Heavier Than Grunge: 10 Alt Rock Bands That Were Coated In Metal

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It’s debatable as to who actually coined the term “grunge”. Some accredit it to Mark Arm of the band Mudhoney; others attribute it to various music journalists or Sub Pop records founder Bruce Pavitt. At the end of the day though, grunge was just a word. A word used to categorize a very diverse set of rock bands that just so happened to originate from the Pacific Northwest and played loud, electric guitar rock. For better or worse, these bands were all lumped together, even though each one had its own unique style, sound and influences. Nirvana was influenced by punk. Pearl Jam took cues from classic rock. And then there were the metal guys. The sludgy, dark, heavy bands – like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Tad.

These bands were a different beast, using hard rock and heavy metal as the basis for a more sinister sound. Sure, some of the more popular material had enough of a pop sheen for Midwest moms to exclaim “Hey, I like that song!,” but in reality a lot of the music was too difficult for the casual music fans. Here’s a list of 10 Alt Rock Bands That Were Coated in a thick layer of Metal. The bands that favored the heavier side of things and we loved ‘em for it.


Soundgarden
The combination of Chris Cornell’s banshee wails and Kim Thayil’s tuned-down psych-metal riffs led critics to often compare their dark, sound to early metal icons Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.


Alice in Chains
Heavily distorted, detuned guitars and bleak, dark lyrics are the prime reasons why some fans actually consider them a metal band. Especially when combined with Layne Staley’s distinct, gritty vocals.