#1
The "term" heavy is thrown all around in the metal world, and music world overall, and it never seems to have any continuity. Is it completely subjective, or is there an actual meaning to this word? Heavy to me would be something that sounds brutal, dark, and perhaps even sloth-like. Metal does not have to be this way to be good imo, and yet many of my favorite bands' albums (that are NOT my definition of heavy) are often reviewed as being coined with this adjective. And to make matters even more confusing, the genre "heavy metal" to me seems to be FAR different than Metal itself. Even Led Zepellin has been touted as fathers of "heavy" metal.

Anyway, opinions? Or am I just rambling for no reason.
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#3
To me, describing music as 'heavy' is more about the impact it has than it is about how fast or dark it sounds.
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#4
Quote by strat0blaster
To me, describing music as 'heavy' is more about the impact it has than it is about how fast or dark it sounds.


Okay, but what is the impact to you when you feel something is heavy?
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#5
To me it was always the thickness and saturation of the sound.
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#9
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Okay, but what is the impact to you when you feel something is heavy?

How you feel when listening to it, and the degree to which it makes you feel that.

For example - In The Air Tonight is not 'heavy' by conventional means, but to me, that is a heavy song more rightly than something that's really distorted and has a blast beat to it.
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#10
First let's clarify that "heavy metal" and "metal" are the exact same thing. The term "metal" is just short for "heavy metal." But yeah I'd say that it's how thick and low the sound is.
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Last edited by Rawshik at Jun 4, 2011,
#11
this is heavy
http://8tracks.com/romencer17/big-balls-and-bigger-riffs?mix_set_id=1294332

Quote by Rawshik
First let's clarify that "heavy metal" and "metal" are the exact same thing. The term "metal" is just short for "heavy metal." But yeah I'd say that it's how thick and low the sound is.


nice try but no, heavy metal is a subgenre of metal.
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#12
Quote by Rawshik
First let's clarify that "heavy metal" and "metal" are the exact same thing. The term "metal" is just short for "heavy metal." But yeah I'd say that it's how thick and low the sound is.


Well thats a clarification, I always thought Heavy Metal was solely used to identify early metal like Sabbath and Maiden. Obviously wrong. Anyway thanks for that.

*edit*

Or maybe not. Either way I was wrong lol
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#13
I do think a lot of it is personal opinion, but there are certain "kinds" of heavy that most people can agree on. For example, I think most people would agree that these two songs are heavy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhKWW07zwvc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tIMIOtRtUc&feature=related

And this is heavy for a different reason:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCJq0CTCoyE

But I think this is pretty heavy too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsHmAplC7Ws

But obviously not for the same reasons as the first three, instead of thick production or the bass punching your eardrum at every palm mute it's the atmosphere that makes it "heavy."

But this is only looking at metal songs. Like you said, Zeppelin can be heavy and they don't tune to drop z or use unholy amounts of gain. I even think Helter Skelter is pretty heavy. At least it was for it's time. I don't know if this post accomplished anything other than to reinforce points already made, but what the hell, I'll post it anyway.
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#14
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I do think a lot of it is personal opinion, but there are certain "kinds" of heavy that most people can agree on. For example, I think most people would agree that these two songs are heavy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhKWW07zwvc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tIMIOtRtUc&feature=related

And this is heavy for a different reason:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCJq0CTCoyE

But I think this is pretty heavy too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsHmAplC7Ws

But obviously not for the same reasons as the first three, instead of thick production or the bass punching your eardrum at every palm mute it's the atmosphere that makes it "heavy."

But this is only looking at metal songs. Like you said, Zeppelin can be heavy and they don't tune to drop z or use unholy amounts of gain. I even think Helter Skelter is pretty heavy. At least it was for it's time. I don't know if this post accomplished anything other than to reinforce points already made, but what the hell, I'll post it anyway.


No no, I think your post was good. It seems to definitely be a matter of opinion. And I like what Strat0blaster mentioned, in that its to what degree the music gives you your own feeling of heavy. Ill stick with that ha
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#15
I think it varies and is very subjective.

for me, the heaviest band I know is Khanate, but I suppose I am relating Heavy to "creepy" more.
#16
The Original Metal Genre was Heavy Metal.
But that is not "Heavy" compared to allot of Death and Black and Thrash etc, infact Heavy Metal is the least "Heavy" of all the metal subgenre's, at the bottom of the pile with ambient metal and glam metal.

So, I guess what makes a song heavy is the low end rhythym, it might have a distintive beat that sounds akin to someone beating a pipe agaisnt a brick wall or repeatdly smashing one's skull into the ground.
It's that sought of brutal beat.
Not nessacary death growling and stupid downtuning or stuff like that.
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#18
What makes metal "heavy"? Hint: distortion texture is a consequence of "heaviness," not its cause.

Both fantastic and literal, heavy metal explores the ideas our society will not endorse. It is not protest music, whining "it should not be" into a secondhand microphone, but a war-like genre which describes destruction with the joy of a painter who could use it as a color in a new epic landscape. Metal is about the experience of life, but it disciplines that with a clear sense of reality and consequence, as is appropriate for "heavy" conversation. Where society hides from fear and allies itself with the threat of the consequences of fears, metal allies itself with death to dispense fear.

When metal first arrived, new fans began to understand what made Black Sabbath "heavy": the patterns which revealed the thinking behind such noises, putting context to the fear they instilled. Thundering distorted riffs were not new; Blue Cheer had done that. Neither was aggression; Iggy Pop had done that. But Black Sabbath, inspired by horror movie soundtracks, came up with a new style of music that used melodic phrases played in power chords, and by targetting the weighty topics that social conversation did not admit, creating a terrifying form of art.

Rock music had grown through the 1960s from simple boyfriend-girlfriend pop to apocalyptic rock like the Doors or King Crimson in the same way the Beatles rejected their sugarpop roots to become morbid and political. Whenever given a chance, the music reverted to a simple, tolerant, peaceful hedonism that hid its escapism and narcissism. The future members of Black Sabbath, upon seeing a horror movie and wondering if people would ever pay to have that experience in rock music, created the antithesis to distracting escapism: a descent into the complex and violent world of reality.

Its heaviness migrated into a different style of composition: other bands wrote songs around open chords which were strummed in a repeated pattern, and then modulated, while Black Sabbath used moveable power chords to make phrases into riffs and it was the change in those phrases that communicated a difference in outlook. It was more like classical music, where harmony is so well-studied that it is used as a device toward "narrative," through-composed pieces where the change in motifs and their accompaniment conveys a string of moods that like a mythology or a fable convey the idea of a journey from one point to another.

With this development, they gave meaning to the sound. Its context of topics gave its heaviness form, but musically it was heavy as well, using thundering chords that stripped out traditional harmony and made the riff instead, like the nihilistic voice of an angry god, speak the truth that completed the poetry of contrast in each song. By throwing away form, and the form of socialization which "peace" and "love" implied, Black Sabbath brought danger back into a stagnant modern life -- specifically, the danger that in all the attempts to stay away from the darkness, we as a civilization had missed an essential truth.


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