Introduction to Heavy Metal. Heavy metal (often referred to simply as metal) is agenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960sand early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the UnitedKingdom and in the United States..With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, thebands that created heavy metal developed athick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplifieddistortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, andoverall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performancestyles are generally associated with masculinity andmachismo.
Introduction to Rock and Roll. Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll or rock nroll) is a genre of popular music that originated andevolved in the United States during the late 1940s andearly 1950s, primarily from a combination of AfricanAmerican blues, country, jazz, and gospel music.. Though elements of rock and roll can be heard incountry records of the 1930s, and in blues records fromthe 1920s, rock and roll did not acquire its name untilthe 1950s.
Earliest Heavy Metal Bands .Led Zeppelin.Black Sabbath .Deep Purple .Blue CheerThe first heavy metal bands eventually attracted largeaudiences, though many were critically reviled (with thenotable exception of Led Zeppelin), a status commonthroughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970sJudas Priest helped spur the genres evolution bydiscarding much of its blues influence
Origins of Heavy Metal. In January 1968 Blue Cheer released a cover of EddieCochrans classic "Summertime Blues", from their debutalbum VincebusEruptum, that many consider the firsttrue heavy metal recording.. The same month, Steppenwolf released its self-titleddebut album, including "Born to Be Wild", which refersto "heavy metal thunder" in describing a motorcycle.. In July, another two epochal records came out: TheYardbirds "Think About It"—B-side of the bands lastsingle—with a performance by guitarist Jimmy Page;and Iron Butterflys In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, with its 17-minute-long title track, a prime candidate for first-everheavy metal album.
Characteristics of Heavy MetalHeavy metal is traditionally characterized by: . loud distorted guitars. emphatic rhythms. dense bass-and-drum sound. vigorous vocals.Metal subgenres variously emphasize, alter, or omit oneor more of these attributes.
Subgenres of Heavy MetalBlack metal • death metal • doom metal • glam metal •gothic metal • groove metal • power metal • speed metal• stoner metal • thrash metal • traditional heavy metalA number of heavy metal genres have developed sincethe emergence of heavy metal (often shortened tometal) during the late 1960s and early 1970s. At timesheavy metal genres may overlap or are difficult todistinguish, but they can be identified by a number oftraits. They may differ in terms of:instrumentation, tempo, song structure, vocalstyle, lyrics, guitar playing style, drumming style, and soon.
Antecedents: Mid 1960’sWhile heavy metals quintessential guitar style, builtaround distortion-heavy riffs and power chords, tracesits roots to America, including the early 1950s electricblues music of Pat Hare, the late 1950s instrumentals ofLink Wray, and The Kingsmens version of"Louie, Louie" (1963) which made it a garage rockstandard, the genres direct lineage begins in the mid-1960s.
During the late sixties, many psychedelic singers suchas Arthur Brown, began to create outlandish, theatricaland often macabre performances; which in itselfbecame incredibly influential to many metal acts. Arthur Brown performing alongside his group The Crazy World of Arthur Brown; wearing a burning metal helmet.
Origins: Late 1960’s and early 1970’sIn 1968, the sound that would become known as heavymetal began to coalesce.The Jeff Beck Group, whose leader had preceded Pageas The Yardbirds guitarist, released its debut recordthat same month: Truth featured some of the "mostmolten, barbed, downright funny noises of all time,"breaking ground for generations of metal ax-slingers. In October, Pages new band, Led Zeppelin, made itslive debut. The Beatles so-called White Album, whichalso came out that month, included "Birthday" and"Helter Skelter", then one of the heaviest-soundingsongs ever released by a major band
ContinuedLed Zeppelin defined central aspects of the emerginggenre, with Pages highly distorted guitar style andsinger Robert Plants dramatic, wailing vocals. Otherbands, with a more consistently heavy, "purely" metalsound, would prove equally important in codifying thegenre. The 1970 releases by Black Sabbath (BlackSabbath and Paranoid) and Deep Purple (In Rock) werecrucial in this regard.
Mainstream: Late 1970’s and 1980’sPunk rock emerged in the mid-1970s as a reactionagainst contemporary social conditions as well as whatwas perceived as the overindulgent, overproduced rockmusic of the time, including heavy metal. Sales of heavymetal records declined sharply in the late 1970s in theface of punk, disco, and more mainstream rock.With the major labels fixated on punk, many newerBritish heavy metal bands were inspired by themovements aggressive, high-energy sound and "lo-fi", do it yourself ethos. Underground metal bandsbegan putting out cheaply recorded releasesindependently to small, devoted audiences.
Motörhead, founded in 1975, was the first importantband to straddle the punk/metal divide. With theexplosion of punk in 1977, others followed. British musicpapers such as the NME and Sounds took notice, withSounds writer Geoff Barton christening the movementthe "New Wave of British Heavy Metal". NWOBHMbands including Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Def Leppardreenergized the heavy metal genre.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in thelate 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed as theNew Yardbirds in 1968, the band consisted of guitaristJimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardistJohn Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. They arewidely considered to be one of the most successful,innovative and influential rock groups in history
Judas Priest are a British heavy metal bandformed in Birmingham, England in 1969. Knownfor a twin lead guitar style, a wide operatic vocalstyle, and for introducing the S&M leather andstuds look into heavy metal, they have sold over50 million albums worldwide.
MötleyCrüe is an American heavy metal band formed inLos Angeles, California in 1981. The group was foundedby bass guitarist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee,who were later joined by lead guitarist Mick Mars andlead singer Vince Neil. MötleyCrüe has been describedthrough the years as the Worlds Most Notorious RockBand and has sold more than 80 million album copiesworldwide, including 25 million in the U.S.
System of a Down, also known by the acronym SOADand often shortened to System, is a rock band fromSouthern California, formed in 1994. It consists ofSerjTankian (lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar),DaronMalakian (guitar, vocals), ShavoOdadjian (bass,background vocals) and John Dolmayan (drums).
Musical LanguageRhythm and tempoThe rhythm in metal songs is emphatic, with deliberatestresses. Weinstein observes that the wide array ofsonic effects available to metal drummers enables the"rhythmic pattern to take on a complexity within itselemental drive and insistency." In many heavymetal songs, the main groove is characterized by short,two-note or three-note rhythmic figures—generallymade up of 8th or 16th notes. These rhythmic figuresare usually performed with a staccato attack created byusing a palm-muted technique on the rhythm guitar. An example of a typical rhythmic pattern in heavy metal
Lyrical ThemesBlack Sabbath and the many metal bands they inspiredhave concentrated lyrically "on dark and depressingsubject matter to an extent hitherto unprecedented inany form of pop music," according to scholars DavidHatch and Stephen Millward. They take as an exampleSabbaths second album Paranoid (1970), which"included songs dealing with personal trauma—Paranoid (which described the unsavoury side effectsof drug-taking) and Fairies Wear Boots (which wasOzzys not-so-complimentary opinion of the neo-Naziswho confronted him; the second half of the songs lyricshave nothing to do with the original intent of the…
…song—as well as those confronting widerissues, such as the self-explanatory War Pigs andHand of Doom." Nuclear annihilation wasaddressed in later metal songs such as Black Sabbaths"Electric Funeral", Iron Maidens "2 Minutes toMidnight", OzzyOsbournes "Killer ofGiants", Megadeths "Rust In Peace... Polaris", andMetallicas "Fight Fire With Fire". Death is apredominant theme in heavy metal, routinely featuringin the lyrics of bands as otherwise widely different asSlayer and W.A.S.P. The more extreme forms of deathmetal and grindcore tend to have aggressive and gorylyrics.
InstrumentsHeavy metal bands usually have a generic set up ofinstruments. Most of these instruments have a uniquestyle or sound to them which make them specific to themetal genre. These instruments are usually:
Typical Heavy Metal Album ArtworkHeavy Metal Album Artwork is usually done in cartoonsdepicting very elabourate images. The band name isusually displayed in a futuristic font. Here are someexamples: