Metal Music Dictionary

Explore our comprehensive Metal Dictionary, a valuable resource for all metal music enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in in-depth definitions, explanations, and insights into the fascinating world of metal music. In short our Metal Dictionary encompasses iconic genres, instrumental techniques, and subculture terms. Certainly, it provides a comprehensive coverage of the subject matter.

Explore the following features of our Metal Dictionary:

  • Genre Definitions: Uncover the subtle distinctions of diverse metal music genres, ranging from thrash metal to death metal. Gain a deeper understanding of each genre through detailed explanations and illustrative examples.
  • Instrumental Techniques: Immerse yourself in the intricacies of metal guitar playing, drumming, and bass lines. Discover the techniques that define the genre, including palm muting, tremolo picking, and double bass drumming. Expand your knowledge and appreciation of the instrumental prowess that drives the power and intensity of metal music.
  • Subculture Terms: Delve into the vibrant metal subcultures and familiarize yourself with their distinctive terms and expressions. From headbanging to moshing, and from metalhead to \m/ symbol, immerse yourself in the rich lexicon that embodies the spirit and camaraderie of the metal community by reding our Metal music Dictionary.

Metal Genres and Subgenres

Metal music embodies a genre defined by its heavy sound, where powerful and distorted electric guitars take the forefront, accompanied by fast-paced rhythms and frequently aggressive vocals. It emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s and has since diversified into numerous genres, which we will gather in this Metal music dictionary.

Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal is the metal genre that started it all, defined by its amplified and forceful sound, utilization of distorted guitars, and commanding vocals. Examples: Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold. By the way, have you checked our Avenged Sevenfold post out?

black sabbath band logo

Trash Metal

Thrash Metal, known for its rapid tempo, intense guitar riffs, and powerful, shouted or screamed vocals, has popularized this aggressive style of music. Fans of heavy music are drawn to the unique sound of this genre, which features aggressive guitar riffs and fast tempos, making it a popular choice. Examples: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth

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Death Metal

Death Metal, an extreme genre of metal, exhibits heavily distorted guitars, complex drumming, and guttural vocals. Also, musicians in this genre craft a raw and intense atmosphere, employing unconventional song structures and techniques to create a dark and heavy sound. Examples: Death, Morbid Angel, Gojira (early years).

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Melodic Death Metal

Melodic Death Metal is a subgenre of death metal that combines the aggressive sound of death metal with melodic guitar riffs, harmonies, and solos. This genre originated in the early 1990s and has gained recognition for its incorporation of dual guitar harmonies and its tendency to feature technical and intricate guitar work. Melodic death metal typically features growled or screamed vocals, but may also incorporate clean vocals. Examples: In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Children of Bodom.

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Technical Death Metal

Technical Death Metal is a subgenre of Death Metal that emphasizes complex and intricate instrumental performances, often featuring rapid and intricate guitar riffs, complex time signatures, and technical drumming. The genre shows a high level of technical proficiency and often explores experimentation with various musical styles and non-traditional song structures. Examples: Necrophagist, Obscura, Beyond Creation.

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Brutal Death Metal

Brutal Death Metal is an extreme subgenre of death metal that emphasizes on heaviness, aggressive tempos, and lyrics dealing with gore, violence, and death. The music is characterized by fast-paced drumming, low-tuned guitars, and deep guttural growls or screams. The genre often employs complex song structures and technical musicianship, making it popular among fans of extreme metal. Examples: Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, and Nile.

cannibal corpse band logo

Power Metal

Power metal is a genre of metal that is characterized by its fast and upbeat tempo, complex guitar solos, and prominent use of keyboards and symphonic elements. It often features themes of fantasy, mythology, and epic storytelling, with lyrics focusing on heroism and valor. Examples: Sabaton, Blind Guardian, DragonForce.

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Metalcore

Metalcore is a fusion genre that combines elements of metal and hardcore punk. It is characterized by heavy, distorted guitar riffs, aggressive vocals, and breakdowns. Metalcore often features both screaming and clean singing, as well as melodic choruses. The genre gained popularity in the early 2000s. Examples: Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive.

Bullet For My Valentine band logo

Progressive Metal

Progressive metal is a genre of metal that blends elements of progressive rock with heavy metal. It is characterized by complex and intricate song structures, odd time signatures, virtuosic instrumental performances, and experimental sounds. The lyrics often deal with philosophical and introspective themes. Examples: Dream Theater, Opeth, Tool. Discover our Dream Theater album ranking here.

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Nu Metal

Nu metal is a genre of metal that emerged in the 1990s, characterized by a fusion of heavy metal, hip-hop, and alternative rock. It features downtuned guitars, rhythmic drumming, and a mix of clean and aggressive vocals. Nu metal often incorporates elements of rap and electronic music, and is known for its use of turntables, samplers, and other non-traditional instruments. Its lyrics often focus on personal struggles, relationships, and social issues. Examples: Linkin Park, Korn, Limp Bizkit.

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Groove Metal

Groove metal is a genre of metal that combines elements of thrash metal and hardcore punk, characterized by its heavy and aggressive sound with a focus on rhythm, groove, and powerful riffs. The music often features syncopated rhythms and a slower tempo than thrash metal, and incorporates elements of blues and funk. Groove metal lyrics often touch on themes of anger, aggression, and social issues. Examples: Pantera, Machine Head, Lamb of God.

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Stoner Metal

Stoner metal is a genre of metal that features slow and heavy riffs, often inspired by psychedelic rock and doom metal. The music is characterized by its fuzzy, distorted guitar sound and laid-back groove. The lyrics often reference drug use and the occult. Stoner metal bands often incorporate elements of blues and folk into their music, creating a unique and distinct sound. Examples: Sleep and Kyuss.

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Glam Metal

Glam metal is a genre of metal that emerged in the late 1970s and reached its peak in the 1980s. It is characterized by its flashy, over-the-top image and theatrical stage performances, often incorporating elements of pop and hard rock. Musically, glam metal features catchy hooks, melodic guitar riffs, and anthemic choruses, with a focus on polished production and radio-friendly sound. Probably, this one is the most easy to tolarate among the rest of metal genres for begginers. Examples: Kiss, Motley Crüe and Poison.

motley crue band logo

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