Top Ten 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. more.

You can find all things in thrash metal: awesome guitar riffs, epic bass lines, good guitar solos, breathtaking drumming, awesome vocals and lyrics... THRASH is a genre of metal that will always make you headbang in the worst moment! I can tell more than 50 good thrash bands, and even much more... THRASH IS PERFECT!

a simply amazing genre. Havok, slayer, Municipal, all of these bands have so much good music. lyrically, musically and everything

It's the best. Kill em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, Rust in Peace, So Far So Good So What, Peace Sells, The New Order, The Legacy, Dark Roots of Earth, Reign in Blood, Arise, Bonded by Blood, and Handle with care are just a small sample of the many great thrash albums in existence. With that said, New Wave of thrash Metal needs to be in the top ten. Not familiar with this subgenre? Listen to the albums Time is Up, Enter the Grave, and Skull. You might be just as impressed as you were with the Big 4.

Its fast, its intense, it rocks like hell but without all that stupid grunting an sreeeching of Death and Black Metal. The lyrics are also way better due to thrash metal being influenced by Hardcore Punk.

2 Progressive Metal

Progressive is the most complex metal genre along with genres like neo-classical metal and progressive death metal. Thrash metal is good. But you won't few things that you'll find in prog metal. Drum solos, the riffs, solos, music arrangements, the lyrics. Nothings beats prog metal in it. It sometimes use fast tempos, sometimes slow tempos. Lots of notes are used in a single song. And of course, more instruments. More ways they play. In a matter of fact, it can be brutal too, or also can be soft.

Whether you like Prog Metal or not, one thing you can't deny is that the musicians are very talented. It can especially mix well with Death Metal(Opeth) or Alternative Metal(Tool)

Emphasis on complexity, unusual chordprogressions, and therefor never boring.

I just love the overall length and feel of prog metal, although many would be turned off by the length I like to get into things so prog metals perfect for this, also love the lyrical style of it fact that it often has story's or themes, most metal has quite a lot of politics but this is rare in prog metal.

3 Traditional Heavy Metal

Traditional Heavy metal really does deserve to be higher on this list (at least in the Top 5, something lower is a little shameful). If there would be no Traditional Heavy metal, then - I highly doubt, that there would be ANY metal genre at all.

But you guys have forgot about another great Metal genre, that has done quite a lot for the Heavy Metal music in the 80's. Alongside the Traditional Heavy Metal - Glam metal (also called Pop-metal, and Sleaze metal) deserves to be on this list too.
Maybe, the looks of Glam bands were somewhat ridiculous (yet they were still good-looking), and the lyrical themes were more about something positive/neutral. But you gotta admit, that:
1 - it brought in many fans that are still Headbangers up to this day;
2 - Some of the fans, who started with Glam, have explored further into styles like Power Metal, Symphonic Metal, Neo-classical metal...
3 - It helped make Metal popular (and as I said - it helped to increase the amount of fans, ...more

Traditional metal was when metal was at its most pure and honest forms; making kickass riffs with extreme technical proficiency and powerful vocals.That was all that mattered back then. Most metal subgenres are awesome (prog, thrash, power, death, black etc) but other times, 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.

Guys the best metal bands ever are Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath and they are traditional heavy metal! Thrash is good but not as good as heavy metal and is somewhat overrated.

I really like traditional metal like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Saxon, etc.

4 Death Metal

Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal, Symphonic Metal.
Don't really understand why Progressive Metal is second because is boring as hell. I tried to listen to a few bands from this genre it just doesn't work for me. I'd rather listen to black metal than this.

Melodic death metal in particular, but thank you Chuck for all that you have influenced, and for the music I listen to today.

I'm mixed on this. Bands such as Death and Opeth are some of my favourite bands of all time but I could honestly care less for the other bands in this genre.

Periphery isn't Death Metal. Never listened to the other bands you mentioned.

The most extreme, in your face brutal genre. Also the very, very best. Black Metal is almost as good, but death metal will always have my heart, it is the best genre.

5 Power Metal

Unbeaten. I only cast 1 vote since this subgenre is so far above every other subgenre.

This should be in the top 3, after progressive and thrash. Probably one of the most structured and complicated genres of all times (after classical music), lyrics are awesome and solos are epic. Hands down for power metal

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 counter parts like death and black metal is the amazing vocal range... Power metal is by far the best metal sub-genre because of its fantasised themes, guitar riffs, solos and vocals

I love power metal. This genre can be very intellectual and fantasy oriented. The way the melodies blend with the traditional sound of heavy metal is flawless. I really recommend this genre to anyone who likes fast-paced music, great lyrics that can easily be sung, or an original sound that is unlike anything else.

6 Melodic Death Metal

What started it for me. Probably my favourite genre ever. Bands like In Flames (old), Dark Tranquillity, At the Gates from the old legendary ones and the new ones like Insomnium, Sylosis, As I lay dying and Amorphis.

Ebony Tears, Dark Tranquility, At the Gates and In Flames have made not only the music I have listened to the most, but the most enjoyable music I have ever heard. Love this genre to bits.

Death metal with melody! Why are there only two bands in the parenthesis when there are many good melodeath bands? Like: Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquility, Sonic Syndicate, Carcass, Norther, Amon Amarth, Eluveitie...

Sonic Syndicate sounds more like Alternative Pop-Metal. The rest is indeed awesome Melodic Death. - Flav

I like all of the top genres here but melodic death metal is by far my favourite. Melodic death metal's very best bands are capable of blowing most other metal bands out of the water.

7 Black Metal

Another genre I'm rather mixed on but leaning more toward like. Not every Black Metal band is satanic and there are plenty of good Black Metal songs.
Not to mention, Black Metal is one of the most diverse genres in all of Metal, you have Atmospheric bands like Burzum and Agalloch, the Symphonic bands like Dimmu Borgir, the hipster bands like Deafheaven which often take influences from Shoegaze and so on.

The darkest, evilest and most extreme genre of metal. Also the most versatile and complex one.

I *may* have said Death metal a while ago. But suddenly my tastes changed. Black metal's coldness, rawness, atmosphere, and evil are truly amazing. Unlike Death metal (which can be enjoyed by any metalhead) Black metal has that amazing, unique sound that isn't for everyone- and I am not everyone. Long live the Kvlt!

The best genre of metal. Satyricon, Beherit, Celtic Frost and Nargaroth are but four of the many talented Black Metal artists.

8 Groove Metal

I simply can't accept black metal being higher than this, come on people

I think Groove metal is the best because it actually has a GROOVE to it, so its 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.

Yes I'm writing this to whoever above me just declared lamb of god a better technical band than such geniuses of dream theaters level. I mean really we all know that prog metal is where its at and your completely oblivious to the scene if you refuse to believe that it is the best.

The most skilled metal heros 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 the metal to turn back to his great age.

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

My absolute favourite music genre of all time. It not only mixes Alternative Rock and Heavy Metal but many Alternative Metal bands such as Tool, RATM, System of a Down, Deftones, etc take influence from other genres and when you mix it together you can get a fantastic sound.

My favourite metal genre. Alt metal bands like Faith No More, Tool, Primus, and Helmet rock

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 put them somewhere. To me, alt metal is still metal, and I think Metal_Treasure is judging alt-metal fans to quickly on this one. Genres can stretch far, and you can view metal as integrating many things. To me, Jerry was a racecar drive 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.

Sorry it is still not metal nothing against the bands their amazing but being an amazing band doesn't automatically make it metal

Bands like Tool, Deftones, System of a Down, Alice In Chains, Rage Against the Machine are what make this genre awesome!

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 artist 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 there new stuff is okay).

Nu metal does have bands that deserve much criticism, such as Limp Bizkit and Dope. But bands like System of a Down, Deftones, Disturbed, most of Korn, and most of Slipknot are AWESOME and should not be getting all the hate from the thrash metal fans. Coming from someone who likes thrash metal more than nu metal.

Unlike what some people think. Nu-metal is not a bunch of love songs with a guitar. Listen to korn's evolution, System of a Down's science or pluck and slipknot's older stuff (slipknot Iowa) is boss. Yah there are some corny songs but I don't think that's nu metal. Categories should go by song and not by artist

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. more.

I don't know, but a lot of people call metal and heavy metal to be the same. But in my eyes, I see A LOT of differences in it.

Doesn't "metal" mean all metal, whereas "heavy metal" only means classic heavy metal like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple?

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

Really good subgenre.

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

12 Doom Metal

The most deep philosophic genre of Metal music. End of all is Funeral and at the end Doom will judge.

Slow and extra heavy with super growly vocals. Bands like Swallow The Sun, Comatose Vigil, Hallatar, Shape of Despair. An awesome genre to listen to in middle of freezing winter or duting a rainy night and you can't sleep.

Ambush Aces should to be in your playlist, it's evolving. Every supporter counts, people here are mentioning some great bands. This page is a good resource. I found some good ones, some I knew.

Doom metal is the direct descendent of the original heavy metal, therefor metal at it's purest. The slow tempos make for a much heavier darker experience

13 Industrial Metal

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

Industrial Metal is faster than Death, Groove and Thrash Metal together... Should be top 3

Nine Inch Nails, Strapping Young Lad, Rammstein, Skinny Puppy, Rob Zombie, Fear Factory

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

14 Speed Metal

Speed metal is different from thrash and other fast metal subgenres (death metal). Speed metal vocals are clean, often gorgeous. Speed metal is less influenced by hardcore punk than thrash - so speed metal is less abrasive and more melodic than thrash. Also, speed metal vocals are different from thrash vocals - speed metal singers don't spit the words and they really sing despite the fast tempo, which is more difficult. Example: 'Majesty' by Blind Guardian.
The first speed metal songs were written by Ritchie Blackmore circa 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: Accept, Anvil, Exciter, Helloween, Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, Paragon, Primal Fear... Mostly German power metal bands develop this subgenre; also DragonForce (UK).

Speed metal is so much fun, with great vocalists and lyrics! It's cleaner than thrash metal but still fast, it's pretty underrated

Anthrax are seen as a thrash band, but they're not. They're a speed metal band, as well as Flotsam and Jotsam who are regarded as a thrash band, but they were a speed metal band. Speed metal is a sub genre of thrash.

Just, no. Anthrax WAS a thrash metal band before they became mainstream, and speed metal is definitely not a sub genre of thrash, speed metal came first. - 8chAnonymous

and that's on mumble rap

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

Hey, where's Skyclad and Elvenking? Those are two folk metal bands I really like. Listen to Penny Dreadful by Skyclad and the cover version by Elvenking.

There is not a more epic form of music on the planet. Will forever be my favorite genre of metal.

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 kinda hippie). However, this is an amazing form of metal that takes more delicate instruments and rhythms and fuses them into metal to make... I don't have a description for it. 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 all the different styles of folk music around the world combined with the heavy/aggressiveness of metal is quite the journey.

16 Symphonic Metal

In my opinion, this is definitely one of the most creative genres. Not just in metal, but in general. In rock and metal there are always limitations to what you can musically do, but when you bring in classical instruments that problem is solved. Overall, this genre has the ability to have some of the most unique melodies.

Should be much higher, easily one of the most versatile genres, often bands work on themes and that theme will set how the music and the singing will play out

This genre is not really comparable to anything else. Unfortunately it is underrated by many people. Give your vote for this Genre! Vote for Nightwish! Vote for Within Temptation! Vote for Epica, for Delain, Therion, After Forever...

Symphonic metal is the best music genre in existence in my opinion. It combines the intensity of metal and the elegance of classical music, and musicians/vocalists of that genre are all very talented

17 Metalcore

A bit overrated, but still lots of fun occasionally. Fanbase is basically 90% emo kids with nailpolish and you can't see their face from behind the hair.

A few good bands.. Often bashed for the huge number of poser bands in it


A7X (earlier albums)

18 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.

When I listen to Symphony X I feel like if I was in a tavern on the middle ages.

Why is neo-classical way down in the 18th position? This is the classical music with with drums and distortion. you should listen to JASON BECKER, JEFF LOOMIS, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, MARTY FRIEDMAN, CHRIS BRODERICK and similar neo-classical metal guitarists. this should be at least in top 3 :/

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.

19 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. Low-tuned guitars, repetitive yet amazing riffs, and fascinating lyrics. Some sludge metal has dark, ominous lyrics, some has lyrics about wed, and some has lyrics about weird, fantasy-type settings.

The most unappreciated metal subgenera of all time. It's stop disgusting and moody and it's sexy!

Sludge and Doom are both below Nu-"metal"? That's just sad.

Bands such as Mastodon, Black Label Society, Melvins, Electric Wizard, and Down are great.

20 Technical Death Metal

Awesome genre. Has bands like Gojira, Death and Obscura. It's filled with unconventional songstructures and heavy riffs and awesome beats.

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

Death, Necrophagist, Nile, Decrepit Birth, Cryptopsy, Suffocation, Opeth, Atheist, Decapitated, Brain Drill, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Blotted Science, Obscura, The Faceless, Edge of Sanity, Revocation, Dying Fetus

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 bands. Do yourself a favor and listen to the amazing music that is technical death metal.

21 Deathcore

Deathcore is the worst metal subgenre ever, and shouldn't be on this list at all let alone top 20. Literally every deathcore band in existence is the EXACT same thing: horrible pig squeals, generic chug-chug riffs and breakdowns for the sake of breakdowns. There is not one decent deathcore band in existence.

I actually enjoy it, but yeah, there's a lot of bad things about it. - Metalhead1997

Added because I think it's overhated. Yes, some bands are bad, but bands like Thy Art is Murder don't make it all about cramming in breakdowns and actually make their music aggressive, and when their breakdowns do hit, they hit harder than Chris Brown.

Yes, like Enterprise Earth, Thy Will Be Done, Upon A Burning Body, Fit For An Autopsy etc. - XxSEVEREDHUMANITYxX

People who can't hang with Deathcore don't know what their 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 of bands in this genre, there have very distinct differences.

Opinions will be always just opinions, but TO ME most Deathcore bands sound too similar. Breakdowns over more breakdowns make the music very tedious and the shrieking/squealing vocal style is exhausting to listen to. - Flav

Deathcore and metalcore aren't even metal there just punk influenced by metal

22 Technical Thrash Metal

My goodness. Whether it's technical thrash, or rudimentary thrash, it's thrash. Metallica, Megadeth and Artillery are technical thrash's best, though technical thrash wouldn't even exist without Metallica's progressive thrash. How deep does this rabbit hole need to go?

If you guy don't like bands like Heathen, Artillery, Annihilator, then you have no idea about Metal. Thrash metal on the firs place is a fair deal but this one on 21st is a shame really!

If your just starting to dip your toes in to the water of thrash metal, this is the waste deep line of the swimming pool with bands like Gama bomb, Metallica, Megadeth, annihilator, Anthrax.

Never heard of this before.

23 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 it's own genre, they are great bands from itself and don't need to be classified.

Dunwich- Horror at red hook (demo-1988)

Epica and Katra Rock!

beautiful. Trees of eternity is a great example.

24 Brutal Death Metal

Oh, I could write a whole book's worth of good bands in this subgenre. This is my favorite metal subgenre by far.

I would just FLOOD this page with reasons why it's my favorite subgenre, but I won't for your sake and the site's.

Oh gimme a break. May as well say regular death metal bands aren't brutal.

Brutal death metal is awesome! Listen to one of these bands: Nile, Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Devourment, Abominable Putridity, Cryptopsy, Katalepsy, Pathology, Benighted, Brain Drill, Putrid Pile.

25 Rap Metal

Contraband metal rap!

When most people think of rap metal, they think of Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. Well those bands are horrible (LK was good back in the day, but they suck now). Listen to bands like RATM, and you'll grow to love rap metal.

This list is false. Thrash metal is not good at all. Rap metal should be in the top tens. People who listen to rap and metal music at the same time should listen to this type of metal subgenre.

Anthrax ep.

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