The Early History Of Metal Music

Metal music (also commonly know as heavy metal) has its origins during the Vietnam war in the late 60’s with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks and even The Beatles starting to define the archetypal ‘rock band’ act. While it may be heavily commercialised today, the birth of metal certainly had anti-authoritarian roots. Some argue that the Jimi Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner (US anthem) at Woodstock was where heavy metal was truly invented, with distorted guitar riffs symbolising the artillery shelling of the Vietnam war.

Later, metal was cemented in the 1970’s with bands like Black Sabbath, and their iconic song ‘Iron Man’. They were followed by Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke On The Water’, and these two bands created the bedrock for metal that later acts like Judas Priest synthesised into a proper ethos. It was at that point that the visual motifs of metal music (black leather, spikes etc.) were truly cemented.

Heavy metal really exploded in the 1980’s were British bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon and Diamond Head made their debuts. The songs from these bands began to explore fantastical and mythological elements that allowed for more elaborate stage design (and album art) that really set the genre apart from anything else at the time.






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