What is Thall? The Story of Metal’s Misunderstood Genre

Have you wondered exactly what is Thall? We dived into all the known information on how Thall started, what makes Thall stand out, and more!

What is Thall? The Story of Metal’s Misunderstood Genre
What Is Thall? - Cover

Who Started Thall?

The term "Thall" was created by the Swedish band Vildhjarta, the founders of the genre. The term was originally used as an inside joke but eventually, the band went on to describe their music with the word and fans quickly adopted the term as well.

So… What Is Thall?

Thall is an extreme metal subgenre that originated from djent with similar progressive elements. Thall is characterized by clean guitar melodies that are contrasted by similar but distorted riffs with bending notes, harmonics, and down-tuned guitar riffs. The style is often written to create an uncomfortable atmosphere. Described as a more extreme version of djent, Thall uses unconventional timings, polyrhythms, and a highly technical guitar style. With influences from genres like death metal, deathcore, djent, and progressive metal, Thall is often referred to as one of the heaviest metal genres.

When Was Thall Created?

Thall began in 2011 when Vildhjarta started using the term and is generally used to describe Vildhjarta’s music and bands that are inspired by their sound, however over the years it has grown into a full genre with many bands taking inspiration from Vildhjarta.

The most well-known bands often described as Thall are: Vildhjarta and Humanity’s Last Breath. Many fans say that some Meshuggah songs can also be considered Thall and that they helped inspire the genre.

Confusion With Thall

Thall is a word with no true definition making it hard to speculate what exactly is and isn’t Thall - with that being said, here’s what we think Thall is due to general opinion and research.

Some metal fans say that Thall isn’t a genre and it’s just djent, but here’s what makes Thall stand out. A major characteristic of Thall is building up ambient clean melodies and then playing heavy progressive guitars overtop of it to a similar but intentionally “off” melody to create a sense of unease in the listener. This technique is sometimes jarring to hear the first time but when done correctly it helps reinforce the clean melody, making for a truly catchy and memorable sound.

Thall contains similar technical elements of djent with polyrhythms but uses a heavier sound that draws parallels to deathcore. One way that Thall separates itself from djent and deathcore is by purposefully leading the listener to expect a riff or melody to go in one direction and then doing something surprising to throw you off. Thall tends to be heavily dependent on production, utilizing lots of pitch-shifting in riffs. Another element that makes Thall unique is that some bands even mix in clean singing which isn’t typically used in heavier metal genres. With an emphasis on being unexpected in a progressive way, Thall has a very distinct sound.

Thall bands often experiment with ominous and sometimes uncomfortable sounds adding to the genre's atmospheric and unique musical style. Thall songs often have dramatic atmospheres that are intense and dark.

Modern Thall

Vildhjarta‘s latest 3 singles are in our opinion some of the best examples of Thall and display what the genre has to offer, our favorite of the three is "+ den spanska känslan +".

Mirar is a smaller band that's starting to pick up steam. Mirar brings an extremeness to the Thall genre, creating bustling atmospheres that take influence from deathcore, industrial metal, and even use unique clean instrumentals like in the outro to "Dégenèse".

Humanity's Last Breath verges the lines between death metal and Thall, creating crushingly heavy grooves that remain incredibly progressive while building intense atmospheres like with their song "Väldet".

Even some established bands like Reflections, a progressive metalcore/deathcore act are creating new tracks that have a Thall sound as shown in their latest song "Deva"

Wrapping Up

With Thall being one of the newest and least-known metal genres, there is still so much to discover and we love the extremely progressive nature and the explorative emphasis that Thall has. We can't wait to see what Thall sounds like in the next few years and if you are a fan of progressive metal genres you should definitely check out our Thall playlist on Spotify!

What does "Thall" mean to you?

What do you want to see us cover next?

For unsigned music reviews and musician-tailored articles check out our links below!

Listen to Our Curated Playlists Spotify

Follow on Social Media! Instagram | Facebook

Want to Hear More? Join the mailing list

Check out The Metalverse Merch Store

Submit a Story or Your Music Contact us!

For More Unsigned Band Reviews See The Full List Here!

Join the Discord! Come hang out