitarists are trained musicians and guitar solos are prevalent. Vocalists can sing (generally in a virtuoso style) shout, or in some cases, growl, generally dealing with lyrical content about war, violence, society, etc. The "big 4" of thrash are Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax, with other popular American bands being Overkill, Exodus, and Testament.

Power Metal - like thrash metal, it is a derivative of speed metal, though power metal rarely has as much aggression as thrash metal. Power metal makes use of fast tempos, operatic vocals, neo-classical guitar solos, keyboards, and has an "epic" feel with lyrics usually dealing with fantasy subjects. Dragonforce is a popular power metal band, but they are dishonest, and not as original as Sonata Arctica, Manowar, or Helloween.

Death Metal - a derivative of thrash metal that started when bands began experimenting with growled vocals, and more violent playing. Bands who play this style are dismissed by the mainstream as being "talentless" or "just noise", but anyone who studies music will tell you that most death metal is in fact quite musical and very challenging. Lyrics, more often than not, deal with death and gore, but some bands even sing about philosophy, politics, or abstract material. Possessed and Death are credited as being some of the originators, as well as lesser known bands like Master. Though these bands were more rooted in thrash, Morbid Angel came along and really made the genre what it is. Sub-styles of death metal are brutal death metal, which focuses on further extreme and technical playing, technical death metal, which focuses almost purely on playing with as much skill and proficiency as possible (many of them are uncreative), and melodic death metal, which originated in Sweden and focuses on harmonized minor-key melodies.

Black Metal - another derivative of thrash, which has since broken away from it, that usually employs fast playing, and rasped and/or screamed vocals. Many bands make use of lo-fi recording, and melody is often a strong musical focus. The style of vocals used in black metal contains a lot of emotion, and creates the effect that the performer is experiencing strong pain or sorrow, though many vocalists just want to sound evil. Lyrics primarily deal with the occult and Satan, though like all metal, can cover a wide variety of topics. Venom is seen as a key influence on the genre due to the aesthetic, and similarity to first-wave artists such as Bathory. Mayhem became the leaders of the second-wave Norwegian scene.

Doom Metal - inspired largely by the early work of Black Sabbath, and is characterized by slower tempos, chugging guitar riffs, and clean vocals with an "epic" feel. Pentagram and Trouble are seen as key innovators of the style. Doom metal has diversified into death/doom, which contains the growled vocals of death metal and focuses on melody and melancholy, giving rise to gothic metal, and funeral doom metal, which like death/doom usually employs growled vocals and generally uses very slow tempos, repetitive and hypnotic song structures, and ultimate heaviness; Katatonia is an example of death/doom and Shape of Despair is an example of funeral doom.

Folk Metal - mixes black metal or power metal with traditional folk music (usually European folk music). It is often ridiculed for being cheesy, but once you get into it, it's some of the catchiest most fun metal to listen to. Often referred to as viking metal. Ensiferum, Finntroll, Borknagar, Wintersun, and Korpiklaani are all examples of folk metal.

Progressive or Avant-garde Metal - bands in this genre focus on unconventional song structures, and elements that are uncommon in metal or even in rock. Dream Theater is one of the biggest prog metal bands.

Sludge Metal - fuses elements of doom metal and hardcore punk. Recent metal trends have shown that these bands have started to experiment with post-rock and progressive metal in their sound. Acid Bath, Isis, and Mastodon are all examples of sludge metal.

Metalcore - another punk fusion genre, that mixes the modern American hardcore scene, usually with melodic death metal. Some bands focus too much on modern hardcore and are deemed not metal by serious metalheads. Trivium, As I Lay Dying, All That Remains, and Shadows Fall are generally regarded as mostly metal, though bands like Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold are not. Deathcore is an offshoot of this genre where bands incorporated brutal or technical death metal into their sound, and have been very poorly received by critics and metalheads alike.

Nu metal is NOT a sub-genre of metal, due to having more in common with alternative rock, grunge, or even hip-hop than metal.
Heavy metal is my favorite kind of music, and there are always new twists and turns with unique bands waiting for me to discover.
by metalheadanonymous September 23, 2009

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A very misunderstood form of music that actually takes lots of talent! It originated as a mix between the blues and hard rock. While not all agree, Black Sabbath is often credited as being the 1st heavy metal band. However they were some bands before them who had songs that could be considered early examples as Blue Cheer, Cream, etc. The darker sound of metal came by accident actually. Black Sabbath's guitarist Tony Iommi had worked at a sheet metal factory and on his last day of the job he had a freak accident, severing 2 fingertips on his right hand. Feeling like his music career was over, he was inspired by a fellow jazz musician to keep going. He then went on to find different ways to make artificial fingertips and used lighter strings to ease the pain on his 2 fingers while playing the guitar. He also down tuned the guitar. With a down tuned guitar and lyric themes inspired by horror movies the music had a heavier and darker sound. Since then bands such as Judas Priest just ditched the bluesy sound and it has evolved to many sub-genres, each with a different sound.

All you people who say that it's for emos, goth vampires, satan worshippers and think it's all grunts and screams and guys dressed like women are ignorant! Do some damn research before you judge it. I used to love rap and and hated metal for those stereotypes. I was an ignorant prick like all of you. Then rap just got stupid with lyrics about meaningless crap so I decided to listen to rock which eventually lead me to metal then I realized there's more to it than grunts and screams and satanism. Those 3 stereotypes only make up a small portion of metal. Grunts and screams are mainly found in the thrash, death, and black metal sub-genres. Then again not all thrash is made up of screams either. Not all death metal bands have lyrics about murder, rape, satan, etc either. Some of them actually have meaningful lyrics like Death and Opeth (Progressive Death Metal). Even still just because a band has screams or grunts for vocals doesn't mean the band doesn't have talent, if you can simply get passed those vocals and just focus on the music itself you'd find out that they could still are very talented. Good examples would be Children of Bodom, Necrophagist, 80's Metallica (anything after '91 flat out sucks), Wintersun, etc. Even if you can't get passed those vocals you could still like metal but just ignore those extreme sub-genres! Like I said they only make a small portion. Under examples I'll list bands with clean vocals.

And the part about metal bands dressing like women, you guys are referring to 80's glam metal, which I'm glad to say is dead because I hate it to! And remember, lyrics that deal with satan, murder, gore, etc are only in good fun, they're just bands who like to have fun because let's face it. Music about GOD is boring!

Also just to show you how huge metal is here are some of the sub-genres, and I'm pretty sure I'm missing some

Heavy Metal
New Wave of British Heavy Metal
Power Metal
Thrash Metal
Death Metal
Black Metal
Blackened Death Metal
Blackened Thrash Metal
Symphonic Black Metal
Melodic Black Metal
Neo Classical Metal
Symphonic Metal
Melodic Death Metal
Metalcore (false metal)
Nu Metal (false metal)
Progressive Metal
Progressive Death Metal
Technical Death Metal
Folk Metal
Viking Metal (though it's more of a theme really)
Alternative Metal
Glam Metal (gay and dead)
Groove Metal
Grindcore

I know there's more but i'm missing them! Seriously metal is so huge and diverse, open up your minds! All those sub-genres sound different from each other!
Heavy Metal Bands with clean vocals: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Edguy, Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, Epica, Hammerfall, DragonForce, Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Opeth (a mix of both grunts and singing, a very talented band), the Scorpions, Deff Leppard, Van Halen
by Mexican Metalhead May 23, 2008

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Heavy Metal is a great Genre. It all started in the 60s where The Kinks "You really got me" showed a perfect example of a metal riff, And steppenwolf said the perfect name for the genre in the lyrics "Heavy Metal Thunder" in the song Born to be wild (though the word thunder never made it)It was created by the legendary greats Black Sabbath in 1970. When Tony lost his fingers tips he thought he would never play again but when you replace them with plastic covers he made monster riffs never imagined to be loved forever. Heavy Metal is characterize with Rock n Roll, BluesRock, Hard Rock, and Psychedelic rock. BANds like Judas Priest, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, Dream Theater are really perfect examples of true heavy metal.
In the late 70s, Metal was losing populartiy cause of such "music" such as Punk which ran in the UK, and Disco, whci ran in the US. Punk was just banging motes and making all these noices, disco would just piss you off but it died out easily (waiting for hip hop to do the same). But in 1980, Metal was brought back to live and it's rescuer's were none other than 5 men with one name, Judas Priest.
Heavy Metal
Judas Priest
Metallica
AC/DC (Mostly rock)
Led Zeppelin
Alice Cooper
Iron Maiden
Slayer
Arch Enemy
by Alan Massacre April 14, 2008

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a genre of music that originated in the late 1960's. it has roots in blues music , psychedelic rock , and hard rock. the first ever heavy metal bands are black sabbath and led zeppelin . in the late 70's , due to the influence of punk rock , the subgenres NWOBHM ( new wave of british heavy metal ) and thrash metal were formed. then , thousands of subgenres such as death metal and black metal started coming out.fans of heavy metal are known as " metalheads " and " headbangers " .
traditional heavy metal : black sabbath , led zeppelin
thrash metal : slayer, anthrax
NWOBHM : motorhead , iron maiden
death metal : death , cannibal corpse
progressive metal : dream theater , queensryche
black metal : venom , mercyful fate
by someguywhomakesdefinitions May 16, 2007

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A form of music that came about in the late 70's and reached its peak of success in the early 80's. It was the first form of "metal" music and it has roots in 70's hard rock. contrary to popular belief the term has nothing to do with newer metal genres as these genres should be referred to as simply "metal". The metal genres most similar to heavy metal are "speed metal" and "power metal". There are some heavy metal bands that started out as hard rock bands such as Judas Priest and Riot. These bands are sometimes referred to as "proto-metal".
Iron Maiden, Jag Panzer, Virgin Steele, Omen, etc.

Jag Panzer is a great heavy metal band!
by heavy metal machine September 11, 2009

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Real music (Not Korn or Limp DickZit) that I still like even at 31 years old!
by Muff Diver October 17, 2003

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is a subgenre of rock. it chracterized by heavy distored guitar shreding at the speed of light(depends on what subgenre it is) it has a loud thunderous drum( which metal drums are the best drums ever played) and bass( a very underated instrument) section and is topped by a vocalist singing louder than hell. there is actually lots of diffrent types of vocals but the main ones are high octave(classic metal), guttural(death, black) and what i call thrash vocals(basiclly niether high or low just in between speaking/singing. can be very fast or slow depending on what subgenre it is. this genre of music has many subgenres in it which have sub genres of its own, many of the popular subgenres are thrash metal, death, black and power metal. its roots can be traced back to classical music, blues, even jazz, and rock and really kicked off when black sabbath came aorund with their 1970 album black sabbath
the lyrical themes are all over the charts. but some of the common themes are about rebellion, seperation, war and violence, counter culture, history, why mankind does stuff and philosophy, politics and corruption.
fans are often called metalheads, look that up and are all over the place in asia europe south america and america. warning we metalheads are extremely rabid and will defend our music at any cost ANY COST

whether metal is good or bad music depends on you and your opinion and your taste
real heavy metal
iron maiden judas priest saxon megadeth testament antrhax early metallica slayer death angel gamma ray helloween deep purple black sabbath tank venom death cannibal corpse pantera blind guardian sacred reich flotsam and jetsam aspid

oh boy there is a ton of great bands
by metalguy121 December 19, 2011

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Contrary to mostly every-other definition of heavy metal here, it is a form of music, mainly instrumental; characterized by polyphonic, loud, skillful sounds. It is the most similar music in terms of composition to classical music. Also contrary to popular belief heavy metal is older than classic rock, and is still very much alive today
Guy 1: Hey I was in AP music today and we were discussing Vivaldi.
Guy 2: Cool, you know if you like Vivaldi you should check out Baroque Skins.
Guy 1: Sure what kind of band are they?
Guy 2: heavy Metal
by ReTARDIS August 23, 2012

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