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100 Best Groove Metal Bands

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What makes groove metal popular with metal fans is the intensity of aesthetically bone shattering chunky riffs blended with sonic sensibilities of thrash metal played with shifts in mid tempo and fast tempo. While the movement came into its own in the ‘90s, the roots of this subgenre can be traced in the ‘80s. The ‘80s thrash metal scene helped pave the way for groove metal.

The list below showcases an epic collection of groove metal bands and also includes bands that are associated with the genre. If you have a view, opinion, or suggestion, let us know in the comments section

Top 10 Best Groove Metal Bands

  1. Pantera
  2. Exhorder
  3. Sepultura
  4. Lamb of God
  5. Machine Head
  6. Prong
  7. Five Finger Death Punch
  8. Fear Factory
  9. Soulfly
  10. Biohazard

What Is Groove Metal?

Typically groove metal incorporates a sound that makes use of downtuned thrash riffs that are mid-tempo, even tempo or fast tempo. It’s the strong rhythmic structure in the form of irregular time signatures and complexly bone-crunching stop-start riffs that give groove metal its unique identity. The characteristic sound is formed by the rhythm structure that acts as the foundation for time signatures. Bands associated with this genre are known for their tight sonic riff blocks that form the crux of the song. Typically songs in groove metal are of short duration; however, there are bands that incorporate long duration thematic songs written in parts.

The term “groove metal” is also used to describe bands with alternative metal sensibilities and funk metal riff based bands. Pioneering groove metal bands Pantera and Sepultura have had a major influence of the development of nu metal and metalcore. A number of bands in the realms of modern heavy metal cite Pantera and Sepultura as major influences. Music purists and music critics describe the groove metal sound as ‘epic’ in the realms of metal. While the subgenre may not be considered mainstream, a number of groove metal bands have earned mainstream success with their brand of music.



11. Pissing Razors

12. Chimaira

13. Anthrax

14. Skinlab

15. White Zombie

16. DevilDriver

17. Throwdown

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18. Meshuggah

19. Gojira

20. King’s X

Origins of Thrash-Groove: The Pioneering Bands

The groove metal sound evolved from experimentation of thrash metal bands that developed a sonic experimental sound with speed metal riffing. The origins of the genre evolved from The Bay area thrash scene. Bands such as Exodus, Testament and Death Angel are considered the pioneering acts that helped shape and craft the punch metal sound. Pantera, Exhorder and Sepultura are regarded as the forefathers of the groove metal-thrash sound.

The 1988 King’s X album Out of the Silent Planet is often cited as a powering influence on groove metal. The even tempos and dropped tunings used on the album laid the foundation for the future of groove-thrash musical stylings. 4 albums that define the blueprint of groove metal and are considered groundbreaking are

  • Cowboys From Hell - Pantera
  • The Law - Exhorder
  • Chaos A.D. - Sepultura
  • Slaughter in the Vatican - Exhorder


21. Ektomorf

22. Black Label Society

23. Merauder

24. Demolition Hammer

25. Grip Inc.

26. Slapdash

27. Cavalera Conspiracy

28. Stuck Mojo

29. Metallica

30. Nevermore

31. Slayer

32. Trivium

33. Mastodon

34. GZR

35. Byzantine

36. Death Angel

37. Hellyeah

38. Channel Zero

39. Adrenaline Mob

40. Overkill

The Groove Metal Sound

Retaining the sonic elements of thrash and speed metal a new sound shaped up into what is now called groove metal. Since the '90s, the sound has kept evolving stylistically with many acts incorporating elements of death, crossover thrash, and thrash metal. A number of bands in the groove metal genre have also been categorized under alternative metal, funk metal and metalcore genres.

The lyrical themes in the realms of groove metal are varied and have been praised by music critics. The vocals in this genre of music are often screamed, growled, or shouted. Sometimes, vocalists use clean vocals in a song or parts of a song to build dynamics. Guitar solos in groove metal songs are often short parts in context with lyrical and musical themes. The drumming styles in this genre vary, with many drummers using double bass drumming styles on fast tempos. The bass parts in songs have a chunky sound that often forms the groovy tripod sound with guitar riffs and drum parts.


41. Corrosion of Conformity

42. Testament

43. Dagoba

44. Crowbar

45. Hatebreed

46. Threat Signal

47. Souls at Zero

48. Damageplan

49. Forbidden

50. Helmet

51. Avatar

52. Superjoint

53. Texas Hippie Coalition

54. Pro-Pain

55. Down

56. Exodus

57. Demon Hunter

58. Sacred Reich

59. Mudvayne

60. Voivod


How Neo-Thrash Diversified

While many record labels promoted metal in a big way in the '90s, Roadrunner Records in particular did a fantastic job of promoting bands associated with neo-thrash. Few groove metal bands managed to find major record deals, while others released their albums independently. Over the years a number of bands with diverse influences in metal have showcased a technical metal sound rooted in groove metal. Post 2000, numerous alternative metal bands have merged groove metal/post thrash elements bringing in a new groove metal alternative sound.


61. Fight

62. Bleed From Within

63. Killer Be Killed

64. Suicidal Tendencies

65. Volbeat

66. Living Sacrifice

67. Clutch

68. Face Down

69. Annihilator

70. Primus

71. Helmrock

72. Entombed

73. Slipknot

74. Betzefer

75. After The Burial

76. Praxis

77. Kreator

78. Brujeria

79. Fireball Ministry

80. Skid Row


81. Destruction

82. Nuclear Assault

83. Powerstroke

84. Biomechanical

85. Tankard

86. A Perfect Murder

87. Powerman 5000

88. Butcher Babies

89. Flotsam and Jetsam

90. Tad

91. Such A Surge

92. Nonpoint

93. Life of Agony

94. Soilent Green

95. Hacride

96. A Life Once Lost

97. Gurd

98. The Haunted

99. 36 Crazyfists

100. Grimaze

Other Notable Groove Metal Bands

  • Silent Civilian
  • Brick Bath
  • Omega Diatribe
  • AxeWound
  • Throwdown
  • Bewized
  • Divine Hersey
  • Jinger
  • The Showdown
  • Hemlock
  • Upon a Burning Body
  • Nailbomb
  • Lazarus A.D.
  • Body Count
  • 32nd Chamber
  • Metal Allegiance
  • City of Fire
  • Bad Wolves
  • Mortification
  • Hamlet
  • Lost Society
  • Brotality

© 2017 Ansel Pereira

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