Real Metal Music

Metal music has gone a little flacid lately. Here, find everything you need to know about what face-melting is all about.

Just The Facts

  1. Metal is a genre of music that started in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Metal showed up mostly just to give the hippies the beating they deserved.
  2. Metal started mostly in the US and the United Kingdom, but now countries like Sweden are really holding up their end of the log. When you haven't been to war in over a hundred years, all that rage has to go somewhere.
  3. Metal is widely identifiable by exessive guitar distortion, heavy bass, and singers that don't actually sing. The general concensus seems to be that the louder you yell, the better you sound.
  4. Metal is also characterized by general volume. The expression "wall of sound" is often used. If your ears aren't bleeding, you're not doing it right.

Face-Melting 101

There are various sub-genres of metal, and each has it's own batallion of hardcore, booze-driven, sex-crazed fans. Metal fans have a tendancy to be a bit elitist, so if you're going to talk metal, you had better know what you're talking about. Here, a quick run-down of the most noted sub-genres and a guide to spotting their ass-clown minions.

Death Metal

Death metal is one of the more "skilled" sub-genres. Generaly louder, faster, and harder, death metal uses extreme distortion, morbid (and totaly unintlligable) lyrics, and ridiculously complicated guitar solos. Death metal bands include Meshuggah (Album art pictured), Canibal Corpse, Bloodbath, Dying Fetus, and Vomitory. They fuck kittens in their spare time.

Spotting a death metal fan: Ah, the death metal fan. Chances are good the death metal fan is somewhat unwashed and hides his eyes behind his hair, which is dyed black to match his soul. He wears a full-length leather trenchcoat in the middle of summer and his boots probably weigh more than his pale, anorexic girlfriend. He may or may not foam at the mouth.

Death Metal Fun Fact: The growling, snarling vocal style of death metal has been referred to as "Cookie Monster" vocals. This is because your typical death metal vocalist sounds like he has a mouthful of something, although it's more likely to be broken teeth than cookies.

Black Metal

Black metal is often confused with death metal. However, black metal tends to be slightly higher-pitched and the vocals are more shrieking and less growling. Lyrical content is less blood-and-guts and more anti-religion or fantasy-based. Black metal bands include Cradle of Filth (pictured), Rotting Christ, Satanic Warmaster, Goatwhore, and Mayhem. They sacrifice kittens to Satan.

Spotting a black metal fan: The black metal fan, in terms of appearance, probably won't differ too much from the death metal fan. He will probably be paler, may or may not be wearing eyeliner and black nail polish, and will probably have a pentagram necklace and an inverted cross tattooed somwhere on his person. He'll have a wallet chain, but it's totally unecessary. Really, whose going to try to steal from a guy who looks like he could eat your firstborn?

Black Metal Fun Fact: The band Mayhem went through various lineups througout their career. After vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin commited suicide in 1991 and bassist Jorn Stubberud left, they brought in Varg Vikernes as the new bass player. In August of 1993, Vikernes murdered founding member and guitarist Oystein Aarseth. Vikernes was sentenced to prison for murder and various church arsons. This only elevated their "bad-ass" points in the eyes of fans, thus proving that metal fans are mostly just a bunch of neandrethals who like beating on each other for fun.

Thrash Metal

Thrash metal distinguishes itself well from death and black metal with faster tempos, higher-pitched riffs, excessive ammounts of double bass and vaugley intelligent lyrics. Most thrash bands use lyrics to make some kind of social or political commentary, rather than just growling about feeding babies to Satan and fucking puppies. Of all metal's more hardcore sub-genres, thrash probably has some of the most well-known bands, including Anthrax (pictured), Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath and Pantera. They are angry about puppy mills.

Spotting the thrash metal fan: The thrash metal fan isn't quite as out there as the black and death metal fan. He is still unwashed (he's a metal head, what do you expect?) but chances are good he just wears jeans and tee shirt. The most disguishable thing about the thrash fan is his "RIP Dimebag" tattoo and his infected eyebrow piercing. He is also more likey to have large ammounts of bizzare facial hair.

Thrash Metal Fun Fact: In 1987, Anthrax released their third album, entitled "Among the Living" which included the tracks "Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)" , which is about Jon Belushi's drug addiction and subsequent death, and "I Am the Law", a tribute to comic book legend Judge Dredd.


NuMetal is a sub-genre that has gained popularity in the last ten years or so. It features a dumbed-down, more mainstream and radio-friendly version metal combined with funk, hip-hop and rap and caters mostly to fourteen year old Hot Topic groupies and drunken frat boys who think they're hardcore. Bands include Limp Bizkit (pictured), Korn, Disturbed, Papa Roach and Slipknot.

Spotting the numetal fan: The numetal fan, more than likely, is a total douche. He hangs out on the fringes of the frat-boy crowd. The numetal fan thinks he's a total badass, but in reality he kind of missed his mark. He listens to your local rock station and excells at beer pong. However, watch out for him when he's drunk because if Trapt's "Headstrong" comes on, he's going to try to start shit. This is his fight song.

NuMetal Fun Fact: Not really a fun fact, but we here at Cracked would like to take this opportunity to award Fred Durst with the prestigious King of the Douchbags award. Congratulations, Mr Durst. What are you going to do now?


Other sub-genres of metal include glam, hair, speed, stoner, folk, industrial, tech, rap, viking, orchestral or symphonic, and progressive. The list goes on and on. And all of them will melt your face and fuck your grandmother.

Now, go forth, minions, and rock out with your cocks out and your face covered in blood. Because that's metal.