Groove Metal

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Groove metal is also known as neo-thrash, post-thrash, or power groove, groove metal consists of slow or mid-tempo and down tuned thrash riffs, bluesy guitar solos, greatly emphasized drum work and harsh vocals. Pantera is considered the most important groove metal act and very much revolutionized the thrash metal genre, and were followed by other influential acts like Machine Head. So great was the impact on thrash metal by groove acts like Pantera and Machine Head that already established thrash metal acts changed their style in a more groovy direction. For example, speed metal veterans Overkill took a more groove metal oriented direction on "I Hear Black", as did Exodus on "Force of Habit" and Sacred Reich on "Independent". While these would quickly return to their roots, other bands, such as Anthrax, continued to explore groove metal to the extent that their music was not even considered as thrash metal anymore. In their exploration of groove metal on "Chaos A.D." and "Roots", Sepultura gave rise to the sub-subgenre of tribal metal, whose central feature is primitive and groovy riffage. Many alternative metal bands, especially those belonging to the nu metal wave, would draw on groove metal, and perhaps that is why many post-1993 releases by acts like Anthrax and Sepultura are considered alternative metal releases. Groove metal also found its way into death metal, giving birth to the subgenre of death 'n' roll, which is included under death metal on the MMA.

Sub-genre collaborators (shared with Speed Metal and Thrash Metal):
  • Vim Fuego (leader)
  • Nightfly

groove metal top albums

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FIGHT War of Words Album Cover War of Words
FIGHT
4.33 | 22 ratings
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PANTERA Cowboys From Hell Album Cover Cowboys From Hell
PANTERA
4.15 | 122 ratings
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SEPULTURA Machine Messiah Album Cover Machine Messiah
SEPULTURA
4.23 | 25 ratings
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WHITE ZOMBIE La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1 Album Cover La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1
WHITE ZOMBIE
4.20 | 25 ratings
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PANTERA Vulgar Display of Power Album Cover Vulgar Display of Power
PANTERA
4.06 | 90 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Sacrament Album Cover Sacrament
LAMB OF GOD
4.09 | 27 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD Bloodstone & Diamonds Album Cover Bloodstone & Diamonds
MACHINE HEAD
4.15 | 15 ratings
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SOULFLY Dark Ages Album Cover Dark Ages
SOULFLY
4.12 | 17 ratings
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CAVALERA CONSPIRACY Inflikted Album Cover Inflikted
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY
4.14 | 15 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD The Blackening Album Cover The Blackening
MACHINE HEAD
3.99 | 39 ratings
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SOULFLY Prophecy Album Cover Prophecy
SOULFLY
4.08 | 15 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Resolution Album Cover Resolution
LAMB OF GOD
4.02 | 21 ratings
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groove metal Music Reviews

EXHORDER Mourn The Southern Skies

Album · 2019 · Groove Metal
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UMUR
"Mourn The Southern Skies" is the third full-length studio album by US, New Orleans based thrash/groove metal act Exhorder. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in September 2019. It´s the successor to "The Law" from 1992 and therefore the first album by the band in 27 years. There are only two out of five members left from the lineup who recorded the predecessor, which are lead vocalist Kyle Thomas and guitarist Vinnie LaBella. Exhorder formed in 1985 and their original run ended in 1994 after releasing two full-length studio albums. "Slaughter in the Vatican" was released in 1990 and featured a raw and brutal thrash metal sound, while "The Law (1992)" featured a more heavy groove influenced sound.

So with only two full-length releases under their belt, which are in two pretty different sounding musical styles, it wasn´t easy to guess which direction Exhorder would pursue on "Mourn The Southern Skies", but as it turns out there are a little of both worlds featured on the album, and some new features too. Granted "Mourn The Southern Skies" sounds the least like "Slaughter in the Vatican (1990)", but there are some fast-paced thrash metal tracks on the album. Opener "My Time", "Beware the Wolf", and especially "Ripping Flesh" are examples of that (the latter is an incredible fast-paced and aggressive track and one of the highlights of the album). "Mourn The Southern Skies" is predominantly a heavy groove laden metal album though, and sometimes the band even touch southern stoner/sludge territories. Take a listen to "Yesterday’s Bones" for proof of that. I´d mention Pantera, Down, and Crowbar among some of the artists that Exhorder share some similarities with on this album.

Thomas still has a raw voice and a powerful delivery, although his voice is a bit lower and more worn and raw sounding these days. I think they´ve made an unfortunate production choice on the vocals on some tracks as the vocals are often layered, and it has the consequence that the vocals aren´t as punchy and powerful as they could have been. A track like "Asunder" features an example of that recording technique, but it´s only a minor issue overall and only occurs on some tracks. As something new Thomas also has a clean vocal part on the opening minute of the closing 9:29 minutes long Down influenced title track. Other than the vocals, it´s the many heavy and groove laden riffs and rhythms which are the main focus of the music. There are a couple of well played guitar solos on the album too. Take a listen to the solos on the above mentioned "Yesterday’s Bones"...that´s some really great solo work.

"Mourn The Southern Skies" features a powerful, heavy, and detailed sounding production job, and although a bit more grit and rawness wouldn´t have hurt, it´s arguably a sound production which suits the material well (I wasn´t surprised to learn that Jens Bogren is credited for mixing and mastering the album). Upon conclusion "Mourn The Southern Skies" is a welcome comeback for Exhorder, but it is not an album which blew me away upon initial listen. The tracks are maybe a little too formulaic vers/chorus structured and therefore a bit predictable, but once I got locked into the heavy grooves and started to appreciate that part of the music and also got accustomed to Thomas new low register voice and more raw singing style, it all started to make more sense, and repeated spins have revealed that "Mourn The Southern Skies" is a good quality groove/sludge/thrash metal album with an emphasis on the groove/sludge and more sporadically on the thrash metal elements. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

CHIMAIRA The Impossibility Of Reason

Album · 2003 · Groove Metal
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UMUR
"The Impossibility Of Reason" is the second full-length studio album by US, Ohio based hardcore/groove metal act Chimaira. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in May 2003. It´s the successor to "Pass Out Of Existence" from October 2001 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as guitarist Jason Hager has been replaced by Matt DeVries.

The lineup change is however the least of it. As Chimaira grew increasingly tired of being called a NU metal band and the Korn and Slipnot comparisons wouldn´t cease, Chimaira made a conscious decision to adjust their sound and ditch the NU metal elements. They still play a hybrid sound which features elements from hardcore, metalcore, groove metal, alternative rock/metal (listen to the chorus on "Down Again" or "Pictures in the Gold Room" for proof of that), and even the occasional faster-paced thrash metal riffs and rhythms. Heavy Chugging start/stop riffs and rhythms spiced up with massive breakdowns and ultra aggressive hardcore vocals and the occasional clean vocal moment. Keyboard/electronics guy Chris Spicuzza spice the sound up even further providing the music with some layered atmospherics. One other big difference on this album compared to the early work of Chimaira is the omnipresence of lead guitar work.

Ditching the NU metal elements was arguably a good decision and although some listeners will still have a hard time appreciating the clean vocals alternative rock/metal parts of the music, Chimaira really are a convincing ultra heavy and fiercely aggressive band when they choose to be. They produce some of the same immediate heavy grooves and aggression as Hatebreed did on their contemporary releases (listen to tracks like "Power Trip" and "Cleansation" for proof of that), although Chimaira are overall a more diverse act. An example of that is the 13:30 minutes long instrumental album closer "Implements of Destruction".

"The Impossibility Of Reason" features a heavy, clear, and detailed sound production, which perfectly suits the material. Lead vocalist Mark Hunter and guitarist Rob Arnold are responsible for producing the album (Colin Richardson is credited for mixing) and they did a great job here, bringing out the best elements of Chimaira´s sound. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

TORQUE Torque

Album · 1996 · Groove Metal
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UMUR
"Torque" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by US, California based thrash/groove metal act Torque. The album was released through Mascot Records in 1996. Torque features 4/5 of the last Vio-Lence lineup before they disbanded. Only Vio-Lence vocalist Sean Killian isn´t featured on this album, and guitarist Phil Demmel has therefore taken on the lead vocal duties in addition to playing guitar. Additional vocals are performed by guitarist Ray Vegas and backing vocals by bassist Deen Dell. After guitarist Robb Flynn left Vio-Lence to form Machine Head, the remaining members of Vio-Lence recorded a 1993 demo, but after Killian also decided to jump ship, the band felt that a name change was due.

Stylistically the material on "Torque" don´t really sound like Vio-Lence either. While there are still thrash metal riffs and ideas here and there, this is a heavier and more groove oriented metal release, and it´s obvious Torque were greatly influenced by contemporary releases by artists like Pantera, Sepultura, and especially Machine Head, which is the band they have most in common with.

In many ways this album is like listening to a tier 2 version of "Burn My Eyes (1994)" by Machine Head. It however came a few years too late to make the same impact as the mentioned classic thrash/groove metal release, and quality wise it´s sub par to "Burn My Eyes (1994)" too. When that is said there are still a couple of decent thrash/groove metal tracks featured on the album, and I´d especially mention "Nothing", as one of the strongest tracks on the album. The remaining tracks aren´t of a bad quality, but too many of them aren´t particularly memorable beyond their playing time. The album features a raw sounding production job, and at times I´m reminded of a polished demo recording. The guitars often lack sharpness and the triggered bass drums quite frankly sound awful. The vocals are raw and shouting, and while they are decent enough and suits the instrumental part of the music, they aren´t anything out of the ordinary for the style.

"Torque" is unfortunately a prime case of a band going through the motions and trying to latch on to a popular contemporary sound, because their original style is out of fashion. There´s nothing wrong with changing your style and adopting other musical elements through your musical career, but you have to still produce quality material to maintain credibility. That´s not really the case here, although the quality of the material is generally decent. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

GRIP INC. Nemesis

Album · 1997 · Groove Metal
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SilentScream213
After The Gathering finally settled on a unique and strong sound of Ethereal, Progressive Gothic-Doom on their last album, Nighttime Birds is a continuation of this sound with just a few changes. The songs overall are a bit less heavy, with clean instrumentation aplenty, and a bit of psychedelia for good measure.

Atmospheres here are layered and dreamlike, lyrics are similarly abstract, and the multi-layered vocals of Anneke usually take center stage. She’s a crazy good singer, but I will say she “over-sings” a bit for my taste. Does every single line need to be multi layered? Still though, most of the time her voice is wonderfully dreamy and captivating.

It's not as strong as Mandylion and I wish the lyrics were a bit less abstract, but songs like “Kevin’s Telescope” go down as some of the best in this style of Gothic Metal.

LAMB OF GOD Omens

Album · 2022 · Groove Metal
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Kev Rowland
Here we are with Lamb of God back with their 9th (or 11th, depending on if you count what they have released as Burn The Priest) studio album, with a line-up which has been together for more than 20 years apart from the departure of founding drummer Chris Adler after his motorcycle accident. His place was taken by Art Cruz (Prong) who has been in that seat since 2019, and this is his second album with the band and there is no doubt he has settled in really well indeed. Lamb of God are one of those bands who hit a groove early in their career, and have decided the formula works well so why change it? This means that fans of LoG have a fairly good idea of what any new album is going to sound like before they even play it, and what is wrong with that? Fans of most bands are often disappointed with how they may change direction over the course of their career, while others sound just the same as they always have, and LoG are one of those.

Bass heavy, complex riffs which often contain elements of djent, they utilise complex time signatures and styles with over-the-top aggression and brutality and a frontman in Randy Blythe who has a guttural style and a powering presence which means he is always the focal point of everything that is taking place. This is music which demands to be played as loudly as the speakers will take it so the neighbours can enjoy it as well, brutal with no room whatsoever for prisoners. I once had a very strong debate with myself about attending a Metallica gig just to see LoG who were the support, but in the end, I could not bring myself to do so, but do live in hope that one day they will be back here on our shores. Covid meant they were unable to tour ‘Lamb of God’ so went back into the studio and gave us this album far more quickly than expected, so let us hope that a world tour means just that for us down here at the end of the world. Nearly 30 years on from their inception, LoG are still delivering the metallic goods.

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SEPULTURA Sepultura - Live in Sao Paulo

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Sepultura have a good few options if you are into live material. There is the Chaos DVD with the Under Siege video on it with the band touring Arise and playing all their Thrash era songs. There is the Under A Pale Grey Sky cd with the last ever gig of the Max Cavelera line-up on it, playing a lot of material off of Roots and Chaos AD. There is the newer Rock In Rio DVD with the Les Tambors Du Bronx percussion group augmenting them. There’s also plenty of live material on bonus tracks and compilations.

Best of all however, is Sepultura Live In Sao Paulo. It was the first video album with the Derick Green line-up, the first time you got to see and not just hear live versions of material from Roots and Chaos AD and its the only place to hear straight up unaltered versions of material off the Derick Green albums. It was released in 2005 when they were touring Roorback, back when they were still a Gold-selling band.

You get to hear an amazing blend (21 songs!) of material all the way from their earliest EPs and albums with early material like ‘Necromancer’ and ‘Troops Of Doom’ beside the mega-hits from the ’90s like ‘Territory’ and ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ mixed in with more modern gems like ‘Choke’ and what has to be one of the band’s best ever songs in ‘Sepulnation.’ (For me, its in the top 5 songs they ever recorded, any era).

Visually, the album is great. Its really well shot and edited, with no fancy distracting weird camera angels or lenses and no too-fast music video style choppy cuts. The stage set up and tasteful circle of lighting around their tribal ‘S’ logo banner looks really great, and the soundjob and mix are perfect. Sometimes the guitars or the vocals can be too quiet in a live recording, or some times the drums have way too much reverb, or sometimes you can’t hear the crowd’s energy; but here everything is perfectly balanced hear and it all sounds thick and chunky.

The band’s performances are excellent and it really shows off what great musicians they are. I never ‘got’ how good a drummer Igor is until I saw this! I didn’t much care for Derrick Green as a frontman before I saw this an it utterly changed my mind.

It looks great, it sounds great, the tracklist is great and the band play great. What more could you possibly want? Oh well, if you still do want more there is an absolute tonne of extras, with music videos, more live songs, a short making of documentary and biography, a bigger documentary about the band from 1998–2005 and other stuff as well (photogalleries etc.)

Overall; this is a damn strong release from a very important band, and there’s so much on it its great value for money. If like me you were skeptical on them without Max in the band, go on youtube and check out live versions of tracks like ‘Chaos AD’ and especially ‘Sepulnation’ off of this and just try not to be converted! If you are new to the band altogether this is a great starting point blending the best parts of all the eras together.

LAMB OF GOD Walk With Me In Hell

Movie · 2008 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Walk With Me In Hell is a fantastic DVD for fans of Lamb Of God, full of honest and informative interviews, storming live performances and footage from all around the world.

The DVD features four and a half hours of content; including The main feature, the 117 minute documentary `Walk With Me In Hell ,' as well as six entire live songs from various tours that were featured in the documentary. The Second disc features the fantastic 77 minute `Making of The Sacrament,' documentary,' and an entire 40 minute Set from Download and lastly the music video for Redneck.

The main documentary is brilliant, following the band from just having finished recording their fantastic Sacrament album and embarking on a world tour full of interesting encounters, mishaps and mild adventures. Interviews unravel a tale of ups and downs, of bad luck and of increasing success and really give you an idea of what life is like for a touring metal band. From adjusting to foreign food, being cut of from your family and living in a cramped bus with band and crew members for months on end to photo shoots merch signing sessions and radio interview obligations.

The band are both really candid and entertaining, giving honest impressions of situations and not being afraid to look bad, while also cracking many jokes or playing a few childish pranks that never fail to raise a few laughs. Where some band DVDs may over emphasize the comedy aspects, Walk With Me In Hell is very tasteful and has the balance just right. The whole documentary is full of Lamb of God music, both recorded versions playing over footage of busses or set ups, and snippets of excellently shot concert footage that can last up to a minute or two.

Redneck, Again We Rise, Walk With Me in Hell, Now You've Got Something To Die For, Blacken The Cursed Sun, and Pathetic can be seen in full from these various performances featured in the documentary, a nice way to augment Killadelphia without repeating it.

`Making of The Sacrament,' documentary is of the same very high standard, and features a lot of the decision making processes, actual song writing and much footage of practicing and perfecting songs that would eventually make up the album. The band also talk a lot about their place in the world of metal, their music and how each album differs from the last, very interesting stuff for a fan to watch.

The Download set is a real highlight here, the excellent audio and visual quality and extremely energetic performance by the band make for an amazing show. The track list is: Laid To Rest, Again We Rise, Walk With Me in Hell, Pathetic, Now You've Got Something To Die For, Blacken The Cursed Sun, Redneck, and Black Label.

Overall this DVD is highly recommended to fans of the band, featuring tones of content, really interesting documentaries and very well shot, edited and performed live material focusing heavily on The Sacrament album so as not to just repeat the band's previous two DVDs.

LAMB OF GOD Killadelphia

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Killadelphia is a fantastic DVD that captures Lamb Of God in 2005 just as they were really breaking into the big time, with a mixture of documentary segments and a sixteen track concert that has a total playtime of almost two hours.

The concert is of very high quality, the band deliver music from New American Gospel in a clear and professional way and give tracks from Ashes of the Wake an energy and rawness that improves them similarly. The band are brilliant performers and know how to command an audiences attention, when to play up to the crowd and also crucially when not to, in order to preserve the spirit of the written songs.

Randy is the type of singer who you may expect might not be able to pull it off live, given the intensity, speed and complexity of what he delivers on record; but in reality his live performances are astounding, if anything better than on record.

Performance is only one quality on which a live concert stands or falls, and thankfully a very strong performance is not the only thing which Killadelphia has to offer, the sound is terrific, with a very clear drum and vocal sound, heavy guitar tones and a good clear mix which gives each instrument a fair chance to shine without sacrificing much in the way of heaviness.

Furthermore, the camera work, direction and editing, in addition to the lighting and stage show are excellent bringing a real excitement to the video without having to resort to cheesy wipes or frequent quick cuts like other concert DVDs sometimes do, but which only ever give the illusion of energy.

On top of all this, the track list is excellent with tracks from each of the band's early albums together and performed to the highest quality. Then as if the concert wasn't interesting enough (and there is an option to play only the concert, plus a CD copy of the concert for added value) you get a really candid and informative set of documentary segments which are of the same tone as those on the band's Walk With Me in Hell DVD, and include the infamous fist fight which fans always seem to love.

Overall, Killadelphia is a brilliant DVD, honestly one of the best metal DVDs on the market and an absolute must buy for Lamb Of God fans.

MACHINE HEAD Elegies

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Elegies was the first live DVD from Machine Head; recorded, just like their Hellalive album at the Brixton Academy in London, three years later in 2004 and released in 2005.

Like with Hellalive, the band play a mixture of material from all of their studio albums up until that point to an excited british crowd, but this time the band were riding high on the critical success of Through The Ashes Of Empires. Their performance is very strong indeed, with new guitarist Phil Demmel giving the band an additional edge. The dual guitar sections from Through The Ashes Of Empires sound amazing on this DVD, they really take on a life of their own in the live environment.

The tracklisting is excellent, presenting the very best of Machine Head, new songs like ‘Imperium,’ and ‘Seasons Wither,’ sound fantastic alongside the all time classics like ‘Ten Ton Hammer,’ and ‘Davidian.’

The band aren’t afraid to drop some of the more emotional, sophisticated music like ‘Descend The Shades Of Night,’ and the title track from ‘The Burning Red,’ confidently bringing the evening to a chilling standstill, before returning to the blistering metal that made them famous.

Visually and in terms of audio, the DVD is pretty great. I personally would’ve preferred if the film grain filters hadn’t been used so often and that the concert was shown in a straight beginning to end session, without the non-live footage in between songs, but ignoring that, the look and sound is great and when you add that to the incendiary performance you have a really great concert recording overall.

The extras feature a short but interesting history on the making of Through The Ashes Of Empires in addition to some music videos.

To summarize, the Elegies DVD is a must have release that no Machine Head fan should be without.

SOULFLY The Song Remains Insane

Movie · 2005 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Soulfly’s DVD The Song Remains Insane from 2005 is a pretty strong release; consisting of all the bands music videos, assorted live footage from various sources, an entire concert and a fantastic documentary about the band.

The music videos are nice to have, but not what anyone would buy this for and the assorted live footage (featuring a cameo apperance from Biohazard during a tribal drum solo) is a great addition which contains host of songs not in the main concert and a DVD-highlight where Chino Marino joins the band on stage to perform ‘Pain,’ from the band’s ‘Primitive,’ album.

The main concert is well filmed, but unfortunately the sound is out of synch with the video and it is therfore pretty annoying, but if you just listen to it in the background the concert is still fantastic, this out of synch problem is a pretty large disappointment for the real meat of the DVD. If you want a full length pro shot Soulfly concert from the Prophecy era that is properly synched, one is available with Digpak editions of the band’s sixth album Conquer.

Thankfully this DVD is saved by an excellent Documentary, which is informative, interesting and well edited. The DVD is still a real good buy at the price, and would be worth five stars if the audio in the main concert was in synch with the video.

Even with that flaw in the main feature, the collection of music videos, a great documentary and the other excellent (and in synch) live material are well worth the interest of Soulfly fans. It may not wholly stand up visually to modern metal DVDs but is still worth exploration for fans.

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