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Heavy Metal

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Primary Stylistic Influences:
Secondary Stylistic Influences:

If you were looking for the 1981 movie, go here: Heavy Metal

If you were looking for the anthology magazine, go here: Heavy Metal

If you were looking for the useful notes, go here: Heavy Metal

Headbanger #1: Wha-? What is that sound!?
Headbanger #2: It's a devil screaming!
Headbanger #3: It's an angel singing!
Headbanger #2: It is the pounding of Creation's Hammer upon the Anvil of Time!
Headbanger #1: IT'S FUCKING AWESOME!
Eddie Riggs: It's called... Heavy Metal.

A musical genre originating in the 1960s and '70s, influenced by Blues and Psychedelic Rock, emphasizing heavy, powerful sound with distorted electric guitars played through large speaker cabinets, resonant powerchords, guitar riffs, thundering, intense and precise drums, and (sometimes) extended, virtuoso guitar solos. More than other genres, metal emphasizes loudness, and guitar players use huge stacks of speaker cabinets and powerful amplifiers to achieve this.

Famous for Heavy Metal Umlauts, passionate Metal Screams, headbanging by audiences and performers, and metalheads having huge online and in-person arguments about which bands are and aren't metal, or about metal history in general. The look varies by era, but long hair, leather, jeans, studded belts, and boots are widely part of the metal look. Band patches and band t-shirts and leather vests are also worn.

Like all musical styles, Metal has a number of subgenres (in which the music gets faster or heavier, or lighter, or more experimental) and derivatives, in which metal crosses over with another style (e.g. folk metal, pop metal, rap metal and other hybrids).

Not to be confused with Metallic Tropes (although this genre was named after the term for metallic elements with high proton counts).

Extreme Metal redirects here. The definition of this genre is hazy and controversial, but it's generally considered to be an umbrella term collecting Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, and any of their derivatives. Doom Metal is occasionally included in this, but sometimes only the heavier variants of that genre such as Sludge Metal and Death/Doom.

No relation to the song by Justice, which is not a heavy metal song.

The US developed a Cyclic National Fascination on Heavy Metal during the later half of The '80s. As well, a moral panic developed when Moral Guardians became concerned that metal songs and hard-partying Rock Star artists would corrupt youth.

Heavy Metal Subgenres

For an in-depth look, see Useful Notes on Heavy Metal and the Mäp of Metal.

Alternative Title(s): Extreme Metal