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Welcome young newcomer to the scary, complicated world of metal! We've put this new recommendation thread together in hope that it will ease the confusion that people suffer when trying to understand the differences between different types of metal. There's a few things I should point out first:

1) Many artists are listed with recommendations as "s/t" this is just an abbreviation of self titled, eg. where the album name is the same as the band name

2) Some bands appear under more than one section, this is either because the band changed genre somewhere in their career (eg. Behemoth), or a band is considered to be "a bit of both" (eg. Nightwish)

3) Different albums by the same artist are separated by a lovely "~" symbol, thanks to the Classic Rock forum.

4) If you're looking for recommendations of bands like Trivium or Lamb of God, see the part entitled "Not found what you're looking for"

Other than that, enjoy! And thanks to all the regulars who added their input to this thread

Death Metal

The thrash of the 1980's is all fine and good, but a lot of fans really wanted something more extreme, something harder, faster and heavier. What they got was death metal. Slayer were (like it or not) the catalysts for the movement. While still being a thrash metal band, they inspired a lot of the early death metal, with extreme 'gorey' lyrics, heavy guitars, frantic pace and (at the time) unusual vocals. Mantas (soon to be renamed Death) and Possessed progressed even more on Slayer's attack, adding even more brutal vocals, higher tempo and a heavier sound. Death metal didn't slow down after the original boom, since then, there's been more innovation and progression, with bands such as New York's Suffocation, Florida's Obituary and Scandinavia's Entombed all helping to add their own distinctive regional style to the sound. Today death metal has reached into many more elements of music, adding technical musicianship, progressive elements, jazz influences, and even a well-known addition of Egyptian ambience and instrumentation.

The death metal sound features a low, growled, often almost unintelligible vocal style and frequently utilize downtuned and distorted guitars, a downtuned, sometimes distorted bass guitar and a drum set almost universally using two bass drums or a double bass drum pedal. Song structures can vary, with some bands sticking to the verse-chorus basis and others opting for a loose narrative rather than a repeating structure. Lyrics typically focus on dark themes (although there are some exceptions) with some bands covering in depth descriptions of gorey or gruesome incidents, inspired by Liverpudlian grindcore band Carcass. More specialised Technical Death metal (abbreviated to Tech Death) is known for abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and extremely fast and complex guitar and drumwork, particular tech death bands also implement shred/neoclassical influences in their lead breaks.

The name Death metal is often up to debate, some believing that it is attributed to the Possessed song, Death Metal on the 1985 album Seven Churches. Others believe that the name is from the band, Death, who arguably built upon Possessed's release and pioneered the first straight up death metal album.

Good starting points:


  • Cannibal Corpse - Kill
  • Death - Symbolic
  • Slayer - Reign in Blood
  • Suffocation - Souls to Deny


  • Behemoth - Conquer All
  • Death - Bite The Pain
  • Decapitated - Spheres of Madness
  • Hate Eternal- King of All Kings
  • Morbid Angel - Rapture
  • Morbid Angel - Fall From Grace
  • Morbid Angel - Where The Slime Live
  • Nile - Lashed To The Slave Stick

Essential Albums

Possessed - Seven Churches
Death - Scream Bloody Gore
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness
Obituary - Cause Of Death
Deicide - Deicide
Cryptopsy - None So Vile
Nile - In Their Darkened Shrines
Cannibal Corpse - Tomb Of The Mutilated
Suffocation - Effigy Of The Forgotten
Entombed - Left Hand Path

General Recommendations

Abhorrence - Evoking The Abomination
Agiel - Dark Pantheons Again Will Reign
Amenta, The - Ocassus
Amoral - Wound Creations
Anata - The Conductors Departure
Atheist - Unquestionable Presence
Aversion To life - Ritualized Murder
Baphomet - The Dead Shall Inherit
Beheaded - Recounts of Disembodiment
Behemoth - Zos Kia Cultus
Belphegor - Lucifer Incestus ~ The Last Supper
Beneath The Massacre - Mechanics Of Dysfunction
Berzerker, The - World of Lies
Bolt Thrower - War Master ~ Mercenary ~ Those Once Loyal
Bloodbath - Nightmares Made Flesh ~ Resurrection Through Carnage
Brodequin - Instruments Of Torture ~ Festival Of Death
Cannibal Corpse - Eaten Back to Life ~ The Bleeding
Capharnaum - Fractured
Carcass - Necroticism
Cidesphere - Interment
Cryptopsy - Whisper Supremacy, Once Was Not
Daath - The Hinderers
Death - Leprosy ~ Individual Thought Patterns
Death of Millions - Frozen ~ Statistics and Tragedy
Decapitated - Winds of Creation ~ Nihility
Deceased - The Evil Side of Religion
Decrepit Birth - ...And Time Begins
Deeds of Flesh - Mark of the Legion ~ Crown of Souls
Deicide - Once Upon The Cross ~ Legion ~ Stench Of Redemption
Demilich - Nespithe
Desecration - Gore and Pervertion
Devourment - Butcher the Weak
Diamanthian - The Infinite Descent
Dies Irae - The Sin War
Disgorge - She Lay Gutted
Dismember - Like An Everflowing Stream
Divine Empire - Nostradamus
Emeth - Insidious
Entombed - Clandestine
Forest of Impaled - Forwards the Spears
Genocidio - S/T
Godflesh - Street Cleaner
Gojira - From Mars To Sirius
Gorgasm - Masticate to Dominate
Gorguts - Obscura ~ The Erosion of Sanity
Gospel of the Horns - A Call to Arms
Grave - Into the Grave
Hate Eternal - King of All Kings
Holocausto - Campo De Exterminio
Human Mincer - Embryonized
Hypocrisy - The Final Chapter ~ Into the Abyss
Immolation - Failures for Gods
Imprecation - Theurgia Goetia Summa
Incantation - Onward to Golgotha
Infernal War - Terrorfront
Iniquity - Grime
Ion Dissonance - Solace
Jungle Rot - Fueled by Hate ~ Dead and Buried
Kadath - Chasing The Devil
Kataklysm - Serenity In Fire
Krisiun - Conquerors Of Armageddon
Lex Talionis - The Supreme Aggression
Lord Gore - The Autophagus Orgy
Lost Soul - Chaostream
Lykathea Aflame - Elvenefris
Malevolent Creation - Retribution
Man Must Die - ...Start Killing
Martyr - Warp Zone
Mithras - Worlds Beyond The Veil
Misery Index - Overthrow ~ Dissent
Molested - Blod Draum
Monotheist - Unforsaken
Monstrosity - Imperial Doom
Morbid - December Moon
Morbid Angel - Blessed Are the Sick ~ Covenant
Morgoth - Cursed
Myrkskog - Deathmachine
Nailed - A Pure World Is A Dead World
Necrodeath - Into the Macabre
Necronomicon - The Sacred Medicines
Necrophagia - The Divine Art of Torture
Necrophagist - Epitaph ~ Onset of Putrefaction
Necrovore - Divus de Mortuus
Nephasth - Conceived by Inhuman Blood
Nile - Annihilation of the Wicked ~ Black Seeds of Vengeance
Obituary - Slowly We Rot ~ Back From the Dead
Odious Mortem - Devouring The Prophecy
Old Funeral - Grim Reaping Norway
Panzerchrist - Room Service
Pessimist - Slaughtering The Faithful
Pestilence - Consuming Impulse ~ Testimony of the Ancients
Poppy Seed Grinder - Oppressed Reality
Portal - Seepia
Pre Mortem - False Gleam
Psycroptic - Scepter of the Ancients
Pungent Stench - Been Caught Buttering
Putrid Pile - Collection of Butchery
Quo Vadis - Defiant Imagination ~ Day Into Night
Rottrevore - Iniquitous
Sepulchral Entombment - The Black Destiny
Severed Savior - Brutality Is Law
Sceptic - Unbelievers Script
Sinister - Cross the Styx
Skinless - Foreshadowing Our Demise
Solace of Requiem - Utopia Reborn
Spawn Of Possession - Cabinet
Suffocation - Pierced From Within
The Monolith Deathcult - White Crematorium
Through The Eyes Of The Dead - Bloodlust
Vader - Litany ~ De Profundis
Vehemence - God Was Created ~ The Thoughts From Which I Hide
Vital Remains - Dawn of the Apocalypse ~ Dechristianize ~ Into Cold Darkness
Vulcano - Bloody Vengeance
Withered Earth - Of Which They Bleed
Wormed - Planisphaerium
Yattering - Genocide
Thrash metal

The origins of thrash metal are generally traced to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when a number of bands began incorporating the sound of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal with elements of hardcore punk (in particular its drum tempos), creating a new genre and developing into a separate movement from punk.

The genre relies on extremely-fast tempos, and low-register, fast or complex guitar riffs, sometimes layered with high-register guitar solos, often in combination with palm muting to create a "chugging" sound. Thrash guitar solos are almost exclusively played at high speed, as they are usually characterised as shredding, and use techniques such as sweep picking, legato phrasing, alternate picking, string skipping, and two-hand tapping. Vocals ususally adopt a gruff, hard rock style, although heavier bands have been known to simply shout.

1981 is seen by some fans as a critical year, though others cite earlier influences on the genre: The first riff of Black Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe" (1975) is possibly one of the first thrash riffs, though their "Into the Void" and "Children of the Grave" (both 1971) were influential as well. Many point to another early example, Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy" (1974) (from their Sheer Heart Attack album), which was unusually heavy and fast for its time, and ultimately covered many years later by thrash metal's most famous and successful band, Metallica. Similar to this song was "Ogre Battle" from Queen's 1974 album Queen II. German prog-metal band Night Sun probably had the fastest examples of early thrash metal on their only album "Mournin'" with the songs "Plastic Shotgun" and "Nightmare" (1972). Also worth mention is Iggy Pop & The Stooges who had a profound influence on Motörhead. Their songs "I Got A Right" and "Gimme Some Skin" (Both 1973) utilized a simple, fast paced beat that resembled still-to-come metal and punk thrashings.

It should also be noted that an early song that had a direct inspiration to the genre was Judas Priest's 1978 song "Exciter," off the Stained Class album. Its fast, kick-drum intro was notorious for drummers of this era, as well as the fast guitar solos. While Judas Priest were not a thrash band themselves, several thrash bands like Slayer, Venom, Anthrax, Metallica, and Megadeth cite them as a major influence.

Some suggest that Motörhead's Overkill LP (1979) gave the name to a New York band (Overkill) that would write what is often considered the first thrash metal song in 1981: "The Beast Within". Soon thereafter, the short-lived Southern California band Leather Charm would write "Hit the Lights". This band would break up, but the primary songwriter James Hetfield's next band, Metallica, would feature this song. The band Metal Church recorded a few rehearsals in 1980-81, which were similar to the early Metallica and Overkill efforts, though not quite as thrashy. The band Venom is also considered a pioneer of the genre, from their 1981 album Welcome To Hell and the 1982 Black Metal: in fact Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament and Exodus cite them as major influences.

Good starting points


  • Metallica - Master Of Puppets
  • Exodus - Shovel Headed Kill Machine
  • Sepultura - Arise
  • Kreator - Pleasure to Kill
  • Megadeth - Countdown To Extinction
  • Pantera - Cowboys From Hell


  • Metallica - Battery
  • Megadeth - Holy Wars.... The Punishment due
  • Slayer - Raining Blood
  • Destruction - Nailed To The Cross
  • Testament - Over The Wall

Essential Albums
Megadeth - Rust in Peace
Metallica - Master of Puppets
Slayer - Reign in Blood
Kreator - Pleasure To Kill
Venom - Welcome To Hell

General Recommendations

Aggression - The Full Treatment
Anacrusis - Suffering Hour
Annihilator - Alice in Hell ~ Never Neverland
Anthrax - Among the Living ~ Persistance of time ~ We've Come For You All
Artillery - Terror Squad
Aura Noir - Black Thrash Attack
Axis Of Evil - New World Terror Demo
Betrayer - Hostage of Progress
Blood Money - Battlescarred
Carnal Forge - Are You Dead Yet?
Coroner - R.I.P
Cranium - Speed Metal Satan
Crown, The - Deathrace King
Dark Angel - Darkness Descends ~ Time Does Not Heal
Deathchain - Deadmeat Disciples
Death Angel - Act III
Demiricous - One (Hellbound)
Demolition Hammer - Tortured Existence
Desaster - Hellfire's Dominion
Destruction - Eternal Devestation ~ Infernal Overkill
Dew Scented - Inwards
Disciples of Power - Ominous Prophecy
Evil Dead - Annihilation of Civilization
Exhorder - Slaughter In The Vatican
Exodus - Tempo of the Damned ~ Bonded By Blood
Exumer - Possessed by Fire ~ Rising from the Sea
Fantom Warrior - Fantasy Or Reality
Flotsam and Jetsam - Doomsday For The Deceiver
Forced Entry - Uncertain Future
Gammacide - Victims Of Science
Gutworm - Ruin The Memory
Harter Attack - Human Hell
Heathen - Victims of Deception
Hobbs Angel of Death - s/t
Holy Moses - Finished with the dogs
Hydra Vein - Rather Death Than False Of Faith
Kreator - Extreme Agression ~ Enemy of God ~ Coma of Souls
Lawnmower Deth - The Return Of The Fabulous Metal Bozo Clowns
Legion of the Damned - Malevolent Rapture
Lunatics Without Skateboards - Welcome To The Asylum
Machine Head - Burn My Eyes ~ Through The Ashes of Empires
Maple Cross - The Next Chapter
Metal Church - Any
Metallica - Kill 'em All ~ Ride the Lightning ~ ...And Justice for All
Mezzrow - Then Came The Killing
Morbid Saint - Spectrum of Death
Mortal Sin - Mayhemic Destruction
Municipal Waste - Hazardous Mutation
Mutilator - Immortal Force
Necrodeath - Into the Macabre
Nocturnal - Arrival of the Carnivore
Nuclear Assault - Game Over ~ Handle With Care
Ogun - 2005 Demo
One Man Army and The Undead Quartet - 21st Century Killing Machine
Overkill - Feel the Fire
Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power ~ Great Southern Trendkill
Ramp - Intersection ~ Nude ~ Evolution/Devolution
Razor - Evil Invaders ~ Violent Restitution
Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - Buried in the Front Yard
Sabbat - Dreamweaver
Sacred Reich - The American Way
Sacrifice - Forward to Termination
Sadus - Swallowed in Black
Sauron - Thrash Assault
Sepultura - Schizophrenia ~ Beneath the Remains
Slayer - South of Heaven ~ Seasons in the Abyss ~ Show no Mercy
Sodom - In the Sign of Evil ~ Agent Orange ~ Obsessed By Cruelty
Stormtroopers of Death - Speak English Or Die
Suicide Watch - Global Warming
Tankard - BDay
Testament - Practice What You Preach ~ The Ritual
Tormentor - Anno Domini
Toxic Holocaust - Evil Never Dies
Vio-Lence - Eternal Nightmare
Violator - Violent Mosh
Voivod - Killing Technology
Wehrmacht - Shark Attack
Black metal

One of the more underground and controversial scenes within metal, black metal is as hard to properly define as it is to write an exact history of. The origins of the genre are attributed to many different bands from many different countries, often ironically playing many different styles of music, because of this fact, black metal is more widely considered as a culmination of separate band's efforts, rather than any solitary band releasing an album that was imitated.

Eighties satanic thrash pioneers Venom have the best claim to having coined the
Black Metal moniker with their 1982 album named "Black Metal" however even they have distanced themselves from the claim to an extent. Realistically, Venom's release only sonic contribution to the black metal we know of today was the rough production style, everything else about the album was pure 1980's thrash metal. Other claiments to the formation of black metal include one man Swedish band Bathory, who's 1984 self titled debut still causes controversy as to whether it is black metal or thrash metal, German thrash band Sodom's debut also evokes similar reactions, while the sound was undoubtable thrash, the mood of the album was more closely related to black metal bands of today. Other influencial albums were released by the Danish Mercyful Fate (1983/4) and the Swiss band Celtic Frost (1984)

Black metal however did not officially exist as a genre until the early 1990's, when bands such as Mayhem, Burzum and Abruptum became disillusioned with the popularity of American style death metal, and in particular the Earache mosh label. The bands released albums on Euronymous's Deathlike Silence label, who's CD's displayed the "ANTI MOSH" logo as an insult to Earache records. These second wave albums took the sound of Bathory and Sodom and forged a more extreme, grainy and rough sound.

Sadly black metal has become synonymous with the actions that occured between Mayhem and Burzum during the early 90's. Information on it won't be provided here because it detracts from the aim of this article, to give a incite into black metal, not into the twisted minds of it's pioneers. If you're still that intrigued to find out what happened, go here

Since these releases, black metal has moved in many directions, some bands sticking to the raw, minimalist style black metal of the second wave. This variety typically features high pitched shreiked vocals, grainy production, and relentless blast beats for most or all of the song. Guitars are more often than not in standard tuning, with extensive use of tremolo picking and minor chords, bass guitar is generally inaudible. More atmospherically minded twists of this sound are displayed by bands such as Fornost and Paysage d'Hiver, with songs stretched out over longer timescales. Keyboards are not uncommon in atmospheric black metal, acoustic guitar interludes are also used occationally.

The major twist in the black metal sound comes with symphonic styled black metal, which more often than not abandons the poor production in favour of clarity. Keyboards and synthisizers are brought to the forefront and guitar complexity is often increased, however guitar solos are uncommon. Bands like Dimmu Borgir and Alghazanth are prime examples of this style of black metal in action.

Lyrics in black metal are as diverse as the sound itself, Satanic/Anti-Christian themes are common, but contrary to popular belief not mandatory or genre defining, indeed later Borknagar lyrics deal everything from conduction of electricity to sea bacteria (!). Black metal lyrics can also deal with ideological/pagan themes and mythology, some bands like Immortal even venturing into the realm of fantasy for their inspiration. National Socialist and racist views are also very occationally present.

Black metal is also very reliant on imagery, with very distinctive on stage fashion. BM bands often sport leather studded clothing, and even occationally battle armour. King Diamond/Kiss style black and white makeup is also a common on stage accessory, known within the scene as "corpsepaint". Live shows sometimes go further to impress the crowd, with burning torches and dead animals displayed alongsde the band, Mayhem and Gorgoroth being particularly fond of this stage set up.

Due to the diversity of the genre, it is very difficult to pin down black metal in a few paragraphs, many bands combine raw, symphonic and atmospheric influences into their work, aswell as numerous other forms of music such as folk, death metal or prog, the best way to fully get a grasp of black metal is to listen to it.

Good starting points

  • Emperor - Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk
  • Dimmu Borgir - Stormblast
  • Immortal - Sons Of Northern Darkness
  • Darkthrone - A Blaze in the Northern Sky

  • Emperor - I am The Black Wizards
  • Dissection - Where Dead Angels Lie
  • Dimmu Borgir - Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
  • Mayhem - Freezing Moon

Essential albums

Burzum - Filosofem
Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse
Mayhem - De mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Bathory - Under The Sign of The Black Mark
Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger
Dissection - Storm Of The Light's Bane
Graveland - Thousand Swords
Mutiilation - Vampires Of Black Imperial Blood
Ulver - Nattens Magidral
Sarcofago - INRI
Beherit - Drawing Down The Moon

General Recommendations

1349 - Beyond the Apocalypse
Abigor - Nacthymnen
Absurd - Asgardsrei ~ Facta Loquuntur
Alcest - Le Secret
Alghazanth - Thy Aeons Envenomed Sanity
Amesoeurs - Ruines Humaines
Anorexia Nervosa - New Obscurantis Order
Anti - The Insignificance of Life
Archgoat - Tales Of Desecration
Arkham - Chapter III ~ The Madness from the Sea
Astriaal - Summoning the Essence of Ancient Wisdom
Axis of Perdition - The Ichneumon Method
Azaghal - Perkeleen Luoma
Azrael - Into Shadows Act I: Denial
Bannerwar - Principles of Aryan Blood
Bathory - Blood Fire Death
Beherit - The Oath of Black Blood
Behexen - By the Blessing of Satan
Bekhira - L'élu du Mal
Benighted Leams - Ferly Centesms
Bestial Summoning - The Dark War Has Begun
Bishop of Hexen - Archive of an Enchanted Philosophy
Black Funeral - Vampyr ~ Throne Of The Beast
Black Witchery - Upheavel of Satanic Might
Blodulv - I ~ s/t
Blut Aus Nord - The Work Which Transforms God
Blutaar - Sklaventaad Fur Verrat
Branikald - To Kampf ~ Stormheit
Burzum - Burzum ~ Aske ~ Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
Catamenia - Chaosborn
Carpathian Forest - Through Chasm Caves And Titan Woods
Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales ~ To Mega Therion
Curse - Dead Sun Rise
Dark Funeral - Secret of the Black Arts
Darkthrone - Under a Funeral Moon ~ Panzerfraust
Darkthule - Beyond Endless Horizons
Dark Tribe - In Jeraspunta
Dimmu Borgir - Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
Dissection - The Somberlain
Dodheimsgard - Kronet Til Konge
Drudkh - Autumn Aurora
Emit - Unknown Presences Whisper
Emperor - Wrath of the Tyrant
Fornost - Der Wind Hat Mir Ein Leid Erzahlt
Forest - As a Song in the Harvest of Grief ~ Like a Blaze Above the Ashes
Fullmoon - United Aryan Evil
Funeral Mist - Salvation
Funeral Winds - Koude Haat
Gehenna - Seen Through The Veils Of Darkness
Godless North - Summon the Age of Supremacy
Gontyna Kry - Welowie
Grand Belial's Key - Kosherat
Graveland - The Celtic Winter ~ Carpathian Wolves
Haemoth - Satanik Terrorism
Hate Forest - Purity ~ To Twilight Thickets ~ Sorrow
Ildjarn - Forest Poetry
Immortal - Pure Holocaust ~ Blizzard Beasts
Isvind - Dark Waters Stir
Judas Iscariot - Distant in Solitary Night
Kataxu - Roots Thunder
Kreig - Destruction Ritual
Kristallnacht - Of Elitism and War ~ The Funeral Years
Limbonic Art - Moon In The Scorpio ~ Epitome Of Illusions
Lord Belial - Enter The Moonlight Gate
Luciferi Excelsi - Heiliger Krieg
Marduk - Panzer Division Marduk
Matricide - Black Mass Gathering
Mayhem - Deathcrush
Melechesh - Sphynx
Mörk Gryning - Tusen ar har gatt
Mortuary Drape - Secret Sudaria
Mutiilation - Remains of a Ruined, Dead, Cursed Soul
Nocternity - Onyx
Nachtfalke - Doomed To Die
Nachtkult - Der Sieg Des Stolzen Blutes
Nargaroth – Herbstleyd
Nehemah - Requiem Tenebrae
Negurã Bunget - 'n Crugu Bradului
Nokturnal Mortum - Lunar Poetry ~ NeChrist
Nordreich - Heil Ger Brand
North - From The Dark Past
Odal - Wilde Kraft ~ Sturmes Brut
Operation Winter Mist - Imperial Grand Strategy
Paragon Belial - Hordes Of The Darkland
Potentiam - Orka i Myrkri
Ragnarok - Blackdoor Miracle
Revenge - Victory Intolerance Mastery
Reverorum ib Malacht - What Do You Think of the Old God, We Call Him Judas?
Rotting Christ - Khronos ~ Genesis ~ Sanctus Diavolos
Sargeist - Desciple of the Heinous Path ~ Satanic Black Devotion
Satyricon - Dark Medieval Times ~ Shadow Throne
Sigh - Hail Horror Hail
Summoning - Dol Guldur
Svartsyn - His Majesty
Taake - Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmelrik ~ Nattestid Ser Porten Vid
Tenebrous - Arias Toward the Black Sun
Ulver - Nattens Madrigal
Urfaust - Geist ist Teufel
Vlad - Yggdrasil
Vlad Tepes - Celtic Poetry I & II
Von - Satanic Blood
Warbutcher - Raping War Plague
Watain - The Misanthropic Ceremonies
Wolfnacht - Heidentum
Woods of Ypres - Pursuit of the Sun and Allure of the Earth
Wyrd - Huldrafolk
Xasthur - Telepathic With the Deceased ~ Funeral of Being
Yamatu - Shurpu Asaru
Zavorash - Nihilistic Ascension & Spiritual Death
Melodic Death metal

Also colloqually known as melodeath, melodic death metal is a slightly less extreme form of death metal that incorporates less intense vocals, combined with guitar work aiming for Iron Maiden-esque melodic harmonies and catchy hooks rather than brutal riffing. Melodic death is generally traced back to three albums: Entombed's 1990 debut, Left Hand Path, Dismember's 1991 release, Like An Everflowing Stream and oddly, grindcore band Carcass's 1994 release Heartwork. These albums featured a distinctive sound that separated them from the field of regular death metal, Jeff Walker's "throaty" vocal style was a departure from the standard gutteral growl, and the unusual "buzzsaw" guitar tone on the Dismember and Entombed releases became synonymous with Scandinavian style death metal.

Ironically, despite Carcass arguably creating the first melodic death metal album, it was released at the wrong time, as in the same year, an unknown Swedish band named In Flames released their debut, Lunar Strain, and one year later in 1995, Dark Tranquillity released their first EP, Of Chaos And Eternal Night, again from Sweden. The new style of metal being played by these bands was labelled "Gothenburg metal", named after the Swedish city of Gothenburg, the city which claimed to have invented this style despite Carcass's input to the sound. These important releases, alongside the pioneering efforts of Entombed and Dismember meant that Carcass's influences were widely discredited, especially as previously Carcass had been a straight up grindcore band.

Since then, melodic death has exploded into a large scene, gaining popularity all over Europe, and even reaching as far as America with bands like The Black Dahlia Murder attaining high levels of popularity. Melodic death is now one of the more mainstream forms of extreme metal, with big bands like In Flames and Children of Bodom pulling huge crowds and getting good amounts of coverage on MTV and in guitar player magazines. Despite this, the grass roots of melodeath are still strong, with underground bands gaining respect amongst their peers regardless of the sometimes negative connotations associated playing a style popularised by In Flames, who's standing has waned amongst metal fans after their music has moved further and further away from melodic death over time.

Good Starting points


  • Children of Bodom - Follow The Reaper
  • In Flames - Lunar Strain
  • Insomnium - Since the Day it All Came Down
  • Arch Enemy - Anthems of Rebellion


  • Carcass - No Love Lost
  • In Flames - Zombie Inc
  • Dark Tranquillity - Through Smudged Lenses
  • Children Of Bodom - Bed Of Razors
  • At The Gates - Blinded By Fear

Essential albums

At The Gates - Slaughter of the Soul
In Flames - The Jester Race
Dark Tranquillity - Character
Amon Amarth - Once Sent from the Golden Hall
Carcass - Heartwork

General Recommendations

The Absence - From Your Grave
Amon Amarth - With Oden on Our Side ~ Versus the World
Arch Enemy - Wages of Sin ~ Doomsday Machine
Arsis - A Celebration of Guilt
At the Gates - Terminal Spirit Disease ~ The Red Sky is Ours ~ Gardens of Grief
Beyond Within - Evil Minds ~ Eternal Pestilence
Blo. Torch - Self Titled
Chain Collector - The Masquerade
Dam - Purity (The Darwinian Paradox)
Dark Tranquility - The Mind's Eye ~ Haven
Daylight Dies - Dismantling Devotion
Depresy - A Grand Magnificence
Edge Of Sanity - Crimson ~ Crimson II
Embryo - Chaotic Age
Empyrean Sky - Snow White Rose Of Paradise
Enter Chaos - Aura Sense
Enter My Silence - COORDINATE: D1SA5T3R
Epoch Of Unlight - Continuum Hypothesis
Esquarial - Inheritance
Estuary - To Exist and Endure
Excurses - Devil's Footprints
Imperial Domain - The Ordeal
In Flames - The Jester Race ~ Colony ~ Whoracle
Insomnium - In the Halls of Waiting
Irony Of Christ - Words Of The Forgotten
Kalmah - Swampsong ~ The Black Waltz
Killing Art - Confused Waves
Maledictive Pigs - Soul Surgery
Mors Principium Est - Inhumanity
Nightrage - Sweet Vengeance
Norther - Mirror of Madness
Omnium Gatherum - Spirits and August Light
Quo Vadis - Defiant Imagination ~ Day Into Night
Satariel - Hydra
Scar Symmetry - Symmetric in Design ~ Pitch Black Progress
Skyfire - Mind Revolution ~ Timeless Departure
Soilwork - Natural Born Chaos ~ A Predator's Portrait ~ Steel Bath Suicide
Suidakra - Command To Charge
Textures - Drawing Circles
The Black Dahlia Murder - Unhallowed
Underthreat - Deathmosphere
Utopia Banished - Night of the Black Wyvern
Vornagar - The Bleeding Holocaust
Warbreed - So Cry Havoc
Wintersun - s/t
With Passion - In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil
Withering Surface - Force The Pace
Folk Metal

The origin of folk metal is almost unanimously traced to 1990 when the British band Skyclad was formed. They began as a thrash metal band, but quickly recruited a violinist into their ranks and began to play a folk-thrash hybrid, thus creating the genre. Other bands followed, some influenced by Skyclad, and others coming to combine folk music and metal on their own. Some other early folk metal bands include Darkthrone's Fenriz and his side projects Isengard and Storm - which mixed traditional Norwegian folk with black metal, the celtic folk band Mägo de Oz, Waylander - who originally intended to play heavy metal but ended up creating and embracing a folk sound, and the Israeli band Orphaned Land who today play middle eastern style folk metal.

The sounds of folk metal vary greatly from band to band. For example, a celtic folk
metal band can range from basically being heavier celtic music, such as the Irish band Cruachan, to being sonically similar to black metal while still retaining the same distinct celtic style through usage of folk instruments, as displayed by French folk metallers Heol Telwen. A band's music may be more folk than metal, more metal than folk, or a 50/50 split between the two. Many different individual genres of metal have been combined with folk music (Haggard combining folk and death metal vocals, Elvenking combining folk and power metal etc) in addition to this, the countless different regional folk styles mean that there is a lot of variation in folk metal.

Good starting points:

  • Elvenking - Wyrd
  • Ensiferum - Iron
  • Korpiklaani - Voice of Wilderness
  • Turisas - Battle Metal

  • Finntroll - Trollhammaren
  • Korpiklaani - Wooden Pints
  • Cruachan - To Invoke The Horned God
  • Falkenbach - As Long As Winds Will Blow

Essential Albums
Skyclad - Prince of The Poverty Line
Skyclad - The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth
Bathory - Hammerheart
Windir - 1184
Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness
Agalloch - The Mantle

General Recommendations

Agalloch - Pale Folklore ~ Ashes Against The Grain
Alkonost - The Paths We Never Made ~ Between The Worlds
Amorphis - Black Winter Day
Anceint Rites - Dim Carcosa
Arkona - Vo Slavu Velikim
Asmegin - Hin Vordende Sod & So
Bathory - Twilight of the Gods
Bran Barr - Les Chroniques de Naerg
Circulus - The Lick on the Tip of an Envelope Yet to be Sent
Einherjer - Dragons of the North
Equilibrium - Turas Fratyr
Eluveitie - Vên ~ Spirit
Ensiferum - Iron ~ Ensiferum
Enslaved - Vikingligr Veildi
Falchion - Legacy of Heathens
Falkenbach - Ok Nefna Tysbar Ty
Finntroll - Midnatten's Widunder
Flametal - The Elder
Folkearth - By The Sword of My Father
Glittertind - Til Dovre Faller
Haggard - Awaken The Centuries
Heol telwen - An Deiz Ruz
Hildr Valkyrie - Deceitful Fate
Isengard - Høstmørke
Korpiklaani - Spirit of the Forest
Mael Mordha - Cluain Tarbh
Månegarm - Nordstjärnans Tidsålder
Menhir - Thuringla
Mithotyn - Gathered Around the Oaken Table
Moonspell - The Butterfly Effect ~ Wolfheart ~ Irreligous ~ Darkness & Hope
Moonsorrow - Voimasta Ja Kunniasta
Myrkgrav - Trollskau, Skrømt og Kølabrenning
Nachtfalke - As The Wolves Died
Nest - Woodsmoke
Nazgul - De Expugnatione Elfmuth
Orphaned Land - Mabool
Pagan Reign - Destiny of Ancient Faith ~ Ancient Fortress
SIG:AR:TYR - The Stranger
Shambless - Apkas Itulia
Temnozor - Horizons... ~ Sorcery of Fragments
Thyrfing - Vansinnesvisor
Tyr - Eric the Red
Vintersorg - Till Fjälls
Woods of Ypres - Pursuit of the Sun and Allure of the Earth
Power metal

Power metal is a style of heavy metal music incorporating characteristics of traditional metal along with thrash metal, often with a symphonic backdrop. The style is generally regarded to stem from pioneering German bands like Gamma Ray and Helloween

Venturing further back in time, the core power metal sound draws influence from bands such as Queen, Rainbow and Iron Maiden, and their epic neo-classical storytelling style, Judas Priest's speed and Queensrÿche's musicianship. In the 80's, American bands such as Sanctuary, Crimson Glory, Liege lord and Jag Panzer began playing similar styles to their counterparts across the pond and thus the U.S. power metal scene came into being.

In the mid-1980s, European bands such as Helloween (Germany) and Europe (Sweden) put more attention to the melodic side of songwriting. Helloween mixed fast paced thrash metal riffs with melodic lead breaks and added Iron Maiden-like powerful vocals, aswell as further bringing keyboards to the forefront. Their albums Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 1 (1987) and Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 2 (1988) are generally regarded as a milestone of this genre. Subsequently, European-style power metal has spread across the continent (particularly to Finland) and worldwide, though it is comparatively less popular in the United States, United Kingdom and other English speaking countries.

Recently, however, many power metal bands have abandoned the "happy-metal" sound of their predecessors, and have adopted a more epic feel combined with the power metal sound. Bands such as Blind Guardian have combined their classic power metal stylings with an orchestral background, further bringing keyboards and synthesisers to the fore, as bands such as Heavenly, Rhapsody of Fire (formerly Rhapsody), and Angra have done.

Whereas most rock lyrics focus largely on "the real world" - personal experience, historical incidents, social commentary, etc. - power metal often treats epic or fantasy themes. Many power metal songs draw inspiration from religion and mythology, and science fiction and fantasy (especially high fantasy) tending to be more optimistic than most metal lyrics, with powerful and uplifting choruses and catchy vocal lines.

Power metal vocals are generally "clean", as opposed to the growled or screamed vocals that characterise death metal/black metal etc, and are more often than not delivered by a trained vocalist. Following in the tradition of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, power metal vocalists tend to sing in a high register and often in falsetto. Some singers, such as Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian, record multi-layered vocals reminiscent of Queen. Because of the primary importance of vocals in power metal, vocalists can make or break a band of this style and generally do not double as instrumentalists.

Power metal guitarists and bassists generally play rapid phrases of palm muted notes, but change chords comparatively slowly, with a harmonic tempo of once per measure or slower, often abandoning the fast picking during the choruses and simply strumming the chord once per measure. Fast and demanding guitar solos, however, are almost guaranteed, as well as some bands illustrating challenging keyboard solos.

Power metal drummers generally play with two bass drums for added speed, often playing a constant stream of sixteenth notes (semiquavers) with snare drum accents on the beat. Some bands defy this formula, but it is surprisingly universal.

Many bands also play with a keyboardist, but keyboards are not generally a musical focus, they normally simply lay backing chord behind the guitar, usually with an orchestral or choral voice. A few, such as the Italian band Rhapsody of Fire, have also been known to record with more symphonic elements. Rhapsody actually calls their style of music "Hollywood metal," emphasizing its resemblance to modern film scores.

Power metal is most popular in Europe, Japan, and some countries of South America (including Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Chile), and has a growing popularity in certain parts of North America, notably in the province of Quebec, Canada, where it has a very strong fan base. UK Power-metal band DragonForce's recent spike in popularity is a fine example.

Good starting points


  • Blind Guardian - Nightfall In Middle Earth
  • Dragonforce - Valley Of The Damned
  • Hammerfall - Crimson Thunder


  • Symphony X - Sea of Lies
  • Rhapsody Of Fire - Unholy Warcry
  • Hammerfall - Hearts on Fire
  • Blind Guardian - And Then There Was Silence

Essential Albums
Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys pt. II
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica
Blind Guardian - Nightfall In Middle Earth
Manowar - Kings of Metal

General Recommendations

Adagio - Underworld
Aquaria - Luxaeterna
Angra - Angel's Cry ~ Holy Land ~ Fireworks ~ Rebirth ~ Temple of Shadows
Arthemis - Golden Dawn
Avantasia - The Metal Opera pt. II
Biomechanical - Empires of The World
Blind Guardian - Tales from the Twilight World ~ Imaginations From The Otherside
Brainstorm - Liquid Monster
Circle II Circle - Middle of Nowhere
Conquest Of Steel - S/T
Control Denied - The Fragile Art Of Existence
Dark Moor - In the Hall of Olden Dreams
Demons & Wizards - S/T
Domine - Stormbringer Ruler: The Legend of the Power Supreme
Dragonforce - Sonic Firestorm
Dream Evil - The Book Of Heavy Metal
Dream Quest - The Release
Edguy - Mandrake
Elvenking - Heathenreel
Falconer - Chapter From A Vale Forlorn ~ The Sceptre of Deception
Firewind - Burning Earth ~ Nocturnal Symphony
Freternia - A Nightmare Story
Galneryus - The Flag of Punishment
Gamma Ray - Insanity and Genius ~ Land Of The Free
Hammerfall - Renegade ~ Glory to the Brave
Heavenly - Dust to Dust
Helloween - Walls of Jericho
Hibria - Defying the Rules
Iced Earth - Horror Show ~ Something Wicked This Way Comes ~ Dark Saga
Intense - Second Sight
Iron Savior - Condition Red
Jag Panzer - Mechanized Warfare ~ Thane To The Throne
Labyrinth - Return to Heaven Denied
Lost Horizon - A Flame to the Ground Beneath ~ Awakening Worlds
Luca Turilli - Prophet of the Last Eclipse
Kamelot - Epica ~ The Black Halo ~ Karma
Kaledon - Chapter III: Way Of The Light
Manticora - 8 Deadly Sins ~ Hyperion
Masterplan - Aeronautics ~ s/t
Memento Mori - Songs For The Apocalypse Volume 4
Mercenary - 11 Dreams
Nightwish - Century Child
Odyssea - Tears in Floods
Olympos Mons - Conquistador
Persuader - Evolution Purgator ~ The Hunter
Reviver - S/T
Rhapsody - Power of the Dragon Flame ~ Dawn of Victory
Royal Hunt - Paper Blood
Russel Allen & Jorn Lande - The Battle
Sacred Steel - Iron Blessings
Sanctuary - Into The Mirror Black
Savage Circus - Dreamland Manor
Shaaman - Ritual
Sonata Arctica - Winterheart's Guild
Steel - Heavy Metal Machine
Stratovarius - Visions ~ Episode
Symphony X - The Dvine Wings of Tragedy ~ The Odyssey
Syth - Warzone
Tad Morose - Matters of the Dark
Tarot - Suffer Our Pleasures
Viper - Theatre of Faith
Warmen - Accept The Fact
Wizard - Bound By Metal
Traditional Heavy metal/NWOBHM

Traditional heavy metal is a difficult genre to properly classify, as it is usually treated as a genre in which to place bands that do not fit properly in other sub genres. However, under scrutiny heavy metal does have a discernible sound that can be pinned down. Black Sabbath, despite being listed under doom metal by modern pundits, were viewed by their contemporaries as heavy metal.

The heavy metal sound consists of heavily distorted, blues influenced guitar work (sometimes downtuned) usually with a nod to Led Zeppelin, drumming is often fairly simplistic rock 'n roll style with emphasis on creating a groove rather than anything technical or intricate. Vocals can either adopt a fairly low, gruff ZZTop inspired style (Zakk Wylde, Lemmy etc), or in the case of Black Sabbath and the New Wave British bands, a higher pitched, slightly more toneful singing voice (Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson being the most characterisic)

However, there is a great deal of variety within traditional metal, with the more popular band's small variations from the style inspiring numerous other genres of metal (Motorhead's speed inspiring thrash, Iron Maiden's melodies inspiring German power metal, Black Sabbath's depressing themes furthering the doom scene) and although classic heavy metal was arguably the label given to the first metal bands, it is far from redundant, as newer bands playing the style of the first metal bands are far from uncommon today, with the UK's Head On, and America's Black Label Society playing very much in the vein of traditional metal.

The name "heavy metal" is usually attributed to one of two different sources. Jimi Hendrix's chaotic blues music being refered to by an anonymous music critic as "like heavy metal falling from the sky!" is most likely the way the name was initially coined, the alternative theory is the likeness with Led Zeppelin's band name, which was created when The Who drummer Keith Moon predicted that the band's career would "go down like a lead balloon." It is rumoured that when the band's guitarist Jimmy Page first heard the insult, he retorted with the comment "heavy metal like lead hits the ground with a loud noise, and that's exactly what we're gonna do." Either way, the term heavy metal has stuck over the years and gave birth to the greater genre of metal that we see today.

Good starting Points


  • Black Sabbath - Volume 4
  • Black Label Society - 1919 Eternal
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard Of Ozz
  • Iron Maiden - Brave New World
  • Motorhead - Ace Of Spades


  • Iron Maiden - Run to The Hills
  • Black Sabbath - Paranoid
  • Black Label Society - Demise Of Sanity
  • Head On - Here Comes The Hammer
  • Motorhead - Ace Of Spades
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train

Essential Albums
Black sabbath - Paranoid
Iron Maiden - Number of the Beast
Mercyful Fate - Melissa
King Diamond - Abigail

General Recommendations

Angel Witch - S/T
Black Label Society - The Blessed Hellride
Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality
Blaze - Blood and Belief
Blackstar Rising - Barbed Wire Soul
Blitzkrieg - A Time of Changes
Bruce Dickinson - The Chemical Wedding ~ Tyranny of Souls
Cage - Darker Than Black
Danzig - Lucifuge
Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations
Die Apokalyptichen Reiter - Riders on The Storm
Dio - Holy Diver
Dokken - Back for the Attack
Exciter - Heavy Metal Maniac
Feinstein - Third Wish
Fight - War Of Words
Fozzy - Happenstance
Glenn Tipton - Baptizm of Fire
Head On - Head On
Hellfueled - Born II Rock
Hermano - Dare I Say...
Iron Maiden - Powerslave ~ Piece of Mind
Jeff Walker Und Die Fluffers - Carcass Cu
Doom metal

Doom metal was arguably the first form of metal, as although Black Sabbath's general sound was that of heavy metal, their self titled debut had an unmistakable doom aura, other early bands such as Pentagram also exhibited these same characteristics in the 1970's. The epitome of doom metal is slow, forboding and depressing, expressed sonically by painfully slow and heavy riffs. Vocals can range from very deep growls, tortured shreiks, to clean singing. Drumming is generally slow and simplistic, but powerful and makes good use of rolls and fills to create a hypnotic effect.

Doom is also a fairly diverse genre, with several main categories. These include funeral, drone and doomdeath. Typically funeral doom is incredibly slow paced, with very long songs. Vocals are growled or shreiked, with guitars often heavily detuned. Drone doom is similar, but the effect in mind is usually to create a hypnotic atmosphere, this usually means that vocals are dispensed with altogether, in some cases like the band Sunn0))), all instruments are removed apart from massively downtuned guitars. Doomdeath is a slightly more fast paced variety of doom, with emphasis on minor key melodies rather than low tempo in creating a melancholy atmosphere.

Good starting points

  • Anathema - The Silent Enigma
  • November's Doom - The Pale Haunt Departure
  • Reverand Bizarre - II:Crush the Insects
  • Katatonia - Brave Murder Day

  • My Dying Bride - The Cry Of Mankind
  • Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
  • Candlemass - The Well of Souls
  • Paradise Lost - Forever Failure

Essential albums

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Pentagram - Pentagram
Pantheist - Amartia
Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Cathedral - Forest of Equilibrium
Paradise Lost - Gothic
Thergothon - Stream From the Heavens
Skepticism - Lead and Aether
Wormphlegm - In An Excruciating Way...
My Dying Bride - Like Gods of the Sun
Tyranny - Tides of Awakening

General Recommendations

1000 Funerals - Portrait of a Dream
Ahab - The Call Of The Wretched Sea
Amaranthine Trampler - ...As The Colour Of Love Flows From My Shattered Teeth
Asunder - A Clarion Call
Autumnal - Grey Universe
Before The Coruscating Apollyon - Demo
Beprasmybe - Banalybe
Beyond Black Void - Desolate
Black Boned Angel - Bliss And Void Inseparable
Black Shape of Nexus - 2006 demo
Boris - Absolutego
Bosque - Dead Nature
Bunkur - Bludgeon
Candlemass - Nightfall
Cathedral - In Memorium EP
Celestial Season - Forever Scarlet Passion
Centurions Ghost - A Sign Of Things To Come
Comatose Vigil - Not a Gleam of Hope
Consummatum Est - Funeral Procession
Daylight Dies - Dismantling Devotion
diSEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence Into The Peripheral
Doomshine - Thy Kingdom Come
Draconian - Arcane Rain Fell
Dream Death - Journey into Mystery
Earth - HEX: Or Printing in the Infernal Method
Earthride - Vampire Circus
Esoteric - Subconscious Dissolution Into The Continuum
Evoken - Quietus
Fall Of Empyrean - A Darkness Remembered
The Funeral Orchestra - Feeding The Abyss
The Gates of Slumber - Suffer no Guilt
Grave Flowers - Incarcerated Sorrows
Lacrymae Rerum - Voices Through The Black Corridor
Loss - Life Without Hope ~ Death Without Reason
Men In Search of The Perfect Weapon - S/t
Monarch - S/t
Monolithe - II
Morgion - Solinari
Morkheim - Danske Hymner Til Moerket
Moss - Cthonic Rites
Mournful Congregation - The Monad Of Creation
My Dying Bride - Angel and the Dark River
Night Must Fall - Night Must Fall ~ Funeral of Mankind
Nortt - Gudsforladt
The Obsessed - Lunar Womb
October Tide - Rain Without End
Ox - Movements
Pagan Altar - S/T
Paradise Lost - Draconian Times
Pentagram - First Daze Here
Red Sparrowes - At The Soundless Dawn
Remembrance - Frail Visions
Reverend Bizarre - In the Rectory of the Bizare Reverend
Rigor Sardonicous - Risus Ex Mortuus
Saint Vitus - Born too Late
Saturnus - Paradise Belongs To You
Shape of Despair - Shades of...
Solarfall - In Depths And Despair EP
Solitude Aeturnus - Beyond the Crimson Horizon
Stabat Mater - 2004 Promo/Demo
Sunn0))) - 00Void
Swallow the Sun - The Morning Never Came
Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine - Rampton
Thergothon - Streams From The Heavens
Therion - Lepaca Kliffoth
Thorr's Hammer - Dommedagsnatt
Through The Valley - Via Crucis Part I ~ A Pale Vision of Suffering
Trouble - The Skull ~ Psalm 9
Tusks of Blood - Spirit of Decay
Tyranny - Bleak Vistae
Unholy - The Second Ring Of Power
Unsilence - Echoes Awaken
Voice Transmissions With The Deceased - Bereavement
Warning - The Strength to Dream
While Heaven Wept - Of Empires Forlorn
Winter - Into Darkness
Witchfinder General - Death Penalty
Witchcraft - S/T
Wolfmangler - The Gates of Wolves
Worship - Last Vinyl Before Doomsday
Wreck Of The Hesperus - Eulogy For Sewer Dwellers
Yearning - Evershade
. - IHI ~ FaceSitDown

The genre was pioneered during the mid-1980s in the United Kingdom by bands such as Napalm Death and Sore Throat, the name "grindcore" having actually being coined by Napalm Death's drummer Mick Harris, though its roots are in American hardcore punk and hardcore punk influenced heavy metal bands, such as Siege, D.R.I., Deep Wound, and Repulsion.

Early grind bands such as Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror wrote lyrics dealing with social and political themes, in line with American hardcore bands at the time, however lyrics dealing with gore and violence became a mainstay in grindcore after Carcass released Reek of Putrefaction in 1988, with lyrics lifted out of medical dictionaries and surgery reports. Grindcore lyrics can typically involve pornography, murder, surgery, and even unintelligible nonsense as lyrics, with some bands not publishing any lyrics at all.

Sonically, Grindcore generally has more of an emphasis on noise and or speed rather than musicianship. Songs are often blurs of noise around one minute in length, guitar solos are rare, and riffs are simple downtuned progressions played at high speed. Vocals often vary between a death metal style growl and a high pitched screech, sometimes in quick succession. Drumming on the whole is incredibly fast, with some modern bands like Agoraphobic Nosebleed opting for a drum machine rather than a human drummer, such bands are often jokingly refered to as "Cybergrind".

Other modern grindcore variants include noisecore (more closely related to hardcore) whos features include feedback, out of tune or improvised instruments, bad production high pitched hardcore style vocals.

Grindcore often blurs the boundary between genres, with some bands leaning more towards the hardcore punk end of the spectrum and others sounding very remnicsent of death metal, such as Exhumed, Impaled and Napalm Death's newer releases.

Good starting points


  • Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer
  • Napalm Death - The Code is Red...
  • Nasum - Human 2.0


  • Inhume - Meatcleaver
  • Napalm Death - The Kill
  • Carcass - Crepitating Bowel Erotion
  • Exhumed - Limb From Limb

Essential Albums

Carcass - Reek of Putrefaction
Napalm Death - Scum
Exhumed - Gore Metal

General Recommendations

324 - Boutoku No Taiyo
Anal Blast - Battered Bleeding Bitch
Agathocles - Humarrogance
Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Altered States of America
Berzerker, The - S/T
Brutal Truth - Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses
Carcass - Symphonies of Sickness
Cattle Decapitation - To Serve Man ~ Humanure
Cephalectomy - Eclipsing The Dawn
Cephalic Carnage - Lucid Interval ~ Anomalies
Circle of Dead Children - Human Harvest
Cliteater - Clit 'em All
County Medical Examiners - Reeking Rhapsodies for Chorale, Percussion, and Strings
Cretin - Freakery
Dahmer - Dahmerized
Disgorge (Mex) - Chronic Corpora Infest
Exit Strategy - S/T
Exitium - Outsourcing Morality
Exhumed - Slaughtercult
Extreme Noise Terror - Holocaust In Your Head
Excrematory Grindfu
ck's Pornflakes
Screaming Afterbirth - Drunk On Feces
Semen Across Lips - Leporidae Libra
Sikfuk - Teabagged At Birth
Sluts - Fondle 'em
Sore Throat - Noise Annoys
Terrorizer - World Downfall
The Day Everything Became Nothing - Invention : Destruction
Ulcerous Phlegm - S/t
XXX Maniak - Harvesting The C
Gothic metal

Gothic metal is a genre of heavy metal music that originated during the early 1990s in Europe as an outgrowth of doom-death, a subgenre of doom metal. The genre's main influences oddly stem from outside the metal genre, namely from the deathrock scene in the 80's forwarded by bands such as Christian Death's Valor Kand era and Glenn Danzig's Samhain project. Also of note were Celtic Frost's releases, particularly Into The Pandemonium and Cold Lake, which blended black metal with a strange, romantic atmosphere as well as a make-up laden "glam" image that later became prominent in goth rock. These influences, combined with British doom bands such as Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride's depressive and romantic lyrics resulted in the growth of a new scene, forwarded by bands such as Moonspell, Theatre Of Tragedy and The Gathering, one of the earliest bands to utilise a female lead singer, which has since become a common occurance in the genre.

Goth metal is sometimes considered a loose genre in the way it sounds because the genre is defined by its composition of the music and its aesthetics, leaving individual bands to provide their own interpretations. However, goth metal generally makes unique use of dual vocalists, classically trained female vocalists, keyboards and acoustic guitars, sometimes including a progressive edge to the music. The genre tends to take influence from the doom metal, black metal, and death metal subgenres for its composition, heavily synthesizing the styles of their melody and rhythm ideas in its guitar work. Synthesizers and keyboards often dominate, sometimes replacing the second guitarist in bands and taking on the role of either lead or rhythm. The keyboards are often used to imitate a variety of instruments, most often string and wind instruments and sometimes choral effects. As a result the guitar often put behind in the mix as a rhythmic tool

Lyrics are often similar to doom in their melancholy tone, the key difference being the style they are written in. Romance plays a major part in goth metal lyrics, drawing inspiration often from Edwardian or Victorian love stories, a theme which is sometimes reflected in band's live attire, with female lead singers donning extravagant old fashioned dresses etc.

Good starting points

  • Type 0 Negative - October Rust
  • Cradle Of Filth - Midian
  • Lacuna Coil - Comalies

  • Theatre of Tragedy - Envision
  • Lacuna Coil - Swamped
  • Nightwish - The End Of All Hope

Essential albums
Theater of Tragedy - Velvet Darkness They Fear
Nightwish - Century Child
The Gathering - How To Measure a Planet
Moonspell - Wolfheart
Tiamat - The Astral Sleep

General Recommendations

After Forever - Invisible Circles
Alastis - Unity
Ava Inferi - Burdens
Beseech - Souls Highway ~ Drama, Sunless Days
Blessedbethyname - The Divine Blasphemy
Charon - Songs For the Sinners ~ The Dying Daylights ~ Downhearted
Epica - Consign to Oblivion
Grey Skies Fallen - Two Way Mirror
Iconoclast - The Jesus Disease
Inner Shrine - Fallen Beauty
Interlock - Crisis/Reinvention
Leaves Eyes - Lovelorn
Matriarch - Sinful Decadence Promo
Midnattsol - Where Twilight Dwells
Opalessence - Future Memorabilia
Opera IX - Sacro Culto
Orphanage - By Time Alone
Penumbra - Seclusion
Rain Fell Within - Refuge
Saltatio Mortis - Heptessenz
Siebenburgen - Delictum
Sundial - Heart Of The Sun
The Provenance - How Would You Like To Be Spat At?
The Sins of Thy Beloved - Lake of Sorrow
Therion - Lemuria
To-Mera - Trancendental
Tristania - Beyond The Veil
Type 0 Negative - Bloody Kisses ~ Life Is Killing Me
Within Temptation - Enter
Progressive and Avante-Garde metal

Progressive metal (often shortened to prog, or prog metal when differentiating from progressive rock) is a genre of metal music which shares traits with progressive rock including use of complex compositional structures, odd time signatures, and intricate instrumental playing strongly influenced by 70's progressive rock bands such as Yes, Genesis, and ELP. The high level of musical proficiency is often combined with a lyrical counterpart in the form of epic textual concepts, resulting in lengthy songs and concept albums.

Like folk metal, prog metal is very diverse, possibly the most diverse of the genres listed here. Prog elements are often simply incorporated into the base sound of the band, with Opeth being an example of progressive death metal, Dream Theater being an example of progressive power metal, and Arcturus being an example of progressive black metal etc. Some bands also blend many forms of metal (and non metal) together and simply "progress" between the styles during a typical song, sometimes for comedic effect (See Carnival In Coal)

Good starting points


  • Cynic- Focus
  • Nevermore - Dead Heart in a Dead World
  • Opeth - Blackwater Park
  • Symphony X - The Dvine Wings of Tragedy ~ The Odyssey ~ Damnation Game
  • Dream Theater - Train of Thought


  • Cynic - Veil Of Maya
  • Nevermore - The Psalm Of Lydia
  • Nevermore - Sentient 6
  • Opeth - The Moor
  • Dream Theater - Glass Prison
  • Dream Theater - Dance Of Eternity

Essential Albums

Ayreon - Into the Electric Castle, The Human Equation
Celtic Frost - Into The Pandemonium
Cynic - Focus
Dream Theater - Images & Words
Kong - Earmined
Opeth - My Arms Your Hearse
Spiral Architect - A Sceptic's Universe

General Recommendations

Alarum - Eventuality
Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors
Atrophia Red Sun - Twisted Logic
Augury - Concealed
Behold...the Arctopus - Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning
Borknagar - Epic
Burst - Origo
Canvas Solaris - Spatial/Design
Carnival In Coal - Collection Prestige
Devin Townsend Band - Synchestra
Diablo Swing Orchestra - The Butcher's Ballroom
Dream Theater - Scenes From a Memory ~ Awake ~ Octavarium
Edge Of Sanity - Crimson
Estradasphere - Palace Of Mirrors
Evergrey - Dark Discovery ~ Solitude Dominance Tragedy
Frantic Bleep - The Sense Apparatus
Gorguts - Obscura
Green Carnation - Light of Day, Day of Darkness ~ The Quiet Offspring
Green Evening Requiem - S/T
Gwynbleidd - Amaranthine EP
Hieronymus Bosch - The Human Abstract
Ihsahn - The Adversary
Kryoburn - Enigmatic Existance
Lifend - Innerscars
Liquid Tension Experiment - Liquid Tension Experiment II
Metro Manila Aide - S/T
Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor
Opeth - Still Life ~ Deliverance
Orphaned Land - Mabool
Riverside - Second Life Syndrome ~ Out of Myself
SiKth - Trees Are Dead & Dried Out, Wait For Something Wild
Shadow Gallery - Room V
Sleep Terror - Probing Tranquility
Spastic Ink - Ink complete
Subterranian Masquerade - Suspended Animation Dreams
Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite
Textures - Drawing Circles
The Mass - Pefect Picture Of Wisdom And Boldness
The Black Mages - The Skies Above
Today is the Day - Temple of the Morning Star
uneXpecT - In a Flesh Aquarium
Vanden Plas - Christ.O
Ved Buens Ende - Written in Waters
Warmen - Accept The Fact
Winds - Imaginary Direction of Time
!T.O.O.H! - Under The Reign Of The Whip
Dark Ambient

Though not actually a subgenre of metal, this type of music has been included here because of its close relationship with black metal, with many black metal artists incorporating black metal atmosphere into ambient side projects and vice versa. As a result, many albums listed here blur the boundary between black metal and ambient music and as such are listed under both sections in the thread.

Dark ambient is a subgenre of ambient music which emerged in the 1980s and 1990s with the introduction of new synthesizer and sampling technology in the electronic music genre and other technical advances in music. Dark ambient is a very diverse genre; it is often closely linked with industrial music, noise, gothic rock, and sometimes even black metal, yet can be free from any derivatives and connections to other genres or styles. The term is generally used as a catch-all for any form of ambient music that has dark, foreboding, ominous, or discordant overtones.

While dark ambient is primarily a descendant of ambient music itself, it is closely related to industrial music. Dark ambient gets the name from the dark theme often portrayed in industrial. Feelings of an industrial nature are present. Old abandoned factories, primitive machines, and noise. The dark 'non musical' and realistic feel gives some dark ambient its feel of solitude and isolation.

While black metal and ambient are nothing alike (other than utilizing minimalism to different extents), a lot of metal bands, specifically black metal, have side-projects in which they produce dark ambient, noise, or other experimental types of music. Many bands mix ambient in their albums, creating something unique and original, similar to that of Ulver and other avant-garde metal acts. Some people have spawned a new subgenre, black ambient, in relation to black metal, as it is often related to the ideology in some black metal, as well as linked to various forms of satanism. Related to this style are artists such as: MZ. 412, Aghast, Karna, WHEN, Wongraven, Neptune Towers, later Burzum, later Beherit and Pazuzu.

Good starting points:


Burzum - Hliðskjálf
Beherit - Electric Doom Synthesis

Essential Albums

Lustmord - Heresy
Raison D'Etre - In Sadness, Silence and Solitude
Paysage D'Hiver - Die Festung
Moëvöt - Abgzvoryathre
Aäkon Këëtrëh - Dans La Forêt

General recommendations

Abruptum - Casus Luciferi
Andy Winter - Shades of Light through Black and White
Aska - Förintelsehymner
Burzum - Daudi Baldrs
Dargaard - Eternity Rites
Dark Sanctuary - Royaume Mélancolique
Dense Vision Shrine - A Voyage of Imagination
Die Verbannten Kinder Evas - In Darkness Let Me Dwell
Elend - Leçons de Ténèbres
Emit - Unknown Presences Whisper
Forest - Like a Blaze Above the Ashes
Le Triste Sire - Effusions...
Le'rue Delashay - The Court Composer
Marblebog - Csendhajnal
Mortiis - Fodt Til A Herske
Nocternity - En Oria
Penitent - Melancholia
Proscenium - Behind the Curtain
Puissance - Mother of Disease
Setherial - Nord
SIG:AR:TYR - The Stranger
Thou Shalt Suffer - Somnium
Vomit Orchesta - Macabre Paradigm
Vrolok - Soul Amputation
Weltenbrand - Der Untergang von Trisona
Wongraven - Fjelltronen
Xantotol - Liber Diabolus
Sludge/Stoner Metal

Stoner Metal, as well as its sister genre Stoner Rock, can trace its roots back to the early 90's and the legendary Kyuss, who combined bludgeoning Sabbathian riffs, Melvins-esque groove, and of course the plant which inspired the genre's name. Many bands on both sides of the Atlantic quickly took up the style in the couple of years surrounding Kyuss releasing Blues for the Red Sun and Kyuss/Welcome to Sky Valley, including Sleep, sHEAVY, and Orange Goblin. Another important band in the development of the genre was Cathedral, when took a dramatic left-turn from their Doom Metal roots with the relatively up-tempo Carnival Bizarre. Typically, Stoner Metal can vary between mid-tempo, such as Spirit Caravan, to having a more
noticeable doom influence, for example Sleep.

At the same time, a more extreme drug-addled genre was developing - Sludge. Early bands such as Grief and Eyehategod originally sounded much like beefed-up Crust Punk being played at a snails pace. Other bands Such as Crowbar and Down (Phil Anslemo's then-side project) offered a slightly more up-tempo take.

Up until the mid-90's, sludge had largely come from the states. In 1997, British band Electric Wizard released their second album, Come my Fanatics, and their classic 2000 album Dopethrone, which combined the Sludge template with bottom-end heavy Doom (their first album was pretty much just traditional doom metal), and would prove to be hugely influencial on bands from both genres for years to come.

There have been two interesting developments in sludge in the last 6 or 7 years. Firstly, a number of bands started combining Sludge with more up-tempo metal. These bands, examples being High on Fire (founded by ex-Sleep guitarist Matt Pike), Capricorns, and the ever popular Mastadon, have found their own niche within metal, and it is debatable as to whether they can even be called Sludge anymore.

The other interesting development is the conception of 'Ambient' sludge - bands such as Isis, Cult of Luna, Neurosis and Pelican combining elements of Sludge, Drone and Post-Rock. The genre is typically identified by rolling, oceanic riffs, hardcore-esque vocals and non-traditional, narrative song structures.

Good starting points


Cathedral - Carnival Bizarre
Electric Wizard - We Live
Orange Goblin - Thieving from the House of God
Sleep - Holy Mountain


Cathedral - Vampire Sun
Kyuss - Thumb
Sleep - Dragonaut
Down - Hail the Leaf

Essential albums

Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
Eyehategod - Take as needed for Pain
Grief - Torso
Kyuss - Blues for the Red Sun
Isis - Oceanic
Melvins - Bullhead
Sleep - Dopesmoker
Pelican - The Fire in our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw
Red Sparowes - At the Soundless Dawn

General recommendations

Bones of Giants - Where Sky Meets Sea
Bongzilla - Amerijuanican
Boris - Heavy Rocks
Burning Witch - Crippled Lucifer
Callisto - Noir ~ True Nature Unfolds
Capricorns - Ruder Forms Survive
Church of Misery - Master of Brutality
Crowbar - Odd fellows rest
Cult Of Luna - S/T
Down - Nola
Earthride - Vampire Circus
Electric Wizard - Come my Fanatics
Floor - Dove
Goatsnake - Flower of Disease
Hermano - Dare I Say...
Hidden Hand - Mother Teacher Destroyer
High on Fire - The Art of Self Defence
Iron Monkey - Our Problem
Jesu - S/T
Khanate - Capture & Release ~ S/T
Kilara - The Funeral Fix
Kyuss - Kyuss
Lair Of The Minotaur - Ultimate Destroyer
Mastodon - Remission
Metro Manila Aide - S/T
Mouth Of The Architect - The Ties That Bind
Neural Sonic Combustion - Pavidus
Neurosis - The Eye of Every Storm
Pelican - Australasia
Obiat - Emotionally Driven Disturbulence
Om - Conference of the Birds
Orange Goblin - Frequencies from Planet Ten
sHEAVY - The Electric Sleep
Sentawr - Eagles And Villains
Spirit Caravan - Jug Fulla Sun
Spiritual Beggars - Demons
The Sword - Age Of Winters
The Abominable Iron Sloth - S/T
YOB - The Unreal Never Lived
Industrial Metal

Industrial Metal is by far one of the smallest and most miss understood genres in Metal, simply because different elements are being used by bands all over the spectrum of the metal world. It’s widely not understood exactly what “Industrial” implies thus a lot of bands are branded as being one or another type of Industrial.

Most people view Godflesh as the most widespread influence within this genre and as the originators of industrial. The band has been described as Grindcore mixed with Industrial Rock elements with its Breakbeat innovations within the first album (which lacked traditional bass), programing, rhythms and beats into their music. Other early inovators include; Pitchshifter used drum machines while blending a distinct kind of metal on their early albums. While Ministry added their own take on industrial with new-wave influences and keyboards/synthesizers being used in their music. Fear Factory are accredited with being the first metal band to use samples inside of their music (although this fact is open for debate), also Fear Factory are one of the first bands to let their songs be re-mixed by DJ’s.

In recent years the genre has become some sort of hybrid. Used by many metal artists from different spectra of genres who experiment with different electronic/industrial music. This has meant that Industrial is usually used as a form of experimentation or atmospheric elements within other genres. Recently all sorts of genre blending bands have been using different elements of Industrial to create an ambient type of sound or give more atmosphere to their music. From Industrial Black Metal to Dark/Electronic Metal/Noise sub-genres are popping up using Industrial Influence are diverse and widespread. Overall it’s hard to pinpoint bands that are simply Industrial in this day and age, and many of the bands listed are combinations of other metal genres and industrial elements, nowadays nu metal and industrial combos are perhaps more common i.e. Rammstein, Marilyn Manson etc. This is perhaps one of the most experiment friendly sub-genres of metal.

Good Starting points


  • Strapping Youg Lad - City
  • Fear Factory - Demanufacture
  • Red Harvest - Sick Transit Gloria Mundi


  • Fear Factory - Martyr
  • The Berzerker - Forever
  • Blut Aus Nord - Choir Of The Dead

Essential albums

Ministry - The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste
Godflesh - Streetcleaner
Pitchshifter - Industrial

General Recommendations

Aborym - With No Human Intervention
Amenta, The - Ocassus
Anaal Nathrakh - Codex Necro ~ Eschaton
Axis Of Evil - New World Terror Demo
Axis Of Perdition - The Ichneumon Method ~ Deleted Scenes From The Transition Hospital
Berzerker, The - Dissimulate ~ World Of Lies
Blut Aus Nord - The Works Which Transform God ~ MoRT
Ewigkeit - Battle Furies
Fear Factory - Soul Of A New Machine
Kryoburn - Enigmatic Existence
Meshuggah - Chaosphere
Neural Sonic Combustion - Pavidus
Noctiferia - Slovenska Morbida
Miscellanious metal

The following are not really genres of metal, but instead terms that are regularly used to describe certain sounds that are either too closely associated with only one or two bands to merit an entire new genre, or are colloqualisms used between metal fans to describe certain combinations of the genres listen above.

Blackened death

Common name given to bands who play a combination of black metal and death metal. The term is a loose one and does not really differentiate between death influenced black metal or black influenced death metal

Suggested albums:

Akercocke - Choronzon
Behemoth - Demigod

Post metal

Post metal is a loose term given to describe metal influenced by post rock. Bands given this tag more often than not fall under sludge/stoner scene, the avant-garde or progressive categories and sometimes doom.

Suggested albums:

Bones of Giants - Where Sky Meets Sea
Callisto - Noir ~ True Nature Unfolds


Crossover is a term used to describe thrash metal bands who incorporate hardcore or punk influences in their music, this is usually in the form of more ringing power chords rather than thrash style palm muted chugs, and more emphasis on vocals.

Suggested albums:

DRI Dirty Rotten Imbeciles - The Dirty Rotten CD
Municipal Waste - Hazardous Mutation


A term that is generally used when refering to Pantera and Machine Head, who's style of thrash metal blended speed with crunchy, downtuned and catchy riffs.

Suggested albums:

Machine Head - Through The Ashes Of Empires
Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power


A variety of traditional heavy metal played by British bands in the early 1980s. The common abbreviation being New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (not to be confused with the modern day New Wave Of American Heavy Metal, or metalcore movement)

Suggested albums:

Iron Maiden - Killers
Witchfynde - Give em Hell

War Metal

Aussie style war metal is a newly emerging term that is believed to be first coined by Destroyer 666. The sound is best described as a three way combination of black metal, thrash metal and death metal and almost always with lyrics relating to war and battle.

Suggested albums

Destroyer 666 - Phoenix Rising
Operation Winter Mist - Imperial Grand Strategy

Gore metal/Goregrind

Quite simply grindcore and death metal bands who's lyrics contain gore or violence in the style of early Carcass. The term is related to the Exhumed album of the same name

Suggested albums

Exhumed - Gore Metal
Cannibal Corpse - Vile

Viking metal

Like gore metal, viking metal is a term used in association with any band with viking lyrics. However, unlike gore metal, this term can be related to any style of metal music, not just death metal or grindcore. Many Folk metal bands are often described as viking, aswell as melodic death band, Amon Amarth and black metal band Bathory.

Suggested albums

Bathory - Blood Fire Death
Amon Amarth - The Avenger


This is for those Metal bands that are exempt from classification, due to the sheer originality of their work. Metal music is not always a predictable business where bands can be easily grouped together, there are many bands that have come to fame playing music that is almost impossible to classify in a sentence, nevermind a genre title. The following bands are by no means the only bands that are very difficult to classify, in fact they are only scratching the surface, they are simply the more popular and widely known bands that have risen to a good level of fame without sticking to a set sound, and good examples of how unpredictable and diverse metal can sometimes be. The descriptions here only give an outline of the sound, with these bands being as "off the wall" as they already are, the best way to understand properly is to listen to them.

Strapping young Lad

Strapping Young Lad is the brainchild of Devin "Dev" Townsend, formerly of Steve Vai fame. The band employs industrial themes of Fear Factory with its own whacked-out brand of thrash-death hybrid, aswell as employing Dev's impressively wide vocal range. Many songs also implement grindcore influences to compliment Dev's trademark "wall of sound", imbrued with a raging undercurrent given by the insane drumming of Death's Gene Hoglan. Lyrics are often tongue-in-cheek or surreal in nature to reflect the unpredictable nature of the music.



Opeth are listed in this thread as progressive/avant garde metal, perhaps a tag that doesn't really do Opeth justice. Typical Opeth songs approach 10 minutes in length, and blend death metal vocals with classical fingerpicked acoustic interludes, cleanly sung passages, jazzy guitar and folky chord progressions. The style of guitar playing, developed by guitarists Akerfeldt and Lindgren, is also very hard to describe effectively. Heavy distortion is used, but complex chords are commonplace and strumming is favoured over death metal style palm muted/tremolo picked riffing, octave diads are also used regularly, aswell as earlier work utilising melodic death style harmonising. Mikael Akerfeldt's versatile vocals are also a trademark of the band, proving his talent as a conventional vocalist on Opeth's prog rock tribute release, Damnation.



A five-piece hailing fron Umeå, Sweden, Meshuggah are a concoction of death metal, thrash metal and jazz-fusion, mixed with the polyrhythmic playing of sticksman Tomas Haake and the immensely tight musicianship of guitarists Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström. The band's guitarwork almost sounds mechanical on first listen, perhaps due to the downtuned 7 and 8 string custom guitars used and the bizarre or complex time signatures used. Chaotic out of time vocals and synth combine to make an unmistakable and incredibly original sound.



Arcturus started out their career as a black metal band with progressive elements, but since then, they have become something much more, combining the epic clean vocals of ICS Vortex with virtuoso keyboard and piano solos, in addition to a bizarre space-age circus kind of atmosphere. Arcturus live shows are also worth a mention here, as they frequently inlist the talent of oddly dressed dancers and performers to compliment the music.



Atheist came about in the death metal mecca that was Florida in the 1980's, but their full length debut set the band apart from their contemporaries at a time when Florida bands played straight up, undiluted death metal. Atheist played a bizarre death/thrash hybrid with ultra intricate bass work that almost sounded like freeform jazz or latin music at times. Unfortunately, Atheist were a band plagued with problems, with bass player Roger Patterson dying in a car accident in 1991, the band went on to record just two more albums with an unstable line up before disbanding in 1993, the band played some reunion shows in 2006 (I was there! har har!) but its unclear whether the band will continue in this form.



Often uttered in the same breath as Atheist, you would expect Cynic to sound similar to their Floridian neighbours, however the sounds are very different. Cynic once again incorporate incredible advanced bass playing but the overall feel of the sound is more space age, with synthesised "robot" vocals and a reverb heavy guitar tone, there is also commonplace usage of keyboards. Unfortunately, like Atheist, Cynic's discography is very small, with just a few demos and one full length album (listed under avant garde essentials)


Ephel Duath

Italian band Ephel Duath's style blends aggressive black-esque metal with passages of freeform jazz fusion, electronica and dance music. The guitarwork is very unique, with almost random chromatic scales used to create riffs that sound improvised. Heavier parts of songs utilise odd, dissonant chords, often with slap bass dancing around the guitar rather than simply following the root.



The four-piece, Portland, Oregon-based metal band are mentioned in this thread under folk metal, but, like Opeth and their prog-metal label, Agalloch defy many of the classifications of their genre. The early releases had a fairly heavy black metal influence, and the band's sound eventually evolved to include influences from folk metal, doom, prog, and post rock. The overall music is very atmospheric, with fairly prominent acoustic guitars (although this was less so on Ashes Against the Grain).

Not found what you're looking for?


Unfortunately what is metal and what isn't is a topic that is frequently argued in this forum, with metalcore bands like Trivium and Killswitch Engage being the biggest and most fiercely contested topic of debate nowadays. All opinions aside, on UG the powers that be have deemed that Metalcore is to be discussed in the hardcore forum to ease congestion in this forum, please don't post threads arguing against this rule, as you're not going to change the way the site is run, you'll just get yourself banned. Also note that Trivium's album "The Crusade" is not to be discussed here either, yes it is a thrash metal album (albeit a pretty poor one...) but Trivium remain a metalcore band, regardless of whether they decided to release a Metallica tribute album or not.


A similar case is true for nu metal bands like Slipknot and System of A Down, despite the current slump in nu-metal album sales, the genre was an explosion when it came to its peak in the late 90's/early 00's and it needed its own forum to handle the traffic. Regardless of the state the genre is in now, the nu metal forum is the only place that you can discuss nu metal. If you're not sure whether a band is nu metal or not (eg some later In Flames) then check this list

So called "Deathcore"

Many regulars to this forum like to use this term to poop on mostly American bands who play a variation of the US slam style death metal but containing hardcore influenced breakdowns. The rules on this forum are strict enough already without us mods having to close Waking the Cadaver, Suicide Silence and numerous other band threads, these bands are more than welcome here, in fact I'd encourage some open-mindedness amongst you lot. Bands from across the globe have been putting breakdowns and mid paced groove riffs in their songs without being labelled "deathcore" for years, Gojira from France being the first band that springs to mind, yet if they moved to California and wore baggy jeans I bet some of you would suddenly change your minds haha. I re-iterate: Deathcore is a fallacy, there is no such thing, you don't have to tack a -core on the end of a style of metal that you don't like/is getting vaguely popular amongst our fringed comrades. I'd wager a lot of money on the fact that in a few years time, when these types of bands aren't in the midst of a little fad, that they will be accepted as death metal, and this silly Micky Mouse term will disappear, so if you want to be open minded about metal music, forget about "Deathcore" now because its gonna be forgotten anyway.

Finally, if you still havn't found out what you want, post in this thread and I'm sure a member will give you some help. Don't make a new thread asking for a recommendation or what a certain band's best album is, because you're far more likely to get a reliable answer in this thread.

Tracking bands down

The only site you'll ever need
Looks nice to me!. Well done Bo and the other thats contributed.

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looks killer......guess i'll start the conversation.

i'm looking for progressive metal in the vain of Winds (norway)...think borknagar-origin, but done well. suggestions? strings (violins, etc.) are always a plus.

also, as far as doom goes, what should be my next step after my dying bride?
its missing bands like all shall perish and job for a cowboy and i killed the prom queen
and knights of the abyss and necrofagist but other than that its pretty good
^Necrophagist is up there.

Great stuff, Bo. Time to start going through the list of recommendations for myself.
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Tons better than the old list.
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Great list Bo and everyone who helped.

Can anyone Rec some really good brutal tech death, other than Necrophagist? ><"
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in the world have been accomplished

by people who have kept on

trying when there seemed to be no hope at all
Last edited by Nelsean at Dec 2, 2006,
Recs for some GOOD non-satanist black metal?
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Quote by its tim fool
its missing bands like all shall perish and job for a cowboy and i killed the prom queen
and knights of the abyss and necrofagist but other than that its pretty good

the only good band you mentioned is necrophagist. im pretty sure the rest are metalcore and btw, I killed the prom queen = shittest aussie band EVER!
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try listening to a band at the throne of judgment with no e between judge and ment the devil wears prada is good but they arent particularly death metal
job fro a cowboy is awesome it might sound a little unorganized but its still awesome
and all shall perish just kicks ass and its not metalcore and either is knights of the abyss and job for a cowboy
Job for a Cowboy
Between the Buried and Me
Shadow's Fall
Quote by therobbert
Job for a Cowboy
Between the Buried and Me
Shadow's Fall

All of those except Tool belong in the Hardcore forum. Tool goes into the Rock forum on UG.
Quote by SGRocker0791
All of those except Tool belong in the Hardcore forum. Tool goes into the Rock forum on UG.

why does job for a cowboy have to go in the hardcore forum?
Quote by its tim fool
why does job for a cowboy have to go in the hardcore forum?

Deathcore. Even though it's a pointless genre (I would just call then Death Metal), all of the bands from that genre go into the Hardcore forum.
Quote by SGRocker0791
Deathcore. Even though it's a pointless genre (I would just call then Death Metal), all of the bands from that genre go into the Hardcore forum.

that seems pretty stupid what do you think about as blood runs black?
Unfortunatly for you its tim fool, those bands are in the core genre in UG's standards. They have their own respected forums on UG to discuss them.

Please don't give this thread a bad start.

Now will someone...

Quote by Nelsean
Can anyone Rec some really good brutal tech death, other than Necrophagist? ><"

Most of the important things

in the world have been accomplished

by people who have kept on

trying when there seemed to be no hope at all
For Brutal tech death:

Spawn of Possession
Origin (Echoes of Decimation is pretty technical)
Quote by SGRocker0791
All of those except Tool belong in the Hardcore forum. Tool goes into the Rock forum on UG.

That's just asanine...not you. But BTBAM not being considered metal is the stupidest thing I've heard in awhile.
well, the doom metal essentials and albums are, ...

lacking, for lack of a better term.

Way too much emphasis on trad doom, and Agalloch wouldn't qualify as an essential, or characteristic band.

I'll put some thought into this much, much later and express my thoughts on the issue, as to what should be on the essentials
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