Heavy metal is an extraordinarily diverse genre, containing a complicated system of strangely specific sub-genres and a thriving underground culture giving rise to countless metal bands every year. It’s no surprise then, that with so much competition, every artist is looking for a way to stand out from the ordinary; looking to acquire their own unique style that will make them memorable.
This search has led to innovating bands who’ve used raucous live performances, excessive makeup, costumes or other gimmicks, overly technical musical styles and some unlikely instruments in an effort to gain an edge over the competition.
Heavy metal is a genre which was built by bands pushing the boundaries of music and now more and more bands are pushing the boundaries of heavy metal itself, with a growing number of bands moving away from relying on the tried and trusted electric guitars, bass guitars and drums, as strange instruments become more and more the norm.
Here are 10 unlikely instruments that are pushing the boundaries of heavy metal…..
The cello is a very diverse, four stringed instrument capable of creating all sorts of sounds and it has seen widespread orchestral use for hundreds of years to create both melodies and harmonies.
Since 1993, Finnish band Apocalyptica has been taking full advantage of the cello to craft their own unique style of classical metal, taking these giant violins and hooking them up to guitar distortion. They have essentially redefined the way people look at the cello by integrating it into an unlikely genre and making it popular. If you were not witnessing it with your own eyes, you would find it hard to believe that the humble cello is behind that massive sound!
Apocalyptica made a name for themselves early on with their unique covers of Metallica songs, releasing the album Plays Metallica by Four Cellos in 1996. Hit singles such as “I Don’t Care” helped them achieve mainstream success, with the aforementioned song making it to number one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 2008.