Groove metal

Groove metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music that began in the early 1990s. The genre achieved mainstream success in the 1990s and continued having some more success in the 2000s. Inspired by thrash metal and traditional heavy metal, groove metal features raspy singing and screaming, down-tuned guitars, heavy guitar riffs, and syncopated rhythms. Unlike thrash metal, groove metal is usually slower and also uses elements of traditional heavy metal. Pantera are often considered the pioneers of groove metal, and groove metal expanded in the 1990s with bands like White Zombie, Machine Head, Skinlab, and Sepultura. The genre continued in the 2000s with bands like Lamb of God, Damageplan, Five Finger Death Punch, and Hellyeah.


Groove metal is heavily influenced by thrash metal.[1][2] Unlike thrash metal, groove metal focuses more on heaviness while thrash metal often focuses more on speed. Groove metal places emphasis on heavy guitar riffs with usually syncopated rhythms, with the riffs sometimes being somewhat similar to death metal riffs. Guitars are generally down-tuned. Vocals in groove metal usually are yelling, growling, screaming, or very raspy singing. Although groove metal has a big emphasis on guitar riffs, guitar solos are still very common in groove metal. While thrash metal usually has fast tempos, groove metal usually has slower tempos, but fast tempos can be featured in groove metal. Groove metal is also often influenced by traditional heavy metal and blues-inspired heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath.


Texas heavy metal band Pantera's 1990 album Cowboys from Hell is considered the first groove metal album.[citation needed] With this album, Pantera moved away from their glam metal years, starting the groove metal genre. Pantera continued releasing other influential albums through the 1990s. 1992's Vulgar Display of Power featured an even heavier sound than its predecessor. The band's 1994 album Far Beyond Driven peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling in 186,000 copies its first week of release.[3][4] Pantera's albums often would quickly get certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and eventually would get certified platinum. Vulgar Display of Power is the band's best-selling album, being eventually certified double-platinum.[5]

Prong's 1990 album Beg to Differ is also considered one of the first albums of the genre.[6]

In 1993, Brazilian band Sepultura released Chaos A.D., which saw the band use fewer elements of thrash metal. With Chaos A.D., Sepultura became a groove metal band.[7] Sepultura released their most popular album Roots in 1996. Roots was a groove metal and nu metal album. The album received criticism from fans because the album was very different from older Sepultura albums like Beneath the Remains. In 1992, thrash metal band Exhorder moved to the groove metal genre with their album The Law. In the 1990s, several other groove metal bands appeared, including Skinlab, Pissing Razors, Machine Head, Grip Inc., and White Zombie.[2]

Machine Head released their debut album Burn My Eyes in 1994. The album helped the band achieve underground success, with the album selling 145,240 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[8]

White Zombie achieved mainstream success in the mid 1990s. The band's album La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One peaked at number 2 on the Heatseekers Albums chart in 1993[9] and was certified double-platinum by the RIAA in July 1998.[10] White Zombie's music videos were featured on Beavis and Butt-Head which helped the band sell more albums.[11] The band's 1995 follow-up Astro Creep: 2000 peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200[12] and sold 104,000 copies in its first week of release.[13] Astro Creep: 2000 was certified double-platinum by the RIAA.[14] White Zombie's song "More Human Than Human" achieved mainstream success in the mid 1990s. It peaked at number 53 on the Radio Songs chart on June 17, 1995.[15] On that day, "More Human Than Human" peaked at number 7 on the Alternative Songs chart.[16] On June 10, 1995, the song peaked at number 10 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart.[17] "More Human Than Human" was played frequently on MTV and won the Best Metal/Hard Rock Video award at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.[18]

In the 2000s, many more groove metal bands emerged, including Five Finger Death Punch, Damageplan, Lamb of God, Chimaira, Hellyeah, and Throwdown. Damageplan formed after the breakup of Pantera, with Pantera members Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott being members of Damageplan. Damageplan released one album in 2004 called New Found Power. In December 2004, when the band performed live, guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot dead by a man named Nathan Gale. After this incident, Damageplan broke up. Dimebag Darrell's brother Vinnie Paul Abbott then became the drummer for Hellyeah in 2006 and remained until his passing in 2018.[19] Lamb of God became popular among heavy metal fans in the mid-2000s along with the metalcore bands that were achieving success at the time. Five Finger Death Punch emerged in the 2000s and achieved moderate success in the 2010s.

Influence on other genresEdit

Groove metal bands like Pantera,[20] White Zombie,[21] Prong,[22] and Sepultura[23] were all big influences on nu metal. Nu metal was a genre that began in the mid-1990s and became mainstream in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Groove metal bands like Pantera and Sepultura along with crossover thrash bands as Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front helped to lay the groundwork for metalcore.[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jaffer, Dave (September 9, 2017). "Threat Signal, Vigilance". Hour. Archived from the original on August 12, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Coyle, Doc. "Hidden Gems: Rediscovering The '90s Post-Thrash Groove Metal Scene". VH1. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  3. ^ Sandow, Greg (April 22, 1994). "The message behind Pantera's angry sound". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  4. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Far Beyond Driven". People. May 9, 1994. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  5. ^ "American album certifications – Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  6. ^ "Every Prong Album Ranked From Worst To Best By Tommy Victor". Kerrang!. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  7. ^ "Out Now: Sepultura, CHAOS A.D." Rhino Entertainment. October 13, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  8. ^ "Metal/Hard Rock Album Sales In The US As Reported By SoundScan". April 30, 2002. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  9. ^ "White Zombie Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "American album certifications – White Zombie – La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  11. ^ Browne, David (October 8, 1993). "White Zombie resurrected by 'Beavis and Butt-head'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  12. ^ "White Zombie Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  13. ^ Mayfield, Geoff (September 12, 1998). "Between the Bullets". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 37. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 130. ISSN 0006-2510.
  14. ^ "American album certifications – White Zombie – Astro Creep: 2000". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  15. ^ "White Zombie Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  16. ^ "White Zombie Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  17. ^ "White Zombie Chart History (Mainstream Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  18. ^ Considine, J. D. (September 8, 1995). "MTV chases 'Waterfalls' Jackson, Miller all wet". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  19. ^ "Vinnie Paul, Legendary Drummer for Pantera & Damageplan, Dead at 54". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  20. ^ "Why Metal Needs To Expand Its Boundaries". VH1. March 5, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  21. ^ McIver, Joel (2015). Sinister Urge: The Life and Times of Rob Zombie. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-1-61713-646-7. Retrieved January 28, 2017. I'm not saying that White Zombie were a nu-metal band, because they clearly weren't. But like Fear Factory, Nine Inch Nails, and Marilyn Manson, they infused all sorts of influences into their own brand of metal—from industrial to electronic to plain weird—that made them excellent running mates for the nu-metal bands whose rose alongside them.
  22. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon; Napoli, Antonia (May 2, 2002). "Korn: The Untouchables". MTV. Archived from the original on June 7, 2002. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  23. ^ "The Greatest Metal Bands Of All Time". MTV. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  24. ^ "Metal's honorable mentions: Sepultura". MTV. Retrieved August 20, 2016. By the early '90s, however, they had evolved into an innovative outfit that incorporated hardcore and tribal rhythms in their sound and helped to lay the groundwork for nu-metal and metalcore