Who Made Heavy Metal Music?

who made heavy metal music

Metal made a breakthrough in the 1970s, as bands such as Black Sabbath and Saxon pioneered its sound. Popular among teenagers referred to as ‘head-bangers”, it became widely recognized by all.

Tony Iommi can lay claim to inventing heavy metal, though many 60s bands could also be considered precursors of this genre. Heavy metal typically features a drum set and bass guitarist (in some bands there is both), lead and rhythm guitars as part of its line-up.

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath are widely recognized as pioneers of heavy metal music. Their dark sound and lyrics created a blueprint for other bands to follow; Paranoid (1970) being one of the earliest heavy metal albums ever made.

Black Sabbath stood out among many late-60s bands interested in peace movements and hippie culture with their dark themes, often covering topics such as war, apocalypse, the occult, drugs, European folk elements in their music as well as gothic storytelling lyrically using hell, death Satanism horror imagery which greatly influenced heavy metal.

Black Sabbath first formed in 1968 in Birmingham, England after Mythology disbanded and guitarist Tony Iommi responded to a newspaper ad seeking musicians. Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward had already played together as Rare Breed, though both would later leave Black Sabbath at various points throughout its history before signing Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk from Rage Against the Machine for their nineteenth album 13.

Black Sabbath have earned multiple gold and platinum records over their long career, selling millions of albums worldwide and being named one of the greatest hard rock/heavy metal acts ever. Today, their legacy continues onward.

Black Sabbath were pioneers of heavy metal music. While Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple may have pioneered its genre, Black Sabbath were responsible for pioneering its distinctive sound in part thanks to a tragic incident at work when Iommi was hit by machinery that dropped on his right hand, cutting off both middle and ring finger tips in an accident at a steelworks.

Black Sabbath may have stopped touring in the mid-1980s, but their legacy remained alive through reunion tours and their MTV reality show The Osbournes. In 2014, original member Tony Iommi rejoined along with drummer Wilk and Geoff Nicholls (who replaced founding member Ward in 2004). Together they released a new album together in 2014.

Deep Purple

Heavy metal’s roots were first seeded with songs with massive guitar riffs like Link Wray’s instrumental “Rumble” and The Kingsmen’s cover of “Cotton Crop Blues”, though many consider Deep Purple to be responsible for giving birth to it all. Established as Roundabout in 1968 (now Deep Purple), Deep Purple became one of the pillars of heavy metal alongside Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin as pioneers.

Deep Purple were an influential act, greatly impacting many other heavy metal bands and hard rock acts with their progressive, multi-genre music. Deep Purple featured guitarist Ritchie Blackmore’s playing approach and vocalist Ian Gillan’s piercing shouts as key components to their sound, later joining Ronnie James Dio and bassist David Coverdale to form Rainbow, while bassist Coverdale went on to found Whitesnake.

After the success of their first three albums, the band underwent several lineup changes before releasing Stormbringer in 1974 – often considered as a landmark heavy metal record. This album marked their musical identity coming together perfectly and marked them as being amongst those that pioneered true heavy metal music.

At this juncture, a new wave of musicians began producing music influenced by Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, including Judas Priest, Aerosmith and Motorhead – who introduced elements of punk rock into their sound that upended rock music as we know it today.

As a result, many were critical of heavy metal music and its culture, yet heavy metal has since become one of the most significant genres in musical history – still popular today!

Critics may point to heavy metal as being responsible for various social ills, yet many still cherish and enjoy its music. Heavy metal has given birth to various subgenres that continue to make the genre a staple of modern music as well as other genres such as classical, dance and hip hop – becoming an invaluable basis for an array of diverse and exciting musical scenes.


Heavy metal music has long been one of the most acclaimed genres in rock history, characterized by loud volumes, fast tempos and distorted guitar riffs that tend towards loudness, fast tempos and dark lyrics that focus on themes of power, rebellion and darkness. While many credit Led Zeppelin for creating heavy metal as we know it today, other bands such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Iron Maiden made significant contributions too – these bands influenced numerous other musicians while creating subgenres of heavy metal music which continues today.

Though heavy metal’s exact origins remain uncertain, most scholars agree that its roots lie within the 1960s blues scene. Blues musicians began experimenting with distortion effects and writing lyrics on more morbid topics – two developments which may have opened the way for heavy metal music.

Heavy metal music gained international recognition during the 1970s. Artists such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Machine Head helped define this genre over time with albums released later that have become classics; bands such as KISS, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Saxon also rose during this era; each contributing their unique sound along with outrageous hairstyles, clothing or behaviors to form what became known as heavy metal music.

In the 1980s, British Heavy Metal saw the birth of “New Wave of British Heavy Metal”, an ensemble of bands which combined classic rock with heavy metal. Led by bands such as Def Leppard, Iron Maiden and Saxon – they helped revitalize this genre while remaining some of its most influential artists today.

After the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, heavy metal began branching out into other genres. One such genre was thrash metal, which featured fast tempos, complex guitar riffs and drumming that often featured aggressive imagery and aggressive attitudes. Metallica and Megadeth became some of the most well-known bands within this style during this era of thrash metal while other acts like Motley Crue and Ratt were heavily influenced by it and played similar music.

Alice Cooper

Who created heavy metal music is up for debate. Some believe the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix created heavy metal, while others point out Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath as true metal bands in the 1960s, when their heavy distortions appealed to young rebellious males who rebelled against authority figures and parents’ expectations of them; these young men became known as metalheads, making these bands immensely popular among them.

Early rock bands that helped pioneer metal were heavily influenced by blues. Blues musicians like Link Wray, The Kingsmen and James Cotton experimented with adding more distortion into their music as well as using dramatic keyboards and vocal styles in their pieces. From these roots grew an experimental style which eventually evolved into Alice Cooper, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath bands gaining fame.

Metal gained some bad press during this era. People accused it of inducing violence and despair; however, its proponents noted that metal simply expressed feelings that had already existed within people’s lives. Alice Cooper became an iconic figure within this genre known as shock rock; many credit him as being responsible for first incorporating horror imagery into rock ‘n’ roll music.

In the 1980s, he explored various musical styles and topics such as drug addiction in his album From the Inside (inspired by his stay at a psychiatric clinic), or alcoholism which hospitalized multiple times before eventually sobrieting up and returning to recording several albums such as Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin and Raise Your Fist and Yell before returning to charts with 1989 album Trash.

Recently, he has returned to performing and touring with the remaining members of his original band. Additionally, he hosts a radio show five days a week on Planet Rock. Additionally, in 2017 he released the album Paranormal which featured guest artists such as ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Deep Purple’s Roger Glover.