10 Most Talented Families In Metal
They say talent runs in the family. Well, these ten bloodlines are living proof of it.
For almost as long as music’s been around, families playing together has been a reoccurring part of the business. Whether it’s older acts like The Bee Gees and The Kinks, or newer acts like Kings of Leon and My Chemical Romance – music history is rife with close relatives coming together to create something unique.
Heavy metal is no different. Throughout the years we’ve seen some fantastic metal bands spearheaded by family members – proving that talent really does run in the family. They run the gamut of metal sub-genres, from death and doom, to progressive and thrash. But for all the great work that’s been spawned from the various family trees, which bloodline has been the most prolific of the lot? Well, you’ve came to the right place.
This list features those metal families who have embodied heavy metal to the fullest, creating fantastic records thanks to their uncanny chemistry, and showing that blood is indeed thicker than water. These are the ten most talented families in metal.
10. The Searle Family (Architects)
As two of the key members of metalcore outfit Architects, brothers Dan and Tom Searle bounced off each other almost telepathically. The former provided some of the most crushing drumbeats in metal this side of the 21st century, while the latter took heads off with his decapitating riff work.
However, after releasing some fantastic LPs such as 2009’s Hollow Crown and 2014’s Lost Forever // Lost Together, the group were dealt a huge blow when founding member and main songwriter Tom Searle sadly passed away after battling cancer.
The group chose to continue on following his death in 2016, but his remarkable chemistry with his brother Dan will forever remain the high point for these British metallers.
9. The Locher Family (Samael)
Serving as the masterminds behind the industrial/black metal outfit Samael, Michael Locher and his brother Alexandre Locher have been caving in skulls since 1987. Originating in Switzerland, Samael are largely considered one of the leaders in their chosen sub-genre.
Michael is the band’s main guitarist and vocalist, while Alexandre provides a solid backbone with his stunning drum work. While much of the material has garnered adulation, perhaps their crowning achievement to date came in the form of the 1994 black metal masterclass Ceremony of Opposites – a record which, to this day, remains one of the sub-genre’s greatest ever offerings.
And after making a successful return to the musical arena with this year’s Hegemony (their first studio release in six years), it looks like the Locher brothers aren’t finished taking you to the pits of hell just yet…
8. The Kiełtyka Family (Decapitated)
Hailing from Poland, technical death metal group Decapitated have become a force to be reckoned with in the metal world. However, it all started back in 1996 with two siblings at the helm; Wacław Kiełtyka and Witold Kiełtyka.
Waclaw served as the band’s primary guitarist, while brother Witold laid down the heavy beats. They’ve rarely put out a bad album, with stellar works like Nihility, The Negation, and Organic Hallucinosis adorning their discography. Sadly, Witold died in a fatal bus accident in 2007 – marking the end of this unique brotherly combo.
I’d be remiss though not to mention the allegations of rape and kidnapping which have been brought against Decapitated just recently. If they are found guilty of the heinous crime, then they shouldn’t be praised for anything – no matter how good the music has been over the years. Let’s just hope that’s not the case.
7. The Kolesne Family (Krisiun)
It took a while for Brazilian death metal outfit Krisiun to fully come to fruition, but once they did, there was no looking back. This three-piece are unrelenting in their attack, and it’s brothers Moyses and Max Kolesne who really lead the triple-pronged siege.
For 27 years, this lot have been pulverizing the competition with some of the most vicious compositions to arise from the death metal style. And while their first few records acted more as precursors for what was to come, Krisiun have more than proved their weight in gold once since they hit their stride in the 2000’s.
Perseverance goes a long way in metal, and Krisiun certainly showed that, ending up with a sound today that is different from the rest of their contemporaries. Make no mistake about it – the Kolesne brothers play a big part in that winning formula.
6. The Adler Family (Lamb Of God)
How could we do a list like this without including the awesome brotherly duo of Chris and Willie Adler from Lamb of God? Truth is, they’re easily one of the most effective sibling combos to ever come out of the heavy metal genre.
Drummer Chris delivers pummelling beats on tracks like “Laid to Rest,” “Desolation,” and “512,” while his brother Willie produces the rhythm guitar goods on discography highlights like “Blacken the Cursed Sun,” “Ghost Walking,” and “Redneck” – providing some sick instrumentals for elite metal growler Randy Blythe to spit over.
Lamb of God have been one of the premier metal bands to come to prominence in the present century, and the Adler brothers can certainly take credit for helping the band achieve that enviable status.
5. The Björler Family (At The Gates, The Haunted)
You’d think being a part of one great metal band would suffice, but brothers Andres and Jonas Björler aren’t ones to rest on their laurels. Because not only were they the driving force behind the hugely influential melodic death metal group At The Gates, but they also spearheaded the no-nonsense thrash/groove metal outfit The Haunted.
Admirably, they impress in both bands in equal measure. Their guitar and bass work shines through like a darkened beacon on the unparalleled At The Gates LP Slaughter of the Soul, but their ensuing work as The Haunted is just as compelling, albeit for different reasons. For instance, they drop their melodic elements to a greater extent – choosing instead to just batter the listener with hard, heavy blows to the face. Catalog highlight Revolver is case in point.
Even more impressive is the fact that they are just as capable individually as they are together – with Jonas’ latest project under The Haunted moniker entitled Strength in Numbers proving that he can be effective on his own, even with the absence of his brother Andres.
4. The Duplantier Family (Gojira, Empalot)
They don’t come much more talented than these two symbiotic souls. Yes, it’s one half of the impervious French progressive metal four-piece Gojira: the Duplantier brothers Joe and Mario. Since forming in 1996, Gojira have just improved with every album release.
Joe’s vocals and fretwork have been big contributors in the band’s success, but so too has the technical chops behind the kit, courtesy of his brother Mario. They’re six albums deep, but if last year’s downright stunning Magma is anything to go by, then they’ve still got plenty left in the tank.
They also had a side project by the name of Empalot – a group specializing in the outer reaches of the metal sphere. And why not experiment a little when you’ve got the natural ability that these two siblings possess?
3. The Van Halen Family (Van Halen)
Although the band went through many permutations, two members have always remained in Van Halen; siblings Eddie and Alex. Eddie’s reputation as a guitar virtuoso helped drive the band to great success, but his drumming brother Alex was certainly no slouch either.
Bridging the gap between hard rock and heavy metal, Van Halen proved to be one of the most successful acts of the 20th century, releasing classic records like “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Jump,” and “Panama.” Creating arena-sized anthems was the band’s forte, and with the talents of Eddie and Alex behind the wheel, it was made look incredibly easy.
As far as unbridled natural talent goes, few can touch the Van Halen family. And despite a line-up that’s rotated on several different occasions throughout the group’s history, the two brothers have only further proved why they are the linchpins of the hard-hitting act.
2. The Abbot Family (Pantera, Damageplan, Hellyeah)
When it came to incredible brotherly chemistry, few were as in sync with each other as Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell were. Together, the two hell raisers were vital components in one of the best metal groups ever: the eardrum-shattering four-piece Pantera.
Considered as true pioneers in the groove metal style, the group were arguably the most vital metal band of the ‘90s – creating a seismic dent in the genre’s hard shell. With drummer Vinnie supplying some punishing sequences behind the drum kit, and Dimebag shredding up a storm in his trademark guitar tone, Pantera proved to be a force to be reckoned with.
Tragically, Dimebag was murdered on stage in 2004 while playing with his new formation Damageplan – a group which also included his brother Vinnie. Sadly, we’ll never know just how much higher the legendary guitarist could’ve gotten, but his spirit still lives on in the work of Pantera, as well as his brother’s continued musical endeavors.
1. The Cavalera Family (Sepultura, Nailbomb, Soulfly, Killer Be Killed, Cavalera Conspiracy, Lody Kong, Incite)
Is there a more hard-working performer in all of metal than the Brazilian bruiser Max Cavalera? We don’t think so, because if you just take a quick look through his vast discography, you’ll quickly realize just how prolific he is.
While Soulfly is considered his main group, he’s also fronted Nailbomb, Killer Be Killed, and his first band Sepultura – which also featured his brother Igor. Given that, it’s probably no surprise that the two siblings decided to form their own act by the name of Cavalera Conspiracy in 2007. With the two together, their raw abilities are put on full display – Max’s penetrating riffs combined with Igor’s unparalleled stick work merge to form one serious wall of sound.
And it’s not just the two brothers who’ve got the metal bug, but the Cavalera family as a whole. Yes, Max’s wife Gloria is a manager in the metal business, while three of his sons are entrenched in the metal scene as well; Igor and Zyon with Lody Kong, and Richie with Incite. Now if that’s not a seriously talented bloodline, I don’t know what is.
Which metal family do you think is the most talented? Let us know in the comments!
Related: 10 Pairs of Brothers of Metal