Alternative metal band Life of Agony.
Alternative metal is a style of heavy metal and alternative rock which emerged in the mid-1980s, and gained popularity in the early 1990s.
Alternative metal usually combines heavy metal with influences from genres like alternative rock, and in some cases other genres not normally associated with metal as well. One of the main characteristics of alternative metal and its subgenres are heavily downtuned, mid-paced "chug"-like guitar riffs. Alternative metal bands are also often characterized by melodic vocals, unconventional sounds within other heavy metal genres, unconventional song structures and sometimes experimental approaches to heavy music. Many of the early alternative metal bands originated from Los Angeles. Prominent bands in this genre include Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Helmet, Life of Agony, Rollins Band and Tool. More modern bands include Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Godsmack and System of a Down.
Derivatives of alternative metal
Funk metal is essentially a fusion of heavy metal and funk. It started off in the late eighties as a subgenre of alternative metal, and was heavily influenced by bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone. Funk metal bands often use a conventional riffing style influenced by 1980s thrash metal, unlike bands from other alternative metal genres. During the late-'90s, many bands which started out as funk metal branched out into more commercially viable genres, such as alternative rock and nu metal. Notable funk metal bands include Living Colour, Infectious Grooves, Mordred, Primus, and Rage Against the Machine. The biggest regional scene during funk metal's prime was San Francisco.
Nu metal is a fusion genre that blends alternative metal and groove metal elements with other styles, including grunge, industrial, funk and hip hop. The style is mostly syncopated and based on riffs, and is influenced by groove metal rhythm. Some nu metal bands use seven-string guitars, which are sometimes down-tuned to increase heaviness, resulting in bass guitarists using five and six-string instruments. Turntables, sequencers and samplers are sometimes included. Nu metal vocal styles range between melodic singing, rapping, screaming and death growling. The Bakersfield-based Korn became the first band to be labeled as "nu metal". MTV states that Korn "arrived in 1993 into the burgeoning alternative metal scene, which would morph into nü-metal the way college rock became alternative rock." Coal Chamber, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Papa Roach, Kittie and Disturbed are prominent bands in this genre.
Sonny Sandoval of rap metal band P.O.D.
Rap metal bands institute the vocal and lyrical form of hip hop. Examples of rap metal include Crazy Town, Clawfinger, Stuck Mojo, Skindred and Rage Against The Machine. The thrash metal band Anthrax also helped pioneer the genre. Rap metal is often mislabeled as rapcore (a genre which fuses hardcore punk with hip hop) or nu metal, a genre which has similar elements in the music, rap metal usually does not include turntables or sampling into its sound, although keyboards are often used. Rap metal bands, unlike nu metal bands, are almost always fronted by rappers. Rap metal also lacks the melodic singing and growling commonly associated with nu metal.