A band’s genre is a huge part of their artistic identity. It can define not only the band’s sound, but the type of following that they accumulate throughout their careers in the music industry.
There are many reasons that a band can choose to stray from their genre, they may wish to tap into a wider and more lucrative market, or they might just want to evolve their sound in an industry that's constantly changing.
Whatever the reason, a change in genre can actually benefit a band, exposing them to a new audience while also maintaining their old one. But on the other hand, it can also have the reverse effect, as a weak and generic genre change can leave existing fans feeling alienated, while also failing to add any new followers to the cause, often leading to a hasty retreat to more familiar ground.
Both of these reactions have been felt by countless bands over the years, some are very prominent, but some may surprise you…
As one of the "big four" of Thrash Metal, Slayer built a reputation on the fast-paced riffs, hard drumming, and aggressive vocals that are synonymous with the genre. After treading this water for fifteen years, Slayer decided to try their hand at something new in 1998.
Diabolus in Musica was the band's eighth studio album, and was their first and only endeavour into Nu Metal. Coming at a time when when the genre was at the height of it's popularity, guitarist Jeff Hanneman said that when writing the album, he was looking for something to beat, but nothing was heavy enough to even bother contesting, which resulted in the Thrash icon putting his own unique spin on the genre.
Though the album did have it's positive reviews, the majority were negative, and sure enough, by the time their next release, God Hates Us All, came around, the band had returned to where they belong, the brutal lands of Thrash Metal, and have stayed there ever since.