ABC of Metal Part 2 of 3

Gothic Metal

ABC of Metal Part 2 of 3(2014)  Gloomy sounds characterize Gothic Metal. Keyboard pads support the often sad music. It is the music of the nightshade family. Therefore, a gruesome and / or sad atmosphere is a must-have in this genre. Heavy guitar riffs are added to the Gothic sound of bands like Sisters of Mercy or Fields of The Nephilim. Many Gothic Metal originated from Death and Doom Metal, such as the British bands My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost, representing their album "Gothic" a blueprint for the harder spectrum of the genre. The famous Finnish gothic rock band HIM also has its roots in Gothic Metal, even if subsequent successes are rather straight rock. However, the band was important for a small Gothic Revival in the mainstream around the turn of the millennium. It can be notices that especially in Gothic Metal, the proportion of female singers is extremely high. Bands like Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation or Epica are known for (and probably because of) their female singers. In harder gothic bands man and woman often share the vocals, with the male voice growling and the female voice usually singing in an operating style. Lyrical topics are romantic and fantastic themes, but also death is discussed in the lyrics. Similar to Black Metal the use of symphonic elements in some bands is very prominent, which is why there is a genre called Symphonic Gothic Metal with bands like Nightwish or Within Temptation.
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Industrial Metal:

The industrial metal is, as the name suggests, one of the most artificial forms of Metal. Rather simple and monotonous guitar riffs meet keyboards and influences of electronic music. This can vary from band to band: While Fear Factory still act very guitar-ladden, Nine Inch Nails is much more into electro. Overall, this genre focuses on a cool and clinical atmosphere. In the mid-1990s up to the turn of the millennium the blend of sci-fi and metal experienced a little boom in the United States. Bands like Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson or Fear Factory went gold and platinum with their records. However, it must be stated that Fear Factory could benefit greatly from the nu metal hype with their very modern approach. Conversely, many nu-metal bands had strong industrial influences, such as Static-X or Spineshank. At precisely the time a lot of metal bands such as Sepultura, Megadeth, Anthrax or Korn demanded remixes of their songs by industrial bands.
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Melodic Death Metal:

What began as a subgenre of Death Metal the mid-1990s, became a very popular brand of Metal due to the success of bands like At The Gates, In Flames or Soilwork. The music originates from Scandinavia and is based on Death Metal, which is provided with melodic guitar riffs. Bands like In Flames or Soilwork also included clean vocals into their songs in the late 90s, which should influence metalcore bands like Killswitch Engage, Unearth and As I Lay Dyingmany years later. Besides At The Gates, "Heartwork" by the British Carcass is certainly one of the seminal works of the early days of the genre. However, it was the the Swedish guitarist Michael Amott who introduced the melodic guitar work into the Bands sound. In Flames also has to be mentioned, as the Swedes made Melodic Death Metal presentable with albums such as "Colony" and "Clayman" and attracted a wide audience for the style. Meanwhile they have removed from the style and hint towards Melodic Death only spradically. Although Melodic Death metal was "just" a subgrene itself, it has become an independent and very popular music genre, which has in turn different styles to offer. Bands like Children of Bodom are spicing up their songs with influences from power metal and various Glam Metal cover songs, Heaven Shall Burn and As I Lay Dying mix Metalcore with Melodic Death Metal. Also, some bands always developed into more progressive realms such as Edge of Sanity.
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Melodic Metal/Power Metal:

Melodic metal is an offshoot of Heavy Metal. Stylistically ist is close to Power Metal, but for this, the focus is too much on melodic guitars and keyboards. Power Metal is characterized by the consistently high pace, while Melodic Metal is more played in mid tempo. In both genres, the melody is very much in the foreground and European bands do not use real riffs like Judas Priest or Saxon, who have a great influence on the Melodic Metal. American bands, however, often abolish the almost excessive use of keyboards and focus more on riffs. The vocals are also very high in Melodic and Power Metal. The music can also be influenced by classical music, as proven by Swedish guitarist Yngwie J. Malmsteen, who readily absorbs several purely instrumental pieces for all his studio albums, which show his influence from classical music. It can be said that the melodic metal is a genre cast almost exclusively by Europeans. Bands such as Edguy, Avantasia, Fair Warning, Stratovarius, all come from the old continent. In America they seem to focus more on Progressive and Power Metal, even if a band like Dragonforce has positioned exactly between Power and Melodic Metal, since it combines extremely high speed with extremely melodic guitars. Bands like Savatage or Iced Earth play American Power Metal that is much harder and sometimes thrashy, opposed to Blind Guardian, who put much focus on orchestral support.
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Metalcore has a fairly long development. In the mid-90s bands like Unbroken joined Hardcore with Metal. for the first time But not until the second wave of bands that emerged about 2003/2004, Metalcore was made popular. These bands joined thrash and melodic death metal with hardcore and breakdowns. Bands like Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Unearth and Shadows Fall, were important bands to make this music popular. These bands were ever moving towards the metal. However, Atreyu joined metalcore with emo and glam metal, whereby it became one of the most original bands on the scene. Very distinctive as well was the sound of the now-defunct Bleeding Through, although they always played quite dark metalcore, but from 2009 they started to include Black Metal into their songs. As of 2007 again a new wave of bands appealed to an even younger audience. Bring Me The Horizon, The Devil Wears Prada, Parkway Drive or Architects were partly technical, but also put on more and more breakdowns than on real metal riffs. Bring Me The Horizon were one of the first bands to be influenced by Groove and Nu Metal, resulting in a whole new scene emerging in the United States, which has little to do with bands like Killswitch Engage. Bands such as We Came As Romans, Of Mice & Men, Confide or Emmure are massively influenced by Nu-Metal riffs and breakdowns, but very little on real metal influences. Another trend was the mixture of metalcore and Euro Dance, provided by bands like Enter Shikari or Attack Attack!. On the other hand bands such as Misery Signals put much attention on atmosphere or Every Time I Die, who mix Metalcore with high musical standards and Southern rock. Metalcore was denounced and ridiculed by the more traditional metal audience at the time of the great Emo hype. This was due to the heartbreak lyrics, tight pants and elaborate hairstyles of the bands. However, bands like Killswitch Engage, Unearth or Heaven Shall Burn could gain a foothold at the Metal audience.
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Text by © Berning and Eschenbach