The Guide To: Heavy Metal

Where'd they all come from, and when, plus some cool bands.

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Most people know that they all sound different (duh, lol). But very few people know where all the music evolved from, or how. Here I'll go over how bands like Black Sabbath got their sound, all the way to Children Of Bodom, Megadeth, and yes sadly Metallica.

Heavy Metal

Having no better name for it, bands like Black Sabbath, AC/DC (ok now true metal there but you get the idea), and the like fit in here. Most of these bands got their sound from early Rock 'n Roll, blues, and jazz (very slightly on the last one). Black Sabbath actually is hailed as the creator of Metal, and before "creating it" they played 12-bar blues in bars in england (seriously).

Brittish Heavy Metal

Later on them crazy Brits inspired by like likes of Black Sabbath began to emerge. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden etc... Mainly they were more musical and melodic, and invented the idea of two guitar players playing seperate parts and harmonizing. Bands of the second wave are much lesser known... Diamond Head one of Metallica's influences being one of the better known. Not really much difference except they took twin guitar parts up another step having a dedicated lead and rhythm players (though they sometime switch duties in the song, which is still done today).

Speed Metal

FAST... loud... aggressive took the lessons learend by Brittish Heavy Metal and second wave bands, combined it with the speed of hardcore punk (yes metal has its origins in punk... live with it) won't give any examples because most of these bands evolved to thrash later on anyway.

Thrash

Speed metal soon turned into thrash, thash took the same ideas but added technicality to the songs (in some cases), and giving more leeway for tempo changes and long solos. Examples... pretty self explanatory. (80s) Metallica was probably the best known thash band, along with (80s) Megadeth, and Slayer. Anthrax was deeper rooted in Speed and Hardcore since they came from the East Coast. Second and third wave thrash bands like Teatsment, Exodus, Overkill, Death Angel, Canada's Annihilator, and believe me... countless others drew upon their influences and added in some cases.

Death Metal

Mainly influenced by dark thrash like Slayer came about in the early 90s... and yes Venom was earlier but as a general rule. Death is considered by many to be the true fathers of the genre (hence the name). Cannibal Corpse *cough*crap*cough* (no offense to their fans), Morbid Angel, and a slew other other bands (only genre I can think of with more than thrash). However the genre got so popular a lot of bands that really weren't that great were getting signed in the 90s, making it a lot harder to find good stuff... I'm sure all these bands have their fans though (I try not to judge). Second wave stuff either goes in one of two directions, adding a hint of progressiveness to their music, or amping up the aggression to the next level. A few first wave bands redefined their sound like Death to be more melodic while others went the opposite way. I like both but go check them out for yourself.

Black Metal

Also branched off of thrash basicly the European form of Death Metal. Sometimes more melodic, other times more violent. Bathory, Emporer etc... like Death Metal their music thrives on the chaos you can create with instruments (not a bad thing). Second wave bands here sadly took much of the music waaaaaaaay too seriously. From church burnings to murder... they got it all.

Death and Black Crossover

Children Of Bodom being a well known one. Not having the seriousness of their forebears but the melody and aggression remaining they can often be one of the more insteresting genres.

Progressive

Taking all the lessons learned so far and infusing it with Prog Rock, these bands came about. Either being extremely melodic, technical, or catchy. Dream Theater, later Death albums, Control Denied (rest in peace Chuck), and many others.

Shred

Not that popular... but very cool stuff. Takes Progressive another step further. One guy playing guitar for a whole cd... can it get any better! VERY VERY Technical stuff. Yngwie, Vai, Satch, or my personal fav. Michael Angelo Batio (awesome guy saw him live.... godly). Borrows from jazz, blues, anything! This is just an overview... now go and listen to METAL!

190 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Mick_mars_rules
    Why the *** was this article written it actually hurts me to see so many people pissed off....yet at the same time i laugh and pitty most of you.
    M3talJ3ff
    Man f*** most of you lol people write articles and all u give em is s*** about the mistakes just take it read it say "bad article" and stop argueing over whos right ...
    Jerry_page
    Your ***ing article sucks. -10 stars. And why do you mock 'tallica at the beginning. Asshole
    YouKnowYourRite
    Some of your most obvious mistakes : -Black Sabbath have always played in England, -AC/DC aren't metal, -yeah, i'm totally sure the NWOBHM created harmony..not. -Whats hardcore got to do with punk, -Thrash and Speed metal are the same bloody thing, -and since when did slayer become melodic, they're the definition of speed metal. -Death Metal surfaced early 80s about the same time as slayer you idiot, -Death Metal is NOTHING like Black Metal, -There are no cross over bands, your talking about bands with black metal vox, like CoB but what do they have to do with death metal apart from nothing ? -Shred isn't metal. You're missing so many sub-genres this makes me feel like writing a decent guide..
    sheppo
    For a Start thrash is a form of metal YouKnowYourRite and i still believe metallica retains there king of metal title but ac/dc is not really metal even though im from perth where they come from.
    super666fender
    ok. too many options here. 2 maybe 3 stars. ALL U LIL FUKERS PISS OFF ABOUT LEAVIN OUT BAND IN SUCH AND SUCH GENRES! U CANT NAME ALL THE BANDS!
    uptheironschile
    The only good thing here is the discussion, the article sucks big time. I don't think he researched anything, sounds like stuff he learned from his older brother or sth like that. And the discussion: I can tolerate AC/DC and Zepplin being considered metal, saying that metal started 2 yrs after Sabbath's debut, U can bash death or power or black... but I cant stand U guys calling nu-metal, well, metal. We gotta get a non-"metal"-containing name for that crap; suggestions? could be "Britneyspearsy hard rock".
    Unknown Soul
    didn't mention TOOL...u need to be shot. and what's up with saying you "sadly" mention MetallicA? u need to eat a stick of dynamite. (only joking around...i don't mean anything serious by that whatsoever...i'm just a huge MetallicA fan...new stuff, old stuff, it's all good to me.) yeah anytime an article like this comes up it's gonna be full of opinions. and just to add something to it...about speed metal having roots in punk...MISFITS - EARTH A.D. (speed metal bible)
    GlitteryGold
    Where the FUCK does Led Zeppelin come into this you ***head. How can you mention shit like Sabbath and AC/DC and no ment Zeppelin?
    Contraband
    uhh....next time someone makes an article, can they plz research things....if I knew nothing about Heavy Metal, I could find out more.
    METAL MULLISHA
    Can I ask you something? WHAT THE F***!!!..???.. You sit their and criticize great heavy metal bands like you F***.. invented it! Some one seriously needs to whip your F***.. A**! ..And by the way, I would love to see you make a song as half as good as Metallica, Canibal Corpse, and all of the other bands you bad mouthed. Go swallow large amounts of Anthrax- poser
    MetallicFallout
    ^ ROFL! Yeah, don't bash Metallica; thats just a way to make a bad article WORSE... You didn't really define much in here, just gave examples and then called half of them crap.
    chAos55
    teetz0rz: u didnt mentioned Opeth... they were the best metal band ever were? tsk tsk Yeah...a lot of inacurracy and stuff too
    chAos55
    teetz0rz: u didnt mentioned Opeth... they were the best metal band ever
    Molodov
    (sic)kid, there is a huge difference between metal and nu-metal. If you wish to debate the 'metal-ness' of nu-metal, then kindly escort yourself to the metal forum. It very well might be an enlightening experience. Master of Riffs: I am 14. Why do you ask?
    Mick_mars_rules
    He has a mental age of about 10....because he got soo pissed off at me before it was silly. Yes i'm obviously ignorant because i don't have your ideals....now who's the wanker....you coulda just said....."well sir you suck" in response to what i said and it woulda been fine.
    Molodov
    He has a mental age of about 10....because he got soo pissed off at me before it was silly. Yes i'm obviously ignorant because i don't have your ideals....now who's the wanker....you coulda just said....."well sir you suck" in response to what i said and it woulda been fine.
    You were the one acting silly, my friend.
    (sic)kid
    "When will you ***ing children ever learn that ***ing Nu Metal is NOT metal." Ahhahahahaha, this guy's a jackass. Why the *** does it clearly say "Metal" in Nu Metal then?
    costa94
    not to be rude..but up at the top...silenced...if thats what u call urself....U DERVE TO GO TO FUCKING HELL U STUPID PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT AHHH CHILDREN OF BODOM ARE FUCKIN INSANE EAT SHIT ASSHOLE
    (sic)kid
    Guys, guys... Not everyone can know ALL metal bands of ALL metal types out there. Stop saying stuff like "You forgot to mention xxx.." (xxx.. being the name of the bands you guys mentionned.). Anyways, it was an ok article, but of course, too opinionized. Otherwise, I find it was pretty good, and you got pretty much most of your facts straight (cept for the AC-DC... lol), I'd like to see a follow-up of this article.
    Molodov
    not to be rude..but up at the top...silenced...if thats what u call urself....U DERVE TO GO TO FUCKING HELL U STUPID PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT AHHH CHILDREN OF BODOM ARE FUCKIN INSANE EAT SHIT ASSHOLE
    Don't be an immature little bitch. It's called an opinion.
    zepplinmike
    heheh, articles like this are always breeding grounds for arguements like this. Same with Top 10 lists. My point is everyone has their opinions and no two people will have the exact same music tastes unless they are posers. Peace.
    americarules3
    pfft really good article i give it 5 stars these guys just want to look 1337 and pretend they know everything Cannibal Corpse does suck seems they never grew out of their gore phase how gay
    dookii
    and they dont sound anything like led zepplin, ill say they're a great band, one of my faves... but to be honest they didnt impact music that much, they made a huge impact, but no bands have followed in their footsteps...
    Are u ***ing kidding me? you're a ***in retard.
    `NeXxuS`
    Your're absolutely wrong nexxus. Why do you think the big rock/metal band-members always say that they were influenced by led zeppelin, etc. so if you take away the influences of led zeppelin, the only "rock"music that would excist would be bands like greenday, good charlotte and other crap you're listening to. I think it would say more about your crappy musictaste than the writer who wrote this article. So for next time shut the *** up!
    hmm, i dont listen to those bands.. i listen to ACTUAL metal, and they dont sound anything like led zepplin, ill say they're a great band, one of my faves... but to be honest they didnt impact music that much, they made a huge impact, but no bands have followed in their footsteps...
    peto know
    the dimwit left out led zepelin, yes (in prog rock) and many other legendery bands. tehy were loads better than metallica and maiden. LONG LIVE ROCK
    redass
    very funny evryone has his opinion, one thing though: if I make up minds, the following bands are crucial: metallica, megadeth, black sabbath, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Slayer, Pantera, Emperor, Cradle of Filth and of course Deep Purple
    playonforever
    if you care to know, your article was kinda silly, not that great. You had some good ideas, but dont be a pixy about it. Hooray. Metal truelly rules
    EvilGyroe
    Should have just wrote a list of metal bands you like.... which isnt many as we can see
    lets_get_rocked
    OMG u retards maybe he didnt want to sit at his computer for 6 hours and write his revue instead he sat for like 10mins got the point done and finished, the article was ok and i mean who cares about genres anyways "OH NOES I CANT LISTEN TO PANTERA CAUSE ALTHOUGH THEY ARE GOOD I DONT LIKE THERE GENRE" i mean seriously kids thats just flat out dumb. philkilla666: [How are you going to down Cannibal Corpse? MAybe you should take the cocks out of your ears BEFORE you bad mouth a band as techincal and heavy as them] Cannibal Corpse is the second worst band ive ever heard Slipknot is first honestly both bands not even just the vocals but the whole sound of every instrument it sounds like a gorilla being pushed down a hill and screaming bloody murder, one big heap of bassy shit.
    mrbassman
    go sabbath!!!! brilliant band reed: Rockin_Out89... AC/DC sucks! *** you AC/DC rule