The 6 Most Metal – Metal Subgenres!

PhilHaney by PhilHaney on Sep. 03, 2013

“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"

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"

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"

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.



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

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.

Bonus Metal Video: Every Time I Die

Follow me @PhilHaney


Tim-Hudson-998 User

so i'm guessing no one has ever heard any good metal on this thread? cephalic carnage, cryptopsy, beneath the massacre, decrepit birth, psycroptic, all extremely talented bands that very few musicians in general can even touch skill wise

Teknopuls3 User

Seriously, you can keep practically every genre here locked away and it would never be missed. Give me my Metallica, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Anthrax, Scorpions or any other decent hair metal band before the make-up n hair spray.  You cant understand a fuckin thing anyone is singin about.


These guys obviously dont know metal, i dont see Yanni anywhere...

chugnspit User

all those rock bands in that picture but i didn't find ac/dc or metallica anywhere???  glad to see pink floyd made it though because they play some heavy

Peter-Swansich-181 User

Metal with folk loric themes/folk instruments and no growling is where it's at. Too bad it has to share the same genre as  the "grrrwhhhaaahhhrrrhurrrrr Thor hgargleurrgrrr muh swords n vikings hurrr" type of "songs".

Bill-Teeple-301 User

There are quite a few genre's to metal and not sure this blog entry does much justice to any of them - 1st time I have ever heard of Nintendocore - and not entirely sure it needs it's own sub-genre.  Black Sabbath is one of the pioneers of Metal which helped spawn the DOOM metal genre (along with MC5, Stooges, Deep Purple and Hendrix).  Metal is in the ear of the listener, I guess.  

Jrockius86 User


Megadeth4 User

MegaDeth4Life. Without Dave Mustaine There wouldn't be Thrash Metal   \m/  OxO  \m/

Paul-Britton-615 User

@squall9126 @Jrockius86 You're both a pair of bitches. It's all shit. NO good music has been made in a very long time.  Most bands make 1 good song and then it turns to shit that people just pay for. Metal aint my favourite genre, but it is highly over popular for the wrong reasons. but fuck it, whatever keeps you happy keeps me happy


@Paul-Britton-615 @squall9126 @Jrockius86 you obviosuly don't search for music. I like to explore different genres of rock, and have found lots of good stuff to listen to.

Killswitch engage, Russian Circles, Hacride.....just try looking, you may find some stuff you like.