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A Beginner's Guide To Heavy Metal #19 - Groove Metal

Updated on December 25, 2013

The Real Headbangers Ball

You know when you're at a good loud metal concert and the band hits a breakdown, locks into a groove, and the whole crowd just starts headbanging in unison? Well imagine a band whose whole set-list consists of songs specifically designed to do just that. That is what you get with the undeniable force that is groove metal. Most good heavy metal bands have a few songs that everyone knows as the good headbanger, but bands that specialize in groove metal are the ones who have perfected it to the point where virtually every song is sheer force of power guaranteed to result in the stiff necks of virtually everyone in attendance. Unfortunately, as there are not that many bands that employ this method all the time, this is another top 5 list. However, for those of you wishing to avoid neck problems in the future, this may be a good thing.



Fear Factory - Demanufacture

Also a huge influence on industrial metal, Fear Factory have been perfecting tight, fast and punishingly heavy riffs ever since their inception. But, it is here on their sophomore album that they show just what a force of metal they can be. Putting forth nearly inhuman speeds on their drum sound, and modern groove metal master Dino Cazares pounding out the kinds of riffs that he would become famous for, this is one crushing album.

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Gojira - The Way Of All Flesh

One country that is often sadly underrepresented in metal is France. Fortunately, there is one band to serve as their ambassador to the world of extreme metal. Named after the Japanese monster of the same name, this band certainly lives up to that name with some of the sickest grooves I have ever heard come out of a pair of speakers before. In a perfect world, no moshpit would be complete without their music played at full volume

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Soulfly - Dark Ages

Max Cavalera is one of the most heaviest, most versatile and yet simplistic musicians in metal. He previous band Sepultura helped blaze new trails in virtually every extreme metal sub-genre we know of, and yet most guitarists who can play any sort of thrash or black metal would likely be able to play the majority of his parts. Even after leaving Sepultura, he proved that he is the modern day master of groove metal with this headbanger deluxe release from his new band Soulfly. Dark Ages is a very appropriate title for it as it contains all of the tales of modern day horrors that Cavalera has come to tell in such horrific detail.

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Sepultura - Kairos

When Max Cavalera left the band Sepultura, the band he formed with his brother, there was quite a bit of concern as to whether or not they would be able to continue as strongly as before. After a bit of a rocky start with some albums that were not held in quite as high regard as their previous work, the answer at long last became a resounding yes, with their 2011 release Kairos providing some of the heaviest riffs metal has ever been graced with. The album is a solid headbanger from start to finish, sure to please even the most hardened of metal heads.



Pantera - Far Beyond Driven

This is where groove metal, and many would say extreme metal as a whole began. The impact Pantera has had on the modern sound of metal is something that simply cannot be overstated, and nowhere can their influence be seen in more glory than on this out of nowhere smash that debuted right at number 1 on the Billboard Charts, the first extreme metal album to do so. Dimebag Darrell proves once and for all that when it comes to making riffs that will get any mosh pit going strong, and keep it going, he is, was, and always will be the king, and perfectly complimented by Rex Brown's rolling bass, Vinnie Paul's thunderous drums, and Phil Anselmo's roaring vocals, those with concerns about the strength of their neck would do well to wear a brace when listening to this one.

Brutality Incarnate

Aside from Pantera, this is not the kind of music to seek out if you are looking for diversity. But if you just want to throw something on that will guarantee one of the heaviest listening experiences you could want, this is definitely a good place to start.


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    • smcgavin1 profile image

      Sean McGavin 4 years ago from Bowling Green, Ohio

      Much agreed.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 4 years ago from Texas

      Love Pantera and glad to see Soulfly here, too. Max Cavalera is one of the greats! :)