Heavy Metal Music Only

Metal practitioners recognize heaviness as an essential musical element, but also add in concepts or qualities they consider meaningful, such as force, energy and aggression.

Heavy metal’s influential nature can be seen everywhere from fashion and literature to film and academia; furthermore, its power and passion resonates deeply with listeners around the globe.


Heavy metal music’s roots can be traced back to hard rock bands that emerged during the late 1960s, taking influence from blues, psychedelic rock, heavier soundscapes, distorted guitar riffs and aggressive drum beats from multiple genres; ultimately leading to its development into heavy metal genre.

Sandy Pearlman, manager and producer for Blue Oyster Cult band, first coined the term “heavy metal.” He used this description of their brand of rock with subtle nods towards occultism as their own trademark sound.

Heavy metal’s initial form may have set its signature sound and characteristics, yet over the years its evolution has led to various subgenres of heavy metal music. Some experts attribute Los Angeles-based glam metal scene of the 1980s as having broad mainstream appeal, while others point out how heavy metal evolved alongside fast, youthful punk rock in the 70s, giving rise to New Wave of British Heavy Metal music featuring bands like Iron Maiden.

Heavy metal has had a profound effect on visual elements like album covers and stage performances, featuring lavish costumes accompanied by makeup or tattoos for musicians to wear during performances. Heavy metal artists have gone further by founding charitable foundations to support noble causes – which has only strengthened its visual impact further.

Heavy metal has long been considered a controversial musical genre, prompting debate and criticism regarding its effects on society. Some fear its influence would lead to drug abuse and violence while others point to its exploration of spirituality and other themes as proof that heavy metal could actually have positive influences on young people. Over its history, heavy metal has challenged social norms while providing inspiration to millions around the globe.


Heavy metal music encompasses an expansive variety of styles. Legendary bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest established its hallmark elements – fast tempos, distorted guitar playing with tremolo picking and blast beat drumming; raw recording. Yet each band added different musical influences for an individual sound – from Jethro Tull and Hawkwind who bridged blues rock and metal through to those which included progressive jazz elements – with distinct results.

Other genres, like thrash and death metal, take extreme steps when it comes to both their tempo and vocal approach; death metal bands such as Dillinger Escape Plan and Whitechapel use an extreme guttural vocal approach that often uses shouted vocals with fast rhythms that feature more screaming vocals as well as harder guitar riffing with solo instrument breaks – among many other characteristics.

Symphonic metal is a hybrid genre that incorporates orchestral and symphonic music with metal. Also referred to as Euro-classical metal, its popularity can be found with bands like Nightwish, Kamelot, Rhapsody of Fire among others.

Power metal and speed metal are subgenres of heavy metal music that draw upon elements from other genres, such as hard rock, thrash metal and power-rock to form one genre: heavy metal music. Glam metal combines pop/rock harmonies and melodies with heavy-metal tempos, guitar riffs and stage presence characteristic of 1980s hair metal into one sound that has broadened metal’s appeal and helped define its signature features like amplifier distortion and louder, faster music – further expanding its appeal even further.


Heavy metal has an international fan base known as “metalheads.” They form tight-knit communities that meet regularly for concerts and festivals dedicated to heavy metal music; fans often wear clothing emblazoned with band logos and imagery to commemorate this experience. Heavy metal’s dark, rebellious themes have inspired fiction writers like Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft who explore similar ideas within their works.

Black Sabbath and Judas Priest established the basic structure for metal music during the early 1970s. Both bands featured twin lead guitars, leather aesthetics and aggressive stage presence paired with dark, antisocial lyrics; in addition they utilized distorted vocals combined with powerful mixtures of distortion, feedback and other effects for their unique sound.

Thrash metal and its extreme subgenres of heavy metal began gaining a foothold during the 1980s, with bands like Metallica and Slayer pioneering this style with fast tempos, harsh vocal and guitar tones, critical or sarcastic lyrics and fast tempos. Since then, groove metal and nu metal have expanded on this genre while adding influences from grunge music as well as hip hop influences into their soundscape.

Neoclassical metal is a subgenre of heavy metal which draws inspiration from classical music. This style incorporates highly technical guitar soloing styles such as crosspicking, sweep picking and economy picking to perform rapid scales and arpeggios with ease. Prominent performers in this genre include Yngwie Malmsteen and Tony MacAlpine.

Though most metalheads are male, the women’s metal movement of the late 1990s and 2000s helped increase female musicians in metal genre. Nightwish, Delain and Within Temptation all featured female-lead bands with male instrument players; Nirvana and Alice in Chains both used some female performers who mixed elements from heavy metal with elements from glam metal as part of their sound.


Heavy metal music’s influence extends far beyond its sound into society at large. It has created numerous subgenres and inspired musicians to push the limits of their craft. Additionally, heavy metal has had an enormous social impact with fans gathering at concerts and festivals and using this music’s rebellious edge as an outlet to express themselves.

Muddy Waters of Mississippi’s innovative guitar playing and powerful vocals influenced early metal bands heavily, leading to rock and roll’s development. Steppenwolf released “Born to Be Wild,” their inaugural heavy metal song released in 1969 for Easy Rider. Additionally, metal pioneers Black Sabbath and Judas Priest brought twin lead guitars and leather aesthetics into the genre during this decade.

Psychodelic and folk influences also had a huge impact on metal’s development, as evidenced by bands such as Pink Floyd, The Doors and Led Zeppelin all employing aspects of this style in their music. Guitarists such as Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen added new levels of speed and technique to this genre, often including classical chord progressions or figures into their pieces.

Neurosis, Isis and Cult of Luna are three artists who exemplify post-rock’s influence on metal music. Their lengthy songs combine post-rock ambiance with the weight and bombast of metal. Doom metal is another subgenre of post-rock that features slow tempos with gloomy themes; groove metal takes elements from punk rock and early thrash metal; it features heavier guitars tuned lower with distorted riffs for a distinctive sound.


Metalheads, musicians who specialize solely in heavy metal music, form a close-knit community that frequently attends concerts together and may create fan art or organize metal meet-ups. Their friendship is what helps the genre endure over the long haul.

Subcultures within heavy metal add depth and variety to its musical movement, from gothic-influenced aesthetics to raw aggression. Through them fans and musicians can express themselves freely while finding a sense of identity through music that transcends genre boundaries – its influence being felt in fashion, literature, film as well as music itself.

Critics may accuse heavy metal of glorifying madness and horror, yet it serves as a form of counterculture that addresses many social problems that confront modern society. While exploring darkness and fear can be intimidating at first, its power, rebellion, and adventure satisfy a deep human longing as an expression of human psyche that has endured for decades now and continues to provide new generations with inspiration.

Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath bands emerged in the 1970s with music that explored an imaginary realm populated by drugs, death and the supernatural – in stark contrast with peace-love hippie culture of previous decades which promoted an idealized vision of future with unrealistic and inaccurate assumptions.

Heavy metal has long been subjected to strong criticism, from political and academic groups blaming it for crime and violence to depression and suicide, with accusations even made of it promoting devil worship or blasphemy in some predominantly Muslim countries. Metal artists and fans have even been imprisoned because of it.