|Cultural origins||Late 1970s and early 1980s, mainly in the United Kingdom, also in Europe and North America|
Speed metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that originated in the late 1970s from new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) roots.It is described by AllMusic as "extremely fast, abrasive, and technically demanding" music.
It is usually considered less abrasive and more melodic than thrash metal, showing less influence from hardcore punk. However, speed metal is usually faster and more aggressive than traditional heavy metal, also showing more inclination to virtuoso soloing and featuring short instrumental passages between couplets. Speed metal songs frequently make use of highly expressive vocals, but are usually less likely to employ "harsh" vocals than thrash metal songs.
One of the key influences on the development of speed metal was the new wave of British heavy metal, or NWOBHM. This was a heavy metal movement that started in the late 1970s, in Britain, and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. NWOBHM bands toned down the blues influences of earlier acts, incorporated elements of punk, increased the tempo, and adopted a "tougher" sound, taking a harder approach to their music.
It was an era directed almost exclusively at heavy metal fans and is considered to be a major foundation stone for the extreme metal genres.
The NWOBHM came to dominate the heavy metal scene of the early-mid-1980s. It was musically characterized by fast upbeat tempo songs, power chords, fast guitar solos and melodic, soaring vocals. Groups such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Venom, Saxon and Motörhead as well as many lesser-known ones, became part of the canon that influenced American bands that formed in the early eighties.
Motörhead is often credited as the first band to play speed metal in the mid-1970s.The Sweet released "Sweet F.A." and "Set Me Free" in April of 1974 which heavily influenced speed metal later in the decade. Some of speed metal's earlier influences include Black Sabbath's "Children of the Grave" and "Symptom of the Universe", Budgie's "Breadfan" and Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy" (the latter two were eventually covered by the thrash metal band Metallica), as well as certain Deep Purple songs such as "Speed King", "Fireball" and "Highway Star". The latter was called "early speed metal" by Robb Reiner of speed metal band Anvil.
The origin of the genre's name is the aptly named "Speed King" by Deep Purple. Recording on the song started in 1969 making it nearly a full decade ahead of the musical style being recognized. The song is not only very fast and technical but was also extremely loud creating noticeable distortion in the recording process. The title song for the band's next album, Fireball , is a further refinement of the band's influence with drummer Ian Paice's use of the double bass drum. The way the double bass drum is played in "Fireball"—uptempo "four on the floor"—became a mainstay in many heavy, speed and thrash metal songs in the years that followed.
This is the only Deep Purple song that employs the double bass drum, and the video from the band shows them actually bring out the second bass as needed to play the song. While speedy, technical playing did not dominate Deep Purple's music, they clearly were the inventors of rock that was fast, technical and loud. Those characteristics would become the hallmarks of speed metal. The name of the origin song, "Speed King" would have also played a role in the genre's naming. At the very least, the band acknowledged what they were doing which was a radical departure from all prior rock music.
Black Sabbath are a British heavy metal band from Birmingham, England and are often cited as one of the grandfathers of the genre. Though usually known for playing a fairly slow, sludgy tempo, "After Forever" is a very up-tempo song with a much faster pace than other songs in their catalogue. Still in certain other songs such as "Electric Funeral", "Into the Void" and "Under the Sun (Every Day Comes and Goes)" there is a section in the middle of the song that shifts away from the core music and plays a much faster pace than in the rest of the song, then returns to the original melody. There are those who believe that their song "Symptom of the Universe" from their 1975 release Sabotage album is the first true example of a speed metal song.
Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band, also formed in Birmingham, England, that often played faster than most rock groups of the time and brought a more "metallic" sound to the guitars. Some songs, such as 1978's "Exciter", were groundbreaking for their sheer ferocity and speed; few, if any, bands exempting Motörhead played with the same tempo.[ citation needed ]
Exciter (who took their name from the aforementioned Judas Priest song) is a Canadian speed metal band from Ottawa, Ontario, which was formed in 1978. They are widely considered to be one of the first speed metal bands and a seminal influence of the thrash metal genre. Anvil are another Canadian speed metal band, from Toronto, Ontario, who also formed in 1978. To date, the band has released seventeen studio albums, and has been cited as having influenced many notable thrash metal groups, including Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth.
Accept is a German heavy metal band which played an important role in the development of speed and thrash metal, being part of the German heavy metal scene, which emerged in the early to mid-1980s. Of particular importance was their 1982 track "Fast as a Shark".
Speed metal eventually evolved into thrash metal.Although many tend to equate the two subgenres, others argue that there is a distinct difference 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." However, on the very next page, Christe calls speed metal a "subset of thrash metal" and argues that "There was little intrinsic difference between speed metal and thrash metal. With the sudden boom of fast, raging bands, however, it sometimes helped to distinguish between the throbbing, rhythm-heavy thrash metal and something a bit cleaner and more melodic--dubbed speed metal." Some may argue that first wave black metal bands such as Venom, Sodom, and Bathory were speed metal and that black metal evolved as an extreme form of speed metal.
Speed metal's sound varied between various regional scenes. European bands leaned towards the sound of bands like Venom and Motörhead. Japanese bands had a more melodic sound that resembled power metal. North American bands had a faster, more aggressive sound that would later influence the thrash metal movement.
Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking; deep growling vocals; aggressive, powerful drumming, featuring double kick and blast beat techniques; minor keys or atonality; abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes; and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may include slasher film-style violence, political conflict, religion, nature, philosophy, true crime and science fiction.
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and United States. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock and acid rock, heavy metal bands developed a thick, monumental sound characterized by distorted guitars, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats and loudness.
Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead guitar work. The lyrical subject matter often deals with criticisms of The Establishment and concern over the destruction of the environment, and at times shares a disdain for Christian dogma resembling that of their black metal counterparts. The language is typically direct and denunciatory, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.
Power metal is a subgenre of heavy metal combining characteristics of traditional heavy metal with speed metal, often within symphonic context. Generally, power metal is characterized by a faster, lighter, and more uplifting sound, in contrast with the heaviness and dissonance prevalent, for example, in extreme metal. Power metal bands usually have anthem-like songs with fantasy-based subject matter and strong choruses, thus creating a theatrical, dramatic and emotionally "powerful" sound.
The new wave of British heavy metal was a nationwide musical movement that started in the United Kingdom in the mid 1970s and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. Journalist Geoff Barton coined the term in a May 1979 issue of the British music newspaper Sounds to describe the emergence of new heavy metal bands in the mid to late 1970s, during the period of punk rock's decline and the dominance of new wave music.
Venom are an English heavy metal band formed in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1978. Coming to prominence towards the end of the new wave of British heavy metal, Venom's first two albums, Welcome to Hell (1981) and Black Metal (1982), are considered major influences on thrash metal and extreme metal in general. Their second album proved influential enough that its title was used as the name of the black metal genre; as a result, Venom were part of the early wave of the genre, along with Mercyful Fate and Bathory.
Voivod is a Canadian heavy metal band from Jonquière, Quebec. The band's current line-up consists of Denis "Snake" Bélanger (vocals), Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain (guitar), Dominic "Rocky" Laroche (bass) and Michel "Away" Langevin (drums). Their musical style has changed several times since the band's origin in the early 1980s. Starting out as a speed metal band, Voivod have added a mix of progressive metal and thrash metal to create their own unique metal style, and alongside Coroner and Watchtower, they have been credited for helping pioneer the subgenre of "technical thrash metal". Voivod is also credited as one of the "big four" Canadian thrash metal bands, along with Sacrifice, Razor, and Annihilator.
Possessed is an American death metal band, originally formed in 1983. Noted for their fast style of playing and Jeff Becerra's growled vocals, they are often called the first band in the death metal genre, and paved the way for the 1980s Bay Area thrash metal scene, along with Metallica, Exodus, Testament and Death Angel. The band is also notable for featuring future Primus guitarist Larry LaLonde, who was the guitarist for Possessed from 1984 to 1987.
A number of heavy metal genres have developed since the emergence of heavy metal during the late 1960s and early 1970s. At times, heavy metal genres may overlap or are difficult to distinguish, but they can be identified by a number of traits. They may differ in terms of instrumentation, tempo, song structure, vocal style, lyrics, guitar playing style, drumming style, and so on.
Heavy metal fashion is the style of dress, body modification, make-up, hairstyle, and so on, taken on by fans of heavy metal, or, as they are often called, metalheads or headbangers. While the style has changed from the 1970s to the 2020s, certain key elements have remained constant, such as black clothes, long hair and leather jackets. In the 1980s, some bands began wearing spandex. Other attire includes denim or leather vests or jackets with band patches and logos, t-shirts with band names, and spiked wristbands.
Extreme metal is a loosely defined umbrella term for a number of related heavy metal music subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. It has been defined as a "cluster of metal subgenres characterized by sonic, verbal, and visual transgression".
Exciter is a Canadian heavy metal band from Ottawa, Ontario, formed in 1978. Named after a song by Judas Priest, they are considered to be one of the first speed metal bands and a seminal influence of the thrash metal genre. The band was heavily influenced by a variety of music styles, including Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Rush, Jethro Tull and Grand Funk Railroad. Despite many changes in personnel, as well as two breakups, Exciter has managed to keep a small but dedicated following over the years.
The Heavy Metal Box is a CD box set with heavy metal / rock songs from various artists and bands. It was released by Rhino Records in 2007.
Crossover thrash is a fusion genre of thrash metal and hardcore punk. The genre lies on a continuum between heavy metal and hardcore punk. Other genres on the same continuum, such as metalcore and grindcore, may overlap with crossover thrash.
Teutonic thrash metal is a regional scene of thrash metal music that originated within German-speaking countries during the 1980s. Along with Bay Area thrash metal, East Coast thrash metal, and Brazilian thrash metal, it was one of the major scenes of thrash metal in the 1980s. The Teutons were a Germanic tribe.
Australian thrash metal is a regional scene of thrash metal music that originated during the late 1980s.
Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal is a 2004 book by Ian Christe, documenting the history of heavy metal music and its origins.
Heavy metal drumming is a style of rock music drum kit playing that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic/acid rock drum playing, heavy metal drummers play with emphatic beats, and overall loudness using an aggressive performing style. Heavy metal drumming is traditionally characterized by emphatic rhythms and dense bass guitar-and-drum sound. The essence of metal drumming is creating a loud, constant beat for the band using the "trifecta of speed, power, and precision".
Biker metal is a fusion genre that combines elements of punk rock, heavy metal, rock and roll and blues, that was pioneered in the late-1970s to early-1980s in England and the United States, by Motörhead, Plasmatics, Anti-Nowhere League and Girlschool.
Bangladeshi heavy metal or Bangla heavy metal was originated from the evolution of British and American heavy metal bands of 1980s. Bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica and Megadeth have had the greatest influences on Bangladeshi heavy metal musicians. Other 1970s bands to influence are bands like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Motörhead. The first bands to play heavy metal in Bangladesh were bands like Warfaze and Rockstrata. The most prominent era for heavy metal movement was between early 1990s to early 2000s. Warfaze, Rockstrata, Aces and In Dhaka are often considered as the "big four founders of heavy metal". Other 2000s metal bands are bands like Artcell, Aurthohin, Cryptic Fate, Powersurge, Mechanix, Metal Maze, Vibe and Stentorian. Alternative bands like Nemesis, Arbovirus and Black also played some alternative metal songs over the years. Warfaze, Artcell and Aurthohin together are the most popular rock/metal trio of Bangladesh.