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Djent /ˈɛnt/[1] is a style of heavy metal music that developed as a spinoff of traditional progressive metal.[2][3] The word "djent" is an onomatopoeia for the distinctive high-gain, distorted palm-muted, low pitch guitar sound most notably employed by bands like Meshuggah and Sikth. 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.[4]


Fredrik Thordendal, guitarist of Swedish band Meshuggah, is considered the originator of the djent technique.[4] However, the scene itself developed from an online community of bedroom musicians including Misha Mansoor whose success with Periphery brought djent "from the virtual world into the real one."[4] Other important pre-djent era bands in the development of the style are Sikth, Mnemic, Animals as Leaders,[3] TesseracT,[5][6][7] and Textures.[8]

The scene has grown rapidly[9] and members of the original online community, including the bands Chimp Spanner, Gizmachi, and Monuments, have gone on to tour and release albums commercially.[4][10] Other bands that are often considered djent include A Life Once Lost,[11] Veil of Maya,[12] Vildhjarta,[13] and Xerath.[14] Born of Osiris have also been described as being inspired by the djent movement.[9] Furthermore, Hacktivist are a djent band that uses rapping as primary vocal style.[15][16]

Misha Mansoor from Periphery uses many guitar effects to influence the music. They use a lot high gain by using an overdrive pedal. "To get a djent tone on any guitar you have to buy a compressor, Overdrive or Tube Screamer, Distortion, and Shimmer Reverb pedals to allow you to get a djenty tone depending on your amp and guitar in general."[17]


Djent as a style is characterized by progressive, rhythmic, and technical complexity.[7] It typically features heavily distorted, palm-muted guitar chords, syncopated riffs[4] and polyrhythms alongside virtuoso soloing.[2] Another common feature is the use of extended range seven, eight, nine,and ten-string guitars.[18]


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. But other bands such as TesseracT and Animals as Leaders have gained positive reviews, such as awards and highly acclaimed albums. Post-metal band Rosetta said: "Maybe we should start calling doom metal 'DUNNN'."[19] 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."[20] In an interview with Guitar Messenger, Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor said:

I was looking for gear that was djenty. I was like: ‘Are these pickups djenty?’ 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.[21]

In a later interview with Freethinkers Blog, Misha Mansoor stated that he felt djent had become "this big umbrella term for any sort of progressive band and also any band that will [use] off-time chugs [...] You also get bands like Scale the Summit [who are referred to as] a djent band [when] eighty percent of their stuff sounds like clean channel and it's all beautiful and pretty, you know [...] In that way I think it's cool because it groups really cool bands together [...] We are surrounded by a lot of bands that I respect, but at the same time I don't think people know what djent is either [...] It's very unclear." Later in the interview he stated, "If you call us djent that's fine, I mean I would never self apply the term. But at the same time it's just so vague that I don't know what to make of it."[22]

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. While stating that he personally strives not to subscribe exclusively to any one genre, 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.[23]

List of artists[edit]

Band Country of origin Active
After the Burial U.S. 2004–present
A Life Once Lost U.S. 1999–2013
Animals as Leaders U.S. 2007–present
Born of Osiris U.S. 2003–present
The Contortionist U.S. 2007–present
Destrage Italy 2005–present
Hacktivist UK 2011–present
Meshuggah Sweden 1987–present
Monuments UK 2007–present
Paul Ortiz UK 2004–present
Periphery U.S. 2005–present
SikTh UK 1999–2008,
Skyharbor India 2010–present
Sirens U.S. 2011–present
TesseracT UK 2007–present
Textures Netherlands 2001–present
Uneven Structure France 2008–present
Veil of Maya U.S. 2004–present
Vildhjarta Sweden 2005–present
Volumes U.S. 2009–present
Xerath UK 2007–present


  1. ^ Stickler, John (28 February 2011). "You Me At Six, All Time Low, Sum 41, House Of Pain & More Added To Sonisphere Knebworth Line-Up". Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Bowcott, Nick (26 June 2011). "Meshuggah Share the Secrets of Their Sound". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Angle, Brad (23 July 2011). "Interview: Meshuggah Guitarist Fredrik Thordendal Answers Reader Questions". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Djent, the metal geek's microgenre". The Guardian. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2011
  5. ^ GuitarWorld Staff Member (16 March 2011). "TesseracT Unveil New Video". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "One". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Concealing Fate". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Bland, Ben (3 October 2011). "Textures - Dualism (Album Review)". Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Colgan, Chris (24 June 2011). "Born of Osiris: The Discovery". PopMatters. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "TESSERACT’S ACLE ON THE BIRTH OF TESSERACT AND THE DJENT MOVEMENT". Metalsucks. Metalsucks. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2014-11-09. 
  11. ^ Debenedictis, Matt (23 February 2011). "A Life Once Lost Took 'an Outsider's Point of View' During Time Off". Noisecreep. AOL. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  12. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "[Id]". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  13. ^ Hart, Josh (6 October 2011). "Vildhjarta Unveil New Album Details, Post Teaser Video". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "II review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Rosenberg, Axl (17 October 2011). "Djent-rappers Hacktivist Kind Enough to Put the Word Hack Right There in the Name". MetalSucks. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  16. ^ Islander (9 November 2012). "Hacktivist". No Clean Singing. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Reid, Evelyn (1 September 2011). "Montreal Concerts: September 2011". Montreal Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Kennelty, Greg. "Here's Why Everyone Needs To Stop Complaining About Extended Range Guitars". 
  19. ^ "What is your opinion of Djent?". Retrieved 29 November 2011.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); External link in |publisher= (help)
  20. ^ Blythe, Randy. "Lamb of God's Randy Blythe on Djent". Retrieved 29 November 2011.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  21. ^ Mansoor, Misha. "MARC OKUBO (VEIL OF MAYA) & MISHA MANSOOR (PERIPHERY) INTERVIEW". Retrieved 7 March 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  22. ^ "Periphery interview part 3 of 3." FreethinkersBlog. 19 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Aug. 2013. <>.
  23. ^ Abasi, Tosin. "Tosin Abasi's Opinion of Djent". Retrieved 2013-03-17.