Djent isn’t just the name of a distinct subgenre of progressive metal. It’s also the sound the guitars make in said subgenre. If that phonetic phenomenon seems a bit meta, well—blame Meshuggah. In the '90s, Fredrik Thordendal, the Swedish extreme metal stars’ innovative eight-string guitarist, invented the technique, which involves heavily syncopated, palm-muted riffs; over-the-top soloing; and a dizzying rhythmic structure. Riveted and inspired by Thordendal’s insane chops, an entire generation of musicians from around the globe has eagerly taken up the djent mantle. Bands like TesseracT, SikTh and Periphery are avid practitioners, while others—like GOJIRA, Born of Osiris and Veil of Maya—incorporate its techniques alongside those of other subgenres. As one of metal’s youngest offshoots, it’s proliferating and transmogrifying rapidly, infiltrating solo projects (Cloudkicker, Chimp Spanner) and rap-metal (Hacktivist) alike.