Aesthetics Wiki

Metal is a term that encompasses a style of heavy, aggressive music. Heavy metal was the culmination of the Acid rock heard in the late 1960s - a genre that describes the heavier sounding psychedelic rock first played by various bands of the San Francisco music scene. Metal music is easy to notice; loud guitars, fast drumming and violent lyrics generally being the main components. Bands credited for the start of metal range from the heavy blues of Led Zeppelin, Blue Cheer, and Jimi Hendrix, to the occult rock stylings of Coven and Blue Öyster Cult, and on to the likes of Alice Cooper, Pentagram and Black Sabbath. Bands like MC5 and The Stooges were also crucial in presaging the hardening of rock music into both punk and metal styles. The 1970s and early 80s brought the "New Wave of British Heavy Metal", while various bands from the United States and continental Europe solidified some of the first subgenres - notably Doom metal and Power metal, as well as the popular and prolific Thrash metal scene. This sonic and subcultural diversification under the "heavy metal" umbrella would, notably, continue into the first decade of the 21st century.

Because of the aggressive sound, it became cause for panic by Christian parents, who believed the music to be Satanic and a bad influence for children during the 80s. Despite the pushback, metal is still popular in many facets of music, influencing genres such as Grunge, Nu-metal and Rap metal among many, many other subgenres and microgenres. Fans of metal are called headbangers or metalheads.


While some metalheads may introduce some variety into their musical tastes, the vast majority of their musical diet is heavy metal. This is also music that a lot of people involved in bodybuilding will listen to while working out to keep them motivated and pushing their bodies beyond their known limits to sculpt their bodies in the desired way (be they Mass Monster or Classic bodybuilders), which can lead to a lot of crossover between the Bodybuilder and the Metalhead (and sometimes a combination of the two, which can cut an imposing silhouette).

Heavy metal (or simply metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in Blues rock, Psychedelic rock, and Acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.


Black Metal[]

Main Article: Black Metal

Black Metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw (lo-fi) recording, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on atmosphere. Artists often appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms .

Death Metal[]

Main Article: Death Metal

Death Metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may include slasher film-style violence, political conflict, religion, nature, philosophy, and science fiction.

Thrash Metal[]

Thrash Metal is a subgenre of heavy metal characterized by fast percussive beats, low-register rhythm guitar riffs, and shredding lead guitars. Thrash Metal originates from the early 80's taking influence from Traditional Heavy Metal and Hardcore Punk as a counter-movement to the rise of Hair Metal in the mainstream music industry. Much like Hardcore Punk, lyrical themes of Thrash Metal often include criticism of the establishment, concern for environmental destruction, and disdain for Christian dogma. Thrash Metal bands include Slayer, (early) Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, and Obituary.


Deathgrind (sometimes written as death-grind or death/grind) is a shorthand term that is used to describe bands who play a fusion of death metal and grindcore.

Drone Metal[]

Drone Metal (or drone doom), is a style of heavy metal that melds the slow tempos and heaviness of doom metal with the long-duration tones of drone music.

Funk Metal[]

Funk Metal is a fusion genre of funk rock and alternative metal which infuses heavy metal music (often thrash metal) with elements of funk and punk rock. It was popular in the mainstream during the late 1980s and early 1990s, as part of the alternative metal movement.

Folk Metal

A fusion of heavy metal with various styles of folk music from around the world.

Glam Metal[]

Glam Metal, also known as Hair Metal was a genre that emerged from Los Angeles in the mid-late 1980s, having a basis in hard rock and heavy metal with inspirations from pop. Glam Metal has a unique and exaggerated upbeat tone in music and fashion. Bands such as Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Van Halen, L.A. Guns, W.A.S.P., and Faster Pussycat lead the genre at the time.


Grindcore is an extreme fusion genre of heavy metal and hardcore punk that originated in the mid-1980s, drawing inspiration from abrasive-sounding musical styles, such as: thrashcore, crust punk, hardcore punk, extreme metal, and industrial.

Groove Metal[]

Groove Metal (also known as post-thrash or neo-thrash) is a subgenre of heavy metal music. Music journalists and fans have used groove metal to describe Pantera, Exhorder and Machine Head. At its core, groove metal takes the intensity and sonic qualities of thrash metal and plays them at mid-tempo, with most bands making only occasional forays into fast tempo. There is often a crossover with Southern Rock - the genre is heavily associated with Confederate symbology, the city of New Orleans (where the closely related genre of Sludge Metal is hugely prominent), and the state of Texas.


Goregrind is a fusion genre of grindcore and death metal. British band Carcass are commonly credited for the emergence of the genre. It is recognized for its heavily edited, pitch shifted "watery"-sounding vocals and abrasive musicianship rooted in grindcore.

Gothic Metal[]

Gothic metal is a hybrid genre that combines gothic rock with heavy metal.

Melodic Black Metal[]

Melodic Black Metal (also known as blackened melodic death metal or melodic blackened death metal) is a genre of extreme metal that describes the style created when melodic death metal bands began being inspired by black metal and European romanticism. However, unlike most other black metal, this take on the genre would incorporate an increased sense of melody and narrative.

Melodic Death Metal[]

Melodic Death Metal (also referred to as melodeath) is a subgenre of death metal that employs highly melodic guitar riffs, often borrowing from traditional heavy metal.

Power Metal[]

Power Metal is a subgenre of metal that focuses on grandiose instrumentals and clean, powerful vocals. Lyrical content can vary, but many bands tend to focus on either war or medieval fantasy.

Progressive Metal[]

Progressive Metal (or prog metal) is a fusion genre melding heavy metal and progressive rock that combines the loud "aggression" and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral or "pseudo-classical" compositions of the latter.

A subgenre of Progressive Metal, Djent, is made distinct by a high-gain, distorted, palm-muted, low-pitch guitar sound. The name "Djent" is an onomatopoeia of this sound.

Symphonic Metal[]

Basically metal mixed with symphonic elemets like violins. Usually you got that one chick that used to sing opera or was in the choir as your main vocalist. topics are usually about dragons or chasing your destiny and have fantasy elements

Unblack Metal[]

Unblack Metal is a religious philosophy within black metal whose artists are either directly against the Satanism prevalent in black metal, or promote Christianity in their lyrics and imagery.

War Metal[]

War Metal (also known as war black metal or bestial black metal) is an aggressive, cacophonous and chaotic subgenre of blackened death metal, described by Rock Hard journalist Wolf-Rüdiger Mühlmann as "rabid" and "hammering". Important influences include first wave black metal band Sodom,first wave black metal/death metal band Possessed as well as old grindcore, black and death metal bands like RepulsionAutopsySarcófago and the first two Sepultura releases. War metal bands include Blasphemy, Archgoat, Impiety, In Battle, Beherit, Bestial Warlust and Zyklon-B.

Nu metal[]

Main Article: Nu-Metal

Nu metal (sometimes stylized as nü-metal) is a subgenre of alternative metal that combines elements of heavy metal music with elements of other music genres such as hip hop, alternative rock, funk, industrial, and grunge.


fashion tends to be really simple; t-shirts in support of their favorite band (or bands), simple jeans, boots or sneakers, and possibly a leather jacket. Both male and female metalheads have a tendency to also keep their hair long with male metalheads growing massive facial hair (and, if they don't keep their hair long, they'll shave it all off). In modern days, it's not unusual for metalheads to be covered in piercings and tattoos as well (some will also dye their hair unnatural colors), but the core Metalhead fashion remains.

When you get into the Black Metal end of the Metalhead spectrum, they'll take the aesthetic to a brand new level; often appearing dressed in black with combat boots, bullet belts, spiked wristbands and inverted crosses and inverted pentagrams to reinforce their anti-Christian or anti-religious stance. However, the most stand-out trait is their use of corpse paint—black and white face paint sometimes mixed with real or fake blood, which is used to create a corpse-like or demonic appearance.

Another key factor of Metalhead culture is the art of crafting a "battle jacket" (sometimes referred to as a "cut-off" if the sleeves have been removed. Some may choose to leave the sleeves on, but this is not common). This involves buying a denim/leather jacket (though other articles of clothing have been known to be decorated in this fashion) and covering it in various patches of different band logos, albums, and motifs. Some Metalheads will make an effort to buy their patches directly from the bands, whether that be at a concert merch table or at an officially licensed online shop to support the bands. Alternatively, some may choose to hand paint or sew their patches, or just buy them from random retailers. These choices are entirely dependent on the person.


  • Attending metal concerts
  • Listening to metal music
  • Creating metal music
  • Watching metal music videos
  • Contributing to metal publications
  • Creating battle jackets and similar items
  • Drawing the logos of their favorite metal bands.

Metal-related Media[]

  • Decline of Western Civilization Part II
  • Headbanger's Ball
  • Heavy Metal Parking Lot
  • That Metal Show
  • Metalocalypse
  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Wayne's World (and Wayne's World 2)
  • Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (The Making of St. Anger)
  • Slipknot: POLLUTION