heavy metal subgenres - page 6

black metal > late 1980s > Viking metal

viking metal:
stylistic origins: black metal / folk metal / nordic folk music / sea shanties
cultural origins: late 1980s – mid 1990s, Finland, Norway and Sweden

Viking metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music with origins in black metal and Nordic folk music, characterized by a common lyrical and thematic focus on Norse mythology, Norse paganism, and the Viking Age.

Its musical style is typically manifested as Nordic folk-influenced black metal.

Some common traits include a slow-paced and heavy riffing style, anthemic choruses, use of both clean and harsh vocals, a frequent use of folk instrumentation, and, often, the use of keyboards for atmospheric effect.

Viking metal developed in the 1980s through the mid-1990s as a rejection of Satanism and the occult, instead embracing the Vikings and paganism as the leaders of the opposition to Christianity.

Most Viking metal bands originate from the Nordic countries, and nearly all bands claim that their members descend, directly or indirectly, from Vikings.

Bathory, from Sweden, is generally credited with pioneering the genre with its albums Blood Fire Death (1988) and Hammerheart (1990).

Enslaved, Burzum, Emperor, Storm, and Falkenbach helped further develop the genre in the early through the mid-1990s. Also, key bands in the genre include Darkwoods My Betrothed, Einherjer, Ensiferum, Moonsorrow, Týr, Thyrfing, and Windir.1“Viking Metal”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_metal. Accessed 29 June 2018.

Darkwoods My Betrothed – Inside the circle of stones; Ensiferum – Into Battle; Emperor – I Am the Black Wizards:

derivative forms: pagan metal


folk metal > late 1980s > pirate metal

pirate metal:
stylistic origins: speed metal / folk metal / power metal
cultural origins: late 1980s, Germany, 2000s United Kingdom

Pirate metal is a subgenre of folk metal that blends heavy metal, thrash metal, and sometimes speed metal with pirate mythology, and, commonly, elements of sea shanties. The style was influenced heavily by German heavy metal band Running Wild and its third studio album, Under Jolly Roger. Popular Pirate metal bands include Alestorm, Swashbuckle, and Lagerstein.

Lagerstein – Land of Bundy; Alestorm – Drink; Swashbuckle – Cruise Ship Terror:


late 1980s > metalcore

stylistic origins: extreme metal / hardcore punk / crossover thrash
cultural origins: late 1980s, United States

Metalcore is a broad fusion genre of extreme metal and hardcore punk. The word is a blend of the names of the two genres. Among other genres blending metal and hardcore, such as crust punk and grindcore, metalcore is noted for its use of breakdowns, which are slow, intense passages that are conducive to moshing. Pioneering metalcore bands—such as Integrity, Earth Crisis and Converge, all of which had formed by 1990—are described as leaning more toward hardcore, with their style sometimes being called metallic hardcore, whereas later bands—such as Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, As I Lay Dying, Bullet for My Valentine, and Parkway Drive —are described as leaning more towards metal. Pantera and Sepultura have been particularly influential to the development of metalcore in the 2000s, which saw many bands in the genre achieve considerable commercial success.

Integrity – Systems Overload; Earth Crisis – To Ashes; Converge – No Heroes:

metalcore subgenres: mathcore, deathcore, electronicore, progressive metalcore, melodic metalcore, nu metalcore


grindcore > late 1980s > goregrind

stylistic origins: grindcore / death metal
cultural origins: late 1980s, England, UK

Goregrind is a subgenre of grindcore and death metal. Early examples of the genre include Repulsion’s Horrified, Impetigo’s Ultimo Mondo Cannibale, and first two studio albums Carcass, which defined the genre.

In its Reek of Putrefaction-era, Carcass used pitch shifters, medical imagery, and, in a deviation from the frequently political or left-wing lyrics commonly used in the hardcore punk and grindcore scenes, gory, anatomical references in its lyrics.

Repulsion-Horrifed; Impetigo – Ultimo Mondo Cannibale; Carcass – Reek of Putrefaction:


grindcore > late 1980s > deathgrind

stylistic origins: death metal / grindcore
cultural origins: late 1980s, England, US

Deathgrind, sometimes written as death-grind or death/grind, is a musical genre that fuses death metal and grindcore. Deathgrind has been described as “grindcore and brutal death metal colliding head-on.”
Danny Lilker described deathgrind as “combining the technicality of death metal with the intensity of grindcore.” Death/grind emphasizes overall musical brutality with a specific focus on fast tempos and retains grindcore’s traditional abruptness.
Notable bands include Cattle Decapitation and Misery Index.

Cattle Decapitation – The Prophets of Loss; Misery Index – I Disavow:


black metal > war metal

War metal (black metal, bestial black metal) is an aggressive, cacophonous and chaotic black metal style, described by Rock Hard journalist Wolf-Rüdiger Mühlmann as “rabid” and “hammering”.

Important influences include first wave band Sodom, first wave/death metal band Possessed as well as old grindcore, black and death metal bands like Repulsion, Autopsy, Sarcófago and the first two Sepultura releases.

War metal bands include Blasphemy, Archgoat, Impiety, In Battle, Zyklon-B.

Blasphemy – Darkness Prevails; Archgoat – Goat and the Moon:

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