I really love finding out how all the different parts of the Rock, Punk and Metal spectrum mix together. I love hearing something like a Pantera song and knowing which part comes from where, and how it would sound totally different without such and such an album.
I also really enjoy reading lists and countdowns of things like The 100 Best Metal Albums Of All Time, 100 Rock Albums You Must Own, The Most Influential Rock Albums In History, 200 Metal Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Ever, and so on; as well as any Documentary Film or TV Show on or related to the genre, such as Heavy Metal Louder Than Life, The Decline Of Western Civilization, American Hardcore, Such Hawks Such Hounds, Until The Light Takes Us, Global Metal, Metal Evolution, Heavy:The Story Of Metal and so on.
The following is a list of 1000 (Originally 50, 100, 250 and 500) studio albums from various genres and sub-genres that constantly appear in such lists, countdowns and top-one-hundreds, that a metal fan would need to have heard or at least know about in order to claim to have a full and comprehensive understanding of metal. The majority are either genre-defining albums, genre-starting albums or hugely influential albums that inspired hundreds of other bands. They either developed the artistic or commercial legitimacy of the nebulous meta-world of Metal or are in-part responsible for either its credibility or popularity. Not all the albums here are metal, but hearing them will broaden your understanding of what metal in its entirety actually is.
Before that puts you on the defensive, for clarity I’d like to state this: I’m not saying that if you haven’t listened to all of these that you know nothing about Metal. I am saying however that you don’t know everything about Metal.
I’ve tried to keep repetition to a minimum, however if an artist has multiple entries on this list there could be a number of reasons; They might display clear influence to disparate groups across each included release, or else all of the included albums by one singular artist may individually feature perpetually covered or copied tracks, or tracks that are often featured on genre compilation cds and radio/music-tv programming…
Or the artists with multiple releases may either showcase exploration into significantly different musical territory across the separate releases that got included or else showcase historically significant line-up changes, technological advances or artistic trends (eg. the albums were important in creation, popularization or revival of things like concept albums, blast beats, synthesizers, lyrical trends or necro-production etc).
Or of course, it could just be the case where the band were on an unstoppable run of brilliant albums, and all of the albums together are considered a must-have period of the band. Sometimes there’s just no arguing with an unstoppable run of classics.
Some of the albums may have you scratching your head as to they they were included here. There are usually one of two reasons for this. Firstly; Metal didn’t just start one day perfectly formed and unarguably Metal. It came together in fits and starts, things hinted at being Metal for years before any band wrote an entire Metal album. Bands would have one metal song, or even just one metal riff, or even simply an attitude that would inspire future metal musicians of one subgenre or another.
Secondly; Metal is a constantly changing and evolving form of music that both takes from other genres to become diverse and gets taken by other genres as well. Some albums by Metal bands sound nothing like traditional Metal and some albums by Punk, Rock, Blues, Pop, Hip-Hop, Electronic or Jazz bands can include a lot of influences from Metal. The more that you hear, the more you understand where the boundaries are and where the boundaries aren’t. The more you hear that isn’t close to a boundary, the more definitively you understand both what the center is like and how that center relates to things that are far out on the borderline of no longer being Metal. Basically, if you listen to every album on this list, you’ll know what you are talking about when it comes to Metal. You’ll know what an artist is doing and where it came from, you’ll understand more clearly how all the different pieces of the puzzle fit together.
The composition of the list is roughly as follows:
The Different Types Of Metal – 72%
The Rock Music That Got Us To Metal – 17%
The Punk Music That Got Us To Metal -9%
The Alternative Music That Changed Metal – 2%
If you still wonder why an album is included in this list then listen to it and find out why! You may not enjoy every album that you hear, but you will understand Metal more completely with each one that you do hear, which of course is the reason for the list in the first place. Its an important moment in every Metal fan’s journey when they finally accept that Metal isn’t just the bits of Metal they enjoy and that things aren’t “not Metal” just because you don’t like them or understand them.
If you disagree with a subgenre’s existence, or an artist’s designated sub-genre in this list, try not to get too bogged down in that head-space. While some subgenre categorizations are a matter of fact (ie. Nirvana are definitely not Black Metal and Dragonforce are definitely not Hardcore Punk) its important to remember that subgenres are initially awkwardly built around groups of bands who kind of sound a bit alike, live a bit close to eachother or have one non-musical comonality between them and sometimes its not until years later that bands notice a subgenre exists and specifically try to play within that subgenre. For this reason some people disagree over whether Alice In Chains or Pearl Jam are Grunge or not.
Secondly subgenres are a matter of consensus. If enough informed and reasonable people agree upon something then it exists, even if you disagree just because you don’t enjoy it. Maybe it didn’t definitely exist when it first started getting mentioned, but over time enough bands started sounding that way and identifying as that subgenre and suddenly it does exist.
Thirdly, the lines between some subgenres are blurred and often bands are creative and diverse enough to fit into a subgenre on some songs, or parts of songs, but not others. For this reason some people disagree over whether Metal Church and Anvil are Thrash or not. At the end of the day, if more people associate a band with a particular subgenre or scene than don’t, and a lot of their music sounds like that subgenre, then arguing is going to be a waste of time.
If you have a suggestion for an album that this list is missing out on then feel free to send me a comment, I’m always interested in learning more.
Now; With all that explanation out of the way, keep a positive attitude and an open mind, and please enjoy this fan-made and non-for-profit, labour-of-love list of 1,000 albums that will help you understand Metal:
Material Covered Includes: Early Rock, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam, NWOBHM & Metal, Thrash Metal, Groove Metal , Death Metal, Technical-Death, Melodeath, Black Metal, Power Metal, Folk Metal, Symphonic Metal, Progressive Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge Metal, Metalcore, Deathcore, Djent
Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley, 1956, Rock And Roll, USA
Chuck Berry - Chuck Berry Is On Top, 1959, Rock N Roll, USA
Little Richard - Here’s Little Richard, 1957, Rock N Roll, USA
Howlin’ Wolf - Moanin’ In The Moonlight, 1959, Blues, USA
Willie Dixon - I AM The Blues, 1970, Blues, USA
Bo Diddley - Go Bo Diddley, 1959, Rock And Roll, USA
Link Wray - Link Wray & The Wraymen, 1962, Rock And Roll, USA
Dick Dale - Surfer’s Choice, 1962, Surf, USA
Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited, 1965, Mixed (With Folk & Rock) USA
The Yardbirds - Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds, 1965, Rock, USA
The Sonics - Here Are The Sonics, 1965, Garage Rock, USA
The Troggs - From Nowhere – The Troggs, 1966, Classic Rock, UK
Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf, 1968, Classic Rock, Canada
The Kinks - Kinks, 1964, Classic Rock, UK
Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield Again, 1967, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Folk), USA
Gun - Race With The Devil, 1968, Classic Rock, UK
Spooky Tooth - Spooky Two, 1969, Classic Rock, UK
The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers, 1971, Classic Rock, UK
The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main St., 1972, Classic Rock, UK
David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972, Glam-Rock, UK
This music was important in the development of Metal, some of the most influential work on the first generation of Metal musicians came from this period. Many of these albums influenced or made careers for the journalists, producers, A&R men, equipment manufacturers and fans that directly and indirectly allowed Metal to develop in the way that it did . They helped to cement and legitimize the rock genre which would later spin off into the Psychedelic, Progressive Rock, Hard Rock and eventually Heavy Metal Rock-subgenres.
In addition to the fans at the time, such as Motörhead’s Lemmy or Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, many musicians from later periods as diverse as AC/DC, Guns N Roses, Yes, Heart, Mountain, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Journey, Spineshank, Entombed, Clutch and Monster Magnet would take influence or cover songs from this pre-metal world. Due to its reputation and the media perpetuation of its quality and importance, fans from every generation will look back to this music and find inspiration.
This era of music has caused a definitive and long-lasting ripple effect on every subsequent generation of musicians. Bands both trying to sound like this, and trying not to sound like this have had direct and indirect impacts on the moulding and changing of various subgenres. Where would Grunge, Glam or Prog be without David Bowie?
Vocal styles, production techniques, equipment, and lyrical approaches from this era are constantly being used, emulated, revived (well, slightly differently or ironically), forgotten about or deliberately ignored and all this has a constant wave effect on the ongoing history of Rock music and its offspring Punk and Metal.
The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967, Psychedelic, UK
The Beatles - The Beatles, 1968, Psychedelic, UK
The 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators, 1966, Psychedelic, USA
Big Brother And The Holding Company - Cheap Thrills, 1968, Psychedelic, USA
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - This Is The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, 1968, Psychedelic, UK
Coven - Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls, 1969, Mixed (With Psychedelic & Classic Rock) UK
Sir Lord Baltimore - Kingdom Come, 1970, Mixed (With Psychedelic & Classic Rock) UK
Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond, 1972, Mixed (With Psychedelic & Classic Rock) UK
Blue Cheer - Vincebus Erputum, 1968, Mixed (With Psychedelic) USA
Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, 1968, Psychedelic, UK
Cream - Disraeli Gears, 1967, Psychedelic, UK
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced, 1967, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Psychedelic) UK
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland, 1968, Mixed (With Classic Rock, Prog & Psychedelic) UK
The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground & Nico, 1967, Mixed (With Psychedelic) UK
The Doors - L.A. Woman, 1971, Mixed (With Psychedelic) UK
Frank Zappa - Freak Out, 1966, Mixed, USA
Frank Zappa - Hot Rats, 1969, Mixed, USA
The Psychedelic movement’s importance on the world of Metal can be felt even today. Psychedelic lyrical themes including drug taking, insanity and dark fantasy have cropped up ever since their first popularization in the sixties and there is scarcely one subgenre which doesn’t have at least one band that takes the music in a Psychedelic direction. The popularity of this genre gave Progressive Rock a start, directly and indirectly, as fans of Psychedelic bands who started their own bands ended up playing Progressive Rock and also as Psychedelic bands taking things to the next level would themselves become Progressive Rock.
It also resulted in some of the first instances of screaming vocals, heavily distorted guitars and aggressively attacked drumkits (although the Jazz world had a hell of a lot of influence there too), which would go on to have a profound effect on the development of Metal and inspire musicians who liked this new sound to refine it and make whole songs or albums from these Metal-esque moments by Psychedelic bands.
The influence of Psychedelic music can also be found in a lot of Stoner Rock and Metal music, with a lot of effects loops, album covers and reverb choices being directly influenced by old 60s bands. Early Monster Magnet owes a huge debt to the Psychedelic Scene for example, as indeed does Kylesa. Compare them to the more straight forward Fu Manchu and Black Tusk from each of their respective scenes and see what a difference a Psychedelic influence makes even when you play everything else similarly.
King Crimson - Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, 1973, Prog, UK
King Crimson - Red, 1974, Prog, UK
King Crimson - Red, 1974, Prog, UK
King Crimson - The Power To Believe, 2003, Mixed (With Prog & Metal) UK
ELP - Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1970, Prog, UK
ELP - Brain Salad Surgery, 1973, Prog, UK
Genesis - Foxtrot, 1972, Prog, UK
Genesis - Selling England By The Pound, 1973, Prog, UK
Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, 1974, Prog, UK
Jethro Tull - Aqualung, 1971, Prog, UK
Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick, 1972, Prog, UK
Jethro Tull - Broadsword & The Beast, 1982, Prog, UK
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon, 1973, Prog, UK
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here, 1974, Prog, UK
Pink Floyd - Animals, 1977, Prog, UK
Pink Floyd - The Wall, 1979, Prog, UK
Gentle Giant - Octopus, 1971, Prog, UK
Van Der Graaf Generator - Pawn Hearts, 1971, Prog, UK
Van Der Graaf Generator - Godbluff, 1975, Prog, UK
Flower Travelin Band - Satori, 1971, Prog, Japan
Rush - 2112, 1976, Prog, Canada
Rush - Hemispheres, 1978, Prog, Canada
Rush - Moving Pictures, 1981, Prog, Canada
Yes - The Yes Album, 1971, Prog, UK
Yes - Fragile, 1971, Prog, UK
Yes - Close To The Edge, 1972, Prog, UK
Yes - Relayer, 1974, Prog, UK
Camel - The Snow Goose, 1975, Prog, UK
Kansas - Leftoverture, 1976, Prog, USA
Hawkwind - Hall Of The Mountain Grill, 1974, Prog, UK
Aphrodite’s Child - 666, 1972, Prog, Greece
Marillion - Script For A Jester’s Tear, 1983, Prog, UK
IQ - The Wake, 1985, Prog, UK
Nick Drake - Bryter Layter, 1970, Mixed (With Prog & Folk) UK
Budgie - Never Turn You Back On A Friend, 1973, Mixed (With Prog & Heavy Metal) UK
Uriah Heap - Look At Yourself, 1971, Mixed (Prog & Classic Rock) UK
Uriah Heap - Demons And Wizards, 1972, Mixed (Prog & Classic Rock) UK
Atomic Rooster - Death Walks Behind You, 1971, Mixed (Prog & Classic Rock) UK
Wishbone Ash - Argus, 1972, Mixed (Prog & Hard Rock) UK
Queen - Queen II, 1973, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Prog) UK
Queen - Queen II, 1974, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Prog) UK
Queen - Sheer Heart Attack, 1974, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Prog) UK
Queen - A Night At The Opera, 1975, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Prog) UK
Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell, 1977, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Prog) USA
As well as having an obvious impact on the later movements like first-wave Progressive Metal; Progressive Rock, which was as much an attitude as an actual genre, had an impact on thousands of bands from all subsequent eras and scenes who wanted to take things in complex, sophisticated or artistic directions. It had an effect on the keyboard players who would play in certain Hair Metal and Power Metal bands, it had an effect on Black Metal musicians like Ishan who wanted to create grand orchestral work and it had an effect on many guitarists who would take inspiration from the unusual and difficult ways that Prog bands chose to play them.
Even the development and popularization of instruments like the Chapman Stick had a direct impact and influence on bands like Scale The Summit.
Furthermore; as with what happened with Psychedelic music, Prog bands experimented with all sorts of sounds, and tracks like King Crimson’s ‘Larks Tongues In Aspic Part 2′ and Genesis’ ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight,’ as well as ELP’s ‘Knife Edge,’ Van Der Graaf Generator’s ‘Arrow’ and Jethro Tull’s ‘Aqualung’ contained some of the heaviest music ever written at the time. Flower Travelin Band were particularly metallic. The first Genesis album had drumming on it that actually resembles the Blast Beat and their fourth album contains some of the earliest recorded examples of guitar tapping.
The development of the rock opera and concept album had an influence on Progressive Metal bands as well as other bands who later would write concept albums without identifying as being Progressive bands, including Fear Factory and Marilyn Manson.
Two of Metal’s most important and influential bands ever; Iron Maiden and Judas Priest became inspired to play because of Prog bands, and some of their early work shares sonic similarities with the likes of Rush (Maiden’s ‘Prodigal Son’) and Pink Floyd (Priest’s ‘Run Of The Mill’). The guitar influence of Wishbone Ash similarly cannot be overstated.
Numerous musicians, including Ozzy Osbourne, Forbidden and Between The Buried And Me have covered King Crimson. Iron Maiden as well as the Alternative/Stoner band Clutch and the Hair Metal band W.A.S.P have covered Jethro Tull, Mushroomhead have covered Pink Floyd and Extreme Metal band Opeth took a large influence from Camel to the point where their track ‘Benighted’ bares an almost cover-like resemblance to Camel’s ‘Never Let Go.’
Uriah Heap have been covered by Gamma Ray and W.A.S.P.
The popularity and perceived extremes of Prog also paved the way for the reactionary simple and honest music of Punk. Without Prog there would be no reason for much Punk music to have been made and also a less valid chance of it gaining the same level of popularity that it did.
Furthermore, the non-muscial influence of Progressive Rock on Metal is again noteworthy. Progressive Rock musicians such as Gentle Giant’s Derick Shulman went on to form or work for important Record Labels in the history and development of Metal.
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin, 1969, Classic Rock, UK
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II, 1969, Classic Rock, UK
Led Zeppelin - Led Zepp IV, 1971, Classic Rock, UK
Deep Purple - In Rock, 1970, Classic Rock, UK
Deep Purple - Machine Head, 1971, Classic Rock, UK
Deep Purple - Burn, 1974, Classic Rock, UK
Deep Purple - Purpendicular, 1996, Classic Rock, UK
The Who - My Generation, 1965, Classic Rock, UK
The Who - Tommy, 1969, Mixed (With Classic Rock) UK
The Who - Who’s Next, 1971, Mixed (With Classic Rock) UK
Kiss - Kiss, 1974, Classic Rock, USA
Kiss - Destroyer, 1976, Classic Rock, USA
Kiss - Creatures Of The Night, 1982, Heavy Metal, USA
Kiss - Kiss, 1992, Classic Rock, USA
Heart - Dreamboat Annie, 1976, Classic Rock, USA
Heart - Little Queen, 1977, Classic Rock, USA
Grand Funk Railroad - Closer To Home, 1970, Classic Rock, USA
Grand Funk Railroad - E Pluribus Funk, 1971, Classic Rock, USA
Grand Funk Railroad - We’re An American Band, 1973, Classic Rock, USA
T. Rex - Electric Warrior, 1973, Classic Rock, UK
The Sweet - Sweet Fanny Adams, 1974, Classic Rock, UK
Bad Company - Bad Company, 1974, Classic Rock, UK
The Sweet - Desolution Boulevard, 1974, Classic Rock, UK
Cheap Trick - In Color, 1977, Classic Rock, USA
Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak, 1976, Classic Rock, UK
Thin Lizzy - Black Rose, 1979, Classic Rock, UK
Thin Lizzy - Thunder & Lightning, 1983, Heavy Metal, UK
Ted Nugent - Cat Scratch Fever, 1977, Hard Rock, USA
Lucifer’s Friend - Lucifer’s Friend, 1970, Classic Rock, Germany
Dust - Hard Attack, 1972, Classic Rock, USA
Foghat - Foghat, 1972, Classic Rock, UK
Alice Cooper - Killer, 1971, Classic Rock, USA
Alice Cooper - School’s Out, 1972, Classic Rock, USA
Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies, 1973, Classic Rock, USA
Alice Cooper - Welcome To My Nightmare, 1975, Classic Rock, USA
Alice Cooper - Trash, 1989, Mixed (With Classic Rock, Heavy Metal & Glam) USA
The Classic and Hard Rock world is arguably the most direct and important period in the development of Heavy Metal, it was for the heavier moments in these band’s repertoires that the phrase Heavy Metal even became popularized in the first place, and a large proportion of people still call these bands Heavy Metal bands today, even if it is actually only part of their overall sound (they would often dedicate over half their albums to Folk or Blues or Progressive Rock songs).
Thrash bands like Nuclear Assault and Megadeth covered Led Zeppelin, and so do the unique Progressive band Tool. Anthrax, Megadeth, Death Angel and many others from the world of Thrash covered Kiss, as well as bands as diverse as Nirvana (even if sarcastically), Robot Lords Of Tokyo, Skid Row etc
Deep Purple’s In Rock was spectacularly heavy for its time and their track ‘Smoke On The Water’ from Machine Head is one of the most famous guitar riffs of all time, it has been performed live by Rainbow, Gillan and even Black Sabbath. The song has been covered by Power Metal band Metallium, the Thrash band Sepultura and even by Iron Maiden.
Alice Cooper and Thin Lizzy influenced and were covered by bands as diverse as Anthrax, Megadeth, Guns N Roses, Bon Jovie, Poison, Krokus, Sevendust, Everclear, Mastodon, Grave Digger and Six Feet Under.
Queen have been covered by Robert Plant, Warrant, Poison, Extreme, Def Leppard, W.A.S.P, Guns N’ Roses, Scorpions, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Raven, Queensrÿche, Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Helloween, Blind Guardian, Nine Inch Nails, Between The Buried And Me, Shinedown, Mr. Bungle, Foo Fighters and more.
Grand Funk Railroad have been covered by Monster Magnet, Helloween, Bon Jovie & Poison.
The work of these bands is a constant feature in guitar magazines, lists of most-important-albums, Guitar Hero games, film soundtracks, covers played in pubs by unsigned bands and is also a permanent fixture on classic rock radio.
ZZ Top - Tres Hombres, 1983, Southern Rock, USA
ZZ Top - Eliminator, 1983, Mixed (With Southern Rock) USA
Lynyrd Skynyrd - (Pronounced ‘lĕh-’nérd ‘skin-’nérd) 1973, Southern Rock, USA
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Second Helping, 1974, Southern Rock, USA
Blackfoot - Strikes, 1979, Southern Rock, USA
The Outlaws - Ghost Riders, 1980, Southern Rock, USA
Molly Hatchet - Flirtin’ With Disaster, 1979, Southern Rock, USA
.38 Special - Wild Eyed Southern Boys, 1981, Southern Rock, USA
The Allman Brothers Band - Brothers & Sisters, 1973, Southern Rock, USA
Gov’t Mule - Gov’t Mule, 1995, Southern Rock, USA
Southern Rock has an impact on Metal in several ways. Firstly, the success of Lynyrd Skynyrd and their influence on guitarists is equal to that of bands like Queen, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Secondly, the genre’s impact can be felt in the world of Sludge Metal, where bands like Acid Bath, Baroness, Black Tusk and others owe a large part of their sound to their Southern roots.
Pantera and the bands that Pantera inspired owe a large part of their sound to the Southern Rock movement, and bands like Drive By Truckers, Blackstone Cherry and Halfway To Gone mix contemporary music with Southern Rock to create their own sounds. Anyone who have their music described as southern-fried in magazines (even the Nu Metal band Soil) often owes part of their sound to the southern scene.
Its impact can also be felt in unexpected sources, such as Coheed And Cambria (who have covered ZZ Top and made known their love of Gov’t Mule) and Metallica (who have covered Lynyrd Skynyrd) as well as Corrosion Of Conformity’s and Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarists Pepper Keenan and Zack Wylde, who took strong musical influence from it.
Alambama Thunderpussy, Weedeater, Black Label Society, Coheed And Cambria, Metallica, Armoured Saint, Tesla, Shinedown, Deftones, The Hellacopters and more have covered Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Firewind & Warrant have covered Blackfoot. Nashville Pussy have covered Molly Hatchet. ZZ Top have been covered by Motorhead, Van Halen, Coheed And Cambria, Mastodon, Kid Rock, Queens of the Stone Age, Girlschool, Tygers of Pan Tang, Iron Maiden and more.
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath, 1970, Classic Rock, UK
Black Sabbath - Paranoid, 1970, Classic Rock, UK
Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality, 1971, Classic Rock, UK
Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell, 1980, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Heavy Metal) UK
Black Sabbath - Headless Cross, 1989, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Heavy Metal) UK
Rainbow - Rising, 1986, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Heavy Metal) UK
Rainbow - Long Live Rock N Roll, 1978, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Heavy Metal) UK
Dio - Holy Diver, 1983, Heavy Metal, USA
Dio - The Last In Line, 1984, Heavy Metal, USA
Heaven & Hell - The Devil You Know, 2009, Heavy Metal, UK
Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard Of Ozz, 1980, Heavy Metal, UK
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary Of A Madman, 1981, Heavy Metal, UK
Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears, 1991, Heavy Metal, UK
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, 1976, Classic Rock, Australia
AC/DC - Highway To Hell, 1979, Classic Rock, Australia
AC/DC - Back In Black, 1980, Classic Rock, Australia
Blue Öyster Cult - Agents Of Fortune, 1976, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Classic Rock) USA
Blue Öyster Cult - Cultösaurus Erectus, 1980, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Classic Rock) USA
Blue Öyster Cult - Fire Of Unknown Origin, 1981, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Classic Rock) USA
UFO - No Heavy Petting, 1976, Hard Rock, UK
UFO - Lights Out, 1977, Hard Rock, UK
UFO - Obsession, 1978, Hard Rock, UK
Scorpions - Virgin Killer, 1976, Hard Rock, Germany
Scorpions - Taken By Force, 1977, Hard Rock, Germany
Scorpions - Love Drive, 1979, Hard Rock, Germany
Scorpions - Blackout, 1982, Hard Rock, Germany
Scorpions - Love At First Sting, 1984, Hard Rock, Germany
Boston - Boston, 1976, Hard Rock, USA
Styx - The Grand Illusion, 1977, Mixed (with Hard Rock and Prog) USA
Journey - Escape, 1981, Hard Rock, USA
Michael Shenker Group - MSG, 1981, Hard Rock, Germany
Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising Force, 1984, NeoClassical, Sweden
Yngwie Malmsteen - Trilogy, 1986, NeoClassical, Sweden
Joe Satriani - Surfing With The Alien, 1987, Mixed (With Hard Rock), USA
Steve Vai - Passion And Warfare, 1990, Mixed (With Hard Rock), USA
The Cult - Electric, 1987, Mixed (With Hard Rock), USA
The Cult - Sonic Temple, 1989, Mixed (With Hard Rock), USA
Montrose - Montrose, 1973, Hard Rock, USA
Van Halen - Van Halen, 1978, Mixed (With Classic Rock) USA
Van Halen - Fair Warning, 1981, Mixed (With Classic Rock) USA
Van Halen - 1984, 1984, Mixed (With Classic Rock, Heavy Metal & Glam) USA
Y&T - Black Tiger, 1982, Hard Rock, USA
Krokus - Metal Rendez-Vous, 1980, Hard Rock, Switzerland
The first wave of very hard rock and actual Heavy Metal’s influence on Metal should be obvious. As with Classic Rock, a great deal of what Metal is was defined by this period and this is responsible for so much of the vocal styles, lyrical themes, guitar and drum techniques and the favoured production styles and tonal choices of almost every subsequent generation of Metal musicians.
This is the absolute foundation of Metal. Make this music faster and it becomes Speed Metal, make it both faster and heavier and it becomes Thrash Metal, add a lot of harmonies and melody and it can become Power Metal or Glam Metal depending on how you handle it. Add extra instruments to it and it can become Folk Metal or Symphonic Metal, and moving away from its sound or structure into other musical territories can result in Prog Metal or Nu Metal depending on how its handled. Rapping or Yodeling? Dj Scratches or Fiddles?
Stoner bands have covered Blue Öyster Cult, Metalcore bands have covered Dio, bands from Anthrax to Fozzy to Dream Theater have taken inspiration from Journey and Testament have covered Scorpions.
AC/DC have been covered by Exodus, Onslaught, Annihilator, Anthrax, Trust, Mutiny Within, Iced Earth, Grave Digger, Six Feet Under, Wolf, Omen, Bullet For My Valentine, Living Colour, Kid Rock, Refused, Hinder, Ugly Kid Joe, The Dwarves, The Atomic Bitchwax, Crippled Black Phoenix, W.A.S.P, Guns N’ Roses, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Warrant, La Guns, Great White, Night Ranger, Godflesh, Marilyn Manson, Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, Dropkick Murphies, Dayglo Abortions, Flipper and more.
Black Sabbath are credited with the invention of Heavy Metal, their influence can be felt all over the Rock, Punk and Metal spectrum, and with individual tracks the band have even spawned entire subgenres. For example ‘Symptom Of The Universe’ contains all the key ingredients for Thrash Metal and it was covered by the Thrash Band Sepultura (as well as the Stoner band Orange Goblin and the Alternative Metal band Helmet).
Furthermore the trio of ‘Sweet Leaf,’ ‘Electric Funeral’ and ‘Into The Void’ collectively contain the key ingredients to the Stoner sound and the Doom sound, and have been resemble-to-the-point-of-covered by Sleep as well actually covered by the Stoner bands Kyuss, Monster Magnet & Orange Goblin, as well as the the Groove Metal band Pantera, the Thrash bands Sacred Reich and Exhorder, the Nu Metal band Godsmack, the Alternative/Grunge/Sludge band The Melvins, the Power Metal band Iced Earth and even Ugly Kid Joe)
If you want to be pedantic you could even argue that ‘Supertzar’ almost planted the seeds for Symphonic Metal, after a fashion.
Aerosmith - Toys In The Attic, 1975, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Glam) USA
Aerosmith - Pump, 1989, Mixed (Hard Rock & Glam) USA
Kix - Kix, 1981, Mixed (With Classic Rock, Heavy Metal & Glam) Australia
Def Leppard - Pyromania, 1983, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Glam) UK
Def Leppard - Hysteria, 1987, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Glam) UK
Whitesnake - Love Hunter, 1979, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Heavy Metal) UK
Whitesnake - Whitesnake, 1987, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Glam) UK
Quiet Riot - Metal Health, 1983, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Glam) USA
Twisted Sister - Under The Blade, 1982, Glam, USA
Twisted Sister - Stay Hungry, 1984, Mixed (With Glam & Heavy Metal), USA
Hanoi Rocks - Two Steps From The Move, 1984, Mixed (With Glam & Punk & Heavy Metal), Finland
Motley Crüe - Shout At The Devil, 1983, Mixed (With Glam & Heavy Metal), USA
Motley Crüe - Dr. Feelgood, 1989, Mixed (With Glam & Heavy Metal) USA
Motley Crüe - Motley Crüe, 1994, Mixed (With Glam & Heavy Metal) USA
Dokken - Tooth And Nail, 1985, Mixed (With Glam & Heavy Metal) USA
Ratt - Invasion Of Your Privacy, 1985, Glam, USA
Stryper - To Hell With The Devil, 1986, Glam, USA
Great White - …Twice Shy, 1989, Glam, USA
Warrant - Cherry Pie, 1990, Glam, USA
Poison - Look What The Cat Dragged In, 1986, Mixed (With Glam & Pop) USA
Poison - Open Up And Say …Ahhh!, 1988, Mixed (With Glam & Pop) USA
Cinderella - Night Songs, 1987, Mixed (With Glam & Pop) USA
Europe - The Final Countdown, 1986, Mixed (With Glam & Pop) USA
Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet, 1986, Mixed (With Glam & Pop) USA
Bon Jovi - New Jersey, 1988, Mixed (With Glam & Pop) USA
Skid Row - Skid Row, 1989, Mixed (With Glam, Hard Rock & Heavy Metal) USA
Skid Row - Slave To The Grind, 1991, Mixed (With Glam, Hard Rock & Heavy Metal) USA
Guns N Roses - Appetite For Destruction, 1987, Mixed (With Glam, Hard Rock & Heavy Metal) USA
Guns N Roses - Use Your Illusion 1, 1991, Mixed (With Glam, Hard Rock & Heavy Metal) USA
W.A.S.P - W.A.S.P, 1984, Heavy Metal, USA
W.A.S.P - The Last Command, 1985, Heavy Metal, USA
W.A.S.P - The Crimson Idol, 1992, Heavy Metal, USA
Georgia Satellites - Georgia Satellites , 1986, Mixed (With Glam and Southern Rock) USA
Dangerous Toys - Dangerous Toys, 1989, Mixed (With Glam and Southern Rock) USA
Slaughter - Stick It To Ya, 1990, Mixed (With Glam and Heavy Metal) USA
Tesla - Mechanical Resistance, 1984, Mixed (With Glam and Heavy Metal) UK
Thunder - Backstreet Symphony, 1990, Mixed (With Glam and Heavy Metal) UK
The Darkness - Permission To Land, 2003, Mixed (With Glam & Hard Rock) UK
Steel Panther - Feel The Steel, 2009, Mixed (With Glam & Hard Rock) UK
A lot of the early work of Hair Metal bands, such as ‘Burn In Hell’ by Twisted Sister, or Dokken’s ‘Bullets To Spare’ was very similar to traditional Heavy Metal; before the more keyboard, ballad and production-job focused wave of Glam Bands became popular. While some Metal purists may overlook the entire genre because of what hit-obsessed record company executives turned the genre into when bands mixed Glam with Pop music, its important to remember that there are songs by bands like W.A.S.P and even Ratt that sound almost indistinguishable from traditional Heavy Metal in the tradition of Sabbath, Priest and Maiden. Even when they weren’t that heavy, they were often at a level of heaviness similar to 70s Hard Rock acts like Areosmith and Kiss.
The commercial impact of Hair Metal drew numerous new fans into becoming Rock and even Metal fans, and had an impact on existing bands who took elements of the Hair Metal sound into their own sound. Judas Priest famously took influence from Hair Metal lyrical themes and synth sounds to a massive hysterical critical and fan backlash and Rainbow, Def Leppard and Whitesnake all incorporated parts of it.
Conversely, In reaction to the melodic and poppier sound of Hair Metal, many Metal bands (especially Thrash bands) were inspired to become even faster, heavier and darker than they already were.
Furthermore, like Prog’s impact on Punk, Hair Metal’s popularity and perceived excess also had a direct impact on the formation and popularity of the reactionary Grunge and Stoner Rock genres (two sides of the return-to-Classic-Rock-and-Metal’s-Spirit idea, which saw bands back-pedalling away from Hair Metal and starting bands with a sound and spirit more akin to the Zeppelins and Sabbaths of the 70s).
Even though a vocal minority of purists would like to delete the Hair Metal chapter from Metal’s History, it is there, and it did influence everything which came after it in one way or another. For an example of the influence of Hair Metal; the music of Mötley Crüe has been covered by bands as diverse as Refused, Cataract, Between The Buried And Me, Six Feet Under, Fozzy, Static X and Holywood Undead, and the music of Twisted Sister has been covered by Dimmu Borgir, Anthrax, Six Feet Under, Vision Of Disorder, Cradle Of Filth, Nashville Pussy, Fozzy and Hammerfall.
W.A.S.P songs have been covered by Children Of Bodom, Nightwish & Fozzy.
Shadows Fall have covered Dangerous Toys.
Motörhead - Overkill, 1979, Mixed (With Heavy Metal), UK
Motörhead - Ace Of Spades, 1980, Mixed (With Heavy Metal) UK
Motörhead - Orgasmatron, 1986, Mixed (With Heavy Metal) UK
Motörhead - Inferno, 2004, Mixed (With Heavy Metal) UK
Saxon - Wheels Of Steel, 1980, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Saxon - Denim & Leather, 1981, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Saxon - Crusader, 1984, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Saxon - Solid Ball Of Rock, 1991, Heavy Metal, UK
Diamond Head - Lightning To The Nations, 1980, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Praying Mantis - Time Tells No Lies, 1981, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Tygers Of Pan Tang - Wild Cat , 1980, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Def Leppard - On Through The Night, 1980, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Raven - Rock Until You Drop, 1981, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Angel Witch - Angel Witch, 1980, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Witchfynde - Give ‘em Hell, 1980, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Holocaust - The Nightcomers, 1981, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Tank - Filth Hounds Of Hades, 1982, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Girlschool - Demolition, 1980, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Samson - Head On, 1980, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden, 1980, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Iron Maiden - Killers, 1981, Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), UK
Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast, 1982, Heavy Metal, UK
Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind, 1983, Heavy Metal, UK
Iron Maiden - Powerslave, 1984, Heavy Metal, UK
Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, 1988, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Prog) UK
Iron Maiden - Brave New World, 2000, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Prog) UK
Bruce Dickinson - Chemical Wedding, 1998, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Prog) UK
Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny, 1976, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Prog) UK
Judas Priest - British Steel, 1980, Heavy Metal, UK
Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance, 1982, Heavy Metal, UK
Judas Priest - Turbo, 1986, Heavy Metal, UK
Judas Priest - Painkiller, 1990, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Thrash) UK
Accept - Restless & Wild, 1982, Heavy Metal, Germany
Accept - Balls To The Wall, 1983, Heavy Metal, Germany
Accept - Metal Heart, 1985, Heavy Metal, Germany
Accept - Blood Of The Nations, 2010, Heavy Metal, Germany
Riot - Fire Down Under, 1983, Heavy Metal, USA
Riot - Thundersteel, 1988, Heavy Metal, USA
Manilla Road - Crystal Logic, 1983, Heavy Metal, USA
Exciter - Violence & Force, 1984, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Thrash) Canada
Anvil - Metal On Metal, 1982, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Thrash) Canada
Anvil - Forged In Fire, 1983, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Thrash) Canada
Anvil - Juggernaut Of Justice, 2011, Heavy Metal, Canada
Metal Church - Metal Church, 1984, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Thrash) USA
Metal Church - The Dark, 1986, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Thrash) USA
Wolfsbane - Live Fast Die Fast, 1989, Heavy Metal, USA
Armored Saint - Symbol Of Salvation, 1991, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Thrash) USA
Jag Panzer - Ample Destruction, 1984, Heavy Metal, USA
Storm Witch - The Beauty And The Beast, 1987, Heavy Metal, Germany
Running Wild - Under Jolly Roger, 1987, Heavy Metal, Germany
Running Wild - Port Royal, 1989, Heavy Metal, Germany
Running Wild - Death Or Glory, 1989, Heavy Metal, Germany
Rage - Reign Of Fear, 1986, Heavy Metal, Germany
Rage - Perfect Man, 1988, Heavy Metal, Germany
Helstar - Nosferatu, 1989, Heavy Metal, USA
Cacophony - Speed Metal Symphony, 1987, Heavy Metal, Germany
Venom - Welcome To Hell, 1981, Heavy Metal, UK
Venom - Black Metal, 1982, Heavy Metal, UK
Venom - At War With Satan, 1984, Heavy Metal, UK
Mercyful Fate - Don’t Break The Oath, 1983, Heavy Metal, Denmark
Mercyful Fate - Don’t Break The Oath, 1984, Heavy Metal, Denmark
King Diamond - Abigail, 1987, Heavy Metal, Denmark
King Diamond - Them, 1988, Heavy Metal, Denmark
NWOBHM and other Heavy Metal from the same time by non-British bands was incredibly important in the development of Thrash Metal, Power Metal and even Black and Death Metal. Some bands, like Motörhead and Iron Maiden became some of the most important, influential and iconic bands in the history of Metal, but some like Diamond Head, Angel Witch and Tygers Of Pan Tang are more famous today for their influence on bands like Metallica. Bands like Angel Witch and especially Venom were particularly influential on Thrash Metal and later various Extreme Metal styles.
Some music by bands like Tygers Of Pan Tang and Saxon can sound more like Thin Lizzy than Metallica so its always interesting to listen to the broad and diverse Spectrum of NWOBHM bands. Just as the basis of bands in the Grunge movement varied from Punk to Hardcore to Noise to Classic Rock to Heavy Metal to Hair Metal, often two NWOBHM artists would sounds vastly different, one with a softer Rock sound, one more Progressive Rock influenced, and another sounding almost like Thrash, Black or Power Metal at times.
In recent years there has come to be a New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal sub-subgenre in which artist seek to replicate the sound, spirit and ideals of this era of music (more so than Stoner Rock and Power Metal already did in their own ways). Bands like White Wizzard, Cauldron, Enforcer, Holy Grail, Wolf, Ram, Steelwing and countless others can fall into this category. However since the time has passed, there is often little to distinguish some artists from fitting into another subgenre such as Stoner Metal (in the case of The Sword, Blood Ceremony and Grand Magus) Folk Metal (in the case of Slough Feg) or Power Metal (in the majority of borderline cases and bands with names derived from Judas Priest lyrics). Some artists can toe the line between NWOTHM and Thrash Revival, they are reviving an old school sound from the eighties but can’t help mixing in some of their other influences.
Sometimes reviving sounds from the early 80s isn’t enough to actually designate a band as either NWOTHM however. Some Metalcore bands such as Bullet For My Valentine and Shadows Fall sometimes intend to come across as a revival of Thrash or Trad Metal but their choice of production styles and choruses separate them from the generally agreed upon Thrash Revival or NWOTHM sound.
In any case, none of these later bands would sound anything like they do without the NWOBHM and Traditional Heavy Metal bands of the late seventies to mid-eighties.
Metallica - Kill ‘Em All, 1983, Thrash, USA
Metallica - Ride The Lightning, 1984, Thrash, USA
Metallica - Master Of Puppets, 1986, Thrash, USA
Metallica - …And Justice For All, 1988, Thrash, USA
Metallica - Metallica, 1991, Mixed (With Thrash & Hard Rock) USA
Megadeth - Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?, 1986, Thrash, USA
Megadeth - Rust In Peace, 1990, Thrash, USA
Megadeth - Countdown To Extinction, 1992, Mixed (With Thrash & Hard Rock) USA
Megadeth - Endgame, 2009, Thrash, USA
Anthrax - Fistful Of Metal, 1983, Thrash, USA
Anthrax - Among The Living, 1987, Thrash, USA
Anthrax - The Sound Of White Noise, 1991, (Mixed with Thrash & Hard Rock) USA
Slayer - Show No Mercy, 1983, Thrash, USA
Slayer - Reign In Blood, 1985, Thrash, USA
Slayer - Reign In Blood, 1986, Thrash, USA
Slayer - South Of Heaven, 1988, Thrash, USA
Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss, 1990, Thrash, USA
Onslaught - The Force, 1986, Thrash, UK
Exodus - Bonded By Blood, 1985, Thrash, USA
Exodus - Fabulous Disaster, 1989, Thrash, USA
Exodus - Tempo Of The Damned, 2004, Thrash, USA
Exodus - The Atrocity Exhibition Exhibit A, 2007, Thrash, USA
Testament - The Legacy, 1987, Thrash, USA
Testament - Practice What You Preach, 1989, Thrash, USA
Testament - The Gathering, 1999, Thrash, USA
Overkill - Taking Over, 1987, Thrash, USA
Overkill - The Years Of Decay, 1989, Thrash, USA
Overkill - Horrorscope, 1991, Thrash, USA
Overkill - Iron Bound, 2010, Thrash, USA
Nuclear Assault - Survive, 1988, Thrash, USA
Nuclear Assault - Handle With Care, 1989, Thrash, USA
Nuclear Assault - Handle With Care, 1990, Thrash, USA
Dark Angel - Darkness Descends, 1986, Thrash, USA
Forbidden - Forbidden Evil, 1988, Thrash, USA
Death Angel - The Ultra-Violence, 1987, Thrash, USA
Death Angel - Act III, 1990, Thrash, USA
Vio-lence - Eternal Nightmare, 1988, Thrash, USA
Flotsam & Jetsam - Doomsday & The Deceiver, 1986, Thrash, USA
Flotsam & Jetsam - No Place For Disgrace, 1988, Thrash, USA
Lääz Rockit - Know Your Enemy, 1987, Thrash, USA
Sepultura - Beneath The Remains, 1989, Thrash, Brazil
Sepultura - Arise, 1993, Thrash, Brazil
Kreator - Pleasure To Kill, 1986, Thrash, Germany
Kreator - Extreme Aggression, 1989, Thrash, Germany
Kreator - Hordes Of Chaos, 2009, Thrash, Germany
Sodom - Obsessed By Cruelty, 1986, Mixed (Thrash Metal & Black Metal), Germany
Sodom - Agent Orange, 1989, Thrash, Germany
Sodom - M-16, 2001, Thrash, Germany
Destruction - Eternal Devastation, 1986, Thrash, Germany
Tankard - Zombie Attack, 1986, Thrash, Germany
Exumer - Possesed By Fire, 1986, Thrash, Germany
Holy Terror - Terror & Submission, 1986, Thrash, Germany
Voivod - War & Pain 1984, Thrash, Canada
Annihilator - Alice In Hell, 1989, Thrash, Canada
Annihilator - Never Neverland, 1990, Thrash, Canada
Watchtower - Energetic Disasembly, 1985, Mixed (With Thrash & Prog) USA
Watchtower - Control & Reistance, 1989, Mixed (With Thrash & Prog) USA
Realm - Endless War, 1988, Mixed (With Thrash & Prog) USA
Artillery - By Inheritance, 1990, Thrash, Denmark
Sadus - Swallowed In Black, 1990, Thrash, USA
Sabbat - History Of A Time To Come, 1988, Mixed (With Thrash, Prog, Black & Death) UK
Posessed - Seven Churches, 1985, Mixed (With Thrash & Death) USA
Posessed - Beyond The Gates, 1986, Mixed (With Thrash & Death) USA
Bathory - Under The Sign Of The Black Mark, 1987, Mixed (With Thrash, Black & Death) Sweden
Bathory - Blood Fire Death, 1988, Mixed (Thrash Metal & Black Metal), Sweden
Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales, 1984, Mixed, Switzerland
Celtic Frost - To The Mega Therion, 1985, Mixed, Switzerland
Celtic Frost - Into The Pandemonium, 1987, Mixed (Avant-Garde) Switzerland
Hellhammer - Apocalyptic Raids 1990 AD, 1990, Mixed (with Black Metal) Switzerland
Thrash Metal’s importance in the history, definition and continuing evolution of Metal cannot be understated and instances of Thrash Metal’s biggest bands’ influence on subsequent generations are almost too numerous to count. Although a lot of people may consider Thrash as an extreme subgenre, in a lot of ways it is sort of a distillation of the real heart and soul of most of Metal’s core sounds and values.
During the commercial peak of Hair Metal, when bands made music with part of Metal’s key sound and popularized it to a wider audience at the expense of what certain Metal fans considered Metal’s core values and credibility; Thrash Metal took that key sound, attitude and those core values and did its best to highlighted them, at times deliberately cultivating an audience of anti-Hair Metal fans as a sort of gut-level marketing technique (in the same way that many Punk bands had done to Prog a decade earlier).
Many of the Thrash bands took influence from the original Heavy Metal bands and the NWOBHM movement, as well as from the Punk Movement (as well of course as from Motörhead who combined elements of the two) and combined them in such a way as to create a new subgenre the primary characteristics of which were speed and aggression (more so than could already be said for Rock, Punk and Metal Music in general that is).
In the early years of Thrash, bands like Metallica, Anthrax and Overkill combined the key elements of these two styles, covering or taking influence from tracks by the likes of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden (and Diamond Head especially in the case of Metallica) as much as by the likes of GBH, Sex Pistols and Dead Boys.
In the later years of Thrash’s first incarnation, bands began writing longer, more complex tracks and albums like ‘…And Justice For All’ and ‘The Years Of Decay,’ which demonstrated a very progressive attitude but without actually becoming full-out Prog albums.
After Thrash became popular several existing Metal bands, such a Judas Priest, Accept and Raven took on elements of Thrash Metal into their own sound. This was also true of Punk and Hardcore Punk bands, which gave rise to the Crossover Thrash sub-subgenre, in which Thrash Metal bands like Nuclear Assault, M.O.D and others would take large elements of the Hardcore Punk sound into their own Thrash music and Punk and Hardcore Punk bands like The Exploited, Corrosion Of Conformity, D.R.I etc would make Punk music that incorporated a lot of Thrash Metal’s sounds.
Thrash Metal also played a large part in the invention and popularization of the emerging Death Metal, Power Metal, Prog Metal and Black Metal Subgenres, as well as the later Groove Metal, Melodeath, Metalcore and Thrash Revival subgenres. Types of riffs, general approaches to instruments and drumming styles that were either invented or popularized by early pioneers such as Dave Mustaine, Dave Lombardo, Cliff Burton and Gary Holt can be found to some extent or other in most forms of Metal that came afterwards:
The Blast Beat, a key component of most Grindcore, Black Metal and Death Metal albums was arguably invented (or at least popularized) by Charlie Benante on Crossover Thrash band S.O.D’s debut album.
Helloween, who are one of the most important bands in the history of Power Metal started off as a Thrash Metal band.
Prog Metal band Dream Theater have covered numerous tracks by Metallica, including the entire ‘Master Of Puppets’ album.
Many of the early Death Metal albums still featured a lot of key Thrash Metal musical tropes, and the genre was arguably named in a song by Possessed, who were considered a Thrash band by many (although some fans have retroactively deigned them a Death Metal band). Many Death Metal bands, from Decapitated to Six Feet Under have covered music by Thrash Metal bands, especially Slayer. Cannibal Corpse have covered Metallica and Napalm Death have covered songs by both Sepultura and Kreator.
The Thrash Metal bands Sodom and Sabbat, along with several ‘War Metal’ or ‘Viking Metal’ bands like Celtic Frost, Venom, Hellhammer and Bathory who were at least partially Thrash Metal were heavily influential on Black Metal bands to the point of being considered part of a First Wave Of Black Metal that pre-dates the actual establishment of the genre as its recognized today (the first wave of which is considered to be the second wave of Black Metal by purists).
Cradle Of Filth, who are associated with but separate from Black Metal, have covered both Slayer and Sodom.
Thrash also influenced Metalcore bands; like Shadows Fall and Trivum, who made their love of Thrash Metal known frequently sonically, in interviews and in their choice of covers are sometimes actually referred to as Thrash Metal bands by certain fans and even magazines. Chimaira took considerable lead guitar influence from Metallica and Lamb Of God owe a large portion of their sound to Slayer.
The Thrash Metal band Anthrax even played a hand in the popularization of Rap Metal/Nu Metal due to the success of their track ‘Bring The Noise’ which was a reworking of a track by the Hip-Hop band Public Enemy and actually featured Public Enemy rapping over Thrash Metal guitar riffs, something of a unique event at the time. They rapped over their own music even earlier on the track ‘I’m The Man.’ Metallica, Megadeth and Sepultura also had an influential impact on the Nu Metal subgenre with their Self-Titled (Black), ‘Countdown To Extinction’ and ‘Roots’ albums respectively. Furthermore, Thrash had, in part, an indirect impact on the Nu Metal (and in fact Doom Metal) movement through a reactionary contrast to its focus on speed, while the non-relenting intensity of most Thrash songs also had a similar effect on Grunge and Nu Metal songs which then chose to have much more broken up and dynamic song structures, after a decade of what some of those bands would have considered to be bands taking things to far in one direction.
Recently; there has been a revival of Thrash Metal movement, featuring bands like Municipal Waste, Revoker, Gama Bomb, SSS, Evile and others, in which bands attempt to largely recreate the sound of classic 1980s Thrash Metal often as strictly as possible.
Like other forms of music, Thrash musician’s non-musical work is sometimes noteworthy, such as Thrash Musicians like Ross Robinson and Andy Sneap going on to become important producers who have a hand in defining what the current sound of Metal is.
Overall; Thrash Metal, especially its most important and famous bands and albums, had and continues to have an unarguable impact on the history and sound of Metal music.
Pissing Razors - Cast Down The Plague, 1999, Groove, USA
Pantera - Cowboys From Hell, 1990, Mixed (With Thrash & Groove) USA
Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power, 1992, Groove, USA
Pantera - Far Beyond Driven, 1994, Groove, USA
Machine Head - Burn My Eyes, 1994, Groove, USA
Machine Head - The More Things Change, 1997, Groove, USA
Machine Head - The Blackening, 2007, Mixed (With Groove, Thrash & Metalcore) USA
Sepultura - Chaos AD, 1993, Groove, Brazil
Sepultura - Roots, 1996, Mixed (With Groove & Nu Metal) Brazil
Sepultura - Roorback, 2003, Mixed (With Groove & Crossover) Brazil
Fear Factory - Demanufacture, 1995, Groove, USA
Fear Factory - Obsolete, 1998, Groove, USA
Fear Factory - Mechanize, 2010, Groove, USA
Channel Zero - Stigmatized For Life, 1993, Groove, Belgium
Prong - Cleansing, 1994, Mixed, USA
Black Label Society - Sonic Brew, 1998, Mixed (With Groove & Stoner) USA
Black Label Society - 1919 Eternal, 2002, Mixed (With Groove,Stoner & Nu Metal) USA
Black Label Society - The Blessed Hellride, 2002, Mixed (With Groove,Stoner & Nu Metal) USA
Black Label Society - Order Of The Black, 2010, Mixed (With Groove & Stoner) USA
Gwar - Scumdogs Of The Universe, 1991, Mixed, USA
Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses, 1993, Mixed, USA
Type O Negative - October Rust, 1996, Mixed, USA
Groove Metal was directly influenced by Thrash and is also known by certain fans as “Post Thrash,” or even actually just considered to still be Thrash by others. It isn’t technically a real subgenre on its own, but the post-Thrash release of albums like Chaos AD, Vulgar Display Of Power and Demanufacture has had an unmistakably large impact on the world of Metal.
The Thrash band Exhorder’s music bares a lot of sonic similarities with Groove Metal and had a direct and audible influence on the definitive Groove Metal band Pantera’s music. Pantera singer Phil Anselmo had even been a roadie for Exhorder at a time when Pantera were primarily playing a Glam/Hair derived form of music.
Sepultura, who released one of the definitive Groove Metal albums of all time in ‘Chaos AD’ were primarily a Thrash Metal band before its release (as well as being considered a Death Metal band by many fans).
Robb Flynn of the influential Groove Metal band was a member of the Thrash Metal band Vio-lence and took a large part of the Thrash style with him into Machine Head’s sound.
Coroner - Mental Vortex, 1990, Mixed (with Thrash & Death Metal) Switzerland
Autopsy - Severed Survival, 1989, Death, USA
Autopsy - Mental Funeral, 1991, Mixed (With Death & Doom) USA
Morbid Angel - Alters Of Madness, 1989, Death, USA
Morbid Angel - Blessed Are The Sick, 1991, Death, USA
Morbid Angel - Covenant, 1993, Death, USA
Morbid Angel - Domination, 1995, Death, USA
Dismember - Like An Ever Flowing Stream, 1991, Death, Sweden
Dismember - Massive Killing Capacity, 1995, Mixed (With Death) Sweden
Carnage - Dark Recollections, 1990, Death, Sweden
Unleashed - Where No Life Dwells, 1991, Death, Sweden
Entombed - Left Hand Path, 1990, Death, Sweden
Entombed - Wolverine Blues, 1993, Mixed (With Death) Sweden
Master - Master, 1990, Death, USA
Massacre - From Beyond, 1991, Death, USA
Cannibal Corpse - Butchered At Birth, 1991, Death, USA
Cannibal Corpse - Tomb Of The Mutilated, 1992, Death, USA
Cannibal Corpse - Vile, 1996, Death, USA
Cannibal Corpse - The Wretched Spawn, 2004, Death, USA
Deicide - Deicide, 1990, Death, USA
Deicide - One Upon The Cross, 1995, Death, USA
Deicide - The Stench Of Redemption, 2006, Death, USA
Six Feet Under - Haunted, 1995, Death, USA
Six Feet Under - Maximum Violence, 1999, Death, USA
Malevolent Creation - Retribution, 1992, Death, USA
Immolation - Dawn Of Possession, 1991, Death, USA
Immolation - Failures For Gods, 1999, Death, USA
Obituary - Slowly We Rot, 1989, Death, USA
Obituary - Cause Of Death, 1990, Death, USA
Obituary - World Demise, 1994, Mixed (With Death & Groove) USA
Death - Leprosy, 1988, Death, USA
Death - Human, 1991, Death, USA
Death - Symbolic, 1995, Mixed (With Death & Prog) USA
Cancer - Death Shall Rise, 1991, Death, UK
Pestilence - Consuming Impulse, 1995, Mixed (With Death) Netherlands
Bolt Thrower - The IVth Crusade, 1992, Mixed (With Death) UK
Bolt Thrower - For Victory, 1994, Mixed (With Death) UK
Incantation - Mortal Throne Of Nazareen, 1994, Death, USA
Nocturnus - Threshold, 1992, Mixed, Death, USA
Amorphis - Tales From The Thousand Lakes, 1994, Mixed (With Death) Finland
Bloodbath - Insurrection Through Carnage, 2002, Mixed (With Death) Sweden
Behemoth - Zos Kia Cultus, 2002, Mixed (With Death) Poland
Behemoth - The Apostasy, 2007, Mixed (With Death) Poland
Suffocation - Effigy Of The Forgotten, 1991, Technical-Death, USA
Atheist - Unquestionable Presence, 1991, Technical-Death, USA
Gorguts - The Erosion Of Sanity, 1993, Technical-Death, Canada
Pestilence - Spheres, 1993, Technical-Death, Netherlands
Grave - You’ll Never See…, 1992, Technical-Death, Sweden
Cryptopsy - None So Vile, 1996, Technical-Death, Canada
Nile - Black Seeds Of Vengeance, 2000, Technical-Death, USA
Nile - In Their Darkened Shrines, 2002, Technical-Death, USA
Kataklysm - Shadows & Dust, 2002, Technical-Death, Canada
Decapitated - Nihility, 2002, Technical-Death, Poland
Decapitated - Organic Hallucinations, 2006, Technical-Death, Poland
Vader - De Produndis, 1995, Death, Poland
Vader - Litany, 2000, Death, Poland
Dying Fetus - Litany, 2000, Death, USA
Fleshgod Apocalypse - Agony, 2011 Technical-Death, Italy
Dew Scented - Impact, 2003, Mixed (With Thrash & Death) Germany
Dew Scented - Invocation, 2010, Mixed (With Thrash & Death) Germany
The Haunted- The Haunted, 1998, Mixed (With Thrash & Death) Sweden
The Haunted- The Haunted Made Me Do It, 2000, Mixed (With Thrash & Death) Sweden
At The Gates - Slaughter Of The Soul, 1995, Melodeath, Sweden
Arch Enemy - Wages Of Sin, 2001, Melodeath, Sweden
Arch Enemy - Rise Of The Tyrant, 2007, Melodeath, Sweden
Dark Tranquility - The Gallery, 1995, Melodeath, Sweden
Dark Tranquility - Damage Done, 2002, Melodeath, Sweden
Soilwork - A Predator’s Portrait, 2001, Melodeath, Sweden
Soilwork - Figure Number Five, 2003, Melodeath, Sweden
In Flames - The Jester Race, 1996, Melodeath, Sweden
In Flames - Clayman, 2000, Melodeath, Sweden
In Flames - Reroute To Remain, 2002, Melodeath, Sweden
Children Of Bodom - Hatebreeder, 1999, Mixed (With Melodeath & Power) Finland
Children Of Bodom - Hate Crew Deathroll, 2003, Mixed (With Melodeath & Power) Finland
Children Of Bodom - Are You Dead Yet, 2005, Mixed (With Melodeath & Power) Finland
Insomnium - Since The Day It All Came Down, 2004, Melodeath, Finland
Darkane - Expanding Senses, 2002, Melodeath, Sweden
Amon Amarth - Once Sent From The Golden Hall, 1998, Melodeath, Sweden
Amon Amarth - Versus The World, 2002, Melodeath, Sweden
Amon Amarth - With Oden On Our Side, 2006, Melodeath, Sweden
Death Metal’s validity and place within Metal is often unquestioned by most informed fans. The subgenre in many ways represents the logical conclusion of many of Metal’s key characteristics. Lyrically, vocally, and in terms of speed, heaviness and detuning, atonality and the physical challenge of actually being able to play the music, Death Metal is often the absolute extreme of each characteristic, or very close to the absolute extreme.
Death Metal’s popularity and limitations on popularity affected several bands. Fear Factory for example actually started out as a Death Metal band before developing their signature sound, and Entombed, who released some of the genre’s most definitive material on their first two albums eventually mixed it with Hard Rock with the ‘Wolverine Blues’ album. Morbid Angel combined it with Nu Metal and Industrial music on ‘Illud Divinium Insanus.’ Carcass and Napalm Death combined Grindcore with Death Metal on their ‘The Necroticism’ and ‘Harmony Corruption’ albums, although Carcass then went on to combine this with Traditional Heavy Metal and make one of the most influential albums for Melodeath bands in ‘Heartwork.’
One of the biggest influences that Death Metal had on other forms of music was in the form of the popularization of guttural Death Vocals, which other bands since Death Metal became popular often use sparingly either as backing vocals, for a few brief sections per song or in rare instances for a whole out-of-character track. Even Mondo Generator and Green Day for example each have at least one song (‘Girls Like Christ’ and ‘Take Back’ respectively) in which Death Vocals are used over the bands’ normal Punk music.
In addition to the vocal style, the general intensity and perceived brutality of the genre influenced many popular non-Death Metal bands. Pantera famously made their music heavier on Far Beyond Driven due to a love of the genre, and Slipknot incorporated death influenced Blast Beats into their second though to fourth albums. Soulfly, who started off as a combination Nu Metal and Groove Metal band gradually incorporated many Thrash and later Death Metal elements into their sound over the years and have featured guest vocal appearances from Death Metal singers including David Vincent of Morbid Angel and Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation.
The combination of Death Metal with other subgenres such as Grindcore and Traditional Heavy Metal gave rise to subgenres such as Goregrind and Melodic Death Metal. Bands from Pig Destroyer and The Berzerker to Soilwork and At The Gates owe a large part of their sound to Death Metal.
Death Metal also had a clear and direct influence on Metalcore. Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall and Parkway Drive for example have taken influence from Death Metal to form a part of their sound, primarily through the aforementioned vocals but also through subtle guitar influences. Chimaira took an even more direct guitar influence from Six Feet Under and Cannibal Corpse. Slipknot are also heavily influenced by several Death Metal artists, including Deicide and bands like Messugah and later Periphery and Uneven Structure were directly and indirectly influenced by Death Metal’s prevalent atonal guitar style and low tunings.
The sub-subgenre of Deathcore is a form of Metalcore that is even more specifically inclusive of Death Metal tropes. Much like Crossover Thrash, the music came both from excessively Death Metal influenced Metalcore bands as well as from excessively Metalcore influenced Death Metal bands. Bands like Job For A Cowboy and Whitechapel can sound strictly Death Metal one moment and play things a Death Metal band would never play moments later.
From the early Death Metal-esque Thrash albums of Sepultura and Possesed to the Tampa Scene, to technical and progressive Death Metal bands, as well as Blackened Death Metal bands who combine elements of both Black and Death Metal, and Melodic Death Metal bands with inspirational lead guitarists; Death Metal has had a wide and lasting influence on the sound and history of Metal ever since its invention, most notably in the field of extreme metal, but also on a surprising number of bigger and more commercial bands too.
Carcass - Symphonies Of Sickness, 1989, Grindcore, UK
Carcass - Necroticism, 1991, Mixed (With Grindcore & Death) UK
Carcass - Heartwork, 1993, Mixed (With Grindcore & Melodeath) UK
Napalm Death - Scum, 1987, Grindcore, UK
Napalm Death - Harmony Corruption, 1987, Mixed (With Grindcore & Death) UK
Napalm Death - Fear Emptiness Despair, 1994, Mixed (With Death, Groove & Grindcore) UK
Napalm Death - Enemy Of The Music Business, 2000, Mixed (With Death, Groove & Grindcore) UK
Extreme Noise Terror - Holocaust In Your Head, 1989, Grindcore, UK
Repulsion - Horrified, 1986/1989, Grindcore, UK
Terrorizer - World Downfall, 1989, Grindcore, USA
Impetigo - Ultimate Mondo Cannibale, 1990, Grindcore, USA
Brutal Truth - Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses, 1992, Grindcore, USA
Brutal Truth - Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom, 1997, (With Grindcore, Crust Punk and Prog) USA
Anal Cunt - Everyone Should Be Killed, 1994, Grindcore, USA
Brujeria - Matando Güeros, 1993, Grindcore, USA
Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Honky Reduction, 1998, Grindcore, USA
Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Altered States Of America, 2003, Grindcore, USA
Mortician - Chainsaw Dismemberment, 1999, Grindcore, USA
Mortician - Darkest Day Of Horror, 2003, Grindcore, USA
Pig Destroyer - Terifyer, 2006, Grindcore, USA
Nasum - Inhale/Exhale, 1998, Grindcore, Sweden
Nasum - Human 2.0, 2000, Grindcore, Sweden
Cephalic Carnage - Anomalies, 2005, Mixed (With Grindcore & Death) USA
The Berzerker - Dissimulate, 2002, Mixed, Australia
Exhumed - Anatomy Is Destiny, 2003, Mixed, USA
Cattle Decapitation - Humanure, 2004, Mixed, USA
*** Grindcore has is roots in both Anarchopunk and Hardcore Punk, but over the years has mixed together with elements of other extreme Metal subgenres in interesting ways. There are Crossover points that are Death Metal bands playing Grindcore riffs, Black Metal bands using extremely brief song durations, Grindcore bands changing into Death Metal bands over time. Members of Grindcore albums have joined, toured with, worked as a producer on or had their records produced by members of Death Metal bands or Thrash bands or even Hardcore bands.
For example Exhumed have covered Possesed, King Diamond and Sodom. Exhumed’s debut was produced by Death’s James Murphy. Travis from Cattle Decapitation has guest appeared with Soulfly and Chimaira. Both Deicide’s Glen Benton and Obituary’s John Tardy appear on Napalm Death’s ‘Unfit Earth.’ Decaptiated have covered Napalm Death. Vader have covered Terrorizer.
At times the distinction between Grindcore and Death Metal becomes blurred, and Deathgrind and Goregrind are used to term bands like this, although over time these bands have influenced other artists to the point of starting distinct genres of their own.
Some bands have mixed progressive ideas, or electronic sounds with it to create new and interesting variations on the base sound.
Carcass branched off into Melodeath, influencing countless artists and Napalm Death continuously reinvent themselves.
Bands like Exhumed (as covered by Job For A Cowboy) and Agoraphobic Nosebleed have been influential on the Deathcore subgenre. ***
Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse, 1994, Black, Norway
Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, 1997, Black, Norway
Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, 1994, Black, Norway
Immortal - Pure Holocaust, 1993, Black, Norway
Immortal - At The Heart Of Winter, 1999, Black, Norway
Immortal - At The Heart Of Winter, 1999, Mixed (With Black), Norway
Darkthrone - A Blaze In The Northern Sky, 1992, Black, Norway
Burzum - Filosofen, 1996, Black, Norway
Sarcófago - INRI, 1987, Black, Brazil
Blasphemy - Fallen Angels Of Doom, 1990, Black, Canada
Beherit - Drawing Down The Moon, 1990, Black, Finland
Judas Iscariot - Thy Dying Light, 1990, Black, USA
Marduk - Panzer Division Marduk, 1999, Black, Sweden
Dissection - A Storm Of Light’s Bane, 1995, Black, Sweden
Gorgoroth - Incipit Satan, 2000, Black Metal Norway
Enslaved - Run, 2006, Mixed (with Black & Prog) Norway
Graveland - Thousand Swords, 1995, Black, Poland
Ulver - Bergtatt – Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler, 1995, Mixed (with Black & Prog) Norway
Ulver - Nattens Madrigal: Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden , 1997, Mixed (with Black & Prog) Norway
Carpathian Forest - Strange Old Brew, 2000, Symphonic-Black, Norway
Carpathian Forest - Defending The Throne Of Evil, 2003, Symphonic-Black, Norway
Cradle Of Filth - Dusk And Her Embrace, 1996, Mixed (With Black) UK
Cradle Of Filth - Midian, 2000, Mixed, UK
Dimmu Borgir - Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, 1997, Symphonic-Black, Norway
Dimmu Borgir - Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, 2001, Symphonic-Black, Norway
Dimmu Borgir - Death Cult Amageddon, 2003, Symphonic-Black, Norway
Absu - Tara, 2001, Black, USA
Blut Aus Nord - The Work Which Transforms God, 2000, Mixed (With Black, Industrial, Prog) France
Deathspell Omega - Si Monvmentvm Reqvires Circvmspice, 2004, Black, France
Taake - Nattestid Ser Porten Vid, 1999, Black, Norway
Antaeus - De Principii Evangelikum, 2001, Black, France
Peste Noire - La Sanie des siècles – Panégyrique de la dégénérescence, 2006, Black, France
Gehenna - Adimiron Black, 1998, Black, Norway
Melechesh - As Jerusalem Burns…Al Intisa, 1996, Mixed (With Black) Jerusalem
Melechesh - Sphynx, 2003, Mixed (With Black) Jerusalem
Satyricon - Volcano, 2002, Mixed (With Black) Norway
Samael - Ceremony Of Opposites, 1994, Mixed (With Black) Norway
Samael - Passage, 1996, Mixed (With Black) Norway
Striborg - Spiritual Catharsis, 2004, Mixed (With Black) Australia
Agalloch - The Mantle, 2002, Mixed (With Folk, Ambient & Black) USA
Alcest - Souvenirs D’Un Autre Monde, 2007, Mixed (With Black) USA
Mortiis - The Smell Of Rain, 2001, Mixed, Norway
Akercocke - The Goat Of Mendes, 2001, Mixed (With Black, Death & Prog) UK
Anaal Nathrakh - Eschaton, 2006, Mixed (With Black, Death & Prog) UK
Aborym - With No Human Intervention, 2003, Mixed (With Black & Industrial) Norway
Nachtmystium - Instinct Decay, 2006, Mixed (With Black & Psychadelic) USA
Wintersun - Wintersun, 2007, Mixed (With Black, Melodeath & Folk) Finland
Winterfylleth - The Mercian Sphere, 2008, Mixed (With Black & Folk) UK
Watain - Sworn To The Dark, 2007, Mixed (With Black) Sweeden
Carach Angren - Where Corpses Sink Forever, 2012, Mixed (With Black) Holland
In The Woods… - Heart Of The Ages, 2005, Mixed (With Black & Folk) Norway
Primordial - Spirit The Earth Aflame, 2000, Mixed (With Black & Folk) Ireland
Primordial - Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand, 2011, Mixed (With Black & Folk) Ireland
Black Metal evolved into different subgenres by mixing with other sounds such as industrial, ambient, soundscape, folk, thrash, death, prog, shoegaze etc.
Children Of Bodom and Opeth both have artistic roots in Black Metal but present entirely different sounds.
Bands mix parts of Black Metal with hardcore, early Swedish Death Metal and modern punk to create new music. Trap Them, Black Breath and Kvelertak would sound utterly different if not for the influence of Black Metal. Even Metalcore bands like Chimaira owe at least one song’s sound to the influence of Black Metal.
Skyclad - The Wayward Sons Of Mother Earth, 1991, Folk-Metal, UK
Cruachan - Tuatha Na Gael, 1995, Folk-Metal, Ireland
The Lord Weird Slough Feg - The Lord Weird Slough Feg, 1996, Folk-Metal, USA
Slough Feg - Ape Uprising, 2009, Folk-Metal, USA
Mägo de Oz - Mägo de Oz, 1994, Mixed (Folk and Metal) Spain
Týr - Ragnarok, 2006, Folk-Metal, Faroe Islands
Moonsorrow - Voimasta Ja Kunniasta, 2001, Folk-Metal, Finland
Moonsorrow - Kivenkantaja, 2003, Folk-Metal, Finland
Ensiferum – Ensiferum, 2001, Folk-Metal, Finland
Ensfirium – Unsung Heroes, 2012, Folk-Metal, Finland
Finntroll – Jaktens Tid, 2001, Folk-Metal, Finland
Аpkoha – Гой, Роде, гой!, 2009, Folk-Metal, Russia
SIG:AR:TYR – Beyond The North Winds, 2008, Folk-Metal, Canada
Heidevolk - Uit Oude Grond, 2010, Folk-Metal, Netherlands
Korpiklaani - Tales Along This Road, 2006, Folk-Metal, Finland
Metsatöll - Äio, 2010, Folk-Metal, Estonia
Turisas - The Varangian Way, 2007, Folk-Metal, Finland
Turisas - Stand Up And Fight, 2011, Folk-Metal, Finland
Alestorm - Captain Morgan’s Revenge, 2008, Folk-Metal, UK
Folk Metal is a vague term that can apply to a whole host of vastly different bands. Adding folk instrumentation, playing reinterpretations of traditional folk pieces or having folklore based lyrics and imagery all can land a band with the folk metal tag. The bands may have their roots in Black Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal, Thrash Metal (or anything else) and two folk metal bands may share almost no sonic similarities excluding the fact that they use additional bow or wind based instruments and may write lyrics about folklore, or in some cases alcohol. Commonly, the vocals may not be delivered in English as frequently as they would be in other subgenres.
With that being said, there are many Folk Metal bands who share a similar aesthetic in terms of their metal influence and not just their folk influence. Two of the most common types of Folk Metal are those rooted in Melodic European Power Metal and those rooted in Black Metal.
There are folk metal bands who take things very seriously and bands who are very over the top and silly, there are bands with comedy overtones and who dress in costumes as well as those who just play Metal as any normal band, but with parts of their music rooted in folk music.
Similarly, many bands may use folk influences, additional instrumentation, sing about their own cultures or in their own languages but still escape the term, for example Soulfly and Jurojin.
Nightwish - Oceanborn, 1998, Symphonic, Finland
Epica - Design Your Universe, 2009, Symphonic, Netherlands
Therion - Theli, 1996, Symphonic, Sweden
Within Temptation - The Silent Force, 2004, Symphonic, Netherlands
Delain - April Rain, 2009, Symphonic, Netherlands
Amberian Dawn - River Of Tuoni, 2008, Symphonic, Finland
Equilibrium - Sagas, 2008, Symphonic, Germany
Pythia - The Sepent’s Curse, 2012, Symphonic, UK
Xandria - Neverworld’s End, 2012, Symphonic, Germany
Much like Folk Metal, Symphonic Metal is a very vague subgenre title and not entirely agreed upon by Metal fans and musicologists. Many Metal bands may work with a Symphony orchestra and not get labeled as Symphonic Metal. There are also very Symphonic Black Metal albums by Dimmu Borgir and Emperor (to name but a few) that are not often called Symphonic Black Metal and there are very symphonic Power Metal albums by Rhapsody that aren’t always called Symphonic Metal, because they don’t specifically sound like Amber Dawn and Nightwish.
Similarly there are Nu Metal and Alternative Metal bands that utilize very similar sounds, approaches and imagery to Symphonic Metal (ie. In This Moment, Lacuna Coil) but are not routinely called Symphonic Metal, because the non-symphonic components of their sound are too different. Sometimes the combination of the two styles is jokingly referred to as “Corset Metal” due to the prominence of Female lead singers in Gothic clothing.
Fleshgod Apocalypse have popularized the idea of Symphonic Death Metal in recent years.
Symphonic Metal bands often have their roots in Power Metal, Classical Music, Progressive Rock and Gothic Music, often with Neoclassical influenced guitar and a very prominent Keyboard Player. However while this sentence could easily describe Children Of Bodom, the exact blend of influences seems to be key to making a band get categorized as Symphonic Metal.
Helloween - Walls Of Jericho, 1985, Mixed (With Thrash & Power) Germany
Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I, 1987, Power, Germany
Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II, 1988, Power, Germany
Helloween - Time Of The Oath, 1996, Power, Germany
Helloween - Straight Out Of Hell, 2013, Power, Germany
Gamma Ray - Heading For Tomorrow, 1990, Power, Germany
Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free, 1995, Power, Germany
Gamma Ray - No World Order, 2001, Power, Germany
Iron Savior - Iron Savior , 1999, Power, Germany
Freedom Call - Crystal Empire, 1999, Power, Germany
Primal Fear - Jaws Of Death, 2001, Power, Germany
Manowar - Into Glory Ride, 1983, Power, USA
Manowar - Hail To England, 1984, Power, USA
Manowar - Sign Of The Hammer, 1984, Power, USA
Manowar - Kings Of Metal, 1988, Power, USA
Vicious Rumors - Digital Dictator, 1988, Power, USA
Vicious Rumors - Vicious Rumors, 1990, Power, USA
Hammerfall - Glory To The Be Brave, 1997, Power, Sweden
Iced Earth - Night Of The Stormrider, 1991, Power, USA
Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes, 1998, Power, USA
Stratovarius - Dream Space, 1994, Power, Finland
Stratovarius - Visions, 1997, Power, Finland
Stratovarius - Infinite, 2000, Power, Finland
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica, 1999, Power, Finland
Edguy - Theater Of Salvation, 1999, Power, Germany
Rhapsody (Of Fire) - Symphony Of The Enchanted Lands, 1998, Power, Italy
Angra - Angels Cry, 1993, Power, Brazil
Angra - Holy Land, 1996, Mixed (With Power & Prog) Brazil
Falconer - Chapters From A Vale Forlorn, 2002, Power, Sweeden
Dragonforce - Inhuman Rampage, 2006, Power, UK
Sabbaton - Carolus Rex, 2012, Power, Sweden
Alpha Tiger - Man Or Machine, 2011, Power, Germany
Nevermore - The Politics Of Ecstasy, 1996, Power, USA
Nevermore - This Godless Endevour, 2005, Power, USA
The basic template for Power Metal is laid down by the mixture of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. The bands often place a lot of emphasis on virtuosity and an over-the-top spirit. They usually add especially fast music (although usually without the sheer ferocity of Thrash), and a lot of very grand sing-along choruses. Often Dio era Rainbow and Queen will inform the sound, and most bands, especially in later waves, like to play “cheesy” ballads.
Many Power Metal bands also like to employ lead Keyboards, in the tradition of Deep Purple, often dueling solos between a keyboard player and a guitarist …although it is not a requirement (in fact the keystone album for the Genre, Keeper Of The Seven Keys by Helloween, doesn’t feature a lead keyboardist).
Yngvie Malmsteen, Accept, The Scorpions and Running Wild were all huge influences on a lot of Power Metal bands and help to define its “European Sound.”
Although Power Metal is often thought of as being really European, that is only part of the story. The Genre is often split into two spiritual camps: 1) “Melodic” or European Power Metal (although bands from non-Euopeans often play this kind of music and 2) USPM – The American Kind – (although bands from non-Americans often play this kind of music).
With USPM, especially the later stuff, a huge early-Metallica and Painkiller-era-Judas Priest is often detectable. Bands like Savatage, Crimson Glory and Queensryche (who fit comfortably into early Prog Metal brackets as well) can be viewed as a sort of first wave of USPM and inform a lot of the sound too. The influence of Warning era Queensryche on Iced Earth for example is absolutely undeniable (just compare ‘Roads To Madness’ and ‘Melancholy [Holy Martyr]‘ to see how much).
Only Two camps is an oversimplification of course, as there are different approaches, attitudes and mixtures with which bands can take things. Power Metal bands can often blur the lines between Folk Metal, Prog Metal, Melodic Death Metal or Thrash Metal on different songs or albums. Grave Digger are heavier than Stratovarius but not quite as heavy as Children Of Bodom.
X Japan - Blue Blood, 1989, Mixed (With Power & Prog) Japan
Symphony X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy, 1997, Mixed (With Power & Prog) USA
Symphony X - Twilight In Olympus, 1998, Mixed (With Power & Prog) USA
Symphony X - Iconoclast, 2011, Mixed (With Power & Prog) USA
Blind Guardian - Somewhere Far Beyond, 1991, Mixed (With Power & Prog-Metal) Germany
Blind Guardian - Imaginations From The Other Side, 1995, Mixed (With Power & Prog-Metal) Germany
Blind Guardian - Nightfall In Middle Earth, 1998, Mixed (With Power & Prog-Metal) Germany
Avantasia - The Metal Opera, 2001, Mixed (With Power & Prog-Metal) Germany
Crimson Glory - Transcendence, 1988, Prog-Metal, USA
Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King, 1987, Prog-Metal, USA
Savatage - Gutter Ballet, 1989, Prog Metal, USA
Savatage - Streets A Rock Opera, 1991, Prog Metal, USA
Savatage - Handful Of Rain, 1994, Prog Metal, USA
Fates Warning - Awaken The Guardian, 1986, Prog-Metal, USA
Fates Warning - Parallels, 1991, Prog-Metal, USA
Psychotic Waltz - A Social Grace, 1990, Prog-Metal, USA
Arch/Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance, 2011, Prog-Metal, USA
Dream Theater - Images And Words, 1992, Prog-Metal, USA
Dream Theater - Awake, 1994, Prog-Metal, USA
Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory, 1999, Prog-Metal, USA
Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn Of Events, 2011, Prog-Metal, USA
Queensrÿche - The Warning, 1984, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Prog) USA
Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime, 1988, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Prog) USA
Queensrÿche - Empire, 1990, Mixed (With Hard Rock & Prog) USA
Queensrÿche - Hear In The Now, 1997, Mixed (With Grunge, Heavy Metal & Prog) USA
Queensrÿche - Queensrÿche, 2013, Mixed (With Heavy Metal & Prog) USA
Voivod - Nothingface, 1989, Mixed (With Thrash & Prog) Canada
Strapping Young Lad - City, 1997, Mixed, Canada
Evergrey - In Search Of Truth, 2001, Prog, Sweden
Green Carnation - Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness, 2002, Prog, Norway
Devin Townsend Project - Ziltoid The Omniscient, 2007, Mixed (With Prog) Canada
Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction, 2011, Mixed (With Prog) Canada
Gojira - From Mars To Sirus, 2006, Mixed (With Prog), France
Porcupine Tree - Deadwing, 2005, Mixed (With Prog & Metal) UK
Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet, 2007, Mixed (With Prog & Metal) UK
Tool - Ænima, 1996, Mixed (With Prog) USA
Tool - Lateralus, 2001, Mixed (With Prog) USA
The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium, 2003, Mixed (With Prog) USA
The Mars Volta - Frances The Mute, 2005, Mixed (With Prog) USA
Coheed & Cambria - Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness, 2005, Mixed (With Emo, Metal & Prog) USA
Maudlin Of The Well - Bath, 2001, Mixed, USA
Opeth - Still Life, 1999, Mixed (With Death, Black & Prog) Sweden
Opeth - Blackwater Park, 2001, Mixed (With Death, Black & Prog) Sweden
Opeth - Damnation, 2003, Mixed (With Death, Black & Prog) Sweden
Opeth - Heritage, 2011, Mixed (With Prog) Sweden
Riverside - Second Life Syndrome, 2005, Mixed (With Death, Black & Prog) Poland
Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition, 2009, Mixed (With Prog) Poland
Anathama - Judgment, 1999, Mixed (With Prog) UK
Anathama - We’re Here Because We’re Here, 2010, Mixed (With Prog) UK
The Grand Astoria - Omnipresence, 2009, Mixed (With Prog, Stoner & Speed Metal) Russia
Protest The Hero - Scurrilous, 2011, Mixed (With Prog) Canada
Spiral Architect - A Sceptic’s Universe, 2000, Mixed (With Prog) Norway
Edge Of Sanity - Crimson, 1996, Mixed (With Death, Prog) Sweden
Cynic - Focus, 1993, Mixed (With Death & Prog) USA
Orphaned Land - Mabool, 2004, Mixed (With Death, Prog & Folk) Israel
Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors, 2003, Mixed, Norway
Between The Buried And Me - Colors, 2007, Mixed (With Death, Prog) USA
Between The Buried And Me - The Great Misdirect, 2009, Mixed (With Death, Prog) USA
Mastodon - Leviathan, 2004, Mixed (With Sludge & Prog) USA
Mastodon - Crack The Skye, 2004, Mixed (With Prog) USA
Some Progressive Metal bands started off in the early 80s as almost indistinguishable from Traditional Heavy Metal in the vein of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, usually based around grand melodic vocal lines and occasional piercing screams as well as frequent guitar solos.
In many cases it wasn’t until the late 80s where the bands would become fully progressive by taking a more obvious sonic influence from Prog bands as well as using existing Prog traditions such as writing concept albums.
These more Traditional Progressive Metal bands (which should be an oxymoron, surely?) like Savatage, Crimson Glory, Fates Warning etc had a lot of sonic similarities with both the earlier work of Power Metal bands (Such as Helloween’s ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ title track) as well as the more theatrical moments from Thrash Metal bands (such as Overkill’s three self-titled tracks and Annihilator’s ‘Fun Palace’).
The extremely strong crossover between all these subgenres, at a stage when subgenres were more truly subgenres with less of a claim to separate-genre-status than they arguably have today, is a contributing factor in why certain people view certain blatantly Metal acts by today’s broader standards as not actually being Metal. The mutual sonic link between genres in this arbitrary point in the evolution of Metal (long after the actual beginning, but before several of the important innovations) however is not actually definitive of the boundaries of the entire Metal genre as they stand today, and things which fall outside the sonic boundaries of this period can still be considered as Metal.
It wasn’t so much until the mid-to-late 90s when bands would become truly progressive by writing music that was utterly unique from anything that had ever came before. As opposed to simply writing Metal songs with a Prog influence, they would come to truly progress the boundaries of what Metal could sound like and indeed what still ‘counted as’ Metal.
With the popularization of Grunge and then the wider Alternative Rock/Metal movement which included among other things early Pop-Punk, Brit Rock, Stoner Rock as well as certain Pop and Singer Songwriter musicians, the scope of areas within which Metal could be Progressed widened.
Tool, for example, emerged in the middle of the Grunge scene and since became one of the most influential and important bands in the Metal scene.
Later; Queensrÿche, who were one of the originators of what is considered to be the Traditional Prog Metal sound actually mixed Progressive Metal with Grunge on 1997’s ‘Hear In The Now Frontier’ and with Alternative Metal on ‘Tribe.’ Mudvayne conversely mixed Nu Metal with Prog on ‘L.D 50’ and Rush mixed an Alternative music sound with their own on their ‘Counterparts’ album.
Bands like Mastodon and Baroness later combined influences from the Sludge scene they emerged from and combined that with already Sludge-influenced Post Metal bands like Neurosis and Isis as well as selected Progressive Rock traits to once again create genuinely Progressive Metal that bypasses the aforementioned Traditional Prog Metal sound but still deserves the ‘Progressive’ description. Without Hardcore Punk like Black Flag and Flipper inspiring Sludgey Grunge and Metal derived bands like The Melvins and Neurosis, the shape of Prog Metal today would be radically different.
Furthermore, without the existence and influence of Metal as it stands today, several important Prog bands (such as Porcupine Tree and The Mars Volta) would sound vastly different. Even band’s from the very beginning of Prog, including King Crimson themselves actually incorporated Metal into their sound on recent albums.
Prog Metal is a very important influence on the Djent movement and many Djent bands are sometimes categorized as Progressive Metal.
Furthermore; in addition to the music that is commonly considered to be either Prog or Post Metal, some Thrash Metal and Death Metal bands display the kind of innovative thinking and musical complexity of progressive bands, but still stick within their subgenre’s stylistic boundaries, and ignore the addition and influence of popular Prog tropes such as the inclusion of mellotron, and are defined separately as technical rather than progressive although the distinction is often very subtle and often blurred (sometimes people use “Technical” as a substitute term for “Progressive” however usually it also has distinct connotations of a specific sound and direction in and of itself).
Neurosis - Through Silver In Blood, 1996, Mixed (With Sludge, Post Metal & Prog) USA
Neurosis - Times Of Grace, 1999, Mixed (With Sludge, Post-Metal & Prog) USA
Cult Of Luna - Somewhere Along The Highway, 2006, Mixed (With Post Metal) Sweden
Isis - Oceanic, 2002, Post-Metal, USA
Isis - In The Absence Of Truth, 2006, Post-Metal, USA
Pelican - The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, 2005, Mixed (With Post-Metal) USA
The Ocean - Precambrian, 2007, Post-Metal, USA
Jesu - Conquerer, 2007, Post-Metal, UK
Russian Circles - Enter, 2006, Post-Metal, USA
Giant Squid - Cenotes, 2011, Post-Metal, USA
Today Is The Day - Temple Of The Morning Star, 1997, Mixed, USA
Unsanse - Unsane, 1991, Mixed, USA
Separate from Prog Metal, the Progressive genre of Post-Metal exists. Post Metal is analogous to Post Rock in its attitude and conventions, but distinct due to its much heavier and intense sound. It is often characterized by a focus on texture as well as favouring of long slow build-ups, instrumental music, use of repetition to create depth and layers and slow challenging. Neurosis, one of the genre’s most famous acts started their career as a straight up Hardcore Punk band, and with each album moved further and further into unique and unexplored musical territories which combined Metal with numerous influences, including folk.
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Mother’s Milk, 1989, Mixed (With Rock, Metal & Funk) USA
Faith No More - The Real Thing, 1989, Mixed (With Nu Metal & Funk) USA
Faith No More - Angel Dust, 1992, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Living Colour - Vivid, 1988, Mixed (with Funk) USA
Ugly Kid Joe - America’s Least Wanted, 2003, Mixed (With Groove, Funk & Hard Rock) USA
Extreme - Pornograffiti, 1990, Mixed (With Funk, Glam, Hard Rock & Heavy Metal), USA
Fishbone - Give A Monkey A Brain And He’ll Swear He’s The Center Of The Universe, 1993, Mixed (With Funk), USA
Primus - Sailing The Seas Of Cheese, 1991, Mixed (With Funk), USA
Infectious Grooves - The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move…It’s the Infectious Grooves, 1991, Mixed (With Funk), USA
Mr. Bungle - Mr. Bungle, 1991, Mixed, USA
During the late 80s and throughout the 90s, there was a trend of incorporating elements of Funk into rock and metal. This became popular in the Alternative and Nu Metal scenes but also came up in unexpected areas like Hair Metal, Thrash Metal and Death Metal on a smaller scale. Some bands would do it for one song only, or only on their demos, before getting signed and dropping the funk side of their sound due to a change in the musical climate, for example Slipknot and Powerman 5000.
Several of the more successful albums to feature this cross over of styles went on to be influential to a multitude of other bands from various spheres.
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral, 1994, Mixed (With Industrial) USA
Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile, 1999, Mixed (With Industrial) USA
Skinny Puppy - Mind The Perpetual Intercourse, 1986, Mixed (With Industrial), Canada
Skinny Puppy - Rabies, 1989, Mixed (With Industrial), Canada
Ministry - Psalm 69, 1992, Industrial, USA
Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar, 1996, Mixed, (With Industrial) USA
Marilyn Manson - Mechanical Animals, 1998, Mixed (With Industrial) USA
Marilyn Manson - Holywood, 2000, Mixed (With Industrial) USA
Rammstein - Mutter, 2001, Mixed (With Industrial) Germany
KMFDM - Naïve, 1990, Industrial, Germany
Godflesh - Street Cleaner, 1989, Mixed (With Industrial) UK
Throbbing Gristle - The Second Annual Report, 1977, Mixed (With Industrial) UK
Front Line Assembly - Tactical Neural Implant, 1992, Mixed (With Industrial) Canada
Filter - Title Of Record, 1999, Mixed (With Industrial) USA
Killing Joke - Pandemonium, 1994, Mixed (With Industrial & Post Punk) UK
Killing Joke - Killing Joke, 2003, Mixed (With Industrial, Metal & Post Punk) UK
White Zombie - Astro-Creep 2000, 1995, Mixed (With Industrial & Groove) USA
Rob Zombie - Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998, Mixed (With Industrial, Groove & Nu Metal) USA
Extreme and Progressive Metal took large influence from Industrial Music. Artists like Fear Factory, The Berzerker and Aborym combined Industrial tendencies with Extreme Metal. Napalm Death were influenced by Godflesh. Isis have covered Godflesh Many Nu Metal artists such as Powerman 5000, Rob Zombie and Spineshank combined an industrial flavour with Nu Metal.
Existing bands such as Morbid Angel and Killing Joke incorporated Industrial into their sounds.
Clawfinger -Deaf Dumb Blind, 1993, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine, 1992, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Rage Against The Machine - Evil Empire, 1996, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Rage Against The Machine - The Battle For Los Angeles, 1999, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Slipknot - Slipknot, 1999, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Slipknot - Iowa, 2001, Mixed (With Nu Metal & Death Metal) USA
Slipknot - Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses, 2004, Mixed (With Nu Metal & Metalcore) USA
Snot - Get Some, 1997, Nu Metal, USA
Limp Bizkit - Significant Other, 1999, Nu Metal, USA
Limp Bizkit - Chocolate Starfish & The Hotdog Flavored Water, 2000, Nu Metal, USA
Korn - Korn, 1994, Nu Metal, USA
Korn - Life Is Peachy, 1996, Nu Metal, USA
Korn - Follow The Leader 1998 Nu Metal USA
Korn - The Path Of Totality, 2011, Mixed (With Nu Metal & Dubstep) USA
Coal Chamber - S/T, 1997, Nu Metal, USA
Deftones - Adrenaline, 1995, Nu Metal, USA
Deftones - Around The Fur, 1997, Nu Metal, USA
Deftones - White Pony, 2000, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Deftones - Diamond Eyes, 2010, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Soil - Scars, 2001, Mixed (Nu Metal, Groove & Grunge) USA
System Of A Down - Toxicity, 2001, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Drowning Pool - Sinner, 2001, Nu Metal, USA
Disturbed - The Sickness, 2000, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Disturbed - Indestructible, 2008, Mixed, USA
Papa Roach - Infest, 2000, Nu Metal, USA
Pitchshifter - www dot pitchshifter dot com, 1998, Mixed (With Nu Metal) UK
Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory, 2000, Nu Metal, USA
Bodycount - Bodycount, 1992, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Kid Rock - Devil Without A Cause, 1999, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Hyro Da Hero - Birth School Work Death, 2011, Mixed (With Nu Metal) USA
Run DMC - Run DMC, 1984, Hip Hop, USA
Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back , 1988, Hip Hop, USA
Ice Cube - The Predator, 1992, Hip Hop, USA
N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton, 1989, Hip Hop, USA
Wu Tang Clan - Enter The Wu Tang 36 Chambers, 1993, Hip Hop, USA
Cypress Hill - Black Sunday, 1993, Hip Hop, USA
Cypress Hill - Skull And Bones, 2000, Mixed (With Hip Hop and Nu Metal) USA
Skindred - Babylon, 2002, Mixed, USA
Soulfly - Primitive, 2002, Mixed (With Groove & Nu Metal) Brazil
Ill Nino - Revolution Revolución, 2001, Nu Metal, USA
Andrew WK - I Get Wet, 2001, Mixed (With Hard Rock) USA
Lacuna Coil - Comalies, 2002, Mixed (With Symphonic, Gothic & Nu Metal) Italy
H.I.M - Razor Blade Romance, 1999, Mixed, Finland
Helmet - Meantime, 1992, Mixed, USA
Will Haven - El Diablo, 1997, Mixed, USA
When you combine influences from Grunge, Groove Metal, Funk Metal and Industrial Metal, you will probably end up sounding somewhere within the broad Nu Metal spectrum. Nu Metal is a very broad term. Some bands blended the mixture of influences very differently to others. Some emphasized more parts from Grunge while others emphasized more of the Hip Hop or Industrial side of things. American Headcharge for example are very different sounding to the Deftones and Linkin Park are very different to Orgy.
Nu Metal is a subgenre which often has its credibility or validity as a part of Metal either criticized or questioned. Like Hair Metal, its broader appeal and more-commercial sound caused resentment among several fans and journalists. Its phenomenal commercial success and broadening of the fanbase however created many opportunities for other types of Metal bands and in the long run helped to strengthen the health of Metal as a whole.
Part of the reason for this is that several sections of Nu Metal songs, and occasionally entire songs on Nu Metal albums would feature no discernable influence from Metal. Like the original bands to ever get called Heavy Metal, Metal was often only part of the band’s overall repertoire. People are often quick to forget that while bands like Powerman 5000 and Limp Bizkit may have three tracks on an album that feature all rap and no Metal, bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath would do the exact same thing with Folk or Blues music.
Despite gaining a bad reputation among Metal fans (to the point where many Nu Metal bands get reclassified as Hard Rock, Wrestle-Metal, Alternative Metal or other things by people who like them but don’t want to admit to liking the Nu Metal genre) the genre’s large popularity was essential in the health and popularity of Metal as a whole and provided a gateway through which fans could discover and then chose to explore the entirety of Metal. Some of the highest ever recorded album sales happened during the Nu Metal era, and fans wishing to see Nu Metal bands at festivals like Ozzfest became exposed to bands like Slayer and Black Sabbath who they otherwise wouldn’t have heard in everyday life.
Some of the primary musical influences for Nu Metal bands included things like Black Sabbath’s early records and Metallica’s Black album, from which the bands often in-part derived the heavy part of their sounds.
Nu Metal was also influenced by Hip Hop. Many Nu Metal bands incorporated parts of Hip-Hop into their sound to some degree or other, be that in the form of rapping or DJ scratching, or in lyrical direction, the use of sampling or choice of production style. Furthermore, several bands collaborated with Rap and Hip Hop artists and had them guest appear on their records. Even non-Nu Metal bands including Metallica, Slayer and Black Sabbath recorded tracks with guest rappers like Ice-T, even if they didn’t always make it on to studio albums. This also had an important effect on expanding the demographic of Metal and exposed the music to fans of Hip Hop who otherwise may not have chosen to explore Metal. The popularity of rap in Nu Metal even lead the Stoner Rock band Clutch to record the parody Rap Metal track ‘Careful With That Mic…’
In addition to Metal and Hip Hop; a large influence on Nu Metal’s sound was the combination of the Grunge and Alternative movements, from which several key song structure traits and vocal style s were incorporated. Soil for example, had vocal influences from Alice In Chains as much as they had musical influences from Pantera. Korn and Deftones use of dynamics where the heaviest parts of the song would be saved for the chorus and ending of the song while the rest of the song was minimalist was popularized by Nirvana both Sunna and The Union Underground wrote tracks clearly influenced by Kurt Cobain. The genre’s dispostion towards personal-angst themed lyrics can also be attributed to Grunge and Alternative music.
During the genre’s commercial peak, existing Metal bands allowed Nu Metal influences into their own sound. Machine Head for example incorporated parts of its sound on their third and fourth albums, and Fear Factory did the same with their ‘Digimortal’ record as did Biohazard on ‘Uncivilization.’ Sepultura’s ‘Roots’ album featured guest appearance from musicians from Faith No More, Korn and Limp Bizkit and Metallica’s ‘Load’ album had guest guitar from Faith No More’s Jim Martin.
Chimaira actually started out with a large Nu Metal aspect to their sound before developing their signature sound.
Soulfly’s early work had a lot of Nu Metal influences, and the band collaborated with members of Limp Bizkit, Skindred, Slipknot, Deftones, Cypress Hill and Ill Nino
The subgenre has a strong indirect impact on almost all the other main Metal subgenres, the musicians from whom were quick to distance themselves from it and had a reactionary response to demonstrate their ‘true’ sound and consequently altered their own music as a result. In effect, Nu Metal can be considered in-part responsible for the re-popularization of Traditional Heavy Metal as well as Thrash Metal and also in-part responsible for the specific level of extremity in many extreme Metal albums released during and since Nu Metal’s inception.
The influence of Nu Metal is now beginning to be felt of a new generation bands as well. Five Finger Death Punch for example have drawn influence from parts of Nu Metal while maintaining a different overall sound that is based more around Metalcore, as have Djent bands including Tesseract and Periphery, and indeed so too have some new bands from historically important Metal musicians, such as Adrenaline Mob and Hell Yeah both of which in-part conform to some Nu Metal traditions. Nu Metal also had a more direct influence on Hyro Da Hero.
Pride And Glory - Pride And Glory, 1994, Mixed (With Southern Rock, Country & Metal) USA
Rebel Meets Rebel - Rebel Meets Rebel, 2006, Mixed (With Southern Rock, Country & Groove Metal) USA
Texas Hippie Coalition - Rollin, 2010, Mixed (With Southern Rock, Stoner & Groove Metal) USA
Black Stone Cherry - Black Stone Cherry, 2006, Mixed (With Southern Rock, Country, Grunge, Stoner & Groove Metal) USA
Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster - II, 2007, Mixed (With Southern Rock & Metalcore) USA
The Showdown- Back Breaker, 2009, Mixed (With Southern Rock & Metalcore) USA
Southern Metal, is not necesarily a genre, and sometimes bands who play that style of music not necesarily even Southern-states Americans, however, across the spectrum of Sludge, Stoner, Nu Metal and very Hard Rock their are numerous bands that take an especially large influence from either country music or Southern Rock and get labeled as ‘Southern Metal’ and have their riffs described as ‘Southern-fried.’
More recently, being influenced by Pantera and/or Black Label Society have also become the most common signposts for Southern Metal bands.
Some bands like Baroness, Soil and Halfway To Gone have incorporated the style subtly and sparingly, while others have made it the defining characteristic of their sound, also adding southern values and tropes to their lyrics, artwork, stage show and dress sense.
Nirvana - Bleach, 1989, Grunge, USA
Nirvana - Nevermind, 1991, Grunge, USA
Nirvana - In Utero, 1993, Grunge, USA
Pearl Jam - Ten, 1991, Grunge, USA
Pearl Jam - VS, 1993, Grunge, USA
Alice In Chains - Facelift, 1990, Grunge, USA
Alice In Chains - Dirt, 1992, Grunge, USA
Sound Garden - Badmotorfinger, 1991, Grunge, USA
Sound Garden - Superunknown, 1994, Grunge, USA
Mudhoney - Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, 1991, Grunge, USA
Temple Of The Dog - Temple Of The Dog, 1991, Grunge, USA
Silverchair - Frogstomp, 1995, Grunge, Austrailia
Jane’s Addiction - Nothing’s Shocking, 1988, Mixed (With Grunge) USA
Screaming Trees - Sweet Oblivion, 1992, Mixed (With Grunge) USA
Stone Temple Pilots - Core, 1992, Grunge, USA
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream, 1993, Mixed (With Grunge) USA
The Melvins - Bullhead, 1981, Mixed (With Grunge & Sludge) USA
The Melvins - Houdini, 1993, Mixed (With Grunge & Sludge) USA
Despite being hated and sometimes willingly misunderstood by a vocal-minority of Metal fans, the controversial subgenre of Grunge is a blatantly important part of the interconnected tapestry of Rock, Punk and Metal music. It owes part of its heritage to the sound and spirit of Punk Rock, as well as to the slower Hardcore Punk bands like Flipper and mid-period Black Flag. It also owes a part of its musical heritage to the early Heavy Metal moments from bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Just listen to how suspiciously like Black Sabbath’s ‘Sweet Leaf’ that Silverchair’s ‘Leave Me Out’ sounds.
Soundgarden where famously described as sounding like Black Sabbath with Robert Plant on vocals. A small influence from Progressive Rock can also be found in many of the genre’s bands. Soundgarden have covered music by Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, The Stooges, Budgie, Black Sabbath, and even Body Count. In turn their music was covered by bands like Evanescence, Between The Buried And Me, The Dillinger Escape Plan and others.
Alice In Chains actually started off as a Glam Metal band before adopting the Grunge sound. They have often been described as a sort of missing link between Metal and Grunge due to their hard guitar sound and often dark songwriting. They toured on the Clash Of The Titans tour with Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth before becoming international stars. Their music has been covered by bands like Adema, Shinedown, Grave and Opeth. Black Label Society wrote a song to honour the death of their singer.
Pearl Jam have covered music by Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Dead Boys, The Who, The MC5, The Ramones, Dead Kennedys and many more artists from varied places along the rock spectrum, and their music has been covered by bands like Seether.
Nirvana cited numerous artists from Black Flag, to King Crimson to David Bowie to The Velvet Underground, and Nirvana even covered music by Led Zeppelin (as well as sarcastically covering Kiss). Their drummer Dave Ghrol was a Thrash Metal drummer before joining Nirvana and famously was influenced by bands like Celtic Frost, Vemon, Voivod, Motörhead, Corrosion Of Conformity and others.
Nirvana have been covered by Fear Factory, and Fear Factory’s singer Burton C Bell actually appears in the music video for Nirvana’s biggest hit, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ Other artists who covered Nirvana songs include Machine Head, Evanescence, Velvet Revolver, UK Subs, D.O.A, Breaking Benjamin and more.
The Melvins had a large impact on the Sludge sound. They have covered music by the likes of Kiss, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, The Velvet Underground, Flipper, Nirvana etc and have had their music covered by bands including Pig Destroyer, Brutal Truth, Mastodon and Helemt.
Mudhoney have covered music from Motörhead and Black Flag and had their music covered by bands like The Melvins and Pitchshifter.
Smashing Pumpkins covered music by Led Zeppelin, Marilyn Manson, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Blue Öster Cult, Cheap Trick, The Who, David Bowie, Blue Cheer, Pink Floyd, Rush and The Velvet Underground. Their music has been covered by Marilyn Manson
The overall effect that Grunge had on Metal was fairly large. Bands from Soil to Ancient Vvisdom and Sixty Watt Shaman have taken vocal inspiration from the grunge movement. Countless Nu Metal bands took structural influence from Grunge and many existing bands, such as Queensrÿche, Kiss and Motely Crue incorporated aspects of grunge into their sound during the 1990s.
Grunge, like Nu Metal, also caused a reactionary trend of Metal musicians deliberately sounding more Metal, and doing things either more extremely or more traditionally in response to bands who were seen to ‘sell out’ by incorporating Grunge influences into their own music.
It is often mistakenly stated that Grunge music killed Metal in the 1990s, but a great many of the most important Metal albums in history were released in the 1990s. Only Thrash Metal and Hair Metal were really all that affected by the popularity of Grunge, but they also suffered from having run their course already for almost decade, a point at which most subgenres fall out of public favour (before an inevitable revival.)
During the 1990s when Grunge had supposedly killed Metal, many of the most important and seminal Death Metal, Black Metal, Power Metal, Folk Metal, Prog Metal, Sludge Metal, Grindcore, Groove Metal, Nu Metal, Metal-Hardcore Crossover and Stoner Rock albums were released and some of the earlier Melodeath and Metalcore albums were released. Despite having supposed to have been killed, in reality Metal had diversified and had even found new audiences among fans from other worlds, like Jazz, Classsical Music and Hip Hop.
Radiohead - The Bends, 1995, Mixed (With Grunge) UK
Radiohead - Ok Computer, 1997, Mixed (With Prog) UK
Muse - Origin Of Symmetry, 2001, Mixed (With Prog) UK
Muse - Absolution, 2003, Mixed (With Prog) UK
The Wildhearts - Earth Vs. The Wildhearts, 1993, Mixed, UK
Therapy? - Troublegum, 1994, Mixed, UK
Foo Fighters - The Colour And The Shape, 1997, Mixed (With Grunge) USA
Like the Grunge Movement, the wider net of the entire Alternative Rock spectrum had a similar effect on the Rock and Metal scene, especially in the 1990s, but its impact can still be felt today. Radiohead for example have greatly influenced Marilyn Manson and Anathema.
Also like Grunge, the Metal scene had an impact on it. The Foo Fighters, The Wildhearts and Therapy? all integrated Metal as a small part of their overall sound. Through these bands many people discovered Metal.
Green Day - Dookie, 1994, Pop-Punk, USA
The Offspring - Smash, 1994, Pop-Punk, USA
The Offspring - Americana, 1998, Pop-Punk, USA
Blink 182 - Enema Of The State, 1999, Pop-Punk, USA
Rites Of Spring - Rites Of Spring, 1985, Mixed (With Hardcore & Emo) USA
Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary, 1994, Emo, USA
Sunny Day Real Estate - Sunny Day Real Estate, 2005, Emo, USA
30 Seconds To Mars - A Beautiful Lie, 2005, Mixed (With Prog & Emo) USA
My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, 2004, Emo, USA
Funeral For A friend - Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation, 2003, Emo, UK
Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven, 2000, Post-Rock, Canada
Mogwai - Young Team, 1997, Post-Rock, UK
Fugazi - Repeater, 1990, Post-Hardcore, USA
Boy Sets Fire - After The Eulogy, 2000, Post-Hardcore, USA
Poison The Well - You Come Before You, 2003, Post-Hardcore, USA
Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence, 2000, Post-Hardcore, USA
At The Drive In - Relationship Of Command, 2000, Mixed (With Post-Hardcore & Prog) USA
The Refused - The Shape Of Punk To Come, 1998, Mixed (With Post-Harcore & Prog) Sweden
Turbonegro - Scandinavian Leather, 2003, Mixed (With Glam, Punk & Metal) Sweden
You Me At Six - Hold Me Down, 2010, Mixed (With Metalcore, Post–Hardcore, Pop-Punk) UK
Enter Shikari - Take To The Skies, 2007, Mixed (With Post-Hardcore) UK
Touche Amore - Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me, 2011, The Wave, USA
La Dispute - Wildlife, 2011, The Wave, USA
Defeater - Empty Days And Sleepless Nights, 2011, The Wave, USA
Pianos Become Teeth - The Lack Long After, 2011, The Wave, USA
The Stooges - Raw Power, 1973, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Punk) USA
MC5 - Kick Out The Jams, 1969, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Punk) USA
The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols, 1977, Punk, UK
The Clash - The Clash, 1977, Punk, UK
The Clash - London Calling, 1979, Mixed (With Punk) UK
The Damned - Damned, Damned, Damned, 1977, Punk, UK
The Buzzcocks - Love Bites, 1978, Punk, UK
The Ramones - Ramones, 1976, Punk, USA
The Ramones - Rocket To Russia, 1977, Punk, USA
New York Dolls - New York Dolls, 1973, Mixed (With Classic Rock & Punk) USA
Dead Boys - Young Loud And Snotty, 1977, Punk, USA
The Misfits - Earth AD, 1981, Punk, USA
The Misfits - Walk Among Us, 1981, Punk, USA
Danzig - Danzig, 1988, Mixed, USA
Bad Religion - Suffer, 1988, Punk, USA
Ambiex - Arise, 1985, Crust Punk, USA
Hellbastard - Heading For Internal Darkness, 1988, Crust Punk, USA
Billy Idol - Rebel Yell, 1983, Mixed (With Glam, Punk and New Wave) UK
Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, 1980, Hardcore, USA
Dead Kennedys - Frankenchrist, 1985, Hardcore, USA
Bad Brains - Bad Brains, 1982, Hardcore, USA
Minor Threat - Out Of Step, 1983, Hardcore, USA
SS Decontrol - TThe Kids Will Have Their Say, 1982, Hardcore, USA
7 Seconds - The Crew, 1984, Hardcore, USA
Discharge - Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, 1982, Mixed (With Punk & Hardcore) UK
The Exploited - Lets Start A War, 1983, Mixed (With Punk & Hardcore) UK
The Exploited - Death Before Dishonour, 1983, Mixed (Crossover) UK
Negative Approach - Tied Down, 1983, Hardcore, USA
Black Flag - Damaged, 1981, Hardcore, USA
Black Flag - My War, 1984, Mixed (With Hardcore) USA
Flipper - Generic Flipper, 1982, Mixed (With Hardcore) USA
Big Black - Songs About Fucking, 1989, Mixed (With Hardcore) USA
Killing Joke - Killing Joke, 1980, Mixed (With Punk) UK
The Beastie Boys - Liscenced To Ill, 1986, Mixed (With Hardcore, Metal & Hip Hop) USA
Poison Idea - Feel The Darkness, 1990, Hardcore, USA
Adrenaline OD - HumungousfungousAmongus, 1986, Crossover, USA
Cryptic Slaughter - Convicted, 1986, Crossover, USA
Ludichrist - Immaculate Deception, 1986, Crossover, USA
D.R.I - Crossover, 1987, Crossover, USA
D.R.I - Thrash Zone, 1987, Crossover, USA
Nuclear Assault - Game Over, 1986, Crossover Thrash, USA
Suicidal Tendencies - How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today, 1988, Crossover, USA
Suicidal Tendencies - Lights Camera… Revolution!, 1990, Mixed (With Crossover & Groove) USA
Stormtroopers Of Death - Speak English Or Die, 1985, Crossover, USA
M.O.D - USA for M.O.D, 1987, Crossover, USA
Carnivore - Carnivore, 1985, Crossover, USA
Cro-Mags - The Age Of Quarrel, 1986, Crossover, USA
Corrosion Of Conformity - Animosity, 1985, Crossover, USA
Agnostic Front - Victim In Pain, 1984, Hardcore, USA
Agnostic Front - Cause For Alarm, 1986, Hardcore, USA
Sick Of It All - Scratch The Surface, 1992, Mixed (With Hardcore & Groove ) USA
Life Of Agony - River Runs Red, 1993, Mixed (With Hardcore, Groove & Hip Hop) USA
Vision Of Disorder - Vision Of Disorder, 1996, Mixed (With Crossover, Metalcore & Groove) USA
Madball - Set It Off, 1994, Mixed (With Hardcore & Groove ) USA
Biohazard - Urban Discipline, 1992, Mixed (With Crossover, Groove & Hip Hop) USA
Biohazard - State Of The World Address, 1994, Mixed (With Crossover, Groove & Hip Hop) USA
Biohazard - Uncivilization, 2001, Mixed (With Crossover, Groove, Nu Metal & Hip Hop) USA
Downset - Do We Speak A Dead Language?, 1996, Mixed (With Hardcore, Groove, Hip Hop & Nu Metal) USA
Earth Crisis - Destroy The Machines, 1995, Mixed (With Crossover & Groove) USA
Shai Hulud - Hearts Once Nourished With Hope And Compassions, 1997, Mixed (With Crossover) USA
Hatebreed - Perseverance, 2002, Metalcore, USA
Hatebreed - Hatebreed, 2009, Metalcore, USA
The Stooges and The MC5 were equally important in the development of both Punk and Metal, as well as Grunge, and have been influential on as well as covered by covered by artists as diverse as The Sex Pistols, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slayer, Def Leppard and Guns N’ Roses, Bad Brains, The Damned, Blue Öyster Cult, Rage Against The Machine, Silverchair, Pearl Jam, The Melvins, Corrosion Of Conformity and Entombed.
The original crossover of punk and metal attitudes resulted in things like Iron Maiden’s debut album, where the Prog and Heavy Metal influenced Steve Harris lead a band that was fronted by the raw and punk influenced Paul D’ianno.
Motörhead, who formed by the former member of the Psychedelic/Prog band Hawkwind, named after one of their songs and who played three Hawkwind songs on their debut album, originally featured members of the Punk band Pink Fairies before hiring their definitive line-up and the band have always been described as sounding like a mixture between Punk and Metal despite primarily taking large influence from original Rock N Roll artists like Chuck Berry and Eddie Cochran.
The Sex Pistols have been covered numerous times by artists throughout Metal history, including Megadeth, Anthrax, Motörhead and countless others. Metallica and Anthrax were both influenced by, and covered songs by The Ramones.
Hardcore Punk had a huge impact on Metal; both directly through big things like the Crossover Thrash style, and small things like Slayer’s ‘Undisputed Attitude’ covers album as well as Napalm Death’s ‘Leader Not Followers 2,’ to bands like Black Flag and Flipper’s slow and messy styles influencing Sludge Metal and Grunge, which would then influence future Nu Metal and several modern era Prog Metal bands.
Members of Hardcore Punk bands have went on to join some of the biggest bands in Metal; Verbal Abuse’s Chris Kontos drummed for Machine Head, Suicidal Tendencies’ Rob Trujilo played bass for Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, C.O.C’s Pepper Keenan joined Down, Carnivore’s Pete Steel would sing for Type O Negative etc.
Hardcore band members have also collaborated with Metal bands; Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra has guested with Napalm Death, Black Flag’s Henry Rollins has guested with Tool, Bad Brains’ Dr. Know guested on Coheed & Cambria and Deftones records etc.
Numerous artists from the Metal World, Prog world, Rap World and Hardcore World (all of which interconnect, remember?) collaborated together on the Rise Above Tribute To The West Memphis Three project, where Black Flag songs were covered with numerous guest musicians including Slayer’s Tom Araya, Motorhead’s Lemmy, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian, The Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Faith No More’s Mike Patton, Amen’s Casey Chaos, Queens Of The Stone Age’s Nick Oliveri, Clutch’s Neil Fallon, Bodycount’s Ice-T & Superjoint Ritual’s Hank Williams III.
Members of Hardcore bands have also had considerable influence on the Metal scene overall in other ways, such as by becoming producers (e.g. Steve Albini, Ian MacKaye), journalists and television personalities (e.g. Henry Rollins) or by running record labels (e.g. Jello Biafra).
After Crossover Thrash a generation of Metal-influenced Hardcore bands like Sick Of It All, Biohazard, Earth Crisis, Madball and others started making music that was reminiscent both of the Hardcore scene they came from as well as the Groove Metal scene that was popular in Metal at the time. These bands would cover songs by bands like Black Sabbath as well as by bands like Cro-Mags and they would tour and collaborate with bands like Sepultura, Machine Head and Pantera (two of whom have covered songs by the Hardcore band Poison Idea) and members of these bands would occasionally guest appear on each other’s albums or play together in each other’s live sets.
Later Bands like Romeo Must Die, Stampin’ Ground and Hatebreed combined this modern Hardcore with Metal in one way, while bands like Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, All That Remains would combine it in another way and this would create the genre originally known as New Wave Of American Heavy Metal, before it was renamed as Metalcore. Eventually, subsequent waves of this music and albums by these bands would emerge with a less of a mixture between metal and hardcore music and a more definitive genre sound of its own. This type of music would be adopted by artists that were not from America, such as Parkway Drive.
The inception of Post Hardcore and the original wave of Emo, which later evolved into both Screamo as well as a future generation of lighter, better produced and more Pop Punk influenced Emo bands like My Chemical Romance, as well as the UK Hardcore scene had a huge impact on Metal. This had a large impact on British and Australian Metalcore bands like Architects, Bring Me The Horizon, The Devil Wears Prada etc.
Furthermore the Post Rock movement would have obvious impact upon the Post Metal scene, with its often instrumental nature, its highly mood and build-up focused directions, and recurring several riff and production themes. It would also have an influence on Prog Metal bands. Post Rock also became a considerable influence on many instrumental Progressive Metal and Djent bands like Animals As Leaders and Scale The Summit.
Then came bands like A Day To Remember who combined Pop-Punk with Metalcore, to create a primarily bright and summery music with Hatebreed-esque breakdowns and beatdowns. They sound as heavy as Parkway Drive at the end of the song and as commercial as New Found Glory at the beginning. Without Pop-Punk these bands would sound totally different, without Hardcore Punk they would sound totally different and without Metal they would sound totally different.
Post Hardcore, Emo and Pop-Punk’s influence can even be felt far afield in surprising areas such as Progressive Metal, where bands like Protest The Hero and Coheed & Cambria would not sound the same without it having existed.
Overall; The influence of Punk as well as having a direct and obvious impact on certain aspects of Metal, often slowly and subtly trickled down throughout the years and bands as diverse as Soulfly, Skindred, Mastodon, Black Tusk, Architects and Enter Shikari all directly and indirectly owe both large and small portions of their sound to the existence of various genres and subgenres of Punk and Hardcore Punk (an yes, even Pop-Punk) throughout the years. Without Punk and Hardcore, most of the Metal we know today would not exist or would sound completely different.
Corrosion Of Conformity - Blind, 1991, Mixed (With Crossover, Groove, Doom, Sludge & Stoner) USA
Corrosion Of Conformity - Deliverance, 1994, Mixed (With Doom, Sludge & Stoner) USA
Down - NOLA, 1995, Mixed (With Doom, Sludge & Stoner) USA
Monster Magnet - Spine Of God, 1991, Stoner, USA
Monster Magnet - Dopes To Infinity, 1995, Stoner, USA
Monster Magnet - Powertrip, 1998, Mixed (With Stoner) USA
Monster Magnet - Powertrip, 2010, Mixed (With Stoner & Doom) USA
Kyuss - Blues For The Red Sun, 1992, Stoner, USA
Kyuss - Welcome To Sky Valley, 1994, Stoner, USA
Masters Of Reality- Sunrise On The Sufferbus, 1992, Stoner, USA
Sleep - Holy Mountain, 1992, Stoner, USA
Sleep - Dopesmoker, 2003, Mixed (With Stoner & Prog) USA
Fu Manchu - In Search Of…, 1996, Stoner, USA
Clutch - Clutch, 1995, Mixed (With Stoner) USA
Clutch - The Elephant Riders, 1998, Mixed (With Stoner) USA
Clutch - Blast Tyrant, 2004, Mixed (With Stoner) USA
Clutch - Earth Rocker, 2013, Mixed (With Stoner) USA
Orange Goblin - Time Traveling Blues, 1996, Mixed (With Stoner) UK
Slo Burn - Amusing The Amazing, 1997, Stoner, USA
Nebula - Charged, 2001, Stoner, USA
Sixty Watt Shaman - Reason To Live, 2002, Stoner, USA
Dozer - Through The Eyes Of Heathens, 2006, Mixed (With Stoner) Sweden
QOTSA - Rated R, 2000, Mixed (With Stoner) USA
QOTSA - Songs For The Deaf, 2002, Mixed (With Stoner) USA
High On Fire - Blessed On Black Wings, 2005, Mixed (With Stoner) USA
Cirith Ungol - King Of The Dead, 1984, Mixed (With Prog & Doom) USA
Trouble - Psalm 9, 1984, Doom, USA
Trouble - Manic Frustration, 1992, Mixed (With Doom & Psychadelic) USA
Witchfinder General - Death Penalty, 1982, Doom, UK
Candlemass - Epicus Dommicus Metallicus, 1986, Doom, Sweeden
Candlemass - Nightfall, 1987, Doom, Sweden
Pentagram - Day Of Reckoning, 1987, Doom, USA
Pentagram - Relentless, 1993 (& 1985), Doom, USA
St Vitus - Born Too Late, 1986, Doom, USA
St Vitus - Mournful Cries, 1988, Doom, USA
The Obsessed - Lunar Womb, 1991, Doom, USA
Count Raven- Storm Warning, 1990, Doom, Sweden
Scald - Will Of The Gods Is Great Power, 1996, Doom, Russia
My Dying Bride - As The Flower Withers, 1992, Mixed (With Death & Doom) UK
My Dying Bride - TRUN Loose The Swans, 1993, Mixed (With Death & Doom) UK
My Dying Bride - The Angel And The Dark River, 1995, Mixed (With Death, Doom & Gothic) UK
My Dying Bride - The Dreadful hours, 2001, Mixed (With Death, Doom & Gothic) UK
Anathama - Serenades, 1993, Mixed (With Death, Doom & Prog) UK
Paradise Lost - Gothic, 1991, Mixed (With Death, Doom & Gothic) UK
Paradise Lost - Draconian Times, 1995, Gothic/Doom, UK
The Gathering - Mandylion, 1995, Gothic/Doom, Holland
Katatonia - Dance Of December Souls, 1993, Doom, Sweden
Katatonia - Discouraged Ones, 1998, Gothic/Doom, Sweden
Disembowelment - Transcendence Into The Peripheral, 1993, Mixed (With Death, Doom & Dark Ambient) Austrailia
Electric Wizard - Dopethrone, 2000, Doom, UK
Reverend Bizarre - In The Rectory Of The Bizarre Reverend, 2000, Doom, Finland
Draconian - Where Lovers Mourn, 2006, Doom, Sweden
Ahab - The Call Of The Wretched Sea, 2006, Doom, Germany
While Heaven Wept - Vast Oceans Lachrymose, 2009, Doom, USA
Cathedral - Forest Of Equilibrium, 1991, Doom, UK
Cathedral - The Carnival Bizarre, 1995, Doom (& Stoner), UK
Cathedral - The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, 2005, Doom, UK
Blood Ceremony - Blood Ceremony, 2006, Doom (& Prog), Canada
Solitude Aeturnus - Into The Depths Of Sorrow, 1991, Doom, USA
Funeral - Tristesse, 1994, Funeral-Doom, Norway
Worship - Dooom, 2007, Funeral-Doom, Germany
Earth - Earth 2 Special Low Frequency Edition, 1993, Mixed (With Doom & Drone) USA
Sunn O))) - ØØ Void, 2000, Drone, USA
Boris - Amplifier Worship, 1998, Drone, Japan
Boris - Pink, 2005, Drone, Japan
Crowbar - Time Heals Nothing, 1995, Sludge, USA
EyeHateGod - Take As Needed For Pain, 1993, Sludge, USA
EyeHateGod - Dopesick, 1996, Sludge, USA
Buzzov.en - Sore, 1994, Sludge, USA
Buzzov.en - …At A Loss, 1998, Sludge, USA
Iron Monkey - Our Problem, 1998, Sludge, UK
Acid Bath - When The Kite String Pops, 1994, Sludge, USA
Weedeater - Good Luck God Speed, 2007, Sludge, USA
Stoner, Sludge, Doom & Drone, very different approaches to a similar ideal. The bands share similar influences and influence similar artists, but approach their music with differing proportions of those influences. Some take music in a more Psychedelic direction, some take it in a more Metallic direction and some take it in a very Black Sabbath influenced direction. Black Sabbath cover songs are common among Stoner Rock and Doom Metal bands.
Often bands in one of these categories blur the lines between some or all of them, across different songs or albums or periods in their career. Some take things in a brighter, more Classic Rock direction, while others take things in a more dense, Post-Rock sort of direction. Any of these styles can be combined with elements of Thrash, Death, Black or Progressive Metal to wildly different results.
High On Fire have covered Judas Priest and Celtic Frost. Corrosion of Conformity and Monster Magnet have both covered both Black Sabbath and the MC5. Fu Manchu have covered Black Flag, Thin Lizzy and Blue Oyster Cult. Five Horse Johnson have covered David Bowie and Areosmith. Fireball Ministry have covered Judas Priest, Areosmith, UFO, Alice Cooper, Blue Cheer and Misfits. Orange Goblin have also covered Misfits.
Queens Of The Stone Age have covered The Kinks, ZZ Top, Subhumans, Billy Idol and Turbonegro. Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Jon Theadore of The Mars Volta has guested with Queens Of The Stone Age. (As well as numerous other Stoner-related artists such as Chris Goss, Pete Stahl and more, and collaborations with Dave Grohl and Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys). Josh Homme has guested on tracks by Arctic Monekys, Foo Fighters and Mastodon.
Trouble have also covered The Beatles, Cream and The Monkeys. Saint Vitus have covered Black Flag. Pentagram have covered The Rolling Stones. Solitude Aeturnus have covered Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne. Cirith Ungol have covered The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown.
Paradise Lost have covered Atomic Rooster, Sisters Of Mercy and Venom. They have been covered by Orphaned Land.
Anathema have covered Venom, Slayer and Pink Floyd. They have been covered by Cradle Of Filth
The influence can also be found in unexpected places; The Obsessed have been covered by Foo Fighters. Kyuss have been covered by Tool.
Sludge is often harsher, more unpleasant and more Hardcore influenced than Stoner, Doom and Drone. Sludge has crossed barriers with Post-Metal, Doom Metal and even Progressive Metal. Neurosis and early Mastodon owe a lot sonically to the sound of Sludge.
Soulfly - Dark Ages, 2005, Mixed (With Groove & Thrash) Brazil
36 Crazyfists - Bitterness The Star, 2002, Mixed (With Metalcore & Post Hardcore) USA
Shadows Fall - The Art Of Balance, 2002, Metalcore, USA
Shadows Fall - Threads Of Life, 2007, Metalcore, USA
Killswitch Engage - Alive Or Just Breathing, 2002, Metalcore, USA
Killswitch Engage - The End Of Heartache, 2004, Metalcore, USA
Killswitch Engage - Disarm The Descent, 2013, Metalcore, USA
Chimaira - The Impossibility Of Reason, 2003, Metalcore, USA
Chimaira - The Infection, 2009, Metalcore, USA
Lamb Of God - As The Palaces Burn, 2003, Metalcore, USA
Lamb Of God - Ashes Of The Wake, 2005, Metalcore, USA
Lamb Of God - Sacrament, 2006, Metalcore, USA
Devildriver - The Last Kind Words, 2007, Metalcore, USA
All That Remains - The Fall Of Ideals, 2006, Metalcore, USA
As I Lay Dying - Shadows Are Security, 2005, Metalcore, USA
God Forbid - IV:Constitution Of Treason, 2005, Metalcore, USA
Sylosis - IV:Constitution Of Treason, 2011, Mixed (With Thrash, Prog, Death & Metalcore) UK
Avenged Sevenfold - City Of Evil, 2005, Metalcore, USA
Bullet For My Valentine - The Poison, 2005, Mixed (With Emo & Metalcore) UK
Atreyu - The Curse, 2004, Mixed (With Emo & Metalcore) UK
Five Finger Death Punch - War Is The Answer, 2009, Mixed (With Metalcore, Groove Metal and Hard Rock) USA
While She Sleeps - This Is The Six, 2012, Mixed (With Metalcore) UK
Black Dahlia Murder - Defolrate, 2009, Mixed (With Death, Deathcore & Melodeath) USA
Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual, 2011, Mixed (With Deathcore & Melodeath) USA
Job For A Cowboy - Genesis, 2007, Deathcore, USA
Whitechapel - A New Era Of Corruption, 2010, Deathcore, USA
Suicide Silence - The Cleansing, 2007, Deathcore, USA
Despised Icon - The Ills Of Modern Man, 2007, Deathcore, Canada
The Accacia Strain - Continent, 2008, Deathcore, USA
All Shall Perish - The Price Of Existence, 2008, Deathcore, USA
Oceano - Depths, 2009, Deathcore, USA
Upon A Burning Body - Red White Green, 2012, Deathcore, USA
Architects - Hollow Crown, 2009, Mixed (With Metalcore, Deathcore, Djent & Post–Hardcore) UK
Architects - Daybreaker, 2012, Mixed (With Metalcore, Post–Hardcore & Electronic) UK
Bring Me The Horizon - Suicide Season, 2008, Mixed (With Metalcore, Deathcore & Post–Hardcore) UK
Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal, 2013, Mixed (With Metalcore, Post–Hardcore & Electronic) UK
Crossfaith - Apocalyze, 2013, Mixed (With Metalcore & Electronic) Japan
Emmure - Speaker Of The Day, 2011, Mixed, USA
Gallows - Orchestra Of Wolves, 2006, Hardcore, UK
Gallows - Grey Britain, 2009, Mixed (with Hardcore) UK
Ghost Of A Thousand - New Hopes New Demonstrations, 2009, Hardcore, UK
Every Time I Die - Hot Damn, 2003, Mixed, UK
Fall Of Troy - Manipulation, 2007, Mixed (With Hardcore) Canada
Metal bands and Hardcore bands have been taking influence from eachother since the very beginning. The influence of Hardcore on Machine Head and Sepultura (and Prong) is obvious.
Metalcore as a term has been applied to really differing collections of music. From the Crossover Thrash of D.R.I and S.O.D to the slower, beefier hardcore of the 90s like Madball, Biohazard, Earth Crisis and Sick Of It All. It has been associated with bands from Nailbomb to Dillenger Escape Plan.
It then become associated with bands who mixed Melodeath, Thrash and Hardcore together such as Killswicth Engage, Shadows Fall, All That Remains etc. and this is now how most people think of the genre. This type of music has also been sub-catagorized into ‘Melodic Metalcore’ although the number of bands who feature little in the way of Melody (Lamb Of God, Devildriver etc.) or much more Post Hardcore and much less Thrash/Groove Metal influence (While She Sleeps etc.) can cause confusion.
That forumla has once again been diversified and expanded in different directions by the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, Architects and Asking Alexandria to incorporate electronic elements and other outside influences to form a different direction of music, still broadly falling under the Metalcore banner.
The diversity of styles associated with Metalcore (especially those artists who have incorporated Emo, Pop-Punk, Post Hardcore or Electronic music very thoroughly into their own sound) has lead to a backlash against Metalcore (and especially Melodic Metalcore) almost akin to the backlash against Hair Metal and Nu Metal.
Metalcore, despite this backlash, is a relevant and important part of the history of Metal. It is clearly and demonstrably a part of Metal overall.
Many Metalcore Artists have covered Slayer (Chimaira, Trivium, Hatebreed, As I Lay Dying) Metallica (Chimaira, Trivium, Hatebreed, Mendeed, Bullet for My Valentine ), Sepultura (Chimaira, Trivium, Hatebreed, God Forbid, Throwdown) Pantera (Five Finger Death Punch, Chimaira, Malefice, Throwdown, Unearth, Sylosis), Iron Maiden (Gallows, Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold, Devildriver, Black Tide), Judas Priest (Rise To Remain, As I Lay Dying).
Bring Me The Horizon have also covered Slipknot.
Converge - Jane Doe, 2000, Mixed (With Hardcore) USA
Converge - Axe To Fall, 2009, Mixed (With Hardcore) USA
Drowningman - Rock And Roll Kill Machine, 2000, Mixed (With Hardcore) USA
Raging Speedhorn - Raging Speedhorn, 2000, Mixed (With Sludge & Post-Hardcore) UK
The Dillenger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity, 1999, Mixed, USA
The Dillenger Escape Plan - Miss Machine, 2004, Mixed, USA
The Dillenger Escape Plan - Ire Works, 2007, Mixed, USA
Botch - We Are The Romans, 1997, Mixed, USA
Carbomb - Centralia, 1997, Mixed, USA
Sikth - The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait For Something Wild, 2003, Mixed, UK
The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza - Danza III The Series Of Unfortunate Events, 2010, Mixed, USA
Rolo Tomassi - Astraea, 2012, Mixed, UK
Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve, 1995, Mixed, Sweden
Meshuggah - Chaosphere, 1998, Mixed, Sweden
Meshuggah - ObZen, 2008, Mixed, Sweden
Periphery - Periphery, 2010, Djent, USA
Periphery - Periphery II, 2012, Djent, USA
TesseracT - One, 2011, Djent, UK
Monuments - Gnosis, 2012, Djent, UK
Fellsilent - The Hidden Words, 2008, Djent, UK
Volumes - Via, 2011, Djent, USA
Animals As Leaders - Animals As Leaders, 2009, Mixed (With Djent, Prog & Post Metal) USA
Uneven Structure - Februus, 2011, Mixed (With Death, Prog & Djent) France
After The Burial - In Dreams, 2010, Mixed (With Death, Prog & Djent) USA
Stealing Axion - Moments, 2011, Djent, USA
Skyharbour - Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos, 2012, Djent, India
Structures - All Of The Above, 2010, Mixed (With Deathcore, Prog & Djent) Canada
Structures - Divided By, 2011, Djent, Canada
Textures - Dualism, 2011, Djent, Netherlands
Veil Of Maya - [id], 2011, Mixed (With Deathcore & Djent) USA
The Algorithm- Polymorphic Code, 2012, Mixed (With Djent, Dubstep & Grime) France
Hacktivist - S/t, 2012, Mixed (With Djent, Dubstep & Grime) UK
Highly influenced by Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal, Mathcore, Technical Death Metal, and the pioneering work of one off bands like Messugah, Sikth and the Dillenger Escape Plan; Djent is based on an angular and disjointed riff style, often with Progressive tendencies and a Nu Metal bounce. It can be found combined with other types of music such as Hip Hop, Grime or Post Rock.
Many Djent bands incorporate electronic effects, glitch-beats and ambient soundscapes into their sound.
In the same way that Death and Powermetal bands can occasionally use Thrash riffs without being Thrash Metal bands, many Metalcore and Deathcore bands may use Djent riff styles in their music. In the same way that Black Sabbath, Diamond Head and Motorhead may have occasional Thrash sections that inform how Thrash sounds without being Thrash bands themselves, Messugah are not considered to be a Djent band despite the enormous influence they provided the style.
Originally, some members of the Metal community were resistant to the idea of Djent being considered a subgenre of Metal for fear that it was merely a fad, and because it was named after a guitar tone. Over time however, the sheer weight of numbers in the amount of Djent fans and Djent bands from all around the world, who increasingly began to self-identify as being “Djent Bands” and share enough musical similarities to be considered an independent subgenre, has legitimized the term and widely cemented the movement as an official subgenre of Metal, whether a shrinking number of skeptics agree or not. Hair Metal and Nu Metal both suffered the same skepticism in the past, but slowly their legitimacy as subgenres became a matter f fact and not just opinion. Djent has now seen the same transition happen.
Like all Subgenres, some of the bands will be more faithful to the core sound than others, some bands will have a more commercial sound than others, some will be more extreme, some will be rawer and some will be more progressive. Some will incorporate elements into their sound that separate them from the crowd. The main thing is that their is a collective similarity between the bands which ties them together and also distinguishes them from other sub-genres.
One has only to listen to the similarities between acts like Periphery, TesseracT and Monuments; as well as acts like Circles, Destiny Potato, Bulb, Intervals, The Contortionist, Ion Dissonance, Aliases, Sybreed, Returning We Hear the Larks and Eggeh and extrapolate what the Djent sound is.
Helloween - Chameleon, 1993, Mixed, Germany
Megadeth - Risk, 1999, Mixed, USA
Metallica - Load, 1996, Mixed (With Hard Rock) USA
Metallica - St. Anger, 2003, Mixed, USA
Metallica & Lou Reed - Lulu, 2011, Mixed, USA
Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music, 1975, Mixed, USA
My Dying Bride - 34.788%…Complete, 1998, Mixed (With Doom) UK
Iron Maiden - The X Factor, 1995, Heavy Metal, UK
Queensrÿche - Dedicated To Chaos, 2011, Mixed, USA
Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus, 2011, Mixed (With Death Metal & Industrial) USA
Guns N’ Roses - Chinese Democracy, 2008, Mixed, USA
Important critical failures are important for understanding the holistic entirety of metal. Often they inform other artists who try to avoid the same negative public backlash.
They also often precede a band or sometimes even a large chunk of the genre returning to its roots with revitalized energy and more crowd pleasing set-lists, working with old producers again and generally learning what fans will and won’t support.
These albums are often more talked about than albums which are usually publicly considered to be good. An album that truly bombs will stay in the Metal public’s conscious for longer than an ordinary passable album.
The take home message is that each and every sub-genre has its innovators and its followers, its credible bands and its commercial bands, its dark moments and its light-hearted moments. There’s always some bands with a strict, human, ‘punk’ feeling, and some bands with an artistic, deep, ‘progressive’ feeling. On top of it all, there’s always some band’s that are so unique they come about at the same time or from the same place as a subgenre but that just don’t fit in with it. Similarly, there are band’s who every other band in a subgenre are influenced by but all manage to miss key features of that band’s sound.
If you like Metal there are a lot of different types to try out, and a lot of different non-metal bands which had a big effect on it that you could also try out to develop a deeper understanding of what these sounds are and why they are happening, and why they are happening in these particular sequences or combinations.
You can understand why different people have different opinions on what counts as Metal and what is just rock, by hearing enough Metal and rock to understand the lines people are drawing by combining knowledge of different band’s sounds in different ratios.
Maybe Twisted Sister sound rock if you only hear ‘I Want To Rock,’ and maybe they sound Metal if you only hear ‘Go To Hell.’ Perhaps you think Bullet For My Valentine are an emo band, but how similar do they actually sound to Rites Of Spring when compared to how similar they sound to Shadows Fall?
The more you hear, the more you will understand, and ultimately the more informed your comments can be. Its always interesting to sit down and find out where all the pieces of the puzzle come from and how the fit together.
- And that was it. If you wonder why an album was included in the list, why not listen to it and find out?