Heavy Metal Music history...
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Heavy Metal Music history... Heavy metal (often referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues-rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are generally associated with masculinity and machismo. The first heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, though they were often critically reviled, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970s Judas Priest helped spur the genre's evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Bands in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal such as Iron Maiden followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal had attracted a worldwide following of fans known as "metalheads" or "headbangers". In the 1980s, glam metal became a major commercial force with groups like Mötley Crüe and Ratt. Underground scenes produced an array of more extreme, aggressive styles: thrash metal broke into the mainstream with bands such as Metallica and Megadeth, while other styles like death metal and black metal remain subcultural phenomena. Since the mid-1990s, popular styles such as nu metal, which often incorporates elements of grunge and hip hop; and metalcore, which blends extreme metal with hardcore punk, have further expanded the definition of the genre. THEMES OF LYRICS Black Sabbath and the many metal bands they inspired have concentrated lyrically "on dark and depressing subject matter to an extent hitherto unprecedented in any form of pop music," according to scholars David Hatch and Stephen Millward. They take as an example Sabbath's 1970 album Paranoid, which "included songs dealing with personal trauma—'Paranoid' and 'Fairies Wear Boots' (which described the unsavoury side effects of drug-taking)—as well as those confronting wider issues, such as the self-explanatory 'War Pigs' and 'Hand of Doom.'" Nuclear annihilation was addressed in later metal songs such as Iron Maiden's "2 Minutes to Midnight", Ozzy Osbourne's "Killer of Giants", Megadeth`s "Polaris", and Metallica's "Fight Fire With Fire". Death is a predominant theme in heavy metal, routinely featuring in the lyrics of bands as otherwise widely different as Slayer and W.A.S.P. The more extreme forms of death metal and grindcore tend to have aggressive and gory lyrics. Deriving from the genre's roots in blues music, sex is another important topic—a thread running from Led Zeppelin's suggestive lyrics to the more explicit references of glam and nu metal bands. Romantic tragedy is a standard theme of gothic and doom metal, as well as of nu metal, where teenage angst is another central topic. Heavy metal songs often feature outlandish, fantasy-inspired lyrics, lending them an escapist quality. Iron Maiden's songs, for instance, were frequently inspired by mythology, fiction, and poetry, such as Iron Maiden's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", based on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem. Led Zeppelin lyrics often reference Lord of the Rings as well as other mythology and folklore, such as in the songs "The Battle of Evermore", "Immigrant Song", "Ramble On", "No Quarter", and "Achilles Last Stand". Other examples include Black Sabbath's "The Wizard," Megadeth's "The Conjuring" and "Five Magics," and Judas Priest's "Dreamer Deceiver". Since the 1980s, with the rise of thrash metal and songs such as Metallica's "...And Justice for All" and Megadeth's "Peace Sells", more metal lyrics have included sociopolitical commentary. Genres such as melodic death metal, progressive metal, and black metal often explore philosophical themes. The thematic content of heavy metal has long been a target of criticism. According to Jon Pareles, "Heavy metal's main subject matter is simple and virtually universal. With grunts, moans and subliterary lyrics, it celebrates...a party without limits.... [T]he bulk of the music is stylized and formulaic." Music critics have often deemed metal lyrics juvenile and banal, and others have objected to what they see as advocacy of misogyny and the occult. During the 1980s, the Parents Music Resource Center petitioned the U.S. Congress to regulate the popular music industry due to what the group asserted were objectionable lyrics, particularly those in heavy metal songs. In 1990, Judas Priest was sued in American court by the parents of two young men who had shot themselves five years earlier, allegedly after hearing the subliminal statement "do it" in a Priest song. While the case attracted a great deal of media attention, it was ultimately dismissed. In some predominantly Muslim countries, heavy metal has been officially denounced as a threat to traditional values. In countries including Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, and Malaysia, there have been incidents of heavy metal musicians and fans being arrested and incarcerated. ETYMOLOGY The origin of the term heavy metal in a musical context is uncertain. The phrase has been used for centuries in chemistry and metallurgy. An early use of the term in modern popular culture was by countercultural writer William S. Burroughs. His 1962 novel The Soft Machine includes a character known as "Uranian Willy, the Heavy Metal Kid." Burroughs's next novel, Nova Express (1964), develops the theme, using heavy metal as a metaphor for addictive drugs: "With their diseases and orgasm drugs and their sexless parasite life forms—Heavy Metal People of Uranus wrapped in cool blue mist of vaporized bank notes—And The Insect People of Minraud with metal music." Metal historian Ian Christe describes what the components of the term mean in "hippiespeak": "heavy" is roughly synonymous with "potent" or "profound," and "metal" designates a certain type of mood, grinding and weighted as with metal. The word "heavy" in this sense was a basic element of beatnik and later countercultural slang, and references to "heavy music"—typically slower, more amplified variations of standard pop fare—were already common by the mid-1960s. Iron Butterfly's debut album, released in early 1968, was titled Heavy. The first recorded use of heavy metal is a reference to a motorcycle in the Steppenwolf song "Born to Be Wild", also released that year: "I like smoke and lightning/Heavy metal thunder/Racin' with the wind/And the feelin' that I'm under." A late, and disputed, claim about the source of the term was made by "Chas" Chandler, former manager of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In a 1995 interview on the PBS program Rock and Roll, he asserted that heavy metal "was a term originated in a New York Times article reviewing a Jimi Hendrix performance," in which the author likened the event to "listening to heavy metal falling from the sky." A source for Chandler's claim has never been found. The first documented use of the phrase to describe a type of rock music identified to date appears in a review by Barry Gifford. In the May 11, 1968, issue of Rolling Stone, he wrote about the album A Long Time Comin' by U.S. band Electric Flag: "Nobody who's been listening to Mike Bloomfield—either talking or playing—in the last few years could have expected this. This is the new soul music, the synthesis of white blues and heavy metal rock.". In January 1970 Lucian K. Truscott IV reviewing Led Zeppelin II for the Village Voice described the sound as "heavy" and made comparisons with Blue Cheer and Vanilla Fudge. Other early documented uses of the phrase are from reviews by critic Mike Saunders. In the November 12, 1970, issue of Rolling Stone, he commented on an album put out the previous year by the British band Humble Pie: "Safe As Yesterday Is, their first American release, proved that Humble Pie could be boring in lots of different ways. Here they were a noisy, unmelodic, heavy metal-leaden shit-rock band with the loud and noisy parts beyond doubt. There were a couple of nice songs...and one monumental pile of refuse." He described the band's latest, self-titled release as "more of the same 27th-rate heavy metal crap." In a review of Sir Lord Baltimore's Kingdom Come in the May 1971 Creem, Saunders wrote, "Sir Lord Baltimore seems to have down pat most all the best heavy metal tricks in the book." Creem critic Lester Bangs is credited with popularizing the term via his early 1970s essays on bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Through the decade, heavy metal was used by certain critics as a virtually automatic putdown. In 1979, lead New York Times popular music critic John Rockwell described what he called "heavy-metal rock" as "brutally aggressive music played mostly for minds clouded by drugs," and, in a different article, as "a crude exaggeration of rock basics that appeals to white teenagers." Coined by Black Sabbath drummer, Bill Ward, "downer rock" was one of the earliest terms used to describe this style of music and was applied to such acts as Sabbath and Bloodrock. Classic Rock magazine described the downer rock culture revolving around the use of Quaaludes and the drinking of wine. Later the term would be replaced by "heavy metal." The terms "heavy metal" and "hard rock" have often been used interchangeably, particularly in discussing bands of the 1970s, a period when the terms were largely synonymous. For example, the 1983 Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll includes this passage: "known for its aggressive blues-based hard-rock style, Aerosmith was the top American heavy-metal band of the mid-Seventies. NEW FUSIONS: 1990s and early 2000s For more infos on this topic see Alternative metal & Nu metal. The era of metal's mainstream dominance in North America came to an end in the early 1990s with the emergence of Nirvana and other grunge bands, signaling the popular breakthrough of alternative rock. Grunge acts were influenced by the heavy metal sound, but rejected the excesses of the more popular metal bands, such as their "flashy and virtuosic solos" and "appearance-driven" MTV orientation. Glam metal fell out of favor due not only to the success of grunge, but also because of the growing popularity of the more aggressive sound typified by Metallica and the post-thrash groove metal of Pantera and White Zombie. A few new, unambiguously metal bands had commercial success during the first half of the decade—Pantera's Far Beyond Driven topped the Billboard chart in 1994—but, "In the dull eyes of the mainstream, metal was dead." Some bands tried to adapt to the new musical landscape. Metallica revamped its image: the band members cut their hair and, in 1996, headlined the alternative musical festival Lollapalooza founded by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell. While this prompted a backlash among some long-time fans, Metallica remained one of the most successful bands in the world into the new century. Like Jane's Addiction, many of the most popular early 1990s groups with roots in heavy metal fall under the umbrella term "alternative metal." Bands in Seattle's grunge scene such as Soundgarden, credited as making a "place for heavy metal in alternative rock", and Alice in Chains were at the center of the alternative metal movement. The label was applied to a wide spectrum of other acts that fused metal with different styles: Faith No More combined their alternative rock sound with punk, funk, metal, and hip hop; Primus joined elements of funk, punk, thrash metal, and experimental music; Tool mixed metal and progressive rock; bands such as Fear Factory, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry began incorporating metal into their industrial sound, and vice versa, respectively; and Marilyn Manson went down a similar route, while also employing shock effects of the sort popularized by Alice Cooper. Alternative metal artists, though they did not represent a cohesive scene, were united by their willingness to experiment with the metal genre and their rejection of glam metal aesthetics (with the stagecraft of Marilyn Manson and White Zombie—also identified with alt-metal—significant, if partial, exceptions). Alternative metal's mix of styles and sounds represented "the colorful results of metal opening up to face the outside world." In the mid- and late 1990s came a new wave of U.S. metal groups inspired by the alternative metal bands and their mix of genres. Dubbed "nu metal", bands such as P.O.D., Korn, Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot, and Linkin Park incorporated elements ranging from death metal to hip hop, often including DJs and rap-style vocals. The mix demonstrated that "pancultural metal could pay off." Nu metal gained mainstream success through heavy MTV rotation and Ozzy Osbourne's 1996 introduction of Ozzfest, which led the media to talk of a resurgence of heavy metal. In 1999, Billboard noted that there were more than 500 specialty metal radio shows in the U.S., nearly three times as many as ten years before. While nu metal was widely popular, traditional metal fans did not fully embrace the style. By early 2003, the movement's popularity was on the wane, though several nu metal acts such as System of a Down retained substantial followings. METAL GENRES 1 Alternative metal 2 Avant-garde metal 3 Black metal 4 Christian metal 5 Crust punk 6 Death metal 7 Doom metal 8 Drone metal 9 Extreme metal 10 Folk metal 11 Funk metal 12 Glam metal 13 Gothic metal 14 Grindcore 15 Groove metal 16 Industrial metal 17 Metalcore 18 Neo-classical metal 19 Nu metal 20 Post-metal 21 Power metal 22 Progressive metal 23 Rap metal 24 Sludge metal 25 Speed metal 26 Stoner metal 27 Symphonic metal 28 Thrash metal 29 Traditional heavy metal 30 Viking metal 1 Alternative metal Alternative metal is a cross-genre term used to describe heavy metal bands with a pronounced experimental edge. Bands often use typical heavy metal instruments, but include unconventional lyrics, odd time signatures and unusual technique. In many instances it is described as a fusion of metal and alternative rock. Prominent bands in this genre include System of a Down, Tool, Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine. 2 Avant-garde metal Avant-garde metal (sometimes called experimental metal) is a cross-genre term used to describe metal bands that exhibit experimentation through non-standard sounds, instruments, and song structures akin to the genre of metal they are rooted in. Examples include Fantōmas, Mr. Bungle and Meshuggah. 3 Black metal Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It often employs fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking in oftentimes droning or hypnotic patterns, and unconventional song structure. It places more emphasis on creating a specific atmosphere of dread or depression than death metal or thrash metal, something it shares with doom metal. During the first half of the 1980s, certain thrash metal bands established a prototype for black metal. This First Wave includes bands such as Venom, Bathory, Mercyful Fate, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. A Second Wave emerged in the early 1990s, which consisted primarily of Norwegian bands such as Burzum, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Immortal, Gorgoroth, Satyricon, and Emperor. Black metal can also be combined with Death metal to create Blackened death metal; bands of this subgenre include Behemoth, Zyklon, and Akercocke. 4 Christian metal Christian metal is a cross-genre term used to describe metal bands that introduce Christian themes into their lyrics. This sub-genre has a long tradition within metal, starting with Christian hard rock bands springing up alongside the NWOBHM phenomenon to the Christian metalcore bands today. Often the Christian themes are melded with the subjects of the genre the band is rooted in, generally providing a Christian take on the subject matter. Examples include Stryper, Tourniquet, and Mortification. 5 Crust punk Crust punk (often simply crust) is one of the evolutions of anarcho-punk and hardcore punk, mixed with extreme metal guitar riffs. The style, which evolved in the mid-1980s in the UK, often had songs with dark, pessimistic lyrics, lingering on political and social ills. It is typically played at a fast tempo with growled and screamed vocals and anarchist lyrics. Notable crust punk bands include Amebix, Antisect, and Doom. 6 Death metal Death metal is an extreme heavy metal subgenre. The genre is typically characterized by the use of heavily distorted guitars, harsh vocals that are low-pitched and/or growled, dark and morbid lyrics, exceptionally fast-paced rhythms and melodies, frequent blast beats on drums, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes. Building off the speed and complexity of thrash metal, death metal came to true prominence by the mid 1980s. Bands like Possessed and pioneer death metal bands such as Death, Morbid Angel and Deicide are considered prime influences in the genre. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, death metal gained more media attention as popular record labels like Earache Records and Roadrunner Records began to sign death metal bands at a rapid rate. Since then, death metal has diversified, spawning a rich variety of subgenres. 7 Doom metal Doom metal is an extreme form of heavy metal music during the first half of the 1980s. Generally, doom metal features very slow tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "denser" or "heavier" sound than other metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. It is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, particularly songs such as "Black Sabbath" and "Into the Void", which are considered embryonic or prototypical doom metal songs. However, the style was defined as a genre in the early-mid 1980s by bands such as Pentagram, Saint Vitus and Candlemass. Doom metal is generally regarded as the basis of the gothic metal, stoner metal, sludge metal and drone metal genres. 8 Drone metal Drone metal began as a derivative of doom metal and it is largely defined by drones; notes or chords that are sustained and repeated throughout a piece of music. Typically, the electric guitar is performed with large amounts of reverb and feedback while vocals, if present, are usually growled or screamed. Songs are often very long and lack beat or rhythm in the traditional sense. Drone doom is generally influenced by drone music, noise music and minimalist music. The style emerged in the early 1990s and was pioneered by Earth, Boris, and Sunn O))). 9 Extreme metal Extreme metal is a cross-genre term used to describe heavy metal that is considerably heavier, faster, more aggressive and more abrasive. For example; vocalists may often use death growls or high-pitched shrieks and more obscene lyrics, drummers may often use blast beats, and the band's appearance may be intended to shock. Bands of this grouping are typically of the black metal, death metal, doom metal and thrash metal genres. The term is also used when a band is musically "extreme" enough but does not conform easily to any of the extreme metal genres; bands of this calibre include Cradle of Filth, Celtic Frost and Strapping Young Lad. 10 Folk metal Folk metal developed in Europe during the 1990s. As the name suggests, the genre is a fusion of heavy metal with folk music. This includes the widespread use of folk instruments and, to a lesser extent, traditional singing styles. Examples of the genre include Skyclad, Finntroll and Tżr; the bands Cruachan, Orphaned Land and Subway to Sally are representative of the three subgenres Celtic metal, Oriental metal and medieval metal respectively. Pagan metal is also considered a genre separate from folk metal that is an extreme form and focuses on lyrics rather than definite characteristics of the genre. 11 Funk metal Funk metal is essentially a fusion of heavy metal and funk. It started off in the late eighties as a subgenre of alternative metal, and was heavily influenced by alternative rock bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone. Funk metal was also one of the key influences of the nu metal genre. Notable funk metal bands include Primus, Living Colour, and Faith No More. 12 Glam metal Glam metal (also known as hair metal) is a term used to describe the visual style of certain heavy metal music bands that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, particularly on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip music scene. It was popular throughout the 1980s and briefly in the early 1990s, combining the flamboyant look of glam rock and playing a commercial hard rock/heavy metal musical style. "Hair bands" was the term popularized by MTV in the 1990s and derives from the tendency among glam metal acts to style their long hair in a teased-up fashion. Many of the bands donned make-up to achieve an androgynous look, similar to that of some 1970s glam rock acts. Mötley Crüe, Poison and Faster Pussycat are examples of bands who adopted the glam metal look in their stage attire and their music video imagery. 13 Gothic metal Gothic metal is characterised as a combination of the dark melancholy of gothic rock with the aggression and sonic power of highly amplified heavy metal music. The genre originated during the mid 1990s in Europe as an outgrowth of doom-death, a fusion genre of doom metal and death metal. Examples of gothic metal bands include Paradise Lost, Lacuna Coil and Tristania. 14 Grindcore Grindcore is a fusion of crust punk and thrash metal or death metal. It is characterised by growling vocals, blast beats, and incredibly short songs with lyrics that are often focused on gore and violence, though sometimes the lyrics can be political. Grindcore, in contrast to death metal, is often very chaotic, and lacks the standard use of time signatures. The style was pioneered by the British band Napalm Death in the eighties. Other notable grindcore bands include Carcass, Brutal Truth and Pig Destroyer. Styles related to grindcore include deathgrind, which has a much more notable death metal influence, goregrind, which has often comically gory lyrics, and pornogrind, which is similar to goregrind but trades the gory lyrics for sexually explicit ones. 15 Groove metal Also known as neo-thrash, post-thrash, or power groove, groove metal consists of slow or mid-tempo and down tuned thrash riffs, bluesy guitar solos, greatly emphasized drum work and harsh vocals. Examples of groove metal include Pantera, Machine Head and Sepultura. 16 Industrial metal Industrial metal combines elements of industrial music and heavy metal. It is usually centered around repetitive metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer or sequencer lines, and distorted vocals. Prominent industrial metal groups include Rammstein, Godflesh,[ Static-X, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails. Metalcore 17 Metalcore Metalcore combines elements of hardcore punk with heavy metal, thrash metal or extreme metal. Generally, metalcore guitarists use harmonized guitar riffs and solos, drummers use hardcore d-beats and double bass drums, and vocalists use a sing-along style. A distinguishing characteristic is the "breakdown", whereby the song is slowed to half-time and the guitarists play open strings to achieve the lowest-pitched sound. Metalcore generally differs from thrash metal in that it avoids the "chugging" guitar sound and focuses more on melody than aggression. Prominent metalcore bands include Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, and Shadows Fall. Most modern metalcore bands are from North America. 18 Neo-classical metal Neo-classical metal (also known as shred metal) is a subgenre that is heavily influenced by classical music in its style of composition. It uses a very technical style of guitar soloing called shred guitar, in which guitarists use cross-picking, sweep picking, and economy picking to play rapid scales and arpeggios. As well, it uses elements borrowed from classical music; including instruments, scales and melodies. Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Tony MacAlpine and Vinnie Moore are prominent performers in this genre. 19 Nu metal Nu metal is a subgenre that blends heavy metal elements with other styles, including hip hop and industrial rock. Some nu metal bands use seven-string guitars, which are sometimes down-tuned to increase heaviness, resulting in bass guitarists using five and six-string instruments. Turntables, sequencers and samplers are sometimes included. In 1994, Korn became the first band to be labeled as "nu metal". Other popular nu metal bands include Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot. 20 Post-metal This heavy metal movement takes influences from post-rock. While it is in many ways similar to post-rock, post-metal tends to include lower-tuned guitars, distorted guitar(s), heavy atmospherics, gradual evolution of song structure, and a minimal emphasis on vocals. Post-metal stresses emotion, contrasting the ambiance of post-rock with the weight and bombast of metal. Vocals are deemphasized or non-existent, and lyrics tend to be equally abstract: often thematic or philosophical in nature. It is a largely American phenomenon, but also includes some Japanese bands. Bands like Neurosis, Isis, Cult of Luna, and Pelican write lengthy songs (typically five or six per album) that can range from light and guitar-driven to heavy, drum and bass-driven. 21 Power metal Power metal is more upbeat than most metal genres, taking heavy influence from heavy metal and speed metal. Power metal often emphasizes clean, melodic, high-pitched vocals, fast pacing that is mostly driven by double bass drumming and melodic lead guitar. The rhythm guitar is defined by straight power chord progressions. Power metal leans toward the positive, happy side of life, seeking to empower the listener and inspire joy and courage. Power metal lyrics usually involve fantasy or science fiction themes. Examples of power metal bands include Helloween, Sonata Arctica, Blind Guardian, and HammerFall. 22 Progressive metal Progressive metal is a fusion between progressive rock and heavy metal. It is one of heavy metal's more complex genres, due to its use of unusual and dynamic time signatures, long compositions, complex compositional structures, and skilled instrumental playing, where instrumental solos are detailed and extended. However, the latest age of Progressive Metal has favoured rougher lyrics and lower-pitched riff sequences with high amounts of strumming. Vocals, if present, are melodic (though there are a few that utilise unclean vocals), and lyrics are often philosophical, spiritual, or political. Many bands of the genre were influenced by the progressive rock band Rush, who would often incorporate elements of heavy metal into their music. Examples of the genre include Pain of Salvation, Queensr˙che, Dream Theater and Fates Warning. 23 Rap metal Rap metal is a cross-genre term used to describe bands that institute the vocal and lyrical form of hip hop. Examples of rap metal include Rage Against the Machine and Stuck Mojo. 24 Sludge metal Sludge metal began as a derivative of doom metal, incorporating hardcore punk and elements of Southern rock. Many sludge bands compose slow and heavy songs that contain brief hardcore passages. However, some bands emphasise fast tempos throughout their music. The string instruments are heavily distorted and are often played with large amounts of feedback to produce an abrasive, sludgy sound. Drumming is often performed in typical doom metal fashion, but drummers may employ hardcore d-beat or double-kick drumming during faster passages. Vocals are usually shouted or screamed, and lyrics are generally pessimistic in nature. Suffering, drug abuse, politics and anger towards society are common lyrical themes. New Orleans with its metal scene is often considered as its birthplace. The style was pioneered in the early 1990s by bands such as Eyehategod, Crowbar, Buzzov*en and Acid Bath. 25 Speed metal Speed metal originated in the late 1970s and early 1980s and was the direct musical progenitor of thrash metal. When speed metal first emerged as a genre, it increased the tempos that had been used by early heavy metal bands, while retaining their melodic approaches. Examples of speed metal include Motörhead, Annihilator and Accept. 26Stoner metal Stoner metal is typically slow-to-mid tempo, low-tuned, and bass-heavy. It combines elements of psychedelic rock, blues-rock and doom metal, often with melodic vocals and 'retro' production. The genre emerged during the early 1990s and was pioneered foremost by the Californian bands Kyuss and Sleep. Other prominent stoner metal bands include Acid King, Electric Wizard, and Sons of Otis. 27 Symphonic metal Symphonic metal varies in form. It most commonly refers to heavy metal bands that use orchestral elements in their music. These elements include full orchestras, opera themes, vocals or keyboarding akin to that of opera or symphony music, and a softer and more upbeat nature than other metal genres. Prominent examples include Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Therion. 28 Thrash metal Thrash metal is often regarded as the first form of extreme metal. It is generally characterised by its fast tempos, complexity and aggression. Thrash metal guitar playing is most notable for the "chugging" sound it creates through low-pitched palm muted riffs, and high-pitched shred guitar solos. Drummers often use double-kick and double-bass drumming. Vocals are most often shouted or sung in an aggressive manner. Thrash metal evolved from speed metal and NWOBHM at the beginning of the 1980s, although Black Sabbath's 1975 song "Symptom of the Universe" is often regarded as the earliest example of a thrash metal riff, and "Stone Cold Crazy" by Queen is an even earlier example. Bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth spearheaded thrash metal and are referred to as the genre's "big four", while on the European side Sodom, Kreator and Destruction form the so-called "Teutonic Thrash Triangle". 29 Traditional heavy metal Traditional heavy metal, also known as classic metal or often simply heavy metal, is a recent umbrella term describing bands and artists who play a metal music style similar to the style heard before the genre evolved and splintered into many different styles and subgenres. It is characterized by mid-to-fast-tempo riffs, by thumping basslines, crunchy riffs, extended lead guitar solos, and clean, often high-pitched vocals and anthemic choruses. It is not generally categorised as a subgenre of metal, but the main genre of it. Examples include Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin. 30 Viking metal Viking metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music characterised by its galloping pace, keyboard-rich anthemic sound, bleakness and dramatic emphasis on Norse mythology, Norse paganism, and the Viking Age. The genre of Viking metal was pioneered by the Swedish band Bathory, who took some of their inspiration and musical style from American heavy metal band Manowar. An epic sound is "a prerequisite for inclusion under the Viking metal banner" and bands in the genre typically adopt a "bombastic, keyboard laden" approach. Viking metal acts are known to be different with influences from death metal, black metal and some power metal. Both clean vocals and death growls can be found in Viking metal and the "speed varies from mid-pace to a fast pace." Like folk metal bands, Viking metal acts "generally utilize some acoustic and other unusual instruments in addition to the traditional metal instruments." Examples of Viking metal include Bathory, Enslaved, and Ensiferum.
"First amongst equals."