Thursday, November 05, 2009

Heavy Metal Family Tree

Here is a family tree of heavy metal and its most significant sub-genres, showing the interrelationships and influences of various styles upon one another. I didn't go as specific as technical death metal (my favorite style) or anything else you might call a sub-sub-genre, but otherwise it's all here.
Click for larger.


  1. In case you can't tell, the items in red are non-metal genres influencing a metal genre.

    I'm not sure if inclusion of deathcore was appropriate, and I struggled over whether to include blackened death metal. Is blackened death metal a sub-sub-genre of death metal, and is deathcore a sub-sub of metalcore, or are they hybrid genres like death/doom?

  2. I think you have done a good job!
    This simple graphic could give a clear idea of the most important subgeneres.
    However catalog the metal is very difficult
    (see here:

    but I think your summary is quite correct!

  3. Thanks!

    I'm not sure how fruitful the pursuit of that graphic would be. There are a lot of things people aren't going to agree on with that. For example, Opeth as gothic metal? Really? I also wouldn't put Godsmack or System of a Down in nu metal, and I'm not sure what all the non-metal is doing in there (hardcore and grunge, for instance).

    So, when you get specific, you're going to have people arguing about it. I wish you luck with it, but I'll just stick to the general outline of things.

  4. deathcore is a hybrid or fusion genre. hell, even metalcore is a fusion of hardcore and heavy metal. blackened death is a style of death metal imo but i can see how some people would label it fusion. things like rock, rap, pop, country, heavy metal are genres. heavy metal sub-genres would be doom, thrash, black, death, power, etc. examples of death metal styles: technical, brutal, melodic, "old school", slam, etc. everyone sees things differently, that's just my way.