Help me make a rock/metal playlist!
October 5, 2009 9:47 PM   Subscribe

I need about 40 musical artists that would please a crowd that likes mainstream rock & metal. The catch: I'm trying to avoid stuff that can easily be heard on the radio.

Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Nightwish, Switchblade Symphony and Type O Negative are on the list because they are the few "heavy" bands that I actually enjoy and believe my audience would like. Could you guys help me put together a list of other artists that would fit with this genre?

I'd prefer not to play too much stuff that is or has been overplayed on the radio, and it must be danceable!

(I have looked at this askme post but I'm worried most of those recommendations may be too far off base. You tell me.)
posted by Sufi to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
"This Corrosion," from the other thread, works for your purposes. Especially if you need to take a ten-minute restroom break during your set.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:49 PM on October 5, 2009

How far into "metal" are you looking to go?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:00 PM on October 5, 2009

Response by poster: Inspector.Gadget, that's part of my problem.. I don't know much about this music so I couldn't say. I'd like to avoid screamy lyrics and long guitar solo's. Does that answer your question? :P
posted by Sufi at 10:03 PM on October 5, 2009

Well, there goes most of the good stuff...look into doom metal and sludge in addition to stuff commonly grouped as heavy metal and maybe some thrash (N.B. guitar solos are still very common) and "groove metal" (which I don't think is a real genre, but...). Stay away from black metal, death metal, grind, etc.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:08 PM on October 5, 2009

One word: Mastodon.

Two words: Gutter Twins.
posted by The World Famous at 10:18 PM on October 5, 2009

jethro tull
system of a down
posted by 256 at 10:22 PM on October 5, 2009

Isis would probably fit the bill (if you can call Tool danceable, then I think Isis works). Try "Hall of the Dead" or "Hym."
posted by sinfony at 10:28 PM on October 5, 2009

From the less-metal end of the spectrum:
Earl Greyhound
Black Mountain

The Dirtbombs
King Khan & The Shrines
The Quadrajets

Instrumental Post-Rock:
Red Sparowes
Russian Circles

posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:38 PM on October 5, 2009

Porcupine Tree! Heavy, poppy, and awesome all at once. "Deadwing" is the album to start with, I wager.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 10:48 PM on October 5, 2009

I wasn't gonna do this, but Blood Ceremony. Imagine if a band really liked early Black Sabbath, but they said, "Hey, we want a female lead, and she needs to do Jethro Tull flute solos." Throw in some Deep Purple and even more campy occult references, and you've got these guys.
posted by adipocere at 10:58 PM on October 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Evergreen Terrace covered Sunday Bloody Sunday. This is important.

Envy is a band to check out. Also the Cancer Bats. Now let's walk away from heavy for a bit, shall we? Not all of the songs by these bands are dance-worthy, but all should have one or two on their myspace page to give you an idea.

Foxboro Hot Tubs (this band is actually Green Day).
The Gaslight Anthem
Murder By Death (they're not metal!)
Murder City Devils
Fake Problems
None More Black
Against Me!
The Loved Ones

Rock on!

If I think of more I know where to swing by.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 12:07 AM on October 6, 2009

All early-mid 90s stuff, and some of it got radio play but certainly not more than Tool or NIN...

Unsane - Scattered, Smothered & Covered
Helmet - Meantime
Faith No More - Angel Dust and possibly some tracks from King For a Day...
The Jesus Lizard - Liar
posted by scatter gather at 1:41 AM on October 6, 2009

A bit of Monster Magnet maybe?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:46 AM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Lord Weird Slough Feg don't get played on the radio, but sound very much like something that should. Not sure how they hold up to your standards of danceability, but they make for triumphant headbanging.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:26 AM on October 6, 2009

GWAR might be a possibility. Maybe something from "Scumdogs of the Universe" or "America Must be Destroyed". Another possibility might be "Vision Thing" era The Sisters of Mercy.

How much radio play do/did Fear Factory and Ministry get? They're both certainly heavy and danceable (at times!).
posted by mukade at 3:39 AM on October 6, 2009

Just had another think. Pitchshifter might work ( - it's an album not an address), Prong, later Killing Joke, Therapy?, The Prodigy. Some of these fall into the dance/rock/industrial area though so that may not fit the bill.
posted by mukade at 3:49 AM on October 6, 2009

Foo Fighter's power pop can rock extremely hard and goes down easy.
posted by Scoo at 4:39 AM on October 6, 2009

Death From Above 1979
posted by electroboy at 5:15 AM on October 6, 2009

Might not be heavy or metal enough, but:

After Midnight Project
The Josephine Collective
posted by firei at 5:43 AM on October 6, 2009

Definitely Monster Magnet, I think Dopes to Infinity has the right combination of heavy, melodic, groovy and it also doesn't suck like the albums that came after it. Queens of the Stoneage also has huge commercial appeal, and while you've probably encountered some of it on the radio, their best stuff like the first self-titled album you've almost definitely not heard. If you like Queens of the Stoneage you should get some Kyuss and Unida; Kyuss is QotSa's guitar player's first band and Unida is the bad Kyuss's vocalist is in, both are very groove oriented with smooth vocals. Try also some Torche, their last album kinda lost me because it was too Foo-Fighter-ish, but you'll probably dig it. The Gathering is in the Nightwish vein but far better, anything from Nighttime Birds forward should be soft-metal enough for you.
posted by The Straightener at 6:01 AM on October 6, 2009

Seconding Queens of the Stone Age. Also, the Wildhearts (either "vs the Earth" or the new one, "Chutzpah") they're a mix between glam rock and metal, oddly enough, with unpredictable arrangements, at least to my ears.
posted by Atom12 at 6:19 AM on October 6, 2009

mike ness
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:39 AM on October 6, 2009

Well as long as your checking out Faith No More you should check out Mr. Bungle and Fantômas. Mr. Bungle's California has some danceable tunes that go from surf to metal to swing to crazy within 3 minutes. "Goodbye Sober Day" or "None of them knew they were robots." come to mind.
Fantômas did a cover record of soundtrack tunes that would probably yield a good slow dance. Check out the opening theme from "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me." or "Rosemary's Baby."
Good luck.
posted by brevator at 7:31 AM on October 6, 2009

posted by Lutoslawski at 8:40 AM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's some danceable tunes you never hear on the radio:

Stiff Little Fingers - Roots, Radicals, Rockers, and Reggae
The Clash - Wrong 'Em Boyo, Brand New Cadillac
Ramones - Do You Wanna Dance?
Stooges - Loose
Velvet Underground - Rock And Roll
Generation X - Ready, Steady, Go
posted by InfidelZombie at 8:48 AM on October 6, 2009

Sounds like you like things on the industrialish side. Maybe Ministry, KMFDM, and Rammstein? All of them are said to be danceable, and haven't been on the radio in quite a while, I think.

There's a lot of accessible metal in the stoner rock/doom category. Maybe you'd like Amorphis (later albums have all clean vocals), Sleep, Monster Magnet, or Trouble?
posted by ignignokt at 9:25 AM on October 6, 2009

Nightwish is kind of operatic power metal, right?

In that case, you might like Noumena, Pagan's Mind, and Andromeda. I recently heard these guys from this mix: Under the Midnight Sun. It's songs from melodic, progressive Finish metal bands. (Heh, my friend slammed it as "crooner metal," but I like the over-the-top harmonized vocals sometimes.)

Oh, and Iron Maiden if you haven't heard them yet.
posted by ignignokt at 9:32 AM on October 6, 2009

Black Mountain seems right up your alley in terms of being danceable and accessible to people who like more mainstream rock and metal. I tend to listen to a lot of doom and 70's inspired rock/metal, but Black Mountain is a band that seems to be liked by a large cross-section of my friends with varying tastes.

Graveyard and Witchcraft have a groovy retro vibe and when I have seen them play there are probably just as many people dancing as head-banging.
posted by garden hoe at 5:04 PM on October 6, 2009

Clutch, Clutch, Clutch! Bluesy rock, crazy lyrics about the Civil War, manticores, Southern Baptist revivals, Darwin, alien abductions, booze, and god knows what else. Awesome riffs and a great singer. I love them so much.

Also check out any of Devin Townsend's projects ( His stuff ranges from sludgy atmospheric rock (Ocean Machine) to punchy straightforward rock (Physicist) to screaming speed metal (Strapping Young Lad), and everything in between. He's been one of my absolute favorite artists ever since he did the vocals on Steve Vai's "Sex & Religion" album. Hell, he's even got an entire concept album based on a puppet show about Ziltoid the Omniscient, a 4th-Dimensional Guitar God in search of the universe's ultimate cup of coffee. And it rocks.

Other not-quite-so-famous bands I enjoy that might work for you:

Every Time I Die (esp. the two most recent albums, The Big Dirty and New Junk Aesthetic) - metalcore
Protest The Hero - prog metal
Porcupine Tree (seconding Schlimmbesserung above) - prog rock
3 - prog rock with an amazing fingerstyle guitarist
Baroness - heavy blues-tinged rock, kind of Deep Purplish
Maylene and the Sons of Disaster - southern rock with metalcore tones
posted by starvingartist at 9:14 PM on October 6, 2009

Maybe some swedish new old school would fit the bill? Bullet!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:05 AM on October 7, 2009

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