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

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PANTERA Cowboys From Hell Album Cover Cowboys From Hell
PANTERA
4.20 | 115 ratings
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PANTERA Vulgar Display of Power Album Cover Vulgar Display of Power
PANTERA
4.15 | 82 ratings
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WHITE ZOMBIE La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1 Album Cover La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1
WHITE ZOMBIE
4.29 | 20 ratings
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SEPULTURA Machine Messiah Album Cover Machine Messiah
SEPULTURA
4.23 | 20 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD Bloodstone & Diamonds Album Cover Bloodstone & Diamonds
MACHINE HEAD
4.29 | 9 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Sacrament Album Cover Sacrament
LAMB OF GOD
4.09 | 23 ratings
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MACHINE HEAD Burn My Eyes Album Cover Burn My Eyes
MACHINE HEAD
4.03 | 30 ratings
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CAVALERA CONSPIRACY Inflikted Album Cover Inflikted
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY
4.16 | 12 ratings
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CHIMAIRA The Impossibility Of Reason Album Cover The Impossibility Of Reason
CHIMAIRA
4.20 | 10 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Resolution Album Cover Resolution
LAMB OF GOD
4.08 | 16 ratings
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SOULFLY Conquer Album Cover Conquer
SOULFLY
4.14 | 10 ratings
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LAMB OF GOD Ashes of the Wake Album Cover Ashes of the Wake
LAMB OF GOD
3.98 | 29 ratings
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PANTERA Cowboys From Hell

Album · 1990 · Groove Metal
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SilentScream213
Another one of the biggest shocks of the 90’s. Sleaze metal losers Pantera decide to reinvent themselves as some sort of cowboy metal saviors, become about 3 times as heavy and start cranking out sludgy mid-tempo riffs as if they’d been doing it all along. The drumming, despite being the same guy as always, takes on a much different flavor here, making way more use of double pedals, Thrash beats and occasionally some technical prowess as well. Phil’s vocals evolve from the generic Glam croon of the last album into some rancid, dehydrated desert monster hell bent on ripping your face off.

All in all it’s just one of those huge wtf transitions that somehow went from the worst aspects of machismo in music to the best. There is little substance here, but there’s some great fun and ass kicking music that was without peer in 1990.

PANTERA Far Beyond Driven

Album · 1994 · Groove Metal
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Kev Rowland
It is safe to say that when I first came across Pantera with their fifth album, 1990’s ‘Cowboys From Hell’ I was not impressed, and over the last 30 years have recognised there have been some good songs from within their canon, but have never gone as massively overboard as many. So, when I was perusing the Warner Bros promotional site and came across this double CD reissue from 2014, celebrating the 20th anniversary of an album seen by many as being a classic, I thought why not? There is no doubt that Pantera these days are viewed by many as being an incredibly important band within the genre, and Dimebag’s death has only secured that notion, but listening to this with fresh ears more than a quarter of a century after it was recorded, one can only wonder why that is still the case.

The guys were all very good musicians, and in Anselmo they had an aggressive and over the top singer, while Dimebag was obviously influenced heavily by the likes of Tony Iommi, but where are the songs? There is little here which gets into the brain and sticks there, the result being that if this was a new album by an unknown band one wonders what the critics would think of it. Of course, the Pantera diehards will say this is a hugely important release, even more so that it has been remastered and paired with live songs from Donington which include classics such as “Fucking Hostile”. The only problem is that the recording is bootleg quality at best, and one gets the impression it has been deliberately left like that. Having delved back into the world of Pantera for the first time in aeons, I cannot say that I am any wiser as to why they are held in such high regard, as this is not the classic many hold it out to be.

CORONER Grin

Album · 1993 · Groove Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Coroner were one of the more unique Thrash Metal bands. While their earliest material was a bit more pure-Thrash, with each new release they became more technical, more progressive and more unique.

By the time of their final full-length studio album, 1993’s Grin, they had pushed the envelope so far, most of the album is hardly reminiscent of pure Thrash at all.

It opens with the hypnotic tribal “Dream Path” intro, which sounds more like Lateralus-era Tool than it does Reign In Blood or Darkness Descends. That should be the first sign this isn’t your average full-speed-ahead thrasher. After the brief intro, the record bursts into the first full-length song, “The Lethargic Age” which has a bit of a Beg To Differ era Prong feel to it. There’s still crunch and direction to the riffs, but it also intermittently gives way to jangly post punky ringing too.

That’s followed by the faster “Internal Conflicts” which picks up the pace, but also has a bit of a Ministry-Meets-White Zombie vibe, with its stop/start song structure, bouncy chorus, samples, but tight mechanical verse riffs. That then gets capped off with a sweepy Dream Theater sounding guitar solo.

“Caveat (To The Coming)” which follows, opens with a Beatlesy psychedelic jingle jangle intro, before evolving into a sort of proto-Nu Metal groove. Very bass driven and not as fast as you’d think of when you think of the word “Thrash.”

I won’t get into a full track-by-track but you get the picture, the band are expanding their style, looking in many different directions, trying new styles. It is the 90s after all, and very few Thrash bands are keeping it simple and sounding like its still 1986.

As a bit of a Thrash nut, I’ve spent most of my teens and early ‘20s with a sort of “80s rules/90s sucks” mentality when it comes to this sort of music (aint nobody gonna tell me Green is a better album than Forbidden Evil for example), but as I grew older, I definitely began to appreciate the sometimes underrated 90s releases from 80s bands a bit more. I’m sure if I’d have heard Grin when I was younger, I’d have balked a bit when hearing it. As I didn’t discover Coroner until much later, it just seems like another excellent album from the ex-Celtic Frost roadies. Being a Prong fan first also definitely helps.

I think there’s enough of what makes the previous Coroner albums great. There’s the technical prowess, the willingness to explore and the ambition in general. The vocals are still the same as the early albums (don’t expect any Cobain-isms or Alice In Chains-esque harmonies). The lead guitar is excellent - in fact, I’d argue that some of the band’s best solos to date come on this album and the band in general never fail to be interesting. The only thing that’s missing really is the breakneck speed or the warm fuzzy feeling of classic Thrash charm.

If you want a taster track to see if the album is for you, try the 8-minute, multiple-time signature “Paralized, Mesmerized.”

Overall; is this an appropriate album for adding to a Thrash playlist alongside Pleasure To Kill, The Legacy and Bonded By Blood? Honestly, no, probably not. However, if you are already a fan of ‘80s Coroner, should you shun this album because it is different? No, definitely not.

LAMB OF GOD Lamb Of God

Album · 2020 · Groove Metal
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Kev Rowland
It is unusual for a band that has been around as Lamb of God to release a self-titled album, but it is possible this is for a few different reasons. The last release by the band was not actually the previous Lamb of God release but an album of covers they released as Burn The Priest, which was the original name of the band when they were first formed and under which they released their debut album. More importantly, this is the first ever release which does not feature drummer Chris Adler, who alongside bassist John Campbell were the only founders of Burn The Priest still involved. Adler had taken some time away from Lamb of God to perform and record with Megadeth (winning a Grammy for his work on ‘Dystopia’) and is now working with neither. There are various reasons floating around the web as to why he left, but for whatever reason he is no longer involved, and his place has been taken by Art Cruz (Winds of Plague, Cruz).

It may have been five years since the last LoG release, but in many ways, this is a direct continuation and sonically there is not much difference in the drum styles. The band feel happier with the album itself due to a change in approach in that they undertook pre-production then toured with Slayer before coming back to the songs which allowed them to hear them in a different light. Hard-hitting groove metal is the order of the way, with Randy Blythe bringing his best punk attack to it over the top. His vocal approach does provide cut through, as the band provide a solid backdrop for him to spit his venom against. As with the last album this is also highly melodic, although the nuances do not appear to be as prevalent, which may be due to having a new drummer as opposed to having one who has been in the band for quarter of a century. This is solid as opposed to exceptional, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the next one. I just hope we don’t have to wait another five years as I do not think it is possible for these guys to release a bad album, and I am intrigued to see where they go from here.

LAMB OF GOD VII: Sturm und Drang

Album · 2015 · Groove Metal
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Kev Rowland
This 2015 release was a comeback album for Lamb of God, as in 2012 singer Randy Blythe was arrested by Czech police for his actions which resulted in the death of a fan after Blythe had pushed him off stage at a 2020 concert. The large legal fees incurred, plus the inactivity during court cases, meant that Lamb of God were in a precarious legal position and they actually announced a hiatus in 2014. Then in April 2015 they started teasing fans, and the album was released in July. As the title suggests, this was the seventh album as Lamb of God, although everyone apart from rhythm guitarist Willie Adler had actually played on the debut album when they were billed as Burn The Priest. The sextet were back with something to prove, to show that even after all the trials and tribulations they were still in the game, as important to the metal movement as they had ever been.

With Lamb of God one always has certain expectations: the music will be brain numbingly heavy, there will be a groove running within it, the guitars will be running off all over the place with complex runs and riffs, the rhythm section will be locked down, and Blythe will be providing rich frenetic vocals owing as much to punk as they do to aggressive metal. Those expectations are definitely met on this album, with “Still Embers” kicking things off with just one guitar and then the rest of the band kick in and they are all there, right in your face and kicking hard. The nuances and heaviness are there as always, combined with real musicality and hooks, with the result is something which at one level is designed to make your ears bleed but is also highly melodic with hooks that get inside your brain.

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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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