The 6 Most Metal – Metal Subgenres!

“All you need is love.” – The Beatles

“I wanna to slit your throat and f**k the wound.”  -Slipknot 

The great thing about metal is that there is a type of metal subgenre out there for you no matter who your dark lord is. A quick search will yield a wide variety of metal including but not limited to heavy metal, black metal, death metal, viking metal, symphonic black metal, cello metal, Christian metal, unblack metal, crust punk, dark metal, death ‘n roll, melodic death metal, piano metal, doom metal, technical death metal, drone metal, sludge metal, experimental metal, extreme metal, folk metal, glam metal,  medieval metal, gothic metal, grind core, deathgrind, goregrind, industrial metal, Latin metal, metal core, death core, mathcore, Nintendo core,  Metal on Metal, a piece of metal lodged in my skull, post metal, power metal, progressive metal, Speed metal, thrash metal, aluminum, groove metal, new wave of British Heavy Metal and New Metal.  With so much metal, what is a metal head supposed to listen to? The six most metal – metal subgenres, which I have compiled here for you to love or hate.

Viking Metal!

If the Vikings had electric guitars this is the type of music they would have played. Viking Metal combines Black Metal and Folk Metal and incorporates lyrical themes about paganism, Norse mythology and of course the Viking Age. Some bands include founders of the genre Heavy Load, as well as Wolchant, Ancient Rites, Borknager and Tyr. One of the best Viking Metal bands is Amon Amarth. These guys have beards that would make ZZ Top jealous and they swing them around, head banging in unison. Like Vikings!

Amon Amarth “The Pursuit Of Vikings”


You know all of that amazing 8 bit music that would blare out of your parent’s old wood paneled television in the basement while you were trying to save the princess for the eighteenth time? Well someone had the awesome idea to take that and blend it with rock and metal! Video game based metal.  Yes that’s a thing! They infuse 8 bit video game sound effect samples, melodies and lyrical themes from the games with punk and metal.  Bands include Horse The Band, The Advantage and Minibosses. Now if someone would rerelease old video games with a Nintendocore soundtrack I think I could have gotten through Legend of Zelda a lot quicker.

“Horse The Band”

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Medieval Metal

While Iron Maiden may be named after a medieval torture device, bands like Corvus Corax and Subway to Sally  take the medieval vibe to the next level. And it makes sense if you think about it. What other period of human history was more metal?  Black death, The Crusades and more plagues.  Sounds like a Slayer song! Medieval Metal blends medieval folk music using bagpipes and flutes with heavy guitar riffs while singing in German about Medieval stuff.

“Subway to Sally”

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Death Metal

Death Metal is one of the most metal (and popular) subgenres because it gets right to the point. Nothing is more metal than death right? With “Cookie Monster” vocals and double pedal drumming, and lyrics about cannibalism, murder and suicide, death metal sometimes feels like you’re about to die. Bands include Possessed, Death, Obituary, Carcass, Deicide and Morbid Angel. Oh and speaking of mosh pits, here is an epically brutal one during a Cannibal Corpse concert that included a metal head in a wheelchair:

“Cannibal Corpse”

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Black Metal

This is the metal music your mother warned you about. Black metal is notorious for its association with Satanism and the occult. With shrieking vocals and extreme stage shows that include impaled animal heads, dousing band members in animal blood and fake crucifixions, black metal is a step above other genres in how sincerely they take their work. And they like to take their work home with them! In addition to a series of over fifty church burnings in Norway in the early 1990’s attributed to the black metal scene, one black metal musician Varg Vikernes of Burzum even murdered his band mate! Other bands include Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost.


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Thrash Metal

Thrash metal is one of the more popular genres of metal and helped influence other subgenres. With lightening fast guitars and melodies, thrash became popular in the early 1980’s with head bangers everywhere. Bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax (The Big 4 of Thrash!) are household names and have helped spread the popularity of the genre overall.   

The Big 4 of Thrash Metal Playing Together

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And I want to point out that Black Sabbath should be considered their own genre of metal. However, ever since I heard that MurderFace from Metalacalypse was based on bass player Geezer Butler, I can’t get this image out of my head when Geezer is destroying my brain with his sick bass lines.

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Bonus Metal Video: Every Time I Die

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