"Hard Rock" vs "Heavy Metal" - Can you define the difference?

  • I used to dj on an internet station, i once played 12 bands, random that i just grabbed off the net, and they listeners thought it was the same band, that stuff is not metal, but rather metalcore. Massive difference.

    "Music makes the world a better place. Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music."

    Jimi Hendrix.

  • H

    Then came heavy metal, and then kids got lazy and just did metal. (chug-chug-chug).

    I think you've been listening to the wrong bands?
    Metal is probably the one popular genre that can get away with the most 'unpopular' things - modes, odd time signatures, cluster sounds etc.
    things that require some music theory beyond the diatonic system and great technical proficiency :)

  • couldn’t agree more ?


    I was being a bit tongue in cheek but much of today’s metal is just unlistenable to me (personally) because of the current trend for the low register roar vocals. They are supposed to be heavy and aggressive but they always just sound like a pantomime villain to me ?


    There is undoubtedly some incredible guitar playing in lots of modern metal but I just can’t listen long enough to hear it. Oh the joys of being a grumpy old man ?

    I have tried to find some new metal bands to listen to but it seems like 90% at least they insist on growling and blast beats. Just tiring my ears. Too low tuning is so boring. Sounding heavy have nothing to do with low tuning anyway. If you can't sound heavy in E standard....needless to say more. 1000 notes don't impressive on me. No one remember that complicated riff. Making easier and memorable riffs is much harder to do but they will be remembered. Just take e.g. Living after midnight, Number of the beast or Walk. In an instant you know what song it is even if you don't like any of them . Where's the song and melody today? Just sounding agressive and angry is not enough. Why do all bands today sound the same? Back in the 80´s all had their own unique sound. Yes there are a few bands today that have a vocalist that actually sing and play in E standard but they just repeat what has already been done and better in the past. My two cents. Oh and I am an old grumpy man nowadays. Just ask my wife. 8o:D

    Think for yourself, or others will think for you wihout thinking of you

    Henry David Thoreau

  • Go listen to some AC/DC, then go listen to some Gojira and the difference bill be pretty clear. ?

    AC/DC has been playing the same music since the 70s, so I see comparisons to Gojira as less of a "hard rock / heavy metal" thing than "classic rock / newer rock."

    and then kids got lazy and just did metal. :P

    Are you kidding me??? (I suspect the wagging tongue answers that).


    Even a six year old kid playing metal has chops that can run circles around most of the classic rock guitar heroes of the 70s. It's not a style that I care for, but holy crap can these guys play.

    Thinking of Heavy Metal, great singing is characteristic!!


    And Geoff Tate, Michael Kiske, Rob Halford, Simone Simons, Harry Coklin, Devon Graves, Stu Block, Todd La Torre, Floor Jansen, thousand others... can sing Wheresthedug ?

    And Sammy Hagar!


    "Headbangers in leather..." :)

    (Classic )Heavy Metal is the next level on the "heavy" scale. See the career of Judas Priest as an example of leaving "rock" behind and define the heavy metal genre.

    This may be what it's interpreted as now, but Priest was a contemporary of Deep Purple and Led Zepellin. I recall them all being referred to as rock and roll, hard rock, and heavy metal depending on which radio station / DJ / drunk at a bar you were listening to.


    I think people want them to mean different things because they like labels, and so they can say, "X sucks! Y rules!" as humans are prone to doing. However, while these labels may have accurate meanings relative to current bands, trying to retroactively apply it like this is largely revisionist history.

    I used to dj on an internet station, i once played 12 bands, random that i just grabbed off the net, and they listeners thought it was the same band, that stuff is not metal, but rather metalcore. Massive difference.

    Man, if you want to talk labels, Metal is the place to be. There are, like, 900 different subgenres of Metal, and I'm sure everyone argues about which is the correct definition. The only thing they can all agree on is that "I'm more metal than thou."

    Since this was from 1955 I'm assuming the jungle thing was the stereotypical racist mentality since rock was derived in part from "race music." So far the conversation has been hard rock vs heavy metal, and that's obviously a pretty vague thing to try to pin down. However, rock 'n' roll was a label erroneously applied to pretty much all rock through the 60s, 70s and a lot of the 80s when in fact there's an easy way to find the cutoff point on that one.


    Rock 'n' roll had a swing beat. When that was replaced with the straight eighth note beats it became just "rock." But record labels, radio stations and anyone who made a buck selling music (meaning everyone except the actual musicians) needed subgenres for marketing purposes. No matter what kind of widgets you're selling, you can't target a demographic of "everyone," so standard marketing education includes finding your niche audience and targeting them. Don't have a niche? No problem. Make one up. Just ask the Metal guys. :)

  • For me it's very easy..


    Hardrock is mainly blues-based.Dirty,lyrics about sex..if you're a good blues player(phrasing,intonation,bending,vibrato) you can play in a good hardrock band even if you are not the fastest gun in town.


    Heavy metal ...is not blues based..


    Heavy metal seeks for more chromatical exploration,is much faster and as a guitar player nobody cares about your vibrato as long as you can do hyper fast arpeggios and insane speedpickings in all variations.It is much more "sports" than hardrock which is much more "music" in terms of how you use melodies and dynamics.


    Sorry if this is to "simplified"..but I think it is true.In general.

  • I think the genres kinda changed/evolved over the years but they're all related


    I remember listening to rock stuff as a kid and thinking 'wow, these players are great' whereas now I'm fairly bored by a lot of them ( with some exceptions of course ).I think the overall 'technicity' of modern playing has,in the norm, become more difficult.You now need to have the ability to play super complex runs involving numerous techniques,dexterity, in changing metres, a good sound, good melody and feel as a minimum ( I struggle to have 1 or 2 of those at a time !!! ).


    You also need to be capable of all of the above by the time you're 13.32 years old


    Hard rock on the other hand (in my opinion) can probably still be learned by ear.


    There are so so many talented young musicians out there today and its great to see

  • i just can't help psoting this LOL


    That is Metal and only Metal (and close to Death Metal). I know Van Halen IS Heavy Metal except for a few later songs which was more Hard Rock. :P Which means, the older you get then the more you mellow towards the classics. eF! That! I'm going full blown Resurrection/Afterlife Metal in my old age! 8)

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • Don't despair. I find modem metal with super fast chugging Low E (or Drop B whatever) to to sound sterile. It' more like turning a guitar into another percussive instrument, and the super fast 180bpm arpeggios sound just like a speed test for scales to me and gets old fast. Plus, modern metal has a very limited audience; usually made up of all males. That's not the audience I am looking for. Try some Country Rock. ;)

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

    Edited 2 times, last by BayouTexan ().

  • H

    I think you've been listening to the wrong bands?
    Metal is probably the one popular genre that can get away with the most 'unpopular' things - modes, odd time signatures, cluster sounds etc.
    things that require some music theory beyond the diatonic system and great technical proficiency :)

    I thought you are supposed to listen to bands you like to listen to whether or not it's right, wrong, or rock and rooooooollllll! :P

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • Into the discussion with this:


    We can look at it from these different outlooks:


    1.- Technical standpoint: As mentioned before, hard rock has a simpler 4/4 structure (with rare exceptions) with lyrics depicting mundane topics more close to the rock and roll era they come from, Heavy metal has a more intricate structure (there are weird and unwieldy time signatures) with a melodic focus in the lyrics, the agressivity on the music is also perceived because of a very different selection of instruments (specially drums and guitars), and the low end in general is fuller and more in your guts.


    2.- Historical background: Hard Rock is a side-evolution of what we now consider classic rock, while heavy metal evolved from the ideas what late 60s and 70s metal brought to the table, even before than metal became mainstream


    3.- Sound and popular opinion: It is what the general consensus say it is, so you can go to spotify or your favorite streaming device, get some playlist of both genre and taste the potential diferences. There are very clear differences, I for one had the same question about soft rock and 80s pop, because to me, soft rock sounded to pop.