It seems like metal is intermingling with more musical genres than ever these days. Decades removed from rap metal's peak, new metal combinations still appear, notably in the recent surge of trap metal, the latest suffusion of hip-hop with headbanging.
But that's not all. Synth metal, folk metal, dance metal, psych metal — it's all out there. And it's being done in fresh and exciting ways. But how much can metal merge with another genre and still be metal?
We'll leave that up to the listener. Regardless, we wanted to find the artists making current sounds by blending metal with other types of music. Beyond trap, what else is popping? What derivatives will emerge from here? It's an exciting present, an unclear future.
Thankfully, there are plenty of performers who are doing cool things with sundry elements of heavy metal. Whether that means throaty metal screaming in a trap song — previously pretty unusual for hip-hop — or swelling synth lines supplanting the usual crunchy guitar chords, the detours are enticing.
Have you yet tried trap metal? Are there any new metal subgenres you've come across? The possibilities are endless, yet current trends still turn the tide for many fans' tastes. Either way, there's lots to hear.
So scroll down below to see some 16 artists who are mixing metal with other music genres. Maybe you'll even find a new song you like or an artist to further check out.
8 KalacasGenre Mixed With Metal: Ska-Core
When was the last time you had some horns with your metal? Horn instruments, that is. It might seem a jarring combo at first, but for listeners with a taste for brass, 8 Kalacas is a SoCal act keeping ska alive with their horn-infused heavy metal. Just give a listen to the riffin' "Pudrete" with its party-style brass section. It'll have you skanking (or headbanging) in no time.
AshnikkoGenre Mixed With Metal: Pop/Hip-Hop
Ashnikko is an up-and-coming pop artist with a penchant for metal who already mixes rock and punk into her poppy jams. But she once showed her devotion to extreme heavy music by re-doing her song "Cry" with the British metal act Employed to Serve. The original cut features Grimes, but the newer version — with screams from both Ashnikko and Employed to Serve vocalist Justine Jones — points to a whole new path for Ashnikko.
AstronoidGenre Mixed With Metal: Shoegaze/Dream Pop
Is this an atmospheric black metal song? Wait, are those dream-pop vocals? Do other parts sound like blackgaze blink-182? If the answer's yes to all three, you're likely listening to Astronoid, perhaps "I Dream in Lines," the band's heavy and pretty 2019 single. It's like shoegaze and metal and emo all mixed into one.
BansheeGenre Mixed With Metal: Trap/Bedroom Pop
Rachel Knight left her local metal scene due to alleged abuse, relinquishing the life of a band member to which she'd grown accustomed. She reinvented herself as a solo trap artist with a glitchy bent. Subsequently, she re-incorporated metal elements into her music to reclaim it from her past. Now, the performer known as Banshee has her creative deck stacked.
BloodywoodGenre Mixed With Metal: Indian Folk Music
The flute has never gone harder in metal. Bloodywood started as a parody metal band on YouTube, but their signature mixture of nu-metal with elements of traditional Indian folk music was too unique to keep confined to humorous cover versions. The band from New Delhi, India, is gaining popularity worldwide with their original metal tunes and debut album.
Chelsea WolfeGenre Mixed With Metal: Folk/Gothic Rock
Doomy folk singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe is so metal that she recently became a satellite member of metalcore pioneers Converge for their Bloodmoon: I album. If that doesn't convince you of her metal cred, we don't know what we will, but Wolfe's haunting solo songs such as "Feral Love," "Iron Moon" and "The Waves Have Come" have plenty of dark power of their own.
City MorgueGenre Mixed With Metal: Hip-Hop/Trap
Rappers ZillaKami and SosMula have been making waves as a duo under the name City Morgue, their on-the-edge sound fusing hip-hop with metal, trap, horrorcore and more. Rock fans might recognize ZillaKami from his work with Slipknot's Corey Taylor, giving even more credence to the performer's metal pedigree. Check out City Morgue's "WHAT'S MY NAME," just one slice of the duo's rap that includes screaming and rapping over menacing distorted guitar figures.
Eskimo CallboyGenre Mixed With Metal: EDM
"WE GOT THE MOVES," a 2021 single from Eskimo Callboy, is a perfect example of the German band's knack for merging metal with poppy electronic dance music. What starts as a bassy thumper seemingly made for the club soon explodes with distorted electric guitar and valiant screams. An earworm of a chorus ties it all together, driving home the hook.
HARDYGenre Mixed With Metal: Country
HARDY is the latest Nashville export to inject some metal heft into modern country. He started his career as a songwriter for other country stars, but now he's doing his own thing and climbing the country charts to boot. To wit, check out "Boots," and pay attention to the metalcore-style guitar stabs.
JasiahGenre Mixed With Metal: Hip-Hop/Trap
In 2021, burgeoning singer-rapper Jasiah released "Right Now" with rock figurehead Travis Barker. But the catchy pop-punk pastiche is 180 degrees away from "Lockdown," Jasiah's 2022 hip-hop banger that finds him growling like a hardcore vocalist by the end. Among other artists on this list, Jasiah is bringing metal aggression to hip-hop in a whole new way. A similar Jasiah cut, "Break Shit," has all the unchecked anger of Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff," but for a completely different generation of impassioned listeners.
Jose Macario x ZxmyrGenre Mixed With Metal: Latin Trap
Guitarist Jose Macario and rapper Zxmyr capture something genuinely bold and snappy on "Díganme," the artists' joint track from 2021 that's akin to spicy nu metal. Twitter emo fan account @scene_facts remarked of the collab, "latin trap + djent?? this has to be the coolest thing i've found in a minute."
King Gizzard & the Lizard WizardGenre Mixed With Metal: Psychedelic/Stoner Rock
Australian rockers King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard have long mixed a little metal in with their prolific neo-psychedelia. But they dug in hard on 2019's Infest the Rats' Nest, their 14th studio album and second of that year — it's a thrashy metal trip down a hazy psychedelic lane.
Maylene and the Sons of DisasterGenre Mixed With Metal: Southern Rock
Maylene and the Sons of Disaster — the metal group founded by ex-Underoath vocalist Dallas Taylor — appear to be making a comeback. So we've included them here as a great example of Southern rock mixed with alternative metal, a cocktail they cooked up in the four albums they released from 2005 to 2011.
No Spill BloodGenre Mixed With Metal: Electronic
No Spill Blood make mega riffs in the style of Black Sabbath, they're just led by a vintage synthesizer rather than a Gibson SG. If you can jibe with that, the sonic caverns excavated by this Irish trio (named after an Oingo Boingo song, no less) are a refreshing stop on the forward journey that is metal.
PyrxciterGenre Mixed With Metal: Hip-Hop/Trap
Pyrxciter doesn't need the death metal-style logo that starts the lyric video for "ADDICTED TO CHAOS" to hip listeners to his metal factor. But it certainly helps set the tone for the track that has hints of Body Count and Insane Clown Posse. And the metal-style delivery is there in spades.
ScarlxrdGenre Mixed With Metal: Hip-Hop/Trap
Scarlxrd is another trap-metal star steadily gaining steam. In his music, bloodcurdling screams follow rap verses over trap beats, as heard in a song such as "Utxpia = Mass Genxcide," indicating the musical amalgamation that's catching on these days. Scarlxrd even started as a singer in a nu-metal band before finding his current muse.