Although it’s sometimes difficult to determine what constitutes a “breakdown” in metal (especially if people are being pedantic while discussing it), the term typically refers to a slower instrumental passage meant to shake things up or build anticipation between the core parts of a composition.
They’re usually among the angriest section(s) of the track, yet they can also be a beautiful way to offer relief from the surrounding anarchy. That’s not to say that they can’t be heavy as well, but rather that they’re relatively pleasant.
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The 10 breakdowns are this list are particularly good examples of that.
Sure, a few of them may break away from conventions, yet all of them take their respective songs into more leisurely and pretty territories before returning to the fiercer foundations.