I was recently asked to expound on some of the things I found when I went into my Metal-world. So here we go.
First, the basics. I was truly having trouble figuring out what sub-genre of Metal I was looking for. I have always been a fan of Rock. My dad got me started on classic rock from the 70’s and 80’s at a young age. It’s always been my go to genre.
I can definitely appreciate a lot of Hard Rock and Alternative Metal. Those would probably be my kind of ‘everyday Rock’. When I got my craving though, I was looking for something a little heavier. I ran into a roadblock though.
I can appreciate a lot about music. I can acknowledge things about music that maybe I personally don’t care for as much. I don’t always like Country music, but it tends to tell very good stories.
I don’t like not being able to understand vocal in music. This particular preference made it hard when I went down the Metal rabbit hole so to speak. There are a lot of sub-genres with difficult to understand lyrics. Sometimes it’s the vocalist, and sometimes it the sort of growling or screaming way that they are sung. That wasn’t the kind of thing I was looking for.
I did know that I was looking for something with fast percussion and precise melodies. I looked into several sub-genres of Metal, including: Black Metal, Speed Metal, Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Symphonic Metal, Viking Metal, Hardcore, Thrash Metal, Grindcore, and Horrorcore.
I mostly used Wikipedia to get example groups from each of these sub-genres and then went to Spotify to look them up. I listened to some longer than others. Certain ones I could tell weren’t what I was looking for right at the moment. Where I really started to find something I could latch on to was in the Symphonic Metal and Power Metal sub-genres.
Symphonic Metal Uses the chords, structures, and thematic elements of traditional Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, but blends in symphonic elements. There are usually soaring vocals and classical string instruments involved. The group I enjoyed most was Apocalyptica. I have a soft spot for heavy guitars and cellos together.
My favorite sub-genre was definitely Power Metal. Power Metal combines elements from traditional Heavy Metal and Hard Rock(think Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne) with the speed and technical precision of Speed metal, and the grand sweeping arrangements and vocals seen in Symphonic Metal. Some of my favorite groups here were Blind Guardian, Edguy, Dragon Force, Dark Moor, Elvenking and Nightwish.
I really enjoyed the powerful, energetic and precise nature of the melodies, combined with the speed of the percussion and the soaring vocals. It really captured what I was looking for. It was uptempo and energetic, and I could still understand the vocals. Some of the imagery was a little fantastic, but I’ve never been one to shy away from fantasy.
So that’s where my Adventure in Metal led me. I still enjoy some of the more popular groups too, like Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Pantera. I think that with all the sub-genres to explore, Heavy Metal was something I needed to really get deeper into, to find the stuff I really liked.