Top 10 Best Metal Sub Genres

The Top Ten
1 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... read more

Metallica and Megadeth (when thinking of Thrash - Slayer has laid good groundwork and Anthrax may yet save it) are similar to some classical giants. They are worth investing in as they are really inspiring in the album verse. Well done to Thrash as a whole, thanks to news from giants even to recent times, as well as having a sort of past to trail which is really kind of interesting, might mention as well.

Thrash is metal perfection because of its versatility. You can place emphasis on a singular aspect such as riffs or soloing, yet still be able to orchestrate masterful compositions. The New Wave of Thrash movement has really reassured that well into its third decade, Thrash would forever be stamped as an undying form of music.

They say that metal never dies, but with such a strong resurgence of great albums from bands of both classic and new eras, I would say that Thrash Metal never dies either - not even in the '90s.

2 Progressive Metal

If you listen to any metal in general, there will always be a progressive metal band that you will enjoy. Prog gets its roots from any and every type of genre, not just metal or rock, substandard genres, etc. In the practice of listening to the genre, you're more or less opening yourself up to many different influences of music history. You definitely feel it heavier in older prog bands, but the direction progressive music is going is a new and beautiful thing, certainly the most skill attaining.

Try out some Rush or Dream Theater for the oldies of prog, then go listen to some Polyphia or Tesseract, all the way to Meshuggah and SikTh, or if it's your piece of pie, Reflections or Rings of Saturn for those thrashers.

3 Power Metal

One of the best genres of Metal is labeled as 'Power' - real good tempo and rhythm with impressive rhymes to keep the game going. Pretty fun, though Top Tens finds them that way while the world of Metal on Spotify ranks Power at 13 or 15, alongside Thrash. Where Top Tens places them correctly, some of the fine tunes reel in. Alternative and Progressive are fine too, with bands like Opeth. However, Power Metal is much sweeter, or maybe it just seems like it. Good stuff!

Yeah, this exactly the great sub-genre of Metal after Thrash Metal. Yeah of course, elements of Thrash Metal are seen in Power Metal. What makes it better than its other counterparts like Death and Black Metal is the amazing vocal range.

Power Metal is by far the best Metal sub-genre because of its fantasized themes, guitar riffs, solos, and vocals.

4 Traditional Heavy Metal

Traditional metal was when metal was at its purest and most honest form. Creating kickass riffs with extreme technical proficiency and powerful vocals was all that mattered back then. Most metal subgenres are awesome (prog, thrash, power, death, black, etc.), but sometimes they take metal too far.

You don't need a rapper or some weird masks to make good metal. In fact, most of the time, that just makes the metal not metal anymore. Nu metal is false metal and shouldn't be close to the top ten, let alone be in it.

5 Death Metal

The vocals are what keeps people away from Death Metal, which is what I like. Amazing vocals, though not for everyone, require great skill and can ruin the throats of even the most experienced growlers. The guitar tones are sharp, piercing, and heavy on the solos, with a smashing tone on other guitar parts matched only by the heavy and fuzzy tone of Stoner Doom and Sludge.

Drums blast at blisteringly fast speeds and basslines that would make even Doom and Thrash jealous. With artists such as Chuck, Obituary, Entombed, Nile, Morbid Angel, Bloodbath, and Cannibal Corpse, as well as many other great artists, Death Metal reigns supreme.

6 Melodic Death Metal

Melodic Death Metal is a combination of Death Metal, Traditional Metal, New Wave British Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Black Metal, Power Metal, Gothic Metal, Prog, and lots more. It is brutal and beautiful. Bands such as Dark Tranquillity, Carcass, Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Insomnium, Dissection, In Flames, At the Gates, The Black Dahlia Murder, Kalmah, Darker by Design, Naglfar, and Once Human are all extremely talented. Melodeath is my favorite genre ever.

7 Alternative Metal Alternative metal is a music genre that infuses heavy metal with influences from alternative rock and other genres normally associated with metal.

One of the most controversial genres. The thing is, if you say System of a Down, Primus, Faith No More, Deftones, etc. are not metal, it's hard to place them elsewhere. To me, Alt Metal is still metal, and I think Metal_Treasure is judging Alt-Metal fans too quickly on this one.

Genres can stretch far, and you can view metal as integrating many things. To me, "Jerry was a Race Car Driver" by Primus has metal elements, and it's generally called "Alt-Metal". Same goes for most Alt-Metal songs. I don't see why there is all this hate. It's still derivative of the metal movement in the end.

8 Black Metal

Black Metal is underrated. People automatically assume the music sucks because of the infamous actions by Black Metal musicians. Yes, a lot of Black Metal musicians have idiotic views, and many of the fans are mouth breathers too. But take personality out of the question. Varg Vikernes is a genius.

The first four Burzum albums feature an ambient, avant-garde atmospheric style of Black Metal that he developed when he was just seventeen. Bands like Darkthrone blended Death Metal with Black Metal on "A Blaze in the Northern Sky" to create the best album of the unholy trinity. Their album "The Underground Resistance" also features a traditional metal sound reminiscent of Motörhead.

Bands like Emperor and Dimmu Borgir incorporated symphonic elements into the music. And bands like Agalloch have their own blend of folkish Black Metal. There's something for everyone. Black Metal can be blended with almost anything. If you hate this genre because of the musicians' personalities, I feel sorry for you.

9 Groove Metal

I think Groove Metal is the best because it actually has a GROOVE to it, making it the most fun to headbang to. Pantera invented breakdowns and they actually had awesome groovy breakdowns. Lamb of God also have some amazing groovy breakdowns, but I think that a lot of Metalcore breakdowns have just gone too far and I wouldn't consider many of them to even be music anymore.

The most skilled metal heroes play this style. The most complicated songs are in this style. Come on! This is the best metal at the moment, there isn't a band harder and more skilled than Lamb of God or Machine Head, or more complete than Mastodon or Gojira. Groove Metal is the way for metal to return to its great age.

10 Nu Metal

Bands such as Korn, Slipknot, System Of A Down, and Disturbed make some pretty amazing songs. The subgenre does get a healthy dose of unnecessary criticism.

NOTE: If you have something against this subgenre, you should go and support your favorite subgenres instead of bashing the ones that you don't like. The negative comments are not helping anyone.

People criticize Nu Metal too much. Sure, a lot of bands are bad, but there also are some bad artists in YOUR genre! There's good and bad artists in every genre and Nu Metal is no exception. If you think Nu Metal is bad, listen to some that are awesome like Korn and Slipknot (mostly their older stuff but their new stuff is okay).

The Contenders
11 Heavy Metal Heavy Metal music is a sub-genre of rock music that originated in the late 1960s-70s, featuring more distorted and heavier instrumental work and darker lyrical themes. Heavy Metal broke into mainstream success with bands such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica... read more

I don't know, but a lot of people call metal and heavy metal the same. However, in my eyes, I see a lot of differences between them.

Metal isn't a subgenre of rock. It's its own genre. But yes, heavy metal indeed.

The pioneers of the genre. Why wouldn't you vote for them?

12 Doom Metal

Doom Metal is truly a magnificent subgenre, towering over others for many reasons. The atmosphere of most Doom makes it sound so full, much larger than other genres, especially on longer tracks where you can be immersed into different worlds.

While much of these other subgenres center on technicality in speed or complexity, or in some cases vocals, Doom is less about entertainment factor and more about colossal works of art that make for very unique experiences.

The melodic and epic nature of Doom Metal takes me back to my youth listening to Sabbath. I enjoy the heavy bass and down-tuned guitars. I have always enjoyed deeper sounding notes like those from a cello or upright bass as opposed to viola or violins. Such a great sound with a lot of groove and funk to it.

13 Industrial Metal

Industrial Metal was huge some time ago and has inspired all the newly introduced genres such as Djent, Nu, and Alternative. Go back to the roots and make Industrial Metal a thing again!

Marilyn Manson and Rammstein make great Industrial Metal. Also, check out Celldweller and Blue Stahli, who are multi-instrumentalist solo artists making Industrial Metal too.

The most variable, rich, and easy to listen to. With a huge influence of electronic music (as the name shows), it gives some of the best current metal bands.

14 Symphonic Metal

Many people associate Symphonic Metal with female-fronted bands and that's why they think it's gay. But there are bands and albums with male vocals and I like some of them because this subgenre is the most epic and impressive one.

Symphonic Metal is also very demanding and complex - bands with no top-notch musicianship can't do this subgenre. Give a listen to some Blind Guardian songs - Sacred Worlds, The Ninth Wave, Wheel of Time, Holy Grail. People who like Prog Metal or/and Power Metal would quickly relate to these songs.

15 Speed Metal

Speed Metal is different from Thrash and other fast Metal subgenres like Death Metal. Speed Metal vocals are clean, often gorgeous, and less influenced by Hardcore Punk than Thrash. As a result, Speed Metal is less abrasive and more melodic than Thrash. Moreover, Speed Metal singers don't spit the words. They really sing despite the fast tempo, which is more difficult. An example is 'Majesty' by Blind Guardian.

The first Speed Metal songs were written by Ritchie Blackmore around 1970 - Deep Purple classics like Highway Star, Fireball, and Rainbow classics like Kill The King, A Light In The Black, Death Alley Driver. Later we have bands like Accept, Anvil, Exciter, Helloween, Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, Paragon, Primal Fear, and DragonForce (UK). Mostly, German Power Metal bands develop this subgenre.

16 Metalcore

Ok, I get it. Asking Alexandria and Attack Attack are not metal, but scene. However, discarding the whole genre because of scene kids is dumb. Bullet for My Valentine, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, and All That Remains are amazing bands that cannot be overlooked, no matter whether you like it or not.

There are somehow hundreds of amazing bands in this subgenre, and it's the only reason metal is even somewhat still relevant today. Yet, 75% of metalheads call it stuff like 'whiny scene music.' It's the perfect genre as it blends elements from a variety of metal subgenres such as thrash or melo-death with hardcore elements. What's not to love?

Moreover, many legendary metalcore choruses have these huge hooks that have made genres like pop so huge today. I'm beginning to realize that the only reason why some older metalheads hate it so much is that it doesn't sound like generic '90s thrash or death metal, which, while good, are subgenres that have been done to death (pun completely intended), while metalcore is still fresh, new, and innovative.

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

Why is this under Deathcore? I think a lot of people are hesitant to give this form of Metal a chance mainly due to its name. I know I was (thought it sounded kind of hippie). However, this is an amazing form of Metal that takes more delicate instruments and rhythms and fuses them into Metal to create something unique. People just need to go look up Equilibrium and Ensiferum for a start. Eluveitie and Wolfchant, too.

Excellent genre, so diverse and unique. Getting all the folk influences from the different styles of folk music around the world combined with the heavy/aggressiveness of metal is quite the journey.

18 Sludge Metal

In my opinion, Sludge Metal deserves to be higher on the list. Bands like the Melvins, Electric Wizard, Sleep, Kyuss, Weedeater, and countless other great Sludge Metal bands are notable. Low-tuned guitars, repetitive yet amazing riffs, and fascinating lyrics are hallmarks. Some Sludge Metal has dark, ominous lyrics. Some have lyrics about weed. And some have lyrics about weird, fantasy-type settings.

Mastodon, High on Fire, and Melvins all excel with their ultra-heavy riffs. When I think of "heavy riff," Sludge Metal comes above all others. Thrash and Death Metal both come close, but Sludge is thicker, heavier, and easier to headbang to.

19 Technical Death Metal

Absolutely incredible. It takes Death Metal, which is already an amazing genre, and makes it 10x better. Some of the best Metal bands out there today are Technical Death Metal bands! Bands like Nile, Beyond Creation, Necrophagist, Dying Fetus, and Suffocation are incredible. Do yourself a favor and listen to the amazing music that is Technical Death Metal.

Technical Death Metal is DM at its finest. This sub-genre contains some of the most talented players and the most unique yet heavy bands like Obscura, Revocation, and Nile. Technical Death Metal is an elite metal genre.

20 Neo-Classical Metal Neoclassical metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that is heavily influenced by classical music and usually features very technical playing, consisting of elements borrowed from both classical and speed metal music.

By far the best Metal subgenre, it combines the greatest music genre with great guitars and melodies.

Guys of guitar virtuoso type. Yngwie alone would make me put this subgenre on my personal Top 10 list.

Wasn't Jeff Loomis doing some on his solo records?

21 Gothic Metal

Theatre of Tragedy, Type O Negative, Paradise Lost, Unsun, Moi Dix Mois, Tristania, Elis, Darkwell, Sirenia, Theatres des Vampires, and much more. Gothic Metal combines the lyrics from Gothic Rock with the sound of Metal, finished with some Industrial or Classical effects.

It's a shame that nowadays every Metal band that tries to be a little bit dark or symphonic immediately is called Goth. Nightwish is Symphonic, Evanescence is Nu-Metal, and HIM is its own genre. These are great bands by themselves and don't need to be misclassified.

22 Technical Thrash Metal

My goodness. Whether it's Technical Thrash or Rudimentary Thrash, it's still Thrash. Metallica, Megadeth, and Artillery are the best in Technical Thrash. However, Technical Thrash wouldn't even exist without Metallica's Progressive Thrash. How deep does this rabbit hole need to go?

One of the finest subgenres is Technical Thrash Metal. Sophisticated thrash. Elite virtuoso players providing top-notch musicianship. Technical Thrash Metal is a style of Thrash Metal that places greater emphasis on complex songwriting and demanding instrumental parts. Bands like Annihilator, Coroner, Dead Brain Cells, Watchtower, Vektor, and Voivod.

23 Progressive Death Metal

Ok, Between the Buried and Me are in a league of their own. If someone can come up with something remotely close to these freaks, I shall buy it. I'll be the first in line, but it better work this time.

24 New Wave of British Heavy Metal

This isn't a subgenre. It was a movement.

Why is it so far behind?

25 Deathcore

People who can't hang with Deathcore don't know what they're talking about. They don't slow down and actually listen to it, and so they claim it all sounds the same. That could be said for any genre really, and there are distinct differences in Deathcore bands. Compare Emmure (my personal favorite) with Suicide Silence. Although they are some of the more similar bands in this genre, there are very distinct differences.

Yeah, Within The Ruins, Born of Osiris are heavy showmanship, but what's it all about? Metal for metal's sake? Do they stand for anything? Despite all the flamboyance of all the modern metal bands, do they stand for naught? Perhaps metal is garbage, no matter how well executed.

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