Genre of music which evolved from hard rock in the late 60s. First 'true' metal band were probably Black Sabbath, who were the first to use most of the characteristic features of the genre, such as downtuned guitars (due to an accident suffered by Tony Iommi, the guitarist), use of the 'tri-tone', heavy distortion, use of minor pentatonic scale solos and religious themes.

Metal has evolved from the original 'heavy metal' to now incorporate a whole host of other genres. Many of these simply take the metal 'blueprint', and add elements taken from other genres (for example, Folk Metal will combine the distortion and 'dark' feel of metal with the meandering melody lines, different instruments and rural themes of folk. However, some use influences not drawn from other genres, and the large number of genres withing metal can be f*cking confusing to an outsider.

So, in an attempt to describe each genre in a sentence...

Heavy Metal - Darker, louder version of rock with religious themes.

New Wave Of British Heavy Metal - The above, but slightly camper.

Power Metal - Super-cheesey, mildly homo-erotic version of metal, usually with fantasy themes.

Gothic Metal - Either guys trying to sound like vampires over a tamer version of normal metal, or operatic female singers doing a full vocal workout over a more melodic style of metal.

Symphonic Metal - Kinda like normal metal, but with bits of an orchestra shoved in for good measure.

Death Metal - Louder than normal metal, less melody, and with a singer who sounds like he has a really bad throat.

Black Metal - Similar to Death Metal, but more melodic, and, if from Norway, generally with artists imprisoned for burning churches.

Nu-Metal - Commercialised metal, often with hip-hop influences, basically MTV's attempt to cash in on the genre.

Progressive Metal - Prog rock, but louder, longer, and generally with even deeper themes, and musicians who may use influences from any other metal genre in their music.

Doom Metal - Metal, slowed down to produce a slow, unstoppable wall of sound.

Stoner Doom Metal - Doom metal, but they haven't worked out how to change notes.

Glam Metal - Metal, but wearing a dress, and singing about girls.

Speed Metal - Metal played very, VERY fast.

Thrash Metal - A heavier version of Speed metal.

Alternative Metal - A handy genre into which you can shove all the bands you're not too sure about.

Right, that's the music. Personally a fan of Folk, Progressive and Power metal, but they're all pretty good. Apart from nu-metal. May be hard to get into, but there's something there for everyone.
Metal Horns!

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by Deevyde September 01, 2006
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A type of music characterized by it's cacophonous wall of sound and accelerated tempo which is achieved through distorted electric guitars playing fast-paced riffs, with the driving drumbeat often utilizing hypersonic double bass rhythms and emphasizing the continuous pumping action, the bass guitar is often playing similar to the guitar, but more with the drums, so as to add to the overall heavyness and depth. It can manifest in many different forms and the spectrum of intensity is usually quite varied. From slow and heavy melodic grooves, to complex and precise blinding rhythms, odd time changes, and sheer brutality.. metal comes in many shapes and sizes. One common trait of metal is to have vocals dealing with dark subject matter, often sung with anger, aggression, and conviction in the form of screaming. Melodic smooth vocals are also accepted. Solos are an integral part of metal music, as the icing on the cake to complement the heavy intensity of the songs and add more depth and individuality. Real metal has a solo in every song, usually scales and arpeggios played with some changes often in 8th, 16th, or 32nd notes..if only a few quick licks. Metal is progressive and dynamic, and usually provokes feelings that are therapeutic to the listener. Metal is rock music that has evolved.
Opeth, Death, Slayer, Pantera, Iced Earth, In Flames, Testament
by Shroomism October 02, 2003
A misunderstood type of music that can not easily be appreciated if you haven't heard much of it. It may take a long time for you to warm up to it, but as soon as you do, there's no turning back. Contrary to belief, metalheads are not stupid or angsty - that's just throwing around labels.
1. Metal music is judged too easily.
2. People's minds need to be more open.
by Glome March 14, 2005
Aw man metal is fucking awesome!!
Metal up your pee-hole!!!
by I like gay anal sex May 05, 2005
The best kind of music the world has to offer. Metallica, Slayer, Pantera.... need I say more?
Metallica- Ride the Lightning
Slayer- South of Heaven
by Metallica OWNS November 03, 2003
A group of elements in the periodic table.
Aluminium, Steel and Iron are all metal.
by jumpoffjoeybuddenz October 28, 2005
a great type of music which has been ruined by too many sub-genres and too many stupid people bitching & moaning & making vacuous statements about what "is or isn't" real metal. They hang around message boards and give each other blowjobs & snowballs.
Stupid Metal Bitch 1: "-insert band name- isn't metal! That's fucking stupid ass mallcore nu-metal. God, you fucking loser. I should kick your ass. If you want "real" metal listen to -insert band here"

Stupid Metal Bicth 2: " that's real metal..opeth r0x0rs! slayer! metallica! meshuggah! listen to pussy metal...fuck goth metal..dark metal..death metal..pop metal..german metal..hardcore metal..punk metal..mallcore pussy. fuck you. listen to real metal, bitch"

Me: -sighs and shakes head in disbelief-
by M0rb1D March 14, 2004
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