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Only 411 pages left on your journey to becoming a rock star!

Heavy Metal & subgenres

Many subgenres of metal developed outside of the commercial mainstream during the 1980s. In the early 1990s the thrash metal genre achieved break-out success, mainly due to the massive success of Metallica’s eponymous Black Album, which was released in 1991 and brought thrash metal to the mainstream for the first time. Metallica’s success was followed by Megadeth’s Countdown to Extinction (1992), which hit number 2. Anthrax, Pantera, and Slayer cracked the top 10, and albums by regional bands such as Testament and Sepultura entered the top 100. In the latter half of the decade industrial metal became popular. The top mainstream American industrial metal bands of the 1990s included Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie, KMFDM, Ministry, and Fear Factory. Death Metal also reached a wider audience, with US band Cannibal Corpse leading the genre. Albums you should know:

  • Metallica:
    • everything from the 1980s, plus
    • Metallica (1991 – aka The Black Album)
  • Megadeth:
    • Rust In Peace (1990),
    • Countdown To Extinction (1992)
  • Slayer:
    • Reign In Blood (1986)
    • South Of Heaven (1988)
    • Seasons In The Abyss (1990)
  • Pantera:
    • Cowboys From Hell (1990)
    • Vulgar Display Of Power (1992)
  • Sepultura:
    • Arise (1991)
    • Chaos A.D. (1993)
    • Roots (1996)

Metal influenced by gothic elements became quite popular, the most prominent band in that category was US band Type O Negative.

  • Type O Negative:
    • Slow, Deep And Hard (1991)
    • The Origin Of The Feces (1992)
    • Bloody Kisses (1993)
    • October Rust (1996)

Rap influenced metal started to become popular. Rapper Ice-T (born Tracy Lauren Marrow) and guitarist Ernie C had founded Body Count in the early 1990s, and in 1992 they released their debut album featuring the highly controversial song Cop Killer. While often poorly ranked by critics at the time – sometimes because of the rough finish of the recordings, the unpolished songwriting, or even the often controversial lyrics – Body Count's early recordings had a great impact on the further development of several metal subgenres, and are nowadays regarded as classics by many.

Body Count's Ernie C (born Ernie Cunnigan) had already recorded and produced a number of successful demo tapes in the early 1990s, and some of them led to the signings of bands that should become successful later on, namely Rage Against The Machine and the Stone Temple Pilots. Rage Against The Machine became the most popular band in the rap metal genre, they became one of the most iconic bands of the 1990's, being well known for the members' revolutionary political views, and having sold over 16 million records.

  • Body Count: 
    • Bodycount (1992)
    • Born Dead (1994)
    • Bloodlust (2017)
  • Rage Against The Machine:
    • Rage Against The Machine (1992) 
    • Evil Empire (1996)
    • The Battle Of Los Angeles (1999)
    • Renegades (2000)
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Chapter 3.5   •   Page 5 of 20

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