Speed Metal is, according to some [[{{Fandom}} Metalheads]], the forerunner of what is now known as ThrashMetal, GrooveMetal, DeathMetal and BlackMetal. In short, this is what happens when you take the sounds of the NWOBHM (Iron Maiden, etc) and use some HardcorePunk influences to speed it UpToEleven, SpeedMetal is ''fast'', not as fast as his more brutal succesors, but certainly fast enough to inspire the other subgenres. To word it as succinctly and unambiguously as possible, it's metal that is too thrashy to be trad but not thrashy enough to actually be full-on thrash.

The first band generally considered to have played SpeedMetal[[note]]The UrExample is probably either Music/{{Queen}}'s 1974 song "Stone Cold Crazy" or Budgie's 1972 song "Breadfan"[[/note]] is the famous Music/{{Motorhead}} with hits such as "Ace of Spades" and "Overkill". Another known SpeedMetal band is the infamous Music/{{Venom}}, whose blatantly [[RockMeAsmodeus satanic]] themes and DarkerAndEdgier atmosphere eventually started the first Wave of BlackMetal (Essentially SpeedMetal or ThrashMetal [[UnbuiltTrope with some elements of what the genre would later become]]). Then, we have Music/{{Helloween}}, whose more melodic approach eventually gave rise to european PowerMetal. Music/JudasPriest would also be a part of this movement, if the album ''Painkiller'' is anything to go by.

Speed metal eventually evolved into ThrashMetal, Extreme Metal (BlackMetal and DeathMetal) and PowerMetal.

Although many tend to equate SpeedMetal to the more agressive ThrashMetal, there is a distinct difference between them. In his book ''Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal'', IanChriste states that "...thrash metal relies more on long, wrenching rhythmic breaks, while speed metal... is a cleaner and more musically intricate subcategory, still loyal to the dueling melodies of classic metal."
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!! Some bands usually included in the genre:

* Music/{{Accept}} (TropeCodifier)
* Acid (female-fronted Belgian band sometimes considered an influence on many ThrashMetal bands)
* Music/{{Anthrax}} (Turned into ThrashMetal by their third album)
* Armored Saint (early material)
* Music/AxelRudiPell (Their heavier material falls under this)
* Anvil (Eventually derives into PowerMetal)
* Music/BlindGuardian (Early albums, later turned into PowerMetal)
* Budgie (UrExample)
* Bulldozer (also First Wave BlackMetal)
* Coroner (early material)
* Destruction (added elements of ThrashMetal on ''Eternal Devastation'' and fully switched genres with ''Release From Agony'')
* Music/DiamondHead (often cited by ThrashMetal bands, especially Music/{{Metallica}} as an influence)
* Enforcer (first album)
* Exciter
* Music/GraveDigger (Also becomes PowerMetal)
* Music/{{Helloween}} (Eventually became TropeMaker of European PowerMetal, though they later regained some elements of the genre with ''Better Than Raw'')
* Music/IronMaiden
* Music/JudasPriest (TropeMaker alongside Music/{{Motorhead}})
* Living Death
* Music/{{Megadeth}} (mixed with [[ThrashMetal Thrash]] on their first two albums)
* [[KingDiamond Mercyful Fate]] (often regarded as an influence on ThrashMetal and BlackMetal, but they don't quite belong to either genre themselves)
* Music/{{Metallica}} (''Kill 'Em All'')
* Metalucifer (Before you get [[RockMeAsmodeus the wrong idea]], they're Japanese.)
* Midnight
* Music/{{Motorhead}} (TropeMaker alongside Music/JudasPriest)
* Raven
* Razor (first two albums)
* Music/RunningWild
* Music/{{Slayer}} (''Show No Mercy'')
* Music/{{Sodom}} (Mixed with First-Wave BlackMetal on their earliest material)
* Tank
* Turbo
* Music/{{Venom}} (Later formed part of the first wave of Black Metal)
* Warrant (German band, not the glam act)