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Welcome everyone! This thread is meant to be a general discussion thread for the genre of heavy metal. Metalhead or non-metalhead, anyone is allowed to participate! I hope that you'll all enjoy your stay!

 ~Authorized by axumblade


What Is Heavy Metal?

Now, that question should be simple enough, right? Unfortunately, there is no consensus on what heavy metal even is! However, in general terms, it is the hard and well, “heavy” descendant of rock music. There is often a debate on who are even the originators of metal! However, the most common candidate is Black Sabbath, who with their 1970 self-titled album created a dark, down-tuned album that had not really been seen beforehand. Some other bands that were seminal in the progress of metal were Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, who removed the bluesy aspects of the music, Quiet Riot, who had the first-ever number-one heavy metal album in the U.S., and Metallica, who are by far the most popular heavy metal band.


Album of the Week: Loudness - Thunder in the East (1984)



Loudness were the first Japanese metal band to really break through stateside, and this is their most popular of them all!! It's classic 80s metal, and I'd highly recommend it to those who are a fan of the good ol' style of metal. My favourite track on here may be Like Hell, though I'd have to listen to the album a few more times before having a definitive answer.

The Subgenres of Heavy Metal

Now, this is when it gets confusing! There’s so many subgenres of metal, including subgenres of subgenres, that it’s impossible to go through all of them, or even neatly categorize all of them. However, here are some of the more noteworthy ones. Note that it’s often debated which subgenres particular bands belong to, or whether or not certain even exist! Also, these are meant to be short descriptions of the genre, if you’d like more in-depth and detailed summaries, you can check out this link:

NWOBHM (new wave of British heavy metal): After the original heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, there were new bands that removed a lot of the blues, and gave heavy metal its definitive sound. Ex. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead

Thrash metal: heavily influenced by both NWOBHM and hardcore punk, this subgenre sped up the metal, with fast-shredding guitars and shouting vocals. Ex. Metallica pre-Black album, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax

Power metal: This is based more on harmony and melody, with heavy use of strong, clean vocals and a fast tempo. Ex. Helloween, Blind Guardian

Black metal: This subgenre attempts to be more atmospheric, with the production often being intentionally poor, and a wall of sound with tremolo picking and high-pitched screams. Ex. Burzum, Mayhem, Emperor, Immortal

Death metal: Based off of heavier forms of thrash metal, death metal often uses down-tuned, distorted guitars and guttural vocals, with frequent uses of blast beats. Ex. Cannibal Corpse, Death, Suffocation, Immolation

Doom metal: This attempts to have a depressing/despairing atmosphere, with downtuned guitars, repetition and generally long song lengths. Ex. Candlemass, Saint Vitus, Pentagram

Grindcore: Generally a mix of extreme metal and hardcore punk, grindcore focuses on assaulting the listener with short songs and extremely quickly paced guitar riffs, blast beats and harsh vocals. Ex. Terrorizer, Repulsion, Napalm Death

Progressive metal: Generally focuses on long, complex songs that well, “progress”, without adhering to a verse-chorus format. Ex. Dream Theater, Opeth, Queensryche

Groove metal: The riffs are generally slower and groovier than what is in thrash metal, emphasizing that more than outright speed and aggression. Ex. Pantera, Machine Head, White Zombie

Those are some of big ones, but be warned that there are several more! For example, there is stoner metal, sludge metal, folk metal, Viking metal, etc. And as previously mentioned, they can be divided even further: death metal can be split into brutal death metal, technical death metal, melodic death metal, etc. The more you explore, the more you will discover! I will probably also add more genres to the list as time goes on.

VGPolyglot’s Personal Recommendations


Here is a list of albums that should help you delve into heavy metal, featuring a mix of classics, and personal favourites. It’s very hard to make such a list, but I decided that 50 was small enough to not overload too much, but big enough to have a diverse representation. I made a rule to only put 1 album per band.

Band Album Year Genre Link
Accept Balls to the Wall 1983 Heavy
Agalloch The Mantle 2002 Folk
Atheist Unquestionable Presence 1991 Technical Death
Black Sabbath Paranoid 1970 Heavy
Bathory Hammerheart 1990 Viking
Boris Amplifier Worship 1998 Drone
Burzum Filosofem 1996 Black
Candlemass Epicus Doomicus Metallicus 1986 Doom
Cannibal Corpse The Bleeding 1994 Death
Corrosion of Conformity Deliverance 1994 Stoner/Southern
Cryptopsy None So Vile 1996 Brutal Death
Cynic Focus 1993 Death/Jazz Fusion
Darkthrone A Blaze in the Northern Sky 1992 Black
Death Human 1991 Technical Death
Deep Purple Machine Head 1972 Heavy
Dio Holy Diver 1983 Heavy (full album not available)
Dismember Like An Ever Flowing Stream 1991 Death
Dissection Storm of the Light's Bane 1995 Melodic Black
Down NOLA 1995 Sludge
Dream Theater Images and Words 1992 Progressive
Edge of Sanity Crimson 1996 Progressive/Melodic Death
Electric Wizard Dopethrone 2000 Stoner
Entombed Left Hand Path 1990 Death
Fear Factory Demanufacture 1995 Industrial
Godflesh Streetcleaner 1989 Industrial
Gorguts Obscura 1998 Technical Death
Helloween Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1 1987 Power
In Flames The Jester Race 1996 Melodic Death
Iron Maiden Number of the Beat 1982 NWOBHM
Judas Priest Painkiller 1990 Heavy
Katatonia Brave Murder Day 1996 Doom
Kyuss Welcome to Sky Valley 1994 Stoner
Mayhem De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas 1994 Black
Megadeth Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? 1986 Thrash
Mercyful Fate Don't Break the Oath 1984 Heavy
Metallica Master of Puppets 1986 Thrash
Motorhead Ace of Spades 1980 NWOBHM
Opeth Blackwater Park 2001 Progressive
Ozzy Osbourne Blizzard of Ozz 1980 Heavy (full album not available)
Pantera Cowboys From Hell 1990 Groove
Pig Destroyer Prowler in the Yard 2001 Grindcore
Queensryche Operation: Mindcrime 1988 Progressive
Rainbow Rising 1976 Heavy
Repulsion Horrified 1989 Grindcore
Sepultura Beneath the Remains 1989 Thrash
Sigh Ghastly Funeral Theatre 1997 Black
Slayer Reign in Blood 1986 Thrash
Suffocation Effigy of the Forgotten 1991 Brutal Death
Terrorizer World Downfall 1989 Grindcore
Ulver Bergtatt: Et eeventyr i 5 capitler 1995 Black
Last edited by VGPolyglot - on 02 March 2018