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

Best metal genre. - Userguy44

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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!

Death Metal can obviously sound more heavy than Black, but Black metal is definitely more extreme! But most important, why is Thrash above Black metal?

Black metal is represents a complete transition from mere music into a religious tool

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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.

It's a genre divided Into diffrent smäll genres

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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.

Sounds heavier than black and death metal

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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

Deathcore is definitely the heaviest

It’s brutal and unforgiving to both the listener and performer. Whether or not you like it, I would argue that it is heaviest by the fact that it can incorporate all the intensity of death and mix in the rebellion that hardcore punk was founded on.

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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 Brutal Death Metal

Why is this not in top 10?

Brutal Death Metal is strictly heavier than Death Metal hense the name. How is Death Metal #1 and this 11?


12 Metalcore

It's not my favorite subgenre, nor do I believe metalcore should be #1. However, due to the fusion of screaming or growling vocals and brutal breakdowns, I stand by that you can find a lot of songs that are heavier than a significant amount of thrash metal songs.

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

Metalcore isn't extreme metal

My personal favorite metal genre. Sadly this genre (and its subgenres) get a lot of hate from most metalheads - RustyNail

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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

About as raw and brutal as it gets. bands like exhumed and aborted are ridiculously brutal.

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 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.

Autopsy changed my mind about Death/Doom, amazing. - GREYBOYY

This is the fusion genre of Death Metal and Doom Metal. - Nord666

17 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)

Goregrind vocals are clearly the heaviest

This is exactly the same genre like Deathgrind

Last Days Of Humanity
All examples of intense bands which make this genre crazy insane.

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18 Viking Metal

HOLMGARD AND BEYOND! viking metal is everything one needs.

19 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.

20 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

21 Speed Metal

I like speed metal very much but it's not extreme. Speed metal is just a faster, heavier and more technical version of power metal - some songs by Blind Guardian (Majesty), Helloween (Ride the Sky), and similar. - Metal_Treasure

Some people used to call bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest speed metal in 70s and 80s. - zxm

22 Slamming Brutal Death Metal

This is the most hardcore, fast and heavy genre of music ever. The vocals are so brutal that you can't even understand them. The drums are like thunders and the guitars are so distorted that you can't even distinguish notes. Just listen to Devourment and you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Nothing has as crushing of a sound as this, but according to this list, power metal is heavier.

This is extreme metal, and heavy metal!

This is definitely the most brutal genre. Way more brutal than Thrash (I am a huge fan of Thrash Metal m/). Slamming Brutal Death Metal and Death Metal are basically 2 different genres because SBDM is way more brutal than normal DM.

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23 Stoner Metal

It's not extreme - there's nothing extreme here. - Metal_Treasure

24 Avant-Garde Metal

Such a variety of different genres in the mix, worth a listen!

Should really be a lot higher than #31. - IronSabbathPriest

25 Djent

In most cases djent is extereme but not always - Meshuggah are extreme but TesseracT aren't. It's because djent music/style/subgenre is defined by a guitar sound that can be used in heavier or softer songs. Djent sound is a distinctive high-gain, distorted, palm-muted, low-pitch guitar sound.
For more details about djent check out my list - Top 10 Facts About Djent Music - Metal_Treasure

26 Power Metal

Power metal?!?!?!? Are you kidding me? Power metal is great but it's too melodic to be extreme - countnightdark13

Power Metal? Extreme Metal? Ha? - GREYBOYY

You'll simply fall in love if you ever hear it. - Nord666

Ok I love power metal, but in no way is it extreme metal. Not even hardcore or heavy metal

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27 Depressive Black Metal

Amazing, bands like Silencer are the creepiest thing I've ever heard. It should get more votes.

Hands down the best

28 Nu Metal

Don't confuse it with hip-hop, electronic rock or electronica. This is technically Metal with Hip-Hop

Nah. I'm gonna pretend I didn't see this. - IronSabbathPriest

Um, what? Nu-"metal" isn't even metal at all, and not even CLOSE to extreme metal. Its influenced by hip-hop more than anything.

Is this a joke?
It's not even a Metal subgenre lol - wrests

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29 Porno Grindcore

The most disgusting genre of music EVER!

This is the heaviest thing Iv'e ever, the drummer sound like he is absulutly on drugs, the frontman sounds like he is farting and vomiting, the guitars are heavier than the guitarist of Bowling for soup and you absulutly can't hear the bass

30 Crossover Thrash
31 Symphonic Metal

? What the hell? Symphonic metal is not an extreme genre. - GREYBOYY

Except Fleshgod Apocalypse. Those guys are both symphonic and extreme

Not extreme metal. Not even close. - zxm

Not extreme but in my opinion very heavy
Just not as heavy as thrash

32 Pornogrind

It is not a good for listening but in terms of heavy, it is epic.

Huh... disgrace to the point of having goregrind and extreme metal.

I know this genre is worthless but we are talking extreme genre not the best. So this deserves the no.10 spot. Grindcore, Blackmetal, Deathmetal,e.T. C might be in the greatest chance of being number 1 but it deserves top 10 spot.

33 Gorenoise


Very heavy if you think lyrics and down tunings are important. not technical at all though
bands: Omphalectoicxanthopsia, Vomitoma, WormBirth, Epithelial Meatpool.

34 Unblack Metal

Bands like Horde, Frost Like Ashes, Anteater, Horror definitely deserve to be ranked with Behemoth and other bands and their Christian. THE BEST

c'mon, this should be in top 5. Such a good genre of metal.

Drottnar,Technical Black Metal,amazing, - GREYBOYY

35 Post-Metal
36 Folk Metal Folk Metal Folk metal is a fusion genre of heavy metal music and traditional folk music that developed in Europe during the 1990s.

Folk metal isn't extreme metal. Only time it becomes extreme when there are some riffs of black and death metal. - zxm

37 Melodic Metalcore
38 Pirate Metal

Yahar! Vote pirate metal me hearties! Arr...
Alestorm and the best and only pirate metal band out their get this to number one. Go onto youtube and put in Alestorm Keelhauld/Blacksails at midnight.

Arr, this isn't exteme metal

39 Industrial Metal

This isn't an extreme metal genre.

40 Mathcore

Even brutaller than technical death metal because of the lack of melody and more noise, and grindcore because it's technical.

And why the hell is power metal in the top ten? Idiots.

41 Heavy Power Metal

I've heard of symphonic power. But what is this? - zxm

Sabaton sang of a battle where thousands of soldiers were sent to die as cannon fodder on a beach in a single day. This is enough to disturb any peace-loving Christian or anarcho-pacifist.

LOL, there is no such subgenre. - Metal_Treasure

For E.G. METAL CHURCH folks.

42 Drone Doom
43 Gothic Metal

How this isn't top ten? - GREYBOYY

44 Rap Metal

Not extreme metal.

This extreme? LOL. Extreme rapping... - Metal_Treasure

45 Drone Metal
46 Glam Metal

What! What is this doing here? - GREYBOYY

This list says motley crue is more brutal than carcass

Glam Metal Rocks! The best bands are from the 80's!

47 Speed Power Metal

First, there's no such subgenre. Second, neither speed nor power metal are extreme. - Metal_Treasure

The first Helloween album 'Walls Of Jericho' is exactly this.

48 Thrashcore

Thrashcore is punk, not metal

49 Technical Deathcore

Some may not believe in it's existance, but in my opinion some bands, even if few, deserve to be called technical deathcore.
It is often a fusion between technical death metal and deathcore (only core related things: breakdowns/tuning).
BIG vocal range
Best riffs
(try Thy Art is Murder, Fit For An Autopsy, Aversions Crown, Fallujah, Signal The Firing Squad, Humanity's Last Breath)

50 Progressive Metal

Listen to 80's WATCHTOWER & MEKONG DELTA, and understand
Technicality & brutality happened before Suffocation and the Death's 'Human' album.

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List Stats

1,000 votes
52 listings
7 years, 362 days old

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