So what exactly is speed and gothic metal?


New Metal Member
Dec 15, 2019
Two genres recognized by the Metal Archives-speed and gothic-kind of confuses me. I still find these terms a bit ambiguous. For speed metal, it is defined as "less abrasive and more melodic than thrash metal, showing less influence from hardcore punk. However, speed metal is usually faster and more aggressive than traditional heavy metal, also showing more inclination to virtuoso soloing and featuring short instrumental passages between couplets." (yes, I copied that from Wikipedia, which is not a good source, but eh). Now there are plenty of bands with this label, but the two most recognized are Dragonforce and Motorhead (although the former is just power metal, and the latter is just heavy metal/hard rock). I feel like the majority of bands with this label basically just overlap with heavy, thrash, and/or power metal. However, the closest song that I can think of that seems to match "speed metal" is probably Painkiller by Judas Priest. Honestly, speed metal seems to be an outdated term that is more used to describe specific songs.

As for gothic metal, well, there are two types of definitions that I will be using: the Wikipedia one, and the more strict Metal Archives one. For the Wikipedia one, there are several symphonic bands labeled such as Within Temptation, Epica, and Nightwish. Some industrial bands (which are not considered real metal by the Archives) such as Rammstein and Deathstars. Even non-metal bands such as Evanescence, HIM, and Black Veil Brides are given this label. The Metal Archive makes a bit more sense because they only stick with actual metal bands, but the majority of these bands are just some variation of doom metal. What makes these bands any more different and "gothic" compared to other doom bands? Isn't a lot of extreme metal itself "dark atmosphere" by standards? What makes a metal band "true gothic" per se?
You pretty much nailed it wrt speed metal.

There's a lot of gothic metal that's basically gothic rock with metal guitar distortion though.