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.
Hydrahead 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.