Avant-garde metal (or experimental metal) is a subgenre of heavy metal music loosely defined by use of experimentation and innovative, avant-garde elements, including non-standard and unconventional sounds, instruments, song structures, playing styles, and vocal techniques. Avant-garde metal is influenced by progressive rock and extreme metal, particularly death metal, and is closely related to progressive metal. Some local scenes include Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and Seattle in the United States, Oslo in Norway, and Tokyo in Japan.
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.
Avant-garde music is music that is considered to be at the forefront of experimentation or innovation in its field, with the term "avant-garde" implying a critique of existing aesthetic conventions, rejection of the status quo in favor of unique or original elements, and the idea of deliberately challenging or alienating audiences.
Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid- to late 1960s. Initially termed "progressive pop", the style was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening rather than dancing.
"Avant-garde metal" is interchangeable with "experimental metal" [ citation needed ] and may also refer to a separate genre of "atmospheric metal" or "post-metal", which was named in reference to post-rock. Avant-garde metal is related to progressive metal, but avant-garde metal often has more experimentation, while progressive metal usually has a tighter focus on traditional metal instrumentation and higher levels of technical complexity. Avant-garde metal also uses unusual sounds, breaks conventions, and often includes new elements. The lyrics and visual presentation of the genre are eclectic as well. According to Jeff Wagner in Mean Deviation , electronic percussion and drum machines see widespread use by avant-garde metal bands, along with female vocals and operatic elements, all of which he attributes to the influence of the band Celtic Frost. The Canadian group Voivod also influenced future bands in the genre, pioneering technique such as robotic vocal effects, unusual time signatures, and fractured, dissonant, unorthodox guitar sounds.and "avant-metal",
Post-metal is a style of music that is rooted in heavy metal but explores approaches beyond the genre's conventions. It emerged in the 1990s through the work of bands such as Neurosis and Godflesh who transformed metal texture through experimental composition. Associated with and inspired by post-rock and post-hardcore, the genre employs the darkness and intensity of extreme metal but emphasizes atmosphere, emotion, and even "revelation", drawing on a wide range of sources including ambient, noise, psychedelic, progressive, and classical music to develop an expansive but introspective sound. Post-metal songs are typically long, with loose and layered structures that discard the verse–chorus form in favor of crescendos and repeating themes. The sound centres on guitars and drums; any vocals are usually screamed or growled and resemble an additional instrument.
Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by a focus on exploring textures and timbre over traditional rock song structures, chords, or riffs. Post-rock artists are often instrumental, typically combining rock guitars and drums with electronic instruments. The genre emerged within the indie and underground music scene of the 1980s and early 1990s. However, due to its abandonment of rock conventions, it often bears little resemblance musically to contemporary indie rock, borrowing instead from diverse sources including ambient music, electronica, jazz, dub, and minimalist classical.
According to Ian Christe, avant-garde metal emerged from death metal as a number of musicians "abandoned the tightly wound structure of the music and experimented with abstractions of its founding elements".Progressive rock has also been cited as an influence. Some early examples are the King Crimson releases Larks' Tongues in Aspic and Red in 1973 and 1974 respectively, with the latter album's title track defining an "avant-metal style" that Robert Fripp would revisit years later. Another early example is the 1976 Led Zeppelin album Presence . Pioneers of avant-garde metal include Celtic Frost, Gorguts, Boris, Earth, Helmet, Mayhem, maudlin of the Well, Neurosis, Sunn O))), Mr. Bungle, Today is the Day, and Voivod. In the late 1990s, Misanthropy Records emerged as a promoter of Norwegian avant-garde metal until it folded in 2000, and, according to Jeff Wagner, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a so-called "new wave of avant-garde metal" was spearheaded by The End Records. Wagner states that "with the support of [Misanthropy and The End Records] and other specialty labels, metal's new avant-garde had arrived." Some other record labels which promote avant-garde metal are Aurora Borealis, The Flenser, Holy Records, Hydra Head Records, Ipecac Recordings, Napalm Records, the Release Entertainment imprint of Relapse Records, Seventh Rule Recordings, and Southern Lord Records. In the United States, local avant-garde metal scenes have emerged in the San Francisco Bay Area with bands such as Giant Squid, Grayceon, and Ludicra, in Boston, with bands such as Isis, Kayo Dot, and maudlin of the Well, and in Seattle. According to The New York Times , some regional scenes that developed in the mid-1990s included the cities of Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Oslo.
Ian Christe is an author, disc jockey and the publisher of Bazillion Points Books. He attended Mynderse Academy, The Clarkson School's Bridging Year, and Indiana University.
Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, religion, occultism, Lovecraftian horror, nature, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, science fiction, and politics, and they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, dissection, torture, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia.
King Crimson are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968. King Crimson have been influential both on the early 1970s progressive rock movement and numerous contemporary artists. The band has undergone numerous formations throughout its history, in the course of which 22 musicians have been members; since October 2017 it has consisted of Robert Fripp, Jakko Jakszyk, Tony Levin, Mel Collins, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, Jeremy Stacey and Bill Rieflin. Fripp is the only consistent member of the group and is considered the band's leader and driving force. The band has earned a large cult following. They were ranked No. 87 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Although considered to be a seminal progressive rock band, they have often distanced themselves from the genre: as well as influencing several generations of progressive and psychedelic rock bands, they have also been an influence on subsequent alternative metal, hardcore and experimental/noise musicians.
...later turned up on the 1973 avant-metal killer Larks' Tongues in Aspic.
Still, the best parts of Ænima come when Tool just let the music rip and dip with the broiling, avant-metal ferocity of Led Zeppelin's Presence.
Early arrivals were able to see experimental metal pioneers Helmet as well as retro punks the Casualties.
Their metal-based drone experiments have proved groundbreaking and hugely influential for an entire new generation of musicians practicing the art of avant-garde metal, drone, post rock and psychedelia.
Distributed by experimental metal label Aurora Borealis, the release earned Krlic a recording deal with the London-based company.
...said co-owner Mark Thompson, who also co-founded and runs the experimental-metal label Hydra Head Records.
We'd like to give a shout out to Seventh Rule and the striking, experimental metal acts coming from this label
Progressive metal is a fusion genre melding heavy metal and progressive rock that combines the loud "aggression" and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral or "pseudo-classical" compositions of the latter.
Voivod is a Canadian heavy metal band from Jonquière, Quebec. The band's current line-up consists of Denis "Snake" Bélanger (vocals), Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain (guitar), Dominique "Rocky" Laroche (bass) and Michel "Away" Langevin (drums). Their musical style has changed several times since the band's origin in the early 1980s. Starting out as a speed metal band, Voivod have added a mix of progressive metal and thrash metal to create their own unique metal style, and they are credited as one of the "big four" Canadian thrash metal bands, along with Sacrifice, Razor, and Annihilator.
Ulver are a Norwegian experimental musical collective founded in 1993, by vocalist Kristoffer Rygg. Their early works, such as debut album Bergtatt, were categorised as folklore-influenced black metal, but the band has since evolved a fluid and increasingly eclectic musical style, blending genres such as experimental rock, electronica, ambient, trip hop, symphonic and chamber traditions, noise, progressive and experimental music into their oeuvre. 1997 marked their international debut with the release of their third album Nattens madrigal through German label Century Media. However, following discord with the label, Kristoffer Rygg formed his own imprint, Jester Records, in 1998. British composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O'Sullivan joined the collective in 2009, and the band performed some of their first live concerts in their 15-year lifespan, including the prestigious Norwegian National Opera.
Extreme metal is a loosely defined umbrella term for a number of related heavy metal music subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. It has been defined as a "cluster of metal subgenres characterized by sonic, verbal and visual transgression".
Sunn O))) is an American experimental metal band from Seattle, Washington, that formed in 1998. The band is known for a heavy and slow sound, that blends diverse genres including drone, black metal, dark ambient, and noise rock, and for very loud live performances.
Drone metal or drone doom is a style of heavy metal that melds the slow tempos and heaviness of doom metal with the long-duration tones of drone music. Drone metal is sometimes associated with post-metal or experimental metal.
Kayo Dot is an American avant-garde music group. Formed in 2003 by Toby Driver after the break-up of maudlin of the Well, they released their debut album Choirs of the Eye on John Zorn's Tzadik Records that same year. Since then, Kayo Dot's lineup has drastically changed over the years. Toby Driver is the only founding member of the band still remaining, save for frequent lyrical contributions from former motW member Jason Byron. Up until 2011, the lineup was constantly shifting, and Kayo Dot's sound consistently changed over the years, featuring a wide variety of instrumentation including guitar, drums, bass, violin, saxophone, vibraphone, synthesizers, clarinets and flutes. Underground metal audiences warmly received the group upon its early existence, with the 2003 album Choirs of the Eye and the 2006 album Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue both becoming underground hits in the progressive metal scene.
Boris is a Japanese experimental music band formed in 1992 in Tokyo and composed of drummer Atsuo Mizuno, guitarist/bassist Takeshi Ohtani and guitarist/keyboardist Wata. All three members participate in vocal performance. The band is named after a song of the same name on the Melvins' 1991 album Bullhead. Their debut album Absolutego was released in 1996 on their own record label Fangs Anal Satan, followed by 24 more studio albums on various labels around the world.
Angel Rat is the sixth studio album released by the Canadian heavy metal band Voivod. Produced by Terry Brown of Rush fame, it was released in 1991 by Mechanic/MCA Records and is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed release, 1989's Nothingface. On this album, Voivod adopts a more alternative/progressive/psychedelic rock sound, as opposed to the progressive metal of Nothingface and the thrash metal of previous releases. A music video was made for the song "Clouds in My House".
Kekal is a heavy metal and electronic music band formed in 1995 in Jakarta, Indonesia. According to AllMusic, Kekal was one of the first heavy metal bands from Indonesia to make international inroads, and according to sociologist of heavy metal, Keith Kahn-Harris, was one of the few extreme metal bands from Southeast Asia to ever make more than a minimal impression on the global scene. Founded by two musicians known simply Yeris and Newbabe, the band underwent some shifts in lineup in its early years, but emerged with a consistent lineup of three key-members, guitarist/vocalist Jeff Arwadi, bassist Azhar Levi Sianturi, and guitarist Leo Setiawan. Frequently labeled as black metal, progressive metal, and avant-garde metal, Kekal plays a very diverse range of music styles within the frame of metal and rock, incorporating many other music genres such as ambient, electronic, jazz fusion, and progressive rock. Over the course of its career, Kekal has transitioned from a heavy metal-based style to a more experimental and electronic sound.
Avant-garde refers to a style in experimental work in art, music, culture, or politics.
Misanthropy Records was a British heavy metal record label.
Acidity is the fifth album by Indonesian avant-garde metal band Kekal. It was recorded in celebration of the band's tenth anniversary, and was an official reunion album for the band. It marked the return of guitarist Leo Setiawan to the band, and includes the vocal talents of founding member Newbabe. The album was released following the band's successful 2004 European mini-tour, and a promotional concert and release party was held for the album on 13 March 2005 in Indonesia. It was considered by many to be the band's strongest work to date, and is one of four albums available for free download from the band on its website.
Avant-prog is a style that appeared in the late 1970s as the extension of two separate progressive rock sub-styles: Rock in Opposition (RIO) and the Canterbury scene.
Coffins on Io is the seventh studio album by avant-garde band Kayo Dot, released in the UK on August 14, 2014 and in the US on October 13 through experimental metal label The Flenser. It is a follow up to 2013's Hubardo. It's the first album from Kayo Dot to not be self-released since 2012's Gamma Knife. Coffins on Io marks a notable change in sound. It combines influences of Type O Negative, The Sisters of Mercy, Peter Gabriel, dark wave and other 80s electronic musicians. It combines aspects of electronic music, jazz fusion, post-punk, gothic rock and new wave. It was produced by Toby Driver.
Mamaleek is a black metal group from San Francisco, founded in 2008 by two anonymous brothers. The name supposedly derives from Arabic, and is the plural of mamluk, or "slave".
Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal is a non-fiction book written by former Metal Maniacs magazine editor Jeff Wagner. The book was illustrated by Voivod drummer Michel "Away" Langevin and has a foreword by Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson. Mean Deviation was published in December 2010 by Bazillion Points under supervision of Ian Christe.
Bazillion Points is a book publishing company owned and operated by author Ian Christe. It was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.