Primary Stylistic Influences:
+ Traditional HeavyMetal, PunkRock
Secondary Stylistic Influences:
+ HardRock

Speed Metal is, according to some [[{{Fandom}} Metalheads]], the forerunner of what are now known as ThrashMetal, GrooveMetal, DeathMetal and BlackMetal. In short, it's what happens when you take traditional HeavyMetal and use some HardcorePunk influences to speed it UpToEleven; perhaps not as fast as its more extreme succesors, but certainly fast enough to serve as inspiration. 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, usually also with more of an overtly punkish feel than is typical for thrash.

The first band generally considered to have played Speed Metal[[note]]The UrExample is probably either Music/{{Queen}}'s 1974 song "Stone Cold Crazy" or Budgie's 1972 song "Breadfan"[[/note]] is Music/{{Motorhead}}, as exemplified with hits such as ''Music/AceOfSpades'' and "Overkill". Many bands in the NewWaveOfBritishHeavyMetal (NWOBHM), particularly Music/{{Iron Maiden}}, Music/{{Judas Priest}}, Raven, and Diamond Head, played in this genre and served as inspiration to many a young ThrashMetal act. A more notorious Speed Metal band would be Music/{{Venom}}, whose blatantly [[RockMeAsmodeus satanic]] themes and DarkerAndEdgier atmosphere inspired started the First Wave of BlackMetal, which laid the foundations for the heavier, less-melodic side of ThrashMetal, DeathMetal, and of course, BlackMetal as a genre, while various young bands from Ontario (primarily Anvil, Exciter, and Razor) also proved influential. Later came Music/{{Helloween}} and Music/BlindGuardian, whose more melodic approaches gave rise to European PowerMetal, while the very Helloween-esque Viper helped do the same for South American power metal.

Although many tend to equate Speed Metal to the more aggressive ThrashMetal, there are a number of distinct differences between them. In his book ''Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal'', Ian Christe 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."
!! Some bands usually included in the genre:

* Music/{{Accept}} (TropeCodifier)
* Music/{{Acid}} (female-fronted Belgian band sometimes considered an influence on many ThrashMetal bands)
* Music/{{Anthrax}} (Turned into ThrashMetal by their third album)
* Music/ArmoredSaint (early material)
* Music/AxelRudiPell (Their heavier material falls under this)
* Music/{{Anvil}}
* Music/BlindGuardian (Early albums, later turned into PowerMetal)
* Music/BodyCount
** ''[[Music/BodyCountAlbum Body Count]]'' (1992)
* Music/{{Budgie}} (UrExample)
* Music/{{Bulldozer}} (also First Wave BlackMetal)
* Music/{{Coroner}} (early material)
* Music/{{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)
* [[Music/RonnieJamesDio Dio]] (enter this territory fairly often, generally combined with TraditionalHeavyMetal)
* Music/{{Enforcer}} (first album)
* Music/{{Exciter}}
* Music/GraveDigger (Also becomes PowerMetal)
* Hellish
* Music/{{Helloween}} (Eventually became TropeMaker of European PowerMetal, though they later regained some elements of the genre with ''Better Than Raw'')
* Music/IronMaiden
** 1980 - ''Music/IronMaidenAlbum''
** 1981 - ''Music/{{Killers}}''
** 1982 - ''Music/TheNumberOfTheBeast''
* Music/JudasPriest (TropeMaker alongside Music/{{Motorhead}})
** 1980 - ''Music/BritishSteel''
* Music/LivingDeath
* Music/{{Megadeth}} (mixed with [[ThrashMetal Thrash]] on their first two albums)
* Mekong Delta (self-titled)
* [[Music/KingDiamond Mercyful Fate]] (often regarded as an influence on ThrashMetal and BlackMetal, but they don't quite belong to either genre themselves)
* Music/{{Metallica}} (mixed with ThrashMetal on ''Kill 'Em All'')
* Music/{{Metalucifer}} (Before you get [[RockMeAsmodeus the wrong idea]], they're Japanese.)
* Music/{{Midnight}}
* Music/{{Motorhead}} (TropeMaker alongside Music/JudasPriest)
** 1980 - ''Music/AceOfSpades''
* Music/{{Overkill}} (up until ''Under the Influence'')
* Rage (early material, started turning into power metal circa ''Perfect Man'')
* Music/{{Raven}}
* Music/{{Razor}} (first two albums)
* Music/RunningWild
* Music/{{Slayer}} (''Show No Mercy'')
* Music/{{Sodom}} (Mixed with First-Wave BlackMetal on their earliest material)
* Speedwolf
* Sword
* Music/{{Tank}}
* ''Tremonti'' (Mixed with AlternativeMetal)
* Music/{{Turbo}}
* Music/{{Venom}} (Later formed part of the first wave of Black Metal)
* Viper (''Soldiers of Sunrise'')
* Voivod (first two albums)
* Music/{{Warrant}} (German band, not the glam act)