Post-metal is a music genre, a mixture between the genres of post-rock and heavy metal, with roots in progressive rock, progressive metal, shoegazing, and industrial music. It is broadly characterized by distorted guitar, heavy atmospherics, gradual evolution of song structure, and a minimal emphasis on vocals.
Hydra Head Records owner and Isis frontman Aaron Turner originally termed the genre "thinking man's metal", demonstrating the link with Avant-garde metal, by trying to move away from common metal conventions. "Post-metal" is the favored name for a growing genre, one also referred to as "instro-metal", "postcore", art metal, metal-gaze, and a great range of others.
The term "post-metal" was earlier used in the UK to describe another emergent genre of metal, at which time the genre now known as "post-metal" was referred to by various other names, most commonly "industrial soundscape music" and "soundscape metal".The term largely fell out of use with the rise of what was known as "post-metal" in the US, effectively seconding the term from the British bands. .