#1
I've always wanted to know, what differentiates metal from rock. To me, sometimes so metal songs sound like rock and they are still considered metal. I just want to know what does the music have to have for it to be considered metal. Sorry for the noobish comment but I just want some clarity.
#2
metal is heavier and more brutal
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#3
Well, it really depends on what bands and sub genres you are looking at. For some there is a fine line between the two, but for the more extreme genres, they are clearly metal.
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#4
i don't know. I consider metal the thrashing brutality that fuels people to get drunk and have random fights with people they don't even know. Rock is the kinda stuff middle aged housewives would listen to in order to make their kids' friends think they're kool parents. get what i'm saying?
#5
Well obviously the hardcore metal with growling and the screaming I can see is metal. But what about the softer metal. There have been times I could have swore I was listening to rock but it turns out it's considered metal.
#6
It depends what you call metal. If you follow the Rolling Stone Magazine definition, then you'll have hard rock stuff like AC/DC and Guns n' Roses and glam rock stuff like Poison classified as metal. Real metal though it's a lot easier to tell. Pretty much all of the genres except maybe NWOBHM are easily distinguishable from just rock.
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#7
Most genres besides NWoBHM are easy to tell, so i'll focus on that. really, it's all about the attitude. For instance, compare something like AC/DC with something like Iron Maiden. Neither of them are particularly heavy, but their attitude sets them apart. In addition, when it comes to specific songs, the bands other work comes into play. Listen to Judas Priest's British Steel album, it's basically rock. (i love the album, but we all know it is, with the exception of a few songs) It's regarded as a metal album due to their past works. Still, their is a few bands that are really on the borderline, like Motorhead.
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#8
It's about the musical composition mostly. Black Sabbath are about as heavy as a typical rock band, but compositionally their work is more similar to doom metal (which is understandable, since they practically founded the genre), and some songs such as Paranoid and Children of the Grave set the basic groundwork for thrash metal and most NWOBHM.

Led Zeppelin, who are often considered to be an early metal band, are more compositionally similar to straight-up rock music. Same for Guns 'n Roses, Motley Crue, etc. It takes experience to be able to hear the differences, but you do start to hear the them over time.
#11
This thread is brimming with idiocy, as well as lacking salt.
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#12
the difference between metal and all other genres is the entire genre is based on making a dark sound and having dark lyrics too, both end up helping to create the dark atmosphere that is considered metal. It may not always seem "BRUTALZZ" or anything because theres doom metal, groove metal, etc. that isn't about being incredibly fast, technical, or having lyrics related to causing violence or anything, but merely depicts a darkness in the music. One can say that some rock songs also depict some darkness in their music, but most do not do it to the point where one can consider it metal. The only 2 genres of metal that straddle that line is Power Metal and Prog Metal, and Power metal makes up for it because it is fast paced and usually talks about some darkness or evil and the struggle to fight it or the rise or fall from or to it... and progressive is, well progressive, so all you can do is say how are they most influenced. If a progressive band uses distorted guitars, technical or very fast-paced sections, or talks about "dark and evil" topics like loneliness, seclusion, anger, hatred, fury, or other darker and ominous feelings it is usually considered progressive metal. Hence, bands like Ayreon and Dream Theater are progressive metal (even though any progressive band can arguably be considered for other genres because thats what Progressive means usually... blending genres and creating very unusual sounds)

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#13
^Because Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Spiritual Beggars, Cynic, Alestorm, as well as countless other bands really put an emphasis on sounding "dark" and "evil".

You people read waaay too much into it.
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#14
Metal is (often) riff-based, whereas rock is more commonly chord-progression-based.
#15
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#17
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^Because Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Spiritual Beggars, Cynic, Alestorm, as well as countless other bands really put an emphasis on sounding "dark" and "evil".

You people read waaay too much into it.


no but they create a "dark" atmosphere not necessarily through distorted guitars. For example Cynic:

They create their atmosphere through complex music that they made to sound very spacey, yet the music they are depicting gives a feeling a futuristic robotics and spaceships, etc. This does not exactly give a warm feeling that genres like rock usually gives but instead through the void of space and through the roboticism that can be interpreted from their choice of guitars, riffs, etc. it gives a rather "cold" atmosphere that can also be attributed to being "dark" although indirectly. Besides they have distorted guitars, fast-paced technical guitars, drums, bass, and Death metal vocals, hence, metal.

Folk Metal bands like Finntroll, Korpillkanni, etc. also have an indirect way of depicting this darkness... although when listening to their music it does not sound very dark, their folk sound is used to reference our imagery of their music with ancient times (celtic, tribal, chant, and other ancient-style music) to give us imagery of medieval and pagan times... because that is also considered "dark." Although the music itself doesn't sound dark, they make us imagine medieval, pagan, and tribal scenes associated with the sound which makes it "dark" because pagan, medieval, tribal, or anything that strays away from civilization and ethics, etc. is generally considered "dark" by society.

Spitirual Beggars seems to be a blend of rock and metal, so one can perceive it either way. I do not consider it completely metal, but then again the same can be considered for bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, the Doors, Guns N Roses, and Rainbow. They have metal influences in their music, but they are very close to Rock. Honestly I deem spiritual beggars as hard rock. However, their lyrics seem to be about metal themes more often (seclusion, loneliness, anger, hatred, etc. and not about most rock lyrical themes which revolve around emotions related to love, whereas metal usually revolves around feeling these other emotions for being cast out, for conflicting with the normal persons thoughts, etc.)

I consider Alestorm (even though many call it pirate metal) to be basically power metal, because they do not have a direct atmosphere, but read their lyrics, they are about being pirates and conflicting with society because of their pride to be pirates, its basically like ManOWar songs except substitute pirates instead of metalheads and you have Alestorm. Besides, Pirates are generally deemed "dark" as a topic along with other topics such as occult, pagan, "cold and calculating" science and technology, etc. so yes Alestorm is metal. Besides, they have fast-paced songs that are similar to power metal and use distorted guitars, hence metal.

Besides, whats your best explanation? At least I can name something that applies to many metal bands in nearly every metal genre. There will always be a few strays to a definition, which is why we need to be flexible in interpretation or in understanding that music can cross genres.

You read way too little and are not flexible enough with my explanation.

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#18
What is ironic is that most of what is consider rock, ESPECIALLY classic rock is really just blues. I personally believe the difference lies within the aesthetic of the music itself. While dark theme+distorted guitar does not necessarily equal metal, it is a common element in MOST metal.

The actual composition of the work is less important than the arrangement. For example, Pantera's cover of Cat Scratch Fever, or Ministry's cover of Roadhouse Blues. Songs that are riff based blues songs, being reworked in a way that is undeniably metal. Or Crowbar's cover of No Quarter. It has a different more 'metal' feel to it.

I think it's a more intrinsic conception when speaking of that differentiation.
#19
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#20
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lots of stuff


Cynic are one of the happiest metal bands. Everything about them is very optimistic, from their lyrics and up to Masvidal's colorful guitar.

Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Alestorm, as well as other "party" folk bands, sing about partying. Portraying themselves as historically evil figures doesn't even come into it.

Spiritual Beggars are a happy band. End of story.

And my explanation? It's metal if it sounds like metal. Or am I not anal enough for you?
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#21
i think rock is composed for a more commercial audience, while metal artists care more about technical, fast and extreme songs no matter what range the audience might be
#22
metal is an evolution of rock music, in its bare basics.

some subgenres of it cross the boundaries with hard rock, and vice versa. But the overall sound of that subgenre, esp. doom, for instance, lends itself more to metal than to rock.

besides the obvious stuff, just give some time to listening to the different subgenres, because it is far more effective than blunt explaining with words.

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#23
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And my explanation? It's metal if it sounds like metal.

That's the explanation people give for why nu-metal is metal. People have tons and tons of different ideas of what metal sounds like, not to mention your explanation doesn't really give a good answer.
#24
I assume that a person reads that and will decide for himself what's metal and what's not. Said person asks his friends if Deep Purple (ex.) are metal, they tell him they're not, and thus continues the cycle of learning.

As for the nu-metal thing, you can't deny that most bands do have a clear metal influence (talking about Slipknot, Mudvayne, etc., as opposed to Linkin Park), and I wouldn't hold it against a person who doesn't regularly listen to metal to confuse the 2.
For the record, I do consider nu-metal a descendant of metal, even if it's the inbred retard offspring.
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#25
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Most genres besides NWoBHM are easy to tell, so i'll focus on that. really, it's all about the attitude. For instance, compare something like AC/DC with something like Iron Maiden. Neither of them are particularly heavy, but their attitude sets them apart. In addition, when it comes to specific songs, the bands other work comes into play. Listen to Judas Priest's British Steel album, it's basically rock. (i love the album, but we all know it is, with the exception of a few songs) It's regarded as a metal album due to their past works. Still, their is a few bands that are really on the borderline, like Motorhead.



+1


There really is no clear cut defenition of the two, you learn to differentiate with experience, by listening to the music and talking to other people.