But that means any hard rock band could be seen as a metal band. Like AIC obviously belong better alongside Soundgarden and Pearl Jam than alongside Opeth or Gorguts or Dark angel or Drudkh or Mayhem, etc etc. I think it becomes a bit unclear because "AIC" has many similarities to the "nu metal" bands (since they were heavily rooted in grunge) that followed, but like 99% of metalheads don't accept any of the "nu metal" bands as metal.
I guess people who are more old schoolers may accept AIC as a metal band, those who are part of the modern metal movement probably wouldn't.
AIC are pretty different from Pearl Jam which might have the odd metal element, but are def. more hard rock, but you gotta remember that what people call 70's hard rock now, was considered metal then, like Aerosmith for instance, and even Soundgarden, they are a pretty hard band to describe as mostly one thing or another, they cover alot of styles, like punk, metal, hard rock, so in that sense they are the Zeppelin from there, all the bands from that area at that time are quite different from each other, that's just silly to compare what AIC does to extreme metal acts, cause there is clearly a big difference between classic metal and death metal, but it's still all metal, AIC doesn't have so many similarities to "nu", "grunge" is only one part of "Nu", the blueprint for "Nu" is Sepultura's "Roots", there are a few decent so called "Nu" metal bands, but they don't only do that style, they aren't really that "Nu" to me, once again "Nu" is just what the record companies were selling metal as at the time, still just metal though, bands like System of a Down, Mudvayne, Godsmack, Disturbed, Korn. AIC's 1st record can be described as more hard rock, still alot of Guns N' Roses influence there, a fair bit of metal too, 2nd record is so metal though, look, alot of bands band have so many influences on them, but if the base is metal, then it's metal, so you can't say that cause metal evolved/changed to death metal that it makes it more metal or more valid than how AIC changed it, Dirt is a pretty doomy/sludgy metal record, it's quite similar to what Paradise Lost were doing at the same time.