10 Contemporary Metal Bands You Should Know

Metal. It’s one of music’s most maligned and misunderstood genres, a culture that exists perpetually outside the mainstream and for the most part is perfectly happy doing so. Back when we were growing up in the ’80s, metal meant big hair, devil horns, and intimidatingly fast guitar solos. Of course, it can still mean exactly that, but happily these days the genre’s more diverse than ever. In particular, there’s a breed of bands playing ominous, black metal-influenced music that’s much more powerful than any of yer super-fast thrash noodlings. With the new Baroness album out this week, we thought we’d celebrate some of these bands, both old and new (and we’d like to acknowledge the assistance of design whiz and metal expert Manual Graphics in doing so.) Who did we miss? Let us know, nicely, in the comment section.

Baroness

Although they blend the sort of sludge sound we’re looking for here with other elements – there’s a distinctly noodly flavor to some of their work, as exemplified by the above “Take My Bones Away,” from their new record Yellow and Green – Baroness still make a fine jumping-off point into the world of slow, nasty metal.