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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PANTERA Cowboys From Hell Album Cover Cowboys From Hell
PANTERA
4.25 | 111 ratings
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WHITE ZOMBIE La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1 Album Cover La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1
WHITE ZOMBIE
4.38 | 19 ratings
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PANTERA Vulgar Display of Power Album Cover Vulgar Display of Power
PANTERA
4.14 | 79 ratings
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SEPULTURA Machine Messiah Album Cover Machine Messiah
SEPULTURA
4.22 | 20 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Sacrament Album Cover Sacrament
LAMB OF GOD
4.12 | 21 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD Bloodstone & Diamonds Album Cover Bloodstone & Diamonds
MACHINE HEAD
4.31 | 8 ratings
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CAVALERA CONSPIRACY Inflikted Album Cover Inflikted
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY
4.20 | 11 ratings
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CHIMAIRA The Impossibility Of Reason Album Cover The Impossibility Of Reason
CHIMAIRA
4.25 | 9 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD Burn My Eyes Album Cover Burn My Eyes
MACHINE HEAD
4.01 | 28 ratings
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SOULFLY Prophecy Album Cover Prophecy
SOULFLY
4.13 | 11 ratings
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SOULFLY Conquer Album Cover Conquer
SOULFLY
4.14 | 10 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Resolution Album Cover Resolution
LAMB OF GOD
4.05 | 16 ratings
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groove metal Music Reviews

SACRED REICH Independent

Album · 1993 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Phoenix Arizona’s Sacred Reich released their third full-length studio album in 1993, entitled Independent. The album followed up the classic The American Way record and musically saw the band incorporate a few new ideas into their overall sound.

The band were never the biggest Thrash band out there, but their solid crossover style is influential to many of the new millennium’s Thrash Bands. The band have a punky hardcore influenced feel on some tracks in a similar fashion to many of the East Coast Thrash bands, with whom they share more musical similarities than with the German, Canadian or Bay Area Thrash artists.

Independent saw the band play with more slow and mid tempo elements than on previous releases, incorporating some groove metal influences as happened with much of the 1990s output by Thrash Metal bands. It is a little underrated as an album, as fans were quick to abandon ship at the first sight of slow guitars but is actually quite a good album when given a fair chance. If you are willing to keep an open mind there is a lot to enjoy on this record.

Highlights on Independent include the beyond catchy Title Track which is an absolute classic and highlight of any concert, as well as ‘Supremacy,’ ‘Free,’ and the almost eight minute long ‘I Never Said Goodbye.’

This was their first full length Drummer Dave McClain, who would of course go on to join Machine Head and puts down a characteristically strong performance on this album, with his unusual and distinctive style of fills and approach to the double kicks.

The production from Dave Jerden (famous for Alice In Chain’s The Dirt and Anthrax’s Sound Of White Noise) is solid with a good mix and general sound. The lyrics too are strong, and of course are socially aware and politically motivated as usual from Sacred Reich. Overall all the individual aspects of the album are good, the only real thing holding it off of a classic album status is the indefinable x factor that makes some albums amazing but can’t be quantified or often, even replicated.

In summary, Independent is a good album and Sacred Reich fans should find a lot to enjoy on it should the be willing to keep an open mind.

SACRED REICH Heal

Album · 1996 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
The 1990s were not kind to a lot of Thrash Metal bands. Some broke up. Some went soft or tried new styles. Some went too progressive or too extreme. Some just ran out of good ideas.

There are of course, always exceptions to every trend. Heal by Sacred Reich is one such exception. This album is an underrated gem. Now; They may have moved into a Pantera-influenced Groove Metal style for half the album, which could be off-putting to die hard Thrashers, but half the record is still aggressive speedy Thrash and the songs that aren’t are way better than you’d expect from anything in 1996 anyway.

Part of what makes it work so well is Phil Rind’s vocals are perhaps the best of his career. He really developed over their career. Another thing that makes it work so well are that the songs are just so damn catchy and memorable. Finally; The slower moments really help the band’s trademark political and socially aware lyrical content easier to come across. When its not 1,000mph, you get to take it in a bit more.

As described above, its an album of two halves. Highlights from the faster stuff includes “Break Through” and “Don’t” which are punchy and energetic, and perhaps best of all the furious album closer “The Power Of The Written Word” which is perhaps the band’s most pissed off song since their debut. (Talk about going out with a bang).

Highlights from the slower stuff include the Sabbathy grooving Title Track, the memorable “Blue Suit, Brown Shirt” and the very fun “I Don’t Care.”

Even the Oingo Boingo cover works. The only thing that doesn’t quite do it for me is “Low” which is a bit too Alice In Chains for even my tastes. People who thought that tracks like “A Question” from the previous EP or “Crawling” from the last album weren’t Thrashy enough may want to avoid that one track in particular. (Don’t let it put you off trying the whole record though).

After this album, drummer Dave McClain would go on to join Machine Head for around two decades and Sacred Reich would break up and only play intermittently over the years. (Although things have come full circle now, with the band back full steam ahead with their superb new album, Awakening, and guess who’s behind the kit?).

Although their comeback record is superb, for the last two decades this was a fine ending to the Sacred Reich story. It may not be all fast, all the time, but it is all entertaining, all the time.

WHITE ZOMBIE Make Them Die Slowly

Album · 1989 · Groove Metal
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SilentScream213
White Zombie’s “Make Them Die Slowly” holds the title of best Groove Metal album of the 80’s… because it was the only Groove Metal album of the 80’s. Thrash and Alternative Metal undertones run through it, as does some Noise and Industrial influence. The music and production are both sub par, and the vocals range from tolerable to not so much. Every song is way too long for the amount of substance they offer. However, they do get some credit in that when the songs kick into faster and heavier territory, they are actually pretty damn good. Rob’s vocals play into this as well, as he’s much better when yelling angrily than trying to sing or do whatever else.

Well, that’s just the Thrash influence talking. The majority of this album is sub-par Groove. Probably influential, and still manages to be somewhat unique, but that doesn’t make it great.

LAMB OF GOD Lamb Of God

Album · 2020 · Groove Metal
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siLLy puPPy
L:AMB OF GOD has been cranking out the quality groove metal since its inception as Burn The Priest in 1994 with a series of high octane albums ever since however this Virginia band led by the screaming maniac Randy Blythe but hasn’t exactly been the most prolific in its output with only nine releases ( eight under the LAMB OF GOD moniker ) in the 26 years of its existence. Five years after “VII: Sturm und Drang” comes the band’s followup simply titled LAMB OF GOD. It baffles me as to why bands choose to use eponymous titles this late in their career especially if they haven’t reinvented their sound and taken it to new unthinkable worlds.

One thing is pretty much a given for LAMB OF GOD and that is that what you expect in terms of fast paced groove metal with rampaging riffs, half speed bass and drums and Blythe’s gut busting vocal utterances, will always be delivered in abundance. While the band has done a fairly decent job of adding new sounds to their albums and integrating them well into their classic groove metal stomps that dominated “As The Palaces Burn,” LAMB OF GOD seems to have hit a brick wall in the creative department as this eponymous release that came out in the era of Covid-19 is pretty much business as usual without any real developments or deviations from the band’s already established sound.

With ten tracks that add up to almost 45 minutes and a bonus track on the limited digipak boxset as well as the Japanese edition, LAMB OF GOD seems to be resting on its laurels and in the year 2020 with its usual predicative blend of groove metal, thrash furor and metalcore breakdowns. LAMB OF GOD has always maintained a consistency of quality and bad tunes is certainly not the issue at hand with this self-titled release but rather a ho hum been there done that before with one track after another sounding cut out of the same cookie cutter songwriting process and a bad case of playing it safe which obviously paid off since the album debuted at number 15 on the Billboard album charts and sold 30 thousand units in its first week of release. Some metalheads prefer safe and predictable over innovation and progression. Personally i’m not one of those.

This album debuts newbie drummer Art Cruz who replaces long time drummer Chris Adler but his drumming style has been tailor made to fit the band’s established sound and he offers absolutely no signs of individuality. There are a couple guest vocal appearances. “Poison Dream” features Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed and “Routes” allows Testament singer Chuck Billy to let loose. Noticeable absent from this self-titled release are any extras that add different layers of atmospheres or subplots in the musical motifs. This is a back to basics groove metal type of album and while that’s not a bad thing per se, it’s certainly not anything that’s taking metal into any new territories. As a LAMB OF GOD fan i’m always a sucker for those chunky groove metal hooks in tandem with Blythe’s unique style of vocal grunts that are teased out into melodic screams.

For those who love diversity in songwriting this may not be the album for you. The tracks all bleed together with only a few such as “Resurrection Man” offering some sort of unique atmospheric counterpoint otherwise it’s a chugging fest in the vein of early LAMB OF GOD bombast. This is a decent album that won’t disappoint those with low expectations as LAMB OF GOD ticks off all the elements that make them LAMB OF GOD however for my tastes i find this to be a very generic album in relation to the interesting albums such as “Sacrament,” “Wrath,” “Resolution” and “VII: Sturm und Drang.” In the end this is an album that will end up in my collection as a fan but will remain one of the least revisited except all inclusive marathon sessions. I expected more after a five year break but c’est la vie.

EXODUS Force of Habit

Album · 1992 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
The 1990s had a very mixed effect on Thrash Metal bands. Some, like Megadeth and Metallica toned down their sound and became superstars (or bigger stars than they already were). Some, like Sodom and at one point Testament, decided to incorporate some influences from the Death Metal scene and get even harder. Some, like Heathen, Hirax and Death Angel broke up.

One of Thrash’s most important bands, San Fransisco’s Exodus had some line-up trouble, bereavement and a whole lot of confusion. Right before it all went upside down, they released their fifth album, Force Of Habit, in 1992 (the year after Nirvana’s Nevermind album).

Like Anthrax’s Sound Of White Noise, Testament’s Low, Forbidden’s Distortion and so many other Thrash band’s albums between 1992-1999, the album is not the all out speed and violence fans had come to expect. There were new ideas, slower tempos and alternative lyrical themes than just the usual things like blood, war, slaughter and the glory of metal. There was a fatter production sound, and more of a Rock feel than their previous all-Metal all the time material.

If you just want face-melters like ‘Piranha,’ ‘Thrash Under Pressure’ and ‘Faster Than You’ll Ever Live To Be’ from previous records then there is some material here that may come as a bit of a shock. The single ‘A Good Day To Die’ has a southern groove like Pepper Keenan-era C.O.C. The 11-minute ‘Architect Of Pain’ is a dynamic, slow, sludgy number with an almost Alice In Chains feel. The Rolling Stones cover ‘Bitch’ has a horn section and ‘Pump It Up’ has sing-along choruses and a punky tom based drumbeat.

There are a few bones thrown to Thrash fans though. Other single ‘Thorn In My Side’ has a crunchy riff and great energy. ‘Feeding Time At The Zoo’ & ‘Count Your Blessings’ pick up the speed. ‘Me, Myself & I’ has razor sharp riffing, gang vocals and a chorus which could fit on any of the previous three albums.

After this album, the band would disband, then later reunite with original singer Paul Baloff and release a live album, before disappearing again, and going through numerous line-up shifts over the years, but releasing some of their best albums to date along the way (Tempo Of The Damned for example is definitely worth looking into).

History has sort of forgotten about (or intentionally overlooked) this album. How do I feel about it, you ask? It’s a bit of a strange record, but interesting. If I was ranking all of Exodus’ albums, this would be dead last. It however, is not bad. Uneven maybe, but still worth your time. It is refreshing to hear them thinking outside the box, but its also good it didn’t last for too long and they got back to doing what they do best later.

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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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