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
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
Heavy metal is the real deal with metal, not that gawth garbage like slipknot, and marlyin shatsin. most heavy metal bands lyrics deal with governments, wars, medevil times, etc. bands like Motorhead, megadeath, judas priest, and Manowar. fans of the band metalicia formed the metal milta.
heavy metal is the definition of awesomeness
by hellknights December 23, 2010
The real origins of Heavy Metal emanated from the UK and Europe. Bands in the US and elsewhere influenced by them created the confluence of this genre which helped propel Heavy Metal as a world wide favorite type of music among fans.
Heavy Metal bands like Black Sabbath led to Iron Maiden led to Metallica and so on.
by devilgold March 03, 2010
A subgenre of Rock music, closely related to Hard Rock. It was developed during the 70's by bands such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin (although they stuck to their blues and folk roots, and weren't completely Heavy Metal), Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep - even some prog-rock bands experimented with heavier sounds, Heavy Metal sounds. It is said that the first Heavy Metal band was Black Sabbath - I can boldly say they were the first BRITISH Metal band, and Blue Cheer the first American Metal band.

The music is characterized for it's technical and heavy riffs, long songs, and solos played with virtuosity. Lyrics are very varied (contrary to what many people think, they don't all have "satanic" or evil lyrics, and hateful lyrics) - they range from love and sex, through war and nuclear holocaust to fantasy and dragons.

Heavy metal is one of the most misunderstood genres of music in our day. Rather unfortunately, this is often a result of brazen ignorance about the subject, brought about by certain sectors of the media, society, and listeners themselves.
Most notable bands are: Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Dio, Manowar, Stratovarius, Deep Purple, Dokken, Judas Priest

Great vocalists: Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford
by Gabriel December 13, 2004
Heavy Metal itself is a genre of music,influenced by blues and Classical music.It has by far the most sub genres of any form of music,the more well known being;Thrash Metal-Metallica,Anthrax,Megadeth Death Metal-Cannibal Corpse,Deicide,Cryptopsy Black Metal-Enslaved,Satryicon,Mayhem Mallcore-Slipknot,Coal Chamber,KoRn Deathcore-Whitechapel,Winds Of Plague,Salt The Wound
Metalcore-Killswitch Engage,God Forbid,Emmure
Some well deserving,yet underated bands include Amon Amarth(Melodic Death Metal)
Behemoth(Blackened Death Metal) Korpliklaani(Folk Metal)
There is more but I'm eating chips so I can't concentrate.
As for the crap descriptions of metal heads on here: We are normal people,we can't summon other-wordly rage to aid us in a fist fight,we fight just as good as we train to.
Some have shorter tempers,yes and that may be a product of the music,be we are normal.
Some may have few friends,but some have many,I have severeal,all metal heads as I am exclusive on whom I associate with.
The clothing is not a must-have to be metal,as some younger Metal heads may have parents who disapprove of the fashion.
Back to the music,Metal takes Passion,Commitment, and rage to play competently.So does Rap.Thats right,I said it.Rap And Metal are two opposing sides off music.One Mainstream and one Underground.They have the same Criteria to play.Rap has talent,it's just hard to see if you donb't have the ear for the music.There.I've had my say.
Heavy Metal.It said I had to.
by The Man known as Morgan March 03, 2009
None of you dissing metal here know shit about metal. You're thinking of Grindcore and/or Nu Metal, they both suck balls and should die. When you say Heavy Metal is killing rock 'n' roll, then your only right if you're thinking of Nu Metal, which is true; it is. But most of your rock 'n' roll is metal, believe it or not.Led Zeppelin(sometimes), Guns n' Roses, Metallica, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, AC/DC, etc, they're metal. When it comes to the whole satan thing, that's black metal, and that IS in fact, screaming, most of the time. "Bad" metal is not very common. The only metal that appears on shitty MTV is again, Nu Metal, thanks to NU metal and Nu Metal only is Rock 'N' Roll dying.
Look into Heavy Metal before you define it, and you wont be considered "Stupid".
P.S To the guy who dissed Slipknot, your absolutely right(Except for its headbanging not "shaking"),They're Shit Heavy Metal) They don't deserve to headbang, they suck big ol' Elephantitis infected balls.
by Zack423 October 28, 2006
Garbage music faggot emos and braindead idiots who don't know what a haircut is listen to. Anyone who listens to this garbage is usually a failure at life.
Heavy Metal is the biggest piece of shit ever created on this planet. Get a haircut and a life you stupid fucks who listen to this shit.
by YouListenToGarbage November 11, 2012

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