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.

Nu-metal and metalcore ain't metal

Metallica pwnz.
It's an encylopedia of all things metal.
by Metal Spork November 03, 2006
Good. God's gift to all humanity.

Metal is metal, fuck the sub-genres, if its metal its metal, if its not its not. Slipknot is metal, but probably the weakest form existing.
Lamb of God, Bohemoth, Cannibal Corpse, Kataklysm, etc are all real metal.

By the way, a good band I recently found 'War of Ages' is amazing, check it out.
Metal Heads is a stereotype for the typical metal enthusiast (excuse the fail spelling). Metal heads dont give a fuck about what people think of them, DO NOT wear any specific type of clothing, they wear whatever the fuck they want, they are loyal to metal.
Metal Heads are often looked down upon and are thought to be alcahol and/or drug abusing, stupid, ignorant, greasy fuckups. WRONG. There are some Metal Heads who are like this, for personal reasons, NOT because of their music. Metal Heads, are usually loud, hae a good sence of humor, well educated, get pissed off when people diss their genre, dislike mainstream, are VERY accepting, genuine people who will do what they can to help out, and so much more.

If your in a moshpit, and you fall over or the Metal Heads around you think your feeling uncomfortable, they will help you out and make sure your alright.
Don't judge us Metal Hewads before you know us.
Metal heads: *chanting* Lamb of God! Lamb of God Lamb of God! Lamb of God!

Fail Fag: *walks past* Lam of god iz sht bo, lsten 2 mahh rahp bo, itz teh sht bo.

Metal heads: Fuck you!! *plays "Black Label"*

Fail Fag: Crys and runs to his fail fag friends who are all stoned
by Cookie Mosher LOG November 06, 2009
A movement in music that started in the late 60's with Black Sabbath. Metal is generally classified by a heavy sound and rebellious and/or angry lyrics. Most forms of metal require an incredible musical proficiency. If you don't believe that, pick up a guitar sometime and try to play "Raining Blood" by Slayer.

Metal is the antithesis of mainstream music. It is quite possibly the most technically demanding and misunderstood form of music there is.

Metal's image was severely damaged in the 80's, with poser bands like Poison and Whitesnake claiming to be metal, when they were nothing more than watered down rock. The damage to metal's image continues even to this day, with many people not in the know beliving metal to be men in glittery spandex and poodle hair prancing about on stage singing 'Talk Dirty To Me." If you want an idea of what Metal truly is, take a look and a listen at a band like Slayer.

Some people have the misconception that metal is incoherent and devoid of melody or talent. People who think this obviously haven't listened to Iron Maiden. Generally people with this attitude are morons who listen to U2, so their opinions really don't matter anyway.

And to the guy who said metal is 'like rock, only gay,' Shut up and listen to your Ricky Martin album, you fvcking toolbag.
"That's fucking METAL!!"
by Justin April 04, 2005
A form of music which has been taking a real battering for years now.

The main problem is, because of magazines and the APPALLING "Metal" sections in CD shops the first bands which pop into your average persons head when they thnk of metal actually AREN'T metal. This is made even worse by teenagers running around with poppy albums (i.e System of a downs latest two) and calling themselves metalheads, kids who would probably cry and cower after hearing a few minutes of Exhorders 'Slaughter in the Vatican'

I can think of 100's of bands misthought of as metal, from the false inclusion of hard rock legends like G n R as metal, right upto this new "Metalcore" fad, which is, when you step back, as close to metal as Britney Spears. And the problem is newcomers to the genre are put off by this crap which is pretending to be metal.

NOW, actual metal is propped up by a relatively tiny and extremely dedicated fanbase, with help from more casual listeners who may latch onto one of the sub-genres, such as Doom Metal. These people may not stand out as metalheads at all, but are infinitely more attuned to metal than the kid with the Trivium T-shirt, who goes on about how "metal" he is.
Commonly mistaken for metal:
- All Metalcore bands (granted there's some quite good stuff in there if you look beyong inane rubbish like BFMV, but it just isn't metal)
- Nu-Metal
- Hard rock bands: i.e Guns n Roses - Again, some good bands in there, but not metal.
- Glam metal, like Nu I reckon they only chose the name "metal" as it sounds better than "glam rock". Pretty much no connection whatsoever to actual metal.

Best of REAL metal (in my opinion):
Summoning, Artillery, Intruder, Testament, Wolfchant, Emperor, Fjoergyn, Death, Savatage, Coroner, Gamma Ray
by PsychoFox August 10, 2007
Pertaining to something that is deemed cool by listeners and followers of the metal genre. A replacement for the word "cool" by metal heads.
When something isn't metal it is considered Lame.
Dude, your clothes are totally metal.
Dude, don't cry, that's totally not metal.
by GodofMetal April 04, 2010
A genre of music that splices with the soul of its listeners, relieves the volcanic frustrations of those who have no other outlet to release into and entrances the minds and hearts of Metalheads internationally to create the familial bonds of respect. No other genre can compare to the brutal and hallowed desecration of the senses that metal inflicts upon the masses. Those who do not understand the therapeutic properties of the music interpret it as Satanic Blasphemy, when in reality; they should be thanking metal for giving Metalheads another alternative besides the animalistic annihilation of everyone who has given them reason for murder.
Metal evolved from Classical music, Blues and Rock to birth the likes of: Black Sabbath, Slayer, Pantera, Autopsy, Lamb of God, Morbid Angel, Dissection, etc...
by Tremor_of_the_Blast Beats March 25, 2009
A genre of music, heavier than rock. Metal bands include, but are not limited to, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Anthrax, Pantera, Megadeth, Down, Black Label Society, Slayer, Danzig, and Iron Maiden just to name a few. There are too many subgenres, like thrash metal , death metal, metalcore, power metal, doom metal, and black metal, again just to name a few. The image of metal has been tainted by whiny emo bands who try to classify themselves as metal, giving metal heads the image of suicidal, stupid, junkies who aren't going anywhere in life. This is a stereotype and definitly doesn't describe even half the people who listen to metal
It's all about pure fuckin metal
by thissucksletsgogetdrunk October 17, 2009
A very judged and ridiculed type of awsome music. Often put off because of it's sheer intensity, and harsh lyrics, metal is one of the few genres of music that can take the criticism and spit it back out, twice as lound and twice as angry. Often metal bands are looked at as un-inteligent brutes, but in retro-spective, they are some of the smartest and most politicly aware type's of people around. A great example of this is Dee Snider (Twisted Sister). In his court case back in the eighties, the judges and prosecutors had not readied themselves for anything. Thinking him to be totaly outclassed and outsmarted, they sat back and watched as he enterd the court room. So they though, a lamb to the slaughter. But upon his arival, he sat down calmly, pulled out his papers, and deliverd such a rousing case that the judge and the prosecutors were dumbstruck. They were left speachless, and without a claim to make, they were forced to close the case against him, and drop the charges on him.

Many other Metal artists are looked down upon because of their music. Eg: Marilyn Manson, Till Lindmann, Alice Cooper, Danny Filth, Cory Tailor, ect...\

But In the end, its a great type of music, consisting of many different sub-genres that make it very diverse. Eg: Speed, Thrash, Grindcore, Industrial, Neo-classical, Death, Black, Swedish, Alternitive, Nu, Power, Progressive, Folk, Glam, Gothcore, Symphonic, Techno and Opratic. Suited to many different types of people. Thus, giving the term Metalhead a whole new meaning.
Arch Enemy, Slipknot, System of a down, Rammstein, Shadows Fall, Children of Bodom, Slayer, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Megadeath, Disturbed, Godsmack, Lamb of God, Opeth, Nechrophagist, Dark Tranquility, Aman Amarth, Trivium, Meshugga, In Flames, Mudvayne, Naglfar, Cannibal Corpse, Black Lable Society, Iced Earth, Mushroomhead, Saliva, Immortal, Dimmu Borgir, Metalica, Twisted sister, The Dead Kenadies, Cradle of Filth, Murder Dolls, Papa Roach, Killswitch Engage, and many many more...
Metal is awsome!!
by Thomas Collins January 09, 2007
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