Genres » alternative metal
alternative metal Alternative metal is an eclectic form of music that gained popularity in the early 1990s alongside grunge. It referred to a new breed of heavy bands with roots closer to Post-Hardcore, Alt. Rock, Industrial Rock (e.g. Nine Inch Nails, Ministry) and Progressive Rock (e.g. Tool) than the existing metal scenes of Thrash, Death, Speed and Glam but that were characterized by some heavy metal trappings (most notably heavy riffs), but usually with a pronounced experimental edge (including odd time signatures), a resistance to conventional approaches to heavy music and lyrics and an openness to a wide range of influences.
With the exception of maybe Mike Patton-era Faith No More, many of the bands initially called Alternative Metal such as Helmet and Deftones had more in common with the (Post-)Hardcore of Fugazi and late Bad Brains than Slayer. The Post-Thrash Groove Metal of Pantera did play a part on some Alt Metal bands' sound once the metal elements were taken out, particularly on the stomp of some Nu-Metal that followed, as did the Industrial Metal of Godflesh which, while quite metal it itself was inspired by such artists as the No Wave act Swans.
This tag now covers a more homogenous style of music influenced by these earlier bands and tends to be used as a blanket term for Nu-Metal and any other commercial modern metal and heavy rock. While Alt Metal's origins may lie in other forms of music taking on metal characteristics and becoming increasingly heavy, in the end much of the music produced under this umbrella is indistinguishable from "true" metal bands who have expanded their sound outwards, as many modern metal bands are equally influenced by old school and alt. metal.