News // 23.10.2023

5 peculiar metal genres you should listen to


We love a bit of metal here at Whistle Punks. We like it whether it’s attached to a wooden handle and chucked at targets or made into a can to hold our lovely cold craft beer, but we enjoy it most when it’s one of the many heavy metal genres we know and love.

It’s the ideal soundtrack to a night on the lanes. It’s fast, it’s loud, and it makes you want to get up and do things… like throw axes.

However, if you’re not in-the-know, you’d be surprised at the sheer number of different sub-genres there are to enjoy. Even as a fan of all things heavy-music, we’re always finding new ways to rock out to our favourite styles.

So, if you’re getting a bit tired of your bog-standard ‘heavy metal’, here are five metal genres which will make you raise an eyebrow before banging your head – look out for our recommended listening too!

excited man throwing axe at whistlepunks

Pirate Metal

If Disney has taught us anything over the years, it’s that old-school pirates look really cool.

There’s something about the long hair, beards and inherent ferocity of a pirate that made us all assume that they would be metal fans, if only they had electricity back then.

Raise a tankard of mead, then, to the swashbuckling world of Pirate Metal. With elaborate stage costumes, folk-inspired musicality and lyrics about sailing the seven seas, this is one of the most tongue-in-cheek metal genres which is nothing short of awesome fun to listen to.

Whistle Punks recommends: Alestorm – Wooden Leg

They’re Scottish pirates and the singer plays the keytar. No more questions.

Viking Metal

If you prefer your metal slightly heavier but without lacking any historic brutality, perhaps you would like to sample Viking Metal?

Far from being musical cosplay, Viking Metal bands and their fans are some of the most passionate and devoted music fans around, as well as being historically well-versed in the ways of… well, Vikings.

If they look big, hairy and scary to you, that’s because they are. But underneath, they’re just history buffs who play guitar and write songs that are about as heavy as a longboat.

Whistle Punks recommends: Gwydion – The Turning Of The Wheel

Because we can’t work out whether the triumphant yell towards the start of the song is inspiring or hilarious.


Pronounced ‘jent’, as in ‘gentlemen’. That isn’t confusing at all.

The name of this genre is actually onomatopoeic. For anyone without an English degree, that’s when a word sounds like what it’s describing, and ‘djent’ refers to a specific chugging guitar tone which favours heavy distortion and muting.

This is one of the newer metal genres in the grand scheme of things, combining heavily down-tuned guitars with some pretty mind-bending speed and technique.

Djent is a djenre (sorry) which is pushing the boundaries of musicality and incorporates many other influences into its sound, such as electronica, jazz and pop.

Whistle Punks recommends: Periphery – Wildfire

Because all metal songs should have a smooth jazz section reminiscent of the Gran Turismo loading screens.

Crust Punk

To be honest, we hadn’t heard of this genre before, but we do love punks and pizza, hence why we offer them in all our venues!

Crust punk is a somewhat dirtier and faster style of punk which takes influence from the heavier metal genres.

There’s even a sub-genre called ‘Blackened Crust’, which sounds even scarier and is pretty reminiscent of burnt toast: dark, bitter, and only enjoyed by a select few.

Whistle Punks recommends: anything else

Dwarven Metal

This particular metal genre is so niche that there’s only one band which is really doing it; that is, dressing up like bearded fantasy characters and singing about mining. Someone has to do it, right?

There must be something about fantastical lands and the corresponding lore that metal fans love. It could be the spectacle, lyrical ingenuity and tongue-in-cheek nature that keeps us all coming back for more, whether it’s dwarves, Vikings or pirates.

You’ll be pleased to know that there’s no mosh pits at a Wind Rose show – only mining pits.

Whistle Punks recommends: Wind Rose – Diggy Diggy Hole

Why write a boring love song when you can sing about digging a hole?

Man holding axe up high

When it comes to metal genres, we have only really scratched the surface. So, whether you’re a seasoned heavy metal fanatic or just dipping your toe into the genre, broaden your horizons with these weird and wonderful aural delights!

Words: Staff Writer