|Stylistic origins||Heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal, hardcore punk|
|Cultural origins||Early 1990s, United States and Brazil|
|Typical instruments||Electric guitar, drums, bass, vocals (screaming, growling)|
|Derivative forms||Nu metal|
Groove metal (sometimes called post-thrash, neo-thrash, power groove or simply groove) is a subgenre of heavy metal music. It is often used to describe Pantera and Exhorder. At its core, groove metal takes the intensity and sonic qualities of thrash metal and plays it at a mid-tempo, with most bands making only occasional forays into fast tempo.
Characteristics and origins
Pantera's Cowboys from Hell album from 1990 was described as "groundbreaking" and "blueprint-defining" for the groove metal genre. Ian Christe credits Sepultura's Chaos A.D. and Pantera for creating the death metal–derived music of groove metal influencing later groups in the genre during the 1990s. Exhorder's debut Slaughter in the Vatican is also considered one of the first groove metal albums, having been released in 1990, the same year as Cowboys. Groove metal bands have incorporated thrash metal, and crossover thrash. Tommy Victor of Prong claims that the attitude of groove metal came from Bad Brains.
The style has been associated with bands such as Pantera, Exhorder, Lamb of God, Sepultura, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, Gojira, Throwdown, Machine Head, Byzantine, late-period Bush-era Anthrax, Spiritual Beggars, and Texas Hippie Coalition. Some bands have gone to some lengths to avoid being labelled a groove metal band. Veteran thrash metal band Annihilator got let go by Roadrunner Records in 1993 when the groove metal trend began being promoted by the label. It utilizes down tuned thrash riffs, vocals are either death growled, screamed or hardcore shouts.
Influence in other genres
Pioneering groove metal bands such as Pantera (originally a glam metal and speed metal band in the 1980s) and Sepultura (originally playing thrash metal and death metal) laid the foundations for nu metal in the 1990s and some further development in the 2000s of metalcore (which started in the 1980s). Nu metal utilizes downtuned riffs, a more hip hop influenced beat accessible to rapping and turntablism and groove metal rhythms, while frequently lacking guitar solos and complex picking. Metalcore emphasizes general heavy metal characteristics as well as breakdowns, which are slower, intense passages that are conducive to moshing.
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As close to death metal as any other gold-selling record before it, Chaos A.D. stripped down Sepultura's sound into a coarse metallic loop. The CD sold half a million copies, and alongside Pantera the band forged a streetwise, death-derived groove metal that inspired an upcoming generation of mavens in the 1990s.
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Howie Abrams (NYHC scene): Mosh style was slower, very tribal – like a Reggae beat adapted to Hardcore. (...) It was an outbreak of dancing with a mid-tempo beat driven by floor tom and snare.
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