Unique genres of music (Part 1) : Metal

Iron Maiden performing in Toronto during the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour on March 16, 2008.
Iron Maiden performing in Toronto during the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour on March 16, 2008. | Source

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There are hundreds of thousands of musical genres in the musical world with new ones taking birth every now and then and every musical genre has its own special features. This is an approach to bring together some such unique genres of music. This hub contains some unique genres of Metal music. If you are a Metal fan, then you must read this! I bet you won’t get disappointed.

1. Metal (or Heavy Metal)

Metal cannot be exactly called a unique genre, but a lot of its sub-genres are so unique, that instead of describing them separately, anyone would prefer calling the whole metal genre as a unique one. In fact, this one thing about metal itself makes it unique, that it has got uncountable number of sub-genres. The best way to judge a genre’s quality is to check what impression it leaves on anyone who listens to it for the first time. Of course I am a metal fan and I very well support it, so it won’t be right if you ask me what is metal, because then all you can expect from me, (or any other metal fan) is just praising of the genre and nothing else! Yes, it sounds funny. So, if you want to check the quality (actually 'quality' is not the correct word, but unless I find the correct word, 'quality' will do the job here.) of metal music, then first let someone here it for the first time and then ask him or her how does it feel. About 90% of the people (will) find metal loud, noisy, and aggressive. This is one of the basic things that makes metal as a whole genre, unique.

But then, there are bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, who have been in the business from several decades. Iron Maiden, in my opinion, is the best-ever pure British Heavy Metal band. Not only musically, but lyrically also they are the masters. They are so melodious, that the heaviness of their music doesn’t pound up on your ears. I can even say that anyone who is new to metal music or anyone who doesn't even listen to metal music will like Iron Maiden. Every metal music fan has a highly respectable position for Iron Maiden in his or her heart. There are other bands too, like Metallica, which are considered to be the ‘Gods of Metal’ and the other three bands – Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, which, along with Metallica, form ‘The Big Four ’(Thrash Metal Bands). Today, just like the number of genres of music, there are thousands of good artists and bands around the world who look over these bands as their source of inspiration.

'Death', an American Metal band, who are said to have kept the stepping stones of Death Metal. Even today, they are considered to be the best-ever death metal band.
'Death', an American Metal band, who are said to have kept the stepping stones of Death Metal. Even today, they are considered to be the best-ever death metal band. | Source

2. Death Metal

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Then there comes death metal – the wild, the ugly, the brutal and the aggressive one. The names itself speaks enough about it. According to Wikipedia, “Death metal is an extreme sub-genre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted guitars, tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, minor keys or atonality, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes.” For those who are familiar with metal music, this may not be a big deal. But for those who are not, you may need to tighten up your seat belts before you start listening to this. This is definitely one of the most unique genres. The reason is – every single thing that is employed in this genre! Yes, every instrument that is used, is used to its limits. I mean the extreme-end guitar and bass riffs and distortion, the ear-bursting drumming, with the killing sonorous sound of the crashing cymbals and most importantly, the horrible, unbearable vocals. If Death Metal would have been without vocals, then anyone listening to it wouldn’t have found it so weird. But the thing that makes it the weirdest is, the type of vocals used. Growling, grunting, yelling, screaming, screeching etc., whatever one may call it, are the different names for the vocals employed in this genre, ‘Growling’ being the mostly commonly used one. Don’t you think these vocal techniques somewhat sound like the sounds produced by some of the wild animals (or beasts)? Yes, they do. And so do the vocals and vocalists of the death metal music! There are other genres of metal and rock too, which include some of these vocal techniques, but Death Metal has always held a different place in every listener’s mind. Death Metal again, has several sub-genres, such as Melodic Death Metal, Technical Death Metal, Deathcore, Death/Doom Metal, Goregrind/Deathgrind, Death 'n' roll and Blackened Death Metal.

Horse the Band, who are best known for their 8-bit Nintendo-influenced sound combined with metalcore, are also considered to be the pioneers of Nintendocore.
Horse the Band, who are best known for their 8-bit Nintendo-influenced sound combined with metalcore, are also considered to be the pioneers of Nintendocore. | Source

3. Electronic Metal

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Electronic Metal is not a genre in particular. There are some other sub-genres of metal, which include electronic music like Club, Trance, Chiptune, House and instruments like Synthesizers, DJ consoles etc. Now days, the most prominent among them are Hardcore and Post-Hardcore (or Screamo) which have gained a lot of popularity and contribute a huge fan base to the metal music world. Both the genres use Electro-House and Trance music, with emotional tunes and guitar riffs. A lot of American and European bands have adopted these two as their mainstream genres. Besides these two, there are other electro-metallic genres, such as, Industrial Metal, Techcore (Technical Metalcore), Nintendocore, Aggrotech, Coldwave, Cybergrind, Dark electro, Death Industrial etc. All of these sub-genres have some unique features but the one that caught my attention the most is Nintendocore. This genre, besides the usual features of its main influences – Heavy Metal and Hardcore Punk, uses chiptune and video game music. In simple words, if you are listening to a Nintendocore track, don’t get surprised if you get to hear the sound of the famous video games such as Mario and Contra. It can be the part of the song itself. The term ‘Nintendocore’ came in existence when the Metalcore band ‘Horse the Band’ coined the term as a joke.

Napalm Death's "You Suffer" : World's Shortest Music Video

Napalm Death performing live in September 2007.
Napalm Death performing live in September 2007. | Source

4. Grindcore

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Grindcore, in real norms, should be considered an extreme genre. Though I listen to a wide variety of music, only a few genres are there that have really caught my attention until now. Like Nintendocore, this genre is also one of them. If someone asks you ‘why is this genre so extreme or unique’, you won’t need to find any ‘just-satisfying’ reason for it, because there are enough unique things about this genre. I’ll describe them later, but first let’s go through my first experience with Grindcore.

2 years back - Just like many other days, I was searching for some far-flung, lesser known genres of metal. Somewhere in between that search, I read ‘Grindcore’. I tried to find something more from that source, but all I could get was a single sentence - ‘If you find something that sounds like a chain saw ready to tear you into pieces, you can be assured that you are in Grindcore. *evilsmile*’. After a little more search, I came to know that Napalm Death is one of the pioneers of Grindcore. I quickly downloaded some Napalm Death songs. Here I would like to mention one thing that, I have a really bad habit of listening music at full volume in my earphones. However, it has never hurt me, no matter if I am listening to a Chill-out track or a Hard Rock track. But even today I regret the mistake that I did that day. The first Napalm Death song I played – ‘Silence Is Deafening’. It did get unbearable for me after the first few plays and I immediately plucked out my earphones. But it was extremely ‘headbangable’ (if you are a true metal fan, you will get what I mean). Then I realized that the only sentence which I read about Grindcore, exactly defined it! Now, 2 years after the incident, I am much into Grindcore.

Now, let’s get to the unique part of Grindcore. Grindcore is also a sub-genre of Death Metal and it is also known as Goregrind or Deathgrind. An infamous trait of Grindcore is the "micro song". Several bands have produced songs that are only seconds in length. Napalm Death holds the Guinness World Record for shortest song ever recorded with the one-second "You Suffer" (1987). Many bands record simple phrases that may be rhythmically sprawled out across an instrumental lasting only a couple of bars in length. In 2001, the Guinness Book of World Records awarded Brutal Truth the record for "Shortest Music Video" for 1994's "Collateral Damage" (the song lasts four seconds). In 2007, the video for the Napalm Death song "You Suffer" set a new "Shortest Music Video" record: 1.3 seconds.

More still to come!

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Comments 7 comments

TheHeavyReview profile image

TheHeavyReview 4 years ago

Great job! Of the genres you listed here, my favorite is straight ahead death metal. There are so many great metal genres out there! I really enjoyed reading this- voted up and awesome!

Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

Good job with thus Hub!

I, too, am a huge metal fan. It can be a daunting thing for someone just coming into the genre to try and figure out all the different sub-genres. I tried to pick a favorite, and I just can't!

Headfullofsound 4 years ago

Nintendocore? I had no idea such a sound even existed! Well I guess I'll have to pack up my earbuds again, lads!

Abhimanyu Singh92 profile image

Abhimanyu Singh92 4 years ago from Satna, Madhya Pradesh (India) Author

Thanks for those beautiful comments TheHeavyReview and Georgie Lowery. Thanks for voting too.

@TheHeavyReview: I can't exactly tell one single favorite genre, because I think I like them all equally. So it's difficult for me to take one name. But I too like death metal very much. Thanks again. :)

@Georgie Lowery: Yes, you said it right. In fact, when I was new to the Meta music scene, I too, somewhat, felt the same. :D

Abhimanyu Singh92 profile image

Abhimanyu Singh92 4 years ago from Satna, Madhya Pradesh (India) Author

Hello Headsfullofsound. Thanks for your comment and vote. Yes, nintendocore exists out there, but most of the people don't know about it because it's still in it's early age. I found it just out of curiosity, as i mentioned in the hub that I always keep searching for the lesser known genres. Have an ear to nintendocore, you'll like it. :)

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

You did a really good job covering this genre of music. I'm one of the 90% of the people who find metal loud, noisy, and aggressive. I have tried to get into it so as to understand why my kids like it so much, but, well... it's just not for me. That's not to say the talent isn't there, I just tend to favor other types of music. Still, I enjoyed reading your hub.

Abhimanyu Singh92 profile image

Abhimanyu Singh92 4 years ago from Satna, Madhya Pradesh (India) Author

Thank you Madam MarleneB. I feel glad being appreciated by a non-metal fan. I very much respect and support all other genres of music and besides metal, I too, myself listen to several other kinds of music. Thanks for stopping by and making this wonderful comment. :)

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