Groove metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music that began in the early 1990s. The genre achieved mainstream success in the 1990s and continued having some more success in the 2000s. Inspired by thrash metal and traditional heavy metal, groove metal features raspy singing and screaming, down-tuned guitars, heavy guitar riffs, and syncopated rhythms. Unlike thrash metal, groove metal is usually slower and also uses elements of traditional heavy metal. Pantera are often considered the pioneers of groove metal, and groove metal expanded in the 1990s with bands like White Zombie, Machine Head, Skinlab, and Sepultura. The genre continued in the 2000s with bands like Lamb of God, Damageplan, Five Finger Death Punch and Hellyeah.
|Cultural origins||1990, Texas|
|Derivative forms||Nu metal|
Groove metal is heavily influenced by thrash metal. Unlike thrash metal, groove metal focuses more on heaviness while thrash metal often focuses more on speed. Groove metal places emphasis on heavy guitar riffs with usually syncopated rhythms, with the riffs sometimes being somewhat similar to death metal riffs. Guitars are generally down-tuned. Vocals in groove metal usually are yelling, growling, screaming, or very raspy singing. Although groove metal has a big emphasis on guitar riffs, guitar solos are still very common in groove metal. While thrash metal usually has fast tempos, groove metal usually has slower tempos, but fast tempos can be featured in groove metal. Groove metal is also often influenced by traditional heavy metal and blues-inspired heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath.
Texas heavy metal band Pantera's 1990 album Cowboys from Hell is considered the first groove metal album. With this album, Pantera moved away from their glam metal years and became a groove metal band, starting the groove metal genre. Pantera continued releasing other influential albums through the 1990s. The band released their album Vulgar Display of Power in 1992 and, with this album, their music became heavier. Pantera's 1994 album Far Beyond Driven peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling in 186,000 copies its first week of release. Pantera's albums often would quickly get certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and eventually would get certified platinum. Pantera's album Vulgar Display of Power is the band's best-selling album, being eventually certified 2x platinum. In 1993, Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura released Chaos A.D. and, with this album, the band began using fewer elements of thrash metal. With Chaos A.D., Sepultura became a groove metal band. Sepultura released their most popular album Roots in 1996. Roots was a groove metal and nu metal album. The album received criticism from fans because the album was very different from older Sepultura albums like Beneath the Remains. In 1992, thrash metal band Exhorder moved to the groove metal genre with their album The Law. In the 1990s, several other groove metal bands appeared, including Skinlab, Pissing Razors, Machine Head, Prong, Grip Inc., and White Zombie.
Machine Head released their debut album Burn My Eyes in 1994. The album helped the band achieve underground success, with the album selling 145,240 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. White Zombie achieved mainstream success in the mid 1990s. In October 1993 and February 1994, the band's album La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One was certified gold and platinum by the RIAA, respectively. The album was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA in July 1998. The album peaked at number 2 on the Heatseekers Albums chart in 1993. White Zombie's music videos were featured on Beavis & Butthead and this helped the band sell more albums. White Zombie's 1995 album Astro Creep: 2000 achieved mainstream success. The album peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200, selling 104,000 copies in its first week of release. Astro Creep: 2000 was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA. White Zombie's song "More Human Than Human" achieved mainstream success in the mid 1990s. It peaked at number 53 on the Radio Songs chart on June 17, 1995. On that day, "More Human Than Human" peaked at number 7 on the Alternative Songs chart. On June 10, 1995, the song peaked at number 10 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart. "More Human Than Human" was played very frequently on MTV and won the Best Metal/Hard Rock Video award at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.
In the 2000s, many more groove metal bands emerged, including Five Finger Death Punch, Damageplan, Lamb of God, Chimaira, Hellyeah, and Throwdown. Damageplan formed after the breakup of Pantera, with Pantera members Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott being members of Damageplan. Damageplan released one album in 2004 called New Found Power. In December 2004, when the band performed live, guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot dead by a man named Nathan Gale. After this incident, Damageplan broke up. Dimebag Darrell's brother Vinnie Paul Abbott then became the drummer for Hellyeah in 2006 and remained until his passing in 2018. Lamb of God became popular among heavy metal fans in the mid-2000s along with the metalcore bands that were achieving success at the time. Five Finger Death Punch emerged in the 2000s and achieved moderate success in the 2010s.
Influence on other genresEdit
Groove metal bands like Pantera, White Zombie, Prong, and Sepultura were all big influences on nu metal. Nu metal was a genre that began in the mid-1990s and became mainstream in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
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By the early '90s, however, they had evolved into an innovative outfit that incorporated hardcore and tribal rhythms in their sound and helped to lay the groundwork for nu-metal and metalcore