Tales from the Jugular

A Humorous Look At Metal Genres

By: Eric Compton & Frank Hill
Published: Thursday, May 20, 2004
Tales From The Jugular: A Humorous Look At Metal Genres

Heavy Metal - Style of music know for distorted guitars and generally dark lyrics, Metal started around 1969-70 when Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple blew up the 60s. Originally seen as the retarded cousin to hard rock, Metal rose to prominence with enough outcast, teenage boys under its wing to stand on its own. Nobody can agree on what true heavy metal sounds like, but most agree that it sounds best turned up LOUD.

Alternative Metal - Metal with alternative stylings and without the regular metal guitar progression. Generally has whiney-ass singers. This is a good place to put stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.

Black Metal - In its purest state, Black Metal may just be the most hateful, evil, apocalyptic metal on the planet. Hyperfast, buzzsaw guitar & off beat blastbeats usually characterize the music. Band members like to drop heavy objects like car batteries and decapitated pig heads on each other's nutsacks to get high, screechy vocals. Some paint themselves up with corpse paint as white as a geisha girl's snatch. Some worship Satan, some are anti-Christian, some are Pagan; as long as there's somebody to hate, they're happy...well, sort of happy because that would go against the idea of not being happy. Names reflect an obsession with "The Lord of the Rings" saga. The question is--how much more black can it get?

Also includes:
Norwegian, Atmospheric, Symphonic, Pagan, Blender and Let's-Kill-Somebody-And-Burn-a-Church-This-Weekend styles.

Death Metal - Metal genre that started around 1986 when some thrashers tripped over their guitar chords and fell into the Pit of Hell. It's an extremely brutal mix of speed, thrash, and gore with riffs that range from slower, heavy as molasses type riffs to lightning speed fretwork with blast beats and pummeling double bass. Vocalists are known to sound like the Cookie Monster with a bad case of laryngitis. Subject matter can include all the lovely things in life like war, depression, corpses and the ever popular death. Band names are generally end with a "y"--why? ...because they love you. They also love sweat pants.

Also includes:
Floridian, New York, Gothenburg, Swedish, Atmospheric, Experimental, Grindcore, Mathcore, Crapcore, Crust and Jazzy-Mathematical Genius styles.

Doom - Slow and depressing early style of metal created around the early 70's. Bluesy, chunky guitars mixed with supernatural lyrics dominate this style's sound. You might actually say some of the riffs are crunchy and crusty, not chunky, but hardly are they ever crispy or creamy. A lot of times they're crappy, cruddy and just plain crummy.

Hardcore - Descending from the limited instrumentational boundaries of punk, hardcore's instrumentation is raw with vocals that are generally screamed. Small clubs are its place of play. Musically, it's usually played better than hardcore punk, but not as good as Metalcore which is slightly better, but isn't good enough to be called Metal. Really, it just sounds like crappy played metal.

Hard Rock - Music featuring stronger guitar playing than rock and roll with an edgier sound that was generally blues-based and somewhat distorted. Rose to prominence in the 70's and became the music of choice for Budweiser-drinking, Camero-driving, mulletheads. Most likely to start arguments whether it is metal or not.

Industrial - Techno-metal. Rhythmic-centered metal characterized by additional digital effects and noises. You get all your snap, crackle and pops in this one. Few bands are playing this metal much anymore because computers and metal is a paradigm that few accept. Maybe not, I just wanted to use the word--paradigm.

Nu Metal aka Rapcore - Metal of the new millennium that's known for beatbox style vocals with heavy down-tuned, groove-based, bouncy guitar work. Bands usually had one member that was bald, one with cornrows, one fat with a goatee and one with Kool-Aid colored hair. Throw in some body piercings, black clothes and a general angsty-depressive look at society and you got it. Look for fans hanging out at Hot Topic in your local mall.

N.W.O.A.H.M. (New Wave of American Heavy Metal) Post Nu American metal that combines harsher vocals and brutal thrashy elements with slower melodic parts. It's similar to the Gothenburg stuff that developed from death metal. Plus, the Americans didn't want the British to have the longest, stupid initialed name.

N.W.O.B.H.M. (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) British metal from when Zeppelin was dying out in the late 70s and by far the longest initialized genre term in metal. Bands exploded out all over the U.K metal scene just like how The Renaissance period came forth from The Dark Ages. Now, that would make a cool, compare-and-contrast, high-school essay.

Power - Classic metal style featuring a twin guitar attack supported by rapid downstroking, soaring high-pitched vocals, and anthem-styled lyrics. It's one of the few styles with positive, uplifting ideas dominating the dark ones. Subject matter is typically fantasy-based, dungeons and dragons masturbation material that male virgins like to downstroke to in their attics. Still the style most likely to have members wearing smelly, cheese-filled spandex.

Also includes:
Neoclassical, Speed, Teutonic, Symphonic, Power-Progressive, Viking, Folk and Circus styles

Progressive - Musically complex and highly technical, Prog players are known for their skills and like to show it in their music with complicated structures and perfectionist playing. Expect a whole bunch of self-indulgent riffs and musical/vocal lines that don't flow. These guys will impress you with their well-coifed hair and playing abilities faster than you can whip out a Julliard Graduation paper. Bands are the most likely to play single-digit crowds and have a job at your local steakhouse during the week.

Also includes:
Prog-Power, Prog-Thrash, Prog-Death, Prog-Prog, Ping-Prog, but no real Prog-Black or Prog-Nu styles

Stoner - Pass the joint, please.

Thrash - Thrash is know for being fast, aggressive, less controlled and with the punk sensibilities power metal usually doesn't have. Fast rhythms are usually supported by a rapid, unchanging downbeat on drums. Vocals are generally higher-pitched rather than growling. Members are known to have long, stringy hair that hasn't been washed for 6-weeks and credit card bills out the ass.

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