FWIW I had no clue that there were so many sub-genres of Metal. I suspect that there is an argument to be made for fewer than 14, or for more than 14. I did find the list entertaining. The 1st person I thought of though was @SkinyUte when I saw the list. I’d like to get his thoughts. Everyone else is welcome to jump in too. This could keep us entertained for a week or so.
I have thoughts.
Not a terrible list, although it’s missing they’re (rather oddly) missing one of my favorite genres in Folk Metal. Think traditional folk music mixed with extreme metal. Often ends up sounding like death metal polka, basically. It’s an absolute blast to listen to, and is one of the most fun genres to see live. The last Folk Metal band I saw (Trollfest) did a headbanging metal conga line around the entire venue. It was hilarious and might be the most fun I’ve ever had at a show.
Viking metal is a close cousin that would deserve mention, considering one of the current biggest metal bands in the world (Amon Amarth) and one of the most influential metal bands of all-time (Bathory) both fall into that category.
There’s SO many additional sub-genres within each of these that can make or break one’s enjoyment of it. The generic “Death Metal” label could be drilled down into at least half a dozen different categories such as Tech Death, Atmospheric Death, Melodic Death Metal, Symphonic Death Metal, Industrial death metal, Blackened Death Metal, Grindcore, Horror Metal, etc., etc. For example, Archspire, Wilderun, and Cannibal Corpse technically all fall under the “death metal” label, but are vastly different types of metal. Each of the categories they listed in that article could easily be broken down further (except for Pirate Metal…which I would actually argue is a sub-genre of folk metal)
Avant Garde metal is another genre that is underappreciated. There are so many insane, creative, and just flat-out weird bands that put out metal that defies categorization and crosses every single genre (often simultaneously). Bands like Sigh, Unexpect, Igorrr, Deathspell Omega, Thy Catafalque, Aquilus…absolutely brilliant stuff from all of them.
The Sword is not a doom metal band. Really weird choice to use as an example.
I would disagree that Black Metal isn’t entertaining. If you’re into dark or evil imagery, there are few things better or more intense than live black metal shows. Personally, I love them.
If I were to rank their genres by personal preference and favorite band, I’d probably go with:
- Death metal (best band: Death)
- Black (best band: Mayhem)
- Folk/Viking/Pirate (lump them all under one category for convenience) (best band: Turisas)
- Doom (best band: Bell Witch)
- Thrash (best band: either Anthrax or Exodus, depending on my mood)
- Goth (best band: Type O Negative)
- Groove (best band: Kyuss)
- Prog (best band: Opeth)
- Deathcore (best band: Black Tongue, although they’re much closer to death metal))
- NWOBHM (best band: Iron Maiden)
- Metalcore (best band: Killswitch Engage)
- Nu Metal (best band: None, they’re all terrible)
- Glam (best band: Absolutely none…dreadful, the entire lot of them)
Does Black Sabbath or Lucifer’s Friend still qualify as metal?
How about any of the hard rock bands from the late 60’s and 70’s? Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, etc?
Black Sabbath is considered the original doom metal band, and one of the founders of the heavy metal genre overall. Never heard of Lucifer’s Friend.
I’d say those are all rock, but not metal.
Wow, so much to look into. My musical taste is quite eclectic and depends upon my mood.
For @NewbombTurk yes, Black Sabbath is still metal. They’re still one of my favorite bands to listen to, and almost always crank them up when I get the chance.
I’m going to have to dig into the Folk/Viking/Pirate metal bands. This could be a fun dive.
Just wondered. Some say the term “metal” came from Steppenwolf. Their line from Born to be Wild…heavy metal thunder.
I’d start with Turisas’ “The Varangian Way”. The absolute best Viking metal album, by a wide margin, imo.
Other recommendations would be Amorphis, Finntroll, Svartsot, Myrkur, Korpiklaani, Ensiferum, Tyr, Eluveitie, Moonsorrow, Equilibrium. If you want to go more folk/tribal and less metal, check out Heilung, Nytt Land, Metsatoll, Arkona, or Goatpsalm. Orphaned Land and Aeternam do metal with strong middle eastern folk influences. Tengger Cavalry, The Hu, and Wagakki Band, and do the same for Japanese folk music. Cruachan does Irish, Obsequiae with Spanish influences.
Lots out there…I could go on for days. These are the ones that jump immediately to mind that I’ve seen or listened to a ton though.
Remembered that I had recently compiled a list of my personal top 30 metal albums for a friend who was looking for some metal recommendations a couple weeks ago. Figured they might be helpful for this discussion, if anyone is looking for recommendations.
- Wilderun, “Sleep at the Edge of the Earth” (if I had to recommend one single album, it’d probably be this one. Alternates between stunningly beautiful and heavy as hell. One of my top 3 albums of all time.)
- Opeth, “Ghost Reveries” (melodic death metal)
- Sigh, “In Somniphobia” (A crazy mix of black/death/jazz/prog/swing/doo wop/everything. I once heard it described as “music that even scares the devil”, lol)
- Agalloch, “Ashes Against the Grain” (atmospheric black metal)
- Type O Negative, “October Rust” (brilliant goth metal with some of the best vocals ever recorded)
- At the Gates, “Slaughter of the Soul” (early Swedish death metal)
- Death, “Human” (the best tech death album ever made, imo)
- Turisas, “The Varangian Way” (folk metal about Vikings, drinking, plundering, etc.)
- Aquilus, “Griseus” (if Beethoven had a baby with Cannibal Corpse. It’s beautiful baroque strings and symphonic composition one moment, tearing your face off the next)
- Edge of Sanity, “Crimson” (death metal concept album with some amazing riffs and hooks)
- Amorphis, “Skyforger” (heavier melodic metal focused around Finnish epic poems and legends)
- Cynic, “Traced in Air” (progressive mixed with jazz, death, and…robot voices)
- Enslaved, “RIITIIR” (Nordic folk metal)
- Anaal Nathrakh, “Endarkenment” (the angriest music you’ll ever hear, bar none)
- Bell Witch, “Mirror Reaper” (funeral doom, a single 90-minute song that is both hauntingly beautiful and completely soul crushing)
- Behemoth, “The Satanist” (satanic death/black metal)
- Black Tongue, “Nadir” (one of the most sinister, evil albums I’ve ever heard)
- The Ocean, “Pelagial” (progressive metal that takes you down through the layers of the ocean. Starts light and breezy towards the top, and ends up crushing by the end.)
- Danzig, ‘Danzig II: Lucifuge” (more rock than metal, often described as “evil Elvis”)
- Unexpect, “Fables of the Sleepless Empire” (possibly the weirdest thing you’ll ever hear. Mixes prog, tech, death, black, classical, opera, jazz, funk, ambient, electro, noise, and even circus music. Brilliant, but certainly doesn’t click with everyone.)
- Igorr, “Savage Sinusoid” (possibly the strangest thing you’ll ever hear, part II)
- Mayhem, “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” (one of the first black metal albums, creepy as hell)
- Zeal & Ardor, “Stranger Fruit” (fascinating mix of slave spirituals with black metal. “Row Row” is one of the best songs of the past decade.)
- Ghost, “Meloria” (totally goofy but oh-so-catchy heavy metal)
- Pantera, “Vulgar Display of Power” (early 90’s metal)
- Sepultura, “Arise” (classic brutal thrash)
- Pallbearer, “Foundations of Burden” (doom metal)
- Septicflesh, “Code Omega” (truly epic symphonic death metal)
- Tribulation, “The Children of the Night” (half goth, half death metal)
- Hellripper, “The Affair of the Poisons” (blackened thrash that absolutely just rips)
I’ve never been a metal fan, but I really like Judas Priest. Does that count?