Wednesday, February 3, 2010
History of Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal is more than just a style of music, its a way of life. Heavy metal derived from the loud blues-rock and psychedelia of the late '60s. For the most part, metal lost most of the blues influences and leaving the powerful, loud, guitar riffs. In the late 60's and early '70s, heavy metal began establishing itself as one of the most commercially successful forms of aggressive rock & roll. Guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and bands like Cream, The Who, Steppenwolf, Hawkwind, Alice Cooper, and Led Zeppelin fused heavy guitars with blues based rock 'n roll and began to put on outrageous live performances.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. Bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Uriah Heep, Nazareth, Angel, and Judas Priest were beginning to gain large audiences. Of course KISS would be one of the biggest bands to emerge from the 70's. Their impact on the 80's metal explosion would be enormous not just the music but also the gigantic, bigger than life, stage persona and show. Through the next decades, metal adapted itself to the times and it would never completely disappeared from the charts. Trends came and went, as did the trendy followers, but metal fans were devoted. In the early 80s, heavy metal exploded in popularity.In the mid-'80s thru the early 90's, speed metal and thrash became the most popular form of heavy metal in the American underground. Crossing the new wave of British heavy metal with hardcore punk, speed metal was extremely fast and more technically demanding. Tthe bands played fast, but their attack was precise and clean. In that sense, speed metal remained true to its metal roots. But what it borrowed from hardcore the insanely fast tempos and a defiant, do-it-yourself attitude was just as important, and sometimes it was even more important. It gave the band not only a unique musical approach but also an attractive "anti-image" for legions fans. There was one thing for sure, heavy metal was more than just a passing trend. Some critics, even today, continue to dismiss metal as over simplistic, primal pounding, with annoying screams. Certainly, there is some heavy metal that is nothing but three-chord riffing, but most metal bands place major importance on technical skill.