A genre of music that evolved from rock in the late 70s and early 80s.

Is characterized by heavily distorted guitars, giving them a deep, rough sound, which is where the "heavy" part came from; powerful drums, and thick bass. Usually includes very complex guitar work and amazing solos.

Black Sabbath is often considered the original heavy metal band. Bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden are considered the perfectors of the genre, and pioneers of the overall 80s metal scene.

Over the years, it has evolved into several subgenres. The most popular one with metalheads is thrash metal, but there are several others such as power metal, doom metal, black metal, death metal, etc.

The most recent subgenre that's spawned in today's modern scene is nu metal. This subgenre has basically the same characteristics of traditional metal, except for the fact that guitar solos are very rare, if not included at all. This has caused many metalheads to look down upon it as "shit", "poser metal", or "mallcore" (many people also link it to "emo", as sometimes they may have similar lyrics).

Contrary to popular belief, heavy metal is NOT Satanic. Only black metal (and sometimes death metal) bands portray that kind of imagery. However, it's not because they actually worship Satan, but because they're against Christianity as a whole. Some other metal bands of other genres may occasionally use Satanic imagery in their songs, but once again, it's not because they worship Satan. It's just to add deeper meaning and emotion to their songs.

Also contrary to popular belief, it is NOT all mindless incomprehensible screaming. There is another subgenre of metal called "metalcore". These bands usually scream all the lyrics in their songs, and at the moment, metalcore is the most popular subgenre of metal. However, screaming metal bands only account for less than 25% of the entire genre. Metal bands like Iron Maiden, Stratovarius, Symphony X, and Kamelot incorporate very melodic vocals in their music, hardly ever screaming, if at all. If they do scream, it's only for a moment, to add emotion to a section of the song.
*Traditional Metal - Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest
*Thrash Metal - Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, Testament, Exodus
*Power Metal - Blind Guardian, Manowar, Stratovarius, Helloween, Edguy, Rhapsody of Fire
*Progressive Metal - Dream Theater, Symphony X, King's X, Opeth
*Grindcore - Napalm Death, Anal Cunt, Carcass
*Death Metal - Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Necrophagist, Children of Bodom
*Black Metal - Venom, Emperor, Bathory, Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, Burzum
*Nu Metal - Korn Slipknot, Deftones, Disturbed, System of a Down
*Metalcore - Unearth, Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, Trivium (early albums), Hatebreed

In my opinion, all heavy metal is good. I know there are many "true metalheads" that will say all nu metal sucks, or all metalcore sucks, and that only old metal is good, but then they're not appreciating the metal genre as a whole. I say, why take your anger out on subgenres of your own favorite music, when you could take it out on those that are obscuring it further, like rap and pop?

If it's metal, it's metal. There shouldn't be any arguments about "true and false metal". It's just music. A guitarist doesn't have to be fucking Kirk Hammet or Kerry King to be talented. A song doesn't have to include a blazing fast solo like in Iron Maiden's Hallowed Be Thy Name to be good. Bands don't have to sound like the big names from the 80s to be great.

And speaking of big names.. Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, etc. are NOT the only good metal bands around. Granted, most of today's mainstream metal is unpopular with diehard metalheads, if you keep looking, you'll find many modern metal bands that are surprisingly good, like Edguy and Children of Bodom. Metal did NOT die in the 80s as many think, and this is why it will remain to please us all with its wonderful sound, unlike rap and pop that have no variety or talent whatsoever.
by SomeBadJOKE February 03, 2007
A very misunderstood form of music that actually takes lots of talent! It originated as a mix between the blues and hard rock. While not all agree, Black Sabbath is often credited as being the 1st heavy metal band. However they were some bands before them who had songs that could be considered early examples as Blue Cheer, Cream, etc. The darker sound of metal came by accident actually. Black Sabbath's guitarist Tony Iommi had worked at a sheet metal factory and on his last day of the job he had a freak accident, severing 2 fingertips on his right hand. Feeling like his music career was over, he was inspired by a fellow jazz musician to keep going. He then went on to find different ways to make artificial fingertips and used lighter strings to ease the pain on his 2 fingers while playing the guitar. He also down tuned the guitar. With a down tuned guitar and lyric themes inspired by horror movies the music had a heavier and darker sound. Since then bands such as Judas Priest just ditched the bluesy sound and it has evolved to many sub-genres, each with a different sound.

All you people who say that it's for emos, goth vampires, satan worshippers and think it's all grunts and screams and guys dressed like women are ignorant! Do some damn research before you judge it. I used to love rap and and hated metal for those stereotypes. I was an ignorant prick like all of you. Then rap just got stupid with lyrics about meaningless crap so I decided to listen to rock which eventually lead me to metal then I realized there's more to it than grunts and screams and satanism. Those 3 stereotypes only make up a small portion of metal. Grunts and screams are mainly found in the thrash, death, and black metal sub-genres. Then again not all thrash is made up of screams either. Not all death metal bands have lyrics about murder, rape, satan, etc either. Some of them actually have meaningful lyrics like Death and Opeth (Progressive Death Metal). Even still just because a band has screams or grunts for vocals doesn't mean the band doesn't have talent, if you can simply get passed those vocals and just focus on the music itself you'd find out that they could still are very talented. Good examples would be Children of Bodom, Necrophagist, 80's Metallica (anything after '91 flat out sucks), Wintersun, etc. Even if you can't get passed those vocals you could still like metal but just ignore those extreme sub-genres! Like I said they only make a small portion. Under examples I'll list bands with clean vocals.

And the part about metal bands dressing like women, you guys are referring to 80's glam metal, which I'm glad to say is dead because I hate it to! And remember, lyrics that deal with satan, murder, gore, etc are only in good fun, they're just bands who like to have fun because let's face it. Music about GOD is boring!

Also just to show you how huge metal is here are some of the sub-genres, and I'm pretty sure I'm missing some

Heavy Metal
New Wave of British Heavy Metal
Power Metal
Thrash Metal
Death Metal
Black Metal
Blackened Death Metal
Blackened Thrash Metal
Symphonic Black Metal
Melodic Black Metal
Neo Classical Metal
Symphonic Metal
Melodic Death Metal
Metalcore (false metal)
Nu Metal (false metal)
Progressive Metal
Progressive Death Metal
Technical Death Metal
Folk Metal
Viking Metal (though it's more of a theme really)
Alternative Metal
Glam Metal (gay and dead)
Groove Metal

I know there's more but i'm missing them! Seriously metal is so huge and diverse, open up your minds! All those sub-genres sound different from each other!
Heavy Metal Bands with clean vocals: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Edguy, Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, Epica, Hammerfall, DragonForce, Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Opeth (a mix of both grunts and singing, a very talented band), the Scorpions, Deff Leppard, Van Halen
by Mexican Metalhead May 23, 2008
Heavy Metal is a great Genre. It all started in the 60s where The Kinks "You really got me" showed a perfect example of a metal riff, And steppenwolf said the perfect name for the genre in the lyrics "Heavy Metal Thunder" in the song Born to be wild (though the word thunder never made it)It was created by the legendary greats Black Sabbath in 1970. When Tony lost his fingers tips he thought he would never play again but when you replace them with plastic covers he made monster riffs never imagined to be loved forever. Heavy Metal is characterize with Rock n Roll, BluesRock, Hard Rock, and Psychedelic rock. BANds like Judas Priest, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, Dream Theater are really perfect examples of true heavy metal.
In the late 70s, Metal was losing populartiy cause of such "music" such as Punk which ran in the UK, and Disco, whci ran in the US. Punk was just banging motes and making all these noices, disco would just piss you off but it died out easily (waiting for hip hop to do the same). But in 1980, Metal was brought back to live and it's rescuer's were none other than 5 men with one name, Judas Priest.
Heavy Metal
Judas Priest
AC/DC (Mostly rock)
Led Zeppelin
Alice Cooper
Iron Maiden
Arch Enemy
by Alan Massacre April 14, 2008
a genre of music that originated in the late 1960's. it has roots in blues music , psychedelic rock , and hard rock. the first ever heavy metal bands are black sabbath and led zeppelin . in the late 70's , due to the influence of punk rock , the subgenres NWOBHM ( new wave of british heavy metal ) and thrash metal were formed. then , thousands of subgenres such as death metal and black metal started coming out.fans of heavy metal are known as " metalheads " and " headbangers " .
traditional heavy metal : black sabbath , led zeppelin
thrash metal : slayer, anthrax
NWOBHM : motorhead , iron maiden
death metal : death , cannibal corpse
progressive metal : dream theater , queensryche
black metal : venom , mercyful fate
by someguywhomakesdefinitions May 16, 2007
A form of music that came about in the late 70's and reached its peak of success in the early 80's. It was the first form of "metal" music and it has roots in 70's hard rock. contrary to popular belief the term has nothing to do with newer metal genres as these genres should be referred to as simply "metal". The metal genres most similar to heavy metal are "speed metal" and "power metal". There are some heavy metal bands that started out as hard rock bands such as Judas Priest and Riot. These bands are sometimes referred to as "proto-metal".
Iron Maiden, Jag Panzer, Virgin Steele, Omen, etc.

Jag Panzer is a great heavy metal band!
by heavy metal machine September 11, 2009
Real music (Not Korn or Limp DickZit) that I still like even at 31 years old!
by Muff Diver October 17, 2003
is a subgenre of rock. it chracterized by heavy distored guitar shreding at the speed of light(depends on what subgenre it is) it has a loud thunderous drum( which metal drums are the best drums ever played) and bass( a very underated instrument) section and is topped by a vocalist singing louder than hell. there is actually lots of diffrent types of vocals but the main ones are high octave(classic metal), guttural(death, black) and what i call thrash vocals(basiclly niether high or low just in between speaking/singing. can be very fast or slow depending on what subgenre it is. this genre of music has many subgenres in it which have sub genres of its own, many of the popular subgenres are thrash metal, death, black and power metal. its roots can be traced back to classical music, blues, even jazz, and rock and really kicked off when black sabbath came aorund with their 1970 album black sabbath
the lyrical themes are all over the charts. but some of the common themes are about rebellion, seperation, war and violence, counter culture, history, why mankind does stuff and philosophy, politics and corruption.
fans are often called metalheads, look that up and are all over the place in asia europe south america and america. warning we metalheads are extremely rabid and will defend our music at any cost ANY COST

whether metal is good or bad music depends on you and your opinion and your taste
real heavy metal
iron maiden judas priest saxon megadeth testament antrhax early metallica slayer death angel gamma ray helloween deep purple black sabbath tank venom death cannibal corpse pantera blind guardian sacred reich flotsam and jetsam aspid

oh boy there is a ton of great bands
by metalguy121 December 19, 2011
it's like rippin a big nutty poo out your ass and stuffin it in a waffle cone and munchin it
in other words it's the best
by Dark Helmet February 25, 2005
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