Heavy Metal Sub-genres


Gen 26 2011, 3:06

Black Metal

Extreme sub-genre of Heavy Metal. It often employs fast tempos, shrieked vocals and highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking in oftentimes droning or hypnotic patterns, and unconventional song structure.

Death Metal

This genre is typically characterized by the use of heavily distorted guitars, harsh vocals that are low-pitched and/or growled, morbid lyrics, exceptionally fast-paced rhythms and melodies, frequent blast beats on drums, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes.

Doom Metal

Emerged as a recognized Heavy Metal sub-genre during the first half of the 1980s. Generally, doom metal features very slow tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "denser" or "heavier" sound than other metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom.

Folk Metal

A fusion of Heavy Metal with Folk Music.

Hair/Glam Metal

Combining the flamboyant look of Glam Rock and playing a commercial Hard Rock/Heavy Metal musical style

Gothic Metal

Characterized as a combination of the dark melancholy of Gothic Rock with the aggression and sonic power of highly amplified Heavy Metal music.

Groove Metal

Also known as 'Neo-Thrash', 'Post-Thrash', or 'Power Groove', Groove Metal consists of slow or mid-tempo and down tuned thrash riffs, bluesy guitar solos, greatly emphasized drum work and harsh vocals. Examples of groove metal include Pantera, Machine Head and Sepultura.

Industrial Metal

Industrial Metal combines elements of Industrial music and Heavy Metal. It is usually centered around repetitive metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer or sequencer lines, and distorted vocals. Founding Industrial Metal groups include, Rammstein, Godflesh, Static-X & Ministry.


Metalcore combines elements of Hardcore Punk with Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal or Extreme Metal.

Neo-Classical Metal

A sub-genre that is heavily influenced by Classical music in its style of composition.


Nu-Metal is a style that combines Heavy Metal and Hip-Hop with elements of Alternative Rock, Funk, Grunge, Industrial Metal and Groove Metal, often utilizing several traits and styles seen in Hip-Hop such as 'rapping' and the use of turntable scratching to create sound effects.

Pirate Metal

A fun, and exadurated 'genre' of Metal that is pretty hard to define. It has the german 'Power Metal' sound but with pirate melodies, and lyrics.


This heavy metal movement takes influences from Post-Rock. While it is in many ways similar to Post-Rock, Post-Metal tends to include lower-tuned guitars, darker themes and tones, and heavier drums.

Power Metal

More upbeat than most Metal genres, taking heavy influence from Heavy Metal and Speed Metal. Power Metal often emphasizes clean, melodic, high-pitched vocals, fast pacing that is mostly driven by double bass drumming and melodic lead guitar.

Progressive Metal

A fusion between Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal. It is one of Heavy Metal's more complex genres.

Sludge Metal

A derivative of Doom Metal, incorporating Hardcore Punk and elements of Southern Rock.

Speed Metal

Speed Metal originated in the late 1970s and early 1980s and was the direct musical progenitor of Thrash Metal.

Stoner Metal

Typically slow-to-mid tempo, low-tuned, and bass-heavy.

Traditional heavy metal

Traditional heavy metal, also known as classic metal or simply heavy metal, is the seminal genre of heavy metal music before the genre "evolved and splintered" into many different styles and subgenres

Thrash Metal

Often regarded as the first form of Extreme Metal. It is generally characterized by its fast tempos, complexity and aggression.


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