At the beginning types of metal music there was just traditional heavy metal. Shortly after it evolved and splintered into many different styles and types of metal music. As time has gone on, there are literally hundreds of subgenres, but these are some of the main genres of heavy metal:
Avant Garde Metal
Also called experimental metal, it’s characterized by unusual and nontraditional instruments and song structures.
Examples: Arcturus, Dog Fashion Disco, Mr. Bungle, Peccatum, Vintersorg
Characterized by high-pitched raspy vocals and pagan/satanic lyrical imagery. Symphonic black metal is a subgenre that uses keyboards and is more melodic.
Examples: Bathory, Burzum, Emperor, Mayhem, Venom
A combination of heavy metal and Celtic music with lyrics focusing on Celtic mythology.
Examples: Cruachan, Geasa, Waylander
An extreme form of the genre that uses distorted guitars and a growling vocal style sometimes described as “cookie monster” vocals.
Examples: Cannibal Corpse, Death, Deicide, Morbid Angel
A genre that uses slower tempos and emphasizes gloomy, melancholy and atmospheric music. There are numerous subgenres of doom, including drone, epic, industrial, sludge and stoner.
Examples: Candlemass, Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Solstice
A combination of the darkness and melancholy of goth rock with heavy metal. The lyrics tend to be epic and melodramatic. This is a genre that uses a lot of male/female vocal combinations with the male vocalist generally using more aggressive vocals and the female singing in an ethereal soprano.
Examples: Lacuna Coil, Leaves Eyes, Theatre Of Tragedy, Tristania.
Combining heavy metal riffs with hip-hop influences and rapped lyrics, this genre became very popular in the late ’90s through the early 2000′s and then fell from favor. There are a few bands of this style still doing well, although most have come and gone.
Examples: Korn, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Slipknot
A very melodic form of metal that utilizes soaring guitars and strong vocals, usually in a higher register. It’s also an epic style, with long songs and many lyrics about mythology, fantasy and metaphysical topics. Most power metal bands also have a keyboardist.
Examples: Blind Guardian, Fate’s Warning, Helloween, Jag Panzer