Heavy metal music has quickly become one of the most beloved subgenres within rock music, popular for its vigorous beats, loud volume levels and massive soundscape.
Genre has given rise to many subgenres and movements which vary significantly in their interpretations of this genre, such as:
Black Sabbath are pioneers of heavy metal music, helping to define it with albums like Paranoid and Master of Reality. Recognised as one of the greatest rock bands ever formed, they were honored with induction into both the UK Music Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1968, Ozzy Osbourne formed his band in Birmingham, England with guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. Influenced initially by British blues rock, their style has continued to develop throughout their career.
On their self-titled debut album, they developed a heavy, doom-filled sound which laid a solid foundation for other musicians to follow suit in creating similar styles. Furthermore, their lyrics stood out amongst similar bands due to being darker.
Their songwriting abilities were also excellent and their guitar playing talent outstanding – no wonder why they became such fan favorites.
Actually, they played more shows than the Beatles did – thus earning them the reputation as “kings of heavy metal”.
Reasons behind their popularity could include their unique sound. Inspired by horror or suspense movies, and wanting something different than other metal bands. Furthermore, they had an irreverent sense of humor, not wanting to be labeled as malicious.
They saw multiple line-up changes over their 30-year run, always led by guitarist Tony Iommi; until Ozzy Osbourne left in 1979 he remained the sole constant member. Metallica has sold over 15 million records worldwide and were named MTV’s “Greatest Metal Band,” and placed second on VH1’s list of “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.” They still continue touring today and many new fans continue discovering them today!
Judas Priest are one of the most iconic heavy metal bands ever. Formed in 1969 and having sold over 50 million albums worldwide since, their music has inspired numerous artists in the genre and is frequently listed amongst one of the greatest heavy metal bands ever.
They are best known for their twin lead guitars, operatic vocal style, and for pioneering the S&M leather-and-studs look into heavy metal music. Additionally, many consider their lyrics revolutionary.
Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing initially formed the band; later adding Ian Hill (bass) and Dave Holland (drums).
After an initial period of musical “staging”, they found their feet with 1976’s Sad Wings of Destiny album and its classic songs such as “Sinner,” “Diamonds and Rust,” and “Hell Bent for Leather.”
Their fame surged during the 1980s when they made an impactful impression on MTV, drawing in hard rock fans from all backgrounds to their concerts. Additionally, they became well-known for their groundbreaking stage production techniques as well as lighting and sound innovations.
Since that time, they have released 16 studio albums and some live recordings. Furthermore, they are currently touring 7 countries with 13 upcoming concerts on their schedule.
Judas Priest has an extensive back catalog filled with incredible songs that make up its vast repertoire. Here we have selected 30 of their most outstanding offerings to get you into their music.
Judas Priest has written some of the most innovative and timeless classics in heavy metal history, while also creating cutting-edge original works like their most recent album “Crack the Skye”. Their lyrics contain great wisdom to help lead a fulfilling and inspiring life.
Iron Maiden are one of the world’s premier heavy metal bands. Since 1975, their music has garnered worldwide acclaim; they have released multiple albums and performed concerts worldwide.
Their lyrics feature themes that often center around war. This band has an affinity for battle music that they often incorporate into their lyrics and stories that inspire people from around the globe to listen and sing along with. Their fame has earned them worldwide attention from fans.
Eddie, their mascot, has graced every album cover since their inception and often wears different disguises to represent different aspects of their band’s image. Many others have tried copying him but no one can compare to Eddie! His presence has become a cornerstone of their success as an act.
Iron Maiden have earned worldwide renown over 46 years by embodying an irreverent creative independence, fierce dedication to their fans, and cheerful indifference towards critics – qualities which have won them an audience that transcends cultures and generations across the globe. Their story of hard work, determination, and brave defiance of critics has been one of unparalleled adventure!
Fear of the Dark is an iconic song from their back catalogue, known for creating strong emotions through music. But even amongst all their other offerings, one particular track stands out: Fear of the Dark.
The Scorpions, an iconic German heavy metal band that has been touring and recording music for more than 50 years, has long been considered one of the most successful metal acts worldwide, boasting numerous hits that are well known all around the globe and receiving multiple awards along the way.
Rudolf Schenker formed the band in 1965 with his rhythm guitarist brother Michael Schenker and vocalist Klaus Meine. At first they had an established British Beat sound which eventually gave way to hard rock sounds as more members joined including vocalist Klaus Meine.
Later in 1970, the band recorded their debut album Lonesome Crow which combined traditional hard rock with punk influences. Additionally, several covers by Led Zeppelin such as two versions of “In the Flesh” were recorded along with one cover of Bee Gees’ “Stay Together.”
They recorded several more albums during the 70’s, but it was in the 80’s where they saw their greatest success. Their album Blackout from 1982 received outstanding reviews and became an unexpected mass hit in America – considered their masterpiece with “No One Like You” serving as their signature track.
Since that time, the band has undergone a series of changes and released Unbreakable in 2004; their first new studio album in over two decades and although successful they chose not to tour behind it.
The Scorpions have also toured with Judas Priest and released a double live album in 2014. In 2015, they released Return to Forever as their 18th studio album; this compilation album included songs from throughout their career and remains active today with tours throughout Europe and North America.
Deep Purple are one of the greatest rock bands of all time and were an influence on Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath; indeed they are often called an unholy trinity of heavy metal artists.
Beginning their career in Hertford, England in 1968 with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, bassist Nick Simper, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice; these early members made up what is referred to as their “Mark I” lineup; three albums were recorded during this period before Gillan and Roger Glover joined.
After initial difficulties, Metallica quickly found their place and became one of the most renowned heavy metal bands ever. Additionally, many have cited their impactful music as revolutionizing rock genre and taking it to new heights not seen before.
Though their music never quite achieved the same popularity in America as it had in Europe, they remain highly esteemed by many fans here and elsewhere. Their breakthrough album In Rock has been considered to be one of the most influential hard rock records ever released and was even one of Europe’s best-selling records at that time.
Deep Purple are known for creating groundbreaking albums. Beyond that, though, they have also recorded several fantastic singles including their iconic hard rock hit Black Night which has become one of the band’s iconic songs.
Deep Purple are well known for their hard rock sound, and this track, “Into The Fire”, stands as an iconic example. Boasting exceptional organ work from Jon Lord and an intoxicating riff from Richie Blackmore – its infectious organ work stands as testament to this. An unforgettable classic! Don’t overlook it.
Deep Purple have long been an established force on the music scene and continue to release new material and tour with gusto. Over recent years, their music has become more commercial while the band have had numerous successful reunions.