Friday, September 28, 2012

The Many Instruments of Metal

Guitars, drums, and keyboards (to a lesser extent) are all to be expected in metal. Very close to every single band uses them. Hell, they're the steadfast instruments of most genres of music. But that's not to say they're the only ones. Metal is an extremely diverse genre, and there have been a lot of influences from a lot of unexpected places. This includes the actual instruments.

So brutal.
Symphonic metal is so named because of its orchestral element. Most symphonic metal bands use full orchestras to play the backing or even the main riffs of their songs. Just look at Dimmu's new album. These are instruments a typical non-metalhead wouldn't expect to find within the boundaries of metal. Obviously orchestras are made up of many string, brass, and woodwind instruments that on their own aren't even close to metal. Combined with a metal riff though, they can make something beautiful. Yes, I'm not too "manly" to use the word 'beautiful'. Jeeze.

Folk metal is another unexpected combination that works well, especially considering how popular it currently is. It takes folk instruments, most of which I'm sure you've never heard of, and adds them to the standard metal repertoire. The glory of folk metal is how different each band sounds. Eluveitie uses flutes, bagpipes, and a hurdy-gurdy, while Korpiklaani uses a violin and accordion. I really enjoy songs that start off with a catchy folk beat and switch to a jarring metal riff.

Not really a conventional metal band.
There are also bands in more conventional metal genres that add new instruments. Most of the time it's a keyboard, which has become so popular now it can be mentioned in the standard instruments. I'm looking at you, Dragonforce. A few bands add some more unconventional instruments though. I've been trying to remember the band forever, they're a death metal band with a violin player. I've been looking for a bit but can't seem to find them, so maybe they never existed in the first place and I'm just going crazy.

Metal is one of the most open and accepting genres of music out there. Many different bands use influences from the weirdest places and make it metal. I didn't even touch on bands that use computers as an instrument, with synthesized beats, drum machines, voice changers, and much more. That's just one of the reasons why metal is the best genre ever.

-Zombie Viking


  1. Turisas, they are a good example to mention, electric violin solos and so on :D Not to mention Olli Vänskä is a beast on stage, pretty funny when you know his father's work xD

  2. Oh man, this post is from my old blog so I must not have known yet about Turisas, but they are a great example! That's pretty awesome that his dad is in the classical music scene, I didn't know that.