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Djent

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Djent is a subgenre of heavy metal characterized by heavy syncopated riffs, polyrhythmic drumming, and irregular time signatures which became popular in the early 2010s. Later bands also added in other elements that became commonly associated with the genre, namely clean, ethereal atmospheric textures, electronic overtones, and occasionally clean singing depending on the act. Essentially, a cross between Progressive Metal and Groove Metal.

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Because djent refers to a style of guitar playing, the genre of metal largely depends on the band in question. A lot of bands sound very different from each outside of the djent guitar. For example, compare Animals as Leaders to Twelve Foot Ninja, or Periphery to Hacktivist. Though, Progressive Metal and Metalcore are the most common overlaps, Alternative Metal, Nu Metal, and Melodic Death Metal combinations are also popular.


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Bands typically considered to be Djent include:

Djent contains the following tropes:

  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Many metal fans new to djent often find it surprising to discover that guitars with more than six strings exist and are actually in common use.
  • Dead Unicorn Trope: Djent bands are stereotyped as always using 8 and 9-string guitars, largely due to the influence of Meshuggah. In reality, most bands in the genre, even the earliest examples, use downtuned seven strings.
  • Discredited Meme: Most bands in the genre are utterly sick of the "but will it djent?" meme.
  • Follow the Leader: One of the biggest criticisms of the genre, and even its musicians will (half-jokingly) admit to it. The stereotype of the Periphery or Animals as Leaders soundalike with a plural noun name, preppy-looking members in dress shirts, a vocalist (if the band isn't an instrumental ensemble) whose clean singing voice sounds suspiciously similar to Chester Bennington or Chino Moreno, guitarists who use Kiesels or Strandbergs, run everything through Axe-Fx, and play a mix of chugging riffs, groovy bends, effects-laden atmospheric textures, and heavily processed fusionesque leadwork, and YouTube channels that are mostly covers and Jared Dines-aping comedy sketches exists for a reason, and all but the most self-unaware djent musicians will probably laugh with you and/or offer several additional components if you bring it up.
  • From Clones to Genre: Many bands in the early days of the genre just started out copying Meshuggah or other Groove Metal bands and varying up the riffing style to some degree. Soon enough there were many bands performing in a similar style that they could be classified into their own separate microgenre.
  • Green Aesop: Bands with more of an ambient influence have this as a lyrical topic, Earthists, Invent Animate, and Aviana being the most notable. Yuto of Earthists jokingly refers to their style of music as naturecore.
  • I Am the Band: In Djent, a lot of "bands" in the genre are really just one guy who can play guitar and bass using programmed drums. The genre has become rather notorious for that. Many of these one-man projects evolve into full lineups, however.
  • Mohs Scaleof Rock And Metal Hardness: Usually around the 8-10 range. Some bands like Novelists FR and Hacktivist can dip into a 6 whereas more extreme bands like Meshuggah, Vildhjarta, and The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza occasionally venture into Level 11.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Many bands in the genre alternate between clean and harsh vocals, much like Metalcore.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Zigzagged - the main focus of the genre is on start-stop riffs that are mostly devoid of melody, with some bands even writing entire songs with only one to three notes. But what djent riffs lack in melody, they make up for in precisely-timed picking and sheer complexity of rhythm. Many bands also add lush ambient soundscapes and even include guitar solos to break up the monotony of the polyrhythmic chugging.
  • Trope Codifier - Periphery
  • Trope Maker - Meshuggah and Nevermore

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