Our overview of heavy metal’s many sub-genres continues in this new page: not many people know but there are more than 40 styles attached to the main type, largely due to passing time and the influences from other music.

  • Stoner Metal: referred more commonly as simply “stoner”, it’s a type of doom metal (therefore, slower in tempo) which usually includes elements from psychedelic rock and/or blues. Kyuss (and Queens of the Stone Age, their follow-up project) is considered as stoner.
  • Symphonic Metal: particularly successful in Northern Europe, it doesn’t just use classical music as inspiration but in an actual way by having orchestras or classical instruments in the recording studio or stage. Nightwish and Within Temptation are some of the sub-genre’s most well known acts.
  • Black Metal: often mistakenly referred to as Doom, with which they share some of themes, black metal is actually faster and relies on shrieked vocals and distorted guitars. It’s not uncommon to find that the main artists in this sub-genre disguise themselves by using white facepaint with dark heavy circles around their eyes, often wearing wigs or other decoys. To those not in the know, Black metal is synonymous with satanic metal, because some of the artists or the lyrics they perform reference pagan rituals or demons and witches. For the most part it’s a pose, although a minority of the performers are actually interested in pre-Christian religions or, indeed, satanism.
  • Gothic Metal: also referred to as “goth”, it mixes heavy metal elements with doom metal, dark wave and sometimes folk. It’s a largely European phenomenon, with Lacuna Coil among its best known bands.
  • Grindcore: seminal bands like Napalm Death are recognized as the founders of grindcore, which included elements from thrash metal, punk and hardcore. The songs are sometimes just a few seconds long, with no structure, and barely understandable lyrics.
  • Industrial Metal: when the already heavy industrial scene encountered the distortion of metal, something interesting was born: Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Godflesh or the early recordings of Marilyn Manson fall under this category.
  • Post Metal: is heavily influenced by post rock bands such as June of 44 or Slint, which emerged in the early Nineties. Neurosis or Isis are some incredibly influential acts in the sub-genre.
  • Kawaii Metal: metal according to the Japanese. As such, it has features that are completely dissonant if compared to traditional forms of heavy metal, such as Japanese pop elements like dancers or female performers dressed in (often) school uniforms.
Author frances
Categories Heavy Metal