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Heavy metal Stylistic origins: Psychedelic rock, European classical music and British blues Late 1960s United Kingdom Guitar - Bass - Drums
Cultural origins: Typical instruments: Mainstream popularity:
Extensively followed by dedicated fans throughout the world.
Avant garde metal - Black metal - Classic metal - Death metal - Doom metal - Folk metal - Glam metal - Gothic metal - Groove metal- Hair Metal - Neo-classical metal Power metal - Progressive metal - Speed Metal - Thrash metal
Alternative metal - Christian metal - Funk metal Grindcore - Industrial metal - Metalcore - Nu metal Rapcore - Stoner metal - Symphonic metal - Vedic metal
Gothenburg - Britain - Bay Area - Florida
Fashion - History - Bands - Umlaut
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that emerged as a defined musical style in the 1970s, having its roots in hard rock bands which, between 1967 and 1974, mixed blues and rock to create a hybrid with a thick, heavy, guitar-and-drums-centered sound, characterised by the use of highly-amplified distortion. Out of heavy metal various subgenres later evolved, many of which are referred to simply as "metal". As
a result, "heavy metal" now has two distinct meanings: either the genre as a whole or traditional heavy metal in the 1970s style, as exemplified by the likes of Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Vanilla Fudge and others. Heavy metal began gaining popularity in the 1970's and 80's, at which time many of the now existing subgenres first evolved. Heavy metal has a large world-wide following of fans known by terms such as metalheads and headbangers.
Heavy metal is typically characterized by a distorted guitar-led sound, straightforward rhythms, and classical or symphonic styles. However, heavy metal subgenres have their own stylistic variations on the original form that often omit many of these characteristics. According to Allmusic.com, "Of all rock & roll's myriad forms, heavy metal is the most extreme in terms of volume, machismo, and theatricality. There are numerous stylistic variations on heavy metal's sound, but they are all tied together by a reliance on loud, distorted guitars and simple, pounding rhythms."
The most commonly used line-up for metal is a drummer, a bassist, a rhythm guitarist, a lead guitarist, and a singer (who may or may not be an instrumentalist). Keyboards are used in some styles of heavy metal and shunned by others, although as different subgenres develop they have become increasingly popular. The guitar, however, is the key element in heavy metal. Distortion of the guitar sound is used to create a powerful, 'heavy' sound. Some of the original heavy metallers joke--much like punk rockers--that their simplified sound was more the result of limited ability than of innovation. Later, more intricate solos and riffs became a big part of heavy metal music. Guitarists use sweep-picking, tapping and other advanced techniques for rapid playing, and many sub-genres praise virtuosity over simplicity. Also, as technology has developed, new ways of altering the guitar's sound have been adopted. Metal vocals vary widely in style. Vocalists' abilities and styles range from the multioctave operatic vocals of Judas Priest's Rob Halford and the singing of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, to the intentionally gruff vocals of Lemmy Kilmister from the band Motörhead. In terms of the live sound, volume is often considered as important as anything. Following the lead set by The Who and Jimi Hendrix, early Heavy Metal bands set new benchmarks for sound volume during shows. Tony Iommi, guitarist in Heavy Metal pioneers Black Sabbath, is just one of the early Heavy Metal musicians to suffer considerable hearing loss due to their live volume. Detroit rocker Ted Nugent (who rejects the term "heavy metal" to describe his music) and The Who (who once held the distinction of "The World's Loudest Band" in the Guinness Book Of World Records) guitarist Pete Townshend are nearly deaf. Canada's Eudoxis are credited as having the longest and loudest bass drums (six feet long), which proves that size does matter. Heavy Metal's volume fixation was mocked in the rockumentary spoof This Is
Spinal Tap by guitarist "Nigel Tufnel", who revealed that his Marshall amplifiers had been modified to "go to eleven."
As with much popular music, visuals and images are integral to metal. Album covers and stage shows are almost as important to the presentation of the material as the music itself, although they seldom exceed the actual music in priority. Thus, through heavy metal, many artists collaborate to produce a menu of experiences in each piece —offering a wider range of experiences to the audience. In this respect, heavy metal becomes perhaps more of a diverse art form than any single form dominated by one method of expression. Whereas a painting is experienced visually, a symphony experienced audibly, a heavy metal band's "image" and the common theme that binds all their music is expressed in the artwork on the album, the set of the stage, the tone of the lyrics, and the clothes of the band, in addition to the sound of the music. Rock historians tend to find that the influence of Western pop music gives heavy metal its escape-from-reality fantasy side, as an escape from reality through outlandish and fantastic lyrics—while African American blues gives heavy metal its naked reality side, focusing on loss, depression and loneliness. Heavy metal has a relationship with spiritual issues in both symbol and music theory, as heavy metal chords and harmonies emphasize the use of open fifths—drawing ironic parallels to harmony changes in Christian Sacred Harp singing. If the audio and thematic components of heavy metal are predominantly bluesinfluenced reality, then the visual component is predominantly pop-influenced fantasy. The themes of darkness, evil, power and apocalypse are fantastic language components for addressing the reality of life's problems. In reaction to the "peace and love" hippie culture of the 1960s, heavy metal developed as a counterculture, where light is supplanted by darkness and the happy ending of pop is replaced by the naked reality that things do not always work out in this world. Whilst fans claim that the medium of darkness is not the message, critics have accused the genre of glorifying the negative aspects of reality.
Metallica's debut album Kill 'em All Heavy metal themes are typically more grave than the generally airy pop from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s—focusing on war, nuclear annihilation, environmental issues, and political or religious propaganda. Black Sabbath's "War Pigs", Ozzy Osbourne's "Killer of Giants",Metallica's "...And Justice for All (album)" (as well as
Power metal bands. metal musicians who borrowed the technique and rhetoric of art music were not attempting to be classical musicians. Edward Van Halen's solo cadenza "Eruption" (released on Van Halen's first album in 1978) marks an important moment in the development of virtuosity in metal. which do not leave much room for complex shades of grey. Rhoads quite earnestly took up the "learned" study of musical theory and helped to solidify the minor industry of guitar pedagogy magazines (such as Guitar for the Practicing Musician) that grew up during the decade. Classical influence Ozzy Osbourne — The Blizzard of Ozz The appropriation of classical music by heavy metal typically includes the influence of Bach and Paganini. Like many other metal guitarists in the 1980s. often resulting in comical bravado or jingoism. believe metal should be inspiring and upbeat music. hope and despair. For example. In most instances. rather than Mozart or Franz Liszt. and Iron Maiden's "2 Minutes to Midnight" are examples of serious contributions to the discussion of the state of affairs. . Though Deep Purple/Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore had been experimenting with musical figurations borrowed from classical music since the early 1970s. Following Van Halen. (An exception can arguably be found in Yngwie Malmsteen. "Mr." (1981) by Ozzy Osbourne and guitarist Randy Rhoads. most notably Manowar. or good and evil. whose lyrical and musical tones are often bombastic and optimistic. however. For the introduction to 1982's "Diary of a Madman". Indeed. are one exception to the dark stereotype.their "Disposable Heroes"). Many power metal fans and bands. the late Baroque era of Western art music was also frequently interpreted through a gothic lens. uses both a pipe organ-like synthesizer and Baroque-inspired guitar solos to create a particular mood for Osbourne's lyrics on the legendary occultist Aleister Crowley. though many argue that his music relies more on virtuosity and the use of classical-sounding elements such as the harmonic minor scale to appear classical without actually being classical). the "classical" influence in metal guitar during the 1980s actually looked to the early eigtheenth century for its model of speed and technique. Crowley. Rhoads borrowed heavily from Cuban classical guitar composer Leo Brouwer's "Etude #6". The commentary on reality sometimes tends to become over-simplified because the fantastic poetic vocabulary of metal deals primarily with clear dichotomies of light and dark.
As heavy metal uses apocalyptic themes and images of power and darkness. In his 1962 novel. The term had been used for centuries in chemistry and metallurgy and is listed as such in the Oxford English Dictionary. and Palmer and Yes had already explored this relationship before heavy metal evolved. by Iron Maiden. An excellent example of this is the theme album. the 1977 Rush album A Farewell to Kings features the twelve-minute "Xanadu. The cover is of a dramatic Egyptian pyramid scene and many of the songs on the album have subject matter that requires a sound suggestive of life and death." Progressive rock bands such as Emerson. Burroughs." based on the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. History The term "heavy metal" Cover from Led Zeppelin. However. including a song entitled "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The album greatly influenced many heavy metal musicians The origin of the term heavy metal in relation to a form of music is uncertain. he introduces the character "Uranian Willy. Bach could write musical equivalents of verbal ideas. His next . Lake. An early use of the term in modern popular culture was by counter-culture writer William S.Iron Maiden — Powerslave The Encarta encyclopedia claims that "when a text was associated with the music. the ability to translate verbal ideas into musical ideas that successfully convey the ideas of the words is critical to heavy metal authenticity and credibility. The Soft Machine. the Heavy Metal Kid"." also inspired by Coleridge and predating the Iron Maiden composition by several years. Bassist Steve Harris has also cited progressive rock bands such as Rush and Yes as influences on his own considerable talents. Powerslave.
The fact that Led Zeppelin (whose moniker came partly in reference to Keith Moon's jest that they would "go down like a lead balloon") incorporated a heavy metal into its name may have sealed the usage of the term. some people suggest that the term Heavy Metal may have some relation to such activity. William S. In the late 1960s. Iron Butterfly's 1968 debut album was entitled Heavy. more specifically designating what the mood would be. heavy metal being a metaphor for addictive drugs. 112 Given the publication dates of these works it is unlikely that Burroughs had any intent to relate the term to rock music.. New York: Grove Press. indeed. develops this theme further. and Black Sabbath). claims to have been the first person to apply the term "heavy metal" to rock music in 1970. more amplified variations of standard pop fare—were already common. in an interview on the PBS TV programme "Rock and Roll" in 1995. however.. Birmingham. Sandy Pearlman. Nova Express. Burroughs' writing may have influenced later usage of the term. "Iron. "The History of Heavy Metal. p. 8): "I like smoke and lightning Heavy metal thunder Racin' with the wind And the feelin' that I'm under" The book.it [heavy metal] was a term originated in a New York Times article reviewing a Jimi . and metal. such as Led Zeppelin. A widespread but disputed hypothesis about the origin of the genre was brought forth by "Chas" Chandler. The word "heavy" (meaning serious or profound) had entered beatnik/counterculture slang some time earlier and references to "heavy music"—typically slower.novel in 1964. p. original producer..light. "With their diseases and orgasm drugs and their sexless parasite life forms — Heavy Metal People of Uranus wrapped in cool blue mist of vaporized bank notes — And the Insect People of Minraud with metal music" Burroughs. The Move.symbolic of something heavy as in sound. Butterfly. appealing and versatile." states the name as a take from "hippiespeak. The first use of the term "heavy metal" in a song lyric is the words "heavy metal thunder" in the 1968 Steppenwolf song "Born to be Wild" (Walser 1993. who was a manager of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1969. England was still a centre of industry and (given the many rock bands that evolved in and around the city. Biographies of The Move have claimed that the sound came from their 'heavy' guitar riffs that were popular amongst the 'metal midlands'." heavy meaning anything with a potent mood. Iron Butterfly first started playing Los Angeles in 1967. manager and songwriter for Blue Öyster Cult. grinding and weighted as metal. He states that ". Nova Express.an object that can be used freely in the imagination". (1964).. their name explained on an album cover.
similarly vocalists modified their technique and increased their reliance on amplification." and claims the author described the Jimi Hendrix Experience "." The precise source of this claim. in a review of Sir Lord Baltimore's Kingdom Come. appears to be the May 1971 issue of Creem. who had origins in pop or progressive rock. such as Deep Purple. . often becoming more stylised and dramatic in the process. Simultaneous advances in amplification and recording technology made it possible to successfully capture the power of this heavier approach on record. Such powered-up blues music was encouraged by the intellectual and artistic experimentation that arose when musicians started to exploit the opportunities of the electrically amplified guitar to produce a louder and more dissonant sound. notably that of Elvis Presley).. already-established bands. Origins (1960s and early 1970s) Deep Purple — Machine Head. (Similar adaptations of blues and other race music had formed the basis of the earliest rock and roll. Other. immediately took on the heavy metal mantle. Where blues-rock drumming styles had been largely simple shuffle beats on small drum kits. adding distortion and additional amplification in a more aggressive approach. Heavy metal may have been used as a jibe initially by a number of music critics but was quickly adopted by its adherents. and amplified approach to match and be heard with the increasingly loud guitar sounds. bands like the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds had recorded covers of many classic blues songs. drummers began using a more muscular. sometimes speeding up the tempo and using electric guitar where the original used acoustic.. however. Creem critics David Marsh and Lester Bangs would subsequently use the term frequently in their writings in regards to bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.Hendrix performance. has not been found and its accuracy is disputed. In this review we are told that "Sir Lord Baltimore seems to have down pat most all the best heavy metal tricks in the book". One of the first quintessential heavy metal albums American blues music was highly popular and influential among the early British rockers. complex. The first well-documented usage of the term "heavy metal" referring to a style of music.like listening to heavy metal falling from the sky.
Also. featured most of the thematic. as well as earlier British rockers such as The Who and The Kinks. These bands were highly influenced by American psychedelic rock musicians including Jimi Hendrix. Other oft-cited influences include Vanilla Fudge. Deep . who had paved the way for heavy metal styles by introducing power chords and more aggressive percussion to the rock genre. heavy blues sounds were becoming common—many fans and scholars point to Blue Cheer's 1968 cover of Eddie Cochran's hit "Summertime Blues" as the first true heavy-metal song. Another key influence was Cream. as that employed a similar sound to that which Jimmy Page would employ with Led Zeppelin. Perhaps the earliest song that is clearly identifiable as prototype heavy metal is "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks (1965). Dave Edmunds' band Love Sculpture released an aggressive heavy guitar version of Khachaturian's Sabre Dance in November 1968. a dark mood and even Greg Lake's vocals were passed through a distortion box. However.Black Sabbath — Paranoid The earliest music commonly identified as heavy metal came out of the Birmingham area of the United Kingdom in the late 1960s when bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath applied an overtly non-traditional approach to blues standards and created new music often based on blues scales and arrangements. compositional. progressive rock band King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" from their debut album. leading some (especially British blues fans) to argue that Truth was the first heavy metal album. who had pioneered amplified and processed blues-rock guitar and acted as a bridge between black American music and white European rockers. The Yardbirds' 1968 single." should also be mentioned. "Think About It. Beatles scholars cite in particular the songs "Helter Skelter" from The White Album and the single version of "Revolution" (1968). In the Court of the Crimson King (1969). who had slowed down and psychedelicised pop tunes. it was the release of Led Zeppelin in 1969 that brought worldwide notice of the formation of a new genre. and musical characteristics of heavy metal—a very heavily distorted guitar tone and discordant soloing by Robert Fripp with lyrics that focused on what is wrong about what the 21st century human would be. who exemplified the power trio format that would become a staple of heavy metal. The Jeff Beck Group's album Truth (late 1968) was an important and influential rock album released just before Led Zeppelin's first album. The first heavy metal bands—Led Zeppelin. By late 1968. which set new standards for distortion and aggressive sound on a pop album.
Indeed. Beginning with Judas Priest. This has since spread throughout virtually all sub-genres of metal (some doom metal. Uriah Heep. Bands like Blue Öyster Cult achieved moderate mainstream success and the Los Angeles glam metal scene began finding pop audiences—especially in the 1980s. culminating in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal around the year 1980. but few would dispute that their song Aqualung was a quintessential early Heavy Metal song. Others still highlight the late-70s crossfertilization of heavy metal with fast-paced. the terms heavy metal and hard rock are often used interchangeably. Few would consider Jethro Tull a heavy metal band in any real sense. Sex Pistols). many such bands are not considered "heavy metal bands" per se. including Heavy Metal musicians of prominent groups. youthful punk rock (e. being the main exception) and along with an overriding sense of musicianship are the main contributions classical and jazz (via progressive rock) have made to the genre. among a few—are often now called hard rock bands by the modern metal community rather than heavy metal. instead focusing on the arrival of classical influences—which can be heard in the work of Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads and such like. but these bands are generally considered to be hard rock bands. believe that the foundations of the definite style and sound of pure heavy metal were laid down by NWOBHM band Judas Priest (another Birmingham band) with three of their early albums: Sad Wings Of Destiny (1976). for example. Others ignore or downplay the importance of these bands.g.Purple. especially those bands whose sound was more similar to traditional rock music. following in Black Sabbath's footsteps. Classic Heavy Metal (Late 1970s and early 1980s) Album by Van Halen The late 1970s and early 1980s history of heavy metal music is highly debated among music historians. Rainbow are also sometimes cited as pioneering a sort of pure heavy metal and one could also make this claim about the later albums of Deep Purple such as Burn and Stormbringer. UFO. These two in particular became very popular in the Heavy Metal movement. Sin After Sin (1977). Some followers. metal bands quickly began to look beyond the almost exclusive use of the blues scale to incorporate diatonic modes into their solos. and Black Sabbath. in particular when discussing the 1970s. and Stained Class (1978). . In general. led by bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. but rather as having contributed individual songs or works that contributed to the genre.
mostly due to the glam metal bands image. who may be the final and complete consummation of "pure" heavy metal in the lineage of the "grandfathers"—Jimi Hendrix. Led Zeppelin.The explosion of guitar virtuosity (pioneered by Jimi Hendrix a musical generation earlier) was brought to the fore by Eddie Van Halen—many consider his 1978 solo "Eruption" (Van Halen. Mötley Crüe and the first wave included groups such as Dokken.Richie Sambora. Mr. which fans of thrash metal (a fellow subgenre) generally saw as negative compared to their less eccentric look. (Bon Jovi) and Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth. and Black Sabbath. This scene was led by Van Halen. classical guitars and nylon-stringed guitars were played at heavy metal concerts. and in some cases. Bon Jovi. Deep Purple. Def Leppard. and others. Ritchie Blackmore (formerly of Deep Purple). At times even the likes of Dio and Judas Priest experimented with Glam Metal stylings in their music. Mainstream Dominance (1980s) Quiet Riot — Metal Health The most popular subgenre of Metal emerged in the United States. Whitesnake). Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen). The genres caused a divide in the metal community. Ratt. a common misconception was that glam metal bands were not technically proficient musicians. 1984 was a big year for Heavy Metal as Van Halen's Jump and Prince's Let's Go Crazy hit number 1 on the charts that year. 1990s. Big). and Quiet Riot) and Yngwie Malmsteen went on to solidify this explosion of virtuoso guitar work. Randy Rhoads (with pioneers Ozzy Osbourne. These two songs opened the flood gates for many more hit metal songs. Michael Angelo Batio (Nitro)." This explosion would cool down in the music of Ronnie James Dio (who himself had a tenure at lead vocals with the legendary Black Sabbath) and continue to settle towards Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. and 2000s) . Classical icons such as Liona Boyd also became associated with the heavy metal stars as peers in a newly diverse guitar fraternity where conservative and aggressive guitarists could come together to "trade licks. coming from glam metal bands of the 1980s the epicentre for this explosion was mostly in Los Angeles. Underground Metal (1980s. 1978) a milestone. even though this movement included some of the most critically acclaimed musicians in hard rock of their era such as Steve Vai (David Lee Roth.
especially in Europe. who enjoyed substantial mainstream acceptance and success in the glam metal era. in which Bathory (generally considered one of the first black metal acts although later deemed to be more in tune with Viking culture) and Mayhem were key players early on. too. a fusion of the progressive stylings of bands like Rush. Kreator and Sodom used harsher vocals and a generally more aggressive sound in a style that would later influence black and death metal. Progressive metal. Meanwhile an even harsher sound was coming from Europe. Metallica. off their influential "Seven Churches" album). and Slayer.Slayer — Reign in Blood Many subgenres of heavy metal developed in the 1980s. Keeping the anti-commercial mentality and intensity of heavy metal but focusing on upbeat and epic themes and catchy melodies. This subgenre was pioneered by the 'Big Four Of Thrash'. such as the buzz-saw vocals) and Denmark's Mercyful Fate who are often considered the originators of the Corpse Paint and Satanic and Pagan themes. Megadeth. evolved in an opposite direction from death metal and thrash. a more underground (at first) genre that took influences from Hardcore punk emerged—thrash metal. From the 80s and into the 90s power metal. Power metal usually involves high pitched 'clean singing' as opposed to death grunts and often contains keyboards or orchestration. The genre's sound was far more aggressive. King Crimson and traditional metal began in the '80s. New Jersey's Overkill and Brazil's Sepultura also making an impact. led by Possessed and Death. who themselves lacked most integral characteristics of the genre. Anthrax. In a shift away from metal's hard rock roots. behind innovators like Fates Warning and later Queensrÿche and Dream Theater. thrash began to split further into death metal (a term probably originating from Possessed's song "Death Metal". with an album called "Black Metal". as Germany's Destruction. louder and faster than the original metal bands or their glam metal contempories of the time. and black metal (a term coined by Venom. Alternative Metal/Nu Metal (1990s and 2000s) . In the early and mid 1980s. with bands like San Francisco's Testament.
These newer bands are sometimes labeled alternative metal. Deftones.Ozzfest poster (1998). This time around. Some see this style as nu metal's successor. the music had a much more aggressive feel than most of the mainstream metal of the 1980s. Tool. Slipknot. Ozzfest has had many metalcore bands playing at the festival and has helped the genre gain much popularity. System of a Down. In some cases. bands also fused traditional elements with electronic beats and samples as well as the conventions and attitude of alternative rock. As the 1990s progressed metal began to make a comeback. often levy these criticisms against nu metal. such as funeral doom and brutal death metal. Ozzy Osbourne. whilst others believe that it will become popular and fashionable in the same way as nu metal. The era of metal dominating the mainsteam came to an end with the emergence of Nirvana and other grunge bands that signaled the popular breakthrough of alternative rock. Fans of extreme metal. Rob Zombie. Later. Korn. Heavy metal's comeback was solidified with the arrival of Ozzfest in 1996. Motörhead appeared among others. Still more subgenres began to appear. drawing on existing heavy metal subgenres. In recent years. Dimmu Borgir and many more. Osbourne grew even more famous when he and his family starred in a reality TV show called The Osbournes. Tool. Some of these bands were grouped under the heading nu metal in order to signify a new wave of metal music. Cultural impact . Disturbed. Megadeth. Many well-known metal bands played at Ozzfest. which itself is debated by purists as to whether it is metal or not in the conventional sense. Godsmack. a touring music festival hosted by heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne. Queens of the Stone Age. System of a Down. Much debate has arisen over the genre's massive success and whether or not it is metal in a conventional sense. including Marilyn Manson.
Related styles Hard rock. most famously in the film This Is Spinal Tap (see also the phenomenon of the heavy metal umlaut). and a theatrical image. This is perhaps best examplified by The Who in the late1960s and early-1970s. past. and Alice Cooper are among the more popular standard examples of this sub-genre. T. its themes and execution differ from that of the major heavy metal bands listed earlier in this article. That band is Lordi with the song Hard Rock Hallelujah from Finland. relied on heavy.P. Aerosmith. anthemic songs. public perception thinks of as being promoted by the music and its occasional anti-religious sentiments. the fan base for heavy metal consists primarily of white males in their teens and 20s—many of whom are attracted to heavy metal's overtly anti-social yet fantastical lyrics and extreme volume and tempos. morbid music emerged. KISS. Rex. for the first time in the contest's history. is closely related to heavy metal (and often the terms overlap in usage). Eurovision On Eurovision 2006 a heavy metal band won the first place. Hence. During the 1970s and 1980s. AC/DC. One popular contention during that period was that heavy metal albums featured hidden messages urging listeners to worship the Devil or to commit suicide (see Judas Priest and backward message and Allegations of Satanism in popular culture). exemplified by glam metal. Another example is . Some cross-influence has occurred between punk rock. present and future were banned in 2001. for example. Mötley Crüe. the stereotype of the adolescent headbanger venting his rebellious urges by listening to presposterously loud. and Scorpions. led to accusations of "Satanic" influences in heavy metal by fundamentalist Christians. Many heavy metal stylings have made their way into everyday (albeit ironic) use.. David Bowie. Glam rock.The loud. the "devil horns" hand sign popularized by Ronnie James Dio and Gene Simmons has become a common sight at many rock concerts. Mercyful Fate. Iron Maiden. confrontational aspects of heavy metal have led to friction between fans and mainstream society in many countries. hardcore punk and heavy metal.S. In Europe and America. as well as other 1970s and 1980s bands like Queen who have had a large influence on heavy metal music. some heavy metal as a sub-culture has come under attack in many Christian and Islamic countries where even wearing a black T-shirt can be an arrestable offense. but it does not always match the description of what purists consider the definition of heavy metal. Ozzy Osbourne. a short-lived era in the early 1970s. have often been parodied. Thin Lizzy." Heavy metal's bombastic excesses. KISS. This image has been highlighted in popular culture with such television shows and movies as "Beavis and Butt-head" and "Airheads. In Jordan.A. While still guitar-driven in nature and usually riff-based. crunchy guitars. all Metallica albums. Led Zeppelin. flirtation with occult themes by artists such as Black Sabbath. and W. Punk rock was influential on the NWOBHM movement. mentioned earlier. Due to the hedonistic nature. for instance.
referring to music produced in. encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. the band's leader Lemmy. for adherents to this approach. spent time in punk band The Damned and attempted to teach Sid Vicious how to play bass guitar. focusing on what is known as the common practice period. and various hand gestures such as devil horns. developed between 1550 and 1820. including headbanging. According to this system. but crowd surfing and moshing are most popular today European classical music History of European art music Medieval Renaissance Baroque Classical Romantic 20th century Contemporary classical music (476 – 1400) (1400 – 1600) (1600 – 1760) (1730 – 1820) (1815 – 1910) (1900 – 2000) Classical music is a broad. musical works are best understood in the context of their place in musical history. Heavy metal dance Although some heavy metal fans would disagree with the term "dance. The term classical music did not appear until the early 19th century. according to one school of thought. the major time divisions are: . moshing. architecture and art of classical antiquity (from which no music has directly survived). Since that time the term has come in common parlance to mean the opposite of popular music. and crowd surfing are also practiced. There is a widely accepted system of dividing the history of classical music composition into stylistic periods. somewhat imprecise term.Motörhead." there are certain body movements that are nearly universal in the metal world. The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1836. this is essential to full enjoyment of these works. Stage diving. ecclesiastical and concert music. The central norms of this tradition. Timeline According to one school of thought. or rooted in the traditions of. air guitar. European art. in an attempt to "canonize" the period from Bach to Beethoven as an era in music parallel to the golden age of sculpture.
that Modernism represents the rejection or negation of the method of Classical composition. counterpoint. the classical era is marked by the disappearance of the harpsichord and the clavichord in favour of the piano. which from then on would become the predominant instrument for keyboard performance and composition. Monophonic chant. was continued by Mozart. 1815–1910 a period which codified practice. Modern. Polyphonic (multivoiced) music developed from monophonic chant throughout the late Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. about 1600–1750. 1905-1985 a period which represented a crisis in the values of classical music and its role within intellectual life. Some authorities subdivide the periods further by date or style. . was the dominant form until about 1100. Prokofiev's Classical Symphony is considered a Neo-Classical composition. The term contemporary music is sometimes used to describe music composed in the late 20th century through present day. Renaissance. Classical. Some theorists. or modern. presentation and style. generally before 1450. the use of counterpoint and fugue. The dates are generalizations. about 1730–1820. rather than modal. 20th century. and growing popularity of keyboard music (harpsichord and pipe organ). since the periods overlapped. expanded the role of music in cultural life and created institutions for the teaching. which includes late Romantic. Also. also called plainsong or Gregorian Chant. such as Arnold Schoenberg in his essay "Brahms the Progressive. it should be noted that these categories are to an extent arbitrary. Baroque. However. characterized by greater use of instrumentation. by Beethoven who is often described as straddling the Classical and Romantic periods.the music generally before the year 476. romantic. multiple melodic lines and by the use of the first bass instruments. Medieval. usually used to describe the wide variety of post-Romantic styles composed through the year 2000. performance and preservation of works of music. which is considered characteristic of the Baroque era. an important era which established many of the norms of composition. the approximate time of the fall of the Roman Empire." insist that Modernism represents a logical progression from 19th century trends in composition. and Brahms. such as classical. about 1450–1600. who is generally classified as typical of the Classical period. characterized by the use of complex tonal. Modern and Post-Modern styles of composition. So for example. who is often classified as Romantic.• • • • • • • • • • Ancient music . others hold the opposing point of view. Most of the extant music from this period is from ancient Greece. Romantic. and the extension of theory and technique. The prefix neo is usually used to describe a 20th Century or Contemporary composition written in the style of an earlier period.
the term is usually capitalized to avoid confusion. a different meaning of the term classical music is occasionally used: it designates music from a period in musical history covering approximately Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach to Beethoven—roughly. as opposed to being transmitted orally. by rote. or in recordings. a piece of classical music is generally held to transcend any interpretation of it.This chart shows a selection of the most famous classical composers. For a more complete overview see Graphical timeline for classical composers Classical music as "music of the classical era" In music history. The nature of classical music Classical music is primarily a written musical tradition. 1730–1820. While there are differences between particular performances of a classical work. preserved in music notation. The use of musical . When used in this sense.
so that the mind of the listener consciously or unconsciously compares the different versions. Classical music is meant to be experienced for its own sake. The classical genres of sonata form and fugue employ rigorous forms of musical development. even if they do not compose themselves. Mozart and Beethoven sometimes improvised the cadenzas to their piano concertos (and thereby encouraged others to do so). and the accumulated body of historic performance practices. Yet the opposite trend—admiration of performers for new "interpretations" of the composer's work—can be seen. and the intellectual means by which it is achieved. The written score. in sharp contrast to traditions like jazz. During the Classical period. Thus. Classical music concerts often take place in a relatively solemn atmosphere. their knowledge of the work's idiom. and the audience is usually expected to stay quiet and still to avoid distracting the concentration of other audience members. along with the veneration bestowed on certain classical works. classical music performers often achieve very high reputations for their musicianship. (See also History of sonata form) Another consequence of the primacy of the composer's written score is that improvisation plays a relatively minor role in classical music. . Private readings of chamber music may take place at more informal domestic occasions. idea or motif is repeated in different contexts. or in altered form. The performers often dress formally. Classical composers often aspire to imbue their music with a very complex relationship between its affective (emotional) content. unlike music that serves as an adjunct to other forms of entertainment (although orchestral film music is occasionally treated as classical music). who are guided by their personal experience and musical education. apart from directions for dynamics and tempo. this is left to the discretion of the performers. has led to the expectation that performers will play a work in a way that realizes in detail the original intentions of the composer. Indeed. however. Many of the most esteemed works of classical music make use of musical development. deviations from the composer's instructions are sometimes condemned as outright ethical lapses. concert music. does not usually contain explicit instructions as to how to interpret the piece. Art music. and recently the performance of such music by modern classical musicians has been enriched by a revival of the old improvisational practices. the process by which a musical germ. Its written transmission. and orchestral music are terms sometimes used as synonyms of classical music. During the 19th century the details that composers put in their scores generally increased. but they also provided written cadenzas for use by other soloists.notation is an effective method for transmitting classical music. Improvisation in classical music performance was far more common during the Baroque era than in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. a practice which is taken as a gesture of respect for the music and the audience. and performers do not normally engage in direct involvement or casual banter with the audience. where improvisation is central. since the written music contains the technical instructions for performing the work. and it is not unknown for a composer to praise a performer for achieving a better realization of the composer's original intent than the composer was able to imagine.
and codified in the 18th and 19th centuries. They consist of the instruments found in an orchestra. hurdy-gurdy and . In Medieval Music. Electric instruments such as the electric guitar and electric violin play a prominent role in popular music. and the Japanese practice of performing it to observe the New Year. which expresses something universal about the human condition. instruments are divided in two categories: loud instruments for use outdoors or in church. and quieter instruments for indoor use. but of course play no role in classical music before the twentieth century. Also. some composers. polyphony and sophisticated harmony. Schenkerian analysis is a branch of music theory which attempts to distinguish these structural levels. variation rather than exact repetition. classical music often aspires to communicate a transcendent quality of emotion. electric and digital techniques such as the use of sampled or computer-generated sounds. Ode to Joy in his 9th symphony. and organ). and movements. However. Instruments Classical and popular music are often distinguished by their choice of instruments. None of the bass instruments existed until the Renaissance. counterpoint. as in Leonard Bernstein's famously performing the work to mark the collapse of the Berlin Wall.Complexity Classical works often display great musical complexity through the composer's use of development. sections. for instance Beethoven's setting of Friedrich Schiller's poem. much earlier). harpsichord. and only appear occasionally in the classical music of the 20th and 21st centuries. modulation (changing of keys). Many instruments which are associated today with popular music used to have important roles in early classical music. periods. and the sounds of instruments from other cultures such as the gamelan. this deeper exploration of emotion arguably allows the best classical music to reach what has been called the "sublime" in art. which is often performed at occasions of national liberation or celebration. many long classical works (from 30 minutes to three hours) are built up from a hierarchy of smaller units: namely phrases. musical phrases that are not of even length. The instruments used in common practice classical music were mostly invented before the mid-19th century (often. Both classical and popular musicians have experimented in recent decades with electronic instruments such as the synthesizer. together with a few other solo instruments (such as the piano. such as Iannis Xenakis. such as bagpipes. Many examples often cited in support of this. While emotional expression is not a property exclusive to classical music. vilhuela. Emotional content As with many forms of fine art. argue that the emotional effect of music on the listeners is arbitrary and therefore the objective complexity or informational content of the piece is paramount.
particularly the opening "O Fortuna" of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. either in advertising or in the soundtracks of movies made for entertainment). Examples include occasional music such as Brahms' use of student drinking songs in his Academic Festival Overture. while music by many of Bach's contemporaries. Durability One criterion that might be said to distinguish works of the classical musical canon is its cultural durability. genres exemplfied by Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera. several loud. others have simply mined folk music for thematic material. Classical music and folk music Composers of classical music have often made use of folk music (music created by untutored musicians. In fact. and is rarely performed. popular music. which used to be associated mainly with popular music. On the other hand. Influences between classical and popular music Classical music has always been influenced by. often from a purely oral tradition). including popular songs based on classical music. since it brings orchestral music to vast audiences of moviegoers who might otherwise never choose to listen to such music (albeit for the most part unconsciously). and the influence of jazz on early. See: European Classical Composers Noted for Use of Folk Music Commercial uses of classical music Certain staples of classical music are often used commercially (that is. There are also many examples of influence flowing the other way. for example. where classical musicians have achieved success in the popular music arena (one notable example is the "Hooked on Classics" series of recordings made by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the early 1980s). Bach (1685–1750) continue to be widely performed and highly regarded. has gained prominence in classical music through the 19th and 20th centuries. it could be argued that the entire genre of film music could be considered part of this influence as well. while equal temperament became gradually accepted as the dominant musical tuning during the 19th century. different historical temperaments are often used for music from earlier periods. or taken material from. this is not a distinguishing mark of all classical music: works by J. and the musical crossover phenomenon.and mid-twentieth century composers including Maurice Ravel. However. bombastically rhythmic orchestral passages have become cliches. is deemed mediocre. the use to which Pachelbel's Canon has been put since the 1970s.some woodwind instruments. the acoustic guitar. Finally. S. music of the English Renaissance is often performed in mean tone temperament. other . while undoubtedly "classical". For instance. Certain postmodern and postminimalist classical composers acknowledge a debt to popular music. In television commercials. Some have done so with an explicit nationalist ideology.
a heavy metal-style solid body guitar.000 a year to provide every child born in Georgia with a tape or CD of classical music. Classical music in education Throughout history. One of the original researchers commented "I don't think it can hurt. Right: Maton Freshman. Florida passed a law requiring toddlers in state-run schools to listen to classical music every day. Similarly. . a hollow body electric guitar. I'm all for exposing children to wonderful cultural experiences.examples in the same vein are the Dies Irae from the Verdi Requiem. Some parents pursue music lessons for their children for social reasons or in an effort to instill a useful sense of self-discipline. any musical instrument is practically impossible to learn to play at a professional level if not learned in childhood. parents have often made sure that their children receive classical music training from a young age. But I do think the money could be better spent on music education programs." Promoters marketed CDs claimed to induce the effect. lessons have also been shown to increase academic performance. Some consider that a degree of knowledge of important works of classical music is part of a good general education. The 1990s marked the emergence in the United States of research papers and popular books on the so-called Mozart effect: a temporary." Electric guitar Left: Rosa Hurricane. and excerpts of Aaron Copland's "Rodeo". small elevation of scores on certain tests as a result of listening to Mozart. The popularized version of the controversial theory was expressed succinctly by a New York Times music columnist: "researchers have determined that listening to Mozart actually makes you smarter. movies often revert to standard. Early experience with music provides the basis for more serious study later. and in 1998 the governor of Georgia budgeted $105. For those who desire to become performers. cliched snatches of classical music to represent refinement or opulence: probably the most-often heard piece in this category is Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
sometimes called semi-acoustic. o Thin hollow body guitars. There are two main types of electric guitar: • • Hollow body electric guitars. Some of the earliest electric guitars used tungsten pickups and were manufactured in the 1930s by Rickenbacker. country music. Solid body guitars. without resonating airspaces within it. and themselves of two types: o Archtop electric guitars with a full sound box. History The popularity of the electric guitar began with the big band era because amplified instruments became necessary to compete with the loud volumes of the large brass sections common to jazz orchestras of the thirties and forties.An electric guitar is a type of guitar that utilizes electronic pickups to convert the vibration of its steel-cored strings into electrical current. Early years Electric guitars were originally designed by an assortment of luthiers. The signal may be electrically altered to achieve various tonal effects prior to being fed into an amplifier. Some acoustic guitars are fitted with pickups purely as an alternative to using a microphone. are normally not considered electric guitars but rather as a separate instrument. The electric guitar is used extensively in many popular styles of music. This distinction has important consequences on claims of priority in the history of the electric guitar. rock and roll. a guitar made of solid wood. including blues. and the line hard to draw. which produces the final sound which can be either an electrical sound or an acoustic sound. although they are also electric instruments descended from the guitar. and instrument manufacturers. Specialised steel guitars. It's distinctive sound and intimate association with many legendary internationally-famous musicians has made it the signature instrument of late twentieth-century music. but are regarded as acoustic rather than electric guitars. One of the first solid body electric guitars was built by musician and inventor Les . electric guitars consisted primarily of hollow archtop acoustic guitar bodies to which electromagnetic transducers had been attached. The version of the instrument that is most well known today is the [solid body] electric guitar. in varying combinations. These are also sometimes called semi-acoustic. electronics enthusiasts. The electric guitar was first made famous in performance by jazz legend Charlie Christian. The terminology is not generally agreed. jazz. and sometimes acoustic electric. pop music. Initially. rap and even contemporary classical music. Distortion pedals can change the sound that is emitted from the amplifier.
which was initially named the Broadcaster. thus beginning a confusion of the terms that still continues). electronics and instrument amplifier maker Leo Fender.' At least one company. However. had only the bridge pickup. 21-fret neck attached to the body with four-bolts reinforced by a steel neckplate. introduced in 1951. David Gilmour. designed the first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar. when research through old trade publications and with surviving luthiers and their families revealed many other prototypes. two Swedish hollow body halves attached to the sides. Features of the . reportedly sounded quite modern and aggressive. the Esquire. In apparent response to the Telecaster. In 1954 Fender introduced the Stratocaster. designed at least in part with input from Les Paul. through his eponymous company. when tested by vintage guitar researcher John Teagle. Pink Floyd's guitarist. built and may have offered an electric solid-body as early as the mid-1930s. The Stratocaster has become the most-recognizable and most copied electric guitar design ever. Due to the Broadcaster trademark issue. the earliest Telecasters were delivered with headstock decals with the Fender logo but no model identification. A black bakelite pickguard concealed body routings for pickups and wiring. the Gretsch company had a drumset by the same name (Broadkaster). Features of the Telecaster included an ash body. or "Strat". pickup selector switch. like many guitar manufacturers. and an output jack mounted on the side of the body. Audiovox. which was positioned as a deluxe model and offered various product improvements and innovations over the Telecaster. and previously rejected Les Paul and his "log" electric in the 1940s. Gibson Gibson. and are commonly referred to by collectors as "Nocasters". A variant of the Telecaster. a maple 25½" scale. three single-coil pickups. two single-coil.Paul in the early 1940s. Rickenbacher. had long offered semi-acoustic guitars with pickups. His "log" guitar (so called because it consisted of a simple 4x4 wood post with a neck attached to it. Fender In 1950 and 1951. and body comfort contours. owns one of the first Fender Stratocasters ever made. choosing Telecaster in homage to the new phenomenon of television. and homemade pickups and hardware) was generally considered to be the first of its kind until recently. with tone and volume controls. as well as simple repair or replacement. The bolt-on neck was consistent with Leo Fender's belief that the instrument design should be modular to allow cost-effective and consistent manufacture and assembly. These innovations included an ash or alder double-cutaway body design for badge assembly with an integrated vibrato mechanism (called a synchronized tremolo by Fender. 6-pole pickups (bridge and neck positions). Gibson introduced the first Gibson Les Paul solid body guitar in 1952. Leo Fender is also credited with developing the first commercially-successful electric bass called the Fender Precision Bass. later spelled Rickenbacker (both are pronounced Rickenbocker) offered a solid Bakelite electric guitar beginning in 1935 that. so Fender was forced to change the name. working after hours in the Gibson Guitar factory. and even limited production models that fit our modern conception of an 'electric guitar.
Les Paul included a mahogany body with a carved maple top (much like a violin) and contrasting edge binding, two single-coil "soapbar" pickups, a 24¾" scale mahogany neck with a more traditional glued-in "set" neck joint, binding on the edges of the fret board, and a tilt-back headstock with three tuners to a side. The earliest models had a combination bridge and trapeze-tailpiece design that was deemed unsuitable by Les Paul himself. Gibson then developed the Tune-o-Matic bridge and separate stop tailpiece, an adjustable non-vibrato design that has endured. By 1957, Gibson had made the final major change to the Les Paul as we know it today - the humbucking pickup, or humbucker. The humbucker, invented by Seth Lover, was a dual-coil pickup which produced a distinctive tone but also offered the advantage of elimination of the 60-cycle hum associated with single-coil pickups.The more traditionally designed and styled Gibson solid-body instruments were a contrast to Leo Fender's modular designs, with the most notable differentiator being the method of neck attachment and the scale of the neck (Gibson-24.75", Fender-25.5"). Each design has it own merits. To this day, the basic design of nearly every solid-body electric guitar available today echoes the features of early 1950s originals - the Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster, and the Gibson Les Paul.
Types of electric guitar
Most electric guitars are fitted with six strings and are usually tuned from low to high E - A - D - G - B - E, the same as an acoustic guitar, although many guitarists occasionally tune their instruments in a different way, including "dropped D", various transposed and open chord tunings, usually to simplify fretting of some chord inversions in a certain key. Some guitarists also tune to very low tunings, almost 4 whole steps down from E - A - D - G - B - E. Seven-string models exist, most of which add a low B string below the E. Seven-string guitars were popularized by Steve Vai and others in the '80s, and have been recently revived by some nu metal bands. Jazz guitarists using a seven-string include veteran jazzman Bucky Pizzarelli and his popular son John Pizzarelli. There are even eight-string electric guitars, such as the one played by Charlie Hunter (manufactured by Novax Guitars), but they are extremely unusual. The largest manufacturer of 8- to 14-strings is Warr Guitars. Their models are used by Trey Gunn(of King Crimson) who has his own signature line from the company. Jimmy Page, an innovator of hard rock, used and made famous custom Gibson electric guitars with two necks - essentially two instruments in one; in his case, a 6string and 12-string guitar, to replicate his use of two different guitars when playing live "Stairway to Heaven" so that he didn't have to pause to switch from one section to another. These are commonly known as double-neck (or, less commonly, "twinneck") guitars. The purpose is to obtain different ranges of sound from each instrument; typical combinations are six-string and four-string (guitar and bass guitar) or, more commonly, a six-string and twelve-string. Such a combination may come handy when playing ballads live, where the 12-string gives a mellower sound as accompaniment, while the 6-string may be used for a guitar solo. English progressive rock bands such as Genesis took this trend to its zenith using custom made instruments produced by the Shergold company. Rick Nielsen, guitarist for Cheap Trick, uses a variety of custom guitars, many of which have five necks - more for comic effect than for actual usefulness. Guitar virtuoso Steve Vai occasionally uses a
triple-neck guitar; one neck is twelve string, one is six string and the third is a fretless six string.
Detail of a Squier-made Fender Stratocaster. Note the tremolo arm, the 3 single-coil pickups, the volume and tone knobs. Some electric guitars have a tremolo arm or whammy bar, which is a lever attached to the bridge that can slacken or tighten the strings temporarily, changing the pitch or creating a vibrato. Tremolo properly refers to a quick variation of volume, not pitch; however, the misnaming (probably originating with Leo Fender printing "Synchronized Tremolo" right on the headstock of his original 1954 Stratocaster) is probably too established to change. Eddie Van Halen often uses this feature to embellish his playing, as heard in Van Halen's "Eruption". Early tremolo systems tended to cause the guitar to go out of tune with extended use; an important innovator in this field was Floyd Rose, who introduced one of the first improvements on the vibrato system in many years when in the late 1970s he began to experiment with "locking" nuts and bridges which work to prevent the guitar from detuning even under the most heavy whammy bar acrobatics.
Electric guitars are not usually amplified by using a microphone, but with special pickups that sense the movement of strings. Such pickups tend to also pick up the ambient electrical noises of the room, the so-called "hum", with a strong 50 or 60 Hz component depending on the frequency used in the local power transmission system. Hum is annoying, especially when playing with distortion, so "humbucker" pickups were invented to counter this. Normal pickups are single-coil; humbuckers are essentially like twin microphones arranged in such a way that electrical noise cancels itself. A similar effect may be achieved using a guitar with multiple single coil pickups with an appropriate selection of dual pickups. (See main articles on pickups and humbuckers.) Another instrument, the pedal steel guitar, does not look like a guitar at all, but resembles a small rectangular table with one or more sets of strings on top. Country musician Junior Brown uses a custom-built instrument of his invention, the guit-steel, which has one neck that is a steel guitar, and one standard electric guitar neck.
The physical principle
The physics of electric guitars and other electric string instruments is fairly simple, since they are based on induced currents (see the electromagnetism article for more details).
Magnets are located under each string, which make the strings behave as magnets themselves. When a string is played, it oscillates at a certain frequency, causing the magnetic field it creates to oscillate with it. Solenoids (electromagnetic coils) are wrapped around each magnet, giving a periodic induced current (at the same frequency) .
Electric guitar sound and effects
Both the North America-built Godin LG (left) and the Fender Stratocaster (right - an entry-level, Korean-made Squier model is shown) are solidbody electric guitars, but they differ significantly in design, including scale length, neck and body woods, and pickup type. An acoustic guitar's sound is largely dependent on the vibration of the guitar's body and the air within it; the sound of an electric guitar is largely dependent on a magnetically induced electrical signal, generated by the vibration of metal strings near sensitive pickups. The signal is then shaped on its path to the amplifier. By the late 1960s, it became common practice to exploit this dependence to alter the sound of the instrument. The most dramatic innovation was the generation of distortion by increasing the gain, or volume, of the preamplifier in order to clip the electronic signal. This form of distortion generates harmonics, particularly in even multiples of the input frequency, which are considered pleasing to the ear. Beginning in the 1960s, the tonal palette of the electric guitar was further modified by introducing an effects box in its signal path. Traditionally built in a small metal chassis with an on/off foot switch, such "stomp boxes" have become as much a part of the instrument for many electric guitarists as the electric guitar itself. Typical effects include stereo chorus, fuzz, wah-wah and flanging, compression/sustain, delay, reverb, and phase shift. Some important innovators of this aspect of the electric guitar include guitarists Frank Zappa, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Brian May, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Jones, Jerry Garcia, David Gilmour, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Thurston Moore, Adam Jones, Daniel Ash, and Tom Morello, and technicians such as Roger Mayer.
These include Steven Mackey. and Refrains of Death (1968). Randall Woolf. and Michael Tippett's The Knot Garden (1966-70). Still. John Fitz Rogers. Although there are some obvious advantages to digital and software effects. as well as (much less frequently) classical music. in 2003 amp maker Line 6 released the Variax guitar. in some cases numbering up to 100 players. Morton Feldman's The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar (1966). Drones. eliminating cable-induced line noise. In 2002. Tim Brady. Lois V Vierk. in the 1950s a few contemporary classical composers began to use the electric guitar in their compositions. The American composers Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham have written "symphonic" works for large ensembles of electric guitars. Uses The electric guitar can be played either solo or with other instruments. a growing number of composers (many of them composerperformers who had grown up playing the instrument in rock bands) began writing for the instrument. Also. Examples of such works include Karlheinz Stockhausen's Gruppen (1955-1957). Tristan Murail. Some innovations have been made recently in the design of the electric guitar. The resulting digital signal is delivered over a standard Ethernet cable. to varying degrees of quality. like many electric and electronic instruments. Today anyone can transform his PC with sound card into a digital guitar effects processor. digital and software effects became capable of replicating the analog effects used in the past. and 1990s. Gibson announced the first digital guitar. For example it uses piezoelectric pickups instead of the conventional electro-magnetic ones. the electric guitar remains primarily associated with rock and jazz music. Omar Rodriquez.By the 1980s. and has an onboard computer capable of modifying the sound of the guitar to realistically model many popular guitars. Hans Werner Henze's Versuch über Schweine (1968). In the 1980s and 1990s. It has been used in numerous genres of popular music. It differs in some fundamental ways from conventional solid-body electrics. many guitarists still use analog effects for their real or perceived quality over their digital counterparts. Scott Johnson and Yngwie Malmsteen with his Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra. These new digital effects attempted to model the sound produced by analog effects and tube amps. George Crumb's Songs. Contemporary classical music While the classical guitar had historically been the only variety of guitar favored by classical composers. The guitar also provides independent signal processing for each individual string. rather than with classical compositions and performances. . There are many free to use guitar effects software for personal computer downloadable from the Internet. which performs analog-to-digital conversion internally.
Rich Dean Epiphone ESP Fender Gibson Gretsch Ibanez Jackson Johnson Peavey PRS Rickenbacker Schecter Squier Washburn Yamaha Godin .Common Brands • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • B.C.
There are also hollow-bodied acoustic bass guitars. Since the 1950s the electric bass has largely replaced the double bass in popular music as the instrument that provides the low-pitched bassline(s) and bass runs. Electric basses may be fretted or fretless. It is similar in appearance to an electric guitar but has a larger body. a longer neck and scale length. and.Bass guitar Martin EB18 Bass Guitar in flight case The electric bass guitar (also called electric bass or simply bass) is an electrically amplified plucked string instrument. four strings (compared to six on an electric guitar) tuned an octave lower in pitch. but fretted basses are far more common in most popular music settings. The electric . usually.
His Fender Precision Bass became a widely-copied industry standard. they were still variants of the double bass.  1930s: Fretted basses Subsequently. During the 1960s. Paul Tutmarc developed a guitar-style electric bass instrument that was fretted and designed to be held and played horizontally. The Precision Bass (or "P-bass") evolved from a simple. The Audiovox Manufacturing Company in Seattle. solid body electric bass that is designed to be played horizontally . The change to a "guitar" form made the instrument easier to hold and transport. Washington had an upright solidbody electric bass on the market by February 1935. The jazz bass featured two single-coil pickups. the neck was more narrow at the nut than the Precision bass (1 1/2" vs 1 3/4"). which became an industry standard. Pickup positions on other manufacturers' basses are often referred to as "P" or "J" position pickups. the addition of guitar-style frets enabled bassists to play in tune more easily (which also made the new electric bass easier to learn). instrument maker. Fender also produced a six-string bass. several early prototypes of electric double basses were developed. As well. a musician. Fender introduced the Jazz Bass. and bass solos are sometimes performed in other genres. Audiovox's sales catalogue of 1935-6 listed what is probably the world’s first fretted. In 1960. Even though these instruments had electric pickups. and amplifier designer. in reference to Precision and Jazz basses. each with separate volume and tone controls.the Model #736 Electric Bass Fiddle. although it was tuned higher than a modern six-string bass.  History  1920s prototypes In the 1920s and early 1930s.  1950s and 1960s: Fender Bass A self-taught electrical engineer named Leo Fender developed the first mass-produced electric bass in the 1950s. uncontoured 'slab' body design with a single piece. designed by Paul Tutmarc.bass is used as a soloing instrument in jazz. one close to the bridge and one in the Precision bass' position. . four-pole pickup to a contoured body design with beveled edges for comfort and a single "split coil pickup" (staggered humbucker). because they were unfretted and played vertically. the Fender VI. Latin. fusion. and funk styles.
These expensive. Danelectro. Some became identified with a particular style of music. due to Fender's early dominance in the market for mass-produced bass guitars. other companies such as Gibson." "electric bass. the term "electric bass" began replacing "Fender bass" in the late 1960's. Ken Smith also developed and marketed the first wide-spacing six-string electric bass. Alembic and another "boutique" bass manufacturer. ESP Guitars." or simply "bass. and innovative construction techniques such as multi-laminate neck-through-body construction and graphite necks. custom-tailored instruments featured unique designs. premium wood bodies chosen and hand-finished by master craftspeople. and many others started to produce their own version of the electric bass. Ken Smith.Following Fender's lead. both produced 5-string basses with a low "B" string in the mid-1970s." In the 1950s and 1960s. the term "Fender bass" was widely used to describe the bass guitar. as evidenced by the title of Carol Kaye's popular bass instructional book in 1969 (How To Play The Electric Bass) and the use of the term "electric bass" by US musicians' unions. However.  Nomenclature The instrument is called a "bass guitar" (pronounced like "base"). "electric bass guitar. onboard electronics for preamplification and equalization. such as the Rickenbacker 4000 series which became identified with progressive rock bassists.  1970s: Boutique Basses In 1971 Alembic established the template for what would subsequently be known as "boutique" or "high end" electric basses.  Design considerations .
Musicians have embraced a wide variety of different electric bass designs. As well. neck. instruments handmade by highly-skilled masters of the craft of lutherie (guitarmaking) are becoming an increasingly popular choice for professional and highlyskilled amateur bassists. Design options include:  Body . and other features. These developments have given the modern bass player a wide range of choices when choosing an instrument. Musicians have become open minded towards the new technologies and approaches to musical instrument design that have developed for the electric bass. which include a huge variety of options for the body."Headless" Steinberger bass. pickups.
most notable being luthite Unique production techniques for artificial materials.Bodies are typically made of wood although other materials such as graphite (for example. Most basses have solid bodies but variations include chambers for increased resonance or to reduce weight. balance and aesthetics) Headed and headless (with tuning carried out using a special bridge. somewhat damped sound reminiscent of a double bass. Basses are also built with entirely hollow bodies. acoustic bass guitars cannot produce much unamplified volume. String types include all-metal strings (roundwound or flatwound). and have replaced flatwounds in . Roundwounds give a brighter sound. The clearer roundwound sound more readily "cuts through" rock bands and other forms of pop music.the most common include alder. The choice of body material and shape can have a significant impact on the timbre of the completed instrument as well as aesthetic considerations. These gave a smooth. Early basses used flatwound strings. D and G (with the fundamental frequency of the E string set at 41. A.  Strings and tuning The standard design electric bass has four strings. including die-casting for cost-effective complex body shapes One further variable is the solidity of the body. and bubinga.3 Hz. Other design considerations include: • • • • • A wide range of colored or clear lacquer. and with much greater sustain. and non-metal strings made of nylon. more similar to that of a guitar or piano. such as tapewound and plastic-coatings. metal strings with different coverings. A wide variety of woods are suitable . large percentage of luthier-produced unique instruments (affecting weight. This tuning is the same as the standard tuning on the lower four strings on a 6-string guitar. Hollow-bodied bass guitars are discussed in more detail in the article on acoustic bass guitars. The materials used in the strings gives bass players a range of tonal options. In the 1960s and 1970s roundwound bass strings similar to guitar strings became increasingly popular. as such acoustic bass guitars are typically equipped with piezoelectric or magnetic pickups and amplified. tuned E. only an octave lower. with a smooth surface. wax and oil finishes exploiting the amazing variety of natural wood forms Various flat and carved industrial designs for different types of both traditional and exotic woods. which changes the tone and resonance of the instrument and allows performers to practice without an amplifier. some of the Steinberger designs) have also been used. the same as the lowest string on the double bass). mahogany and ash. mainly manufactured by Steinberger and Hohner) designs Several artificial materials developed especially for instrument building. Since the size of the resonant chamber for acoustic bass guitars is much smaller than the resonant chambers of other acoustic bass instruments such as the double bass or the guitarron.
with only the lowest string detuned). As well. as compared with the 4-string bass. it gives a player easier access to low notes when playing in the higher positions. "D-A-D-G" (a "standard" set of strings. . all of which are detuned) give bassists an extended lower range. The resultant tone of the instrument is usually "thicker. This is particularly the case for notes on the low "B" string. A musician warming up on a five-string electric bass guitar.most popular music. and D-G-C-F or C-G-C-F (a "standard" set of strings. Flatwounds are still used by some who prefer the sound or desire a "classic" tone for Motown music or other genres which originally involveded flatwound bass strings. Note positions on a right-handed 4-string bass in standard EADG tuning As performers sought to expand the range of their instruments. Tunings such as "BEAD" (this requires a low "B" string in addition to the other three "standard" strings). The most common include: • Four strings with alternate tunings to obtain an extended lower range. The 5-string bass with a low "B" provides added lower range. These options are sometimes used by players who do not like the "feel" of the thicker." as the fatter strings give fewer harmonics. a range of other tuning options and bass types has been used. heavier 5-string neck. • Five strings (normally B-E-A-D-G but sometimes EADGC). or by bassists who do not have access to a 5-string bass.
and 6-string counterparts. basses are often available with battery-powered "active" electronics that boost the signal and/or provide equalization controls to boost or cut bass and treble frequencies.g. as compared with their 4-. An 8-string bass would be strung Ee. Tenor bass: A-D-G-C Piccolo bass: e-a-d-g (an octave higher than standard bass tuning—-the same as the bottom four strings of a guitar) Sub-contra bass: C#-F#-B-E ("C#" being at 18 Hz and the "E". Less commonly. some bassists (e. Since the 1990s. Jean Baudin (of the band Nuclear Rabbit). bassists use other types of basses or tuning methods to obtain an extended range.. while a 12-string bass might be tuned Eee Aaa Ddd Ggg. To amplify the low pitches of this instrument. Dd. Hipshots are typically used to drop the "E"-string down to "D" on a four string bass). Instrument types or tunings used for this purpose include: • • • • • • Eight-. More rarely.g. they are used in Latin. Michael Manring) will add detuners to more than one string.. with standard pitch strings augmented by two strings an octave higher. Al Caldwell.• Six strings (BEADGC or BEADGB — although EADGBE has also been used). While six-string basses are much less common than 4. such as piezoelectric pickups which sense the mechanical vibrations of the strings. a subwoofer capable of extended low-range reproduction is needed. to enable them to detune strings during a performance and have access to a wider range of chime-like harmonics. from highest to lowest) four strings of a guitar. Aa. produce small variations in the magnetic flux threading the coils of the pickups. are mechanical devices operated by the left-hand thumb that allow one or more strings to be detuned to a lower pitch. jazz. Detuners. .or 5-string basses. Eleven-string basses are uncommon and are typically custom built instruments. one of which is sold under the name Hipshot. although they are pitched two octaves lower.string being the same as the "E"-string found on standard basses). • Less commonly. and Garry Goodman (from The Neilson-Goodman Project) play 11-string basses. and 12-string basses with double or triple courses of strings. This in turn produces small electrical voltages in the coils. These low-level signals are then amplified and played through a speaker. and several other genres. 10-. Guitar-tuned bass (4-string): the D-G-B-E tuning has the same note names as the first (e.  Pickups The vibrations of the instrument's metal strings within the magnetic field of the permanent magnets in the pickups. 5-. non-magnetic pickups are used. Extended range 11-string basses which go from a low "C#" up to a high Eb (one semitone below a guitar's high E). Bassists using six-string basses include New Order's Peter Hook and Dream Theater's John Myung. Gg.
two of the most common configurations being a "P" near the neck and a "J" near the bridge (e. typically a "P" or soapbar pickup. with a pickup near the neck joint thought to sound "fatter" or "warmer" while a pickup near the bridge is thought to sound "tighter" or "sharper. or two "J" pickups (e. are the same height as a J pickup. Fender Precision Deluxe). which have a "P" pickup sandwiched between two "J" pickups. wired in opposite direction to reduce hum. for example. providing for a range of timbres. Some basses use more unusual pickup configurations. and some of Bootsy Collins' custom basses. The placement of the pickup greatly affects the sound." Most basses with multiple pickups allow blending of the output from the pickups.g. Stu Hamm's "Urge" basses. such as a Humbucker and "P" pickup (found on some Fenders). in MusicMan basses. Fender Jazz). which had as many as 5 J pickups. found. each offset a small amount along the length of the body so that each half is underneath two strings. Multiple pickups are also quite common.  Non-magnetic pickups . Soapbar pickups.  Pickup configuration • • Many basses have just one pickup. "J-" pickups (referring to the original Fender Jazz Bass) are wider eight-pole pickups which lie underneath all four strings. The name comes from the rectangular shape being similar to a bar of soap."P"-style split pickups  Pickup types • • • "P-" pickups (the "P" refers to the original Fender Precision Bass) are actually two distinct single-coil halves. but about twice as wide (much like an electric guitar's humbucker).g.
Strings wound with tape or coated in epoxy are sometimes used with the fretless bass so that the metal string windings will not wear down the fingerboard.. Some fretless basses. Optical pickups are expensive and rarely used. The fretless bass allows players to use the expressive devices of glissando and microtonal intonations such as quarter tones and just intonation. have a fingerboard coated with epoxy or a similar hard material. such as thrash metal/death metal bassist Steve DiGiorgio. although fretless basses are also widely available. Piezoelectric pickups sense the vibrations of the string. Fusion-jazz virtuoso Jaco Pastorius. This increases durability and sustain and gives a brighter tone than a bare wooden board. Since piezoelectric pickups are based on the vibration of the strings and body. Some bassists use both fretted and fretless basses in performances. including those used by Pastorius.g. they can be prone to feedback "howls" when used with an amplifier. Fretless basses are mostly used in jazz and jazz fusion music.  Fretless basses Fretless basses have a distinctive sound that is created because the absence of frets means that the string is pressed down directly onto the wood of the fingerboard and buzzes against it as with the double bass. Optical pickups such as Lightwave Systems pickups are another type of nonmagnetic pickup. a method that is still used by some bassists. or an amplifier and a separate speaker . hum) or feedback problems. bassists from other genres use fretless basses. especially when higher levels of amplification are used. Some fretless basses have 'fret lines' inlaid in the fingerboard as a guide. apart from a small number of professional bass players who require the advantages offered by optical pickups: no noise (e. while others only use guide marks on the side of the neck.• • Piezoelectric pickups are non-magnetic pickups that produce a different tone and allow bassists to use non-metallic strings such as nylon strings. as transmitted to the pickup through the basses' wooden body. according to the type of material they are performing. The original Fender basses had 20 frets. even at high levels of amplification. Nonetheless. who brought the fretless bass into the spotlight.  Amplification and effects Electric bassists use either a 'combo' amplifier. used a fretless bass that he created by removing the frets from a fretted bass and filling in the grooves. so-named because it combines an amplifier and a speaker in a single cabinet.  Frets The frets divide the fingerboard into semitone divisions.
This choice often depends on a bassit's musical genre— very few funk bassists use plectrums. . distortion devices. "thumpy" tone. jazz big band) or acoustic genres such as folk music. Using a pick typically gives the bass a brighter. fingers or thumb The electric bass. the instrument can be balanced on the right thigh. particularly in large ensemble settings (e. although sitting is also accepted.cabinet (or cabinets). which is a type of plectrum. because these processors give players additional tonal options. punchier sound. For further information see : • bass instrument amplification Various electronic components such as preamplifiers and signal processors. For further information see: • bass guitar effects  Playing techniques  Sitting or standing Most bass players stand while playing. Some bassists use their fingernails flamenco-style to provide some compromise between playing fingerstyle and using a pick. In the 1990s and early 2000s.  Plectra vs. while they are widely found in punk rock and metal styles. and compressors or [limiter]s became increasingly popular additions to many electric bass players' gear. When sitting. held horizontally across the body. while playing with fingers makes the sound softer and round. Some bassists plug directly into a mixing console for large-scale PA amplification. and use their fingers to anchor their hand and partially mute the strings. Balancing the bass on the left thigh positions it in such a way that it mimics the standing position. and what a bandleader expects. can be used to alter the basic sound of the instrument. the left. or like classical guitar players. and the configuration of the amplifier and speaker. is played in a similar position to the guitar. signal processors such as equalizers. allowing for less difference between the standing and sitting positions.. This palm-muting creates a short.g. Bassists trying to emulate the sound of a double bass will often pluck the strings with their thumb. It is a matter of the player's preference as to which position gives the greatest ease of playing. Notes are usually produced by plucking with the fingers or with a guitar pick. in contrast to the upright bass (or double bass).
Contrary to its name. Also. In this technique. mostly near the neck pickup.  'Piano hammer' style The "piano hammer-style" is a high-speed technique used of striking the bass string with the index finger. below the strings. This provides the continuous and repetitive sound of finger picking but with a punchy sound. among others. This technique was used by Dee Dee Ramone of the early punk rock band The Ramones. bassists may simply anchor their thumbs on the lowest string (and move it off to play on the low string). plucks the strings over the higher frets. The result is a smooth dark tone which can be . While the influential bassist Jaco Pastorius and many with him preferred to pluck them very close to the bridge for a bright and sharp sound. The index finger snaps down and taps the string like a piano hammer.  Right hand support and position Variations in style also occur in where a bassist rests his right-hand thumb. but to rest the fingers while using the thumb to pluck the strings. and was previously popular mainly with bassists who played 5 or more string basses. one of the most influential bassists during the Motown era. but is now common for all bassists. many prefer the rounder sound they get by plucking closer to the neck.  Striking or plucking position Bassists also have different preferences as to where on the string they pluck the notes. and eliminated entirely in the 80's. This technique is known as the "floating thumb". was well-known for his work in many popular Motown songs. The thumbrest was moved above the strings in 70's models. this was not used to rest the thumb. Early Fender models also came with a "thumbrest" attached to the pickguard. A player may rest his thumb on the top edge of one of the pickups. the index hand is whipped towards the bass string then retracted quickly by pivoting of the wrist.James Jamerson. One may also rest his thumb on the side of the fretboard.  Downward stroke This is a technique that consists in hitting the strings with continuous downward strokes with a plectrum at a very fast pace. Jamerson played the bass with only his index finger (which gained him the nickname "The Hook") but created intricate bass lines that have proven challenging even for modern bassists using the more common used two-fingered (typically index and middle) technique. Geezer Butler. which is especially common among bassists who have an upright bass influence.
see the articles on Chapman Stick and Warr guitar. In the late 1980s. fusion bass player Victor Wooten (of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones) developed the so-called "double thumb.com In the two-handed tapping style. By the 1960s. Tony Levin. punk. both hands play notes by tapping the string to the fret. Examples of the slap and pop technique can be seen at HowToSlapBass. Stuart Hamm. which makes it possible to play contrapuntally. in which notes and percussive sounds are created by slapping the string with the thumb and releasing strings with a snap. and related techniques The slap and pop method. was pioneered by Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone in the 1960s and early 1970s. Victor Wooten.  "Slap and pop. Even though the double bass is still the standard bass instrument in orchestral settings." in which the string is slapped twice. Players using this technique include John Entwistle. metal. For more information on twohanded tapping technique. Modern bass playing draws on guitar and double bass for inspiration as well as an increasing vernacular of its own. The switch to electric bass moved bassists more into the foreground of a band. the electric bass had replaced the upright bass in most forms of popular music (although country music and jazz were an exception to this trend). in several senses: . chords and arpeggios. the bassist for King Crimson and Peter Gabriel. more portable and easily amplified instrument. Usually two fingers are required with this technique. Flea." tapping. including modern country. see Classical Thump). on the upstroke and a downstroke (for more information. reggae. The bass may have differing roles within different types of music and the bassist may prefer different degrees of prominence in the music. Les Claypool. Early uses of the electric bass saw bassists doubling the double bass part or replacing the upright bass entirely with their new. Other notable slap and pop players include Mark King.  Musical role The electric bass is the standard bass instrument in many musical genres. pioneered the use of wooden dowel "funk fingers" affixed with velcro to the tips of the index and middle fingers and used to strike the strings of the bass. Geddy Lee.contrasted by "back-pedaling" the string with the tip of the finger in an upward pluck. and funk. Stanley Clarke and Louis Johnson further developed Graham's technique. Roscoe Beck. post-1970s-style jazz. and Victor Wooten . Billy Sheehan. soul. many variants of rock and roll. some late-20th-century composers have used the electric bass in an orchestral setting. manystringed instruments that are designed to be played using two-handed tapping. and Michael Manring.
or with some sort of implement such as a drumstick. Drum carried by John Unger. As well. electric basses can be amplified to very high levels without the problem of feedback "howls" that upright bass players face. either directly with parts of a player's body. and the basic design has been virtually unchanged for hundreds of years. December 20. The shell almost invariably has a circular opening over which the drumhead is stretched. technically classified as a membranophone. However. and get closer to other musicians or the audience. A drum is a musical instrument in the percussion family . called a drumhead or drumskin. to produce sound. In the western . The double bass sits on an endpin. but the shape of the remainder of the shell varies widely. 40th Regiment New York Veteran Volunteer Infantry Mozart Regiment. and is held up with a strap. the switch to the electric bass allowed bassists much more freedom of movement on stage. and players typically play in a single location for the duration of a song. From a visual point of view. Company B. electric bass tone can often "cut through" a live mix better. These factors enabled some electric bass players to develop a soloistic role for the bass. Drums are among the world's oldest and most ubiquitous musical instruments. and stands vertically. Drums consist of at least one membrane. Drum.• • From an aural perspective. 1863 Several American Indian-style drums for sale at the National Museum of the American Indian. which allows the electric bassist to move about on the stage while playing. the electric bass is smaller. that is stretched over a shell and struck.
made from a metal barrel. drums were used as a means of communication and not just for their musical qualities. and joined truncated cones (talking drum). In popular music and jazz. and how it is struck. the shell forms a resonating chamber for the resulting sound. Many drummers are also adept at both playing the drum set and a set of hand drums for added musical variety.musical tradition. In some non-Western cultures drums have a symbolic function and are often used in religious ceremonies. Other shapes include a frame design (tar (drum)). Drums with two heads covering both ends of a tubular shell often have a small hole halfway between the two drumheads. position of the drum. History of Heavy metal . called a head. In the past. and the Caribbean steel drum. which is stretched over an enclosed space or over one of the ends of a hollow vessel. tension of the drumhead. type of drumhead. They are sometimes used in sending signals. although timpani for example use bowl-shaped shells. Single headed drums normally consist of a skin or other membrane. Drums are usually played by the hands or by one or two sticks. location. and drummer to the band member or person who plays them. The talking drums of Africa can imitate the inflections and pitch variations of a spoken language and are used for communicating over great distances. truncated cones (bongo drums). made from a hollowed-out tree trunk. materials of the shell. drums usually refers to a drum kit or set of drums. The sound of a drum depends on several variables including shell shape. Drums are played by percussionists whose skills can be called for in all areas of music from Classical to Heavy Rock & all areas in between. Exceptions include the African slit drum.. thickness of shell. Drums with cylindrical shells can be open at one end (as in the timbales) or can have two drum heads. the most usual shape is a cylinder. size.see drum (communication).
Cream. and nu metal To God and My Own Self Be True. Queen was the most experimental of the groups combining interesting and beautiful melodies with classically inspired harmonies which bordered on progressive and experimental rock. speed metal. The Jimi Hendrix Experience featuring the legendary Jimi Hendrix on guitar and vocals was incredibly revolutionary and remains a strong influence on musicians today. Lets start from the beginning. Mountain. Deep Purple. Guitarist Tony Iommi. the Who. In 1970 Black Sabbath made what many consider to be the first true heavy metal album self titled Black Sabbath followed in the next few years by Paranoid and Master of Reality. It has been a large part of my life as far back as I can remember. and bassist Geezer Butler churned out gloomy heavy churning riffs and rhythms accompanied nicely by Ozzy's eerie vocal style. In this page I am going to attempt to give a short history of metal as well as tell you a little bit about myself. Axis Bold as Love. thrash metal. it is only the history as I saw it and as it happened in my life. This Birmingham act nearly single handedly defined the essence of the heavy metal genre combining a fascination with dark mythological and religious subject matter juxtaposed against the reality of a working class life in poverty ridden industrial Birmingham during the early 70's. Cactus. Being born in NJ and living close to Philadelphia and New York City. Free. a story of heavy metal and my life! Heavy Metal is more than just a style of music.. but I am getting ahead of myself. especially guitarists. Queen. doom metal.. For the most part. The early 1980s saw a revival of metal of a sort with bands like Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue among others. Cream is one of the best known bands which appeared early in the genre known for classic songs like Sunshine Of Your Love and White Room. Judas Priest.. Led Zeppelin. the Jimi Hendrix Experience. grunge. The genre borrowed heavily from rock and the blues but moved towards a more aggressive direction than other bands from the 60's incorporating energetic live shows and darker melodies and themes. Iron Butterfly. Black Widow. Deep Purple's classic Deep Purple In Rock showcased Ritchie Blackmore's classical guitar style juxtaposed against the intense screams of Ian Gillan's vocal. (Please note that this is not a complete history. I was born in Trenton. Newer bands like Judas Priest. Golden Earring. Alice Cooper's The Spiders.) Heavy metal derived from the loud blues-rock and psychedelia of the late '60s. metal lost most of the blues influences and leaving the powerful. vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. I started listening to hard rock and what became known as metal as early as 5 years old because of a neighbors who turned me on to Aerosmith. and Black Sabbath. and Electric Ladyland were pivotal in the future direction of rock. Blue Cheer. Atomic Rooster. By around 1990 most heavy metal had evolved into other rock genres like hard rock. NJ in March of 1967. Kiss took the genre to a fevered pitch using classic elements of theatre such as fire and fake blood to keep audiences interested. loud. drummer Bill Ward. gothic rock. Unfortunately due to highly commercialized excess driven hair bands the genre was sent in to another decline where the music would be reabsorbed into new genres. gothic metal. Led Zeppelin was also a big contributor to the movement incorporating in heavy thudding guitars and high almost screaming vocals.The history of heavy metal music began around 1964-1970 with bands like the Kinks. its a way of life. AC/DC. Steppenwolf.. I was in the heart of the NY metal movement in the 80's. Groundbreaking albums like Are You Experienced?. Vanilla Fudge. . Iron Butterfly Heavy album and Steppenwolf's song Born to Be Wild which contained the phrase "heavy metal thunder" share credit for the name heavy metal. Queen and Blue Oyster Cult took up the mantle of these older bands and added their voice to an ever growing revolution in rock music. and Rush kept the genre alive but only just. Grand Funk Railroad. In the late 70's heavy metal went through a decline and the giants of the early 70's started to loose influence due to deaths and personnel changes. Uriah Heep. Bloodrock.
Hawkwind. Deep Purple. Alice Cooper. Uriah Heep. Nazareth. bigger than life. stage persona and show. Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) By the mid-70's. heavy metal began establishing itself as one of the most commercially successful forms of aggressive rock & roll. The Who. These bands also began to gain dedicated and loyal followers. Steppenwolf.guitar riffs. Guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and bands like Cream. as opposed to most of the "here to today. In the late 60's and early '70s. Their impact on the 80's metal explosion would be enormous. AC/DC. and Judas Priest were beginning to gain large audiences. gone tomorrow" pop stars that would attract instant popularity. Aerosmith. Angel. not just the music but also the gigantic. only to lose it all within a few months. KISS (1976) Below are some incredible albums that are usually credited with being the true beginning of HEAVY METAL! . the leaders of the new heavy metal movement were being established and beginning to influence a whole new school of metal fans. Of course KISS would be one of the biggest bands to emerge from the 70's. Bands like Black Sabbath. Thin Lizzy. and Led Zeppelin fused heavy guitars with blues based rock 'n roll and began to put on outrageous live performances.
I actually hitch hiked to the mall to buy Aerosmith's "Done With Mirrors" when I was in college. I remained a KISS fan and still am one to this very day. I can remember listening to Aerosmith's "Toy in the Attic" for the first time when I was in grade school. the Jackson 5 and KC & the Sunshine Band. I have bought every Aerosmith album the day it was released. (GAK!!!) Disco was in. actually my parents bought them for me. It was actually the second wave of bands that caught my attention. I even got into a playground fight because someone said that Led Zeppelin was a better band than Aerosmith. the Bee Gees. they were not for the start for me. as their posters and magazine photos took up every inch of wall space I had in my bedroom. While KISS did disappoint through the late 70's/early 80's.) Aerosmith (1976) Even in grade school I would brag to friends that I had the new Aerosmith record. Queen. (ok. Mahogany Rush etc. Ted Nugent. I can remember being mocked for listening to Rush. KISS was probably my biggest addiction of the time. Saturday Night Fever were all the rage-but I was a metal addict. when the "cool" bands were Bay City Rollers. mostly because this was about the time that I was old enough to start listening to music. as well as a big metal fanatic. Aerosmith and KISS were actually the first two albums that I bought. (Since then. Donna Summer.Led Zeppelin ('69) Deep Purple-Machine Head ('72) Black Sabbath ('70) While these albums are usually credited with being the start of metal. I was mesmerized and from then until today have been a huge Aerosmith fan.) Aerosmith "Toys in the Attic" and KISS "Destroyer" Two records that changed my life in the mid 70's: .
This is about the time I discovered bands like Iron Maiden." Saxon "Wheels of Steel. but was an incredible influence on some of the early American Metal bands as well as some of today's popular bands. but metal fans were devoted. In the early 80s." Motorhead's classic "Ace of Spades. metal adapted itself to the times and it would never completely disappeared from the charts." It was actually this band that pulled me deeper into the metal culture." Raven "Rock til You Drop. Judas Priest." Scorpions "Lonesome Crow" and "Fly to the Rainbow." Accept "Restless & Wild. I had discovered the incredible NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal. what is now refered to as "true metal" or "classic heavy metal" Through the next decades. Judas Priest (1991) ." Yup. as did the trendy followers. experienced a major popularity surge in '82 with the release of "Screaming for Vengeance. Trends came and went.) This movement never did gain as much popularity in the States. Upon hearing the classic "Stained Class" I was convinced that Judas Priest was the ultimate heavy band. although they had been touring and recording albums since the early 70's.Aerosmith-Toys in the Attic ('76) Kiss-Destroyer ('76) The late 70's disco was all but dead and albums like Thin Lizzy's "Live & Dangerous" and Boston's "Don't Look Back" were gracing my turntable. who had just released "Number of the Beast. heavy metal exploded in popularity. (and of course Aerosmith's "Night in the Ruts") This is also about the time I discovered.
We all know what happened with Anthrax and Twisted Sister. from NY released a 45 single called "Soldiers of Metal". Deep Purple. Metallica. to the intense thrash bands like Megadeth. . Heathen's Rage were filling local halls and opening for some major acts. Anthrax. Anthrax. and Celtic Frost. Overkill. both went on to be huge successes. The same metalhead that liked Motley Crue and Accept also liked Slayer and Motorhead. A few "local bands" were beginning to gain some popularity as well. Helloween and Armored Saint to the hardrockers like Frehley's Comet to the incredible comeback of bands like Kiss." Venom's "Black Metal. and especially Aerosmith. from Long Island Twisted Sister were filling up the clubs and had finally signed a decent record contract.In high school I bought. Heathen's Rage released a vinyl EP with a killer track called "City of Hell" and finally a four song demo in 1987 before disappearing off the face of the earth. as new releases by then unknown bands. Motley Crue's "Too Fast for Love" on Leather Records. the 80's were definitely a strong time for metal lovers. and Cinderella." Metallica's "Kill 'em All. Slayer. Ratt. to the more traditional bands like Iron Maiden. Slayer's "Hell Awaits." and Queensryche's debut EP. What was really great about this time was that there was a unity among metalheads. Below are some of the albums I discovered in the mid 80's: Metallica-Kill 'Em All ('83) Slayer-Show No Mercy ('84) Iron Maiden-Killer ('81) From the glam-hair bands like Stryper.
Dio and Twisted Sister at a small theatre in downtown Philly. Some of the better remembered and highly cherished from that time were: Black Sabbath with Ian Gillan.Kiss in the 80's Frehley's Comet in the mid-80's The 80's for me was a time of many concerts.H. NJ . The year after that Dio did a live video with us Philly maniacs. PA and the Meadowlands. Tony Lee (Heathen's Rage) Anthrax on the "Spread It" Tour with Heathen's Rage at City Gardens in Trenton. Judas Priest "Defenders" tour two times in one month-Spectrum. NJ.I.P. Quiet Riot opened that show. which I thought was GREAT! ELO's drummer was filling in for the ailing Bill Ward. Pat Travers opened up the "R. He was on his "Black Pearl" tour and Ted Nugent co-headlined the "Back in the Saddle" show. I was also privileged to see Anthrax at the infamous LaMore Club in NYC. Many thought they would do a cover of ELO's "Evil Woman" but they did not. Aerosmith on the "Rock in a Hard Place" tour and the incredible "Back in the Saddle" show with the return of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. both at the Spectrum in Philadelphia." show. Black Sabbath was being chastized for doing "Smoke on the Water" live.A. which was an awesome experience. The very next year they both returned together and sold out the Spectrum.
Deliverance. almost everyone left. and Motley Crue. Dark Angel. Crossing the new wave of British heavy metal with hardcore punk. This raw style stood in direct conflict to the chart topping. the few bands who do exist have changed styles. among others). Ratt.! Also saw Petra. Heathen. but their attack was precise and clean. Metallica has gone for a more "alternative" radio friendly sound. like Megadeth. Of course. Stryper. Flotsom & Jetsam.Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force at a little club in PA. the insanely fast tempos and a defiant.Vengeance Rising. Testament. Killer show. or black metal. Kix. The reunion and farwell tours have blown me away! David Lee Roth with Steve Via and Billy Sheehan on the "Eat 'Em And Smile" tour at the War Memorial in Rochester. although I prefer their older music to the newer releases. if any. It gave the band not only a unique musical approach but also an attractive "anti-image" for legions fans. while Megadeth have gone for a more melodic radio friendly sound. But what it borrowed from hardcore. including myslef. Destruction. Molly Hatchet (on their reuion tour with Danny Joe Brown). In that sense. TT Quick and Helstar at a little club in Rochester. (Belladonna reunited with Anthrax in April 2005). Tthe bands played fast. and glammy bands of the 80's and early 90's (Guns n Roses. I have seen KISS several other times since then. Hallow's Eve. Slayer and Anthrax. After Helstar played. There were actually hundreds of bands of this style. speed metal remained true to its metal roots. this is only a small list of some of the better known. Many of the bands developed a dedicated cult following that would eventually allow them to go gold and for some. speed metal and thrash became the most popular form of heavy metal in the American underground. I still have the t-shirt from that show. Coroner. Anthrax. Cool show! Of course. Ted Nugent and Alcatrazz (with Yngwie Malmsteen) at Six Flags Great Adventure. so we watched TT Quick with about 20 other people. and sometimes it was even more important. Forbidden. Unfortunately. PA and in Rochester. Of course. this great art form began to fall apart and fracture into what is now either hardcore. grindcore. In the mid-'80s thru the early 90's. Laaz Rockit. Powermad. although my girlfiiend (now my wife) got violently sick from some laced alcohol she drank. Dokken. Guns n Roses and especially Metallica. radio support. Exodus. Queensryche and headliners KISS in Philadelphia. speed metal was extremely fast and more technically demanding. Kreator. Believer. Metallica became the leaders of the genre until their recent style changes. do-it-yourself attitude was just as important. NY. Forced Entry. platinum+. Not a bad seat in the place. later some of the TT Quick guys went on to be with Nuclear Assault. Annihilator are some others that were riding the thrash wave while it was hot. Anthrax parted ways with vocalist Joey Belladonna and their lead guitarist Dan Spitz and have stayed pretty true to their roots. then they hung out with us and drank some beers and played pool. What was so amazing about this was they they had little. The metal guard rail in front of the stage broke in Philly and we were able to sit on the edge of the stage for the entire KISS show. Poison. Other key bands were Megadeth. In the 1990's. more commercial. Mortification. Sepultura. Testament and Slayer are still . I got my picture in FACES Magazine. and Charlie Daniels at Six Flags. Nuclear Assault.
there is some heavy metal that is nothing but threechord riffing. Angra. Certainly. Pink Floyd. Marillion. Bands like Fates Warning and Savatage. and early Genesis and even mixed in some classical elements. speed. that started out as more traditional heavy metal bands. Viper. Veni Domine. with the guitar solo taking prominence. Even those who play the simplistic forms of metal like AC/DC. Stratovarious. The songs are assembled around the riff. but are still pounding out some aggressive thrash that sometimes borders early death metal. Watchtower. and skill. continue to dismiss metal as over simplistic. even today. heavy metal was more than just a passing trend. Metal guitarists have always been innovators in technique. that it cannot be ignored. . Dream Theatre. with annoying screams. Fates Warning (1999) Savatage (1993) There was one thing for sure. primal pounding. albeit with some new faces. Yes. and hosts of others took the heaviness of metal and combined it with the progressive tendencies of Rush. do so with such skill and attitude. Some critics. the guitar is the center of the music. In every subgenre of heavy metal. Metallica (1991) Megadeth (1990) Another form of metal that came out of the 80's is Progressive Metal.together. but most metal bands place major importance on technical skill. as well as Queensryche have lead the way for others.
thousands of albums. I can honestly say the knowing Jesus really changed my life.) Thank God for Stryper! I would have been without any music I liked if not for them. Seventh Angel. (I know. Haven. ranging in style from thrash to classic rock. While I had always been somewhat "religious" it was during this time that I met some friends at a Motorhead/Raven concert in Rochester.The 90's also ushered in a big change in my life. Rez. Vengeance Rising. From L to R: Myself (1984). Unfortunately. . I got involved in a church that condemned metal. Believer. I bought up bands like Deliverance. tapes and the beginnings of my CD collection. Through this band I became a Christian. inspired by Joe Perry and Gregg Giuffria. Bride. Sacred Warrior. I have never regretted my relationship with Him. Fortunately these guys also opened up a whole new world of Christian heavy metal to me. We conviced ourselves that "secular metal" was all evil and so we got rid of the. NY that changed my life. These guys were in a metal band called Holy Saint and they were a Christian metal band. I often cry myself. Bloodgood. Holy Saint vocalist Chris Books and bassist Micheal Amico Dig the poofy hair I was sporting and the blonde streak. I got deeply involved along with my new wife of only a few months. Sardonyx. Whitecross. Barren Cross. Trouble. These bands got me through some tough times. Stryper (1990) I began to discover that there was hundreds of Christian metal bands. after graduating from college. While some of the story you are about to read has some regrets. literally.
me (white shirt) on stage with Sardonyx 1992. flipping through radio station. Eventually I began collecting some of my old favorites again. Once again. In 1993 I joined a Christian heavy metal band myself. becoming the vocalist for Ultimatum. we figured out that Christianity was not about having your life lived for you. A picture of a sweaty me singing for Ultimatum. Below are some of the classic Christian thrash discs that still frequent my CD player: Vengeance Rising Human Sacrifice Deliverance Weapons of Our Warfare Believer Extraction from Mortality Eventually. . I discovered that a relationship with Jesus was what was important. I was in my car. it was Aerosmith that brought me around. We left the church we were in and got involved in a well balanced church. not a list of manmade do's and dont's.
Man. It was a lunch hour album side and they played five songs off that disc. Death Metal had its time in the spot light too. Metanoia. Hammerfall. This was. Destiny’s End. Extol. after enjoying those five songs. it was me! In the mid 90's.when I heard a block of songs off "Rocks. Nuclear Assault. I knew then. the metalheads began to put out their own zines. Anthrax. Techno. it was not the music I needed to change. but once you've heard him. Iced Earth. Emo. as . As you can see from my CD list. honestly. as well as provide specific band listings for these genres. The 90's came and went and despite the changes in music. Mortification." perhaps the greatest Aerosmith disc ever. for what that's worth). Industrial. metal continued to stay strong. Death Angel. I. New Eden. Children of Bodom. That being said. Place of Skulls. Teramaze. The earlier bands focused on minimal instrumentation. Amorphis. am not a big death metal fan. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. untrue as it still had a huge underground following.a lot of this is subject to opinion and is the source of endless debate among fans. of course. Despite the trends. and now Ska. The Genres Of Heavy Metal This page briefly describes many of the genres and classifications of metal. like having a cold Pepsi on a hot day. although never to the extent of grunge or alternative. I have once again attained a large collection of my favorites. see my favorites list. While the magazine that we all grew to love began to cover trendy garbage. with the popularity of grunge. killer bands: Nevermore. metal took a big dive in popularity. and one man's guideline at that -. The 90's seemed to be a time of short lived trends. there a host of new. many black metal vocalists will sound very similar to him. Narnia. and the list goes on and on. as I feel the vocals all pretty much sound the same. New blood began to emerge. PopPunk. there are some death bands I really enjoy that play their music with a skill not hear before. Extol. and is often characterized by an inherently evil tone and a raspy vocal style (Quorthon of Bathory may or may not be the originator of this vocal style. Some even went so far as to say metal was dead. This is really only a guideline. Rapcore and Goth. Grunge. Death and a few other all mix elements of classic metal with death metal and in turn create some beautiful music. For a more condensed list of favorites. it was like seeing an old friend again. I was even blessed with the opportunity to join the guys from the original Vengeance Rising as the new vocalist for their new project called Once Dead. as well as the reformation of such greats as Exodus. • Black Metal Black metal finds its roots in bands such as Venom and Bathory. Alternative.
and Anathema.slow. Living Sacrifice). with less melodic riffs and a low. there are Christian thrash bands (Tourniquet. often with the use of violins and sometimes flutes. • Death Metal One of the more extreme forms of metal. while others are far more subtle in their approach. only My Dying Bride still plays the doomdeath style. Deicide. Candlemass deserves mention for rejuvenating the genre in the eighties. early Mayhem. often almost unintelligible vocal style that at its best (or worst. Ponderous. Christian doom bands (Paramaecium). Thus. Morbid Angel. Norway continues to be the primary exporter of black metal bands.represented by Darkthrone. proving that real metal and spiritual lyrics could indeed coexist. Black Sabbath are. and so on. • Christian Metal Whereas the other genres presented here are defined by the music itself. Christian metal bands are listed as a genre based on their lyrical stance. Bloodgood and others came along. new Mayhem). doomdeath combines the slow pace of doom with the low. Skyclad may not have been . depending on one's point of view) has been described as "cookie monster vocals". My Dying Bride. Cradle Of Filth. and their first four albums are regarded as classics in the field. death metal is basically an offshoot of thrash. ultraheavy riffing and (usually) melodic vocals dominate this form of metal. these bands introduce folk influences into their sound. while another group of bands explored a more symphonic. was the first band to gain acceptance in the secular world (though just how "metal" they were is subject to debate). though of the three. are generally regarded as innovators here. • Doom Doom metal can be described with a single word -. and remains a dominant form of extreme metal to this day. but their early work concentrated on slow riffing and thus is the primary influence on doom metal bands. keyboard-driven style (Emperor. though other countries have contributed some quality bands as well. avant-garde direction (Arcturus. Some Christian bands are preachy to the point of being obnoxious. Paradise Lost. and others) and Sweden ( At The Gates. The early nineties saw the initial rise of death metal in places such as Florida ( Death. Dimmu Borgir) and still others have migrated towards an eclectic. and others). the fathers of metal in general. of course. Christian progressive bands (Veni Domine). and older Immortal. Entombed. Three British bands. and then bands such as Barren Cross. Obituary. growly. Stryper. • Doomdeath A subgenre of doom metal. growly vocal style of death metal. • Folk Metal As the name implies.
• Goth Metal Goth metal bands derive from earlier goth rock bands such as Sisters Of Mercy. Many of the bands commonly associated with grunge are arguably not really metal at all. and widely open to debate and interpretation. Napalm Death may or may not have invented the genre. hard rock really seems to be the more radio-friendly version. death-like vocalist paired with a more angelic female voice) often employed. with bands such as Tristania and The Gathering also releasing prototypical gothic metal albums at least at some point in their careers. is the band that most associate with breaking the genre into the mainstream with their Nevermind release in 1991. Often the vocal style of such bands is a dead giveaway. and they aren't the folkiest. It is often labelled as an offshoot or a subgenre of death metal. Green River. Nirvana. yet often with surprising depth and skill in the musicianship department. each a burst of frenzied noise. To these ears. of course. and many debate about whether such bands . and others fusing raw punk with early Sabbath heaviness. • Hard Rock In reality. • Grindcore Grindcore bands usually focus on very short songs. the difference between "hard rock" and "heavy metal" is a fine line. such as Tad. was a prime example of this style (though they have transformed into quite a different style now). darker sound. with Type O Negative one of the most well-known such bands. with most of the bands in the goth category hailing from that country. Practically every band in the so-called glam or hair genre probably slots in hard rock. in their early years. but they arguably were one of the first groups to popularize the concept. while heavy metal opts for a more sinister. clearly were heavy enough to warrant inclusion. Theatre Of Tragedy. though a few. • Grunge The grunge boom hit in the early nineties. and closer to the early spirit of grunge. but their early works are considered classics.the first such group. originating in the Pacific Northwest. with either choirs or the so-called "beauty and the beast" style (a male. bands such as Mudhoney. though its origins would imply otherwise. though their earlier Bleach album is a far more metallic beast. • Gothic Metal Gothic metal bands tend to write songs with a slightly more orchestral feel to them. For some reason the Finns have taken to this style. The vast majority of bands who feature a female lead vocalist (excepting the rare female extreme metal vocalists such as Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy and Karyn Crisis of Crisis) are usually considered gothic metal bands.
• N. and one of its disciples. the debate will continue among metal fans on whether nu-metal really is a metal genre. is in this category. usually by complementing metal guitars with samples. Of the hundreds of British bands who sprouted at this time (many who never . These bands combine straight hardcore singing with music often more aligned with thrash or melodic death (indeed. named for the Swedish city where innovators such as Dark Tranquillity and In Flames reside. On the somewhat more mainstream side of this genre are bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. Skrew. a lot of bands these days seem to be blurring the distinction between melodic death and metalcore). • Melodic Death Metal A second form of death metal is the so-called Gothenburg style.H. comprised of making music with nonmusical instruments. external sound effects.W. and song structures that appear to have originated from the alternative hard rock scene rather than traditional metal. occasionally bringing to mind an Iron Maiden. Here. nu-metal bands frequently feature down-tuned guitars. metalcore is the latest rage in underground metal in America. roughly around the years of 1980 to 1984 or so. Industrial metal takes this idea and furthers it. groups in this category feature no vocals. First popularized in the mid-nineties by groups such as Korn and Deftones.M. there were and are many bands not in the glam arena that are best described as hard rock. • Instrumental As the name implies.B. vocals that frequently borrow from hip-hop or hardcore. and (often) processed vocals. though there are exceptions. The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) signalled a rebirth in metal popularity in England.are really metallic or not (the lack of glam bands on this site gives a clue as to this author's opinion). • Industrial Metal Industrial music. Ministry is an acknowledged pioneer in the field.O. and many of them have sufficient crossover appeal to belong on a metal site. The majority of these bands are somewhat eclectic and progressive in their approach. • Metalcore As of this writing. also deserves mention as a prime influence and soundalike for many bands in this genre. in its earlier form. Kong. Nonetheless. An all-time BNR favorite. the vocal style is similar but the musical style is much more melodic. • Nu-Metal Even as the popularity of nu-metal wanes.
a lot of these bands can be best described as some mixture of Dream Theater. with perhaps an emphasis on heavier riffing. and speedy riffing. Angelwitch and Diamond Head also making a major impact on the scene. In later years. the majority of these bands also had a similar style. Queensryche. the term is most often used to describe the decidedly European style of metal. a style dominated by double-bass drumming. melodic progressive metal bands have blossomed. mixing prime 70's Brit metal (Judas Priest. • Stoner Rock Also occasionally referred to as desert rock/metal. Another band worth mentioning is Hammerfall. anthemic choruses. whose early works such as Walls Of Jericho and Keeper Of The Seven Keys proved to be blueprints for the style. On the extreme end of progressive metal is technical metal. Though the time frame and nationality are the main defining components of NWOBHM. Genesis. as they are often regarded as the band most responsible for the revival of the genre in 1997 when they debuted with Glory To The Brave. progressive metal bands fell into two camps. Deep Purple. a good place to start might be Iron Maiden's debut album. and the (related) second being metal bands strongly influenced by 70's progressive rock bands such as Yes. Bands in the genre focus on 70's rock/metal influences and a psychedelic edge. though whether or not it's an appropriate term or not is another matter. In recent times. who in their relatively short career basically invented the genre (though bands such as Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu deserve a mention here too). Watchtower and Thought Industry are two excellent examples of the first group.got past a demo or a 7" record). Indeed. and ELP. with others such as Saxon. • Power Metal Once upon a time the term "power metal" was interchangeable with plain old heavy metal. which indeed places these three bands as major innovators in the field. though. UFO) with the roughness of punk rock. and Spiral Architect. The single band most often noted as an influence or soundalike to others in this field is unquestionably Kyuss. many of them not quite as technically oriented as the genre originally defined. while Dream Theater remains the most well-known of the latter group. One originator of this style would have to be Helloween. This is demonstrated by bands such as Cynic. • Thrash . it doesn't take a genius to figure out what the name "stoner rock" refers to. • Progressive Metal Initially. Though it's difficult at best to point to a single album as a representation of the entire genre. as well as the single band most fans point to first when referring to progressive metal. where the musicianship and songwriting variance is placed at an even higher premium. and Fates Warning. Iron Maiden and Def Leppard are probably the two most well-known. the first being bands who incorporated quirky time signatures and atypical riffing into metal.
is arguably the first true thrash album. chunky guitar riffing style. a staccato. among others. with healthy thrash scenes sprouting in the USA (particularly the San Francisco area). anthemic chorus element not found in black metal. and aggressive vocals. still producing quality thrash albums. picture of the author 2001 . By the early nineties the genre was a bit oversaturated. and moreover there is usually more of a rousing. Metallica's Kill 'Em All. Testament. with veteran bands such as Overkill. released in 1983. which can at times relate this genre to folk metal.Thrash metal is generally characterized by a fast pace. but the lyrical subject is different. and Destruction. Amusingly. Traditional Norse melodies often find their way into Viking metal songs. several bands in the Viking genre sound like black metal bands on the surface. thrash is often misspelled as "trash" by European writers. • Viking Metal Musically. Germany. but it's still a viable style today. and in later years fewer bands played the style. and elsewhere by the late eighties.
. I was in the heart of the NY metal movement in the 80's. gone tomorrow" pop stars that would attract instant popularity. stage persona and show. Being born in NJ and living close to Philadelphia and New York City. and Judas Priest were beginning to gain large audiences. Alice Cooper. but I am getting ahead of myself. Aerosmith. Thin Lizzy. In this page I am going to attempt to give a short history of metal as well as tell you a little bit about myself. For the most part. Guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and bands like Cream. as opposed to most of the "here to today.) Heavy metal derived from the loud blues-rock and psychedelia of the late '60s. bigger than life. I started listening to hard rock and what became known as metal as early as 5 years old because of a neighbors who turned me on to Aerosmith.. (Please note that this is not a complete history. Deep Purple. loud.To God and My Own Self Be True. In the late 60's and early '70s. Uriah Heep. not just the music but also the gigantic.. These bands also began to gain dedicated and loyal followers. Angel. a story of heavy metal and my life! Heavy Metal is more than just a style of music. Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) By the mid-70's... the leaders of the new heavy metal movement were being established and beginning to influence a whole new school of metal fans. It has been a large part of my life as far back as I can remember. guitar riffs. Hawkwind. metal lost most of the blues influences and leaving the powerful. Steppenwolf. Lets start from the beginning. I was born in Trenton. Their impact on the 80's metal explosion would be enormous. Bands like Black Sabbath. Nazareth. The Who. it is only the history as I saw it and as it happened in my life. its a way of life. NJ in March of 1967. Of course KISS would be one of the biggest bands to emerge from the 70's. heavy metal began establishing itself as one of the most commercially successful forms of aggressive rock & roll. only to lose it all within a few months. and Led Zeppelin fused heavy guitars with blues based rock 'n roll and began to put on outrageous live performances. AC/DC.
mostly because this was about the time that I was old enough to start listening to music. (Since then. they were not for the start for me. I was mesmerized and from then until today have been a huge Aerosmith fan. I actually hitch hiked to the mall to buy Aerosmith's "Done With Mirrors" when I was in college.) . I can remember listening to Aerosmith's "Toy in the Attic" for the first time when I was in grade school. It was actually the second wave of bands that caught my attention. I have bought every Aerosmith album the day it was released. as well as a big metal fanatic.KISS (1976) Below are some incredible albums that are usually credited with being the true beginning of HEAVY METAL! Led Zeppelin ('69) Deep Purple-Machine Head ('72) Black Sabbath ('70) While these albums are usually credited with being the start of metal.
as did the trendy . (GAK!!!) Disco was in. While KISS did disappoint through the late 70's/early 80's. (ok. the Bee Gees. (and of course Aerosmith's "Night in the Ruts") This is also about the time I discovered. Trends came and went. I even got into a playground fight because someone said that Led Zeppelin was a better band than Aerosmith. as their posters and magazine photos took up every inch of wall space I had in my bedroom. KISS was probably my biggest addiction of the time. what is now refered to as "true metal" or "classic heavy metal" Through the next decades.) Aerosmith "Toys in the Attic" and KISS "Destroyer" Two records that changed my life in the mid 70's: Aerosmith-Toys in the Attic ('76) Kiss-Destroyer ('76) The late 70's disco was all but dead and albums like Thin Lizzy's "Live & Dangerous" and Boston's "Don't Look Back" were gracing my turntable. Ted Nugent. metal adapted itself to the times and it would never completely disappeared from the charts. Aerosmith and KISS were actually the first two albums that I bought. Donna Summer. when the "cool" bands were Bay City Rollers. Mahogany Rush etc. Queen. Saturday Night Fever were all the rage-but I was a metal addict. actually my parents bought them for me. I can remember being mocked for listening to Rush.Aerosmith (1976) Even in grade school I would brag to friends that I had the new Aerosmith record. I remained a KISS fan and still am one to this very day. the Jackson 5 and KC & the Sunshine Band.
" Motorhead's classic "Ace of Spades. A few "local bands" were beginning to gain some popularity as well." Accept "Restless & Wild. who had just released "Number of the Beast. from Long Island Twisted Sister were filling up the clubs and had finally signed a decent record contract. Heathen's Rage were filling local halls and opening for some major acts. Motley Crue's "Too Fast for Love" on Leather Records. In the early 80s. Below are some of the albums I discovered in the mid 80's: . Judas Priest (1991) In high school I bought.) This movement never did gain as much popularity in the States. This is about the time I discovered bands like Iron Maiden. from NY released a 45 single called "Soldiers of Metal"." Scorpions "Lonesome Crow" and "Fly to the Rainbow." Saxon "Wheels of Steel. Heathen's Rage released a vinyl EP with a killer track called "City of Hell" and finally a four song demo in 1987 before disappearing off the face of the earth. but metal fans were devoted. although they had been touring and recording albums since the early 70's. heavy metal exploded in popularity. as new releases by then unknown bands." It was actually this band that pulled me deeper into the metal culture. but was an incredible influence on some of the early American Metal bands as well as some of today's popular bands. We all know what happened with Anthrax and Twisted Sister. both went on to be huge successes." Venom's "Black Metal." Metallica's "Kill 'em All.followers. I had discovered the incredible NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal. experienced a major popularity surge in '82 with the release of "Screaming for Vengeance. Judas Priest. Slayer's "Hell Awaits. Upon hearing the classic "Stained Class" I was convinced that Judas Priest was the ultimate heavy band. Anthrax." and Queensryche's debut EP." Yup." Raven "Rock til You Drop.
H. Many thought they would do a cover of ELO's "Evil Woman" but they did not. Kiss in the 80's Frehley's Comet in the mid-80's The 80's for me was a time of many concerts. Slayer. Anthrax. which was an awesome experience. and Celtic Frost. and especially Aerosmith. Dio and Twisted Sister at a small theatre in downtown Philly. The year after that Dio did a live video with us Philly maniacs. Black Sabbath was being chastized for doing "Smoke on the Water" live. The same metalhead that liked Motley Crue and Accept also liked Slayer and Motorhead. to the intense thrash bands like Megadeth. Quiet Riot opened that show. The very next year they both returned together and sold out the Spectrum. Deep Purple. Ratt.P. Overkill. What was really great about this time was that there was a unity among metalheads. the 80's were definitely a strong time for metal lovers." show. which I thought was GREAT! ELO's drummer was filling in for the ailing Bill Ward. Metallica. and Cinderella. to the more traditional bands like Iron Maiden. Some of the better remembered and highly cherished from that time were: Black Sabbath with Ian Gillan.Metallica-Kill 'Em All ('83) Slayer-Show No Mercy ('84) Iron Maiden-Killer ('81) From the glam-hair bands like Stryper. both at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Helloween and Armored Saint to the hardrockers like Frehley's Comet to the incredible comeback of bands like Kiss.A. . Pat Travers opened up the "R. He was on his "Black Pearl" tour and Ted Nugent co-headlined the "Back in the Saddle" show. Aerosmith on the "Rock in a Hard Place" tour and the incredible "Back in the Saddle" show with the return of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford.I.
NJ. then they hung out with us and drank some beers and played pool. . do-it-yourself attitude was just as important. but their attack was precise and clean. Cool show! Of course. PA and in Rochester. Crossing the new wave of British heavy metal with hardcore punk. and Charlie Daniels at Six Flags. The reunion and farwell tours have blown me away! David Lee Roth with Steve Via and Billy Sheehan on the "Eat 'Em And Smile" tour at the War Memorial in Rochester. the insanely fast tempos and a defiant. and sometimes it was even more important. speed metal and thrash became the most popular form of heavy metal in the American underground. Ted Nugent and Alcatrazz (with Yngwie Malmsteen) at Six Flags Great Adventure. In the mid-'80s thru the early 90's.Tony Lee (Heathen's Rage) Anthrax on the "Spread It" Tour with Heathen's Rage at City Gardens in Trenton. After Helstar played. I have seen KISS several other times since then. PA and the Meadowlands. I still have the t-shirt from that show. But what it borrowed from hardcore. speed metal remained true to its metal roots. although my girlfiiend (now my wife) got violently sick from some laced alcohol she drank. NJ Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force at a little club in PA. I was also privileged to see Anthrax at the infamous LaMore Club in NYC. Judas Priest "Defenders" tour two times in one month-Spectrum. almost everyone left. In that sense. Killer show. NY. Not a bad seat in the place.! Also saw Petra. later some of the TT Quick guys went on to be with Nuclear Assault. speed metal was extremely fast and more technically demanding. so we watched TT Quick with about 20 other people. I got my picture in FACES Magazine. TT Quick and Helstar at a little club in Rochester. It gave the band not only a unique musical approach but also an attractive "anti-image" for legions fans. Molly Hatchet (on their reuion tour with Danny Joe Brown). Queensryche and headliners KISS in Philadelphia. The metal guard rail in front of the stage broke in Philly and we were able to sit on the edge of the stage for the entire KISS show. Tthe bands played fast.
Heathen. radio support. Marillion. Coroner. . and Motley Crue. Hallow's Eve. Guns n Roses and especially Metallica. or black metal. Kreator. Of course. Forbidden. Dark Angel. Deliverance. What was so amazing about this was they they had little. Pink Floyd. Of course. Ratt. There were actually hundreds of bands of this style. Testament.including myslef. this is only a small list of some of the better known. Powermad. and early Genesis and even mixed in some classical elements. Testament and Slayer are still together. Destruction. that started out as more traditional heavy metal bands. like Megadeth. platinum+. Many of the bands developed a dedicated cult following that would eventually allow them to go gold and for some. Anthrax parted ways with vocalist Joey Belladonna and their lead guitarist Dan Spitz and have stayed pretty true to their roots. Angra. and glammy bands of the 80's and early 90's (Guns n Roses. but are still pounding out some aggressive thrash that sometimes borders early death metal. Mortification. Anthrax. among others). Viper. Slayer and Anthrax. Metallica (1991) Megadeth (1990) Another form of metal that came out of the 80's is Progressive Metal. Stratovarious. Forced Entry. albeit with some new faces. although I prefer their older music to the newer releases. (Belladonna reunited with Anthrax in April 2005). Metallica became the leaders of the genre until their recent style changes. if any. Believer. Metallica has gone for a more "alternative" radio friendly sound. Stryper. Dokken. Yes. Veni Domine. and hosts of others took the heaviness of metal and combined it with the progressive tendencies of Rush. as well as Queensryche have lead the way for others. more commercial. Bands like Fates Warning and Savatage. Sepultura. Dream Theatre. Annihilator are some others that were riding the thrash wave while it was hot. while Megadeth have gone for a more melodic radio friendly sound. Watchtower. Unfortunately. This raw style stood in direct conflict to the chart topping. Poison. Nuclear Assault. grindcore. this great art form began to fall apart and fracture into what is now either hardcore. Flotsom & Jetsam.Vengeance Rising. the few bands who do exist have changed styles. Exodus. Other key bands were Megadeth. In the 1990's. Kix. Laaz Rockit.
These guys were in a metal band called Holy Saint and they were a Christian metal band. NY that changed my life. heavy metal was more than just a passing trend. Certainly. with the guitar solo taking prominence. While some of the story you are about to read has some regrets. with annoying screams. Metal guitarists have always been innovators in technique. . but most metal bands place major importance on technical skill. even today. the guitar is the center of the music. that it cannot be ignored. and skill.Fates Warning (1999) Savatage (1993) There was one thing for sure. continue to dismiss metal as over simplistic. The songs are assembled around the riff. While I had always been somewhat "religious" it was during this time that I met some friends at a Motorhead/Raven concert in Rochester. Through this band I became a Christian. The 90's also ushered in a big change in my life. I can honestly say the knowing Jesus really changed my life. do so with such skill and attitude. Even those who play the simplistic forms of metal like AC/DC. In every subgenre of heavy metal. there is some heavy metal that is nothing but threechord riffing. speed. Fortunately these guys also opened up a whole new world of Christian heavy metal to me. primal pounding. I have never regretted my relationship with Him. Some critics.
We conviced ourselves that "secular metal" was all evil and so we got rid of the. Sacred Warrior. thousands of albums.From L to R: Myself (1984).) Thank God for Stryper! I would have been without any music I liked if not for them. (I know. Sardonyx. inspired by Joe Perry and Gregg Giuffria. literally. Haven. Bloodgood. Trouble. . ranging in style from thrash to classic rock. Whitecross. Stryper (1990) I began to discover that there was hundreds of Christian metal bands. Rez. Seventh Angel. I often cry myself. Bride. Holy Saint vocalist Chris Books and bassist Micheal Amico Dig the poofy hair I was sporting and the blonde streak. after graduating from college. I got involved in a church that condemned metal. tapes and the beginnings of my CD collection. Barren Cross. Believer. I got deeply involved along with my new wife of only a few months. Vengeance Rising. Unfortunately. These bands got me through some tough times. I bought up bands like Deliverance.
A picture of a sweaty me singing for Ultimatum. becoming the vocalist for Ultimatum. I discovered that a relationship with Jesus was what was important. . we figured out that Christianity was not about having your life lived for you. Below are some of the classic Christian thrash discs that still frequent my CD player: Vengeance Rising Human Sacrifice Deliverance Weapons of Our Warfare Believer Extraction from Mortality Eventually. not a list of manmade do's and dont's. We left the church we were in and got involved in a well balanced church.me (white shirt) on stage with Sardonyx 1992. In 1993 I joined a Christian heavy metal band myself.
The 90's came and went and despite the changes in music. PopPunk. Metanoia. Narnia. when I heard a block of songs off "Rocks. As you can see from my CD list. as well as the reformation of such greats as Exodus. after enjoying those five songs. Death Metal had its time in the spot light too. align="center">A History of Metal | My CD Gallery | My Personal Favorite Everything | My Want list | FAQ Contact Me. Death and a few other all mix elements of classic metal with death metal and in turn create some beautiful music. although never to the extent of grunge or alternative. killer bands: Nevermore. . Alternative. Some even went so far as to say metal was dead. Rapcore and Goth. That being said. Death Angel. I have once again attained a large collection of my favorites. it was not the music I needed to change. Grunge. New Eden. there are some death bands I really enjoy that play their music with a skill not hear before. am not a big death metal fan. Industrial. Techno. Iced Earth. I. metal continued to stay strong. Emo. Teramaze. there a host of new. Anthrax. Extol." perhaps the greatest Aerosmith disc ever. Man. Destiny’s End. honestly. as I feel the vocals all pretty much sound the same. Mortification. it was like seeing an old friend again. like having a cold Pepsi on a hot day. Despite the trends. it was Aerosmith that brought me around. metal took a big dive in popularity. Once again. Place of Skulls. the metalheads began to put out their own zines. Children of Bodom. flipping through radio station. I knew then. of course. see my favorites list. The 90's seemed to be a time of short lived trends. I was in my car. For a more condensed list of favorites. It was a lunch hour album side and they played five songs off that disc. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Heavy Metal Marches On! Let the Onslaught Continue! A History of Metal | My CD Gallery | My Personal Favorite Everything | My Want list | FAQ Contact Me. with the popularity of grunge. Extol. While the magazine that we all grew to love began to cover trendy garbage. it was me! In the mid 90's. and now Ska. New blood began to emerge. This was. Amorphis. I was even blessed with the opportunity to join the guys from the original Vengeance Rising as the new vocalist for their new project called Once Dead. untrue as it still had a huge underground following. Hammerfall. and the list goes on and on.Eventually I began collecting some of my old favorites again. Nuclear Assault.
1970 saw the beginning of real exponential growth in the rock industry. cumbersome and frequently barely audible acoustic double bass. Blue Cheer and the Stooges is perhaps now. considering the band has been defunct for well over a decade. Plastic skins were far more functional. and the development of electric guitar technique was paralleled by this phenomenon. Bands such as the MC5. was the world's first commercially available electric guitar. Led Zeppelin and Hendrix were making waves throughout Europe. launched in 1950. Led Zeppelin became the role model for other artists to follow. a whole new generation of bands were beginning to emerge out of garages and seedy clubs in the U. His style became the blueprint for rock. In the early '60s. Remo Belli started supplying plastic. The basic components of their style still represent the essential aspects of heavy metal and they probably rank as the most important influence on the genre. During the late '50s.. which marked a growing acceptance of rock as an art form.The History of Heavy Metal Throughout history. four or five-piece outfits became the norm. there was a growing awareness of the potential of the electric guitar. Alice Cooper's outrageous stage antics saw the inception of rock theatre. psychedelic rock. The Rolling Stones.K. bands began to capitalise on the benefits offered by recent improvements in technology. to replace the bulky. with a solid wooden body and bolt on neck. It saw the release of the Beatles' Sgt. The rock 'n' roll revolution exploded on the music scene during the '50s. Contemporary outfits such as Nirvana. and later heavy metal guitarists the world over. At the same time as Cream.A. where the live show became an integral part and visual extension of the music. later renamed the Telecaster. in the mid '90s.S. The boundaries between blues-rock. This is an amazing feat. Music is no exception.. Steppenwolf. comprising bass. The impact of the MC5. more apparent than ever. Grand Funk Railroad and Blue Cheer all helped mould the next phase through which rock music would progress. In the U. 1967 was an important year in the development of rock music. instead of supplying traditional calf leather skins to drum manufacturers. adultorientated-rock and progressive rock became increasingly blurred as total musical . The Fender Precision Bass was launched the following year. Hendrix made a massive impact on the rock scene. Pearl Jam and Soundgarden derive much inspiration from these sources. The Fender Broadcaster. the Stooges. heavy rock. A technical innovation in drumming heralded the next phase of rock music's development. In 1957. technical innovations have acted as catalysts for experimentation and development. labelled as the "badboys" of the British invasion did much to initialise the general public's negative attitude to rock music. rhythm and lead guitars plus optional keyboards or saxophone. The distinction between rhythm and lead playing was clearly made and songs were now constructed to include a four or eight-bar break in the middle. hard rock. the first important technical advancement that allowed an adaptive musical revolution was the introduction of the electric guitar in the late 1940s. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Black Cat Bones.H. Anthrax and Slayer. Thrash involved playing very fast and executing a myriad of complex instrumental time-changes.O. Uriah Heep. self-titled 1991 album represents concrete evidence of the mass acceptance of what was initially considered an obtuse musical style. Heavy metal has gradually come of age over the last quarter of a century. 1976-1979 represent the nadir for heavy metal and hard-rock as the punk movement exploded in every major city in the U. who simply amplified. Demon.K. the 24-hour television music channel. between 1979 and 1981. Heavy metal videos allowed the realisation and visualisation of the music's violent. Raven.W. Metallica's multi-platinum. Their basic approach was utilised by Metallica. U. To some extent. Angelwitch. the original meaning . Venom. Massachusetts.freedom became a reality. The influences of The Stooges. Tygers Of Pan Tang.A. hailing from Boston. UFO and Blue Oyster Cult. with the birth of MTV. Napalm Death. It combines elements of both the punk movement (brevity. metamorphosed the basic R 'n' B and rock 'n' roll structures of bands such as the Faces and Rolling Stones into a new hardline. Some of the key artists that emerged at this time included High Tide. infectious metallic form.M. exciting. Death metal and grindcore represent the extreme. Each of the four members of Kiss portrayed a cartoon-like character which necessitated elaborate face make-up and a science fiction-like stage attire. It combined the energy. Praying Mantis and Samson did overcome record company apathy to make a significant and long-lasting impact. scene in 1978 can be regarded as perhaps the archetypal exponents of this new direction. who exploded onto the U. Mother Love Bone and Temple Of The Dog. Ironically. Diamond Head. With the dual focus of flamboyant vocalist David Lee Roth and guitarist virtuoso Eddie Van Halen. 1 August 1981 was an important landmark in heavy metal. melody and professionalism). rewrote the heavy metal rule-book virtually overnight. sexual.. infiltrated and incorporated all musical styles to some degree. pop. jazz. Bands such as Iron Maiden. This more economic and powerful style was also clearly manifest in the approach adopted by the new bands to emerge in the U. attitude and energy) and early '70s heavy rock (technical ability.O. and later to a lesser extent everywhere else. Van Halen. Thrash-metal was the logical progression from punk in many ways.B. Pearl Jam.). Obituary and Death are leading exponents of this sub-genre and have a large and loyal underground following.S. this is referred to as the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (N. Their style is characterised by high-speed melodic lead work and represents the further development of an approach first exemplified by Alvin Lee of Ten Years After.W. Def Leppard.K. Black Widow. Collectively. it has transcended. folk and funk.. since punk's decline there has never been an ever growing realisation that the punk and metal genres are fundamentally very similar and inextricably linked.H. Kiss and Ted Nugent took glam-rock's garish image to new heights.S. Thrash metal also produced a new breed of lead guitarists. Megadeth. Punk and new wave have had a profound influence on the development of rock music ever since. mystical and rebellious imagery. they single-handedly. speeded up and improved technically upon the formative style. Carcass. Saxon. including classical. Aerosmith.M. rock. yet logical outposts of the thrash metal sub-culture.B. blues. Black Sabbath. aggression and attitude of punk with the technical and musical sophistication of the N. MC5 and the Velvet Underground are clearly evident in the recorded works of Nirvana.
basic in form and characterised by shrill guitar solos. The future of heavy metal offers much promise. roots and origins. In addition. unchecked. In time.K. 1975) "simplistic. repetitive rhythms and high sound levels" (Brewers Twentieth Century Phrase And Fable Dictionary. This has resulted in an ever increasing number of older musical styles being included under the heavy metal umbrella. Slayer and Def Leppard albums will no doubt be successful within the future heavy metal audience. repetitive and aggressive with sexist or satanic elements included in the lyrics. over and around existing musical genres to become so large and multifaceted. the musical equivalent of fantasy's "sword and sorcery" and game playing's "dungeons and dragons"" (Newspeak. It has expanded. 1984) . noisy macho music that appeals to headbanging denim-clad northerners (U. Guns 'n' Roses. the music is often perceived as being loud. A Dictionary Of Jargon. although its use as a cliché by the popular media is still in a derogatory sense. Click here to go back to my heavy metal page Misinterpretations of Heavy Metal The term "heavy metal" is probably one of the most overused.) or beer-swilling Midwesterners (U. 1990) "a form of rock music popular during the 1970s and 1980s. J. 1991) "energetic and highly amplified electronic rock music having a heart beat and usually an element of the fantastic" (Webster's Dictionary. There will be a continued acceptance of its major musical form and copies of the latest Metallica. firstly as a result of musical diversification from the "initial form" and secondly as a consequence of the acknowledgement of its influences. abused and misused clichés in the English language. that a simple description or definition is now totally inappropriate. The gut reaction to the term itself conjures up images of heavily tattooed band members decked out in studded black leather and spandex trousers with long hair and a macho attitude. Artistic creativity and technical innovation continue apace. The growth and diversification of metal has proceeded at an expansive rate over the last 25 years and there is no evidence to suggest that it is slowing down. and with them the potential for new and exciting musical developments.). This can be readily qualified if one examines the following dictionary definitions: • • • • "a particularly loud. it has incorporated ever more subgenres.of the word is now obsolete. simple and repetitive form of hard rock" (Chambers English Dictionary.S. Green.
the media don't portray him that way. invalidates this misinterpretation. further alienation to the music by the older generations has been aided by the medical reports on the damage that high noise levels and headbanging can inflict on their offspring. Also. and that's about as rewarding as I'm really looking for. funk metal. and this. electronic metal. Guitar solos are present in nearly all heavy metal songs. thrash metal. it is very complex. black metal. People think that they are all "hard" and have "macho attitudes". glam metal. with tabloid newspapers regularly exposing. Heavy metal is the least repetitive music form that I know of! Some people also think that heavy metal is "all the same". Click here to go back to my heavy metal page . for example. I don't think that it's true for any of them. David Ellefson. industrial. and usually only uses three simple chords.. various allegations of sexism. These solos often combine set structures of classical music and jazz music. here is a recent quote from Dave Mustaine of Megadeth.they've put on our music and it helps them get through some of the hard times. "Pop" is also very simple. Heavy metal also has a huge number of forms. this is said about the music within all genres. Another misinterpretation involves the images of the musicians. has commented that people who meet him without knowing what he does for a living are very surprised when they find out. and therefore requires little talent when compared to heavy metal. as they focus entirely on the shocking or controversial aspects of a small number of performers. condemning or ridiculing bands for their outrageous rock 'n' roll lifestyles and stage shows. drugs and be promiscuous have all been levelled. One of the many misinterpretations of heavy metal is that the players are untalented. punk. This music is definitely not simple. because he doesn't seem like that kind of person to them. For example. in itself. I can't even tell you how many times people have said that when it's really mucked up in their life . however.These definitions are typical of the misrepresentation of heavy metal by the media. and they always require a lot of talent to play. Heavy metal has received bad press since its inception. This might be true for some heavy metal players. Megadeth bassist. but only about 10% of them. whereas heavy metal uses more chords and faster. and that the music is very simple. In fact. Another of the misinterpretations is that heavy metal is repetitious." That's not the attitude which people expect from him. apparently the Iron Maiden guitarist is a fisherman. etc. "Easy listening" is slow. crossover. I think that's worth all the money in the world. This may be true for some of them. Christian metal. Over the years. It is incredibly difficult to play the notes at the speed that they do. "A lot of people have said that some of the songs we do have really helped them out when they've been in a bad way. but only some of them. devil worship and the incitement of teenagers to take alcohol. This is totally untrue. speed metal. However. In addition. Marty Friedman of Megadeth releases individual classical guitar albums. incorporating techniques from many musical genres including classical and jazz.
but now-a-days they are labeled "hair metal. At the time. They released their debut. James Marshal Hendrix was born in 1942. they are considered to be the first "doom metal" band. The band wrote dark. since 95% of modern metal bands were influenced by them in some way. not popular amongst the critics. Influenced by B.B. Another British band to form in the late '60's was 'Black Sabbath'. and his debut in 1978 ('Van . whose debuts ('In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' and 'Shades of Deep Purple') came in 1968. I call them epitome of heavy metal. and these bands were the start of something called The New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Another band that emerged the same year as Jimi was 'The Doors'. His debut ('Are You Experienced') was released in 1967 and he is considered one of the most influential artists of all time. several years later. THE LATE ‘70'S:> Another musician who really helped heavy metal become famous was Eddie Van Halen." but now-a-days I'd call them pioneers of hard rock. and a band who helped define the genre. Both Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath continued releasing albums throughout the '70's. was released in 1974. at the time. and. when hard rock began. He was a guitar virtuoso.The beginning of hard rock When looking back at the history of heavy metal. 'Kiss'." thus earning them the title of "heavy blues rock. these bands were labeled "acid rock. Metal in its infant stages Another influential British band of the 1970's was Judas Priest. They were called "over amplified blues. a year after Hendrix and the Doors. The start of real heavy metal: Led Zeppelin was a British band that was equally as innovative and influential as Jimi Hendrix. I must first venture into the '60's. they changed their sound as well as their name." But almost any metalhead (me included) credit them with being the general start of heavy metal. King and Curtis Mayfield. but then. The same goes for Iron Butterfly and Deep Purple. They were originally a blues rock band named Polka Tulk Blues Band. Today. he taught himself to play the guitar. They released 'Rocka Rolla' in 1974 and continued releasing influential albums throughout the '70's and '80's. At the time these albums were simply known as heavy metal. 'Led Zeppelin 1'. in 1969." Another “hair metal” band from the ‘70's is Kiss. ominous and heavy guitar riffs as an attempt to be the music's answer to horror movies. Their debut. Zeppelin was.
who were apart of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Other bands released demos. Motorhead were essentially the first speed metal band. Two other metal bands who released classic albums in 1980. the Ramones. Thrash incorporates speed metal’s extreme sound and extreme speed (speedy riffs and drums) into traditional heavy metal. With metal popular again. since it was a darker . They are. and their album. heavy metal seemed to be dying.” in 1981.Halen') was a milestone in heavy metal. 'Overkill'. 'Kill 'Em All'. many metal bands cropped up in the ‘80's. after Metallica and Slayer introduced themselves to the world. dropped in 1985. arose in 1980 and helped kill the uprising of punk. but “Back in Black” is generally considered to be their best. the best heavy metal band of all time! After their debut was released in 1983. The Golden Age of metal: Since heavy metal was again the music of choice. AC-DC released albums in the ‘70's. Metallica may not have been the first thrash band on the scene. As aforementioned. “Unleash the Beast Within. and they continued releasing albums throughout the 1980's and ‘90's. Since heavy metal was at it’s peak of popularity in the 1980's. This song is often considered to be the first thrash song ever. The other band is 'Iron Maiden'. when punk bands like The Clash. This album featured the standard setting guitarist Randy Rhodes (who was equally as talented as Van Halen). Black Sabbath. and another thrash band adopted their name from Motorhead’s 1979 album. was thrash’s first full length studio LP. in my opinion. the playing field was wide open for many other bands to come. I consider this to be the first “death metal” album. Speed metal and thrash metal are essentially the same. I call this decade “The Golden Age of metal. two critical metal bands. But by the late 1970's. but they were second. and Sex Pistols cropped up. Overkill wrote their first song. Those albums were AC-DC’s 'Back in Black' and Ozzy Osbourne’s 'Blizzard of Ozz'. Metallica were inspired by such bands as Motorhead and Iron Maiden. thrash metal really took off. 'Feel the Fire'. but Metallica’s debut album. But their first. The band Slayer formed and released 'Show No Mercy' in 1983.” One particularly popular sub genre of heavy metal was thrash metal. Motorhead is widely considered to be the start of “speed metal” (metal played really fast). full-length debut. His band continued releasing albums throughout the next decade. <B00005NHO2> is a classic. Luckily. But Sabbath disbanded and nothing was heard from the band until Ozzy Osbourne formed his own band and released his debut. And Ozzy Osbourne was the singer in the aforementioned heavy metal band from the 1970's.
was released in 1983. Also.. Exodus ('Bonded by Blood' in 1985).) But thrash wasn’t the only genre of metal in the 1980's. Megadeth (whose founding member. as did Morbid Angel.. as well as the next two decades. 'With Sympathy'. few realize that industrial metal was created. The band Ministry may have not been the first industrial band.But Who's Buying?' 'Among the Living' 'Beneath the Remains' 'The New Order' 'Practice What You Preach' 'Altars of Madness' Heavy Metal . and they would continue releasing albums throughout the ‘80's. And Business Is Good!' in 1985.. heavy metal icon Dave Mustaine. Testament ('The Legacy' in 1987).. who released 'Altars of Madness' in 1989. Sepultura later released three other albums in the ‘80's. in addition to the aforementioned albums: 'Led Zeppelin IV (aka ZOSO)' 'Paranoid' 'Screaming for Vengeance' 'British Steel' 'Number of the Beast' 'Powerslave' '1984' 'The Years of Decay' 'Ride the Lightning' 'Master of Puppets' 'Reign in Blood' 'Peace Sells. Sepultura helped further the death metal created by Slayer. was formerly in Metallica) released 'Killing Is My Business. Their debut. With 'Morbid Visions/Bestial Devastation' in 1985.and heavier sounding thrash. Other thrash metal bands to emerge in the 1980's were Anthrax ('Fistful of Metal' in 1984). and Death Angel ('Frolic through the Park' in 1988. Dark Angel ('We Have Arrived' in 1984). since thrash was so popular in the that decade. but they were the first to popularize it. Essential metalhead listening thus far.
Joe Elliot. Reproduced by permission. Heavy metal music is all about aggression. and the trademark loud and distorted heavy metal sound. power. distorted electric guitars (see entry under 1950s— Music in volume 3). with fake blood. Its critics are many. lead singerof the heavymetalbandDef Leppard. louder tone coupled with often mystical imagery that went far beyond anything else heard on the radio (see entry under 1920s—TV and Radio in volume 2) in the late 1960s. and often dark style. led for a long time by singer Ozzy Osbourne (1948–). Amid the pop-rock and psychedelic rock of the late 1960s.With its loud. reached many fans with their songs that touched on teenage insecurities. As the genre (category) got going in the 1970s. Alice Cooper (1948–) hit on a similar theme with the song "I'm Eighteen" and later brought fantastic theater productions to his concerts. perhaps the most successful of heavy metal bands in the 1970s. smoke and fire. powerful vocals. and pushing the boundaries of "respectable" music. musicians and groups such as Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin (see entry under 1970s—Music in volume 4) incorporated a harder. wore elaborate makeup and produced theatrical rock concerts that made them fan favorites. it produced a number of important artists who took the sound to new levels. Their songs "Dr. but its fans outnumber them because heavy-metal music speaks to raw human emotions. Photograph by Ken Settle. heavy-metal music became an important style of rock and roll (see entry under 1950s—Music in volume 3) starting in the 1970s. KISS (see entry under 1970s—Music in volume 4). Black Sabbath. Love" and "Rock and Roll .
This Is Spinal Tap (1984). Critics. Despite these charges. that both spoofed and celebrated the genre in its mock-documentary about a fictional heavy metal band. metal music punched through the pleasant facade of mainstream music and . another essential heavy metal theme. Bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden continued the early. led by the Parents Music Resource Center. wife of then–U. "Speed metal" and "thrash" bands that fused heavy metal and punk (see entry under 1970s—Music in volume 4). Softer heavy-metal bands like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard reached an even wider market and scored a number of hits during the 1980s. in which a large number of bigger historical trends reached one of those periodistic points of brutal evidence. the most famous of which was Metallica. founded by Tipper Gore (1948–). Heavy metal music was also in the limelight for more controversial reasons in the 1980s. charged that heavy metal music was spreading bad messages that had an evil influence on children. These critics charged that some heavy metal songs contained satanic messages and some were about violence and death. causing negative reactions in children. heavy metal continued to attract a loyal fan base in the 1990s and beyond. rose in popularity at the same time.S.All Nite" expressed the desire for good times. Heavy metal became the subject of a hit show on MTV (see entry under 1980s— Music in volume 5) and of a hit movie. heavy metal became even more successful. raw sound. In the 1980s. The Philosophy of Heavy Metal The Philosophy of Heavy Metal During an unusual time. senator and later Vice President Al Gore (1948–).
having influences also from aggro-prog bands like King Crimson and Jade Warrior. What did the metal movement believe that was unique to it? To see this. A. best represented by early work like Iggy Pop and the Stooges. and those who felt a need to reject more than embrace recent . those more likely to strike out in anger at the world. Both movements were dissident movements. was a turd in the punchbowl among the progressive and folksy. despite the attempts of commercial bands to turn it into a predictable. since it threatens their worldview. but everything they did was done by Motorhead except the explicit and repetitive occult imagery). like most popular music on all continents. Heavy metal arose roughly concurrently with punk and hardcore. formed in America of the mixture of cultures. tame as it sounds today. Celtic folk and electric blues fusion of Led Zeppelin. and soon solidified into a 1970s style of heavy metal most notably represented by Iron Maiden. It was not happy fun include everyone music. The late 1960s culminated in rock being bored with itself. However. impotent version of itself. like dissident apocalyptic rockers the Doors before it. it features easily transposed chord progressions and a basic song structure which allows easy melodic improvisation). and after the Beatles went progressive and British and American blues-rock guitarists aimed for more lengthy. rock essentially turning progressive in nature. meaning that they rejected everything present in popular culture at the time and took a path of ambiguous degree of opposition. was "heavy" in that it took on weighty existential topics and its partying was self-destructive. but clearly a different and thus incompatible choice. we have to trace thirty years of its progress.I'm not talking about popular but artistically meaningless efforts like Cannibal Corpse or Cradle of Filth and second. Unlike the good times and party hearty vibe of most music. I. Judas Priest and Motorhead (we would include Venom here. metal. there are two interpretations: first. "Progressive" is perhaps a misnomer. but deeply hybridized with the progressive rock. fatalistic. generally. what those outside the genre would like it to mean. complex works. they want it to mean nothing. but for rock it was progress from the simplistic pop of the 1950s to incorporate new styles and vastly adulterate the blues framework of rock (the blues is a syncopated version of Celtic and German folk-pop. an expression of impending doom. Faustian form of music-culture which to this day remains controversial. the style of Black Sabbath was solidified. Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. This music. it was for darker souls. so it makes sense to look over the past and from that. the Ramones and proto-punk like Link Wray and the MC5.brought to bear upon a slumbering populace remnants of the ancient Indo-European spirit of vir. as there's no "progress" in re-incorporating influences from classical music. divine what might exist of it in the future. Heavy Metal With heavy metal. It emerged from the proto-metal of bands like King Crimson. what the musicians who contributed something sizable to the genre intended . mostly pacifistic and hedonistic rock of the time. for now it has run its course. The fundamental questions of any artistic movement are "What did it believe that others did not?" and "To what did it appeal?" In metal. It did so through a Romanticist.
making war just for fun. Death and hatred to mankind. it produced a gnarled. such as Lord Satan himself. as in classical composition. While clearly much of the heritage of this style comes from the lengthy classical-borrowing epics of progressive rock. thus lending to riffs written as phrases (like classical. poisoning their brainwashed minds. Indeed. metal almost exclusively used moveable power chords. in Venom and Angel Witch and many other NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) acts. In the fields the bodies burning. there was an almost exclusive focus on the dark side and on the spiritual figures society rejected for not being tamed. toward a narrative song structure in which riffs form motifs that resolve themselves over the course of a song. Black Sabbath's "War Pigs": Generals gathered in their masses. but the musical factor of its development was important. with Iron Maiden taking on occult topics. just like witches at black masses. and gave it a dark sound which lent itself. and Judas Priest not only writing songs about WWII but openly accepting a demonic. and is best exemplified by what became the prototype of all "Satanic" metal lyrics to follow. it embraced dark imagery.social changes. as the war machine keeps turning. Why should they go out to fight? They leave that role to the poor. yeah! Politicians hide themselves away. which explains to some degree the vast amount of ecclesiastical and occult symbolism in all metal bands of the period. Even more alarmingly. yeah. They only started the war. . Evil minds that plot destruction. sorcerers of death's construction. or jazz) more than rhythmic variations built around open chords. which can be played in any position along the neck of the guitar in quick sequence. warlike persona. Alone this would be cause enough to say metal was divergent from rock of the time. Consequently. between the raw nature of the inverted fifth and the thunderous effect of chordal phrases buffeting the listener. Motorhead wearing Iron Crosses (a symbol of the defeated National Socialist regime in Germany). Oh lord. and seemed to be searching through the haze of the counterculture for something of eternal meaning. metal was openly embracing of the wilderness (similar to the concept of "the frontier" in the music of the Doors) and replaced a desire for moral certitude with a desire for the lawless. short-cycle riffs of rock. This both simplified the music to the point where it was highly accessible. Using occult imagery to reflect political topics was also popular. for those who wanted to immerse themselves in the hippie pop of the time. Its musicians wrote about ancient times. Unlike the harmony-based. Time will tell on their power minds. about battle and death. feral sound.
hardcore punk did not follow pop song structures nor did it use conventional harmonics. the next generation of metal was confrontational with its alienation and took a political and socially-critical angle. What drove hardcore punk was the insistent pace of its music. Satan. yeah. and at that point was replaced by newer styles which represented a re-infusion of hardcore punk styles. hardcore was quite simple and soon drowned in a sea of imitators. DRI) and punk riffs in metal . it might end abruptly. guaranteed it zero airplay. unlike punk. Day of judgement. Black Sabbath In this song. and for a long time. a humanity distracted by political and monetary concerns turns its back on reality. Speed Metal and Thrash Like hardcore. and the best examples of this were Discharge and the Exploited and GBH. God is calling. a song about war might diverge into a middle interlude with no immediate relation to the previous works. as hardcore was almost entirely by 1985.War Pigs. Hand of God has struck the hour. laughing. B. No more War Pigs have the power. and songs that like small operas were built around their own topics. This made the music more aesthetically menacing. the demonic figure of hatred and death triumphs. often consisting of two or three power chords per song. which followed expanded heavy metal structures but used muffled strumming to turn ringing chords into short explosive bursts of bass-intensive sound. Now in darkness world stops turning. and thus the ethics of the music were highly populist and individualistic. The latter tendency would save later generations from being absorbed by the former. whose stylistic attitudes appeared through succeeding generations of metal.Treating people just like pawns in chess. As hardcore died. in a liberal democratic era. rhythmic and droning riffing. Lyrics and music were united. spreads his wings. thrash music made less frequent use of muffled chords but took on two forms: metal riffs in punk song structures (COC. On the other end of the spectrum. thus a travesty occurs and is unnoticed by all while. Oh lord. at which point the musical quality declined rapidly (to embrace populist politics means. it passed on its genetic material to metal. Begging mercies for their sins. Heavy metal grew prodigiously from 1972 to just after the turn of the decade. If a song was about death. in the last verse. on their knees the war pigs crawling. Arguably the first genre to emerge was speed metal. ashes where the bodies burning. yeah! . because of the Cold War going on at the time. However. to abandon dissidence for an extremism of the dominant rhetoric of the age). wait till their judgement day comes. most of these artists believed themselves to be the victims of centralized government and its political wars detached from the daily lives of the people. and the power chord phrases that resembled the topics of each song much as each song's structure resembled the topic being discussed.
the first two were based around muffled-chord player. because there is only so much one can do with short." Feel no pain. most speed metal bands by the turn of the decade mutated into heavy metal acts with " speed metal influences. for example Metallica's "Escape. dead horse). fast songs (frequently under thirty seconds). which evoked the sounds of one-chord rhythm riffing. They block out the landscape with giant signs Covered with pretty girls and catchy lines Put up the fences and cement the ground To dull my senses. Thrash bands tended to write a mixture of "political" songs and more direct. Exodus and Slayer. while the latter focused on playing quick fluid phrases known for their complexity. This "selling out" of speed metal reflected a fundamental division in metal at the time. and using introductory sequences of riffs like a progressive band in simple. aggressive form. grunge." in the case of Metallica eventually going on to incorporate country music into their sound. namely the perception that one could not speak the truth in public. in DRI's "Give my taxes back. but my life ain't easy I know I'm my best friend No one cares. and in general uptempo songwriting and abrupt changes in melodic line within each song. but I'm so much stronger I'll fight until the end To escape from the true false world Undamaged destiny Can't get caught in the endless circle Ring of stupidity Out of my own." Speed metal bands incorporated a fair amount of such existential critique as well. Speed metal proved to be too close to the heavy metal song format. they just can't see No need to hear things that they say Life is for my own to live my own way Rape my mind and destroy my feelings Don't tell my what to do I don't care now.Give My Taxes Back. existential critiques of modern society. out to be free One with my mind. 'cause I'm on my side And I can see through you Feed my brain with your so-called standards . Speed metal tended to use metal riffs in metal song structures but show the influence of hardcore music in riff texturing.song structures (Cryptic Slaughter. and thus anything popular had compromised reality for a public reality which sold records. This belief was also echoed in the indie. rap. techno and punk music of the time. Perhaps the best examples of speed metal were Metallica. Dirty Rotten Imbeciles Thrash died out early. keep the flowers down . for example. and since there was more money and future for the musicians in radio-friendly heavy metal than battering-ram speed metal.
This was a music beyond protest. much as one overdrives an amplifier to distort sound. Hardcore musicians used an approximation of this. social issues and occult topics.Escape.Who says that I ain't right Break away from your common fashion See through your blurry sight Out of my own. C. but could be quite insightful. and that somehow there was something inarticulable in polite society that needed to be done. much like the growling surly cadences of Wattie with the Exploited. Grindcore and Death Metal It is probably a mistake to view grindcore as anything but an extremist extension of thrash. and thus the next step was taken. your blood. even these genres fell short because of their popularity. grindcore contributed the biologically distorted vocals which would also be a trait of death metal and black metal. What was common to both movements was a belief that the path of progress as a general item was missing the point. As time went on. Grindcore lyrics were usually political. it destroyed music itself in order to create a wall of sound which was unnacceptable in any social listening. would never get radio airplay and annoyed and disturbed anyone not acquainted with the genre. Metallica However. however. but grindcore took it to a new extreme. when these musicians hit their fifties. in songs which were punkish and abruptly short like those of thrash. but much as Venom contributed aesthetics in the form of primitive punkish riffing and over-the-top Satanic and occult lyrics. out to be free One with my mind. These are achieved by. in the view of many metal artists. whether or not this causes a dramatic increase in throat cancer). the majority of songs in speed metal rotated around fear of government. as this example from Swedish band Carbonized: Welcome citizen of our adorable nation Serve and be a part of us in modern time Parents have never existed. and then forcing it through violently (it will become clear around 2020. in a paranoid and anarchistic view of the world. pitching one's vocal chords in a position too low or too high for the sound produced. state property . but even more inclined toward chromatic and harmonically-nullifying chord progressions. apocalypse. nuclear war. they just can't see No need to hear things that they say Life is for my own to live my own way See they try to bring the hammer down No damn chains can hold me to the ground Life is for my own to live my own way .
describing in playful and mocking fashion the process of dying. bands such as Possessed and Sepultura took the thrashinfluenced proto-death/proto-black metal of bands like Sodom. Interestingly. and related projects. it borrowed vocals and techniques from grindcore. it was limited by its emphasis on chromatic rhythm riffing. in this year. Napalm Death was known for songs as short as one second. where riffs were not so much recursion as they were phrases that evolved throughout a song.For the Security. Carcass took another route and wrote lyrics using complex latinate words from medical textbooks. but only became solidified as a style during the waning days of grind. but also highly critical of society as a whole including its populist aspects. Musically. except even to a greater extreme in death metal . also both related to industrial grindcore band Godflesh. The unstated purpose of this seemed to be to remind the audience that mortality is real. narrative structures like progressive rock or classical. Bathory . the band deliberately played out of time with each other during certain sections of song to achieve a muddy. it resembles speed metal rehybridized with hardcore. then run through a progressive filter: songs are epic in structure.. Breaking from the hardcore tradition.only for the security From childhood to the grave Every step will be safe as we are behind Guided through life blessed in our birth So our secret son welcome to the promised life. as if overcoming the Led Zeppelin influence and focusing purely on primitive music written into lengthy. it emphasized phrasal songwriting.our information Your eyes . For the first time. and its use of a single chord shape. something as abrupt and disturbing as Black Sabbath had been in 1969 had again come to metal. and experiencing disease (the emphasis on complex latinate language was shared by bands such as Slayer and Judas Priest). If one had to give death metal a birthdate. and thus life is indeed quite short. discoordinated effect that made it impossible to tell what was occurring until the next phrase rose out of the muck. and therefore: we're playing for keeps with our public actions and private decisions. with "free jazz" styled improvisation for lead solos and determining the course of phrase. being mutilated. Their lyrics were explicitly political and generally leftist. but emphasized precision and clear structure instead of confusion. it resurrected some of the grandeur and refined apocalyptic presentation of music from the Doors through early heavy metal..our sight Implanted in society . it would probably be 1985. Death metal arose roughly concurrently with grindcore.Leave personality. grindcore occurred almost entirely before the end of the Cold War (roughly: 1989). . Carbonized Early grindcore bands worth mentioning are Napalm Death and Carcass. as if someone finally listened. both from the UK. the inverted fifth. but often chromatic in harmony. blurring. total trust will make security Your ears . because life is limited and death very near and the consequences of our actions will catch up to us. However. Like most heavy metal to date.
an updated version of Judas Priest itself. Bathory. and used speed metal song structures with death metal riffs. when Necrovore from Texas recorded their demo finalizing the death metal style and Massacra in France had expanded the genre to include classically-evocative high-speed riff narratives. such as Rigor Mortis ( speed metal vocals and song structure. death metal defined itself as a clear style of several components. the new style was incorporated into speed metal in bands like Kreator and Destruction. death metal vocals and song structure). Incantation. a form embraced to a lesser degree by Deicide. with the barest moments of asymmetrical melody gracing the tirade accompanied by blast. Deicide. who focused on intensity and searing atonal solos. death metal riff styles) and Death Strike/Master (punk riffs. it is most similar to opera or classical music.and Hellhammer and made a more rhythmic. albeit done in a far simpler style within the format of rock music: drums. These used the death metal vocal style which was distinct from that of grindcore in that greater enunciation occurred. with its choppy percussive muted-strummed chords. Immolation and Suffocation. topics and presentation. hybrids also existed. Possessed and Celtic Frost. bass and vocals. like Morbid Angel. in America. yet often there were subverbal sounds used for emphasis (this is a longstanding rock and blues tradition). With the emergence of genre-defining acts like Morbid Angel. it's important to note that without Morpheus (now Morpheus Descends). bands such as Morbid Angel and Morpheus (Descends) were already defining styles of death metal . Suffocation would not exist. Others. used an extreme form of speed metal riffing. two guitars. in Europe. more percussive moments in song. much of the pre-history of death metal is addressed in the following section. like Suffocation. Some. Immolation was a hybrid between these that used slower tempos in alternation with faster. and that Morbid Angel derived much of its . By 1987. were an updated version of Slayer. Because the early death metal and black metal bands shared a genesis in acts like Sodom. architecturally structured music of a "riff salad" which arranged related ideas in motifs and used them to illustrate the passage of an idea through a song. Incantation created dirges that picked up tempo into slurries of fast chords. These bands (among others) represented the first wave of death metal . Interestingly.
It's been my dream To enter the stream To let carnates know What life really means If one understands That's all I can ask Life to you is such a wretched task! . over which melodic phrasal composition formed the expository work of each song. as without the massive overhype this band was above average but conveyed mainly by influences from other acts. and gave composers more with which to work. but added to it a blistering new form of distortion which increased the tremelo effect of their riffs. Atheist From Florida came Atheist.aesthetic and melodic components from Necrovore. Robert Fripp from King Crimson invented an extreme form of this with his "Frippertronics" ambient music). in part spawning a series of progressive-influenced death metal bands. deserve a footnote but no more. since it was exclusively phrasal. more technical version of Slayer's "Reign in Blood.An Incarnation's Dream. in part ." also belongs to this category). emotional songs this was "The Karelian Isthmus." In this division of styles is visible the varying degree of influences from metal's past. Deicide seems like a faster. and others reaching toward outright melodic music or music that were it not chromatic would be melodic in structure. "Legion. the next two years brought its classic style. healthier. and this conflict of interpretations over technique led to a splintering in agreement on how the music should be composed. took predominance with bands like Entombed. The first was the 19851988 style best exemplified by Sepultura and Massacra. establishing with their landmark "Unquestionable Presence" the formative nature of the post-classic death metal genre. Deicide's second album.) Death metal went through several generations. Therion. in a style pioneered by Asphyx and Sinister (from the Netherlands) among others. First. Alongside them came a series of bands. a divergence occurred. This was the golden age of fully mature death metal ." and its influence is understated to this day. who pushed boundaries in harmony and melody further without giving up the structuralist form of death metal (interestingly. whose speed metal hybrid death metal eventually disintegrated into heavy metal with death metal vocals. Amorphis rounded out the ground by producing an album of simple riffs in epic. At the Gates. This caused the emphasis in songs to shift from chromatic rhythm playing to a firm pace with many changes. who had been present but mostly unknown outside Sweden. the Swedish death metal bands. including Gorguts from Canada and Demilich from Finland. After that. including speed metal and thrash and grindcore. This increased the complexity of the music. These used rigid riff playing in a shifting frame of tempo reference. and it culminated around 1994 when the form itself became limiting. with some favoring a primarily rhythmic approach like that of speed metal bands. elliding notes together into a liquid flow of melody (interesting. (The oftmentioned Death. Dismember and Suffer. who wrote jazz-technique-influenced death metal that used classic metal narrative melodic songwriting. as shown by the bands mentioned in the previous paragraph.
these two genres were the most similar. Grunge suffered a similar fate. All of these bands shared a common element: they worked with drone. which can be either a form of aggression or passive self-pity like fatalism. but what pleased the crowd most were bands that did not escape their fatalism. after a brief downtime in which mainstream influences merged with underground. D. but mostly mournful. Other interesting acts were Mudhoney and Alice in Chains. and unbearably slow songs which centered around mournful topics and a certain amount of self-pity. out-of-the-closet angsty rock which featured droning vocals and simple punklike riffs. and formed doom metal. while My Dying Bride fully immersed themselves in the maudlin but increased the instrumental aspects of the genre. Cobain) did not. both enjoyed popularity with metalheads.producing slowly developing melodic songs with soundtrack-like mood regulation through keyboards and noise. a genre fragment that immediately offered enough possiblity that it rapidly mutated and then died under its own weight. E. and the latter two . and by the nature of drone. Black Metal . modulating gradually into pop-punk which was musically like grunge infused with candy rock and energetic punk rhythms. with the former making nearly industrial slow and grinding bizarre music. used melodies diminishing in interval over time such that they started from open harmony and ended in near-chromatic entropy. The most evident acts in this category were Cathedral and My Dying Bride. with the most crossover being with doom audiences. they both addressed a fatalism which some overcame and others (Goodbye Mr. Doom metal explored these areas. giving people on the radio a break from the grim as the Clinton administration (counterculture liberalism triumphing over "the establishment") and the Internet boom (newfound wealth. Influenced in part by Celtic Frost and other classic metal and punk bands. Consequently. Doom Metal and Grunge During the early 1990s. the next genre to emerge rectified this situation. incorporating interleaving melodies and violin accompaniment (something also attempted on At the Gates' second full-length). thus soon the genre shot its wad and died. but also in part because death metal retained too much of speed metal and hardcore punk in its presentation to escape its own impetus. Rounding out the genre were bands such as Winter. heavy. namely the shock of growling vocals and pounding.as if incorporating a Dead Can Dance influence . Fatalism is the belief that one can do nothing about one's fate but mourn it as a means of accepting it. Thergothon and Skepticism. This is in part because musically. even influencing the most popular radio genre of the day.because death metal audiences expected "brutal" sounds of a simplistic and sonic nature. it is easily confused with nihilism. and aesthetically. a new frontier) developed. Nirvana burst onto the mainstream radio with a new style called "grunge" that was part metal and punk. nihilistically chromatic riffs. an offshoot movement of death metal merged with the older style of heavy droning rock that Black Sabbath had pioneered. Cathedral made rock-oriented. or a belief in nothing but the inherent value of ultimate reality. and general negativity.
Black metal was born at the same moment as death metal , and initially, was indistinguishable from it. Early bands such as Sodom and Bathory were like speed metal mixed with thrash, which re-incorporated the type of epic song that Black Sabbath had popularized with their less radio-friendly pieces. It is impossible here to negate the influence of Motorhead, who used simple punk/progressive riffs in metal songs, and Venom, who created the aesthetics of simple song, insistent rhythm and occult lyrics with growling voice; these two bands influenced this genre the most. Interestingly, the birth of proto-death/proto-black metal bands such as Sodom and Hellhammer and Bathory was in 1983, at the same time American speed metal bands like Slayer were first recording. This parallel development reflected the dual nature of American and European metal, with Europeans instinctively taking to melodic composition while Americans developed rhythm and technique.
The bloody history from the past Deceased humans now forgotten An age of legends and fear A time now so distant Less numbered as they were their lives So primitive and pagan Superstitions were a part of the life So unprotected in the dark nights Pagan fears The past is alive The past is alive Woeful people with pale faces Staring obsessed at the moon Some memories will never go away And they will forever be here - Pagan Fears, Mayhem
After the birth of this new form of metal, the first form to be like hardcore punk "underground" and thus distributed by an informal network of small labels and zines in an effort to escape commercialization and the corruption of viewpoint that comes with it, metal veered toward the most achievable idea first: death metal . Its mostly rhythmic and chromatic basis allowed it to be fully explored from the early eighties until the early
1990s, at which point the first black metal based on the lessons of death metal , or "modern black metal," emerged. The first wave of bands were almost exclusively from the same Scandinavian countries that had produced death metal of a melodic nature, and comprised Immortal, Mayhem, Beherit, Gorgoroth, Burzum, Enslaved, Darkthrone and Emperor. These foundational acts essentially defined the genre; in Greece, a hybrid form of heavy metal and black metal emerged with Varathron and Rotting Christ, who shared members who had previously been in death metal bands (arguably, Rotting Christ's first album is death metal , and the name clearly belongs to the death metal and not black metal genre). In America, the only foundational modern black metal band was Havohej, which contained personnel who had formerly been in Incantation. Unlike death metal , black metal was explicitly melodic in composition, although there were multiple interpretations of how to compose it. Immortal started out resembling later Bathory, but evolved into fast melodies of power chords over incomprehensibly fast, muddled drumming, which demoted the influence of drums to secondary and let guitars function as the primary composition instrument, with vocals (!) being the predominant rhythm instrument. Darkthrone began not far from a hybrid between Swedish death metal and doom metal, but quickly began a tribute to the more extreme aspects of older Bathory, with songs staged dramatically such that a story unfolded and was presented as one might in a theatre, with percussion and pacing to match the scene. Burzum resembled the best of death metal in its smoothly chained collection of riffs and narrative, mimetic composition, but over time moved closer to ambient music. Emperor and Gorgoroth were neoclassical music over traditional drums at a higher pace, with less focus on fills than on counterbalancing internal rhythms within songs. Between these techniques and the range of melody - with varied emotions, moods and developing phrases based on previous motifs - modern black metal represents the highest evolution of metal as a technical and artistic musical genre. F. Black Hardcore and Nu-Metal Black metal was both music and a circus, in that news of the murders coming out of normally peaceful Scandinavia, the fascist and neo-Nazi beliefs of many of the bands, and of course the sensation of music that embraced occult and naturalistic themes in a literal sense, symbolism both by Lucifer and the wolf in winter, howling over his weaker prey, contributed to an atmosphere of suspending the normal rules of society. Once the creative instigators of the genre had said their piece and retired, or settled for making music of a more crowd-pleasing aspect, the new civilization created by black metal was replaced by those who wished to inhabit it and have what it created for themselves.
There is a serpent in every Eden Slick as grease and cold as ice There is a lie in every meaning Rest assured to fool you twice In this age of utter madness We maintain we are in control
And ending life before deliverance While countries are both bought and sold Holy writtings hokus-pokus Blaze of glory and crucifix Prepried costly credit salvations TV-preachers and dirty tricks Don't trust nobody It will cost you much too much Beware of the dagger It caress you at first touch O, all small creatures It is the twilight if the gods When the foundations to our existence Begins to crumble one by one And legislations protects its breakers And he who was wrong but paid the most won Even the gods of countless religions Holds no powers against this tide Of degeneration because we have now found That there is no thrones up there in the sky Run from this fire It will burn your very soul Its flames reaching higher Comed this far there is no hold O, all small creatures It is the twilight if the gods - Twilight of the Gods, Bathory
What emerged of this was the same inevitable end that had swallowed hardcore, grindcore, speed metal and death metal , namely the surging of the crowd to occupy the space, imitating the aesthetics of the music but unable to reproduce the content that made it stand head and shoulders above the crowd. True to the nature of all popular movements, these reverted to a populist viewpoint; instead of using Satan or lawless nature as metaphor, they took them literally. Thus came about a wave of bands making Satanic music and purporting to "hate everyone equality" and "want death for all humanity," without realizing they'd been played like a rental fiddle. The emulators did not have the musical subtlety of the original, and thus started making music that resembled punk rock with the trappings of black metal. It is fair and historically accurate to call this black hardcore. Unlike the metal before it, this music did not aim to be distinctive but focused on fitting into the most popular definitions of the genre, which were by nature narrow, or on being "unique" by taking that format and
The music is interchangeable. and collapse of metal culture. emo. and then closed. Hardcore in its final days had much the same quality. the bands began to sound like each other as new musicians first cloned the old and then began competing on trivial levels of "newness. since this has all remained in the underground.and their reasons for being dissidents. When the focus shifted from the art to the fans and their selfimage. but that it should put into practice its beliefs and create art objects that praise the meaningful aspects of life . as mainstream bands began adopting the same techniques as underground. The dichotomy between mainstream and underground widened. but it's another kind of selling out: deferring to the crowd who has pulled away from the mainstream." What may have been learned is that there's more than one way to sell out. and consequently metal fragmented once again. While we may believe . it died when the leaders left and soon every fan had a band. The core of the music called black hardcore is the same as hardcore. and only one way to make music of lasting significance: to focus on the artistic and emotional and logical attributes of the music. we must backtrack a slight bit. In roughly 1996." such as different sounds or imagery. It wasn't commercialization per se. and that faded quickly since there were now "new" bands every week. punk rock. Like hardcore before it. or toneless rhythm riffing.it had to give it importance was its chronological currency. but has no answers beyond being "different" by doing the same old thing. and to push to create not something "new" but something that addresses reality and the experience of people living through it. This vast failure of spirit. and thus quickly the concentration on relevant content was replaced with a hurry to produce something and sell it. and serves as an epitaph rather than a continuation for black metal. and songs tend to have a verse-chorus structure with any additional portions existing purely for the aesthetics of being "different. To understand why this music was formulated as it was. gave rise to nu-metal and similar genres in the mainstream. and even rock itself. label.instead of trying to create a placeholder. it's based on either the threechord theory in its simplest form. this decline became evident. zine or distro. including what ideals they might have . and fans looking into the underground found product that was not musically distinct from the mainstream pop as classic death and black metal had been. This isn't to suggest that music should preach.
our reality to be that is . the technique of speed metal and the aesthetics of death metal mixed with an urban sense of selfimportance and righteous anger (observant readers will note this anger resembles the ressentiment that Nietzsche describes so thoroughly). II. In black metal. this was fatal to the metal movement as it existed. when the ideas germaine to the creation of these unique styles of music were expressed but the crowd still wanted more product (CDs. Europeans were hybridizing it with death metal styles and producing something which filled the gap. some Englishmen named Cradle of Filth began rehashing heavy metal of the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest era with black metal vocals and speed. a second-rate death metal band named Cannibal Corpse quickly mutated into its own extreme version of this new form. DVDs.Lost Wisdom. which tend to be of a lowest common denominator (perhaps a parallel to democracy is appropriate here. but it was not popular in America. Pantera was the forerunner of this new music. It is not important that Pantera borrowed its style from Exhorder and Prong. popularity . tshirts. cigarette lighters). and that because something is labelled as being dissident does not mean it understands the thought process behind reaching that state enough to express something relevant to it.invaded metal and divided it permanently. and why they became metalheads and kept listening to heavy metal and speed metal or death . and became equally popular. or that Cannibal Corpse borrowed theirs from Suffocation.is but one manifestation of the essence Other planes lie beyond the reach of normal sense and common roads But they are no less real than what we see or touch or feel Denied by the blind church 'cause these are not the words of God . but read opinion polls and act out what they perceive as the simplest expression of the desire of their electorates). Ultimately. To what did it appeal? When we consider the audience of metal. thus a new hybrid was formed here: it used the chord progressions and composition style of rock. but perhaps the truth is that sheep can wear wolves' clothing as well. and thus able to be filled with content not relevant to their creation.our world . popularity took over. It remains enigmatic how such dissident genres can be so easily taken over. but in the underground itself. but the terminal decay started before. Much as Christianity invaded pagan culture from within. leaders in democracy do not lead. and bands instead of leading began to follow the desires their audience had in common. Burzum As speed metal was dying. What remains of the nu-metal and black hardcore movements is the knowledge that once again.whether commercial or of the trend-underground type .the same God that burnt the knowing . but that these styles were borrowed and not invented. Both of these bands were vastly popular. and soon subverted it and turned its people against themselves.
disease. once we consider how much easier it would have been for these plate-pushers to create more obvious protest music. Within the metal genre. people listen to heavy metal because they're angry. there is a clear sense of this idea: metal is a spirit rising within society that represents something which society will not accept. This perception seems hollow. want to shock other people. warfare. To those uninitiated in the metal realm. especially in predominantly Christian and Jewish liberal democracies. sodomy and somehow turned it into music that isn't attractive in the decorative sense. of course. hedonistic and barbarian sound. cannot nurture and rejects because it is somehow oppositional (enough) to the status quo that it is taboo or even not recognized as signal. More likely is that heavy metal is both a message to society and a suggestion of a different type of order. This view remains socially unacceptable. and it refuses to hide the addictive role that rhythm plays in popular music. .death. It does not aim for consonance. Further. but mistaken for noise. But.and black metal music. but makes from these repellent facts of life something appealing. The public view of heavy metal has been consistent since its inception: in the eye of the mainstream citizen. Taking that concept further. or to simply withdraw entirely. and in general evade responsibility for being solid members of the community. which is why the "public view" of metal attempts to discredit it and write it off as angry teenagers protesting early bedtimes. albeit constrained by the fact that musical subgenres and their subcultures are not full-scale civilizations in themselves. since simply because one has started a band that sounds like a genre does not mean that one understands it. socially-unacceptable.participation by itself is not important. but from within that forms of great beauty arise. it is clear that there are two minds on the subject: outside the genre. ugliness. and inside the minds of those who within the genre have created and moved it forward . it seems clear that metal has embraced everything that we normally don't think about socially . terror. even in the days when heavy metal bands sang (instead of growled). and seemingly incoherent. meaning within the minds of those creators articulate enough to point to something like a philosophy outside of the music they generate. its instrumentation has always been basic. perhaps by instead of demonizing them lending to them compassion and trying to find a place in one's worldview where they might fit as necessary in the achievement of a larger good. heavy metal is the equivalent of a kid pushing his plate away at the dinner table because he doesn't like peas. what does it express? Looking at heavy metal as a legitimate artistic movement suggests that it is communicating something with its loud. if we accept its intent as genuine. it has always had the most distorted and aggressive vocalists.
and with the shaping hand of human narration.. Blood A modern time demands a different art since. swallowed by the sea A god . of millions Funerals .. the means of art are cheap and anyone can make it. Therefore it competes strictly in terms of its ability to transfer an emotion found in experience to others. Making the plausible assumption that metal music has a belief system to express.but nothing more. skipping across . Music provides the clearest view of this.Past Belief Cessation. of millions Continents .misunderstood in modern days Religions turn to helpless .. expressed a playfulness and appreciation for life .. Art as Language of Life The old question "Does art imitate life. such as the hunt that brought down the largest wooly mammoth in the valley. which must have consisted of people banging stones and sticks together in the light of a cave fire. Metal as Philosophy Any art.the feeble is discovered I came back from a journey to future Walked through mists others couldn't move Discovered things you can't imagine The day will come you go through 'em Death . no doubt. art imitates life. let us investigate the beliefs behind that expression.. art proliferated into different forms with different beliefs. Happy music is ruthlessly consonant. However.. and finally gain and satiation. but captured the whole of experience .. the function of art remains the same: it describes life by imitating life and selectively emphasizing some aspects over others. the complexity of that belief system generally matches the detail level of what is being expressed. As art became more coordinated. Back to its earliest appearances in history. but in time moved on to realizations as well: no doubt there was an artistic movement celebrating the invention of fire. pain. specifically what is meaningful to the artist.thou holy might has faded Traditional rites .. The gain might have at first been purely material. rhythms imitate motion and tones reflect mood depending on the degree of dissonance and consonance they possess relative to the foundational notes of a phrase. Early music.loss. even the most basic. and the world became more complex. around fire pits.. or things they have particularly valued. who left the world False prophecies became true The holy might has got nobody PAST BELIEF CESSION has begun . Dogmas of the past . These experiences related through art were not one-dimensional. and it is measured in terms of its accuracy and relevance to different individuals.. cavemen developed song and story to tell of the most interesting things that had happened to them. or life imitate art?" is a subtle joke: art is a language for describing life. but selectively. In this. A. after industrial technology and human domination of nature. has a philosophy. since it literally "sounds like" life. struggle.III. art has been a means of accentuating the experience in life that is meaningful. I'm nobody .
but this only captures some of the definition. treating them much like it does any other natural object and feeding them through a process exerting external influence on them to shape them to a rough replica of its ideal form." and thus equally fit to serve in an industrial society and be subject to as near a mechanical process as possible. creating a languid harmony of the simple and irreconcilable. or the classic civilizations of Greece. B. the result was two world wars in rapid sequence. thus "equal. and while we may not praise the old order as it was at the time. In Nietzsche's . There is also an element of the creative. or warlike. and thus find realistic and evocative of experience in music. When this conflict between normative bureaucracy and the old order first hit Europe.the scale in large even intervals. From this meditation. while sad music is slow and slightly dissonant. utilitarian and populist vein of thought that has produced the modern bureaucracy. it has no equivalent for vir. warlike spirit. using the inverted fifth. we can see how metal music reflects life in its sounds. it is either satisfyingly geometrical or a dissonant beauty in which any number of moods might float to the surface like milk in coffee. since it also includes selfconfidence and an implacable calm when doing what one believes to be right. Metal as Expression of vir It is nearly impossible to find a modern equivalent for the ancient IndoEuropean/Sanskrit root word vir because our society does not have an equivalent belief. Because a utilitarian society has no need for internal principles of humans. we split it between several balkanized categories of modern association with different aspects than are intended. This liberal democracy worldview is the root of the egalitarian. Scandinavia and India. We might say that it is an assertive. depending on subgenre. It is the most foundational schism of our time. which means that in defining vir. Rome. And metal music? It is abrupt in rhythm. as well as a form of conformity previously unseen: we are all treated as being of the same general form. progenerative spirit. in harmony it is unsettled and primitive. in melody. and how in a modern time it thus selects its audience based on what they perceive of the world.for example encounter an empty continent and build there a civilization. having replaced the warlike yet compassionate attitudes of the ancients with a liberal democratic worldview. we might praise its ancestors: the ancients. or the ability to .
as most were numb to the finer aspects of life and thus had lost their creative and adventurous outlook. These were contemplative. Implicit in this attitude was a view of mortality which contrasted the Christian fear of it. Vir is everything that a hero would be. has been in literature.definition. mortality was seen as necessary. which shapes humans through external forces. self-assertive poems. and overthrew the "individualism" of the time by asserting that the value in the individual was not the fact of the existence of another body in the world. thus rendering the creative internal spirit impotent. France and Germany. which was that people must shape themselves from within. and the view of the ancients and Romantics alike. Probably the best expression of vir. William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. and a death in the pursuit of something worthwhile as not tragic.and that not all spirits were equal. and so if we must define it in modern tems. but the spirit within that body . but both: the peace of mind that comes from being able to assert an order encouraging higher growth in man and surrounding nature. and ultimately leaves behind his cowardly judgmental. shifting the emphasis from preservation of the body to nurturing of the soul. Later. establishing an equilibrium with one's own mortality. socialized persona in favor of something closer to the divine. the same conceptual framework becomes apparent in the post-"Enlightenment" Romantic literature of England. This literary tradition continued up until the works of F. When night falls she cloaks the world in impenetrable darkness. where authors such as Percy Bysshe Shelley. albeit not by name. A chill rises from the soil and contaminates the air . it is not the lion or the lamb. and enjoying all of the unstable passions of life while remaining on a course for glory. Scott Fitzgerald. We can find in Dante's "Inferno" glimpses of this idea as his character struggles for a balance between heaven and earth in his own spirit. the latter being an adaptation of inner strength to an external Absolute moral rule. including genius. but appears to have become lost a decade before metal music was born. This echoed the conflict between bureaucratic utilitarian society. we'd call it closer to virility than to virtue. John Keats and Lord Byron wrote poems extolling the virtues of the ancients.
. it allows the individual to endure suffering. This is the way of middle eastern religions. In this the fundamental question of philosophy can be seen. or an older person. and becomes fixated on the self and ways to keep it afloat through additional suffering and. it unified all philosophy around a central worldview which addresses the fundamental question of existence. because by making the impact of suffering congratulatory to the individual. When this happens.Dunkelheit. and that which is not fit for the future is eliminated. When one considers the many branches of philosophy. Whether through stoicism. and things that recommend a particular function over another: values. and among Indo-Europeans. life has new meaning.suddenly. It is a naturalistic view. or the brutal chill of winter. Herein is the reason humans philosophize. The problem of far-east philosophies comes to mind here. it was a recommendation for humans: this is the principle of your environment. we believe in living. To a thinker in an ancient society. the individual loses any higher impulse. is a language. or a belief that the individual does not exist. are stultified. However. Self-pity is a fundamental notion to all humans. (c) One can explain suffering. Also. From a purely academic viewpoint. it is something one lives. but also converts the individual into a masochist. the individual faces a world in which many things happen.. vir was a thunderstorm. and this is common to all Pagan beliefs: they understand suffering as a mechanism by which nature . Burzum Vir as a concept is not academic in nature. but it is a balance between emotions incurred by the positive and the negative aspects of life. or numbness. reward. it is a value higher than preservation of life itself. act accordingly. and by which one dies. . like art. including Christianity. (b) One can embrace suffering. as a palliative. such as the notion that because there is negativity there is space for change. while others are negative. without finding a way to resolve the fact that it is real and its impact will inexorably be felt. We live because to some degree. and thus a stable norm is achieved but great deeds. Philosophy. vir is the only principle that can organize all of its parts into something that both describes and recommends. when one destroys suffering in the representation of the world that every individual has. or making preferences for a better design occur over the normal state of disorganization in life. "Why do I live. it becomes apparent that these can be divided into roughly two categories: things that describe natural function. It was present in both the absurd fertility of spring and the vicious culling that left a predominance of the more adapted. one also reduces the impact of joy. and some turn out positive for that individual. shaping the land and its life for a more productive season. one can minimize the value of suffering to the individual. In this view. vir was the principle that caused nature to unleash a diversity of plants and animals onto the globe. namely ethics and metaphysics and aesthetics. one finds a reason that suffering exists. Whether born yesterday. and why is it that life includes negativity?" There are several approaches to this question: (a) One can deny suffering. in other words. which require great passions and enjoyment of life. which usually takes the form of pity for others. which is.
the growth of individuals and species. are part of life as a whole. something more creative. Metal expresses this philosophy in a range of ways. because in this one subsumes the role of suffering to that of a creative force. and thus by not fixating on suffering one is able to see life as a balance between suffering and enjoyment that produces the groundwork of future enjoyment (as well as. The only philosophy that expresses vir is (c). The individual following this philosophy must accept that some things. and thus does not lessen either suffering of joy." Metallica's "Escape. as it exemplified the human struggling for something better. the whole will continue and it is right that it do so. despite great sadness and loss and tragedy. one must overcome emotional reaction as well as the desire to nullify all feeling. and while the individual will suffer and die. such as mortality and suffering. With speed metal. Ultimately. gently when you consider how large the natural world is compared to the individual. . because the whole is the source of both the individual and enjoyment. alas. 'cause I'm a war machine" (Kiss) permeated heavy metal. and is best seen in Sepultura's "Inner Self. In the heavy metal days. suffering is simply suffering. and must forge ahead knowing that casualties await. associated with empty spaces and "clearing" forces such as winter and death.maintains itself and encourages. suffering). and negative consequences are inevitable so I don't worry about them" is a summary of this belief. "I do what I do because I will it. this philosophy became somewhat intellectualized and over-emotional. There is no need or ability to explain away suffering. imagery of classical civilization. but finds it natural and right that one might pursue enjoyment (and what it encourages: creative achievement. perhaps because of influence of liberal democratic thought. It is for this reason that the ancients considered their philosophy to be heroic in nature. It is in this spirit alone that one transcends suffering by accepting it as part of something greater than the individual. it was an assertion of a procreative and masculine sense of individual freedom with no care for tomorrow or the consequences of one's actions. This is a philosophy for strong people. and because I enjoy it. whether writing better music or building bigger banquet halls) and also experience suffering." and Slayer's "Evil Has No Boundaries". or negativity. and even simplistic statements like "You'd better watch. virile societies like National Socialist Germany. Accordingly.
where vir is designed to promote health in society and surrounding nature as a whole). It espouses the values of classical civilization in that of humanity confronting wilderness (including suffering) and choosing not to dominate it. India. or single devotional sign-up-and-you're-in-theknow attitude. For this reason. and that experience is esoteric. it makes sense to trace metal's philosophy through the ideas of its parent culture. C. Romantic literature and art blossomed during and after the "Enlightenment. race and caste. morality was suppressed in favor of vir and other naturalistic collectivist principles (morality is designed to protect the individual. only personal experience. It is not absolutist. or pride in one's own tribe. unlike philosophies which limit their view to the human perspective. that of Indo-European art and culture. but was . and using the symbolism of both wolves and warriors to hammer home the idea that the weak dying and the strong surviving is not only natural. Classical Ideas in Metal Before the moral democratic society. lawless forests. talking about how "progressive" recent products are. The following are generalized ideas seen in both traditions. meaning that those who have the greatest ability (intelligence. Romanticism: Ancient ruins. It is thus linked to the ancient feudal societies in which a warrior aristocracy ruled for the best interests of all. there was the classical age of Greece and Rome and Scandinavia and before them. these are the primary symbols of Romanticist literature and art." a movement which eventually became massively populist in attitude. nor is the any approval for the one-size-fits-all depersonalizing influence of bureaucratic. and these values continued up until very recently in IndoEuropean societies in Europe and the United States. During these times. in it there is no ultimate truth. Romanticism is traditionally linked to a rejection of conventional morality and Nationalism. much as metal came about during the hippie pacificist festival of late 1960s rock music. liberal. embracing mortality as having meaning. watching TV and eating pre-prepared foods from microwaved boxes. or one that addresses the whole of existence. but appreciate its ways and the ultimate wisdom of its design. this is a cosmological philosophy.death metal and black metal took this in a more Romanticist direction. character and strength) find as much knowledge as they seek. but the only way out of a conformist modern society which breeds people best suited for filing papers. democratic society. dark moments in the soul and hidden joys. There is no single key.
this is in dramatic contrast to Christian moralism and Judaism's "Tikkun Olam." both of which inherently find fault with nature and seek to replace it with an order specific to the human perspective. in which visitors see only shadows on the wall projected by a fire behind the "forms" of objects. rather. The raging spirit of metal that embraces the dark side of life is Faustian in its very nature. Structuralism: When Plato told his parable of the cave. and thus feels extreme passions in both pleasure and pain. Naturalism: Best exemplified by William Blake (a major influence on the Doors) and Ralph Waldo Emerson. wrote his immortal epic "Faust" about a man who makes a bargain with the devil. but wants to accept life as a whole. as is done in rock music. he was describing the mechanism by which we perceive the world as our representation (a concept fundamental to the thought of Immanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer. the Faustian spirit describes any individual who does not seek to explain away suffering. in that the aesthetic of distortion and noise is designed to hide clear thought in the form of structure that exists only in the mind of listener and composer. most notably the individual's fear of death and suffering. yet aware of the great things to be achieved once one accepts them in the bargain. is pure structuralism. Black metal imagery is almost a direct match for Romantic aesthetics. this concept is echoed in both ancient Indian philosophy (the Upanishads. as is the tendency of black metal bands to glorify both death and the exultant experience of victory in combat. the primary thinkers in German idealist philosophy). this movement seeks to understand nature and its wisdom by recognizing that it is superior to human orders for the purpose of adapting to and maintaing a high quality of life. Interestingly. they do not necessarily exist in a dualistic "pure" world separated from this one. Faustian: A German Romantic writer. Blake's concept of "the path of excess leading to the road of wisdom" is an esoteric statement of this belief. and clearly influenced early heavy metal and is an unstated influence behind death metal and black metal. and the trees which will be fertilized by hawk droppings. as is the tendency in black metal to use seemingly absurd combinations of theme that resolve into a larger structure or melody in the song. or abstract. they praise the greater strength of the mouse and hawk populations achieved as a result. gritty philosophy with deep links to cosmicism. It is the antithesis of the passive and world-negating spirit of far-east philosophy and populist Christianity. Bhagavad-Gita) and classical Greco-Roman ideas (the Aeneid and Odyssey). and unification of vast riff salads into coherent motifs. The confusion moderns experience over seeing National Socialism (nationalist ethnocultural feudalism) linked with a radically pro-Green and anti-industrial-society stance is the result of modern society being detached from its Romantic roots." or "repairing the world. As a result. or acceptance of the universe as an order in itself which needs no remaking. instead. from observation. Naturalists do not cringe at the red talons of the predatory hawk tearing the mouse. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. but one can see the origins of this compositional idea in Black Sabbath. he was not suggesting that the form be pursued. The entire concept of metal could be called structuralist. Narrative: Music can take several forms. Death metal's form of phrasal composition. this style of melodic composition is distinct from melody used as an effect in harmonic composition. heavy metal imagery contains many of the same elements. It is an organic. Designs and structure are things we perceive. with the most common .unafraid to promote the better over the rest. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. and in it was the metaphor of the Faustian spirit: humankind struggling with the necessary evils of suffering and death.
since it has by evolving from loud rock into a unique artform expressed its fundamental beliefs and has nowhere left to "innovate. Not surprisingly. and as in classical music. after a short lull. be reborn.celebrating the culture it has established. Because of its fear of metal. rejecting social morals and conventional behavior for an individually-determined worldview. It is possible that black metal will be the last stage of metal. further. as in its style of melodic narrative composition. a central melody is buried within numerous motif clusters in which themes evolve from cryptic versions of their most elemental parts. a rhythm .and "exploring" it through relatively random improvisation or repetitive. Havohej ("Man and Jinn"). IV. an odd chord change. and thus move from the political and philosophical to the range of art which simply celebrates life.focusing on finding a concept . this symbolism appeared not only in black metal. Darkthrone and Immortal ("Pure Holocaust") reduced percussion to a constant background rumble with as much musicality as a metronome. black metal bands such as Burzum. Even more interestingly.much like Romantic poets . Virility: as described above. Inconsistent dynamic: Popular music tends to establish a throbbing or loud droning aesthetic. since black metal has faded into populism and generic loudness and nothing has emerged to take its place. both of whom created epic songs of unconventional structure around these principles. these similarities are too much to ignore. and riffs often vary between chordal and single-string forms. metal is at a crossroads. and its consequent refusal to believe there is artistic spirit or meaning behind "rebellion music" of this type. in doing so expressing its politics and philosophy by virtue of the ideals it finds in art. Rebirth As of this writing. lyrics are used to accentuate the topic being expressed in sound. death metal and black metal are most similar to Germanic ambient music as seen in Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. as in classical Greek art. this is similar to Romantic and Naturalist rejection of the Absolute in favor of the esoteric. metal music is unrepentant and barbarian. where music and drama and poetry were combined into a single art form. metal song structure can often encompass radically different tempos and moods through riff form and degree of consonance. but to those who study classical music and then are fortunate enough to be exposed to the intelligent (not Cannibal Corpse.an interval. The most positive view of this situation presupposes that metal will. In this. in which variation consists of doing "unexpected" things with that constant level of listener excitation. In this style of music. but in death metal and heavy metal as well. Pantera or Cradle of Filth) metal. cyclic motifs. where songs resemble their topics are written to simulate the progress of the listener through that experience. having "grown up" to full possession of its ideals. or structural core. something that is absent from mainstream music. let pacing variations within each guitar phrase define the cadence of the bar. creating a variation in intensity. culminating in a unification of introductory phrases and the central melody. but metal music has an inconsistent dynamic if one is willing to accept the basic level of loudness achieved by its format. Drums fall away for breaks. ." although it could devote time to . Metal music especially of the underground death metal and black metal variety takes on the concept of narrative composition. and is seen also in pagan beliefs. mainstream society and the academics who write on metal have apparently not observed these correlations.
was defunct as an artistic movement. plastic-disc-selling one. It is necessary that black metal die. at which point the nascent "modern" black metal movement took hold and ran for a good five years until. with black metal). futility.Between metal movements in the past. after that brief void. and to figure out some way of stating an unclear idea with strong associations in ideas that have been eternally revered by the strong. there were lulls almost as entropic as the current "black hardcore" and "nu-metal" fads. then rapidly faded into repetition and self-parody. when it is a cookie-cutter template. setting new records for vapidity and moronic populism. it is easily cloned. Tangerine Dream eschewed . although these were not as pronounced since it was clear that the genre had not as of yet achieved selfarticulation. these lulls were short and momentum carried between them. although "just gaining momentum!" as a popular. with heavy metal) to seven years (1981-1988. and within seven years had spent its own inertia. it became apparent that it had become populated with imitators and. What comes next will be crucial. Kraftwerk used percussion in electronic form. Rhythm and Percussion: The German ambient bands were of two minds. Speed metal took over. leaving the genre to Pantera and Helmet. A more sensible course of action is to create something new which upholds these ancient values of Indo-European culture. excepting a few albums by already-established bands (and traditionalists such as Averse Sefira and Yamatu). and 1985-1992. death metal rose and came to predominance by the early 1990s. and what follows in this article are analytical suggestions for how it might use the languages of art and philosophy to create traditional Indo-European sonic art in a form new to both metal and mainstream music. and for metalheads waiting for the "next big thing" to instead listen to Beethoven. but used it sparingly and without variation. with speed metal. Once heavy metal had birthed its champions. it degenerated into "stadium rock" for the later years of the 1970s. However. which is why future genres should perhaps veer away from rock standards of musicianship to something akin to progressive rock. Metal is best when it requires an independent mind to even become involved with it. except more esoteric in use of narrative themes. in late 1996. with death metal ) to five years (19901995. it is alarming to see how the lifespan of a metal genre has decreased from nine years (1969-1978. so as in Immortal ("Pure Holocaust") or Darkthrone ("Transilvanian Hunger") or Burzum ("Hvis Lyset Tar Oss") it had a metronomic function and little else. and fighting that death is like fighting the decay of larger society.
Another interesting study is the work of Graveland. Burzum's Christian Vikernes produced "Daudi Baldrs. making "Electric Doom Synthesis" which sounded like a pop-industrial version of Kraftwerk fused with early Ministry. using the bass to complement this. there is no constant percussion. and instead used sounds of short distance between dynamic lows and peak intensity to create the same effect drums would have. such that the chordal nature of heavy metal riffing was interrupted for something with greater detail and narrative power). A similar work is "Unquestionable Presence. which achieves an operatic intensity not as much through its production of layered keyboards and guitars but through its use of radically distinct song structures which form scene settings in the mind of the listener. than a compositional one. This album will be an important partial template for any future metalheads. Of the post-black metal projects. Mood: The first album from Enslaved. and not eschewing fast and vicious riffing to contrast the slower segments of song which build melody gracefully through harmonic accents in rhythm playing and restatement and fusion of phrase in lead. This usage is similar to that of synthpop and ambient bands. on to create Final." which is layers of threadlike sound forming harmony of texture. . Broadrick. but with even less percussive effect. Beherit's Holocausto took a different path. Justin K. but they used this selectively in their songs. Industrial grindcore band Godflesh sent its main creator. it does this by varying mood through all devices. which defines rhythm and harmony at the same time and by its progress over the course of a piece defines the melodic nature of a song. then went into Tangerine Dream territory with "Suuri Shamaani. as it fills out the guitar sound but effectively nullifies the bass)." an album that resembles a fusion between Kraftwerk and Dead Can Dance. impelling the writing of distinctive basslines which use melodic lead phrasing in repetitive cycles to structure songs. who necessity has forced to use the bass as a melodic lead instrument as well as a rhythmic one.percussion instruments entirely. Metal could learn well from this. the guitar. which unlike the jazz-metal to follow did not focus on a ranting constant intensity but achieved a poetic transition between emotional evocations. with music meant for listening instead of soundtrack use. increasing mood and not lessening it. Darkthrone's Fenriz created Neptune Towers." from Atheist." is distinctive in all of metal for its mixing of folk music and distorted guitars without selling out to either extreme." which used very little percussion and resembles Dead Can Dance being taken to the next level. but it is most distinctively expressed in Graveland and Enslaved. "Vikinglgr Veldi. and is already leaning in this direction. a project which uses guitar textures and droning tones to produce something similar to a more linear version of Tangerine Dream. which is extremely close in sound to Tangerine Dream. although Burzum's "My Journey to the Stars" and "Det Som Engang Var" are also important references. instead of playing eighth notes on the root notes of each chord (more of a production technique. would give metal the range normally granted to electronic keyboards and thus would allow metal bands to compose within the organic distorted space of amplified strings without compromising that sound for the "pure" electronic tones of synthetics. Use the bass: Iron Maiden upset the rock world with their distinctive melodic basslines. this lineage between metal and ambient music is already established. Songs like "The Crying Orc" from Burzum have demonstrated how large sections of metal works can exist without drums. Clearly. Metal has a single dominant instrument. which alternatingly formed harmony and counterpoint to the main riff (which was often as not single-note-at-a-time playing. This was a tendency of black metal as a whole. including tempo. and then followed it up with "Hlidskjalf. nor pop song format.
the step that was taken in death metal and black metal must be preserved. it is that the inverted fifth . techno and blues. now called "roots music" and "folk music" and "world music. They easily incorporate the popular music of another era. If anything has defined metal. funk. which makes the Metallica country-metal fusion interesting on a musicological level. forming it central motif. which creates the narrative song structure that moves the music through moods and symbols much as human experience is remembered in terms of resolutions to diverse situations culminating in some central realization. good metal builds itself around a melodic idea mated to rhythm. rap.a chord which moves easily on the fretboard." which is more sensible as in composition and spirit is is closer to metal than other genres (country is heavily inspired by this music. By unifying itself around a philosophy as expressed in music. thus can easily transfer to any interval. in whose work lead rhythm guitar transitioned between parts of each song with harmonic grounding. The precursor to this can be found in Judas Priest. . In order for this to occur. making phrasal composition not just convenient but necessary. allowing guitarists to link notes smoothly into phrases lends itself to melodic composition because it does not fully "complete" triadic harmony. which is intriguing as aesthetically they compose in quite different styles. Taken together. which is a move from harmonic composition to melodic composition in which harmony is a technique for anchoring variations and future motifs.Both Graveland and death metal band Incantation acquire the flexibility to write songs this way by using long phrases in chromatic intervals a root chord of the motif. jazz. other riffs are arranged in motifs made of two or more oppositional tendencies. which in turn forms the core of the song. metal can end the evolutionary period that culminated in black metal and move into being an independent genre with a long future that does not require "innovation" or novelty to uphold the values its finds eternally powerful. Melodic composition: Like classical music. and in hard rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and Van Halen. and are distinct from the cosmopolitan types of popular rock. and resolve themselves into the start point of the next motif. even if fairly bland listening). these styles approximate a popular music version of the traditional music of Indo-European cultures. who were famed for their dual-guitar harmonizing attack.
we have assembled a brief guide to society's efforts so far. Click the image to see options to buy the book.Books About Metal Music The outside world periodically investigates and analyzes metal to encode in book form its conclusions. The latter is most informative of all aspects in this book and is Weinstein's strength as a writer. For the convenience of our readers. in a resemblance of order of relevance. this book provides a solid foundation for Weinstein's comments on metal. this book chronicles the events in Norway as black metal rose and intelligently presents the ideological viewpoints behind the actions of these musicians. there is very perceptive research here on the origins of heavy metal and the personalities within its culture. which indulges heavy metal as an extreme offshoot of rock in which rebellion is the prime goal and the fundamental ceremony is the concert. These failings aside. . Lords of Chaos by Michael Moynihan Although somewhat uneven. Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture by Deena Weinstein A broadly inclusive view at the public perception of heavy metal and its fans which. as well as giving insight to the mechanations of bands and personalities in the turbulent world of underground metal. captures the unstable origins of modern metal. Heavy Metal: A Cultural Sociology by Deena Weinstein A reasonable summary of most academic study so far. although limited to mainstream music.
Hellhammer. this retelling answers many fundamental Hessian questions. Including a reasonable small selection of underground metal. an experienced metal journalist outlines the significance and comparative value of classic metal releases of interest to collectors. this book establishes the intent of Celtic Frost and its predecessor. Goldmine Heavy Metal Price Guide by Martin Popoff For those who want to enter the intricate world of collecting. this work attempts to . Reasonable and deliberately overindulgently just. and explains the philosophies of unified concept and music as a presentation of the ideology and desires of an artist (stranded in a mortal body). Are You Morbid? by Tom G. 20th Century Rock N Roll: Heavy Metal by Martin Popoff A somewhat distanced view of metal as rock music. and he through a fragmented view into hundreds of bands reveals a culture in transition. While conversational in text and often tedious. this book brushes over many of metal's strengths en route to a discussion of its commonality with popular music. Warrior Although somewhat scattered in focus due to its intense immersion in the personality of the writer and the human emotions of its band. Metalheads: Heavy Metal Music and Adolescent Alienation by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett A sociological study of 100 metalheads including profiles and brief analytical pieces on various aspects of relatively mainstream metal culture.The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal by Martin Popoff Short reviews talking about the emotions and social significance of heavy metal bands are Popoff's strength.
Macan Delving into the world of progressive rock in a context of cultural development through history. Rocking the Classics : English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture by Edward L. this analysis peers into issues of gender and power as ethnographic vectors of impetus toward participation in the metal genre. Black Sabbath: An Oral History by Mike Stark and Dave Marsh A reasonable account of the early days of metal and its slow descent out of the hippie and biker positive hedonism of the day into a new and darker persona. The interpretations of reasoning and ideologies behind music. and Madness in Heavy Metal Music by Robert Walser Aimed at the most popular examples of heavy metal. but it colors the book less than his stunning firstperson viewpoint on the action. Densmore is under the grip of Catholic morality and while recognizing it is unable to vanquish it.find a parent's view of why children who hate society. Riders on the Storm : My Life With Jim Morrison and the Doors by John Densmore A useful prescience about politics in dark themed bands can be derived from the lessons learned in this recounting of the rise and fall of the Doors and their enigmatic vocalist Jim Morrison. and conformity turn to metal. Running with the Devil: Power. this book explores the motivations and musicology of progressive rock with a broad but well targetted research base. Extensive material on Sabbath personalities and attitudes regarding the creation and presentation of their music. are the strength of this book. Gender. religion. while limited to less than self-articulate examples in many cases. .
The lines between Traditional and Power Metal. . from Black Sabbath onward although the phrase came to mean "anything loud and distorted" in mainstream usage. Songs with "Barbarian" and "Metal" in the title are pretty much customary. Most Traditional Metal bands play music at least partially inspired by early pioneers like Iron Maiden. and there are many bands that straddle two or more styles. which can be hard to define.HEAVY METAL Heavy metal is what started it all. and Manowar. If a band devotes one or more songs to how cool metal is. Its blues and jazz basis. who are old school metalheads who play very slowly to depress you. or the bands themselves. and songs about Metal as a musical form and way of life are common. Heads above: Cathedral and Helstar. but also such bands as Def Leppard) that had an explosion of popularity from '79 to roughly 1983. as well as Traditional and Doom or Thrash can sometimes be blurry. These bands tend to use rawer production and riffage. as well as sometimes using gruffer vocals. The proliferation of genres didn't begin until the first big metal wave began to crest in the mid 80's. aggressive riffs. An exception is the pioneering band Manilla Road. but is essentially a "rockier" variation on the early metal sound. Hard and fast standards are hard to pin down here. Candlemass Cathedral Helstar Saint Vitus Skepticism Witchfinder General Traditional: Often called "True Metal". and powerful clean vocals with a lot of emphasis on the upper ranges. Judas Priest. propelled this band to the front of a rising new movement. There are still proponents of the NWOBHM sound. Where exactly these bands fall is usually the decision of a given listener. this is the genre that was there before all the others. and before that all metal bands were just "Heavy Metal". sometimes "Classic" or just "Heavy Metal". you can be pretty sure they consider themselves "True Metal". Another side note in Traditional Metal is the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) sound from the early 80s. who are the fathers of a subset of true metal including bands like Omen and Ironsword. There is a definite focus on two-guitar harmonies. This was a wave of new bands from England (Including Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. but strange insistence on a neo-classical treatment of modality. Today the heavy metal genre includes doom metal. These bands represent a small but respected subset of the Traditional Metal fold.
Running Wild. based upon their values system. This determines "reality" as they will act to create it. Tarot. the main audience for popular music. This marketing mirrored the process of adolescents. Their approach did not aim at correctness. metal music became its own movement because it could not agree with either of those approaches. Skullview. Populism Rock Individualism 1949 Celtic 1950ProtoCounterculture Moralism Prog. rejoin society on the terms of these recreated values.Pioneers: Iron Maiden. Paragon. Counterculturalists argued. Primal Fear. 1996. but assertion of subjective meaning. Jazz 1969 Metal 1970Heavy Electronic. by being outside of that which was in power. who first reject the world of their parents. The Lord Weird Slough Feg. History of Heavy Metal The History of Heavy Metal Music Era Context Music Art Influence 1865Country. functional. Futurism Hedonism 1981 Metal Ambient 1982Speed Reactionarism Humanism Hardcore 1987 Metal 1988Death Egalitarianism DeconstructionismAlternative 1993 Metal 1991Black Egalitarianism DeconstructionismAlternative 1996 Metal RetroHip-Hop. Cauldron Born. Cage. and finally. . While dominant Culture sought what was pragmatic. and unexciting Culture that was dominant in society. Twisted Tower Dire. Wizard. then once independent re-assess their own values. and Counterculture pursued the moral. preferring instead to try to seek what was "real. Ironsword. Hanker. Steel Attack. they were able to see what was "real" and to implement a "progressive" worldview in which moral correctness brought us gradually closer to a utopian state. Omen. Battleroar." or meaningful and "heavy" (in the LSD-influenced vernacular of the time). Manilla Road Notable Bands: Manowar. Pegazus. Black Sabbath. Judas Priest.Globalism Universalism PRESENT cumulative Techno Thesis Popular music was recorded and marketed as a Counterculture which opposed the normal.
Nihilism means accepting mortality. social groups and mates. hoped to discover what was real by finding out first what was not. considered itself highly evolved in a humanistic state of liberal democracy which benefitted the individual more than any system previously on record. To a nihilist. having defeated fascism and nationalism and other old-world evolution-based systems of government. During this era. completing the process of adolescence in a state of actual outsidership. this value system in turn surpassed its own nihilism by moving from a negative logical viewpoint to an assertive one. Introduction Metal music began as the work of the youth born after the superpower age began. As a result. society served citizens in their quest for the most convenient lifestyle possible. as it denies that our values systems are more real than events in natural reality. The individual has triumphed over the natural world. but there is no eternal life nor eternal truth which exists separate from immortality. Nihilism is a frightening belief system for those in societies organized by dualistic (heaven versus earth) and liberal (individualistic.Early metal bands. and experience as what we have in place of a religious or moral truth. in emulation of popular music as a whole. over the course of four generations of music. but could be described in terms of experience. took metal beyond the grounds of "good" versus "evil" into nihilism. where nothing had inherent value or classification. during a highly developmental period for Western civilization in which it. discovering through personal experience and acceptance of nihilism (a symbolic analogue for mortality) that which society will not recognize. This attitude. and to create its own value system including its nihilism. which in a capitalist liberal democracy threatens the self-marketing which individuals use to gain business partners. and faces none of the uncertainty of mortal existence brought about by physical competition and predation. metal was forced to wholly transcend the artificial consensual reality shared by Culture and Counterculture. and not the moral. truth is a way we describe some things in reality. These ideas exceed limits of social acceptability. Seeking the real. and any questions or goals outside of this worldview were not considered: it was considered a "progressive" continuation of human development from a primitive evolutionary "red in tooth and claw" state to one in which social concepts of justice and morality defined the life of the individual. Politically (the global quest for egalitarian society) and socially (the empowerment of . egalitarian) societies. looking not for something objectively determined to be "eternal" but for that which will be true in any age past or present.
With WWII polarizing the world against first German and later Russian "enemies. traditional.W Nietzsche: the awareness that life is finite and of functional. this dichotomy came to define the "free West" as much as its enemies. The first generation after WWII created early protometal in a time when all older knowledge and social order was being overturned in the wake of an impulse to redesign the world to avoid the "evils" of the previous generation. Nietzsche argued. physical interaction of the natural world. In contrast. Philosophy This was a confrontation with the "abyss" as first described by existentialist F. To Nietzsche. a "peace" movement which embraced pacifism and egalitarian individualism was gaining popularity at the forefront of the counterculture.new groups and loss of consensus) humanity viewed itself as getting ahead and being superior to other forms of civilization. During this time. and coming ages. as politically expressed in egalitarianism and liberal democracy. only as methods to a path ranked by subjectively-derived importance. monogamous and sober lives of Protestant. the grocery stores. This clashed drastically with both the pacifist hippie movement and the religious and industrial sentiments of the broader society surrounding it. or individualism. a phenomenon which had existed since in the 1950s smart marketers (namely Allen Freed) had promoted rock music as an alternative to the staid. but as the thermonuclear age dawned in the 1950s. modern medicine and industrial economies of their time took care of all of their needs. thus there is no reason to view social status and financial success as ultimate goals. including the equally egalitarian but totalitarian Communist empires of the Soviet Union and China. Regardless of benevolent social objectives. merging the gothic attitudes of art rock with the broad scope of progressive rock. that we are both predator and prey. there is no inherent morality or value. and no unbroken natural world could any longer be found except on specialty tours. Their civilization had become exclusively introspective and was losing contact with the (natural) world beyond its self-defined boundaries. but most of all. This was expressed in both culture and counterculture. society was becoming more dependent upon the ideological tradition building over the last 2.000 years: focus on the individual." or embracing of nihilism: the belief that there is no value other than the inherent. To a nihilist. were new in that they could not recall a time of direct experience of nature as necessary. to realize this was an "undergoing. and thinkers such as Arthur Schopenhauer before him. religion and society were cults that banished death through the "revenge" that morality offered in giving . The people of this age." and Viet Nam revealing the moral bankruptcy of benevolent superpowers motivated by their economies. This view threatens the beliefs and punishments used to hold Western society together since roughly AD 1000. and that we have no control over our lives or death. metal music emphasized morbidity and glorified ancient civilizations as well as heroic struggles. Anglo-Saxon Americans. its sound emphasized heavy: a literal reality that cut through all of our words and symbols and grand theories. to remind us that we are mortal and not ultimately able to control our lifespan or the inherent abilities we have. transactional maintenance.
8. as are aesthetics which endorse the myopic neurosis of first world lifestyles. thus it is sensible to posit a closure of the cycle and its renewal in the ideas gestured by heavy metal music. metal is recreating the language of music to reflect heroic values. this concept is common in literature and visual art. several musical facets remain the same. which has based its founding principles and individual social and mystical values upon the polarity of "good" and "evil. egalitarian capitalist liberal democracy "empowers" the individual and gives him or her the moral "freedom" to act without regard for the natural world." The ease of social and political identification found in rock music is eschewed. immune to comparison (a symbolic form of predation triggered by Charles Darwin's arguments on "survival of the fittest). touch) perception of a reality composed of ideas which was similar in structure to both nature and the process of thought itself. This required the individual to declare values worthy of filling a life. formulated from the nihilistic mandate of "now that you believe in nothing. At the end of an age of moral symbolism and technological norming. like morality. And while metal has evolved over several generations. Nietzsche saw social behavior itself as an enemy of reality recognition in the individual and thus. and by being "equal" to all others. but ignored in popular music (perhaps because in most popular music. and no absolute God or Heaven to reconcile the two. Thus there was both meaning and death. Art is too complex to be created without any prior thought as to what it expresses. In this religion the Faustian spirit was clearly present. and worth dying for. In secular form. the predominance of death and predation.000 years before Christ there was a religion in Northern India which addressed these issues in a sense without dualism. it believed that life is known to humans through sensual (eyes. and the logic of feral impulse. addresses the sublimated issue of Nietzsche's abyss in Western society.and the music reflect crass materialism and futile neurosis and not much else). Metal's belief system is closer to this than to any modern equivalent. thus being immune to predation and any form of assessment outside of the social and fiscal. ears.the individual a vector by which to be "better" than the world itself. Music Art does not exist in a vacuum within the minds of its creators. smell. one has directly challenged both modern capitalist liberal democracy and the extensive religious (Judeo-Christian) and secular (liberalism) heritage upon which it is built. an ingrained influence that would prompt rebellion and instability within a society that would know no other recourse than moral norming. If a concept is applied to music. Heavy metal. In essence. but from this arise any number of techniques and attributes which allow composers to create in this method. When one embraces the breadth of history (outside of the current civilization). Its primary distinguishing characteristic is that metal embraces . as the music most visibly fascinated with death and suffering (and most likely to mention Nietzsche). personal mortality was clearly affirmed. taste. In the Judeo-Christian view. the nihilistic lack of eternal presence of value. and from this origin the ancient heroic civilizations were spawned. find something worth believing in. death and suffering are an enemy which is banished with "good" behavior in the hopes of heavenly (and earthly) reward." is an identification with the enemy. there is a corresponding concept in structure and the worldview of the artist that creates the frame of mind in which the artist creates music which sounds like its desired value system. suggesting a corresponding shared conceptual underpinning. as while a heroic deed was more important than survival. This "design form" of metal differs from popular music in one simple way. the concept .
Period 1 [ 1865 . such as "freedom" or "joy" or "popularity. metal emphasizes a motivic.1949 ] History [ Populism ] In this age. Even in 1960s proto-heavy metal. a potential future direction for Indo-European culture. the fledgling nation had resolved few of its internal disputes in part owing to the chaos of its birth and the ongoing warfare that afflicted it as late as 1812.structure more than any other form of popular music. While rock uses more open chords and aesthetic variation. and. Having been formed in 1789 on a compromise between those who wished to remain colonies and those who wished for a centralized federal entity. Synthesis In this structuralism. much as predation did years ago. and is forced to accept mortality and limits of personal control." By way of contrast. instead of limiting its focus to human social concerns. in its use of power chords. Having dispatched this. when it seeks a context of meaning. melodic narrative structure in the same way that classical and baroque music do. America matured from its beginnings into the bureaucratic complexities of a modern republic. metal music emphasizes an experience. experienced demographic and social change. metal music asserts a concern for the underlying mechanism of the universe as a whole. the most harmonically flexible chord shape. but what holds it together is a melodic progression between ideas that do not fit into simple verse-chorus descriptors. and. oriented toward the subjective experience than an "objectivity" derived from shared societal concept. decided on its unifying concept. and a tendency toward melodic composition. This degrades the public image fascination begun in the West with absolutist morality. and consequently. This thought demonstrates the modern era of Western civilization facing the ideas of the ancients while eschewing the consensual social reality of industrial capitalist liberal democracies. metal music is a portrait of the posthumanist mindset: concerned more about natural reality than social symbolism. It is aware that leaving behind the comforting alternate reality of social assessment returns to a natural state in which the individual is ranked among others according to ability. use of motives not repeated as part of the verse-chorus cycle and transitional riffing suggested a poetic form of music in which song structure was derived from what needed to be communicated. Each piece may utilize other techniques. while rock is notorious for its verse-chorus-verse structure and jazz emphasizes a looser version of the same allowing unfetter improvisation. where rock can articulate at best a moment and then put it into a repeating loop. as said societies collapse from lack of consensus. addressing experience instead of moral conclusion. it began . its outlook is ultimately a utopic form of the counterculture: progressive trends leading to some ultimate state of an absolute.
but that could only occur after World War II. that being said. began to isolate itself through financial and social means from successive waves of newcomers of fundamentally different cultural.attempting to find consensus among the disparate viewpoints that had not found home in a Europe wracked by internal religious infighting descended from the conflicts of the middle ages. As a result of this new marketing. As a result of these social changes. its roots cannot be viewed without analyzing their origins in turn. German popular music including waltzes and the proto-gospel singing of Scottish immigrants. "country folk" music had been an aspect of American culture since the early days of the Republic. this view. and therefore America came to embrace its image as the "melting pot" in which the "poor. The result was. As the nation-state of America expanded." or non-collectively-consensual ideas into the mainstream. Over time. and the political circumstance which shaped their public image. as time passed. Italians. . This was contrasted by an egalitarian movement to accept these people and "diverse. it was over the next forty years unified by an expansion of the founding concepts of the nation in accordance with the decisions of the Civil War. it became an inclusive and facilitative society whose greatest degree of commonality was a desire by its new and old populations to rise in class rank through the earning power afforded by a vast industrial civilization. ethnic and religious backgrounds. this movement became known as the counterculture. This required a commitment to a bureaucratic entity. after some internal peregrinations. especially toward the West." Music [ Rock ] One cannot contemplate rock music without viewing its roots. settlers and each other. Jews and Slavs. but the Individual was its currency. when the country was united in temporary consensus by a shared enemy. this would be a central theme in most American wars. in which society pandered to the diverse and non-consensual individuals for the purpose of "empowering" them to be socially equal. The highest power was the Federal State. earn money and become autonomous agents of wealth. Westward republics and the banks that owned them back east. Because of this change. a Civil War not fought over the issue of slavery (as asserted in middle school textbooks) but the issue of state's rights: was the United States a confederacy of small independent nations. or a republic made of states which were essentially local variants on the order imposed by a strong central government? The latter prevailed due to the industrial supremacy of the northeast. which in turn required central authorities and standards. a shift in alignment occurred that would plague America in the coming years: the original Northern European population of America. huddled masses" might find refuge. there was an increasing need for governmental intervention to resolve disputes (seen by the republic as transactional) between settlers and Indians. starting with recently-freed African slaves and continuing to an acceptance of previously unwanted immigrant groups. such as Irish/Scots. Once this concept had been decided. Celtic folk music. American ideology underwent public change. America invited and enfranchised new groups of people. Derived from English drinking songs. now seen as the top dog in a complicated caste system. became known in a generalized sense as "Populism. Where it had once been an elitist nation designed for those who could rise above the need for a normative social order.
However. repetitive. presented itself as an oppositional alternative to the "traditional. so it was adopted as a convention. however. Some historical backfill is worth noting here. their music and that of their country counterparts in America tended to use drums sparsely. it used a minor pentatonic scale with a flatted fifth. when these historical facts are recognized. The Celtic folksongs of Ireland and Scotland had two main influences: the pentatonic drone music of the Semitic "natives" of the UK. American popular music can be . and the denial of the Celtic. To view it from an ethnomusical perspective. The blues was not formalized until it was recorded. they needed to invent something which. Irish and German folk music which made up the American colloquial sonic art perspective since its inception. class and intellect for whom a constant beat is intellectually and sensually inaccessible.but as it existed in country and not city was rarely recognized by cultural authorities of the day. Further. while later advertising promoted products as part of a lifestyle which had to demonstrate both novelty and uniqueness to have value as a replacement for the traditional. and otherwise effective way of doing things. constant syncopation. English and American folk influences on both blues and rock music. nor were they disposed toward thinking benevolently toward the same. most of this history was forgotten. so that it might maintain an "outsider" perspective which. race." and the Indo-European traditional music which is continued in India today. and distinctive "emotional" vocal styles. When country music was re-introduced to the then-standardized blues form. like advertising throughough the 1950s. the reason for this was political: the members of society who advanced American popular music as an artform were not of the original Northern European population. Broadly stated. the result was called rock music. namely Scythians and the diverse groups forming "Picts. These musics employed improvisation. most notably in the biergartens and public ceremonies requiring simple music that everyone could enjoy. are almost contiguous such that a player of Indian classical music and a Celtic folklorist can complete each others' melodies in the traditional manner. the mythos of blues as a solely African-American artform. pentatonic music also derived from the Indo-European tradition was present in Germany. In part. As a result. dominant methods of rock music. Similarly. a fixed structure was imposed on it based on the interpretations of others. While German waltz and popular music bands had invented the modern drum kit and developed most techniques for percussion. further. From a marketing perspective. rock swept a wide range of influences into a monochromatic form. to people bored with a society based on money and lacking heroic values. was perpetrated as a marketing campaign with highly destructive results for all involved. much more in the style of modern jazz bands than in the ranting. it is hard to find someone in a crowd of mixed caste. Much as the standardization of the blues took diverse song forms and brought them into a single style. this transcendence of function for image has fundamentally shaped American character). none were unique. including pentatonic variations of many different forms (many of which include the flatted fifth or modal analogue). the blues is an aesthetic (not musical) variation on the English. Its primary difference from country was in its use of vocals which emphasized timbre over tonal accuracy. as did classical playing from the previous four hundred years. the blues had to be marketed as a revelation from the downtrodden and suffering African-American slaves. boring. boring" way of doing things (early advertising extolled the virtues of its products. The melodies. and the adoption of a more insistent. once new populations became empowered and replaced the old. Of all of its components. Scottish. and at that point in time. might appear more "authentic" than their own. nor was its I-IV-V chord progression unique to the blues. constant syncopated beat.
the simple blues-country hybrid became a marketing standard known as "rock 'n' roll.identified as the marketing hoax that it is. as it needed to justify its crushing of those who wanted America to be a loose confederation of countries with different rules and customs for each. the continent had accepted the modified religion and begun the process of bringing disparate cultures and peoples under its yoke. and after WWII. and the songs themselves became simpler and more like advertising jingles. but wrote complacently harmonizing pieces based on the European popular music of clubs in the 1930s (much of jazz is based upon the same music). marketing is important precisely because it insists on standard forms." as it was absorbed into the American mainstream. The earliest bands lacked much in the way of style. Much of this relates to the desire of new American immigrants to both fit in and be accepted for what they were. Louder guitars and vocals required the simple shuffle beats of blues drumming to gain volume. Art [ Individualism ] If one thread had to be described in the art of the era as rising parallel to Populism in the political and social consciousness. Additionally. The consequences of this hoax have been a persistent blaming of white Americans for "stealing" a black form of music that never existed. and scorned as. after one thousand years of wrangling in which the mostly Judaic-Buddhistic doctrine of early Christianity had been replaced with the Euro-Brahminic doctrine of Catholicism. Thus non-consensus became consensus through the vehicle of absolute individual autonomy. it would be Individualism: the belief in the decisions and desires and needs of the individual as the most important value held by humans. As time went on. as. when America had to justify her total war and nuclear engagement against "totalitarian" empires by coming up with a better marketing slogan.of the music became more advanced. and recording equipment advanced from the primitive to the cheaper and more portable units brought on by vacuum tube and then transistor technology. As a result. especially in the context of "lifestyle choices" which involve the purchasing of products. the stylings . lacking the cultural affectations of Northern Europeans. producers. Adolph Rickenbacker invented the electric guitar in 1931. they demanded a "tolerant" society such that their own customs might not come into conflict with any dominant or consensus-oriented cultural standards. This has caused an increasing simplification of music while marketing has grown correspondingly more savvy and. performance and cultural positioning . microphones improved. prompting a revolution in drum kit assembly. like American advertising as a whole. they are easy to reproduce without requiring any particularly unique talents on the part of performers. However it arrived. marketing has both shaped the American experience and contributed to longstanding internal conflicts without resolution. marketers or audience. As we shall see. and in return. especially those which could capture the nuances of voice. In terms of popular music. namely the "land of the free" rhetoric." then "rock. has grown away from focus on the product to focus on lifestyle associations unrelated to the product. When the religious impetus to America first developed. it followed a pattern of allowing universal non-consensus (a process similar to the autonomy granted the individual by moralism. which places not harming others as a higher value than finding the right answer for all people) which accelerated after the Civil War. it was in the form of settlers escaping the imperial sentiments of a Europe united by Christianity. As government became necessary.appearance. Thus individualism travelled from a minor technique of asserting independence from the dominant religious tradition of the mother continent to a . blues-country became "rock" in the 1930s-1950s mainly because of technology. a condescension toward traditional forms of music of all races that became identified with. a black form of music. and a depletion of any standards for the goals of individual behavior.
thus justifying the right of America and her allies to engage in any warlike practice that suited them against nations which did not uphold the capitalist liberal democratic government. Folk and Celtic music originally had a diversity of forms but under the influence of rock music. and finally the Americas. Influence [ Country. favoring sticking close to home and fixing local problems (the Depression having run for a decade.justification for global military and cultural supremacy. Period 2 [ 1950 . in capitalist liberal democratic societies especially art tends to follow the trends of each era. This individualism shaped the stylistic aspects of rock'n'roll more than any other single force. For this reason. that of bringing "freedom" of individualism to an (obviously) otherwise "uncivilized" world. Where before World War II. there was at first confusion as to how to portray this war. "Hole in the Sky. in a case in which it may have been accurate. in the hands of US propagandists he became an insane man lusting for power who would use ideology to justify his ends (the same was done to Tojo. Ultimately." 1975 When World War II broke out across Asia. usually by exploring concepts with which they are familiar and enamored. art has gone from being of the elitist classical music and fine arts tradition of Europe to having a distinctly popular flair. Whether fighting ." and have no meaning except aesthetics. widely held to be the most "empowering" and "moral" form of government. it is more important than any transcendent meaning it might attempt to convey. Celtic ] Country. and thus that like individuals all art and all perspectives are "equal. produces a salable physical entity. and in America. reflecting the individualistic concept that no idea can be judged by collective standards. thus if art appeals to one for sentimental or visual reasons. Europe. The result of this propaganda was to consolidate the different aspects of egalitarian philosophy in the West into a single imperial doctrine. Art did not escape this influence. Mussolini and later. A world already sickened by the first World War and the Great Depression was inclined toward noninterventionist policies. public and popular art by definition must find something to sell to its audience.Black Sabbath. Stalin). As art is a mental process that. what leaders and propagandists alike made the tone of their argumentation was the concept of the "free world" versus leaders who were seen as arbitrarily totalitarian. Hitler was seen as an ideologue who would use any method to achieve his ends. most countries were starved for social services and public works that had lapsed during that time). In this the normative influence of monochromatic forms such as rock music is seen.1969 ] History [ Counterculture ] I've watched the dogs of war enjoying their feast I've seen the western world go down in the east The food of love became the greed of our time But now I'm living on the profits of pride . became increasingly closer to the standard rock form while feeling the pressure to change stylistically. if the artist wishes to survive on his or her skill.
equality and fraternity applied to disenfranchised populations from African-Americans to American Indians to Jews and Homosexuals.felt themselves justified in waging war for the reason of bringing capitalist liberal democracy to the "people" of distant homelands. and the Slavs.[ Proto-metal ] . which meant the next generation of teachers in the 1960s were well-versed in Beat and liberal orthodoxy. it had "outsider" authenticity and cachet which made it a sought-after cultural force across the West. Consequently. This was in many ways parallel to COMINTERN. in the case of the Italians. Gypsies and Jews). In the 1950s. The result of this doubt and political posturing was most profound in America. These groups united under the Countercultural banner to become a force that assimilated American liberalism and redirected its agenda to empowerment for all. The Vietnam war brought this uncertainty to a head in 1968 during the Tet Offensive. but it was clear to most alert observers that American doctrine was facing a major challenge both externally and surprisingly. when an American public who had been assured by their TV sets that the Vietnamese Communists (NVA/VC) had been all but beaten suddenly witnessed a Communist force of unpredicted size and strength swarming from all corners to attack a demoralized. the youth coming of age in 1965 were aligned against the religion. Containment was not incorrect. and taught it to students from age 13 onward. they had been statistically insignificant except in academia. As it turns out. internally (it took two decades before a liberal president. However. once it became dominant. one which had in the 1950s become accessible to the secondtier European populations such as Italians. The result was politically contained. or the Communist movement to "empower" workers worldwide with Communist societies. as industrial powers tend to influence their neighbors through gifts of weapons and financial aid (carrot) and military intimidation (stick). First in Korea. the Irish/Scots." by which Communism was blocked from gaining a foothold across the world. before it gained any social status. and Slavs (all historically less favored because of their racial mixture. Irish/Scots. Scythians and other middle eastern groups. would apply the same policies with limited success in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan).godless Communists or the "Hitlerian" nationalist Milosevic. When the Beats faded toward the end of the 1950s. the first tremors of uncertainty cracked this facade during the years following WWII. Music . Beats and other cultural insurgent groups cast aspersions onto the traditional American way of life. in part because of its contrarian status and its lack of acceptance among the cultural and social mechanisms of the day. and then in Viet Nam. Arabs. racially-divided and drug-addicted US military. Bill Clinton. the Americans and their allies of liberal powers including wartime partners the UK and Australia . and burst into full flower as a "Counterculture" whose primary doctrine was that opposition in the name of traditional American values of liberty. social practices and values of their parents. later. for Communism or any other system. Mongols. the Americans faced wars of murky practices and equally murky outcomes following the doctrine of "Containment. However.
the revenge of those who had been left out focused angrily on dissident and alienated themes. the Beatles. centered mainly around puppy love and going to the beach or the sock hop. Much can be said about these bands. beginning with halfAmerican Indian guitarist Link Wray and leading through surf guitar champion Dick Dale. namely. who made braying. they lived on in contributions to other genres. These came in three forms. While these bands ultimately choked on their own "virtuosity. as well as many of the more inspired moments of progressive and punk rock. but what is most important is that they took the traditions of folk and blues improvisation and turned them into something technically on par with the jazz and big band acts of the day. but which truly flowered during the early middle 1970s. droning. one arty. adding guitar fireworks and lengthy songs to a genre that was otherwise strictly radioplay ditties. . overcoming its novelty. They were the vanguard of a range of electric blues bands from Cream to Jimi Hendrix to ZZ Top. Yes) and the use of distortion and dissonance in artful ways. but these bands had a foot as well in inspiration from the first dark rock band to exist. This year was thus the watershed for loud forms of rock. but expressed them to some degree in the civility of the day. The second tine of the fork was progressive rock. grinding blues rock with the aid of deformed amplifiers and a passion for crudity. and inspired much of the loud rock which followed. Deep Purple) and proto-metal (Black Sabbath). The first was the advent of loud. Finally. and one techniqueoriented. Genesis. both of whom were users of distortion. this genre was given impetus by a band overmentioned in any history of popular music because they were among the first to leave standard rock format.Since 1950s rock had been such whitebread wholesomeness. the influence of these artists had saturated the forms of public consciousness which were focused on rock music as a developing artform. resulting in longer song structures. there was a tradition of bands who grew from the surf and garage rock traditions into a technique-oriented neo-proto-punk-rock format. power-chord based technical music from King Crimson. including proto-punk-rockers the Kinks and the Who. Where other rock bands had focused on love or peace. and contributed to the explosion of hard rock (Led Zeppelin." being nestled in a genre that could barely appreciate them but not reaching the level of complexity of classical works (in part because of a need to service the unending drumbeats and syncopated rhythms common to rock). Psychedelic bands such as the 13th Floor Elevators and semi-punkers like Love and The Trees are worth mentioning here. Their work was one of many that allowed bands to mix classical and jazz training into their rock. the Doors. Arguably. many of which were narrative or neo-operatic (Camel. which was pioneered by a mess of a band called Blue Cheer. distorted blues. which in 1968 found its most extreme act in King Crimson. By 1969. both of which occurred simultaneously to the development of distorted. but in their time were offensive by the nature of their existence. the Doors brought a Nietzsche-inspired morbid subconscious psychedelia to rock music. one crude. and were the origins of much of the neo-Romanticism which later bloomed into metal. leading to forms that in our current time of literal and material thought are tame. as it started three threads which would run concurrently during the 1970s and hybridize in the next decade.
In many ways taking up where the Doors left off, Black Sabbath were originally a British electric blues band named Earth, but after guitarist Toni Iommi had a stint in progressive rock band Jethro Tull (and not coincidentally, members of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath participated in each other's projects), the quartet surged foward with a new sound, inspired by horror movies and the same morbid, neoGothic animal nihilism that had made the Doors strikingly out of place. Using perhaps the most extreme distortion heard so far, and reducing the flowery instrumentalism of the time to the basics, Black Sabbath combined progressive rock with electric blues and created something that differed from its contemporaries in several ways: it almost exclusively used power chords; it used bassier distortion; it had narrative song structures like a progressive band, but relied on gutsimple riffs for the majority of its air time; it was morbid, occult and negative in its lyrical outlook. For all of the political change fomented by 1960s rock, Black Sabbath were a shock -- but even more surprising was their consequent success on radio and in record stores. They had tuned into something their worldwide audience found relevant, if not appealing. Legend relates that the members of Black Sabbath, looking for a new "angle" (trend) in rock music, drove past a marquee for the horror movie titled Black Sabbath in English speaking countries. H.P. Lovecraft, arguably the founder of that genre, once stated that in life he had not observed good or evil, but an abundance of horror meaning that there was no moral classification for the "bad" things that happened, but that the experience would be horrific. Black Sabbath as a band, in adopting their new image, sought to express the experience of horror and truth, eschewing for a moment the rigid morality of rock bands around them. It is important to note that most of this occurred with notice - by the members of Black Sabbath. They wanted to be musicians and fit in somewhere between power blues and progressive rock, and despite drug use, psychological mishaps and basic personal instability, they created a "sound" that was ahead of its time - and ahead of its musicians. Much less articulated than Led Zeppelin (and farther from the rock norm of the time), they launched themselves ahead of the crowd and then had to look back and gather some sense of direction, causing the band to collapse artistically by 1978. At that point, however, the formula for 1970s heavy metal was established: a smidgen of the King Crimson esoteric weirdness, the dark Gothic haunting cavernous sound of Black Sabbath, the guitar wizardry of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, the physical thunder and brash insane hedonism of Blue Cheer. At this point in history, "heavy metal" (a term borrowed from beat writer William S. Burroughs' 1962 novel, The Soft Machine) was viewed as somewhere between prog rock and psychedelia, but already its content was starting to differentiate itself. Primarily, mainstream radio music will always follow the same song format that was the basis of the English drinking songs and Scots hymns that inspired the blues, including some degree of instrumental vocal shadowing ("call and response"), repetitive verse chorus form, and a bridge taking the song to a brief melodic
counterpoint and then resolution. The more intricate Black Sabbath songs were thus mostly lost to radio, encouraging any artists wishing to develop those concepts to do so elsewhere. Further, the morality of the time and the counterculture was offended by the occultism Black Sabbath had chosen as an aesthetic image, yet had found it loomed larger than life (aided by the semi-serious occultism of Led Zeppelin's Jimi Page). Occult beliefs are distinguished from "normal" (Christian, Jewish) religions by the occult's tendency to accept good and evil as forcing balancing the universe, both being necessary, as in the gnostic tradition. This doesn't sit well with church elders nor with Counterculture members trying to come up with a universal, absolute reason why change and empowerment of the less-fortunate must occur. Years later, even highly political punkers were often skeptical and repulsed by the amorphous, indefinite stance of heavy metal, as if they fear the reaction of an occult mystic to their rule-based logic.
Art - [ Moralism ]
During this era, in which the superpowers re-aligned themselves internally to justify their violent projection of individual "freedom" upon the world, as a consequence of their competition with the Communist empires of Russia and China, the primary goal of Western art was to glorify the individual and the choices it faced approaching "freedom" in an industrial society. Jazz rose into the mainstream and took on new forms, most notably the harmolodic (free harmony) of Ornette Coleman and the consequent adoption of that technique by John Coltrane, as a coda to hard bop. Mainstream film and literature both praised the individual and its range of choices, and warned of possible confusion in this new society. Don DeLillo's 1972 novel White Noise is emblematic of this tendency, in that it both explored the importance of each individual life and warned about a lost span of consciousness in a world of brands, constant distractions, entertainment and cities which were more like machines than dwelling areas. Thomas Pynchon's novel of the years following, Gravity's Rainbow, warned of the moral - individualistic - consequences of too much technological thinking. Some years before, William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch had suggested that society operated according to an "Algebra of Need," in which the drug seller's dependency on his client's dependency was compared to the system of capital itself. While these books were highly critical of society itself, their criticism was based in liberal democratic thought and the importance of the individual, which made them both critics and collaborators in the society of the time. At a certain level, there is truth in the observation that to explain evil is the first step to excusing it; indeed, that all explanation is, de facto, exoneration. It is a dangerous step down a path to moral relativism, situational ethics and the enfeebling of the will to fight the evil. from the washington times Naturally, in popular music, this formula was pared down quite a bit. Most music was still about love, but it had gone from "puppy love" to "serious" adult love to the concept of love as political activism, in a neo-Christian belief that if we embraced all people equally, peace would reign on earth. While to anyone from the 1990s or later this concept is all but a punchline, at the time a less experienced society found it a
welcome respite from the Cold War and the balance of power between two nucleartipped adversaries. In the vision of the music of the time, now labelled "classic rock," a moralism of the individual could prevent the abuses of the past, and thus by process of elimination, have solved the problems of the future.
Influence - [ Prog, Jazz ]
If one were to diagram the influences between metal and progressive rock, it would resemble a game of Pong more than anything else, as any idea one had would quickly influence the other, in part because early hard rock bands such as Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin had "virtuosity" and harmonically advanced music which put them in roughly the same league as bands such as King Crimson and Camel, mainstays of the progressive rock era. Hard rock bands didn't tend to be as "weird" or venture as far from the conventionally accepted song format, as their audience was less art-school and more blue collar. However, the influence occurred, and through prog rock was absorbed quite a bit of jazz and classical theory as well. (An influence also came from Roma guitar player Django Reinhardt, who like Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was limited in motion to only two fingers on his fretboard hand.)
Period 3 [ 1970 - 1981 ]
History - [ Futurism ]
The world saw the postwar order of superpower rule fade as the failures of Vietnam and the cold war culminated in a lack of faith in previous ideologies. The hippie generation, as an appeal to values inherent to the American political dialogue since the writing of the Declaration of Independence, was a culmination of internal stress in the democratic, neo-liberal, individualist political climate of America. While claiming ourselves to be liberators, detractors argued, we were shepherding our own third world with segregation of the oppressing and subjecting ourselves to a social order that put a monetary/political value on lifestyle, sex, and desire. America - the great savior of Europe during World War II and the world policeman for commercial hegemony - confronted her own hypocrisy in the rice fields of Viet Nam and the crowded race riot kindling of America's ghettoes. In chasing the symbols of peace, happiness, love and tranquility, the "youth counterculture" of the 1960s and 1970s embraced its oppressors and soon the peace sign became another icon of commercial culture. In the absence of ideology behind the dissipating hippie movement, technological futurism without ideological structure mated the sensual lifestyles of the 1960s with the commercial values of the 1940s, leading to a vapid culture which quickly assimilated anything however rebellious into its stream of social entertainment. The unstoppable machine of basic commerce which had been untouched by the hippie revolution began to justify itself with morality while increasing the benefits of first world living. Free love became swinging, experimentation became a steady diet of drugs, and ideology turned into coffee table discussion. By these mechanisms the 1970s became a futuristic decade, or one in which belief turned toward the future and technology as a savior where ideology had petered out, paving the way for a decade following which would affirm
Both the old-school conservative system and the hippie "revolution" had failed in their aims. whether the neoclassical guitar duo of K. local church and school groups and happy children with no cares in the world. some of the most dramatic growth in metal occurred when bands merged progressive leanings with desires for traditional solid. From this fork in the metal path came three greats whose influences cannot be underestimated. This technique migrated classical styles adapted from acoustic guitar and espoused structure over total improvisation. with dual lineages existing in Black Sabbath. As the smiley futurism came to a close at the turn of the eighties it was clear the alienation was not an affliction but a condition of the system. hedonistic excess and often mind-wrenching stupidity in interviews. with bands being known for musical illiteracy. sensual. Having been thus born of the rock tradition early metal remained much within that framework. During the 1980s.the industrial revolution as its own value system. A decade of overextension and massive expenditure on cold war buildup shattered most of this and replaced it with a literal reality of subservience. Metal . In the mainstream. As metal grew in the middle 1970s. birthed in the early 1970s but becoming most dramatically influential in the 1980s: Judas Priest. the minivan. Downing and Glen . and Iron Maiden. Slowly. These musicians used classical theory to give narrative context to themes which in the popular music style repeat through cycling short complementary phrases or riffs which center motives. its fragmented nature brought it both commercial success and hilarity as a retarded younger brother to rock. While the 1970s struggled to develop further the innovations in rock between 1965-1969 the influences that hit metal were primarily from European progressive rock. lawless guitar gave significance to the immediate and real. Those who had rejected the hippies and found no solace in social order embraced this music and lost bohemians everywhere began to find new directions in this sound. The resulting fusion of the bohemian generation with a nihilistic. which was the apex of metal's popularity and the nadir of its creativity. On the other hand. and Led Zeppelin.K. and more extreme responses arose. and the underground new left moved toward media and went mainstream to combat the money and power of old school interests. but marked their territory well before the turn of the decade. whose trademark occultism symbolized life in terms of the eternal and ideal. The rock side coupled with trash rock bands and formed stadium metal. a new series of dissidents found themselves in desperate paranoia against the industrial society slowly surrounding them. Each had musicians from a progressive background who added new ideas to rock and metal. however. the only relevant symbols were monetary and social success. Motorhead. and in the underground. while their gritty. meaning a modern adaptation of the white picket house in the suburbs. slowly flipping the power balance to a sublimated leftism. These bands would come into full flower in the 1980s. the blues-folk-rock extravagantists. dark and morbid streak birthed early metal. the previously "new left" leanings of our culture were overshadowed by the pragmatism of gaining money and power. the pragmatic "eat and assert needs" conservativism of America flowered with Ronald Reagan. sing-along songs.[ Heavy Metal ] Metal began in prototype form with Black Sabbath. the proto-metal architecturalists.
Tipton or the melodic basslines of Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. wrote songs with a melodic baroque tendency that rivalled that of the Beatles. Even Motorhead. the Sex Pistols exemplified all that hardcore was: brash. in knowing that force would solve what pleasant thoughts of peace and universal love could not. Hippies were essentially Beats with a more artificially positive outlook." he answers. aggressive punk and simplified metal-rock in the style of Blue Cheer. The more obscure and threatening NWOBHM bands grew with the subgenre in the 1970s to oppose commercial slickness with direct and primal music. Part of this existed because underneath the hopes of the last generation had been a vast despair. and in total nihilistic denial of almost all value (except curiously being anti-abortion. as did drugs including more powerful variants of marijuana and cocaine. in part because their attitude toward musicality was so dismissive that their one. since even punk vocalists find it hard to shake past indoctrination). Angel Witch and Diamond Head and eventually Venom tore technique to its basics to get to the balladmeets-firefight balance of rebel music. Ambient ] From the public front. The futurism of a commercial society replaced ideas with lifestyles based on products. and rock'n'roll had run itself into redundancy. part of this occurred because the movements of the 1950s had run their course for a generation without finding anything new. as the Cold War intensified and the threat of ICBMs became more pronounced and definitive. Art . Bridging between psychedelic space rock like founder Lemmy Kilmister's Hawkwind. Kiss The 1970s brought an era between the peace love and happiness age and the more serious years to follow. All of these fused the DIY attitude of punk bands with the epic nature of metal and created as a result music that was bold and far-reaching but accessible.[ Hedonism ] "My purpose was always just to express myself. In ambient music.[ Electronic. The result of this pursuing tangible heights in a void of actual belief was a profound hedonism. both to fans and to those who would like to pick up their own instruments and emulate it. It's a bunch of hogwash. rarely recording much that survives to this day. but developed much of the technique and basic riff forms for the hybrid music to come. relying on extremity to make itself something other than mundane.and twochord songs had few fans except those caught up in the cultural movement itself. except without the flourishes and happy feelings. the 1970s were privately a grim time of preparation for the worst and publically a time of vast hedonism. "People are kidding themselves when they think music is going to change the world or enlighten people. tangible and quantifiable . The result was that most fell into mainstream lockstep. the dissidents in art were hardcore punk. For every band that was a public face on punk however there were garage bands and hardcore bands which labored in obscurity." -.Paul Stanley. ambient and electronic music. Casual sex reached the mainstream. having absorbed the methods of the previous generation but lost its belief. loud. and the Me generation at its most flagrant. conspicuous consumption. Motorhead sounded like a glass-gargling vagabond and an impromptu jail session band. Influence . the simplest and most basic of the three. musicians such as Tangerine Dream and Robert Fripp probed a new form of spirituality in pieces that eschewed the obvious.
The feeling was that the Cold War could drag on interminably. Metal . much as classical pieces progress through motives to uncover an essential melody or inspiration. had been assimilated. this provoked a resurrection of the Counterculture and its strongest incarnation yet. who originated the genre when it was necessary to be able to manufacturer one's own instruments. in which "Communist" was once again a careerthreatening insult. Period 4 [ 1982 . While these three exceptions existed. or could explode at any moment. hardcore punk changed the entire way sonic art was viewed. Having lost both of their fundamental systems of iconography (traditional + hippie "revolution" and New Left) within a decade while most of the population remained ignorant to both. reversing the trend toward more ornate percussion that had grown through rock and especially its progressive variant. The result was a decade which outwardly tried to affirm all that the people in their 30s and 40s found meaningful. and electronic music took a subtle backseat while providing the groundwork for the next generation. It was a bracingly reactionary time. Now that it once again had something to rebel against. and in which the Christian religion and the process of making money for oneself again became the way in which one's social importance was reckoned. leading to a time of innovation in technical detail but loss of basic impetus. who used their classical training to make sublime pieces overlaid on top of minimal beats.[ Reactionarism ] One defining aspect of the 1980s was the ascent of conservative leaders in the United States and Britain who favored building up large militaries and nuclear weapons stockpiles to counter those of the Soviet union. since it had been absorbed in the 1970s and. since popular opinion was close to its own values. it manifested itself in a growing cadre of die-hard liberal specialist movements and alternative art. including most rock. For this reason. and this boiled over into England and the world as a whole. and the West wanted to be ready for that eventuality. the rest of the world essentially anaesthesized itself. metal. literature and music scenes. namely two edgy superpowers ready to clobber each other with bombs that turned cities to glowing dust. drifting into commercialdom and then self-hatred for losing sight of basic goals. They were echoed in this by electronic musicians such as Kraftwerk.[ Speed Metal/Thrash ] Metal aged and so did the generation that produced the hippies. preferring instead lengthy pieces which slowly developed through layers of atmosphere and contained a poetic content of revelation. this was a reaction to the more passive eras previous which had hoped that love and later technological futurism could drive away the basic problem that faced humanity. the youth of the 1960s and 1970s were more cynical and materialist as they aged than any . none of which produced anything enduring. Naturally. namely a white picket fence vision of America from the 1950s. jazz and blues musicians.sounds of traditional rock instrumentation.1987 ] History .
Slayer. threatened on one side by ICBMs which could arrive in a matter of minutes and vaporize cities. both of which were more punk rock and rock'n'roll than the core of the thrash genre. they were unwilling and unable to make any money doing so. Thrash remained underground and lasted for less than a decade. where the latter originated in Amebix and Discharge. Megadeth. but these were the largest and most commercial and many others existed concurrently. although it is academically interestin to mention offshoots like Suicidal Tendencies and Fearless Iranians From Hell. Anthrax and Prong. This awakened a scavenger coming to carcass in the 1980s which rolled into glorious rehash of the commercial ambition of the 1950s. but in the 1980s the ease of access to these technologies meant that small. who twisted three chords into a song where the guitar playing was fast but the drumming and vocal delivery slower. life was an uncertain and duty-bound prospect. metal updated itself with the aggression and simplicity of hardcore. namely the availability of cheaper recording technology (thanks to advances in digital and manufacturing ability) as well as. While hardcore punk bands had maintained the DIY aspect for years. it added metal riff stylings to hardcore song forms. as well as the whipping speed-strum of the more fluid crustcore genre. For youth growing up during this time period. the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles and Corrosion of Conformity. creating like ambient music a disorientation of pace and thus of activity. giving rise to a horde of smaller labels. for the first time. the ability to press records and CDs in small runs. leading to a wave of denial and an ever-present conformity in face of new fears: drugs. which added hardcore riff stylings to metal song forms. so unlike speed metal. Speed metal took the classically-influenced structures of neoclassical progressive heavy metal from the 1970s and merged them with the palm-muted." it makes more sense to identify them as essentially speed metal bands which borrowed attributes from thrash and nascent death metal bands. In this environment. choppy strum of violent British hardcore. Classic speed metal bands were Metallica. An example of the first influence can be found in violently alienated bands like The Exploited and Black Flag. Ideology in popular music became an intense moral crusade of horror at the history of humanity to that point. technological warfare. Testament.previous group. hearkening back to WWI-era dissent. and came back for the attack in at first two hybrid genres: speed metal and thrash. independent ("indie") labels could both publish ecclectic rarities and not go bankrupt in the process. thus it retained its primal trio of Cryptic Slaughter. disease. these bands faced a growing divide in the music industry. Although toward the end of the 1980s people began referring to bands like Destruction and Kreator as "thrash metal. A desperate paranoid climate emerged underneath the murmuring denial neurosis of commercial social doctrine. At one point praised by Robert Fripp for remaining apart from mainstream culture. and on another by a tide of reactionary politics and social conformity which forced people . Thrash was crossover music based more in hardcore.
especially techno music. It's all based on the format of rock and roll. The only real revolution which has happened inside of pop culture was for instance Kraftwerk.into norms to avoid the risk of standing out and being tacitly avoided by employers and potential social contacts alike. and that it was becoming predictable and selfdestructive in its tendency to sound like everything else. Jesus Christ Superstars also features a very strong element of heavy metal." The world is pushed back and its mechanisms declared incompetent. it's very industrial. Everything was based on what had already been stated. Speed metal and thrash bands. And computer music–Kraftwerk were the first ones to do it properly. the desire for individualist independence from the conformist horde. and the abuse of our natural environment. inherited both from hardcore punk and the surrounding public culture. but we are using different genres to express different intentions which we have. and formerly it was very innovative. The only real revolutionary music was when they started to invent electronic instruments. It's a very innovative practice. where either through belief in religious mechanisms behind historical growth or a lack of ability to apply their passion. We don't consider ourselves as huge innovators of styles. in the way of inventing a new form. In contrast. Speed metal and "social consciousness" dimmed many fantasies. "rejectivist. it had become as moralistic as both the conservative society and self-righteous countermovement against which 1969 metal had rebelled. who were in the crux of generational exchange. Morse-codish riffs and epic song structures the speed metal of the 1980s held out until the 1990s before being absorbed. Q: What is its appeal to Laibach? Well. At its inception a genre of palm-muted. The hedonistic attitudes and hail-satan paeans to deviant creativity evaporated as a politicized theory of what ought to be done. lapsing into a hedonism of self-destructive principle. including political dissidence. Many began the slow spiral into fatalism. Heavy metal is a matter of genre. seized metal. experienced both worlds: the public image and the private reality. that was in the Twenties. eschewing the moralistic humanism which overran speed metal and thrash. Rock and roll is a matter of something which originated in the Sixties and Fifties and it is not very original-it's coming out from traditions of Gospel and Blues and that goes further into African roots. electronic music was exploring increasingly existential themes and broader questions of intent. And after Kraftwerk there was no other revolution inside musicyet. They have actually formed a new language inside music. Songs were written about the evils of drugs. Their hardcoresque anthems of social and political dissent are leftist but even more so. the roots of African music. they could easily be treated as the last important German classical composers. Heavy metal . the mistreatment of American Indians. This caused dissent among those who felt that both commercialism and this moralistic trend were absorbing the "free spirit" they had admired in the music previously. the oppression of minorities by a WASP majority.
Laibach. There's not much difference between Metallica and Wagner. these two genres were the same musical formation. These would await another generation to be brought into much focus. The fact is there's not such a big a difference between heavy metal and electro-industrial music. but over time differences in scope and belief separated them. which by 1987 had established themselves in nascent form as a handful of ideas and techniques each. as the transitional time of the end of the 1980s and the dominant liberalism of the early 1990s caused further ideological confusion in metal (and essentially eliminated punk hardcore as an artform. since it drowned in the same ideological conformity). . I think that lots of prejudices are on power. and that's the biggest problem. if you go back further. from delirium magazine interview This conflict led to change in the form of the rise of metal's dual underground genres.is definitely a very authentic genre of popular culture and actually quite interesting changes are happening with heavy metal at the moment. At first. its own logic and it works-it works very well for certain aspects of music. Heavy metal does have its own concepts. or basic industrial music. or techno music.
but did not differentiate much beyond a fusion of Judas Priest. with new bands Bathory. metal responded the following year. urban. and Sodom had gone from praising Satan to warning of environmental holocaust and dicatorship. and added to them an emphasis on chromatic intervals. respectively. Cosmopolitan speed metal bands like Nuclear Assault and Anthrax emphasized this in contrast to Metallica. After Discharge's "See Nothing. as if channeling the apocalyptic thermonuclear fears of the previous generation of metal into a certainty of existential doom. as developed initially by bands like Judas Priest and Angel Witch.[ Humanism ] Because the 1980s were so reactionary. Hear Nothing. but could never bring them together. Bathory had unleashed a Viking rock spectacular which identified strongly with the heroic values of ancient societies. Art . the Counterculture lashed out with an onslaught of individualistic. The same split occurred elsewhere in popular music. which coincided with the reasons Culture gave for its being "superior" to the godless Communists. Slayer produced their own version of this style in 1983. embracing death and evil and nothingness. The end goal of the two messages were the same. Sodom and Hellhammer developing morbid Goth-Romantic versions of the new style. This meant that the art of the period expressed humanistic sentiments from one of two poles." a fact used by each side to claim the other was either self-marginalizing or sold out. which had been obscured by the need to avoid threats and defend against philosophical enemies.S. Say Nothing" came out in 1982. Further bands had joined the fray. multicultural administrative .Early bands which explored this new territory fused the melodic. Eliot's wasteland. most notably Sepultura. Possessed and Massacra. Their essential thesis seemed to be thus: the world had become obsessed with its own power and political-moral attitudes. Celtic Frost had emerged from Hellhammer with a mock operatic drama of searching for value in T. egalitarian. abstract death metal. folk-rockers like REM were Democrats for the college kids. The Atlantic magazine would in the early days of the twenty-first century write about the differences between rural commonsense types ("Red") and cosmopolitan. Of note also were Necrovore and Morbid Angel who created similar styles of acerbic. This fragmentation began to occur more frequently along the division between "indie" and "mainstream. humanistic values. "Raining Blood. whose lyrics were ultimately more embracing of patriotism and a rigid rights-based view of reality. Angel Witch and Discharge until their album of 1987. and country-folk bands reached out to working people who voted Republican. such as nature and strong emotions. In the mainstream. each of whom added a degree of interpretation of a style coming to be known as death metal. but they catered to different lifestyles. both for their simplicity and the dead sound they gave to any melodic temperment to the song as a whole. elemental speedy hardcore of Discharge or The Exploited with the more architectural song forms." By that time. but had forgotten the finity of human life and thus the need to pick things that were important and eternal.
but had more in common with the "sensitive" side of popular music. including (depending on the band) influences from jazz. as both featured melodic composition. ." pioneered by bands like Carcass and Napalm Death in the middle 1980s. Influence . a division which came into form in the split described above. as it branched into a plurality of genres which shared a common instrumental heritage. country and industrial. The ones that stood out most clearly as not part of the crowd were the synthpop or electronic bands. because it took a doctrinaire but identifiable political stance. it was soon flooded with followers. to various forms of progressive punk and descendents of hardcore-metal hybrids. because it had no consensus on its ideology in whole. What occurred in its place is what is popularly called "punk rock. For these and many other reasons beyond the scope of this document. including drum machines and sequenced keyboards. We said that from day one. having reached its furthest point of extremity and beyond that." which possessed the instrumentation of the postpunk bands.for all practical purposes. something which was birthed in the late 1970s but expressed its technique and ideas most fully in the 1980s before choking on its own excess. Its influence on metal was undeniable. taking influence from electronic bands like Kraftwerk. while ex-Discharge personnel ended up in the Slayer-sounding Broken Bones. Henry Rollins of Black Flag went on to an alternative metal project. Because it was accessible to both fans and musicians. Hardcore itself disintegrated. and musicians from Amebix put out a metal album ("Monolith")." which resembled the stripped-down rock which had inspired the creation of punk music before it had branched into hardcore. It is fusion of two styles. the industrial bands. from "emo" or emotional melodic punk rock. and the new hybrid form of thrash/death metal known as "grindcore.elites ("Blue"). When this genre in turn crossed wires with the still below cover indie rock scene. rhythm 'n' blues. being now two generations removed from the original blues-country fusion that produced rock music itself. the Ramones. Slayer* The predominant musical influence during this era was the rise and fall of hardcore. the 1980s are viewed as a watershed for popular music. since once one breaks music down to its simplest point. finding its influence is not. fragmented and dispersed. While finding direct progeny of hardcore is more difficult. gentle harmonies and "sensitive" vocalists. The result of this fragmentation was a range of genres. but not necessarily a musical one. made punk-like basic music. having few ideas (none were possible.[ Hardcore ] British heavy metal and punk is what we are. at which point a new political . Band like Soft Machine and Public Image Limited formed "post-punk. the Henry Rollins Band. most notably thrash (with substantial migration to the rising death metal and industrial music scenes).Jeff Hanneman. it became difficult to tell this music from the "indie rock" except by instrumentation. At this point. These genres like many of the split ideas of the 1980s had to ferment for several years until the 1990s had dawned. and the metal bands . but equally obvious are what happened to hardcore bands. The only exception was the progressive/emo music of bands like Fugazi." a genre in which the bands traded guitars for keyboards and. it pulled itself in too many directions. its "underground" counterpart to the more public music of bands like Iggy Pop. it was soon flooded with people for whom the art was secondary to mind control. the result was "80s music. punk and hardcore had collapsed into repetition and ceased to be an influence in popular music. and the Sex Pistols. there is very little ground upon which to expand in that direction).
Industrial music was initially an affair of tape loops of industrial machinery noises. The two genres which arose from this were death metal and black metal. so that each of these two different genres can be revealed for its essential attributes. it was impossible to find a clean lineage for any of these genres. but radically different in what it produced. there was a complicated inheritance of different traits through many avenues. and designed their music for a market which did not intend to be mainstream. and this alone distinguished not only 1980s music but all music after it. the elements in metal that emphasized an artistic and not political thrust to lyrics and imagery moved forward by. it's hard to argue this descended linearly from the influences mentioned. going "underground. could embrace any topic or aesthetic it wanted (interestingly. this narrative branches at this point and doublecovers the period from roughly 1983-1996. This new "underground" was like the indie and punk scene before it in its distribution channels. like hardcore music before it. For this reason." exemplified by Godflesh and later emulated by pop industrial bands like Ministry. and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost . it is imperative to distinguish between them.and social climate gave them a more fertile medium for growth. became assimilated by the mainstream ideologies that it unwittingly espoused. Sodom. it is more accurate to say that after 1985. Music could be more aesthetically distant from conventional rock and pop. and unlike music which needed to be sold in stores which had to respond to complaints from potentially offended customers. much of indie rock came to borrow riff styles and song structures from punk rock. For that reason.there was no differentiation. taking their cue from first the punk scene and then the indie scene. However. including the harsher vocals and distortion which these bands used. ideology and ultimately. it was making an alternative art form which violated the very attributes that made music radio-playable at all.Bathory. influences it had. as they existed in parallel and cross influenced each other not solely musically. instead of making an alternative version of the music which received radio play. This in turn hybridized with grindcore in the late 1980s to form "industrial grindcore." This meant they took advantage of the ability to issue releases on small labels with no broad-spectrum sales. but moved from that into a "pop" form which used distorted keyboards and punk riffs in the context of aggressive synthpop. At this point. but rock as a whole lifted any number of aesthetic changes. and as of the first generation . but aesthetically. Interlude: Explanation of the Next Two Sections After speed metal had reached the furthest extremes possible in music that was still saleable and then. especially regarding what occurred with black metal and "forbidden ideas. For example. As these genres are aesthetically similar but musically and philosophically far different. in the style of Einsturzende Neubauten. as early 1980s industrial synthpop band Killing Joke provides an equally viable template.1993 ] ." Period 5 [ 1988 . it was this development that also fueled the rise of political music of various extremes). partially because of the new abundance of labels using cheaper technology to produce CDs and records. mostly aesthetic and not musical.
functional land. racism and separatism. "Augustine wrote in the City of God with this event obsessing his imagination. India. VCRs. be a system of ideal values or ideal justice. the people at the bottom of society.History . social boredom increased and with the official ideology of non-change created the most nihilistic. of the major Jewish prophets and of Mohammed are all included. and as such encompasses only the period of history after the rise of Judeo-Christianity within the context of Judeo-Christian values. The Rise of Western (Judeo-Christian) Civilization Our civilization as we know it is the recent artifact of the merging of Christian ideals with the remnants of former times. [which] might mean certain elect spirits of this world. the temporal and the eternal. as opposed to the crude approximations of the actual world. the importance to God o each individual human soul. America was seen as a cultural leader and thus was embraced despite the horrifying failures of the American system." 2 "Not all the early Christians were poor. He wrote to show that tough the world itself perished there was yet another world that was more enduring and more important. It might. really two 'cities. The focus of world leaders turned inward to militarize against drugs.. a man of Jewish birth.. These were based on Christian platonism. Rome. and who had the least delight in or hope for in the existing world. "Within the time bracket 700 BC-AD 799 the lives of Confucius and Buddha. those whom Greek glories and Roman splendors had passed over or enslaved. The first Christians were Jews. China or Japan which flourished as imperial dynasties amassing vast knowledge and cultural influence.. Roman citizenship and Greek culture. and by extension. the good people as opposed to the bad. as the known reality. often forgetting empires such as Egypt. Persia. Worldwide."1 With the Christianization of the Romans and the consequent collapse of their empire.. more theoretically. disposable society ever. new states began to form using the germinal ideas of the old. and it became customary for the rich to provide for the poor at the common meals. Greece. and the spiritual equality of all men in the new faith. Today's Americans and world citizens view modern society as the apex of culture.By the fifth century the entire Roman world was formally Christian.' the earthly and the heavenly. there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in .. the city of man and the City of God. 'There is neither Jew nor Greek. As Paul put it. but both under the impulse of its own doctrine. America... Christianity was the essential principle of the founding of the states we now know as modern Europe. and stereos of a high-performance nature became common.The Christan teaching spread at first among the poor.This concern gave the early Christian communities a warmth and a human appeal that stood in marked contrast to the coldness and impersonality of the pagan cults. and under the strong leadership of Paul.[ Egalitarianism ] Post-coldwar instability arose when the sudden collapse of communism under Western economic pressure created a vacuum of social direction which was eventually resolved in unity between moral emotion and needs for power. Christianity began to make converts without regard to former belief. he said. is less pure than its more abstract and idealized theocratic counterpart. No less attractive were the promise of salvation. As little had changed. There were. The large screen TV lit America at night and warmed her power grids with the drooling inattention of a stagnant. which held that all men were alike in spirit. there is neither slave nor free. Entertainment media became prevalent as CDs. or theology of dualistic states in which one..
however. Protestantism. When Charlemagne founded his empire in mainstream Europe. this 'Redeemer' who brought blessedness and victory to the poor.the profoundest and sublimest kind of hatred. that israel must itself deny the real instrument . the incarnate gospel of love. because Judaism. to see whole..' this ostensible opponent and disintegrator of Israel? Was it not part of the secret black art of truly grand politics of revenge. As America now becomes a world policeman as the remaining superpower after the Cold War.. "But you do not comprehend this? You are incapable of seeing something that required two thousand years to achieve victory?--There is nothing to wonder at in that: all protracted things are hard to see. capable of creating ideals and reversing values. As Christianity spread. soon its doctrine of purity began eliminating those who did not concur. and they settled down and through wives and friends became Christian as well.. only a brave few invaders and uncivilized Vikings opposed them. Religion permeated every pore. of a farseeing. offered one of the few channels of distant communication that were open. In feudalism. and ships soon departed for America carrying colonists and the most virulent form of the new religion yet. slowly advancing.This Jesus of Nazareth. "Among early traders Jews were often important." 4 Religious chaos and violence flooded Europe for the next half-millennium until an escape valve could be found. "In the real life of the time the Church was omnipresent. a seduction and bypath to precisely those Jewish values and new ideals? Did Israel not attain the ultimat egoal of its sublime vegefulness precisely through the bypath of this 'Redeemer.. penetrating the Byzantine and Arabic worlds as well as the Western. one has to recognize that history will repeat itself once again.'" As Christianity rose in Europe. is what has happened: from the trunk of that tree of vengefulness and hatred. the advantages of civilization made the task of the raiders more difficult. subterranean.Christ Jesus.was he not this seduction in its most uncanny and iresistible form. other Judeo-Christian influences drifted into Europe. and premeditated revenge. the sick and the sinners-." 3 As Europe became centralized and civility and compromise fostered a booming industry. Over time however. That. the mutual duties of lord and vassal were confirmed by religious oaths. Christianity became important to the point that it became absorbed wholly by culture and as a result became a facet of European civilization soon to be exported to America. the like of which has never existed on earth before--there grew something equally incomparable. Jewish hatred-.
and conflict avoidance for both commercial and moral purposes became the public standard of behavior in America and other countries in its economic model. His performance was central to the age: where Generation X had grown up blown to hell in the 1980s and then moved on to yuppiedom.W. make money and express hedonistic outpourings. since by tacit agreement no collective plan could move forward. knee-jerk responses dominated this era. An aging hippie draft-dodging privileged youth of the 1960s became president. and were mostly pacified with television. A History of the Modern World. The single issue nature of the new voting consciousness meant a focus on the negative and on change of the wrong. And while the edges of boredom on this vision showed. allowing a sudden hideousness of corporate focus. Whatever felt good was real. In addition. Their frustration bore a sobering truth: humanity was too large to collectively mobilize for complex political ideals. Palmer. New York. 26. and carried a strong bias with its frivolous programming. as a means of expressing a template of life. Palmer.'all the world. pg 191. 1961. the new generations were casually debauched and hedonistic but mostly simply holding on to whatever they could find in the empty youths of yuppie households. 5. acclimated to years of non-issues and political icons without significance. and his hypocrisy matched his grand gestures. 1979. World culture sighed a collective disbelief of ideology and iconography except as applied to hedonism. Palmer. overflowing generosity and appropriately sentimental tears at suffering everywhere. Belief in any meaning toward a cause was seen as a method of getting killed. etc. Strategic futility and single-issue. the Internet.' namely all the opponents of Israel. strange internet sex. began to withdraw from society in protest not of its application of values but its lack of values. 3. drug orgies. and wealth spread to non-white ethnic groups. media had saturated every aspect of life in nearly every country. entertainment and public status. The new Clinton economy raced up to meet it with token appeals for heart-tugging issues but a fundamentally sound economic policy which fostered growth. 12. The rising generations of the world. The average person responded more to television and emotional appeal than political logic. cable television. could unhesitatingly swallow just this bait?" 1. shiny cars and consumer electronic goods. Alfred A. Donald Kagan et al. came true in the ability to have a job. On the Genealogy of Morals. It became relatively easy to be wealthy in America. MacMillan. pg 34-35 Any analysis of this time will reveal the increasing presence of television.R. movies and radio in the collective consciousness of Americans. Recycling and condom use. Nietzsche. a defense communications subsystem. exploded into public life with AOL and dot-coms clamoring for inflated market share. 4. The culture of the 1960s fully matured into raves. New York. pgs 10-11 2. working out and finding a career somehow became bedfellows with the hippie aesthetic and a 1970s value structure in music and iconographic treatment of musicians. Palmer. The Western Heritage. Vintage/Random House 1967. F. Conservativism went with the way of the dinosaur and liberal crusaders charged in only to immediately embrace their own scandals . so hedonism and personal "moral neutrality" was required. 32. to many the classic 1960s archetype of the population being oppressed in being kept from the fulfillment of their urges. in which individuals saw society as unchanging and their own actions as ineffective. Barricaded emotions became a perverse zen of neutralism. 6. Knopf. R.
the duality of public image and private reality shattered the following generations. Riffs from The Exploited. The first televised war had birthed a generation who absorb information subconsciously from TVs and expect it delivered with the flickering attention span of a cathod ray tube. In fact. the genre is not identifiable by a single trait alone. and had powerful economic advisers. The media in return supported the new thrust in liberal government. Underneath it all beat the dying embers of Christian morality and symbological idealism.Kam Lee. collage artists like Beck. Broken homes. The new generation of liberals were far more informed than the previous generation.. yet was still in conflict with the basic conflicts of democracy. Children who had grown up with television and radio recognized familiar citations in patchwork creations by rap artists. Almost aphasic in their approach to politics and ideology. could be transplanted into modern death metal without being out of place (especially from their "Let's have a war. Metal .[ Death Metal ] "Certain individuals I like. The iconographic treatment of "stars" from the 1970s became a slavish worship and prurient inspection of the tragic lives of public individuals. and the slightly more enlightened age had come. these generations were entirely temporal in their approach to values and without belief in any form of ideal. as well as carrying forward influences from hardcore (The Exploited) and Gothic influences to original heavy metal and industrial. what unified these concepts. The New Left had triumphed. but explored it in a strange obsession designed to reinforce the existence of "ultimate reality": the physical. significance of death. for example. parents working until late at night and a constant stream of media emphasizing human failure and conflict took its toll. media sped up the event horizon by pumping endless news of change in thousands of voices into the lives of people worldwide. human intentions seemed "good" but turned out "bad" . but by a collection of traits and the common ideas that allow them to be organized as such. was its literal morbidity: it did not praise death." album). as all ideals had behind them a commercial engine. While this did not affect current generations as much. similarly. nor warn of it. as their inertia in coming from a more hopeful time insulated them. the soon emerging triumph of computing.. Massacre Death metal existed without a name for many years." . identifying with its the moral values and humanism inherent in its leftism.while failing to address environmental issues. and gave the genre its name. being influenced by both the extremes of speed metal (Destruction) and Thrash (Cryptic Slaughter). the liberals had shifted conservative with new allies in the media and financial sectors. and raging spirits sought reason to live or. . like a genetic profile. distortion and song structures from Destruction can be played "in style" by death metal bands without seeming out of place. social/educational reform. with a Puritan work ethic matching a rigorous desire for vengeance. but people as a whole suck! Nothing but talking monkeys with car keys. in other ranges. However. and corporate domination.through something we brought with us no matter where we went. as the conservative party had shifted liberal a decade before. As if in sick replay of the Vietnam conflict. and the disassociative lyrics of grunge bands. degenerate and abusive marriages. Emotional nihilism approached.
by taking this route. Apocalypticism. This style was most reminiscent of past centuries of Romantic and Naturalistic European poetry. Much as Mozart's music would dance through motivic change for most of its duration. This was most clearly defined in the second generation of the new style. In fact. which followed too much of the friendly rock music format and allowed itself to anticipate the conditioned desires of the listener. a primitive denial of all that asserted the existence of society on a level above or more important than natural reality. like the last stanza of a poem: that which explained the journey and why its conclusion was apt.natural. As part rebel and part insurgent structuralist. what was emerging that made the genre distinct from all others was a way of taking a "riff salad" and shaping it into a changing pattern which eventually revealed a conclusion. it was certaintly not studied to that degree by the majority of death metal bands and fans. with genres that could not maintain shared direction collapsing into commerce. which began with Sepultura.not. which were organically distorted by pitching the voice either lower or higher than . a gentle melody. Although many elements of metal and hard rock remained. metal broke the scale into broad tonal leaps and chromatic rhythm playing where the structure was the message. nor was it identifiable with any social movement except perhaps fragments of existentialism. and the obscurist predictions of mythology. in death metal a thunderous barrage of chromatic riffs prepared the listener for certain expectations in tone and phrase shape. fast strumming. then brought out the conclusion. and of Bathory. eschewing the cyclic silhouette of rock form. which in speed metal bands had been a dire warning. not the root note to which it was harmonized or the conventions of such construction followed. the early death metal especially can be explained almost exclusively by the Hellhammer slogan. but was missed by all but a few death metal fans . in building song structure around the shape of its riffing. but shared no culture or musical direction or belief system. was here a foundational assumption. Over the next two decades. Massacra. and the consequent "internalization" of dialogue to the point where a genre only existed by the barest of aesthetic commonality: it used the same instrumentation and distorted.chromatic progressions. death metal was abrupt and disturbing to most because of the vocals. whose music was both a radical primitivism and a futurist adaptation of classical theory. key is used carelessly if at all at focal points of intersecting themes in motif development. was not explicitly political. nihilism and naturalism. mortality.into different incarnations of a new genre. The mainstreammoral/underground-nihilist dichotomy was illustrated in the songwriting of older metal bands. however. allowing chromatic riffing to be used in the context of melodic songwriting. Possessed. "Only death is real. ambient rhythms -. were applied in the works of bands obsessed with death. and in which we die. by the innovators creating music in the genre. art and music. death metal. as contrasted to the new music which emphasized structural change (narrative) over finding a convenient harmony and riff and sticking with it. death metal avoided the increasing politicization of post-hardcore music which was occurring around it. Aesthetically." This outlook. this litmus test for a genre would be reinforced time and again. finally uncovering its central theme. Necrovore and Morbid Angel. Many bands applied the styles -. However. The innovations of Discharge. objective world in which we live.
moral. and Celtic Frost veered into glam rock before calling it a day. a subgroup that included Sinister. urgent constant rhythm. Sepultura reverted to being a speed metal band before getting in touch with their punk and world music roots. It was a guttural growl. but gained instrumental prowess. like that of a defensive animal. others mixed in grindcore for an aggressive but often blockheaded style called "deathgrind. Monstrosity. sometimes with interesting results. Morpheus (later Morpheus Descends to avoid legal conflicts with the hard rock band from Sweden) established the percussive speed-metal-influenced style of choppy. In summary. For each of these styles. bluess and jazz. splitting into several different styles. in which two bass drums were played alternatingly at high speed. Suffocation. but also generated a flood of "angry" mainstream imitators and sellouts. The result was that even without analyzing the music most listeners identified it with something unearthly. power chords exclusively were used. and equally unrecognizable to rock fans. muted riffs and precise drum patterning. Massacra was representative of the flowing. making their new music unrecognizable to older fans. From here the genre bloomed. Hypocrisy. avoiding the expectation-based "funky" rhythms of rock. as did Atheist and Cynic. Possessed created a style somewhere in the middle that eventually included bands like Therion. including Dismember and Entombed. most of which were absorbed by their rock half and thus were unpalatable to metal fans. Vader. In this genre. For many." Some tried to work ambient into the mix. Some blended jazz with death metal. Morality . death metal died with the explosion of the Swedish scene and lyrics like those to the first Therion album selfconscious. Drums used an extreme form of syncopation known as double bass. and pious while being anti-religious and "metal. as did Kong. Bands like Pantera. morbid. liquid. causing the bands to either shift fully to rock music or to give up entirely. rhythmically the genre operated more as ambient bands do. and it matched the oftendowntowned guitars and layers of thick distortion which as often as not cut out the middle ranges of sound in favor of low-end and high-end. with percussion framing the music but not leading it on. diversification occurred. and new forms were incorporated including dissonance. Death metal had taken the style underground. in part because it was unified by a belief system more than a lifestyle choice. Sodom remained consistent. and a few worked on hybrids with past versions of metal and rock. Demigod. good examples here would be Amorphis and Demilich.normal and forcing it to volumes not normally invoked except in an open-throat shout. Further. Cannibal Corpse. and later. and Tool made use of death metal imagery or technique in the format of complacent suburban music designed to fill lives with distraction. despite having a clear musical identity in its nearly-keyless. Suffer and Cryptopsy. Some found a balance between the faster and mid-paced styles of death metal. this was the genre of metal so far which created the greatest room for variation. malevolent and antisocial. the heavy-tremolo and electric blistering distortion-clad bands from Sweden. Deicide and Unleashed. destroying the syncopatic effect in the context of the song but providing a buffetting. high-speed strumming style that rapidly included bands like Incantation. and in part as a result of its broad range of musical applications and few "rules" or genre conventions. to which they added simple but spectacularly effective melodic composition." in a conflict that while not touching the music defined the decomposition of focus in the genre. atonal-and-dissonant friendly melodic structural form of composition.
and the self is the limits of perception. leaving a trail behind its creators in search of a flexible but aggressive yet musical artform). like rock based around expectation and not continuity as death metal was. it would see the world as it is . with latinate words falling into the gurgling voice like a radio broadcast from the land of the dead. and as a result. it was born to be offensive and thus marked itself as not only not belonging to society but happy in that alienated view. from England like Carcass. from Germany.infinite. Art . as well as the need to be "extreme" (interestingly. Unlike most genres of the time." So were rock hybrids like Entombed's "Clandestine. or toward an ideal state. This was years later a fulfillment of the Jim Morrison summary of William Blake's basic theory that if humankind could remove its perceptive confusion. and Blood. its deconstruction was predicated on the notion that if enough of society were removed. this music was both deconstructive and constructive. In terms of the philosophy of this age. describing conflict in both ancient and modern times. Its nihilism and alienation escaped the rules of society entirely and exceeded the limits of religion and conventional morality. industrial/monetary "value" and the binary state of social acceptiveness. adopted a more "epic" style. this could be a decisional point leading to either a negative state. in which total randomness and lack of direction (or intent) prevails. added to a genre that was otherwise strikingly literal like punk bands.was "safe. preferring a separate truth to a compromise with something it saw as false and in denial of mortality. It seemed as if growth had made the genre too selfconscious. thus unable to seek any meaningful values (when life is infinite. is there any reason to care about anything but gratification?). they eventually felt pressure to diversify and found themselves constrained by the emphasis on constant slamming rhythms. .[ Deconstructionism ] The theme of art in this age was deconstruction: removing consistent threads of thought which constituted a worldview. evidence suggests that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and they are embracing the ideals of the Counterculture generations before them. Bolt Thrower. this is the opposite to the false objectivity and judgmentalism of morality. and supplanting them with an often random collection of observations and personal notes. but so far. to which the guttural vocals and detuned guitars of death metal were added. It remains to be seen which direction the generations of music engendered in this time will take. Carcass spawned Napalm Death which in turn spawned Godflesh. which grew from punk and thrash melded by convenience. Lyrics from Carcass were baffling to most as they consisted of humorous descriptions of illness soaked in the language of medical doctors. however. Napalm Death and Terrorizer provide examples of this general direction. actual world. it had abandoned itself to the methods of its antagonists." Flamboyant useless stylings of rock music and stadium heavy metal crept in alongside a dearth of ideas and repetition of known formulae. in which people re-affirm subjective perception and make decisions based upon it determining how they will influence the physical. Worth mentioning in the context of death metal is the rise of a similar genre. who took on a mythological-occultist view. In its own way. causing an entropic state of ideas. grindcore. While the earliest bands such as Master and Carcass achieved some success. a truth could be seen which was less constricting and less without value.
Immortal. the first hip-hop song sampled a Kraftwerk electronic riff. Gorgoroth and Graveland created more than an imposing sound in music: they used the rough textures of alienated music to create structural music that. relapsed into making 1970s style rock is revelatory. used a range of intervals and harmonies to render melodic structure. they did not espouse any radical change that had not been present in the dominant attitudes of rock through the time. and alternative rock. Techno borrows much from disco and rhythm and blues. unlike the rhythmic and mostly chromatic composition of death metal. it follows a simple pop format and samples from all genres equally. Period 6 [ 1991 . creating music requiring a longer attention span but delivering a greater sensibility. courtesy of Afrikaa Bambataa).Influence . Public Enemy). which is a fusion of 1980s indie rock with punk rock and some of the more appealing techniques of 1980s metal. The result was some of the most majestic metal with sonorous aesthetic and deepening feeling for the listener.[ Alternative ] Among popular music. but when interpreted for their basic artistic direction. once the money was made and a band member died or went into rehab. Darkthrone. or very simple beat-based electronic music. Alternative rock fused the emotionality of emo and the energy of punk rock in a style that proclaimed its dissidence but had no ideas outside extreme versions of the counterculture before it. Burzum. It continued the tradition of using motivic. but their methods were more lifestyle. and too many artists to name dominated hip-hop and techno (examples: The Orb. pop angst industrial. Cypress Hill. roared into life with a modernization that encompassed all of what death metal had done in a compositional framework unified by melody. rhythm and blues and television soundtracks from which it derives inspiration (interestingly. building on that foundation a vocal track of rhyming street poetry and samples. avoiding the explicit political trap of hardcore punk (some notable exceptions occur in the hip-hop/rap genre. except without the melodic complexity or song structures. Enslaved. Artistically. the Crystal Method. including Public Enemy. black metal sought to exceed the . while hip-hop has a rich legacy of jazz. but added to it the complexity of uniting a song in tone as well as rhythmic shape. all are very similar. Techno is like electronica. Emperor. Its twin is hip-hop. three main genres dominated this time: techno. hip-hop. almost all of it emerging from Scandinavia between 19911994. Havohej. thus they were more emotive and less pragmatic.and socialization-based. that so many of these bands. Together these musics seem to have little in common. who are as worthy an example as one is likely to find in any of these genres). thus were functional music for a dysfunctional time. These genres were deconstructive and filling for the moments when one needed music. or beat based rhyming poetry constructed around samples.[ Black Metal ] The black metal genre however. Clearly Nirvana bursting onto the scene (with the less popular but more archetypal Mudhoney) in 1991 was the inception of alternative rock radio domination. while the early popularity of Nine Inch Nails showcased pop industrial. dormant since the burst of creativity that brought Celtic Frost. Sodom and Bathory together in roughly the same year. narrative construction.1996 ] Metal . which like techno is built around the construction of new variations on accepted percussion rhythmic patterns. as well as simple keyboard riffs.
" which reduced lyrical focus to politically acceptable social sentiments. and the fantasy combined with reality to ferment a neo-terrorist movement. As black metal grew. boiled through black metal. Black metal was responsible to nothing but itself. coloring the raw sensation of whole perception of their work in the textures and constructions of different needs. public attention took to black metal as it never had before. the church burnings and killings were originally not intended for public consumption. as soon as news stories broke that over 70 churches had been burned. they were private acts intended as ideological statements. What kept the stories from being something other than human interest novelties was the music: unlike any form of metal or popular music previous. and the values espoused in aesthetic and interview hearkened back to Pagan Europe and in some cases. look at me!" approach to publicity. as well as an appeal to the "eternal" . me. spawning a range of sub-styles which each polarized around an ideology: self over all. metaphorical songs with epic titles ("I am the black wizards" and "My journey to the stars" come to mind) resembled small classical pieces more than popular music. from which it got the name "black" (as in "black magic"). not promotions for the personalities or bands behind them. Over time the fire of black metal spent itself. they distrusted illusions such as total autonomy of the individual. with multiple themes converging over the course of poetic movements. Whatever the intention. Ignored were moral concerns over the survival and political rights of the whole of humanity. or the variance of ideas within pagan or naturalistic/fascist directions. and at least five people killed. Vast. supplanted by a concern for the natural environment and pre-Christian tradition. immortality and universal absolutes such as "freedom" and "justice.narrow direction of reaction to mainstream events that the increasing trend toward morality in death metal brought." Theirs was the world of the wolf. These each took a different approach to aesthetics. Astute historians might note that the insistence of black metal bands upon paradox in music and idea produced a massively different aesthetic for the time but spent it instantly once others cloned it with nonsense content in stylistic . it was epic and spoke grandly of emotional values of a nature not limited to the 15 minutes of fame accorded modern acts. its impetus toward majestic music forced its lyricists and inspirational minds to devise new concepts for creation. but this rapidly gave way to its Romantic and Naturalistic side. to the Vedantic religion of Indo-Europeans before that. from roughly 1991 to 1996. Its original concept revolved around "evil" and occult mysticism. Ideology and causes of intellectual desire drowned out the hedonism and lack of discipline of previous eras. destroy all. Resentment over "jogging suit death metal. While these musicians were strongly independent. the blizzard. as most of these can only state their apocalypticism once. but one thing is clear: where previous metal bands performed stunts to draw attention to themselves. and meaning is discovered when one accepts death (a form of occultism in itself) and is willing to look outside the boundaries of the self.that which existed outside of a "progressive" society and its politicized march toward individualistic utopia. which soon united several concepts around a general idea: the natural world is more important than a society which has no values except money and not offending anyone. That indictment and capture eventually occurred is more a product of the youth and inexperience of teenagers regarding crime than a "me. Much has been said about the burning of churches and killing of people that occurred in Norway and Sweden. and the indefinable idealism of those who exist alone in nature.
However. after years of band and social interaction as a result of their art. Content no longer mattered. philosophy or politics. or Slayer displayed emblems of both Satan and Hitler for an antisocial reaction. the consumer could buy black metal in the flavor of his or her caprice: underground. most commonly monetary greed or public image. as that is how one maintains the different points of view that constitute diversity. the playing field was equal for any entertainer. To say "sold out" in this context means to reveal the fundamental principles of an effort to be motivated by short term human desires. and then amazingly fast black metal sold out in 1995 and death metal returned as longstanding artists improved technicality and specialized artistically. but the extremist tradition in thought had been present for far longer than that. They affirmed their need to exist as national populations. Where Iggy Pop's guitarists may have worn Nazi emblems out of pure provocation. including Pagan tradition. and a new range of fans began to replace the old. invited it into their thought process to influence their music through am embrace of pan-European and Greco-Roman classicist ideals. Novelty in style dominated with the exception of a few dedicated souls. the new bands stated what many in the community had been thinking for years and further. when one explores dangerous and forbidden ideas. Ted Kaczynski and Pentti Linkola. As it collapsed black metal reverted to a surefire crowd-pleaser: 1970s style heavy metal and simpler forms of fixed harmony music. which in the eyes of these bands had with Christian thought led to a separation of modern humanity from nature. Making extreme music is a fine line between art and "entertainment. electronic. As black metal's indulgences went from obscure opera to dinnertime comedy circus (Dimmu Borgir. lowest common drives and energies of the general population. As the older bands who were "true" to what had once powered their works. The results of the first wave of "entertainment black metal" became mixed with underground styles. Fascism and eco-fascism were endorsed as an alternative to the weakness of individualism. punkish. The romantic streak of metal recurred with many destructive acts. as well as praised forbidden figures such as Adolf Hitler. as hardcore had fallen. with it come the symbols and concepts which are demonized by a multicultural. By 1997.imitation. or National Socialist Black Metal. or believing that countries should not be "nation-states" composed of political boundaries but should be "nations" composed of unified ethnicities and cultures. weaknesses. Dark Funeral). Where initially many including the creators of black metal viewed its artistic content as being polemic for occult war against Christianity. ." where in the latter media pander to the anticipations. melodic. liberal democratic society. NSBM. and the genre was inundated by simians imitating media icons and classics toward which a morality of "true"ness exists. and condemned the invasion of Judeo-Christian belief and non-native peoples into Europe. tradition and honor. the faith of the public in the genre began to wane. As is traditional. because of its adulation for natural diversity. Cradle of Filth. Romantic music in any culture tends toward a worship of nature and appreciation for the whole of the past. This egalitarian style of black metal pandered to the crowd and became the most popular genre of any "underground" metal. ever. became a phenomenon after Norway unloaded a surprise dawn attack and swept the genre. over time divergences appeared within the same general areas of mysticism. it also tends to be nationalistic. became repetitive or commercialized.
became popularized with AOL in 1996 and by 1999. Europe unified itself into a financial consortium known as the European Union. I had been playing various types of rock in various constellations since 1975.Q: on "Bathory. enabled America and her allies in NATO and the UN to take on newfound importance. and from 1985-1986 it was all I would listen to. as it seemed that truly understanding and moral righteousness were triumphing over the darkness. and a world political strategy which encouraged the bombardment of those who did not tow the capitalist liberal democratic line. a new confidence emerged in the world. multiple civil rights trials convicted people from the draconian past of racial discrimination. It seemed as if nothing could stop the progress of progress. which had threatened to crash the world's computers and plunge us into a primordial chaos. Quorthon. The motif signature naturally comes from the world of opera. so picking up Wagner. Haydn and others really broadened my musical awareness extensively.[ Globalism ] As the Clinton era of American leadership wound down. Other advancements included the distribution of cable networks into more homes than ever before. the Y2K bug.html">blood. homosexuals and other marginalized individuals (except metalheads). Small conflicts were both inconclusive and victories for the liberal West as it smashed dictators in Yugoslavia and the Middle East. smoked pot and considered himself "the first Black President. a boom in liberal thought occurred once again. from an interview Period 7 [ 1996 . Consequently. Worldwide countries were linked up and citizens could share information and make personal connections. the Clinton administration generated a flood of legislation empowering minorities. the Counterculture had triumphed and the New Left had gained power in the most respected and oldest ways. Further. women. The Unabomber was convicted. With a President who played in a jazz band. back in the USA. It seemed that modern society was finally reaching its apex. or children of the 1960s and 1970s. heavy and primitively simple music of "under the sign of the black mark"? Probably from reading biographies on masters like Wagner and Beethoven and their works. Beethoven. what inspired this change from the dark. promoting a newfound sensitivity that people in the 1960s only dreamed." America felt it had lived up to its covenant with liberal democracy. arguably the most important development during this time.PRESENT ] History . this was the era in which the Baby Boomers. I began to listen to classical music shortly after forming Bathory. With the maturation and power seizure of the "hippie" Baby Boomers. experienced the greatest degree of political power and those who were pre-war children retired. and as a consequence international business took on new power and importance. had no effect and was . death" an epic sound is present through the use of longer songs with greater symbolic significance to their movements and motifs. it seemed everyone was getting online. and nothing would stop its might. Unprecedented wealth brought on by the Internet boom. The internet. fire. and Hispanic immigration into America blossomed as did racial mixing. In fact. and the marketing appeal of American media gaining worldwide audiences.
. there was no direction to be had. but since none of it was sufficiently distinct from the past (or each other). the movements of black and death metal.[ Retro-cumulative ] During this time. like white power punk and metal before them. causing them to rapidly fall into a droning litany of praise for black metal itself. Unfortunately.beaten by an army of well-paid programmers. but there is room to create. having spent their initial impetus. In black metal. without finding in it what had made it great and inspired. The old divisions re-opened when George W. characterized by Atlantic magazine as the conflict between "Red" (rural Americans. showing that a new adversary . and apparently." as music has been so well-defined that there is no room to innovate. Bush took office to inherit the "dot-com bust. The result was a flagging of the genre. multicultural democracy.representing a conflict between older. That was followed almost immediately by terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and other locations in Europe and the Mideast. essentially ranted out propaganda without end. with older bands releasing new albums and newer bands putting out releases that at the time seemed promising. for the bands that weren't NSBM. the new bands. as so few people turned out to vote that an election could be decided by a handful of votes in a single state. nationalistic Islamic republics and the progressive American regime . Western citizens immediately felt the old divisions of the Counterculture vs Culture return. and internal dialogue of black metal itself. The outcome of Gore vs Bush was both uncertain and definite. liberals). Death metal returned in force. The result was a reactionary "retro" movement which inspired brief revivals but then flagged. a new presidential race brought doubts. This is not to espouse some "innovation. Metal . It seemed nothing could stop the advancement. a worse fate awaited: repetition of past symbols and "unique" novelty reconstructions of the same. and a recession that eroded confidence in American prosperity. neither necessarily was "in charge" but both existed in a pluralistic." in which over-valued Internet stocks collapsed. traditionalists) and "Blue" (cosmopolitan Americans. creating bands whose topics were solely about the propaganda they espoused. As the new millennium dawned.would heat up the future. unlike the original NSBM bands who stamped out songs about topics related to their ideals as they would exist in life itself. except that this time. the creativity of these acts lagged behind where their shows of allegiance to past proven styles did not. relapsed into a process of searching past influences for a "true" strain of each genre. the controversy over NSBM died down once the white power/white nationalist movement absorbed it. conservatives.
A few seminal acts created something great. mistaking the form for the substance. and the result is a cacophony of voices that have divided the art market according to the background and political preferences of the buyer. literature. they rely on three-note riffs and radio-rock style song structures. unlike the original black metal bands. genres die. but weren't. and art are howling out the theme of the importance of every point of view. Influence . or took an honorable exit into electronic music. especially those where the position of the individual determines what its values should be. most energy going into socialization and image. Techno ] Similar to the condition of metal are the genres of hip-hop and techno and alternative . enabling them a bit of nostalgia as their dollars flowed into supporting the genre. and its actions became wholly responses to developments with the metal and punk genres. and a desire to crush any "oppression" or marginalization wherever it is found. and the result is that black metal has become that against which it railed. others." This was at least an honest if simplistic gesture. as Burzum.The populist front of metal in the meantime had two fingers. It is probably fair to call this new genre of black metal "black hardcore. Enslaved. People die. the supporting commonality of belief behind black metal fell away completely. As such. and brought about a resurrection of the metal spirit in those who had been young in the 1980s and late 1970s. black metal is reliving the past that hardcore experienced. almost all of the old black metal bands either quit. it is hard to derive any trend from these but universalism: a moral belief in the equality of all people.[ Hip-Hop. The result is an egalitarian free-for-all where almost no musical effort is being made. Only the deeds of honorable artists are immortal. so instead they campaigned for lowered standards.[ Universalism ] With immigration to America and Europe at a record high. In response. Music. Once these changes were visible." and the second being a reactionary movement which praised 1970s heavy metal hybridized with speed metal technique into a new form known as "power metal. it espouses either Satan or "equal" death to all human beings. Neptune Towers (Darkthrone). most art at this point in time emphasizes the universal nature of human experience and equality of all people in an attempt to profit from the purchasing habits of these new groups (one might point to movies such as "Save the Last Dance" and "A Day Without a Mexican"). the importance of the individual and its choices." since in music and ideology it has more in common with the punk rock and punk hardcore of the middle 1980s than it does to black metal. emulated it and expected to be as profound. and bands are virtually indistinguishable between each other in part because. Art . Predominantly liberal in direction. and enfranchisement of non-conventionallyfavored groups occurring. At this point. Gorgoroth). Beherit and Ildjarn did. the first being a hiphop/emo/metal hybrid known as "nu-metal. became "heavy metal" versions of themselves (Immortal.
" looking inside society from the basic position of "I don't like what I see. Genres like country and pop punk have suffered the same norming." it is now the province of black hardcore bands to differentiate themselves with affectations and recombinations of "profound" ideas borrowed from mainstream sources. Conclusion The metal movement migrated from a position among the Counterculture as a rebel to one of denying everything the Counterculture stood for." guaranteeing each other a tiny slice of the cheap immortality afforded by recognition without respect. this serves to strengthen the original convictions of death and black metal more than reduce them. it has again been proven that they are incompatible. since that which had public meaning made no sense to someone who could recognize the importance . Oddly enough. The positive outlook. the truth that laid waste to all else. Ultimately. And finally. which are also out of ideas and fragmenting to pander to different audiences." In a time of absolutes and universals. is for the first time not direct: it wholly affects outlook and lifestyle philosophy. it went from hedonism to rejecting the individual-over-all preference so that it might find meaning in the process of life itself. As it was something to do in the 1970s or 1980s to have an indie or punk rock band. prefer to eschew the intermediate tradition and hail what occurred thousands of years before the modern world. respect) community which techno became in the late 1990s has lost focus as raves have begun catering to an older crowd who seem more serious about drug use than music. it has been absorbed into the generic pop realm and now resembles indie rock more than it did previously. and in which to find meaning. What brought about this extraordinary journey? Since its genesis. in that where mainstream and metal once crossed paths. it has done this by embracing the lack of meaning in a nihilistic deconstruction that presupposed significance existed elsewhere. Over the course of several generations it distilled this value system and found its connections to knowledge outside of the realm of popular music. Where once only pop bands chanted a mantra of "be distinct. unity. metal music has been "outsider art. Alternative rock? Like other rock genres. While originally maintaing a strong pro-black-community outlook. now it's an activity for lonely teenagers to record black hardcore albums on their computers and to trade them with "friends. it looked for the ultimate answer. be unique. The influence of metal on these. PLUR (peace. including those which reduce it to a marketing gimmick designed to sell "extremity" to suburban kids. in part to reconcile its members to their position outside of society but in part in a desperate search for something to hold on to. love. and their influence on metal. it grew from a position of denying all value to inventing value where society has publically declared that none exists.rock. The domain of rugged individuals. hip-hop has now become home to rappers with a range of different skills and outlooks.
metallions recognize natural ethnicities as the only vehicle for their unique national culture. He rails against contentment and moral dogma. one is left with yammering monkeys using authority to beat on each other for the gratification of their own sense of self-importance.a great horror of humanity is the destruction of earth and anti-corporatism and environmentalism are part of this. this path isn't unique to metal.personal pride and passion for honor in existence will be seen as more important than social approbation. was based in feeling and not tangible elements or ideas within society. metal can be considered one vector of re-introducing this truth to a forgetful (15 minutes. the idea that nothing has any significance or value inherently. developed further toward a language in which uniqueness is appreciated over novelty of form. and our interaction with it affects our survival which in turn is important to the system. universal. In this transition there is hope. and in many ways. "Take it back .it's broken!" there is this path of learning. This brought it full cycle from a rebellious adolescence to a warlike but life-affirming adulthood. preferring nihilistic and deontological moralities." and it is represented in things ranging from money to morality to the war on drugs to the crusade against "racists" and "terrorists. Orwellian memory hole) modern industrial society based on the convenience and wealth of individuals. . and that what was real was the life that all along we as modern humans have hidden past layers of interpretation and religious dogma derived from dualism. organize the ideas with which any future generations would start: Nihilism ." urging awake a force to life in each person that aims toward a refinement of the human being and a focusing of ambition toward life and desire for existence.a fear and resentment of morality as a construct at all. Ethnic pride . Anti-moralism . While for now metal music has lost its impetus and been assimilated." Metal discovered by exploring experience that this absolutist. mechanistic viewpoint was illusion.of the morbid end awaiting each of us.the sense of melody and layering of the same as central to any complexity in composition. Nietzsche's "Will to Power" is a technical restatement of this to clarify that while the will is indeed all. and suggests the evolution of humans to übermensch status .from Vedic and European transcendental idealism. Nietzsche rightfully brushes aside the trivial question of "Is reality real?" by suggesting that a system of consistent reactions and structure will always be "real" in that it has effected us. only by the valuation of a human mind. Without a culture emerging to support a consensus of values. presupposing a lack of external world that may resist your will is ignorant. Heroism . Environmentalism .from Latin America to the Nordics to the American Indians to Malaysians to Chinese to Hispanics worldwide. Its outsidership. unlike the political and lifestyle alternativs others chose. as for every adolescent who takes one look at the adult world and says. One can hope for the future in following this transition. Any future movement that hopes to transcend the ills of this era must heed well to what metal has discovered: one cannot use external force (carrot and stick) to force things to fit into a framework or worldview. Schopenhauer wrote the philosophy of the "will. Melodic poesy . the force must come from within.people fully accepting the nihilism of life and moving forward to embrace what design. and as an epitaph to metal. This is "absolutism.
Covers and names link to reviews with more information about the bands and their albums.while others will just be working within the paradigm. Someone told to save the planet will join an organization for saving baby seals that mails stamps around the world to collect donations. The übermensch that Nietzsche wrote of could arise. but by the suffocating nature of a media-fed democracy will be an extremist. some are going to stand out in history as having addressed the human soul in the unique way a metal band can . "and though we'd never want them to be. death metal. Morbid Angel Influenced by the extremity of Sepultura and Possessed. The Best of Black and Death Metal Over a career as a death metal disc jockey spanning six years in Planet Southern California. the next generation is to be a lone wolf for forms of radical change through thought.heavy metal. Spinoza Ray Prozak developed a strong sense of history regarding the relevance of the music he played over the air. but will not be able to tell you a single action except "drastic change" that would actually solve the problem. grindcore and black metal . after that. and that the largest is general disregard for the environment. exploring the edge of . thrash." he once said. Death Metal Sodom A bridge between thrash and death metal. "Not all metal bands are equal." Presented here are the bands and releases that Spinoza Ray thinks define the genres of metal . A postmoral person will correctly respond that most sufferings are tied to a few central problems.This cuts aside much of the guilt and ineffective action of the world voting public.by speaking directly the language of innovation within the architecture of metal's art. became the impetus toward the styles that would amalgamate into the new genre of death metal. Morbid Angel injected fantasy realms of the complex codices of musical theory into death metal. Sodom made simple songs using fast tremolo strumming and along with fellow European bands Celtic Frost and Bathory.
Sepultura developed an aggressive but light on its feet style that brought a currency of energy . Unleashed combined the central chorus vocal rhythm organization of heavy metal with death metal's emphasis on the elements of rhythm microencoded in strumming and details of percussion to emphasize the band's mythological view of primal existence. Demilich Almost universally misunderstood. Therion brought fantasy metal to a realization of artistic relevance to the world and inspired a generation or two of death metal and black metal bands. At the Gates created a classically-influenced style for Swedish death metal which expanded its basic precept of melodic construction based around brutally distorted guitar picked fast in a tremolo which blurred it into contiguous sound. At the Gates Exploring complex song structures and different chord voicings. Massacra were contemporaries of Morbid Angel who used a similar style of fast tremolo picking and abrupt variations in song structure to create classically-inspired. they had a violinist in the band for their third album). namely one in which the harmonic constructions of popular music were expanded and inserted within metal songs. Sepultura Starting with a dark and unravelling black metal entry to extreme metal but working into a fusion of speed metal and death metal rhythm. allowing the melodic construction of the whole to detour into motifs reflecting a cyclic recombination of each idea.atonality with chaotic yet centrally-fused melodic structures. Unleashed Using rhythm like a blunt instrument. monumentally dynamic forms of sonic art. Therion Dark romantic metal that flows through individualized song structures like a book of poetry encapsulates divergent views of life into one complicated worldview. Massacra An early and often overlooked contributor. this band created a form of metal that has never been explored. sounding often more like it was written for violins (and indeed.
subtly and with slowly-building force that eventually alters the whole without a single clear causal trigger. Immortal made a symphony to the night with "Diabolical Full Moon Mysticism" and then followed it up with an exploration of harmony in internal turbulence with the seminal "Pure Holocaust. Immortal Creators of beauty in darkness and believers in the empowering factors of imagination and unleashed soul. all while riding dark but spiritual grooves that still compell listeners to this day. and sonorous black metal with lengthy phrases of power chords culminating in a melodic concluding passage of the type that has always defined metal music as emotionally "heavy.into death metal approaching the techno age. Hellhammer/Celtic Frost found simple songs a method of injecting viral dissonance to music and therefore extrapolating complexity without necessarily expressing it in the music. Black Metal Hellhammer/Celtic Frost One of black metal's developmental influences. for basic blackmetal. none have surpassed this surprisingly current-sounding landmark. with its lengthy repetitive passages in which variation occurs as in nature. Enslaved The genesis of this music is a fusion between the folk music of Norway. this is simultaneously unlistenably abrasive and gently contemplative. Ildjarn Ildjarn uses clusters of related riffs made from a few chords whipped into phrases surrounding a motif-concept and massages them into organically structured songs in which a natural poetic impulse gives context to a change in perception. Bathory Raw and essential music follows rhythm through a pounding tribute to violence and darkness in this one-man war against the world. Like the best of black metal." Burzum ." an album which captured both the polyrhythmic spirit of chaos metal and the developing science of black metal melody.
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