Metalheads are fans of heavy metal music have created their own subculture which encompasses more than just appreciation of the style of music. The first band to usher in the era of the metalhead is often debated on amongst metalheads and music snobs alike (most will claim Black Sabbath, though there have been arguments in favor of either Coven or The Beatles with their song Helter Skelter), and while it enjoyed immense popularity during the 80's, it did fall some with the rise of Grunge, eventually giving way for Nu-Metal and Rap Metal (which suffered a similar fate). With all hope of an eventual "Metal Renaissance" all but dashed against the rocks, the Metalhead subculture (and, by association, its aesthetic), still maintains a strong, steady, and devoted core of members and enjoys success around the world (especially in Europe and Latin America).
- 1 Fashion
- 2 Activities
- 3 Music
- 4 Media
- 5 Gallery
Metalhead 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 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
- Watching metal music videos
- Contributing to metal publications
- Drawing the logos of their favorite metal bands.
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. 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 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 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.
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 (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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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 Repulsion, Autopsy, Sarcófago and the first two Sepultura releases. War metal bands include:
- In Battle
- Bestial Warlust
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