I've been wanting to write about this for a long time but I find it hard to categorize some of the bands. Well, some people think that metal is a division of rock music. Based on my experience plus words from those who knows better than me, I say that metal is a genre on its own. Sure Metal has the same components as rock music, such as the use of guitars, drums and bass, but so does jazz, blues or even hip-hop. But due to the harsh vocals and foul language used, metal is not accepted by the society, even if the subjects talked about is serious and concerning issues ( compared to rap & r&b who only talk about sex and drugs). Anyways lets just skip that part a moment and focus on categorizing what we call metal:
- Early Metal : The early days of metal. Pioneered by the most important metal band of all time, Black Sabbath. Compared to today's metal, this is for wimps. But don't be fooled by the slow tempo and simple chord progression, without them there could possibly be no metal at all. It is then continued by bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. After that the flow of metal is smooth and it quickly spreads out by itself.
- Thrash metal: This is possibly the softest form of metal available today. A firm example would have to be Metallica. The riffs are pretty much easy due to the slower tempo but people seem to go with this because the vocals are pretty much comprehensible but at the same time they can get a bit of the energy and anger generated from metal. But let me tell you, if you say that you're a metal fan but only listens to the likes of Metallica or Megadeth, then you're nothing but a poser. Dont' stop here, continue on. Thrash metal bands I actually like is Slayer and Five Finger Death Punch.
- Groove Metal: I don't really know about this one but people seem to mention it a lot. I do know that bands like Pantera or Lamb of God resides in this subgenre. I guess it's another genre that receive huge attention and bands people actually know about.
- Nu metal: New age metal, as the name suggests. The metal community doesn’t really accept this form of metal. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s because they tried to fuse elements of rap and hip-hop into it. Band such as Slipknot or Korn, they definitely sound different from other stuff but for Slipknot, I kinda like them. A band featuring a lineup of 9 definitely is something different. Plus the wearing of creepy masks help gain their notorious reputation. The vocals is harsh, just like usual, but this time the tone itself is very angry and changing, different from the death growls of death metal or high pitched grunts from black metal. I like both the guitarist, Jim Root and Mick Thomson. Definitely shredders since they can play so well.
- Metalcore: This is the subgenre of metal that has been receiving a lot of attention lately. Don't know what is metalcore? Think of Trivium, Atreyu and Bullet for my Valentine. One think that I realized from metalcore is that they have heavy sreaming in their songs but the chorus part is switched to singing. It's quite pretty straightforward, the chord usage is relatively simple and the solo section doesn't involve heavy use of arpeggios or complex structures, just alternate picking with a bit of sweep pick or tapping added to it. Then it is usually paired with a simple guitar duel before getting to the breakdown.
- Death Metal: This is my favorite subgenre of metal. Why? Simply because my all time favorite metal band is in it, Children of Bodom. They are just wonderful, very melodic, super guitar solos, keyboard duel, I mean it's everything you can ask for. After listening to every song Alexi Laiho has to offer, I started to get a bit bored and went to search other bands in the same subgenre. Bands like In Flames, Cannibal Corpse and Necrophagist caught my attention. It involved complex riffs and very heavy drum beating and not to mention dark death grunts ( it's different for COB and In Flames). Necrophagist for instance, involves the most complicated riffs I've ever seen and extensive usage of sweep picking and heavy arpeggios, but when comes to soloing, Muhammed Suicmez is a Yngwie Malmsteen clone. He downright copies Malmsteen's licks, style and technique of playing. Some other death metal band to take note are Carcass and Ensiferum.
- Black metal: I don't know much about this because I dare not get close to it. One reasons it's because they diss religion and worships satan. Come on how crazy is that, satan should be your no. 1 enemy not the other way around. Anyways the theme and atmosphere generated from Black metal bands is very dark and trecherous. It doesn't involve as much of technical skills or complex riffing as death metal, since they put a focus on satan. If you still want to check em out, go with Cradle of Filth, Behemoth or Gorgoroth. But I warn you, once you enter this road, you can never go back. Don't say i didn't warned you.
I know I missed out some other genres of metal such as power metal or speed metal, but I'm putting this down based on my experience and my knowledge. Keep in mind that this may not be 100% accepted by the metal community, so you might just wanna keep it as a guideline to yourself.
I can already imagine some people asking me why I left out Dragonforce right? Well it's simple they are nerd metal. Stupid worthless and wasting of time. They are not actually metal but try to disguise it with heavy guitar battles which they can't actually repeat in a live environment. That's why they are called Studioforce. If it wasn't for Guitar Hero 3, none of us would have ever heard of them.