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Djent is a style of progressive metal,[1][2] named for an onomatopoeia for the distinctive high-gain, distorted, palm-muted, low-pitch guitar sound first employed by Meshuggah.[3]


Fredrik Thordendal, the guitarist of Swedish band Meshuggah, is considered the originator of the djent technique.[3] However, the band did not coin the term itself; the djent scene developed from an online community of bedroom musicians, including Misha Mansoor, whose success with Periphery brought djent "from the virtual world into the real one."[3] Other bands important in the development of the style are SikTh, Mnemic, Animals as Leaders,[2]TesseracT,[4][5][6] and Textures.[7]

The scene has grown rapidly,[8] and members of the original online community, including the bands Chimp Spanner, Gizmachi, and Monuments, have gone on to tour and release albums commercially.[3][9] Other bands that often use djent include A Life Once Lost,[10]Veil of Maya,[11]Vildhjarta,[12] and Xerath.[13]Born of Osiris have also been described as being inspired by the djent movement.[8] Furthermore, Hacktivist[14][15] and DVSR[16] are djent bands that use rapping as primary vocal style.


Djent as a style is characterized by progressive, rhythmic, and technical complexity accompanied by a dense layer of polyphonic groove. An example is the song CAFO by Tosin Abasi[6] It typically features heavily distorted, palm-muted guitar chords, syncopated riffs,[3] and polymeters alongside virtuoso soloing.[1] Another common feature is the use of extended range seven-string, eight-string, and nine-string guitars.[17]


Some members of the metal community have criticized the term "djent", either treating it as a short-lived fad, openly condemning it, or questioning its validity as a genre. But other bands such as TesseracT and Animals as Leaders have gained positive reviews, such as awards and highly-acclaimed albums. Post-metal band Rosetta is noted as saying, "Maybe we should start calling doom metal 'DUNNN'."[18] In response to a question about 'djent', Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe stated, "There is no such thing as 'djent'; it's not a genre."[19] In an interview with Guitar Messenger, Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor said:

I was looking for gear that was djenty. I was like: 'Are these pickups djenty?' For some reason it caught on, but completely in the wrong way, because people think it's a style of music and they think it's a style of music I play.[20]

In a later interview with Freethinkers Blog, Misha Mansoor stated that he felt djent had become "this big umbrella term for any sort of progressive band, and also any band that will [use] off-time chugs [...] You also get bands like Scale the Summit [who are referred to as] a djent band [when] 80% of their stuff sounds like clean channel, and it's all beautiful and pretty, you know [...] In that way, I think it's cool because it groups really cool bands together [...] We are surrounded by a lot of bands that I respect, but at the same time, I don't think people know what djent is either [...] It's very unclear." Later in the interview, he stated, "If you call us djent, that's fine. I mean, I would never self-apply the term, but at the same time, it's just so vague that I don't know what to make of it."[21]

Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders also takes a more lenient view of the term, stating that there are specific characteristics that are common to "djent" bands, therefore implying legitimate use of the term as a genre. While stating that he personally strives not to subscribe exclusively to any one genre, he makes the point that a genre is defined by the ability to associate common features between different artists. In this way, it is possible to view djent as a genre describing a particular niche of modern, progressive metal.[22]

List of artists

Band Country of origin Active References
Abstracts Japan 2014-present
A Life Once Lost U.S. 1999-2013
Aerius U.S. 2016-present
After the Burial U.S. 2004-present
The Afterimage Canada 2012-present
The Algorithm France 2009-present
Animals as Leaders U.S. 2007-present [2]
Architects U.K. 2004-present
Born of Osiris U.S. 2003-present
Chimp Spanner U.K. 2004-present
The Contortionist U.S. 2007-present [23]
Despite Sweden 1998-present
Destrage Italy 2005-present
DVSR Australia 2013-present
Elitist U.S. 2010-2015
Erra U.S. 2009-present
Fellsilent U.K. 2003-2010
Forevermore U.S. 2009-present
Glass Cloud U.S. 2011-present
Hacktivist U.K. 2011-present
I, the Breather U.S. 2009-2016
In Hearts Wake Australia 2006-present
Intervals Canada 2011-present
Invent, Animate U.S. 2011-present
Meshuggah Sweden 1987-present
Mnemic Denmark 1998-2013
Monuments U.K. 2007-present
Northlane Australia 2009-present
Omega Diatribe Hungary 2012-present
Paul Ortiz U.K. 2004-present
Periphery U.S. 2005-present [2][3]
Polaris Australia 2013-present
Polyphia U.S. 2010-present
Reflections U.S. 2010-present
Returning We Hear the Larks U.K. 2008-2015
SikTh U.K 1999-present
Sirens U.S. 2011-present
Skyharbor India 2010-present [24]
TesseracT U.K. 2007-present [2][4][5][6]
Textures Netherlands 2001-2017 [7]
The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza U.S. 2004-2012
Twelve Foot Ninja Australia 2008-present
Uneven Structure France 2008-present
Veil of Maya U.S. 2004-present
Vildhjarta Sweden 2005-present
Volumes U.S. 2009-present


  1. ^ a b Bowcott, Nick (26 June 2011). "Meshuggah Share the Secrets of Their Sound". Guitar World. Future US. Archived from the original on 17 May 2016. Retrieved 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Angle, Brad (23 July 2011). "Interview: Meshuggah Guitarist Fredrik Thordendal Answers Reader Questions". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Djent, the metal geek's microgenre". The Guardian. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2011
  4. ^ a b GuitarWorld Staff Member (16 March 2011). "TesseracT Unveil New Video". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "One". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Concealing Fate". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Bland, Ben (3 October 2011). "Textures - Dualism (Album Review)". Retrieved 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Colgan, Chris (24 June 2011). "Born of Osiris: The Discovery". PopMatters. Retrieved 2011. 
  9. ^ "TESSERACT's ACLE ON THE BIRTH OF TESSERACT AND THE DJENT MOVEMENT". Metalsucks. Metalsucks. 2010-10-06. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ Debenedictis, Matt (23 February 2011). "A Life Once Lost Took 'an Outsider's Point of View' During Time Off". Noisecreep. AOL. Retrieved 2011. 
  11. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "[Id]". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011. 
  12. ^ Hart, Josh (6 October 2011). "Vildhjarta Unveil New Album Details, Post Teaser Video". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 2011. 
  13. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "II review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011. 
  14. ^ Rosenberg, Axl (17 October 2011). "Djent-rappers Hacktivist Kind Enough to Put the Word Hack Right There in the Name". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2015. 
  15. ^ Islander (9 November 2012). "Hacktivist". No Clean Singing. Retrieved 2015. 
  16. ^ CroOZza (25 November 2013). "DVSR -". Retrieved 2017. 
  17. ^ Kennelty, Greg. "Here's Why Everyone Needs To Stop Complaining About Extended Range Guitars". 
  18. ^ "What is your opinion of Djent?". Rosetta band. Retrieved 2011.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  19. ^ Blythe, Randy. "Lamb of God's Randy Blythe on Djent". smn news. Retrieved 2011. 
  20. ^ Mansoor, Misha. "MARC OKUBO (VEIL OF MAYA) & MISHA MANSOOR (PERIPHERY) INTERVIEW". guitar messenger. Retrieved 2012. 
  21. ^ "Periphery interview part 3 of 3." FreethinkersBlog. 19 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Aug. 2013. <>.
  22. ^ Abasi, Tosin. "Tosin Abasi's Opinion of Djent". Retrieved . 
  23. ^ DF, Anso (October 9, 2014). "Djent Won't Djie: Periphery, The Contortionist Live Stream Today". Metal Sucks. Retrieved 2017. 
  24. ^ "Skyharbor -". Retrieved 2018. 

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