Top Extreme Metal Genres

Extreme metal is a term for a number of related heavy metal subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. This list includes extreme metal subgenres and fusions between same extreme metal subgenres or between other genres.

The Top Ten

1 Death Metal

Death Metal is the heaviest metal genre and the second is Black Metal.
Death Metal is heavier than Black Metal, because Death Metal is
1. Harder
2. Faster
3. Lower
4. Technically difficult
5. Mighty
6. Growling is heavier than screaming
PS Black Metal is the Evilest!

Death is the definitely the heaviest genre, Please explain why Thrash is number 1? There is no ways that thrash can be heavier than death metal.

It doesn't say "Heaviest Extreme Metal Genre", it says "Top Extreme Metal Genre". - Flav

Death has to be the most extreme. I've never heard a Thrash Metal song about ripping entrails out of a virgin or a song about ripping flesh off of someone's body and wearing it as a mask. Even Slayer and Kreator don't sing about stuff like Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, or Morbid Angel. So Death is the most extreme!


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2 Thrash Metal Thrash Metal Thrash Metal is a Heavy Metal subgenre developed during the early 1980s and an early precursor of Extreme Metal. Thrash Metal features a faster and more aggressive guitar work than Traditional Metal with shredding and double-bass drums and can range from melodic singing to loud shouts. more.

Thrash metal, doom metal, death metal, melodic death metal, black metal and grindcore are the only genres that should even be here. Stuff like power metal, groove metal and metalcore don't belong on this list because they aren't "extreme" metal genres. The fact that nu-"metal" is here is laughable.

Kreator, Testament, Overkill, Metallica, Mantic Ritual, Tankard, Sodom, Holy Moses, Destruction, Sepultura, Annihilator, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax,...
Just because Thrash has the most epic bands out there!

Started em all, old school thrashers by far the most talented and they didn't feel the need to dress up like vikings and sing like the cookie monster


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3 Black Metal

Why is there a guy who seems to think symphonic black metal is heavier than black metal and makes lists with made up genres such as "Nu extreme metal"? Anyway, black metal is the most "extreme" genre in my opinion because not is only the music is very inaccessible, but the violence and Satanism that occurred during the second wave hasn't really been seen in any other metal genre.

This genre is the bad apple of the metal tree. Bands like Mayhem and Gorgoroth give other metal music listeners a bad name by the bands being satanist and the retards at the music industry and all other music genre fans think metal is for satanist emo teens!

Sure, the sound production is terrible. But this is really as dark and evil as it gets - GreenDayFan21

My ranking;
Black metal and any subgenre of it
Death metal and any subgenre of it
Doom metal and any subgenre of it
Gothic metal and any subgenre of it
And so on and so on...

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4 Melodic Death Metal

A number of these aren't even extreme metal. Metalcore, crossover thrash and (kinda) doom shouldn't be on here. Also, progressive death metal and technical death metal are the same thing, just different names.

No, tech death and prog death are different, they just overlap very often

How can anyone not love bands like Insomnium, Arch Enemy, Noumena, and Wolfchant?

Very abiguous genre. There are so many different types of Melodic Death.. While I love bands like Insomnium, Be'Lakor, Carcass, At The Gates, Persefone, Quo Vadis, Intestine Baalism etc., there are also many many bands I dislike, who are considered as one of the best and genre-leading ones.
But still. I enjoy the gems of this genre, and I guess that's all that counts in the end. - Flav

5 Doom Metal

Easily the heaviest genre. People like fast metal, but there's nothing like the MASSIVE sound of Doom. It's the closest "modern" genre to bands like Black Sabbath. How can that be a bad thing? I love faster metal like thrash and death metal, but there's nothing quite like the sheer heaviness of doom. It gives you this "trudging through mud and sludge" kind of feel. Music is about feel, not super technicality (that doesn't hurt though), and Doom definitely has a very unforgettable feel to it. It's like being crushed with a massive wall of sound, and I love it.

You don't need to be fast to be heavy

It's full of bone crushing, skull splitting, world destroying riffs. That's all you need to say.

Doom metal and black metal are like brothers - GreenDayFan21

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6 Grindcore

Grindcore is among the most progressive and harsh musical styles of all time for me. Its unsympathetic, abrasive songwriting style and harsh, brutal instrumentation puts it up at the top of my list.

Grindcore is the most violent and the heaviest genre in the world in my opinion.

Grindcore is simply the end of all things extreme, the intensely downtuned guitars and blasting drums there's nothing that tops grindcore, not even death metal. For any confirmation listen to Brutal Truth - Birth of Ignorance. Grindcore is a wall of brutality and it's brilliant.

Death, Black and related give a heavy atmosphere to crush the listener in their sonic doom, but grindcore, goregrind and such crawl up your spine and drag you down under their churning assualt.

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7 Deathcore

The dynamic of going really fast to really slow and sludgy makes deathcore feel more intense than death metal, that's just my opinion and feeling of course.

My feeling is that the abusing of breakdowns ruins it completely. I'm not a fan of the vocal style either. - Flav

Infant Annihilator, Thy Art Is Death, Born of Osiris, White Chapel, BMTH(2004-2008) are all a part of Deathcore and they really show they're own brutal way of anger and other emotions

Some deathcore bands like I declare war, Carnifex and Rose Funeral are more brutal than classic death metal

Deathcore is definitely the heaviest

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8 Technical Death Metal

NO, Technical Death metal and Progressive Death metal is NOT the same. Opeth are progressive but not technical. Nile are certainly technical but not much progressive. In rare cases a band can be both - Obscura are both technical and progressive. Also read the comment by Flav who says the same. - Metal_Treasure

Technical/Progressive, though some Technical/Progressive Death Metal bands like "Nile" play it more brutal. - GREYBOYY

Progressive death metal and technical death metal are the same thing. - MetalFoREVer1228

Technical Death Metal = Progressive Death Metal, same about Black Metal, see Emperor's page on wikipedia or All Music review of their last album. - GREYBOYY


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9 Groove Metal

Why is this not in the top ten? It can be as heavy and extreme as thrash but slowed down. Bands like Machine Head, Lamb of God, Pantera, Five Finger Death Punch, these bands are as extreme as thrash. How the hell is nu metal higher on the list than this?

Bands include Pantera, Lamb of God, Fear Factory, Five Finger Death Punch, Hellyeah and Down. They're not as heavy as death metal but definitely equal in heaviness to that of thrash metal

Groove metal is also called "Neo-Thrash" sometimes, it's basically slowed down thrash metal with "groovier" riffs - Flav

This genre exist! If you don't believe me... Is Thrash Metal with Nu Metal: Slipknot, Disturbed, Drowning Pool, Dope, etc...

I'm pretty sure those are Nu Metal bands that are called Groove. Shouldn't Groove Metal be Pantera? - SirSkeletorThe3rd

Way heavier than death or black metal. And Grindcore? That does not deserve to be called music.

Heaviness is about tightness, groove metal is all about tightness and that is why it is the best.

10 Blackened Death Metal

Black metal plus death = something heavy

Behemoth are awesome! - Metal_Treasure

BEHEMOTH! At the left hand ov god is my second fave song after hammer smashed face

Blackened Death Metal has got some of the heaviest drumming ever.
Drummers like Inferno of Behemoth and Marthyn of Belphegor take it to the next level.

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The Contenders

11 Metalcore

It's a fusion between extreme metal and hardcore punk - rock2metal

Metalcore isn't extreme metal

SHADOWS FALL will cave your face in as well.

I know a lot of people hate Metalcore, personally I love it, but for the people who don't:
Try the band Northlane. They are awesome.

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12 Brutal Death Metal V 1 Comment
13 Sludge Metal

Definitely the heaviest,craziest metal genre with crazy mind-ill drug addicts as band members,still very talented and expressive.SLUDGE for the win

14 Deathgrind

Wow, you haven't listened to Exhumed I think. - GREYBOYY

Its Death Metal having a mess with Grindcore to produce one hell of a baby. It would probably eat your face off.

Cattle Decapitation. Excuse me, sir, Cattle Decapitation. Would you like some Cattle Decapitation? You want a cup of Cattle? Caffeine or Decap? Cattle Decapitation? Cattle Decapitation? Cattle Decapitation? Cattle Decapitation? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

What's this supposed to mean. We get it, cattle decapitation - good band but this is excessive - RustyNail

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15 Technical Thrash Metal

A relatively small but awesome subgenre - it's sophisticated thrash. Some of the bands are Annihilator, Coroner, Vektor. One of my most favorite metal subgenres. - Metal_Treasure

16 Goregrind

Well if you think last days of humanity and regurgitate are less heavy then cannibal corpse and nile then you are correct. but In reality goregrind while yes can be slow and grindy at times bands like carcass, regurgitate, last days of humanity, rompeprop, etc are in fact much more heavier, but technicality wise death metal is heavier, but if gore grind is below power metal in heavieness this list is wrong. just listen to reek of putrefaction by carcass or putrefaction in progress by last days of humanity for proof that goregrind is in fact much more heavier (not more technical)

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17 Death/doom

My favorite genre. The old Katatonia, My Dying Bride. It fuses the beauty and emotion of doom with death's raw anger which complement each other perfectly.

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18 Progressive Death Metal

Cynic is one of the best Progressive Death Metal bands... They do an artistic type of metal, creative too... Because prog is that

Chuck Schuldiner, just saying.
By the way, what in the name of Hell is Power Metal doing here?

Opeth, Cynic, Death... Need I say any more? - IronSabbathPriest

Technical, unconventional, death to the 4/4. Still I would remove the "Death" to the name. Bands like Symphony X, Dream Theater, Cloudkicker, Japan X and many more makes this one of the most perfect subgenres of Metal, still a little bit underground but really good.

LOL, these bands aren't prog death metal - they are just prog metal. - Metal_Treasure

19 Viking Metal V 1 Comment
20 Funeral Doom Metal

The heaviest and slower genre of metal ever. Pounding drums and distorted bass with brutal growling vocals and depressive melodies make this the most lifeless genre on earth! Mournful Congregation, Tyranny, Thergothon, and Bell Witch are some of the best bands in this genre.

Easily the most crushingly brutal genre

A real underground genre, emerged in the early 90's in Finland. Similar to Death/doom.
Painfully slow, heavily distorted guitars, majestic keyboatrds and extreme deep growls.
Check out bands like Skepticism, Esoteric and Worship.

From a fan of everything extreme from powerviolence to grindcore to slam to blackened death, I can honestly say this is the heaviest genre. Slower than hell, but in a way such as a steam roller would destroy a body. Dark, resonating and extreme to the core. Try rigor sardonicous, mournful congregation, thergothon and evoken.

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List Stats

1,000 votes
52 listings
7 years, 39 days old

Top Remixes (10)

1. Thrash Metal
2. Doom Metal
3. Death Metal
1. Thrash Metal
2. Groove Metal
3. Metalcore
1. Thrash Metal
2. Death Metal
3. Doom Metal

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