Who Started Heavy Metal Music?

who started heavy metal music

Heavy metal music originated in industrial, working class areas. Its trademark sound – with its distorted guitar tones, dark themes, and aggressive riffs – was inspired by hearing metal being processed locally at local factories.

Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin helped pioneer metal music as we know it today with their classic sound and image – featuring distorted guitar riffs and intense drumming that set a precedent for other metal bands to follow suit.

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath may or may not have created heavy metal music, but their impact has been incalculable. Any musician who has ever put a guitar to his or her neck owes this band an enormous debt of gratitude.

Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple had heavier moments, but Black Sabbath truly came into its own when guitarist Tony Iommi sheared his fingertips in a factory accident and down-tuned his guitar after suffering severe damage in an industrial incident. Their debut album Black Sabbath as well as their sophomore effort Paranoid laid down a path for future rock bands seeking darker themes with heavier music.

The group was remarkable for its dark, apocalyptic lyrics and hypnotically heavy sound – setting itself apart from anything before them. Their songs, including classics such as “War Pigs” and “Paranoid”, often included menacing images to express nihilistic views while their sound featured heavy, chunky riffs with dissonant harmonies that reminded one of horror film soundtracks.

Heavy Metal was not all about heavy riffs and hard rhythms; they also found inspiration from jazz and other sources that helped soften its sound. Bill Ward’s drumming drew on Count Basie bandleader Jo Jones’ efficient yet crisp figures from his big band orchestras back in the 1930s, drawing inspiration from Jo’s precise yet efficient movements from Count Basie bandleader Jo Jones’ big band orchestras led by him (Count Basie bandleader was Jo Jones who would use crisp figures like Bill Ward’s trademark spang-a-lang hi hat figure that became one of heavy metal’s signature sounds); Iommi and Butler added depth and texture into their songs while Iommi used blues as well as British rock influences to further enrich and enhance their songs further.

Deep Purple

Deep Purple were one of the earliest pioneers of heavy metal music and are largely responsible for shaping many aspects of its style. Their combination of exceptional musicianship and progressive songwriting helped push hard rock and metal music forward; their sound was inspired by blues artists such as Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) and Howlin’ Wolf (Chester Arthur Burnett) who used their songs to express raw emotion through song. Deep Purple used guitar distortion to help define its distinctive sound of heavy metal music.

Black Sabbath’s success paved the way for heavy metal music’s evolution; however, Deep Purple defined its genre template. Led by guitarist Tony Iommi of Deep Purple’s downtuned riffs, power chords, and evil notes helped define heavy metal’s sound; furthermore his resilience despite losing four fingers due to an accident epitomized its spirit of resilience.

In the 1970s, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest advanced heavy metal music. Drawing inspiration from multiple musical genres, these bands united under their desire to reach younger audiences with their sleazy images and high-energy performances; their use of extreme volumes and dramatic musicianship even attracted criticism from some critics.

Early metal music pioneers found inspiration from various sources, including industrial working class areas of the UK where many early steel factories could be found and inspired them to make aggressive music. Early metal musicians also took cues from bands like Rolling Stones and Kinks in developing their own style of music; and by listening to bands like these as well as electric guitar distortion that gave metal its distinctive sound.

Jimi Hendrix

Heavy metal’s precise origin is still unclear, but its roots can be traced to the mid-1960s when bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple began experimenting with its formation. They combined blues-based rock with distorted guitars and faster drum beats for an aggressive sound while using riffs and mysterious lyrics which later inspired future heavy metal musicians.

Jimi Hendrix had an immense impact on the development of heavy metal music. His innovative guitar playing and soulful vocals pushed back against what was possible on an electric guitar, pioneering more fluid, rhythmic playing styles that became standard practice for heavy metal musicians. Furthermore, Hendrix made use of amplification systems in order to produce loud sounds with his soundsystems – creating enormous and powerful sounds in an age where power amplifiers were scarce.

Vanilla Fudge was another early influencer on heavy metal music, slowing and psychedelicizing popular songs before pioneering power trio format that would become standard in heavy metal. Kinks also introduced what would later become standard with Cream; their heavy bass drum sound pioneered heavy metal.

James Page from Led Zeppelin was an expert guitar riffer – and his unique style helped define heavy metal music as we know it today. His technique took traditional blues riffs, amplified them for greater intensity and fear-inducing impact; giving the song its distinctive sound which led to it becoming one of the most beloved heavy metal songs of all time.

Fundamentalist Christians frequently criticize heavy metal’s occult themes and imagery as demonic worship, leading them to sue heavy metal artists like Alice Cooper and KISS for violating Christian beliefs. This has resulted in numerous lawsuits being filed against heavy metal musicians like Alice Cooper and KISS.


Cream is widely considered one of the precursors to heavy metal. Their powerful drums, distorted guitars and dark themes set a precedent for many other metal bands to follow in their footsteps; furthermore their psychedelic roots and occult-themed lyrics gave their music an evil and dangerous feel that set it apart from other genres of music at that time.

Cream’s band members also influenced the development of progressive rock and blues-based rock. Ginger Baker used his classical training and incorporated elements of classical composition into his playing style for greater grandeur and complexity to their music; additionally their use of orchestral sounds also had an enormous influence.

Though only lasting two years, their influence on heavy metal music was immense. Their explosive sound set them apart from their contemporaries and they became one of the most beloved bands of the 1970s; their mix of blues, folk, and rock made them one of a kind in music scene.

Cream was an influential musical band with roots firmly grounded in working-class communities of Britain. Their members came from factories where blue-collar workers toiled hard just to survive, which inspired much of their music as well as some lyrics which reflected this lifestyle.

“Metalheads,” fans of bands known as metal, often feel an intense connection to their music and often display tattoos of band logos as well as wearing t-shirts bearing its name. Critics have frequently accused this genre of being indecent towards women; their lyrics may contain sexually explicit material and violent material. Yet metal has inspired numerous female artists, such as Nightwish and Delain.

Howlin’ Wolf

Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf (Chester Arthur Burnett) laid the groundwork for heavy metal through the Blues genre, helping it gain widespread acceptance among white audiences and popularizing Black music as artists like Howlin’ Wolf made headlines for bringing raw, gritty Blues sounds with powerful stage presence to white audiences. His raw sound resonated through howlin’ Wolf, inspiring many heavy metal vocalists through his raw emotional intensity as an influence on heavy metal vocalists like Eric Singer (from Nir).

Vanilla Fudge and Cream were influential bands who used psychedelic influences to slow down and “psychedelicize” popular songs, thus setting the foundation of heavy metal. Their repetitive riffs combined with distorted guitars and aggressive drumming; furthermore they popularized power trio formats that became an essential feature of heavy metal genre. Furthermore, Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic guitar solos played an influential part in developing heavy metal.

Heavy metal was an influence for numerous rock groups, such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Troggs and Alice Cooper. Glam rock was heavily influenced by heavy metal in the early 1970s; this sound served as a precursor for alternative rock and grunge genres; Motorhead founded by Lemmy Kilmister was considered proto-metal while still including elements of punk rock music.

Heavy metal was a counterculture movement that challenged social norms and promoted an alternative lifestyle. Its music was loud, fast, and intense while lyrics often focused on issues from drugs to war. Even its name – which comes from beatnik counterculture slang meaning serious or profound – reflects this image; and first pioneers Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Judas Priest provided the path forward for other bands that followed them.