Music in the style of heavy metal or one of its sub-genres that is written, performed, and recorded for no other reason than that it rules. Thus, heavy-metal-style music written specifically for commercial success cannot be considered "true," and is instead false metal. This does not necessarily mean that the false metal is not enjoyable to listen to, but it does mean that it is not metal.

It is possible for bands that were once true to become false, most famously Metallica. The reverse is also true, although it is much rarer.

A good rule of thumb in distinguishing true metal from false metal is to check Metal Archives. If a band/artist is listed, they either are or were true metal.

The term is also occasionally used to describe old-school, straight forward heavy metal, as opposed to one of the sub-genres.
True Metal: Manowar, Iron Maiden, Mayhem, Death, Helloween, Blind Guardian, pre-Black Album Metallica

False Metal: Most nu-meta bands, post-Black Album Metallica
by 4thgengamecock July 31, 2014
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Metal that stays true to the original tenets of the genre. Metal that is about integrity and not getting your music video on MTV or Fuse. Metal that is about staying true to yourself and not following whatever is popular at the moment. Metal that is about the music and not the money. Metal that the makers have put effort and time into, not little effort righteous preaching and teen angst. Metal that you mosh to, not fight invisible ninjas to. Metal that stands the test of time because true metal will never die.

Poser slaying louder than hell hard as diamonds Metal.
Heavy Metal fan: I like Slough Feg, Iron Maiden, King Diamond, Manowar, & Judas Priest.
Thrash Metal fan: I prefer Exodus, Testament, Vio-lence, Evile, and Annihilator.
Prog Metal fan: Those are all good, but I'll Take Dream Theater, Mastodon, Symphony X, and Queensrÿche.
Power Metal fan: You can't beat Helloween, Rhapsody, Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, & 3 Inches of Blood.
Black Metal fan: Bathory, Emperor, Immortal, Mirrorthrone, & Marduk are the best
Death Metal fan: I have to disagree, just look at Death, Morbid Angel, Entombed, Atheist, & Malevolent Creation.
Mallcore poser: Do you guys like Avenged Sevenfold, Bring Me The Horizon, Bullet For My Valentine, Slipknot, KoRn, Mudva...
True Metal fans: Get the fuck out of here you poser faggot
*commences beatdown*
by LouisLeGros April 25, 2009
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Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Manowar. Metal that holds true to the intents of the Metal Gods, music that Ormagoden would enjoy. Music that takes true talent to make and time to write, not whiny-ass emo bullshit like A Day to Remember or Bullet For My Valentine. Music that makes the eardrums of the unrighteous bleed and the faces of the weak melt. It is about individuality, freedom, and sheer bone-crushing power. True Metal is music in it's greatest form, human creativity taken to its peak. True Metal is loud, strong, and beautiful. In many cases, it is characterized by an endless battle between the voice of the singer and the screams of lead guitar. It stands opposed by false metal, weak music more concerned with record sales than musicianship, and popular music, at the current time rap and wimpy ass pop music. The battle rages, but as always, metal will prevail. Metal defeated disco, glam, punk, and it will triumph again.
John: My favorite bands are Korn and Avenged Sevenfold.
Thor: WHAT?! Those aren't true metal! Listen to some Dio!
John: Dio sucks.
Thor: *smites John with his mighty hammer*
by Sergeant Matt June 08, 2010
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Thrashy heavy metal music as performed by Manowar and their ilk. Normally typified as brash, loud, fast and glorious. Lots of references to Vikings, battle and dragons. Also known as glory metal, and is the opposite of false metal.
"Brothers of True Metal proud and standing tall!"
by Char H January 29, 2006
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True metal, is something "True Metalheads" use as an argument against what they consider "False metal." usually false metal is Nu-metal or anything with core. because it isn't as "heavy," or "brutal," as the godly genres that we know as Thrash, Black, and Death metal.
True metal only consists of Metallica, Exodus, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Immortal, Mayhem, Iron maiden, Black Sabbath, etc.
False metal or Nu-metal/Metalcore/Deathcore consists of totes fake bands such as Slipknot, KoRn, Staind, Limp Bizkit, Killswitch Engage, Bring Me The Horizon, Chelsea Grin, Despised Icon, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, As Blood Runs Black, Etc.
If you dare defend any of the bands labeled "False metal" prepare to be bombarded with death threats from "True Metalheads" or People sending you fucking Number of the beast 20,000 times
John: Umm, i would disagree
John: Oh Explain how they are a Disgrace
John: So what if they scream, that doesn't mean they aren't metal

John: Yeah whatever go listen to your "True Metal" *Turns on a Deathcore playlist*
by TakerTV1 August 01, 2014
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'Just a general Metal head typically seen with non-tight jeans, casual shoes, and an Iron Maiden shirt. Will listen to a wide spectrum of metal from Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath to Pantera. The best and least annoying type of Metal head, tough, down to earth, he doesn't feel the need to tell the world he likes metal with gimmicky clothing styles or cliques, he simply gets on with his own life and lets other get on with theirs.'
kid1: 'dude, that kid is such a true metal head'
kid2: 'yeah, with is non-tight jeans and his casual shoes'
kid1: 'must be one of the last of his kind'
by smilingisforlosers April 12, 2010
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Greatest music ever created. Ultra cold metal with harsh production to create a truely demonic atmosphere!

Darkthrone's 'A blaze in the northern sky' is THE greatest album ever written
by ChaoticBeauty September 06, 2003
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