Top Ten Metal Sub Genres

The Top Ten

1 Thrash Metal Thrash Metal Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its fast tempo and overall aggression. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work.The genre evolved in the early 1980s from combining the fast drum beats 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! - rock2metal

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.

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 90's). - surgeonsanic

prog sucks

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2 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.

Should be first but damn Metallica fanboys...

Also black metal should be higher it's very kvlt and is one ov the best metal subgenres there

1. Heavy
2. Thrash
3. Melodeath
4. Black
5. Power

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3 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. - zxm

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.

It's the metal that takes more thought that technical skill. Prog Metal bands almost don't fit into "metal" sometimes, because their sound is not set by clear boundaries. They play the music they choose, and a lot of it happens to be highly expressive and artistic and fits under the bubble of metal. Many great groups, especially Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation.

Thrash metal is tedious and tiring.. Prog should be #1 because of Opeth, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Katatonia, etc.. followed on second place by Traditional Heavy Metal mainly because of Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. And then on #3 and onwards, melodic death, black, thrash, alt, groove, etc..

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4 Power Metal

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.

Pure epic awesomeness. Shredding guitars, incredibly fast drums, and cheese. Lots of cheese.

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5 Melodic Death Metal

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... - rock2metal

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.

Great melodies and harmonies, great displays of raw power, great instrumentation. It works well in quick and slow tempos. Musicians are usually very skilled. You can find emotional and meaningful lyrics. I prefer when they are not very intense with the growls, though.

The genre that got me into Extreme Metal still one of my favorites

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6 Death Metal

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

Death, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Vader, Nile, Entombed, Dismember, Suffocation, Bolt Thrower, Immolation, Cryptopsy, Autopsy, Gorguts, Decapitated, Dying Fetus, Necrophagist, Deicide, Behemoth, Carcass, Obituary, Hypocrisy, Kataklysm, Defeated Sanity, Aborted, Unleashed, Devourment and lots more

Death metal, the heaviest genre of metal and outside. I don't understand why melodic death metal is below the traditional, more brutal death metal.

Dying Fetus and Bolt Thrower my favourite

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7 Black Metal

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

The most insane and obscure genre.. Gothic, doom and black metal are the king of genres is the black metal, This should be #1.. Go to hell dogmatic Christians, does not fill, I prefer die for a salvation than a hope. Up for the black metal.

What! Seventh place? That's not right! This should be #1 or under thrash metal! Come on?

I love/hate how snotty Christians claim that ALL metal music is devil worship when it is only black and death metal music that is devil worship. But oh well... AVE SATANAS!

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8 Groove Metal

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.

Pantera is the only good band from this sub genre. - Rambles

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9 Alternative Metal 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 favourite metal genre. Alt metal bands like Faith No More, Tool, Primus, and Helmet rock - bluemountaincoffee

Heavy metal, thrash metal, Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden and all that is good music, but alternative metal is so much more alternative, you know... More complex, deeper meaning and lyrics. Not just usual fast-paced metal with a lot of frenetic solos and stuff. My vision is that this genre has songs which kind of takes their time, so to say.

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

Alternative metal is NU metal - GreenDayFan21

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10 Nu Metal

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

So, I don't know why Nu Metal is so hated these days. I mean I've grown up listening to Thrash and Heavy Metal but now I prefer some bands more than the "classic" ones like from The Big Four. I know that not every band in this genre is good but just look at Slipknot, Korn, System of a Down...
Well, I can talk a lot but this is shortly said from me. :D

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The Contenders

11 Metalcore

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

Many metalcore bands are found in the Christian Metal scene. Not all, but many are. There is definitely a Christian Metal movement, but it probably infiltrates its way into every genre of metal, not just one. Yes, it's a belief system but it's definitely out there.

Next to nu metal, is the most criticized genre by metal fans (mostly by death metal listeners); but this is one of my favorite metal genres because many bands have done a great work in many good songs, musically and lyrically; AND THE BREAKDOWNS ARE PERFECT FOR HEADBANGING! - rock2metal

Hit and miss. - Metalhead1997

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12 Doom Metal

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

Doom metal is truly a magnificent subgenre, it towers over others for many reasons. The atmosphere of most doom makes it sound so full, so much larger than other genres, especially on longer tracks you can be immersed into different worlds. While much of these other sub genres center on technicality in speed or complexity, or in some cases vocals, doom is less entertainment factor and more of colossal works of art that make for very unique experiences.

12? Doom metal is not only the first metal genre technically speaking but it still sounds amazing to this day. Don't get me wrong I love thrash death etc (not Nu metal) but what's better than sitting back and listening to some sabbath or pentagram.

How is Nu-Metal above Doom?! That is insane! - Rambles

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13 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). - Metal_Treasure

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.

I don't pretend to know everything, but when Anthrax and Flotsam and Jetsam entered the scene, where I'm from they were definitely speed metal bands in Kerrang, Metal Hammer etc. They incorporated thrash elements with NWOBHM elements like twin-leads and operatic vocals. Even Dragonforce are frenetically paced, so I still think it's an enjoyable bastard child of thrash. Dunno.

Motörhead, Anvil, Accept, Exciter, Helloween, Blind Guardian, Metal Church - ryanrimmel

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14 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.

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...

Symphonies are the basis of all music. This makes Symphonic metal my favorite metal sub genre. Not only that, but there is usually a story arch or overall concept to symphonic metal, and not just random heavy music. Still love other metal subgenres though.

If you don't want to try this subgenre's bands, then at least have a go at Metallica's S&M live album. Its wonderful(most of the album)

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15 Industrial Metal

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 - ryanrimmel

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!

Trent Reznor. Rob Zombie. Marilyn Manson. Nough' said. - OnyxDash

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16 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.

Neurosis is pretty much the definition of this subgenre. - Metalhead1997

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17 Heavy Metal 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. - zxm

Metal isn't a subgenre of rock, it's its own subgenre. But heavy metal, yes. - Metalhead1997

Really good subgenre.

What is wrong with you guys?
This is the best metal genre ever - Idiot244

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18 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.

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.

Saor > all - WonkeyDude98

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19 Technical Death Metal

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 - ryanrimmel

It's like mixing Dream Theater with Cannibal Corpse, and its perfect! Check out all bands in metal though!

20 Neo-Classical Metal 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.

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 :/

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

Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Buckethead - ryanrimmel

So it's a solo guitarist genre? I can play Am I Evil? So I'm in. That's not a genre. Bands please. Deathrow? Artillery? DragonForce?

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Top Remixes (69)

1. Thrash Metal
2. Nu Metal
3. Alternative Metal
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2. Melodic Death Metal
3. Deathcore
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