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Speed Metal

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Primary Stylistic Influences:
Secondary Stylistic Influences:

Speed Metal is, according to some Metalheads, the forerunner of what are now known as Thrash Metal, Groove Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore, Power Metal and Black Metal. In short, it's what happens when you take traditional Heavy Metal and use some Hardcore Punk influences to speed it up; 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. Modern acts are quite likely to have some overlap with black metal, likely due to the popularity of Midnight.

The first band generally considered to have played Speed Metalnote  is Motörhead, as exemplified with hits such as Ace Of Spades and "Overkill". Many bands in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), particularly Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Raven, and Diamond Head, played in this genre and served as inspiration to many a young Thrash Metal act. A more notorious Speed Metal band would be Venom, whose blatantly satanic themes and Darker and Edgier atmosphere inspired the First Wave of Black Metal (aka, Early Extreme Metal), which laid the foundations for the heavier, less-melodic side of Thrash Metal, Death Metal, and of course, Black Metal as a genre, while various young bands from Ontario (primarily Anvil, Exciter, and Razor) also proved influential. Later came Helloween and Blind Guardian, whose more melodic approaches gave rise to European Power Metal, 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 Thrash Metal, 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: