Evolving from the blues rock and psychedelic rock genres that were popular in the United States and the United Kingdom in the late 1960s / early 1970s, metal music has grown over the last 40 to 50 years to become one of the most popular genres of music in western civilisation. Characterised by an all-encompassing sound comprised of heavy guitar riffs, extended solos, highly amplified distortion and, of course, the volume turned up to 11 (Spinal Tap style), the metal genre has broken off into a variety of subgenres that have been adopted by many Australian metal bands. Some of these subgenres include:
- Thrash Metal – Originated in the early 1980s and is identified by its fast tempo and aggression (see Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer – aka ‘The Big Four’).
- Death Metal – Identifiable by its ‘death growl’ vocals, this subgenre spun off from thrash in the mid-1980s. Can be further classified into melodic and technical death metal.
- Deathcore – An extreme fusion genre which blends elements of death metal with metalcore and sometimes hardcore punk. Emerged from North America in the early 2000s and includes bands like Bring Me the Horizon.
- Hardcore – short for Hardcore Punk, this subgenre emerged from the United States in the mid 1970s and is a harder and faster variation of standard punk rock.
- Post-Hardcore – Borne out of the hardcore sub-culture, Post-Hardcore emerged in the mid-late 1980s in New York and Washington DC.
- Grindcore – Largely an amalgamation of crust punk, hardcore punk and death metal or thrash metal, music within the Grindcore subgenre is best identified by its guttural, growling vocals, hard beats, and incredibly short songs.
- Doom – This subgenre of metal music marries slower tempos with low tuned guitars and heavier sound scapes to produce music that conveys a sense of doom.
- Sludge Metal – Evolving as an offshoot of Doom, the Sludge subgenre encompasses the hardcore punk sound with Southern Rock elements.
- Black metal – Born in the early 1980s, Black metal is arguably the subgenre that attracts the most controversy from commentators outside the metal community – mostly for its dark lyrical themes. The music is best characterised by the use of extreme tempos, screeching vocals, heavy distortion, and blast beat drumming.
- Heavy metal – The argument about whether ‘metal’ and ‘heavy metal’ are interchangeable terms could go on forever. At Rainnbow, we take the point of view that the original heavy metal genre evolved into the metal genre once the numerous subgenres and derivatives emerged, leaving the traditional heavy metal sound (think Alice Cooper, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC) as the main metal genre in a sea of subgenres and derivatives.
These are just a selection of the subgenres and derivatives that you’ll come across in the metal genre. Rainnbow is here to help you find the best new Australian metal bands across all states, territories and subgenres.
Australian Metal Bands
Australian metal bands have been a staple of the local music scene since the 1970s. Over the years, local metal sounds have been influenced by the sounds coming from the US and UK, as well as by the burgeoning local pub rock scene made popular by the likes of AC/DC and Cold Chisel. By the mid 1980s, established and new Australian metal bands were being influenced by the Scandinavian bands of the time, and by the mid-1990s would often experience greater success in Europe than in their homeland.
From classic Australian metal bands like Rose Tattoo and the enduring AC/DC through to present day bands like Parkway Drive, I Killed the Prom Queen and Wolfmother, the current status of the Australian metal scene continues to thrive. Many new Australian metal bands will experiment with a number of different subgenres, all while putting a distinct Aussie spin on their music.
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