Defining contemporary metal music: Performance, sounds and practices

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Contemporary metal music (CMM) features, usually down-tuned, harmonically distorted timbres, and from a performance perspective regularly contains fast and frequently complex subdivisions, as well as highly synchronized instrumentation. The combination of these elements results in a significant concentration of dense musical sound usually referred to as ‘heaviness’. From a performance, sounds, practices and production aesthetics perspective, this article proposes the broad musical parameters for CMM’s heaviness, and from this viewpoint likewise seeks to distinguish CMM from traditional heavy metal music.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-313
Number of pages17
JournalMetal Music Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


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