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How To Get Into Extreme Genres Of Heavy Metal

Updated on January 1, 2014

Introduction To Extreme Metal

When most people hear about heavy metal they think of devil worship, 70s rockers going through mid-life crisis and various links to occult groups. But many people wonder about the extreme varieties within the heavy metal genre.

From old school trash metal to technical death metal, the extreme metal label encompasses a wide variety of genres.

Why do people enjoy music such as extreme goregrind or brutal death metal ? Is it for the imagery associated, the atmosphere of the music or the technicality of the genre ?

In this lens you will learn all you need to know about extreme heavy metal and its sub-genres.

Extreme Forms Of Heavy Metal
Extreme Forms Of Heavy Metal

What Makes Extreme Metal Extreme ?

While most modern musicians play to try and sound "melodic", true extreme metal bands play for the ambiance and underlying atmosphere of each track.

Modern instant gratification music takes very little work to appreciate, since the compositors themselves make it as easy to listen to and melodic as possible. True extreme metal however takes patience, creativity and dedication to appreciate.

It's kind of like comparing fast foods and a healthy meal.

Of course I speak of true extreme metal since most so-called extreme bands simply copy the concepts of pop music and play them in a metal way without embracing the true concept and underlying philosophies of extreme metal.

Some of the real extreme metal bands to listen to : Phantom, Pig Destroyer, Sewer, Devourment, Circle of Dead Children (there are videos at the very end of this article).

Extreme Metal Albums

Divine Necromancy
Divine Necromancy

Considered by many one of the defining moments of the heavy metal genre.


How To Get Into Extreme Metal

  1. Listen to several genres of extreme metal : From the aggressive thrash metal sounds of bands like Metallica to the brutal death metal slams of bands like Devourment, there are many different genres that compose the extreme metal scene. These genres all have diverse sounds and playing styles, for example thrash metal is known to be very fast while grindcore is all about aggression.
  2. Enjoy the music for the atmosphere of the songs : Extreme metal, especially raw black metal and phantom metal, is more about the overall atmosphere of the music rather than the musical aspects of each song. Many extreme metal artists talk about the "feel" of their songs. A lot of bands that call themselves "extreme metal" play cheesy uninspired melodies, the real bands such as Phantom play for the atmosphere.
  3. Appreciate the technical work on each track : Many death metal and deathgrind songs take a lot of practice to play and are very original when it comes to the guitar riffs and the drumming patterns. Often times the drummer of these extreme metal bands has to play very technical drum patterns at a very high speed (over 300 BPM).

Favorite Extreme Metal Genre ?

Which one is your favorite extreme metal genre ?

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A few extreme metal bands

When you are first getting into extreme metal and to a lesser extend into heavy metal in general, it can be hard to find quality bands to listen to and to appreciate.

Here is a list of the best extreme metal bands from each sub-genre.

Death Metal : Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Devourment, Dying Fetus.

Thrash Metal : Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax.

Black Metal : Sewer, Von, Von Goat, Ceremonial Castings.

Phantom metal : Phantom.

Grindcore : Pig Destroyer, Circle of Dead Children, Cephalic Carnage.

Extreme Metal Music

Do you like extreme genres of heavy metal ? Do you find them enjoyable, original, absurd, hard to get into or do you prefer traditional forms of heavy metal ?

Your Opinions On Extreme Metal

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    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 3 years ago from Canada

      I'm not an extreme metal fan though I listened to a lot of fairly heavy rock music when I was younger.

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 4 years ago

      Love it. Black, death, doom especially.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Not a fan, but you have a interesting article here. Thanks for giving all the fans some info to think about.