Metal to the Core: An Examination of our Options

Updated on April 22, 2016

24 Genres, and Even More Sub-Genres

The curious and musical person that I am Googled "metal genre's" today. Because I listen to so much metal, I rarely catch a name to go with a particular sound. I just love everything about someone screaming their hatred or fears into a microphone connected to way too much sound. There's something about metal on metal instruments that make me no longer care that screaming "isn't singing". Don't get me wrong, I don't love everything I hear, but I am always open to a new metal band. This is mainly because there are so very few left out there, and they have broken up into over fifty categories. You almost have to know your type of metal to search for newer bands, and I am no closer now to finding my favorite than I was before. Nu metal is probably my favorite, but finding a new nu metal band is like finding gold.

Alternative Metal (Funk, Rap, and Nu)

Funk, Rap, and Nu Metal all got thrown under the same genre: "Alternative Metal". These all hold the same basic qualities. Rage Against the Machine, for example, would fall under all three and generally be classified by just it's alternative metal title, where Slipknot sticks firmly in the nu metal category and Anthrax is dominant in Rap Metal.

All are great bands to check out, but the younger generation doesn't have too many bands in this category to reach out for, so it got me thinking that there had to be more. I was really positive when Slipknot produced The Grey Chapter, because they like bringing the industry alive again. It seems, though, that they aren't here to stay for another album anytime soon. I'll always love Corey Taylor, but Stone Sour is not what I am looking for under this category.

Many of the older bands are still active, and many still write music. If you're wondering if your favorite nu metal artist is still touring, look them up and support them. Bands like 36 Crazyfists, Korn, Disturbed, 311, Alien Ant Farm, Slipknot, and Biohazard are still active in one way or another, and where you find fans of these favorites you might find new local favorites as well. I always go to concerts with around four people, and we make friends around us as we all wait to hear our favorite bands. If you aren't comfortable talking to strangers or are alone (I would never suggest attending a festival on your own, but a concert might be feasible), then listen to what people are talking about around you. Text yourself names of bands that you overhear and be sure to grab a program with the names of the bands performing before the main act.

Sweetest Poison (Texas in July)

Christian Metal

I stumbled upon Christian Metal, and to be honest I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's dark, and biblical... I think. There is the same amount of sound as any other kind of metal music, but in order to fall into a Christian category there must be a biblical meaning behind their lyrics.

Evanescence is placed into this genre, and I'm absolutely okay with that, because her words are clear and there is a metal undertone to the sound of her instrumentalists. The male member of this band is what keeps her in the metal category at all for me, though. Skilled is more like what i would want in a Christian Metal sound. They scream more than Evanescence does, and they stay true to their Christian title. There is a dark side to any person. They know that and exploit the darker feelings of the religion, respectfully.

Then it gets darker, and here's the line for me. Thrash metal, hardcore, metalcore, or whatever you call it... that's a little sinful to me and I'm not sure that it's respectful to the best of Christianity. This could be in part that I'm more of an Agnostic Christian, so maybe the end of the song does bring it around back to following God... If I weren't to have known that they fell under a Christian category, though, I would have no feelings whatsoever about the lyrics because those boys know how to rock!

Black Metal

Black metal is where I draw the line. Yes, I'm kidding. I'll be honest, though. This is the line where I stop enjoying the vocals most of the time. I had to actually search "black metal bands" on YouTube for this category because I couldn't think of any. I'm always impressed with the musicians, but the lyrics never translate through my ears.

When I started my search, IMMORTAL was the first to show up. there are actually a lot of bands listed on Wikipedia as well, and that's where I will start. When you start getting into what I call the "darker" metal, it can get dangerous to go alone to the shows. Crowds can get violent fast, and in many forms of metal that is dancing. If Slipknot fans can cause the damage I've seen then I can't imagine what black metal concerts are like. Remember that line I mentioned? I'll buy and support any metal, but I like to stay away from mosh pits. As a woman, that's an easier task than if I were to be male. If a man refuses to mosh with the others around him, he might be dragged in for a "deflowering" of sorts. Not to say that this will always happen, but if you aren't ready to get rowdy you should stay away from the circling masses of people at your favorite metal show. I believe this is especially true for black metal and "harder core" metal.

Finding New Music

New music doesn't always mean that the band wasn't always around, and so what if they don't make new music anymore? It's something that's new to your ears, and you might find a new one in the bunch. Wikipedia is where I started in my amateur search for some heavy metal music, but there are many other websites dedicated to keeping the metal industry alive. The lists and news can seem never-ending, but it gets so much easier when you go through three or four bands on YouTube to get a feel for what your metal senses are telling you right now.

When I started off, I was sure that the metal industry was dying, but it has become clear to me that they just have the most loyal fans ever. We're okay with jamming to tunes from the past as long as their voices are holding up. I always welcome new metal into my life, but it gets hard because the heavier, thrashier metal isn't allowed on the radio because of the language. I'm not exactly sure that it has anything to do with the language anymore, since Comedy Central is allowed to say more and more dirty words on the air. There's radio stations that we can pay for, but as far as free radio goes we are left with Pandora and Pandora-like applications for our browsing of new metal. I obviously use YouTube a lot, but it's almost as if metal is not on the air because it's kept off of the air. Many metal artists don't use that much profanity, so if there were to be a station on the radio like US99 has for country they could showcase only these artists and mention more profane artists as suggestions. Maybe the problem is just that no one is listening to the radio that much because we can create our own with applications like Pandora. When it comes to pop music, it's all about whether you make the radio or not. Maybe metal will grow stronger as a genre because of this disadvantage that they have in the music industry, for whatever the reason.

Questions & Answers


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      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

        I wasn't aware of these distinctions and was intrigued by your hub.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

        I'm also confused about Christian Metal. I'm not into metal, but I learned from your article.

      • Say Yes To Life profile image

        Yoleen Lucas 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

        I love working out to hard rock / heavy metal! I started listening to it regularly 12 years ago, when I was working 60 - 80 hours a week and needed to stay awake driving. It started when I bought the Incubus CD "Morning View"; listening to it was like waking up from a coma! I obsessed over it for months. I even flew to LA to see them in concert!

        Regarding Christian - Creed is a good band. I have their Greatest Hits CD.