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Alternative metal (also known as hard alternative or alt metal) is a style of metal. Alternative metal usually takes elements of metal with influences from genres like alternative rock, and other genres not normally associated with metal. Alternative metal bands are often characterized by heavy guitar riffs, melodic vocals, unconventional sounds within other metal genres, unconventional song structures and sometimes experimental approaches to heavy music. The term has been in usage since the 1980s, although it came into prominence in the 1990s. It has spawned several subgenres, including nu metal, which expands the alternative metal sound, commonly adding influences from hip hop, groove metal and thrash metal.

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