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 | 110 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 | 78 ratings
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SEPULTURA Machine Messiah Album Cover Machine Messiah
SEPULTURA
4.22 | 20 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD Burn My Eyes Album Cover Burn My Eyes
MACHINE HEAD
4.06 | 28 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD Bloodstone & Diamonds Album Cover Bloodstone & Diamonds
MACHINE HEAD
4.31 | 8 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Sacrament Album Cover Sacrament
LAMB OF GOD
4.10 | 20 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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LAMB OF GOD Resolution Album Cover Resolution
LAMB OF GOD
4.11 | 15 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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groove metal Music Reviews

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH F8

Album · 2020 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Five Flavour Fruit Punch, Five Finger Butt Plug, Nickleback For Juggalos; call them what you want, but I am an absolute mark for Las Vegas’ biggest Metal band, Five Finger Death Punch, and their Melodic chorus/Pantera-verses/Blunt-ignorance formula. It just always hits the spot somehow.

That being said; two out of their last three albums have been weaker than their usual standard, and a lot of high profile intoxication, protracted label legal issues, loss of a key member and an on-stage meltdown plastered all over the media have somewhat tainted the band’s rising-star vibe.

Its nice to say however; that their latest album, their eighth studio album, 2020’s F8 (Fate), sees the band clear-headed, sober and once again delivering the goods. You can hear singer Ivan Moody venting all that aforementioned baggage on the excellent tune “Bottom Of The Top” which is one of the highlights musically and lyrically. The quality of song-writing here is a lot stronger than their …And Justice For None record, and the performance is a little less robotic. That album had the air of disharmony about it, whereas F8 sounds like a band really gelling and coming together. For those who like the band at their faster and heavier, “This Is War” & “Scar Tissue” are the standout moments. If you prefer the band doing ballads and poppier moments, it’s the acoustic with electro-drums “A Little Bit Off” that you need to check out.

This is their first album without their key drummer Jeremy Spencer, who was such a big part of their sound, its hard to imagine the band without him. (I recently read his autobiography, and it’s a bit of a depressing tale of addiction, infidelity and recurrent erectile dysfunction that gives a good insight into the inter-band relationships, but definitely signposted that he wasn’t going to stay in the band forever!). Charlie Engen takes the drum throne this time around, and is a capable replacement, but maybe lacking a bit in personality on this particular record. I think much like Slipknot’s Jay Weinberg, it will take until the next album until we really see his potential. I don’t reckon you’d want to make too many waves on your first appearance.

I saw the band live just before this album was released, and it was absolutely glorious. I had been following them since their sophomore record had just been out and they were only starting to get noticed, and have been a day one purchaser on most of their albums to date, and it was amazing to see them not only playing arenas, but utterly captivating them. They dropped some new material from this record and it fit in perfectly with a hits-laden set. ‘Inside Out’ in particular feels like it will stay in their live set from now until retirement.

Its not hard to imagine that in the future, F8 will be looked back upon as one of the band’s better albums. Its not a Dr. Feelgood style new beginning, but it is a focusing and strengthening of the existing formula with simply better songs. (Does that mean its their Razor’s Edge? I don’t know…)

DOMINUS Vol.Beat

Album · 1997 · Groove Metal
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UMUR
"Vol.Beat" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Danish metal act Dominus. The album was released through Progress Records in November 1997. It´s the successor to "The First 9" from 1996. "Vol.Beat" features one lineup change since the predecessor as Anders Nielsen has replaced Jesper Olsen on bass. Dominus started out playing some relatively brutal death metal in their demo years and continued to play a groove oriented type of death metal on their debut full-length studio album "View to the Dim (1994)". "The First 9" further expanded the groove element of the band´s sound an toned down the death metal parts, and "Vol.Beat" further continues down that road.

In fact there´s very little on "Vol.Beat" which can be labelled death metal. The album is often tagged death´n´roll, but personally I would rather call the music on the album rock´n´roll oriented groove metal. Michael Poulsen´s vocals are pretty raw, but they are not growling type vocals and the riffs and rhythms are not in the death metal camp either. This is catchy, groovy and rock´n´roll influenced music. It´s actually not far from sounding like Poulsen´s later band Volbeat (which is named after the title of this album) in a rawer and less polished version with rough vocals instead of clean ditto. The material on the 11 track, 42:27 minutes long album are generally well written and powerful, although not all tracks stand out equally much, there´s nothing sub par feautured on the album.

"Vol.Beat" is fairly well produced and well performed too, so upon conclusion it´s a good quality release by Dominus. It can be argued that the musical development of the band should have resulted in a name change, as this basically sounds like a completely different act from the band who released "View to the Dim (1994)", but their development and change of musical style aren´t terribly different from how an artist like Gorefest evolved through the 90s. So it wasn´t completely uncommon for death metal acts to change their style radically towards a more rock´n´roll or groove oriented style in those days. Dominus is just another example of that. Overall "Vol.Beat" isn´t exactly a revelation, but it´s a solid release featuring some infectously groovy riffs and rhythms and a 3.5 star (70%) rating isn´t all wrong.

MACHINE HEAD Civil Unrest

Single · 2020 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Civil Unrest is the new single from veteran Bay Area Metal band Machine Head. It is the third non-album single made since the controversial Catharsis album and their very public split with long term band members Phil Demmel and Dave McClain.

Some comments sections on the internet are absolutely lighting up at the moment with people shocked and appalled that Machine Head have suddenly made a political song about race relations due to current events in the news. The thing is though; Machine Head writing about racism is nothing new. Machine Head writing about politics is nothing new. Machine Head writing about current events is nothing new either.

Their last album featured the track ‘Bastards’ about the current political climate in the US, prior to that the non-album single ‘Is There Anyone Out There?’ was about feeling disbelief about and disconnected from racist musicians in the news at the time. Even on their classic The Blackening album there’s a track called ‘Slanderous’ full of anti-racism lyrics. Before that, their fan favourite song ‘Imperium’ opens with the line ‘fuck your prejudice.’ Oh yeah, and all the way back to their 1994 debut album Burn My Eyes they’ve been talking about racism and current events, like Rodney King and the L.A. Riots. Heck, on the track ‘Old,’ which is basically the title track of that album, the first thee words are ‘‘1994. Corruption. Racism.’’ That’s the current, political and racism boxes all ticked in the first 30 seconds.

In short, you really shouldn’t be surprised about it!

Now that the educational portion of the review is over, we can discuss the actual music. The first track, ‘Stop The Bleeding’ features guest vocals from Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach. I figure Rob must have decided to do this because the guitar itself is very Killswitch sounding. The first 30 seconds of the track could almost be Killswitch if you didn’t know any better. It’s a nice, catchy up-tempo riff, with a sort of loud/quiet dynamic. Towards the end though, it sounds classically Machine Head, slow riffs, harmonics, groove that could fit on the first two albums if the tone weren’t so bright. In the way Zakk Wylde has a signature sound, so does Rob Flynn. New drummer Matt Alston also does his best job of attempting to stay true to the established Machine Head style. Definitely not a throwaway song.

The next track on here is ‘Bullet Proof’ which is a lot heavier, dirtier and nastier. Its got a similar stock market/wall street lyrical theme as ‘In Comes The Flood’ from Bloodstone & Diamonds and musically it mixes the heavier moments from Through The Ashes Of Empires (think the ”On Your Grave I Will Stand” section of ‘In The Presence Of My Enemies’), with the clean-but-not-clean moments in the style of The More Things Change, topped off with the nice guitar solo trade-offs in the style of all the albums since and including The Blackening. Its basically a career retrospective in one song. For my money, this is probably the best individual song the band have put out since Bloodstone & Diamonds.

Overall, Civil Unrest is just two short and angry songs released spontaneously in a strange year, but if it is any indication of the future, I think maybe Machine Head should be album to find their feet again after their midlife crisis of the past few years.

PRONG Age of Defiance

EP · 2019 · Groove Metal
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Kev Rowland
It has been years since I last listened to Prong, probably not since 2003’s ‘Scorpio Rising’, but although there is a different rhythm section since then, singer/guitarist Tommy Victor is still at the front as he has been for more than 30 years. Five songs, less than 20 minutes in length, only two are new with the other being three live cuts. I’m not sure why this has been released, but possibly as a stopgap given their last album was in 2017, since when they have replaced bassist Mike Longworth and brought back Jason Christopher who was in the band for four years prior to ‘Zero Days’. This is an okay release without ever really hitting its straps, and it feels like the band is marking time. Let’s hope that when they come back with their next album there is more enthusiasm and excitement as while this is okay it is rarely anything more than that.

SEPULTURA Machine Messiah

Album · 2017 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Machine Messiah is an absolute rager of an album. In terms of quality, this is one of Sepultura’s best albums period. Of course you’ve got Chaos AD if your ears work, then there’s always either Arise or Roots depending on if you are a Thrash or Nu Metal fan and that’s more or less the way the Metal history books have kept it for years. Now however, this album and its follow up Quadra should rightly be considered absolutely essential Sepultura listening. (In fact, personal preference and sacrilegious though it may be, I would argue this and Quadra and joint second place behind only Chaos AD).

When you look at the cover image for this record, you could reasonably expect it to be some sort of modern version of Arise, like how some veteran bands tend to harken back to old covers when they are going back to their roots. However; stylistically, this album is a whole new kettle of fish.

There’s quite a bit of variety. The album opens with a slow and moody title track with clean vocals. Midway through there is a very proggy instrumental with melodic sweeping virtuoso guitar work. Towards the ends there are a few tracks with additional musicians, like violins and horns, creating a very cinematic and grand sound.

The core sound of the album though, is just really well written, modernised and exciting variations on the band’s signature Groove Metal style, but with much more twists and turns, syncopation, swing and outstanding levels of musicianship. The drums and lead guitars in particular are beyond impressive. Eloy Casagrande is arguably the best drummer they’ve ever had and Andreas Kisser hasn’t just stagnated as a guitarist, he has pushed himself to new heights. This is leagues above anything they were putting up in the first decade after Max left.

I’d usually like to list highlights at this point, but to be honest, there isn’t a wasted moment on the whole disc. ‘Phantom Self’ has the riffs, ‘Iceberg Dances’ and ‘Cyber God’ have the solos, ‘Vandals Nest’ and ‘Resistant Parasites’ have the drums, ‘I Am The Enemy’ and ‘Silent Violence’ have the vocal hooks, and ‘Machine Messiah’ and ‘Alethea’ just have the general cool factor. Its one of the best single collection of songs the band has ever produced.

Clocking in at a tidy 46 minutes without overstaying its welcome and featuring just 10 songs every single one of which is memorable, this is as close to a perfect album as you can get. The best thing is that it just gets better the more you listen to it. I thought it was good the first time I heard it, but the more I spin it, the more I discover. The more I discover the more I love. It just keeps on giving.

Overall, this is a superb album that I whole heartedly recommend without hesitation or caveat. In fact, if you like any other Sepultura album but don’t own this, I downright insist you check it out.

groove metal movie reviews

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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