This page features playlists created by our members, providing us with their 13 songs to define a sub-genre. (You will need spotify in order to listen to the playlists)
Picked by: Tom Williams
Black Metal is infamous as a genre that is every bit as much about reputation and presentation as it about the music. The genre is known to host retched vocals, buzzing tremolo-picked guitars, and thunderous blast beat drum lines. However, since the turn of the century, Black Metal has continued to innovate and push itself forward after shrugging off some of the elitism that held it back in the 90s (though make no mistake, it is still very much there!). The result is a rich, diverse genre that extends far from the angry arsonists it finds its roots in. With this playlist, I want to show you the range of Black Metal flavours available today, while showing a healthy respect for the old guard.
Picked by: Leon Rea
Classic rock is too large a genre, with many overlaps, to narrow down to 13 defining and influential tracks. This list starts with the classic bluesy sound that influenced so many preceding bands, other playlists will follow. Soulful like Southern/Chicago Blues, it places greater emphasis on a heavier riff with the occasional playful solo. Seemingly simple, it has great versatility and can appeal to all. Due to being a large genre by itself, this list (apart from Zep) highlights some of the lesser known bands/songs of the genre, occasionally bordering on Psychedelic or Prog. Many of these sounds were influential in their own time ,e.g. The Green Manalishi was later covered by Judas Priest, and Blind Faith was arguably the World's first Super Group. Enjoy.
Picked by: Stumbly
This genre is one that focusses primarily on harsh, growled vocals, riffing and musicianship. Despite it's initial abrasive, wall of sound impression, it can be suprisingly diverse and innovative, full of countless sub-sub-genres. In this, I will attempt to cover a wide range of these, from oldschool, to technical, to brutal, with a mix of both accessible and more "un-listenable" bands. If you like what you hear, feel free to ask me for more recommendations.
Picked by: Phil Schmid
In the 40+ years since doom first thundered into existence people have travelled down a great many avenues exploring the slower, heavier side of metal. Accordingly, this list has been split into four sections: The first eight tracks chart the evolution of doom from its origins through to contemporary releases. The next four bands merge the typical doom sound with traditions from other genres, respectively encompassing everything from symphonic to folk influences. Finally, Ahab’s funeral doom masterpiece The Weedmen rounds off the list with its blend of atmosphere and riffs. Just in case you really wanted to listen to another 15 minute song.
Picked by: Jalan
The name Drone makes sense almost immediately upon listening to any Drone song: it's a group of genres defined by long, monotonus, repetitive, droning notes. Early Drone was often composed for guitar or piano but also featured other stringed instruments such as violin. Drone branched and infulenced many genres of music, but this playlist focuses specifically on heavier Drone genres. Dark Drone (aka. Dark Ambient) uses keyboards and other electronic instruments to create and warp the drone sound. In Drone Metal (aka. Drone Doom) using guitars and bass guitars to create the sound is more common, but electronic sounds are still found. Other sub-genres also take infulence from Drone but take their names from the later subgenres, for example Dark Jazz which is heavily infulenced by Dark Ambient music.
Picked by: Adam Fry
Born in the early 1980’s on the notorious Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, Glam Metal is the ultimate celebration of the debauchery, misogyny and sin of the 1980’s heavy metal scene. Bands like Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot and W.A.S.P. launched into the popular music scene playing at clubs like the Whiskey A Go Go, the Roxy and the Troubador. The music was characterised by catchy riffs and guitar solos as well as the outlandish stage presence and a dress sense that was often described as feminine. In recent years glam has seen a revival with bands like Steel Panther, Jettblack and The Darkness releasing new albums regularly as well as more established bands receiving a resurgenece in popularity. The playlist tries to cover a variety of glam metal covering the many distinct styles within the genre with a healthy admiration for the bands that helped to define rock and roll as we know it today.
Picked by: Cam Graham
Metalcore is a fusion genre of hardcore punk and extreme metal originating in the early 1990s; it is characterised by heavy distortion guitars and a mix of clean and harsh vocals with the "Breakdown" ( a slow tempoed, intense, interlude in a song) being a common feature. Metalcore’s popularity exploded in the mid-2000s with the large commercial success of bands like Bullet For My Valentine and Killswitch Engage, this combined with bands, like The Devil Wears Prada, who were among the first to use social media to gain popularity, gave rise to a large diversity within a small genre with influences being drawn from Pop-Punk, Synth and Melodic Death Metal. This playlist includes 13 songs that I have chosen to best represent Metalcore past and present.
Picked by: Will Demou
Catchy, accessible and oft-maligned by fans of more extreme metal, power metal typically features melodic clean singing, virtuosic solos, comparatively simple song structures and lots of keyboards. It's perhaps less varied than other metal styles, but by no means one-dimensional, and this playlist attempts to cover all the bases within power metal.
Picked by: Adam Curran
When it comes to word "prog", most people think of the early days of progressive rock: King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes… etcetera. However, as the name suggests, the genre has evolved since the late 60s and 70s. Namely, it has spurred on a mix with heavier leanings from the 90s – otherwise known as Progressive Metal. To those who are unfamiliar, progressive metal usually takes the form of long songs with technically challenging instrumental work, impressive and detailed tones, loads and loads of layers, odd time signatures, and ounces of nerdiness. This playlist is a compilation of the veterans in the genre that defined the style; younger bands who have paved a way to the current Djent scene; the hugely influential bands to artists of recent; plus other bigger names that show how versatile the genre is nowadays, that it’s almost getting silly to label things
Picked by: Pat McSweeney
Since its beginnings punk has a been the music of rebellion. It makes no attempt to cast an illusion of musical complexity, this music is written by people with a message to deliver. Characterised by high distortion and political lyrics, it's aggressive voice has pointed out some of the hard truths of our society. This list, organised in chronological order, catalogues the variety of sounds which punk has assumed over the years. Effort as been made to included a balance of a American and English sounds which have not always been closely aligned.
Picked by: "Massive" Richard Ottaway
With fast tempos, aggressive riffs and blistering lead guitar, thrash metal is a very distinctive metal genre. Originating in the 1980s, thrash evolved from the NWOBHM bands and developed on their musicianship and aggression to make something completely new. No thrash playlist would be complete without including the 'Big Four' of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, but in this playlist I have attempted to include 9 other equally great bands to show how diverse and relevant thrash metal still is and always will be.