|Stylistic origins||Progressive metal|
|Cultural origins||Mid 2000s, Europe and United States|
|Typical instruments||Electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussion, vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, occasional use of orchestral and ethnic instruments.|
|United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Mainland Europe, India|
Djent (English pronunciation: /'dʒɛnt/) is a heavy metal movement that developed as a spinoff of traditional progressive metal. The word "djent" is an onomatopoeia for the distinctive low-gain, distorted palm-muted guitar sound employed by Meshuggah, coined by their lead guitarist, Fredrik Thordendal. Typically, the word is used to refer to music that makes use of this sound, to the sound itself, or to the scene that revolves around it.
The Swedish band Meshuggah and the British bands Sikth and Fellsilent are credited as the inspirations for the djent technique. Already in 2006-2008, the American bands After the Burial, Born of Osiris and Veil of Maya released records now considered djent. The movement itself emerged from the solo recordings of Misha Mansoor of Periphery, with Periphery subsequently bringing djent "from the virtual world into the real one." Other pioneering bands are TesseracT, Animals as Leaders, and Textures. The scene has grown rapidly and has become a trend, as numerous bands emerged out of the scene in 2009 and 2010. Other bands that are labeled under the term include Veil of Maya, A Life Once Lost, Vildhjarta, and Xerath. The group Born of Osiris have also been described as being inspired by the movement.
Djent, in its original meaning, is a heavily digitally processed power chord, and is the name for an elastic, syncopated guitar riff. Djent as a style has been described as featuring heavily distorted, palm-muted guitar chords alongside virtuoso soloing, and is characterized by its progressive, rhythmic, and technical complexity, often interwoven with polyrhythms. Another common attribute of the style is computerized sound, as many of its acts, such as Periphery, Northlane, Fell Silent, Colossus, Concatenate, El Scar, Volumes, and Textures, started their careers recording at home and self-producing.
Some members of the metal community have criticized the term 'djent', either treating it as a short-lived fad, openly condemning it, or questioning its validity as a genre. Post-metal band Rosetta said: "Maybe we should start calling doom metal 'DUNNN'." In response to a question about 'djent', Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe stated: "There is no such thing as 'djent,' it's not a genre." In an interview with Guitar Messenger, Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor said:
I was looking for gear that was djent-y. I was like: ‘Are these pickups djent-y?’ For some reason it caught on, but completely in the wrong way, because people think it's a style of music and they think it's a style of music I play.
During an interview with got-djent.com, Sybreed guitarist Thomas "Drop" stated: "First, I don't really like the term 'djent'. It doesn't sound like 'djent-djdjdjent', more sounding like a mad duck, 'quack-quaquaquack'."
Sam McMillan of the one-man project Polygraphist has a rather more upbeat view of djent:
I feel like certain genres really divided people in the past, where as this music (djent or whatever you want to call it) brings people together from a lot of different genres. It's very unifying to see the black metal kids and the doom kids and the nu metal kids and the hardcore kids all listen to a certain tonality and style and at least go "oh yeah that's not bad", instead of "fuck u d00d thats so not br00t4l eat a dick u pigfuck"...
...It's eerily reminiscent of the jazz movement and how it became a unifying voice for a lot of "lost musicians".
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders also takes a more lenient view of the term: stating that there are specific characteristics that are common to "djent" bands, therefore implying legitimate use of the term as a genre. Whilst stating that he personally strives not to prescribe to genres, he makes the point that a genre is defined by the ability to associate common features between different artists. In this way, it is possible to view djent as a genre describing a particular niche of modern, progressive metal.
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