The History and Evolution of Metal – PT. II

Over the past three or four decades, heavy music has seen many different levels of evolution. In the mid 1960s, there was a big influx of blues-based rock bands hailing from the U.K., many of which were developing stylistic elements like loud distorted guitars, power chords and up-tempo rhythms that would later become the hallmarks of heavy metal music.

Rock band Kiss in full glam flare, now go on and join the Kiss army!

Artists such as The Kinks and The Who started experimenting with feedback and created the now infamous wall of amps that paved the way for a new level of intensity in rock and roll. By the late 60s, songs like Steppenwolf’s Born to Be Wild and Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida introduced rock radio to a beefier sound and lengthier song format. In 1969, the world was introduced to Led Zeppelin, who have come to be one of the most influential bands of all time, especially among metal artists. The 70s kicked right in with the emergence of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, two bands that have long been hailed as the originators of heavy metal. In the mid-70s, metal was in full swing, with bands like AC/DC and Judas Priest hitting the scene followed by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) that gave us bands like Iron Maiden and Motorhead, among many others.

By the late 70s, a new crop of rising stars such as KISS and Alice Cooper emerged that created a larger-than-life theatrical element, including stage makeup, that would lead the way for the dramatic music of the 1980s.

In the early 1980s, a whole new conglomeration of young rockers, such as Ratt, Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, and Van Halen dominated L.A.’s famous Sunset Strip, MTV, and radio waves with their glam-rock imagery, technically proficient musical skills and anthemic vocal melodies. Also rising in the mid-80s was an underground insurgence of thrash metal’s meaner and faster sound that gave us legendary bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. By the late 80s, heavy metal was in full effect and taking the world by storm.

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