History Main / MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness

10th Feb '16 2:48:41 AM Xaris
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# Classic metal and most PowerMetal. This is also (mostly) the point after which Punk transitions into Hardcore Punk. The music is pretty fast and noisy at this point. The lyrics start to become darker, though vocalists still use clean, melodic styles most of the time. The heavier sides of Glam and post-grunge can be found here, as well as much NuMetal. Viking and FolkMetal start showing up around here. The lightest GrooveMetal can be found here. AlternativeMetal with more emphasis on the 'metal' part starts showing up here as well as most ProgressiveMetal. Most metal/electronic crossovers either begin here (metallic dubstep and drum and bass) or end here (hard trance, {{Speedy Techno Remix}}es, and eurobeat). Metalcore will only occasionally be found here, but when it is, it usually lacks harsh vocals, save for a token scream or two (think, most of Music/AllThatRemains recent songs, or most old Avenged Sevenfold) or the occasional {{yarling}}.
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# Classic metal and most PowerMetal. This is also (mostly) the point after which Punk transitions into Hardcore Punk. The music is pretty fast and noisy at this point. The lyrics start to become darker, though vocalists still use clean, clean and melodic styles most of (often classically trained for Power Metal) singing is still standard, usually saving harsh vocals for occasionally [[SopranoAndGravel emphasizing the time.contrast between styles]]. The heavier sides of Glam and post-grunge can be found here, as well as much NuMetal. Viking and FolkMetal start showing up around here. The lightest GrooveMetal can be found here. AlternativeMetal with more emphasis on the 'metal' part starts showing up here as well as most ProgressiveMetal. Most metal/electronic crossovers either begin here (metallic dubstep and drum and bass) or end here (hard trance, {{Speedy Techno Remix}}es, and eurobeat). Metalcore will only occasionally be found here, but when it is, it usually lacks harsh vocals, save for a token scream or two (think, most of Music/AllThatRemains recent songs, or most old Avenged Sevenfold) or the occasional {{yarling}}.
6th Jan '16 4:27:33 PM Josef5678
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# Relatively harder rock. This is where distortion-driven rock starts to become the norm, though mostly clean/acoustic guitar songs are also common. This is about where you can start finding punk, as well; lighter than this and you can't usually muster the kind of anger you need for punk. The harder, more bombastic end of ClassicalMusic, especially the works of the great composers, can also be found here. Lighter PostGrunge also begins to show up here. This is pretty much as heavy as Rock n' Roll got, though the vocal SurfRock gives some of the earliest examples of this level in Rock. This is also home to the slightly heavier dance-punk bands such as LCDSoundsystem and The Rapture. This is probably the last level where you're likely to find CountryMusic without a significant hard rock influence. # Hard rock that is definitely still rock. This level was first pioneered by instrumental SurfRock, but it wasn't until PsychedelicRock (primarily TheJimiHendrixExperience and Music/TheWho) that it was widely explored. The love songs start thinning out here, but lyrics at this stage can be about just about anything. This is also where mid-range post-grunge and the very heaviest dance-punk (e.g. Death from Above 1979, Music/ElectricSix and Music/DoesItOffendYouYeah) can generally be found. This is the last level where you can find classical music that does not have electronic or modernist elements. Baroque pop at this level often incorporates elements from harsher music genres. Discounting ballads, HairMetal starts here [[note]]of course, the hair metal at this level usually has more in common with Hard Rock than metal [[/note]], think Music/DangerDanger or Saraya. With a few exceptions, this is usually the higher end of mainstream CountryMusic as well.
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# Relatively harder rock. This is where distortion-driven rock starts to become the norm, though mostly clean/acoustic guitar songs are also common. This is about where you can start finding punk, as well; lighter than this and you can't usually muster the kind of anger you need for punk. The harder, more bombastic end of ClassicalMusic, especially the works of the great composers, can also be found here. Lighter PostGrunge also begins to show up here. This is pretty much as heavy as Rock n' Roll got, though the vocal SurfRock gives some of the earliest examples of this level in Rock. This is also home to the slightly heavier dance-punk bands such as LCDSoundsystem Music/LCDSoundsystem and The Rapture. This is probably the last level where you're likely to find CountryMusic without a significant hard rock influence. # Hard rock that is definitely still rock. This level was first pioneered by instrumental SurfRock, but it wasn't until PsychedelicRock (primarily TheJimiHendrixExperience Music/TheJimiHendrixExperience and Music/TheWho) that it was widely explored. The love songs start thinning out here, but lyrics at this stage can be about just about anything. This is also where mid-range post-grunge and the very heaviest dance-punk (e.g. Death from Above 1979, Music/ElectricSix and Music/DoesItOffendYouYeah) can generally be found. This is the last level where you can find classical music that does not have electronic or modernist elements. Baroque pop at this level often incorporates elements from harsher music genres. Discounting ballads, HairMetal starts here [[note]]of course, the hair metal at this level usually has more in common with Hard Rock than metal [[/note]], think Music/DangerDanger or Saraya. With a few exceptions, this is usually the higher end of mainstream CountryMusic as well.
27th Dec '15 5:14:23 PM valar55
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As of late, the scale has been expanded to include genres related to rock and metal such as ElectronicMusic, blues, jazz, and country. The scale also encompasses long-established musical standards such as pop[[labelnote:*]]though the examples provided are, of course, rock-influenced[[/labelnote]] and ClassicalMusic[[labelnote:*]][[OlderThanTheyThink which actually predates rock]] in being "hard", or "heavy", as proven by many classical pieces made before the rock age[[/labelnote]]. It should be noted that songs from these genres do not usually make it to the scale; those that do are usually similar to or influenced by rock or metal.
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As of late, the scale has been expanded to include genres related to rock and metal such as ElectronicMusic, blues, jazz, and country. The scale also encompasses long-established musical standards such as pop[[labelnote:*]]though pop[[note]]though the examples provided are, of course, rock-influenced[[/labelnote]] rock-influenced[[/note]] and ClassicalMusic[[labelnote:*]][[OlderThanTheyThink ClassicalMusic[[note]][[OlderThanTheyThink which actually predates rock]] in being "hard", or "heavy", as proven by many classical pieces made before the rock age[[/labelnote]].age[[/note]]. It should be noted that songs from these genres do not usually make it to the scale; those that do are usually similar to or influenced by rock or metal.
12th Dec '15 10:34:17 PM CassandraLeo
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* Songs by progressive, experimental, and avant-garde groups tend to be more difficult (or impossible) to classify. Some bands make a point of changing tempos, dynamics, and style to portray a wider range of emotions and ideas, as well as using sharp contrasts to make heavy moments seem heavier and vice versa. This naturally becomes more common with longer songs (see Rush's 2112 in level 6 examples), as twenty nonstop minutes of either blasting or light swing could easily be boring to the point of unlistenable. Classical examples include Yes and King Crimson, while more recent projects such as The Fall of Troy and maudlin of the Well mix [[SopranoAndGravel clean vocals with growls or screams]]. Bands such as Music/FaithNoMore, Iwrestledabearonce, Music/{{Sigh}}, Music/DirEnGrey, Music/{{Celldweller}} and Music/{{Ulver}} would take NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly to extreme levels, even going as far as [[GenreRoulette switching from one genre to another]] or [[GenreBusting playing an outright weird form of music]], sometimes resulting in songs that span nearly the entire scale.
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* Songs by progressive, experimental, and avant-garde groups tend to be more difficult (or impossible) to classify. Some bands make a point of changing tempos, dynamics, and style to portray a wider range of emotions and ideas, as well as using sharp contrasts to make heavy moments seem heavier and vice versa. This naturally becomes more common with longer songs (see Rush's Music/{{Rush}}'s 2112 in level 6 examples), as twenty nonstop minutes of either blasting or light swing could easily be boring to the point of unlistenable. Classical examples include Yes Music/{{Yes}} and King Crimson, Music/KingCrimson, while more recent projects such as The Fall of Troy Music/TheFallOfTroy and maudlin of the Well Music/MaudlinOfTheWell mix [[SopranoAndGravel clean vocals with growls or screams]]. Bands such as Music/FaithNoMore, Iwrestledabearonce, Music/{{Sigh}}, Music/DirEnGrey, Music/{{Celldweller}} and Music/{{Ulver}} would take NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly to extreme levels, even going as far as [[GenreRoulette switching from one genre to another]] or [[GenreBusting playing an outright weird form of music]], sometimes resulting in songs that span nearly the entire scale.
12th Dec '15 10:32:13 PM CassandraLeo
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* Interestingly enough, a live performance, remix, or reissue of a song can actually be a different level than the original studio version, especially if an extended solo(s) or guest musicians are involved. [[LoudnessWar Volume compression]] (which is frequent on recent remasters of old material) may arguably contribute to different hardnesses between releases as well. For example, compare [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fStQd9yFbvY this original version of the]] [[Music/{{Mozart}} Lux Aeterna]] to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLJllk-0o6c this one]], the latter of which was used in Film/RequiemForADream as a leitmotif. Notice a difference?
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* Interestingly enough, a live performance, remix, or reissue of a song can actually be a different level than the original studio version, especially if an extended solo(s) or guest musicians are involved. [[LoudnessWar Volume compression]] (which is frequent on recent remasters of old material) may arguably contribute to different hardnesses between releases as well. For example, compare [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fStQd9yFbvY this original version of the]] [[Music/{{Mozart}} [[Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart Lux Aeterna]] to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLJllk-0o6c this one]], the latter of which was used in Film/RequiemForADream as a leitmotif. Notice a difference?
13th Nov '15 4:16:34 AM Nick98
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# Most DeathMetal and BlackMetal. Lyrics start to get positively disturbing and/or {{gorn}}y and the singer will always be growling or screaming, though clean vocals can be used for [[SopranoAndGravel contrast]] or [[OneWomanWail for]] [[OminousLatinChanting sound]] [[CreepyChildrenSinging effects]]. The hardest variants of ThrashMetal,[[note]]especially German thrash metal[[/note]] MelodicDeathMetal,[[note]]See the examples from Septicflesh and The Black Dahlia Murder at this level[[/note]] and viking/folk metal can hit this point, but that is quite uncommon. At this point hardcore bands become indistinguishable from metal to anyone who's not a loyal fan of both genres, since hardcore at this level is blatantly influenced by metal. Likewise, Thrash Metal on this level can sound pretty close to Death Metal to the uninitiated. At this point HardcorePunk becomes {{grindcore}}, and while it is possible for a {{metalcore}} band to get this high, it's very rare, although this is Music/{{Chimaira}}, Music/{{Converge}} and Music/TheDillingerEscapePlan's home level, and Heaven Shall Burn often reaches this level as well. GrooveMetal at this level usually has a lot of DeathMetal influence.[[note]]See the examples from Chimaira, Fear Factory, [=DevilDriver=], Gojira, Meshuggah, Pantera and Slipknot at this level.[[/note]] {{Dubstep}} with a significant metal infusion ("metalstep"/"brostep") can also be found here.[[note]]Most of {{Skrillex}}'s harsher output resides at this level.[[/note]] This is also where you start to see Funeral Doom, Drone Doom, and Death/Doom.
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# Most This is most DeathMetal and BlackMetal.BlackMetal[='=]s home level. Lyrics start to get positively disturbing and/or {{gorn}}y and the singer will always be growling or screaming, though clean vocals can be used for [[SopranoAndGravel contrast]] or [[OneWomanWail for]] [[OminousLatinChanting sound]] [[CreepyChildrenSinging effects]]. The hardest variants of ThrashMetal,[[note]]especially German thrash metal[[/note]] MelodicDeathMetal,[[note]]See the examples from Septicflesh and The Black Dahlia Murder at this level[[/note]] and viking/folk metal can hit this point, but that is quite uncommon. At this point hardcore bands become indistinguishable from metal to anyone who's not a loyal fan of both genres, since hardcore at this level is blatantly influenced by metal. Likewise, Thrash Metal on this level can sound pretty close to Death Metal to the uninitiated. At this point HardcorePunk becomes {{grindcore}}, and while it is possible for a {{metalcore}} band to get this high, it's very rare, although this is Music/{{Chimaira}}, Music/{{Converge}} and Music/TheDillingerEscapePlan's home level, and Heaven Shall Burn often reaches this level as well. GrooveMetal at this level usually has a lot of DeathMetal influence.[[note]]See the examples from Chimaira, Fear Factory, [=DevilDriver=], Gojira, Meshuggah, Pantera and Slipknot at this level.[[/note]] {{Dubstep}} with a significant metal infusion ("metalstep"/"brostep") can also be found here.[[note]]Most of {{Skrillex}}'s harsher output resides at this level.[[/note]] This is also where you start to see Funeral Doom, Drone Doom, and Death/Doom.
8th Nov '15 3:07:43 AM SoapyTroper
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Broken links break my heart </3
* What's extreme to you may sound accessible, even ''catchy'' to the next person, so level assignments are highly subjective. For example, many tropers place metal ballads in level 6. On the other hand, seeing as how metal ballads typically interconnect softer acoustic/piano passages with harder electric guitar/percussion driven passages (that may otherwise reach into 8 to 9 range), one could just as easily assign them to level 7 or 8, depending on how far one felt certain passages removed the music from a level one felt was enjoyable. This is especially true in the case of [[TechnicalDeathMetal progressive death metal]], where extended [[SymphonicMetal symphonic]], [[{{Jazz}} jazzy]], [[ProgressiveRock proggish]], or [[FolkRock folkish]] passages are commonly interlaced with full-on level 10 or Level 11 blasting. Consider [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DlWQr8wYvY "The Lair of Purity" by Augury]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvVf1C8tGlc&hd=1 "The Lotus Eater" by Opeth]] by way of example: are these songs brutalising extreme metal, or are they lighter and gentler progressive metal?
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* What's extreme to you may sound accessible, even ''catchy'' to the next person, so level assignments are highly subjective. For example, many tropers place metal ballads in level 6. On the other hand, seeing as how metal ballads typically interconnect softer acoustic/piano passages with harder electric guitar/percussion driven passages (that may otherwise reach into 8 to 9 range), one could just as easily assign them to level 7 or 8, depending on how far one felt certain passages removed the music from a level one felt was enjoyable. This is especially true in the case of [[TechnicalDeathMetal progressive death metal]], where extended [[SymphonicMetal symphonic]], [[{{Jazz}} jazzy]], [[ProgressiveRock proggish]], or [[FolkRock folkish]] passages are commonly interlaced with full-on level 10 or Level 11 blasting. Consider [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DlWQr8wYvY "The Lair of Purity" by Augury]] and [[http://www.[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvVf1C8tGlc&hd=1 com/watch?v=XhohQNdSt7g "The Lotus Eater" by Opeth]] by way of example: are these songs brutalising extreme metal, or are they lighter and gentler progressive metal?
12th Sep '15 10:34:18 PM nombretomado
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* In general, a band will have songs that are higher or lower on the scale than their usual level, hence why websites like Wikipedia put some bands and/or albums as both rock and metal. (Compare [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlVdPl-oEmg "Tourette's"]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPSYplu_3fA "Polly"]], both by {{Nirvana}}.) It's easier to just judge each song by itself. You also have bands that [[NewSoundAlbum change their style]], often becoming [[DarkerAndEdgier heavier]], [[LighterAndSofter softer]], or becoming a genre that's [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly much harder to classify altogether]].
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* In general, a band will have songs that are higher or lower on the scale than their usual level, hence why websites like Wikipedia put some bands and/or albums as both rock and metal. (Compare [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlVdPl-oEmg "Tourette's"]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPSYplu_3fA "Polly"]], both by {{Nirvana}}.{{Music/Nirvana}}.) It's easier to just judge each song by itself. You also have bands that [[NewSoundAlbum change their style]], often becoming [[DarkerAndEdgier heavier]], [[LighterAndSofter softer]], or becoming a genre that's [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly much harder to classify altogether]].
3rd Jul '15 6:48:57 PM Folamh3
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* Song dynamics play an important role in determining overall hardness; most pop and rock songs often use a fairly predictable verse-chorus-verse structure, with a bridge thrown in before the final chorus, whereas most mid-ranged heavy metal songs break up the pattern slightly with strategically-placed solos or breakdowns, and heavier forms of music opt for more complex structures. Musicians from certain genres such as mathcore and IndustrialMetal may even ignore song structures altogether for a more chaotic sound. However, song dynamics alone cannot make a song heavier or softer: some very heavy songs consist of ''[[StrictlyFormula nothing but breakdowns]]'', and genres such as GothRock, ProgressiveMetal, baroque pop and ClassicalMusic tend to ping lower on the scale despite the complexity of the song structures.
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* Song dynamics play structure plays an important role in determining overall hardness; most pop and rock songs often use a fairly predictable verse-chorus-verse structure, with a bridge thrown in before the final chorus, whereas most mid-ranged heavy metal songs break up the pattern slightly with strategically-placed solos or breakdowns, and heavier forms of music opt for more complex structures. Musicians from certain genres such as mathcore and IndustrialMetal may even ignore typical song structures altogether for a more chaotic sound. However, song dynamics structure alone cannot make a song heavier or softer: some very heavy songs consist of ''[[StrictlyFormula nothing but breakdowns]]'', and genres such as GothRock, ProgressiveMetal, baroque pop and pop, ClassicalMusic and especially jazz tend to ping lower on the scale despite the complexity of the song structures.
3rd Jul '15 6:46:16 PM Folamh3
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There's no need to list exceptions to every rule of thumb mentioned here, and mentioning the exception doesn't actually illuminate any particular point.
* Certain instrumental techniques are more commonly found in heavier rock or metal than in softer varieties: double-bass drumming (where the drummer uses two bass drums, or two bass pedals) is practically ubiquitous in extreme metal, but rarely heard in rock, for example, although there is at least one very famous exception (Music/YoshikiHayashi in Music/XJapan and Music/VioletUK, who does this on ''any'' song that involves drumming). Similarly, many metal guitarists make heavy use of techniques such as palm muting, tremolo picking and tapping, which tend to be used sparingly, if at all, in rock.
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* Certain instrumental techniques are more commonly found in heavier rock or metal than in softer varieties: double-bass drumming (where the drummer uses two bass drums, or two bass pedals) is practically ubiquitous in extreme metal, but rarely heard in rock, for example, although there is at least one very famous exception (Music/YoshikiHayashi in Music/XJapan and Music/VioletUK, who does this on ''any'' song that involves drumming).example. Similarly, many metal guitarists make heavy use of techniques such as palm muting, tremolo picking and tapping, which tend to be used sparingly, if at all, in rock.
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