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What is YOUR definition of the term "Metal"?

Posted in: Forum Home >> General Music Discussion >> What is YOUR definition of the term "Metal"?

Displaying 18 posts
Displaying 18 posts
Nov 6, 2009 1:26 PM ET #1 (permalink)

Somewhere along the line the term "Metal" has been altered to indicate Thrash or Speed Metal. Am I correct?

"Metal" to me will always be a short for "Heavy Metal" which indicates Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Sabbath, etc.

Bands like Venom, Iced Earth, King Diamond, etc are Death Metal. Bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, etc are Speed Metal or Thrash. Groups like Dream Theater; Prog Metal. Tool, NIN, Rammstein; Industrial Metal. Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica; Symphonic Metal... I could go on.

Any one else have a take on the proper definitive for "Metal"?

Nov 6, 2009 1:40 PM ET #2 (permalink)

I think you need to have a conversation with Cynic about sub-genres my friend. Your views are definately flawed. I'm not being a dick, just letting you know that you are off in your assumptions.

Nov 6, 2009 2:55 PM ET #3 (permalink)

Venom, Iced Earth, and King Diamond as Death Metal?!

Death Metal would be more like Obituary, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, etc, etc...

Edit: "Speed Metal" is considered to be a "ghost" genre by most people. Only certain individuals have the ability to identify the attributes of that specific genre. Some say it exists and some say otherwise.

(This post was last edited on November 6, 2009 at 3:01 PM ET.)

Nov 6, 2009 4:29 PM ET #4 (permalink)

Speed Metal to me is bands like Dragonforce or Brain Drill....bands like Metallica and Megadeth and Trivium would fall under Thrash...they aren't the same genre.

Nov 6, 2009 4:34 PM ET #5 (permalink)

I consider metal to be all things metallic, but many consider it short for heavy metal. I still consider heavy metal to be the sort of parent genre and the rest are subgenres. Defining heavy metal as its own genre apart from the subgenres is another task since the roots of metal span several different genres from rock to blues, psychadellic and doom. How does one go from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and label them within a narrow category of "heavy metal" if you don't consider it some overarching genre? They all were responsible for the founding and success of metal, so how can you have not call them all "heavy metal." And if you do, then separating "heavy metal" from the other subgenres becomes very difficult.

As for speed metal vs thrash, I always thought Speed Metal was just the term that was used before Thrash gained popularity. But there could be some technical differences like thrash uses the palm-muted guitar style, etc. I'm not so technical on the music side of things though :-)

(This post was last edited on November 6, 2009 at 4:36 PM ET.)

Nov 6, 2009 5:02 PM ET #6 (permalink)

Metal is an umbrella term. I believe that DB is correct in saying that Speed Metal was a term used to define Thrash early on but I believe there are technical differences between the two now. Still, one can not define Venom, Iced Earth, and King Diamond as Death Metal by any stretch of the imagination.

Nov 6, 2009 5:07 PM ET #7 (permalink)


Nov 6, 2009 7:53 PM ET #8 (permalink)

Blind is right in saying the term 'metal' is an umbrella term. Metalheads might say to someone who listens to pop that they listen to metal, but to another metalhead, they would never be so vague - they'd say I like thrash, or death, or black, or any other of the myriad variants.

The real problem here is that MTV considers everything from Bon Jovi to Slayer as being 'Heavy Metal'. No wonder you're confused, man. 'Heavy Metal' itself is almost a synonym for 'Metal' these days - it's an umbrella term, too. 'Heavy Metal', however, includes not only the metal genres, but much of the Rock n Roll, Hard Rock, Southern Rock, etc spectrum. Which means if you're trying to talk about a specific band, the terms 'Heavy Metal' and 'Metal' are useless as genre classifications. Nowadays, you really have to break it down into the proper and appropriate sub-genres.

What used to be 'Heavy Metal' (Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc) is now 'Classic' or 'Traditional' metal. Bearing close resemblance to these is many New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) bands (Saxon, Def Leppard, Motorhead, Diamond Head, Iron Maiden, etc). Speed Metal grew out of NWOBHM, and then reformed itself into Thrash. Anvil and Exciter are Speed, and Voivod combines Speed with prog elements, but it's pretty much impossible to differentiate Speed from Thrash nowadays, and you wouldn't be wrong to call a Speed band a Thrash band.

Nov 6, 2009 7:59 PM ET #9 (permalink)

SHREDDER made a great post.

For most people and the public, heavy metal == metal as umbrella terms for the genre. However, a lot of metal fans use heavy metal == classic metal (Sabbath, Priest, Maiden) and metal as the single umbrella term (which is a scheme I wholly endorse :P). NWOBHM is another synonymous term, except location oriented, and normally used to denote bands which came slightly after the S/P/M deal, like Diamond Head.

Speed metal and thrash metal is in the same boat. As Shredder said, for most people they were terms vying for the position of describing the same thing and therefore synonymous. On the other hand, the same bunch of picky types like to make small differentiations between say Exciter/early Overkill and Slayer/Exodus.

And King Diamond is definitively NOT death metal.

Nov 6, 2009 8:26 PM ET #10 (permalink)

^I agree with everything you just said... mostly because it's everything I said, too hahah :)

Nov 9, 2009 10:47 AM ET #11 (permalink)

Venom arguably started the Death Metal genre with the album Black Metal. By todays standards it isn't anywhere close to CC or Obituary, but its still Death Metal in ways. I agree Metallica is Thrash, Rammstien is Industrial, etc, but by todays standards a few of those aren't correct.

Nov 10, 2009 5:19 PM ET #12 (permalink)

Rammstein is industrial METAL. There's a whole other side to regular industrial music.

Nov 10, 2009 5:28 PM ET #13 (permalink)

Yeah, Velvet Acid Christ and VNV Nation are industrial (I think lol probably subdivided since even they sound different), and nothing like Rammstein.

Nov 10, 2009 5:47 PM ET #14 (permalink)

I'd disagree Venom was death metal, hell, most people think it's pushing it to call them black metal. Death metal tooks it's first steps with Death, Possessed etc. - no doubt influended by Venom though.

Nov 10, 2009 6:34 PM ET #15 (permalink)

(shrugs) I always thought of Venom as the missing link between death and thrash - I call it... dash... lol

Nov 10, 2009 7:14 PM ET #16 (permalink)

I don't have a definition, but I know it when I hear it. All that needs to be said really.

Nov 10, 2009 8:01 PM ET #17 (permalink)

Speed metal is like Extreme metal; it's a highly inaccurate specific label at worst, a really useless umbrella term at best

I'm just pissed because I took a metal quiz yesterday and when it asked what metal genre Cradle of Filth belonged in, I clicked Black metal, and got it wrong. Apparently, the quiz said it was "Extreme metal" We can argue all day about how to define Cradle's music if you dont want to call them black metal anymore, but when faced with "Thrash, death, power, extreme, and black metal", Which would you choose? Fuckin quiz.

Another thing, fuck whoever coined the term "ALTERNATIVE ROCK". no goddamned sense.

Nov 11, 2009 2:58 AM ET #18 (permalink)

^ FaN....i fuckin love the pic...thats just bad ass. Also i agree that Cradle is Black metal

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