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Groove Metal
Groove metal is, naturally, a subgenre of Heavy Metal. Considered either an evolution of Thrash Metal or a return to metal's blues-rock roots, groove metal is characterised by bluesy, slow-to-mid-tempo guitar riffs and Harsh Vocals. It's a very obscure genre name, but the bands from the genre are not.

First of all, who played groove metal first? Let's not get into that. Mentioning Pantera, Exhorder and "stole from" in the same sentence is guaranteed to cause Internet Backdraft, so let's not have discussions about who stole from whom. note 

Groove metal was most popular in the early nineties, after which it got replaced by Nu Metal, which itself occasinally took influences from Groove Metal (some bands more than others). Several Groove Metal bands have extensive Metalcore elements, a couple examples being Lamb Of God and Shadows Fall. Groove Metal also tends to take elements from Death Metal

Do not confuse the genre with Funk Metal, which is a sub-genre of Alternative Metal that focuses on bass playing and rhythm. The two genres, however, occasionally overlap, such as in the case of Soulfly. Due to its roots in Thrash Metal, groove metal is occasionally referred to as Post-Thrash.


Bands typically considered to be groove metal include:

Djent - a subgenre of groove metal characterized by heavy syncopated riffs, polyrythmic drumming and irregular time signatures which became popular in the early 2010s. Essentially, a cross between Progressive Metal and Groove Metal.

The groove metal genre contains the following tropes:

  • Careful With That Axe - It is fairly common in groove metal for vocalists to suddenly scream at random parts of a song. Pantera were rather well-known for making liberal use of the style, most notably in "The Great Southern Trendkill" (only with the help of Seth Putnam of Anal Cunt, however) and "Fucking Hostile".
  • Dead Unicorn Trope - Groove metal is a rather ill-defined genre; no one's really sure if it is a spin-off of thrash metal or a more "bluesy" variant of metal, or something entirely different. While musical characteristics such as slow-to-mid-tempo riffs, bluesy noodling, string bending and gravelly vocals are often used, there are so many exceptions that fans often argue about some bands that do not fall into the usual stereotypes.
  • Genre-Busting/Genre Roulette - Groove metal is fairly notable for the ease of fusing it with other heavy metal styles such as Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Thrash Metal, Death Metal and Nu Metal. Consequently, it has become common practice among groove metal bands to produce material that showcase seemingly disparate heavy metal stylings, as such with the case of Meshuggah (produced Technical Death Metal alongside their usual groove songs) and Nevermore (overlaps with Power Metal and Progressive Metal).
  • Genre Shift - Several bands have either shifted towards groove metal (Pantera, Sepultura, Fear Factory) or turned from groove metal to something else (Machine Head to nu-metal, though they eventually went back into groove metal).
  • Harsh Vocals - Grunts, rasps, and growls are very common in groove metal.
  • Internet Backdraft/Flame Bait: Go onto any metal forum, ask if Djent is a genre and see what happens.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness - usually an 8 or 9, but a step up (e.g. Pantera — "Suicide Note Pt. II", a 10-11) or down (most of Hacktivist's stuff, a 6-7) on the scale isn't unheard of.
    • The hardest bands in the genre are Lamb Of God, Meshuggah, Fear Factory and Chimaira.
    • As you might have seen with Pantera's example above, groove metal can get to level 11, although it's rare. Other than "Suicide Note Pt. II" (which is more of a borderline 11), the only other band who has ever reached that level is Meshuggah.
  • The Scrappy - Amongst metalheads (especially on Metal-Archives), groove metal is fairly unpopular-possibly due to its similarity to, and its role in the formation of Nu Metalnote -though it doesn't get as much hate as deathcore or nu-metal.
    • Within the genre, Hellyeah and Damageplan probably get the most hate due to a perception of not living up to their drummer's legacy.
    • While Djent is fairly popular, it gets a very bad treatment from metalheads that is very similar to what Nu Metal got, decrying it as stupid and unoriginal, with the prevailing sentiment being that it's a bunch of stolen Frederik Thordendal riffs mixed with treacly high-string noodling and effects-drenched droning leads under the pretense of "atmosphere". Prog fans hate it even more, viewing it as vapid, mindless, creatively stagnant, and absurdly formulaic, as well as decrying the "prog" label that is commonly attached to it due to the general absence of actual progression within the genre.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap/Ensemble Darkhorse: There are a good amount of Djent bands who are actually well respected by metalheads. Including Erra, SikTh, Meshuggah, Nevermore, and Animals as Leaders.
  • Soprano and Gravel - A few one-man variants, including Fear Factory and Machine Head.
  • Trope Codifier - If you regard Exhorder as the Trope Maker, then Pantera is probably the Trope Codifier. If you regard Pantera as a Trope Maker, then the Trope Codifier is open to debate, though Machine Head and Sepultura are the most likely candidates.
  • Trope Maker - Either Exhorder or Pantera. Or both.
  • Ur Example - Pantere's Cowboys from Hell for groove metal in general. Meshuggah and Nevermore are this for djent.


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