Metal is a very old genre of music, with its origins dating back to 1960's. While there was not actual metal during that time, bands were experimenting with heaviness, and it was no suprise that the first metal band (Black Sabbath) was soon to be born.

Metal originally was one genre. But as time passed more genres were born. it is in the 80's, during the days of NWOBHM and Thrash Metal (two very awesome and popular metal genrews) that metal started changing noticeably.

Thrash metal was born when NWOBHM and Hardcore Punk somehow got combined. The first extreme metal genre was created, one that had the energy, speed, craziness and politicalness of punk and the complex riffing, complex lyrical writing abilities, guitar virtuosity and instrumental pwnage of NWOBHM. Thrash was perhaps the most popular and successful genre of metal during its years, with bands like Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax (the big 4 of thrash) as well as smaller acts like OverKill, Testament and Annihaltor enjoying much success. Unfortunately, after the 80's and the appearence of grunge, thrash started fading away and bands simply started lacking the energy and creativity of their past. From what is known, thrash metal though, is slowly getting back onto its feet and coming back with a vengeance.

In 1980's, after Venom made their monumental "Black Metal" album, black metal was (sort of) born, although it was not THAT well defined yet.
Bathory, Celtic Forst and Mercyful Fate (note: those bands were not really black metal, but they came really, really close.) then came along and helped solidify black metal, defining its form and giving black metal shape. (Black metal often spoke of the occult, Satan, blasphemy, nihlism but sometimes focused on fantasy and folklore, and even national socialism. Their was usually a very fast drumbeat, an often equally fast guitar and bass, shrieky/raspy vocals and sometimes keyboards or symphonic elements, just to add atmosphere) Then the more commonly associated with black metal bands popped up, such as Darkthrone, Mayhem, Burzum and such. Black metal, despite its age and the difficulty of getting use to it, remains quite popular in underground extremem metal circles. Was very popular in the 1990's. As of right now, the genre seems to be doing okay, with no really big problems. Some random black metal bands: Antestor, Satyricon, Emperor, (early) Behemoth, Dark Funeral, Enslaved, Old Man's Child and Solefald.

Death metal also popped up during this time, it being the "spawn" of thrash metal. The first death metal bands were like thrash bands... on steroids. They took all the characteristics of thrash and pushed them to the next level, resulting in incredible amounts of heaviness and loudness. The early history of death metal is rather fuzzy, but it is presumably Possessed who made the first death metal album and fellow bands like Death who laid down the blueprints. And so, having its shape defined, death metal went on a musical rampage and mutated itself into a gamut of genres and fusion genres, which include melodic death metal, technical death metal, as well as deathcore and presumably grindcore (which was presumably the doing of British metallers Napalm Death). It remains a very influential genre to this day, although there are some problems of a possible commercialization of this genre in progress, mainly concering melodeath and deathcore. Good examples of random death metal bands are Cannibal Corpse, Mortification, In Flames (melodeath), Cryptopsy, Nile, Obituary and Cynic.

Of course, there are melodic metal genres too.

Power Metal popped up in the 80's too. It was focused mainly in Europe, with some bands popping up the U.S. It tended to be a rather happy and upbeat genre. It mainly incorporated characteristics of traditional heavy metal, but would often add bits of thrash or speed, as well as create an Epic feel. Usually fast paced, with clean vocals, fantasyish lyrics (includes cosmology, metaphysics, religion, mythology etc.), powerful, uplifting choruses, high-register clean vocals, speedy guitars and keyboards often, as well as the occasional symphonic elements. Has not changed too much and the genre does not seem to be suffering from as many problems as other genres. Good examples of power metal include Blind Guardian, Helloween, Stratovarius, Jacob's Dream, Sonata Arctica, Angra and Rhapsody of Fire.

Other genres

Progressive Metal: A very technical and complex genre of metal, characterised by intricate compositional structures, odd time signatures, intricate instrument playing, long songs, lyrical epics and concept albums. Has not really changed that much or been negatively affected a lot either. Dream Theater, possibly the most skilled, well known and most popular prog. metal band of today, along with Queensryche and Fates Warning (and maybe Symphony X) defined this genre. Good examples of prog. metal are Shadow Gallery, Opeth, Ayreon, King's X and Pain of Salvation.

Doom Metal - The 2nd oldest genre of metal. Also the slowest. Tends to be of a pessimistic nature and often evokes an atmosphere of darkness, despair and misery. Strongly influenced by Black Sabbath. Guitars and riffing tend to be downtuned and loud. Newer bands tend to use keyboards. Tempos are rarely fast, and usually are mid-tempo or slow. Vocals are usually clean, although some genres make use of growls or shrieks. Examples of doom bands are Paradise Lost, Crowbar, Amorphis, early Anathema, Candlemass, Dolorian and Esoteric.

Nu-metal: Not a true metal genre. Actually a form of hard rock. Has similar characteristics of metal, but they tend to be all watered down. Incorporates elements of rap, grunge, alt. metal, electronic music with thrash or groove metal, although the overall result is still hard rock. Guitar playing tends to be lacking in complexity and usually used to create emotions of angst or hostility (to move people to the beat), consisting usually of a few notes and power chords played in rhythmic patterns. Drums are often in the form of hip hop and funk influenced beats and bass, an important nu-metal instrument, tends to be reminiscent of hip-hop or funk. Sometimes, there are even turntables. Vocals bear ressemblance to rap, punk, pop, normal rock and such. Lyrics tend to be angsty, concerning life struggles (eg. childhood abuse, alienation, relationship struggles etc.) as well just everyday life. nu-metal (also known as mallcore) tends to be hated and despised by many metalheads. Some examples are Korn, Limp Bizkit, Spineshank, Disturbed and Linkin Park.

Metalcore- A fusion of hardcore punk and metal, resulting in a genre which is not either. Like thrash, it has the speed of hardcore with the instrumental playing style of metal. Also, it is notorious for its sometimes incredibly cheesey/emo-like breakdowns. Bands tend to have either more metal influence (Trivium, God Forbid, Killswitch Engage etc.) or more hardcore punk influence (Zao, Norma Jean, Bury your dead etc.). Usually, if the influence is metal influence, it tends to be melodic death metal and melodeath influenced bands are sometimes known as swede-core or gothencore. Lyrically, focuses on inner/moral strength, integrity, life-struggles and such. Also known as mall metal and like nu-metal, is a very controversial genre, hated by some, loved by others or simply not minded. Examples include Zao, Norma Jean, As I Lay Dying, Trivium and Killswitch Engage.
METAL > YOU

Nu-metal and metalcore ain't metal

Metallica pwnz.

www.metal-archives.com
It's an encylopedia of all things metal.
by Metal Spork November 03, 2006

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a very artistic genre of music that involves alot of skill and concentration to master, when you first get into listening to metal, it may make your ears hurt like hell,then your able to listen to it when your eardrums adapt so you can hear the lyrics, those of no expierience will most likely not be able to understand it and will just say it is complete shit and go back to their Eminem and 50 cent idols. when you get the ears there is no going back.
Rap Kid walks down the street and spots a metal fan listening to his headphones.
Rap Kid:"that u listen 2 is just screamin n shit, u aint no real music white boy."
metal fan:"alright if its really that bad maybe you can stand listening to it."
Rap kid hesitates for a minute.
"gimme your headphones emo."
Rap kid turns it up full volume.
Metal fan:"thats not a good idea."
rap kid:"i can stand this shit"
Presses play.........head blows up so there is nothing left but everything lower jaw down. Metal fan shruggs, whipes the blood and brains of his headphones, mutters "idiot" at the corpse and continues down the street
by Slayerfan101 September 29, 2008

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The greatest genre of music ever created.
Slayer, Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Megadeth, Mayhem, other metal bands
by Metalmanx12 August 24, 2009

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Metal, Adj.:
1. Music normally played at a loud volume, with fast tempos, extrodinary guitar, solid bass, and a strong drum beat (drumming is normally played with double bass drums). Metalheads normally start out listening to Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, etc. But from the point where one starts listening to "heavy" music, one's insatiable thrist for metal cannot be quenched. So, much like a drug, listeners get adicted, and they look for heavier and faster bands, such as: Death, Venom, Slayer, Sodom, Motorhead, and Pantera. Most don't dare go beyond this group of bands, for fear of geting their fucking heads blown off. But, some do still persue yet heaver bands such as: Napalm Death, Kreator, Pig Destroyer, Cannibal Corpse, and the infamous Mayhem.

Metal, Noun or Verb:
2. Usually replacing "cool", "awesome", or other words such as that, which are "extreme". For instance, "Holy shit dude, that was so fucking metal!"
"metal" can also be a verb, such as, "lets go do somthing metal", which means "lets go do somthing fun or exciting".
"Now thats metal!"
-Sebastian Bach
"Oh man... that... was so metal"
"Ok, lets go listen to some metal"
When Zakk Wylde was asked to discribe metal, he anwsered with a long swig of his pale ale, a respectfull huff, and a, "Metal.... is... metal"
by S.D.M.F. June 05, 2006

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To put it simply. The GREATEST music ever!
Dex the metalhead will NOT listen to songs that don't have kickass guitar solos, amazing bass lines, amazing drumming or great vocals!
by Ryuuzaki-Is-Not-Dead December 27, 2008

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Metal can also be used as an adjective. used to describe some kind of object or action that relates to the metal genre. this can relate to anything from a mood or the looks of something. it is often used in place of kvlt when someone does not want to relate it to black metal. it is not to be confused with the actual metals.
1. That guitar is metal.
2. I am feeling so metal right now. *eats babies*
by Matt Rooney September 08, 2007

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A substance that most coins are composed of with the exception of the wooden nickel. Paper clips are also made of metal.
Quarters are metal.
by IdiotHunter October 06, 2008

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A very deep and flexible genre of music. Ranges from sheer brutality to smooth and melodic. It mostly can be identified by the loudness and bass. The bass is what mostly sets apart metal from typical rock. Read the first definition for more info. Metal takes time to sink into and searching for good metal bands can be a chore, but it's SO worth it. And no, there are still very good and talented metal bands today, even though the majority of shitty bands far outweighs the good bands. Good metal bands usually have a talented vocalist, distorted yet recognizable guitars and fast double bass drums. Metal has very little rules which makes it so flexible and nearly endless. All type of genres have good and bad bands, people just stereotype it as incoherent screaming, which is mostly bullshit.

One particular rule that always applies to metal is you must require talent and good songwriting abilities(well, at least for good metal anyways). That's what seperates music from sound. Just listen to Iron Maiden or Iced Earth. Metal also has some of the best sub-genres of all music today. Metal is sort of like therapy to one's soul. That's why it takes patience and an open mind to get used to and appreciate the sheer talent of some metal bands (Blind Guardian anyone?). But don't just narrow your taste to one band, open your mind! If you can ignore all the droned MTV and myspace bands that make up most of music today, you're in a for the most underrated genre of music ever.

\m/
Examples of good metal bands.

Classic(80's and 70's):
Iron Maiden
Deep Purple
Black Sabbath
Slayer
Testament
Metallica
Queensryche
Judas Priest
Megadeth
Exodus
Dio
Anthrax

Most of these bands are still around today making new albums.

Good modern bands(90's - present):
Blind Guardian
Iced Earth
Dream Theater
Shadows Fall
Trivium
Soilwork
In Flames
Dragonforce
Opeth
Mastodon
3 Inches of Blood
Rob Zombie
Strapping Young Lad
Fear Factory
by Crazy Joe Davola August 06, 2006

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