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11.
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
64 16
 
50.
A kind of music that kind cause you to release your inner urine and feces upon your disc player!
It makes just walk right over to your stereo,open up the door on you CD player and just pee and poo therein and then smash the lid back closed.
by Satch Johnson February 25, 2005
86 132
 
51.
A seriously awesome style of music which is much more difficult (at least for guitar) than normal rock. But I do not see anyone mentioning the band that I think owns heavy metal, Tool. I am a professional violist and I play guitar, and musically, heavy metal is very similar to classical, it takes skill to play and write.
Tool's music is 100 times what any Blink 182 or Simple Plan guitarist can play. And musically speaking, it is, well actual music.
by Skelington December 22, 2003
47 94
 
52.
Heavy Metal is by far a better form of music than anything going today. Although some of today's "nu metal" bands have a bit of talent, none compare to metal gods of years past such as Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer, Pantera, Metallica (as in pre 1990's Selloutica), and even Alice in Chains on Facelift. This was angry music with a purpose, not just angry for the sake of selling records.
If you want an example of good heavy metal music, listen to some Iron Maiden or Motorhead, fuck this Korn and Slipknot crybaby shit.
by Troy August 27, 2003
58 106
 
53.
One of the most talented genres out there today. The guitars are usually blindingly fast and the drummer uses the double bass or other awesome sounding beats all the time. The vocalist usually sings in a low voice, a lot of times consisting og growling and shrieks. The bass player..... he's just there. Good bands include Chimaira, Lamb of God, In Flames, 100 Demons, Fear Factory, God Forbid, etc.
My friend lost 73% of his hearing and 3 fingers at a heavy metal concert
by Hanky September 05, 2004
47 96
 
54.
1. Probably the best genre of music. Created by bands like Led Zepplin and Deep Purple, then revloutionized by 80's bands like Iron Maiden and METALLICA, and is still kept alive today by bands like Tool and Cradle of Filth. Basically, its pure anger turned into music.

2. A animated, adult-oriented film (u.s.) based on a french, Adult oriented Comic. It has gained a large cult following and, even spawned a crappy sequal, Heavy Metal 2000
1. Metallica is god.

2. Heavy metal is one of the only rated R american animated films ever.
by Pyro Maniac May 09, 2004
49 99
 
55.
Has pretty much dominated the rock scene for the past 25 or so years.
Music has pretty much sucked for about the past 25 years.
by 'nuff said, August 10, 2005
63 118
 
56.
True music that describes the inner self in everyone. In other words, KICK ASS music.
Metallica, Disturbed
by S2 November 17, 2003
45 101