“Avant-garde” is the French term for “advance guard” or “vanguard”. It refers to people who venture into the unknown. Sometimes they find the shining shores of the future there, the visions and ideas of tomorrow. Sometimes they get lost in the forests of insanity, in the whirls of chaos and confusion. But it’s always new worlds that they discover. Sometimes the avant-garde of today will become the mainstream of tomorrow. But most avant-garde will always remain absurd and strange to the masses.

This website is dedicated to the pioneers of metal, to those bands and musicians who incorporate new and innovative elements into metal, who break conventions, tear down walls, violate borders. They build new worlds. They surprise.

More than for any other term in metal, the characteristics of avant-garde metal are hard to specify. What’s fresh, innovative, new, surprising? The answer to this question lies in the eye of the beholder.
Some say avant-garde metal is the art of creating deep and strange atmospheres by experimenting with new instruments and sounds, strange vocals, unconventional song structures, rhythms and harmonies, unusual lyrics or uncommon artwork. Others describe avant-garde metal as progressive, psychedelic, surrealistic, phantasmagoric, expressionistic, dissonant or extravagant interpretations of extreme metal. But what do such words really mean? We don’t care, because…


This website was created to provide a home for all those metal bands that try out new things and create their own, individual paths. It was created for everybody who is bored with the petrified spiderwebs of cliché, commerce and convention.

Anyway, avant-garde metal is freestyle. We don’t want to judge whether a band or an album is avant-garde or not. All artists who claim to be avant-garde will be featured here. Some of them might seem like ordinary, conventional metal to you. About some others you may think that they are not metal at all anymore, that they are something completely different. We won’t participate in such controversies about categorization. Decide for yourself if a band inspires you or not.

If you know any weird artists that aren’t featured on this site yet, don’t hesitate and send us an e-mail! And if you are a musician and have produced some weird music, then your CDs are always welcome here.