What Are the Different Types of Metal Music?


Music of all types is admired by the different types of audiences. While some genres target a broad group, there are a few others where the particular genre is appealing to only a few people. One such music group is metal music. This involves hard metal and instruments which play a more elevated sound with a major gap in pitch. There are several kinds of metal music, as mentioned below. 

Different Types of Metal Music

Metal was once considered a super-loud and fierce music genre. Today, it has been divided into many subcategories. 

Heavy Metal

KISS performing metal music. 

If we talk about the foundation of metal music, it would be Heavy Metal Music. It emerged in the 1960s in the region of the UK and the US. Initially, it was considered as one of the sub-genres of rock music but with time, it got its distinct value as well. The era of the 1960s was one when rock music was already rising and heavy metal music just gave a new touch to the rising liberal pop culture of that era. Heavy Metal music includes thick and massive sounds which are somewhat aggressive. Deep Purple and Black Sabbath are known as the first bands to introduce metal music. There is a diverse history of metal music.

Instruments included in heavy metal music include electric guitars, heavy drums, rapid beats, and major distortion in the music throughout. Heavy metal music is considered to bring psychological effects on a person as well. Many people who listen to heavy metal music experience a substantial rise in their adrenaline levels. This is one reason why heavy metal music is also considered to be a good choice when you are working out. 

Popular heavy metal songs include In The End by Linkin Park, Fairies Wear Boots by Black Sabbath, and Bring Me to Life by Evanescence. 

Avant-Garde Metal

An Avant-garde metal music concert. 

All other categories of metal music are considered to be the sub-genres of heavy metal music. As far as Avant-Garde Metal music is concerned, it is considered to be a form of experimental metal music. Bringing anything new and unusual to the basic heavy metal music is considered Avant-garde metal. Primarily, all the elements of music are challenged, making the music deliberately different. 

Avant-garde metal includes progressive rock, extreme metal, and the musical influence based on culture and politics as well as other kinds of controversial topics. Electric percussion and drum machines compliment the Avant-garde metal really well. Among the earliest singers of Avant-garde metal are George Antheil and Claude Debussy. This type of metal music has stayed popular in the USA, Norway, and Japan. 

Popular Avant-garde metal songs include Nightmare Heaven by Arcturus, Heroines by Diablo Swing Orchestra, and Chromatic Chimera by Unexpect. 

Extreme Metal

Venom at a heavy metal concert.

If we talk about the most aggressive form of metal music, it would be extreme metal music also known as death metal music. It includes a series of sonic, verbal, and visual transgressions that depict a unique form of antagonism. Usually, such music is non-commercialized and only a handful of bands have been working on the promotion of such extreme forms of music. It includes abruptly explicit language as far as lyrics are concerned while such metal also discusses sensitive topics such as drugs, alcohol, politics, racism, sex, and other taboo issues. 

As a matter of fact, due to discussion of such topics in extreme metal, sometimes the songs are banned while other times, they are not even released. Besides, they can also have subjects like suicide discussed among them. Many times, music is banned because it could lead to violence and an increase in hate crime. 

Popular extreme metal songs include Blood and Thunder by Mastodon, Flying Whales by Gojira, and Live Like an Angel by Venom. 

Thrash Metal

One of the earliest thrash music concerts. 

As the name suggests, an extreme version of heavy metal is called thrash metal. Thrash metal has a high speed of songs with a fast tempo and extraordinary aggression. There are low-register guitars while the shredding-style lead guitars are also used as the main instruments. This genre was introduced by underground artists in the 1980s with complex guitar styles and double bass drumming. Thrash metal was focused on liberalism and came out as a backlash to conservatism. 

Many might confuse it with speed metal music but we have clarified the difference below in speed metal music. Different types of thrash metal music genres include Blackened Thrash Metal, Crossover Thrash, Death Thrash, and Metalcore as well. Venom, the popular heavy metal singer, is known to be the initiator of thrash metal music. 

Popular thrash metal songs include Caught in a Mosh by Anthrax, Angel of Death by Slayer, and Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth. 

Groove Metal

Founder of Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore. 

A unique form of metal music that has stayed popular in the early 1990s to late 2000s decade is groove metal music. Like the name suggests, groove metal is inclined towards the use of aggressive metal as well as the rhythmic aspects of a song side by side. While many of the heavy metal instruments are used, the unique aspect over here is that groove metal has down-tuned guitars, syncopated rhythm, heavy guitar riffs, and it even includes some raspy singing. Another important feature of groove metal is that it is slower than other forms of heavy metal music.

 Unfortunately, groove metal is no longer popular as the trend has changed majorly. Among the pioneers of heavy metal are White Zombie, Machine Head, and Skinlab. It emerged from Texas and New York. The primary source of inspiration for metal music was from blues bands that were also focused on heavy metal such as Deep Purple. 

Popular groove metal songs include Laid to Rest by Lamb of God, Flying Whales by Gojira, and King Me by Lamb of God. 

Doom Metal

King Diamond who used to write conceptual lyrics about horror stories,

Doom metal is also one of the extreme forms of heavy metal which emerged in the early 1980s. Doom metal isn’t that popular these days except for a few occasions. The base of doom metal music is metal with a slower tempo and low-tuned guitars which ultimately create a thicker sound. As a result, this is considered to be the heaviest form of hard metal music as well. The main reason why doom metal got its name is that the music and lyrics are mainly focused on stressful situations, depression, strong anxiety, sadness, and any other “doomed” situation. 

Black Sabbath is considered to be the pioneer of doom metal music. Other than that, Pentagram, The Obsessed, and Candlemass are known to bring the doom metal to the next level. This kind of music has emerged from the UK and USA. Doom metal music has evolved in various ways as well which is why it has been classified among the traditional doom and epic doom. The epic doom is very relevant these days. 

Popular doom metal songs include Ice Cold Man by Probot, Death, Don’t Come Near Me by Draconian, and Rotting Misery by Paradise Lost. 

Speed Metal

Judas priest performing in 2005. 

A personal favorite recommendation of metal music is Speed Metal. Even though it isn’t much listened to these days, it is among the favorites because it incorporates a balance between melody and lyrics while giving it the element of metal music. According to AllMusic, the essence of speed metal is the speed along with the technically demanding music aspect. Compared to thrash metal, this metal music is more melodious. 

Besides, speed metal also has expressive vocals but is not harsher than thrash metal. The main reason why people listen to speed metal music is that it gives a good adrenaline rush. While it originated in the early 1970s, it has stayed popular for quite a while along with other types of metal music. The pioneers of speed metal music include Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Juda Priest. Speed metal music was among those rare forms of music which originated from Europe as well. It was quite popular among the top metal bands of the 1980s as well.

Popular speed metal songs include Fast as a Shark by Accept, Through the Fires and Flames by Dragonforce, and Metal Meltdown by Judas Priest. 


Metal music has stayed popular among many audiences, but particularly for the young individuals who are highly energetic and self-motivated. Almost all types of metal music give a boost to adrenaline giving the listeners an energetic boost. Many still think that metal music is one of the strangest musical styles in the world. Above, we have mentioned the various forms of metal music along with their popular songs. 

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