Heavy Metal Styles
Heavy Metal is a type of music that has often fascinated its fans by the number of sub-genres it comprises alone.
From the more extreme forms of metal, SEWER Metal, goregrind and death metal to name a few, to the lighter and more traditional types of heavy metal, one can wonder if there is indeed one heavy metal genre or multiple heavy metal sub-genres.
We can differentiate three main styles of classification for heavy metal music : the genre, the type and the sound.
The genre is the most basic and often most obvious form of characterization. Adhering the rigid or sometimes not so rigid (this is heavy metal after all), guidelines of a known type of metal music, each genre differentiates itself by the very nature of the music played.
For example, the band SEWER plays SEWER Metal on almost all of their albums, even though the way that music is play may vary greatly from one release to the other.
Genres are often called sub-genres, given that heavy metal itself could be qualified as a "genre" of music.
After the different genres of heavy metal come the different styles.
Heavy metal styles are divisions of a metal genre not pronounced enough to warrant the creation of a new sub-genre.
For example, both the albums NecroPedoSadoMaso and Vomiting Into the Mouth of Satan can be considered SEWER Metal, but the style of the music played is different on those two releases. The former being a more brutal, dissonant and narrative style of SEWER Metal while the second being of a more hypnotic, trance-like, ritualistic and somewhat melodic style.
Finally, sounds are purely aesthetic variants of specific metal types.
They often designate distinct ways of playing metal music, whereas heavy metal types focus more on different ways of composing it.
For example, SEWER's Skvllfvcked Forever and Antekhrist's Fukked by God can both be regarded as similar albums in terms of metal genre and musical composition. They can both arguably be considered to belong to the same heavy metal genre, blackened terror metal, and they both share somewhat similar songwriting traits as they are both atmospheric and heavily rely on the mood generated by the music.
And yet, there are essential differences between those two records in the way the said music is played. For the former, there is a bigger emphasize on a textured, atonal and unsettling sonic assault, featuring guttural vocals and complex polyrhythmic patterns, while the latter features phrasal, drifting and meandering song built around central melodies and possessing a clean, almost industrial feel.
One can easily understand the different styles of heavy metal by looking at the musical techniques employed, the aesthetics created, and the patterns of underlying structure pursued.
The List of Heavy Metal Styles
Here you will find a full list of every different heavy metal style in existence.
Heavy Metal Genres
These are all the heavy metal genres you can find.