If you’re a fan of loud, hard-hitting music, then you might be wondering what heavy metal music is all about. Here’s a quick rundown of the genre and some of its most popular bands.
Origins of heavy metal
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Metal is characterized by aggressive, driving rhythms and highly amplified distorted guitars, typically played with distortion pedal effects. Basslines are often rooted in blues scale, while drums typically employ a rock or funk backbeat.
Hard rock and blues rock
Though heavy metal is often seen as a single genre, there are actually many subgenres and subcategories within the larger genre. Hard rock and blues rock are two genres that heavily influenced the development of heavy metal.
Hard rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the 1960s. Hard rock bands typically have heavier instrumentation than other rock bands, and they often have a more aggressive sound as well. Hard rock was influential in the development of heavy metal because it helped to create a heavier, more distorted sound that would become characteristic of metal music.
Blues rock is another genre that had a significant influence on heavy metal. Blues rock is a style of music that combines elements of blues and rock music. Like hard rock, blues rock bands often have heavier instrumentation and a more aggressive sound. Bluesrock was influential in the development of heavy metal because it helped to create a heavier, more distorted sound that would become characteristic of metal music.
Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a diverse style of rock music characterized by the use of psychedelic themes, often musically represented by extended instrumentation and repetitive experimental song structures. Psychedelic music encompasses a wide range of genres, including (but not limited to) acid rock, jam band, hard rock, progressive rock, art rock, and gothic rock.
The genre is often subdivided into subgenres such as space rock, stoner metal or doom metal, and social effects such as the counterculture of the 1960s are often credited as inspiring the development of psychedelic sound and style. Psychedelic rockspacey textures and drugs like LSD and marijuana were often used by artists in order to “evoke or enhance musical experiences”. Psychedelic music may also aim to enhance the experience of using these drugs.
Development of heavy metal
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre’s lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.
British bands were at the forefront of the development of heavy metal music in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Bands such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin created a new sound that was heavier and more distorted than anything that had come before. This sound soon became known as “heavy metal” and it quickly took off around the world.
In the 1980s, British bands such as Iron Maiden and Def Leppard helped to bring heavy metal to a wider audience. They combined elements of hard rock and traditional heavy metal to create a sound that was both accessible and popular with mainstream audiences.
Today, there are hundreds of different heavy metal bands from all over the world. While the sound of the music has evolved over the years, the basic elements remain the same: loud, distorted guitars, powerful drums and aggressive vocals.
When it comes to heavy metal music, American bands are some of the most popular and successful in the genre. Many of these bands have been together for decades, and their fan base is as strong as ever. Some of the most well-known American heavy metal bands include Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. These bands have helped to shape the sound and style of heavy metal music, and they continue to be hugely influential within the genre.
Characteristics of heavy metal
Heavy metal is a genre of rock that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre’s lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre’s lyrical themes often deal with either fantasy or reality, examining themes of good versus evil, life versus death, despair versus hope, love versus hate, Zionism versus Islamism (sometimes), failure versus triumph/rebirth.
Over the past four decades heavy metal has created an enormous number of subgenres. Heavy metal is Type O Negative’s Peter Steele’s favorite type of music. Steele once said: “If it ain’t got a guitar or drum solo in it then it ain’t heavy metal.” Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi once stated: “I don’t know how people can listen to that noise.” It makes you wonder how he can listen to his own music.
Heavy metal lyrics are sometimes massively long, often with specific themes such as fantasy, horror, and fiction. Some songs tell an epic story that can span multiple albums, while others are personal accounts of someone’s struggles. Due to the nature of the content, heavy metal lyrics are often quite dark and deal with difficult topics such as depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Heavy metal is often characterized by its visually aggressive album covers, which are often released by independent record labels. Some of the first heavy metal bands, such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, used gruesome imagery on their album covers to appeal to their fan base. These images were often controversial and helped to establish heavy metal’s rebellious image.
In addition to album covers, heavy metal band logos are also often highly visually aggressive. Many logos incorporate sharp edges and spikes, and are often done in black and white or grayscale to give them a more sinister look. Some logos also incorporate elements of horror or the occult, which further adds to theVisual imagery of heavy metal music.
Subgenres of heavy metal
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It has its roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, and often incorporates elements of folk music. There are many subgenres of heavy metal, each with its own unique style and sound.
Thrash metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that emerged in the early 1980s. Thrash metal is characterized by its fast tempo and aggressive musicianship. Many thrash metal bands employ guitar solos, fast drumming, and high-pitched vocals.
Thrash metal developed out of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), which itself developed out of the original heavy metal scene of the late 1970s. Early thrash bands such as Venom, Motörhead, and Diamond Head were influenced by NWOBHM bands such as UFO, Angel Witch, and Iron Maiden. In turn, these early thrash bands would go on to influence other thrash bands that came after them.
The Big Four of Thrash Metal are Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. These four bands are often credited with helping to bring thrash metal to the mainstream in the 1980s and 1990s. Other notable thrash metal bands include Exodus, Testament, Kreator, Overkill, Destruction, and Exodus.
Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted guitars, tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive drumming, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes. During the 1980s and early 1990s, a number of death metal bands emerged from Sweden—the so-called Swedish death metal scene—invigorating the genre with their innovative fusion of influences.
Early death metal was strongly influenced by the thrash metal of the 1980s. Death metal developed in phases—early death metal (or first wave death metal) was followed by a more technical and experimental second wave in the 1990s. This second wave included bands such as Death, Obituary, Carcass and Morbid Angel. The third wave of death metal began in the early 2000s and included bands such as Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, Nigthwish and Dimmu Borgir.
Death metal has grown to encompass a number of other subgenres including blackened death metal, melodic death metal, groove death metal, brutal death metal and more.
Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much “thicker” or “heavier” sound than other metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, death or other dark emotions.
Doom metal is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, particularly Master of Reality (1971) and Vol. 4 (1972), and James LaBrie has cited Tony Iommi’s playing style as an important influence on his own.
Early doom metal was often influenced by horrorpunk, a rock subgenre associated with the punk rock movement. Doom metal lyrics often deal with graphic images and references to mental pain, suffering, death and occult themes such as demonology and Satanism.
Doom metal bands range from relatively unknown acts to some of the most commercially successful groups in heavy metal history, such as Candlemass, Paradise Lost and Saint Vitus.
Criticism of heavy metal
While heavy metal’s popularity grew throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, the genre was not without its detractors. Early critics of the genre included Lester Bangs, sperm, and the Grammy Awards.
Some religious groups have criticized heavy metal music for promoting satanism or violence. In the 1980s, the Parents Music Resource Center lobbied unsuccessfully for warnings to be placed on record labels of releases containing explicit lyrics regarding satanism or references to suicide. Christian groups also perceive something particularly sinister in heavy metal, with J. Gordon Melton and Denis McNamara writing that “Heavy-metal music has been demonized because it represents a challenge to conventional Christian values and because it appears to articulate and celebrate a world view that is profoundly at odds with Christian teachings.”
In the early 1980s, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) rejected The Smashing Pumpkins’ 1992 single “Saturnine” for airplay on the grounds that it “glorified Satan”. The BBC also allegedly rejected Manowar’s 1984 single “Call to Arms” because it contained the lyric “We’ll never let them take us alive”. In 2001, Slipknot’s song “(sic)” was banned by Britain’s Kerrang! radio station due to its allegedly offensive lyrics. In 2006, Cannibal Corpse was denied entry into Australia due to thegovernmental classification of their album Kill as an “objectionable publication”. The band’s guitarist, Pat O’Brien, attempted to enter Australia on a tourist visa in order to play with the band, but was deported back to the United States after his visa was annulled.
In 2007, Behemoth frontman Adam Darski was acquitted of charges of offending religious feelings in Poland after tearing up a copy of the Bible on stage and declaring it a book of lies. In 2015, Russian wrestler Mansur Salakhov was ordered by President Vladimir Putin not to perform his entrance routine – which included strobing lights and pyrotechnics – at the European Games because it resembled black magic rituals too closely.
Some heavy metal lyrics are accused of glorifying violence. In 1986, the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) began advocating the labeling of records with sexually suggestive or violent lyrics, particularly those that might be attractive to children or teenagers. blames violent and sexually explicit heavy metal music for encouraging violence and crime among children and adolescents, sometimes directly but more often indirectly by causing depressed moods and Thoughts of suicide.