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The original post

Posted by slinx on 24.02.2012 at 10:10
I'm pretty drunk, so feel free to delete this, but this is something I've been meaning to ask for a while.

All metal is alternative to mainstream culture, so why is this different from other metal? Hell, this 'alternative' metal may be the most recognized metal on the radio to the non-exclusive metal listener.

Heavy Metal is the most basic (starting point) for all metal and most likely contains the most fans. Followed by thrash and power in terms of popularity; these groups are pretty mainstream for metal music.

Death metal or at least metal with harsh vocals fills up a smaller segment than either heavy, thrash or power and definitely has less fans than any of the previous music choices (though this site may differ).

Black metal, which puts death metal to shame with its creepiness, is even further away from the mainstream culture, or fuck, even the mainstream metal culture.

So shouldn't black metal and death metal be labeled alternative metal? Or is alternative metal, the alternative of 'true \ underground metal'?

Thank you. Donuts and roses for all.



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squidrick420

Posts: 187

Age: 22
From: USA

  08.03.2013 at 20:49
In the context of this website, i feel that "alternative metal" is meant to cover all the genres of metal that were missed by the other thread sections. However as a genre, Alt-metal is impossible to define almost. I consider it to be whatever I personally can't categorize very easily (Deftones, He Is Legend, even old 311).
ThunderAxe1989
Irreligious

Posts: 7284

Age: 25
From: Bahamas

  27.10.2013 at 22:29
What defines it? Well to me, if the music that they play is neither all that extreme or all that melodic....but more 'in between', I would say that would suggest that the music is alternative metal (stoner, industrial, nu).
Lião

Posts: 131
From: Brazil

  03.11.2013 at 16:42
I used to think that Alternative metal is a fusion between Alternative Rock and Heavy Metal riffing. But now it seems to be a umbrella for many metal subgenres like Nu Metal, Avantgarde or Industrial...

Alice in Chains and Soudgarden are the only bands which I consider to be Alternative Metal (talking about the fusion genre here). They are alternative rock bands with metal riffings.

Other acts goes further than this simple categorization: Faith no More is way experimental, Nu metal doesn't have metal riffs most time and are heavily influenced by rap or electronic music than Alternative Rock; System of a Down is more like a hard rock group with progressive rock and Armenian music influences....
mz

Posts: 2543

Age: 24


  04.11.2013 at 22:48
I just wanted to add some questions:
-is nu metal a sub genre of alternative metal ?
-what's the relationship of alternative metal with progressive music and avantgarde metal?
I will be glad if sb answer these.
----
Giving my ears a rest from music.
Karlabos
<insert title>

Posts: 1635

Age: 26
From: Brazil

  05.11.2013 at 00:13
Written by mz on 04.11.2013 at 22:48

I just wanted to add some questions:
-is nu metal a sub genre of alternative metal ?
-what's the relationship of alternative metal with progressive music and avantgarde metal?
I will be glad if sb answer these.


As far as I know, it looks like the label alternative metal dates from very early, when metal was like only guitar, bass, drums, maybe keys and a dude singing, then some bands started to mix non-metal like styles with the traditional metal, like funk, grunge, and so on.. In this sense, every band that doesn't follow the traditional line can be considered alternative, so yeah, nu metal could be a sub genre, because it consist of mixing hip hop and metal.
However in the later years everybody is making something different, and there are a shitload of bands that can be considered alternative metal, I would say that it is something very embracing, like... I agree with the metal storm separation: alternative metal embraces nu metal, avant garde metal, stoner, and so on...

As for avant garde metal, it is more like a recent term imo, and a needed one, because even though a lot more of subgenres appearing there are still a lot of bands that can make something so unusual that can not be classified in something else. And it seems very unfair to make a label just for that specific band (althought there are some bands that do create a new subgenre to classify them), someone above said that avant garde can be referred as a political/artistic movement, but it applies for music as it's definition, like something that ´pushes the boundaries of music' or so... I think of it as an euphemism to et cetera metal, the ones who can't be classified.

Then about a relation with progressive, I wouldn't know what to say. The term progressive came before alternative, so if alternative was trying to label something somewhat different at the moment, I think they would be distinct styles.. But I don't know
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( ˘ﮦ ᴗ ˘ﮦ) ♪ '
mbcameron

Posts: 41
From: USA
  30.12.2013 at 03:35
I've been wondering about this for quite some time and to anyone that would like to indulge my curiosity regarding genre classification. My band generally labels ourselves as progressive/ alternative metal and has done so since before I joined but I kinda always felt we should just be going with progressive even though some of our songs are far less progressive than others (hell, one song is basically just a thrash song.) Anyone wanna listen and give me an opinion on the genre classification you would stick on us?
http://saxeus.bandcamp.com/
And I know there is a thread for promotion this just isn't really intended as promotion just genuine curiosity, though obviously if you like it then awesome, ha ha.
deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 4167
From: Australia

  06.01.2014 at 06:08
I don't think that "alternative metal" ever had a solid definition.

In those days I saw everything from Fear Factory to White Zombie to Soundgarden to Primus to Rage Against The Machine to Faith No More labelled as alternative metal.

I think it was just a catch all phrase for anything that couldn't be easily pigeon holed into an existing genre.
Angelic Storm
Melodious

Posts: 6656
From: UK

  07.01.2014 at 05:39
To me, it's basically any band which has metal as an element within their sound, but can't be pigeonholed into one particular genre.
deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 4167
From: Australia

  07.01.2014 at 23:40
That's a good definition. I remember people referring to Meshuggah as alternative metal in mid-1990s simply cause at the time, they didn't really fit in anywhere - djent is a much newer definition.
Karlabos
<insert title>

Posts: 1635

Age: 26
From: Brazil

  07.01.2014 at 23:46
Written by Angelic Storm on 07.01.2014 at 05:39

To me, it's basically any band which has metal as an element within their sound, but can't be pigeonholed into one particular genre.

Isn't this avant-garde metal?
----
( ˘ﮦ ᴗ ˘ﮦ) ♪ '
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Fuck

Posts: 36623

Age: 46
From: The Netherlands

  08.01.2014 at 00:19
Written by deadone on 07.01.2014 at 23:40

That's a good definition. I remember people referring to Meshuggah as alternative metal in mid-1990s simply cause at the time, they didn't really fit in anywhere - djent is a much newer definition.


Meshuggah alternative? Here in Europe people referred to Meshuggah as technical thrash, and rightly so, I would say.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 4167
From: Australia

  08.01.2014 at 00:25
I've heard that one too. I even heard them referred to as Math Metal (whatever the fuck that is).

And given they were Swedish I've heard them referred to as Death Metal at times too which is totally wrong.

Personally I like the "Fucked Up Groove Metal" someone came up with here at least for the period I like (up to and including "Destroy, Erase Improve"). After that I'd just call them shit though Koloss seemed like return to form to some degree.

Some of the more commercial mags even referred to Machine Head as alternative metal and even as Aggro Rock (again whatever the fuck that is).
deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 4167
From: Australia

  08.01.2014 at 06:58
Just saw that Meshuggah's even been classed as Alternative Metal on this website - check out the winning entry for 2008 Alternative Metal album of the year:

http://www.metalstorm.net/awards/archive.php?year=2008
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Fuck

Posts: 36623

Age: 46
From: The Netherlands

  08.01.2014 at 16:14
Written by deadone on 08.01.2014 at 00:25


...I've heard them referred to as Death Metal at times too which is totally wrong.



I've heard that too but only in the US, though. But then again they also referred to Arise, Beneath The Remains and Schizophrenia era Sepultura as death metal
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Lit.
Brütal Legend

Posts: 3719

Age: 27
From: USA

  08.01.2014 at 20:12
I can safely say I have never once in the US heard of Meshuggah referred to as alternative metal, and that I've only heard Sepultura referred to as death metal on this site and Wikipedia. I thought it was a European thing to refer early thrash metal bands like Venom and Sepultura as black and death (or proto-black and proto-death), respectively.
----
REPUBLICAN CAR!
deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 4167
From: Australia

  09.01.2014 at 00:09
I've commonly heard of early Sepultura (Morbid Visions era) being referred to as Death Metal. I dunno how correct this is as I've never bothered with early Sepultura in 17 years of listening to them - never liked Schizophrenia so never checked out the early stuff.

In one instance I did see Beneath The Remains and Arise being referrred to as Death Metal in Terrorizer of all places.


I've never regarded Venom as Black Metal. Early Thrash in my mind.

Also never agreed with some people who argued early Sodom and Kreator were Black Metal.
Lady GaGa

Posts: 2334

Age: 27
From: Canada

  09.01.2014 at 18:47
Alternative Metal is any band that plays Metal but has a lot more elements from other genres such as Punk, Hardcore, Alternative, Mainstream Rock, Pop Rock, etc.
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Aristarchos

Posts: 763

Age: 30
From: Sweden
  09.01.2014 at 19:20
Written by Angelic Storm on 07.01.2014 at 05:39

To me, it's basically any band which has metal as an element within their sound, but can't be pigeonholed into one particular genre.

Many alternative bands can be placed in genres like nu and industrial
Aristarchos

Posts: 763

Age: 30
From: Sweden
  09.01.2014 at 19:20
Written by Lady GaGa on 09.01.2014 at 18:47

Alternative Metal is any band that plays Metal but has a lot more elements from other genres such as Punk, Hardcore, Alternative, Mainstream Rock, Pop Rock, etc.

I think that is a better definition than Angelic's
Angelic Storm
Melodious

Posts: 6656
From: UK

  09.01.2014 at 20:50
Written by Aristarchos on 09.01.2014 at 19:20

Written by Lady GaGa on 09.01.2014 at 18:47

Alternative Metal is any band that plays Metal but has a lot more elements from other genres such as Punk, Hardcore, Alternative, Mainstream Rock, Pop Rock, etc.

I think that is a better definition than Angelic's


Emm... any band that plays metal but also elements of lots of other genres can't be pigeonholed into a single genre, which was what I said... :\

I personally wouldn't class industrial or nu metal bands as alternative, unless they had more than one style evident in their sound.
mbcameron

Posts: 41
From: USA
  10.01.2014 at 05:40
I have heard lots of weird genre classifications in the US. Usually people calling bands death metal that are not even remotely close. See the Judas Priest in the Simpsons clip? I've also heard bands like Lamb of God, Machine Head, and even Rammstein called death metal. Mostly by people who didn't listen to them though.
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist

Posts: 18673
From: Canada

  10.01.2014 at 06:12
Written by mbcameron on 10.01.2014 at 05:40
I've also heard bands like Lamb of God, Machine Head, and even Rammstein called death metal.

I've heard people call Slipknot, Disturbed, and Metallica death metal.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
Angelic Storm
Melodious

Posts: 6656
From: UK

  10.01.2014 at 08:07
Written by Troy Killjoy on 10.01.2014 at 06:12
I've heard people call Slipknot, Disturbed, and Metallica death metal.


Slipknot aren't death metal, but do have elements of death metal in some of their songs (Slipknot are a band I'd label as alternative metal). The other 2 bands though, have nothing to do with death metal at all. People who call Metallica "death metal" are obviously the kind of people who still believe that Bon Jovi are "heavy metal".
whatsacow

Posts: 2007

Age: 22
From: Australia

  11.01.2014 at 06:41
I generally think of alternative metal as a sort of cousin to prog metal, although more with a pop leaning. Whereas prog will merge metal with jazz, classical, folk, or other more complex genres, alt metal prefers to mix with alt rock, funk, hip hop, and electronica. That's just how I think of it anyway.
----
When God made up the golden rule, do you think he noticed that it condones rape?
Aristarchos

Posts: 763

Age: 30
From: Sweden
  23.01.2014 at 18:34
Written by Angelic Storm on 09.01.2014 at 20:50

Written by Aristarchos on 09.01.2014 at 19:20

Written by Lady GaGa on 09.01.2014 at 18:47

Alternative Metal is any band that plays Metal but has a lot more elements from other genres such as Punk, Hardcore, Alternative, Mainstream Rock, Pop Rock, etc.

I think that is a better definition than Angelic's


Emm... any band that plays metal but also elements of lots of other genres can't be pigeonholed into a single genre, which was what I said... :\

I personally wouldn't class industrial or nu metal bands as alternative, unless they had more than one style evident in their sound.

So you're saying that nu metal doesn't contain element of other genres?
Angelic Storm
Melodious

Posts: 6656
From: UK

  23.01.2014 at 23:16
Written by Aristarchos on 23.01.2014 at 18:34
So you're saying that nu metal doesn't contain element of other genres?


Yep. Not all bands labelled as "nu metal" actually play the same style of music.
deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 4167
From: Australia

  24.01.2014 at 00:52
Most bands called nu-metal were closer to rock than metal.

There are some certain stylistic rules that make metal metal.

It's like the differences between punk and metal.

Slipknot are very much a metal band whereas Limp Bizkit are rap rock and stuff like Spineshank industrial hard rock.
Ganondox

Posts: 435

Age: 18
From: USA

  20.06.2014 at 17:25
It's not an alternative to mainstream metal, aside from classic metal bands it's probably the most mainstream form of metal, it's one of the most popular forms of rock right now in general. The etymology is simply alternative rock + heavy metal, it's basically alternative bands playing metal. Just as alternative rock isn't alternative anymore, neither is alternative metal. However, the source is the same, just as early alternative rock bands experimented more and had unconventional song structures and lyrical themes for rock, alternative metal bands experimented more and had unconventional song structures and lyrics for metal. IMO alternative metal is a cross genre term that really refers to four different things: metal bands that don't exactly fit in any other genre (Disturbed), alternative rock bands that are heavily influenced by heavy metal (Breaking Benjamin), and the modern version of hard rock (Shinedown). There is definitely overlap between the three groups, which is why it's all alternative metal even though it all sounds very different. Sometimes a trend emerged from a group of alternative metal bands, forming a new genre, like nu metal or grunge, and thus it's not alternative metal anymore.


Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.06.2012 at 15:54

Written by arwestromen on 07.06.2012 at 14:21
I've heard that alt metal bands play in sertain way so it doesn't fit any established metal genre....so any band that doesn't fit in but sounds like metal is an alt. metal band.

What about experimental or avant-garde metal bands? Before djent and blackgaze were being used you wouldn't have lumped those bands into the alt-metal spectrum either.


Usually the difference seems to be if it's heavier than most metal, it's avant-garde metal, if it's lighter, it's alternative metal.

Written by whatsacow on 11.01.2014 at 06:41

I generally think of alternative metal as a sort of cousin to prog metal, although more with a pop leaning. Whereas prog will merge metal with jazz, classical, folk, or other more complex genres, alt metal prefers to mix with alt rock, funk, hip hop, and electronica. That's just how I think of it anyway.


I agree with this sentiment, it's especially true for bands like System of a Down, Deftones and Tool. I'm a big fan of both progressive and alternative metal, and this is why.

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