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

I don't think it is, a version of death metal is, brutal slamming death metal, death metal itself is in no way the heaviest subgenre

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!

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.

Demolition Hammer, Sepultura, Coroner, Dark Angel, Kreator, Sodom, Overkill, Exodus, Slayer... can it get better?

Worst metal genre.

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.

Best metal genre. - Userguy44

3 Black Metal

Honestly this should be higher than thrash. Very heavy

Death metal is the heaviest, but I will vote this in order to attempt to topple thrash. Thrash is not an extremely heavy metal genre.

Heavier than thrash.

This Black Metal are way heavier than thrash

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

The bands you mentioned are defining melodic death, CoB and Omnium gatherum are also good, but honestly insomnium is better than omnium in my opinion. - 8chAnonymous

5 Doom Metal

Love doom. Should be above thrash at least, but I still think black and death metal deserve to be above doom metal even if I prefer doom metal myself.

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

To be extreme, you need to be fast and aggressive. Which doom isn't. Doom is mostly dark but not extreme. - Metal_Treasure

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

6 Grindcore

Insect Warfare.

Sounds heavier than black and death metal

More harsh and abrasive than Death Metal. Only Tech Death comes close to Grindcore's brutality.

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.

7 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.

1 Comment
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

The techdeath is an evolution, without doubt Thrash is the best but if you really want hear virtuous musicians this is the genre, agressivenes... this is the genre, even if you really want to learn to play an instrument see what this guys do, amazing!

9 Deathcore

This isn't metal guys, this is the punk version of death metal. It's extreme punk. - Metal_Treasure

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.

Don't agree, deathcore could never match the intensity you get from death metal, have you even listened to death metal and the countless subgenres? , there lots of band out there so don't just look for the more mainstream bands, there lots of new wave underground bands - eurobeat

Its le heaviest

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

10 Metalcore

Listen to the album "Caliban - Vent" and you will understand why Metalcore is heavier than Black metal and Thrash!

Metalcore is a good genre. It actually has melodies and can be artistically creative. Haters gonna hate, it's good if you're openminded and aren't a bandwagoner which is what metal should be all about anyways.

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.

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


The Contenders

11 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.

12 Progressive Death Metal

Same thing as Technical Death Metal. - MegadethFan07

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

1 Comment
13 Brutal Death Metal

Easy, number 1 for sure

Brutal Death and its subgenres are superior to any other of genre period. - 8chAnonymous

Brutal is number 1

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

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 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

16 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.

17 Goregrind

Goregrind vocals are clearly the heaviest

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)

This is exactly the same genre like Deathgrind

Last days of humanity

1 Comment
18 Viking Metal

Svartsot is some really heavy viking metal. Mixes death with folk instruments and viking themes

HOLMGARD AND BEYOND! viking metal is everything one needs.

19 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

20 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

21 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

22 Slamming Brutal Death Metal

I mean if this list is all about extreme then yea this is about as extreme as it gets

This is on par with Brutal Death, I feel they should have been put on the same listing. - 8chAnonymous

Sounds stupid so it must be stupidly heavy

Its too underrated

23 Stoner Metal

It's not extreme - there's nothing extreme here. Not fast and not aggressive. And vocals are clean. - 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 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

26 Nu Metal

Metal + another genre. I’ve seen some extreme Nu Metal bands. - MegadethFan07

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

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

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.

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 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

29 Crossover Thrash

The Energy

30 Pornogrind

This is literally the same thing as porno grindcore - 8chAnonymous

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.

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 Post-Metal
33 Melodic Metalcore

Not extreme really
Metalcore but more of an emphasis on 'core' - AdamDestructorJr.

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 Gothic Metal

How this isn't top ten? - GREYBOYY

36 Mathcore

Not metal - Diplomate

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.

MAATHcore - hannahlulu

37 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

38 Drone Doom
39 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

40 Heavy Power Metal

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

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

For E.G. METAL CHURCH folks.

41 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

42 Industrial Metal

This isn't an extreme metal genre.

43 Rap Metal

Not extreme metal.

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

44 Sludgecore

This is just another name for sludge metal. - MegadethFan07

45 Cyber Metal
46 Drone Metal
47 Glam Metal

The most brutal metal subgenre. - MegadethFan07

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!

48 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.

49 Thrashcore

Thrashcore is just Hardcore Punk but faster. - MegadethFan07

Thrashcore is punk, not metal

50 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)

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List StatsUpdated 1 Oct 2016

1,000 votes
52 listings
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