Metal, Rock, Grunge, and All That’s Good

Elvis Presley

When you think of metal music, you usually think of loud, blasting instruments and someone screaming into a microphone, don’t you? Then when you think of grunge or rock, you probably think of something near the same thing. Well, there’s always been a slight difference, and it really does change music. What about when you hear a metal singer? Do you notice how their voice doesn’t always sound sweet or particularly beautiful?

There is a slight difference that divides metal, rock, and grunge. Rock bands consist of Queen, Kiss, the Beatles, Aerosmith. Elvis Presley himself was crowned “The King of Rock.” In their songs, you’ll notice it’s not blaring music that’s practically being screamed at you, but you’ll note how instruments are being played. Some rock songs are “We Will Rock You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Rock and Roll All Nite.” If you’ll notice in these songs that they’re not that loud and don’t blast the music all that much.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

The band’s Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction added something to their music that wasn’t like some other bands. Red Hot Chili Peppers had a vibe to them that some might consider funk, but they also added punk rock into their music. Jane’s Addiction broke up in 1991, and Dave Navarro, a member of Jane’s Addiction, joined Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1993, which they then gained themselves into a darker sound. Red Hot Chili Peppers had music that was more towards alternative rock and funk rock, their song “Californication” proving just that.

Metal music is different though. There are different types of metal, strongly enough. There are iconic metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath, and AC/DC. Black Sabbath is known as the founder of metal, starting all the way back to 1968.


There are four bands that are called “The Big Four.” This group consists of the band’s Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, and Anthrax. They are the four biggest thrash metal bands.

Ozzy Osbourne, one of the members of Black Sabbath, left and became a very popular known metal singer himself, and is even named “The Prince of Darkness.” Megadeth is another metal band, staring in 1983. Its founder is Dave Mustaine, a personal icon of mine. He is recognized due to his raw voice and crazy red hair, and I happen to have the same gorgeous hair as he does. He was in Metallica until his departure, to which he then created Megadeth.

Guns N’ Roses is remembered as one of the best bands of all time. They originally consisted of five members. There were two guitarists, Slash and Izzy Stradlin, the bassist who went by Duff McKagan, a drummer by the name of Steven Adler, and their lead singer, the unforgettable Axl Rose. What makes them so different? They started in 1987, at a time in which teenagers blasted music like this. Some might consider them another 80’s band, but they were more than that. Their first album was released in 1987 and was titled “Appetite for Destruction,” and it topped the charts. Their songs “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Paradise City,” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was their big hits from the album, and they introduced them to the band. In 1991, they let out two albums; “Use Your Illusion |” and “Use Your Illusion ||,” which were released on the same day. One of their songs was titled “November Rain,” and it now has over one billion views on Youtube. One of their guitarist, Slash, left the band in 1996 due to disagreements in with Axl Rose, and Steven Adler was kicked out in

Metal bands differ from each other, no doubt. Certain bands like Lamb of God, Pantera, Venom, and Slayer, are loud, violent songs with the heaviest of sounds. Pantera had what some call a “groove metal” sound to it too, which made it different than other bands. But this music is seen as inappropriate, intense music. These types of bands are what make people think of such loud music when thinking of metal. But these bands have talent, no doubt. Lamb of God makes death metal too. Slayer, being one of the Big Four, makes thrash metal, but they also make extreme music, which is why it’s so intense. Venom also makes black metal and speed metal, but they too make thrash music, just like Slayer does.

But what is grunge music? Well, it first came around in the ’90s, and it was a mix of hard rock, alternative rock, and metal. Some might say it defined the 90’s. At the time, the top grunge bands were Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Nirvana’s first album came out in 1989, but their chart-topping album, “Nevermind,” came out in 1991, and their song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was a huge hit and basically defined the early 90’s. Unfortunately, the band ended in 1994 when Kurt Cobain took his own life. Well, his death is a bit of wonder for some, seeing as some think his wife, Courtney Love, killed him.

Kurt Cobain

Cobain was always a very suicidal man, and he had a very toxic relationship with his wife, Courtney Love. He was high the night he died, but he was killed of a gunshot wound, and because he was too high to be able to pull the trigger, some think his wife was the one who killed him. The couple had a daughter named Frances, who was only a little over a year old at the time of his death. Following his death, the band’s drummer, Dave Grohl, started a band called Foo Fighters, to which he has now gained himself in the Rock Hall of Fame two times.

But why do metal singers of such not have voices viewed as particularly beautiful? Well, as a fan of all of this type of music, I have taken it into notice that their voices would not fit into pop music. Dave Mustaine voice is a slightly deeper, almost rough voice, and you would never hear him sing a Justin Bieber song. Cobain is remembered as one of the greatest musicians of all time, and some people say his voice is too gruff, but I think that’s what makes him perfect for his music. Pop songs are usually made for people with softer voices that can hit higher notes out there, like Justin Bieber, and they usually use autotune. But a voice like Kurt Cobain’s can be described as more talented because it fit in so well with what he did, and he played his guitar better than many musicians. Axl Rose has an octave range of five, which is more than the Christina Aguilera had and the same amount as Mariah Carey. Rose’s voice has been known to go higher than Ariana Grande’s and lower than Barry White. Axl Rose is known as one of the greatest singers of the late ’80s and early ’90s, and I agree!

My dad has raised me on this music, and something I’ve been raised to notice is that the sweeter voices don’t make the song great, but it’s how the lead singer sounds when they sing the lyrics and how all of the instruments can go together to make an amazing album. The lead singers scratchy voices make up the beauty of it, and the autotune isn’t necessary because the beauty of the natural voice when they sing the music is what matters in all of it.

So many of the lyrics aren’t about drinking and snorting cocaine, but it’s about real-world matters. The song “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses has a meaning that people may have to look for, but when they find it, it’s more than obvious. Metal songs can consist of depressing lyrics because they reflect on real-world problems, not dancing and getting high. So much of this music is misunderstood. Another thing that’s noticed is that there aren’t many popular female bands. Kurt Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, was in a band called Hole, who had alternative rock, punk rock, grunge, and power pop mixed into their songs, and the band was mostly female. I myself am trying to learn the drum kit and maybe start a metal band if I find people my age who have a similar interest and who really do want to be in a metal band and possibly do that for a career. I think metal music is misunderstood because people automatically assume they’re a bunch of males who scream into microphones and slam onto instruments. I want people to see that rock, metal, and grunge are more iconic than so much of what’s made today. The artists are talented and they make real music, and I want more people to see that.