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 style of music that is very misunderstood by many people, sort of like....almost everybody on this site
There are many different kinds of metal, not just the pussy make-up, high heels and shitty cheesy lyrics glam rock or hair metal or whatever you want to call it. Real heavy metal is like Metallica, Megadeth, no makeup, no hairspray, just bandmembers kicking ass. Bands who create this kind of metal are extrememly talented. Metallica has sweet complex guitar riffs and solos that can be very fast, or very nice and melodic and also some of the best lyrics around, out of just about every genre. Don't stereo type metal as bullshit Def Lepard or Motley Crue
Just avoid Rap all together, i don't even want to start on that crap
by Dobes June 07, 2005
The most outstanding music with all proper skills which are needed to be a true musician, beside blues and jazz.
Black Sabbath created heavy metal,and Metallica perfected it.The lyrics are basically based on stories varied from political issue,drug abuse even until lifetime regrets.
The best music genre ever heard.
Metallica is the fucking god of heavy metal.
by abgbotak September 11, 2005
Garbage music faggot emos and braindead idiots who don't know what a haircut is listen to. Anyone who listens to this garbage is usually a failure at life.
Heavy Metal is the biggest piece of shit ever created on this planet. Get a haircut and a life you stupid fucks who listen to this shit.
by YouListenToGarbage November 11, 2012
The one genre of music that people can really get up and enjoy. Said to be started by Black Sabbath but some may argue Iron Maiden was the first.

Some sub genres include: Glam Metal, Thrash Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal ect ect.

Around the late 80s and early 90s Thrash metal basically took over the glam metal phase with bands like Panterra and Metallica.

But hey... at least they were good!

When crappy hip hop music and pop music started becoming popular is the 2000s everyone turned into a big queer.

Now metal is dead and as a result kids are afraid of teachers, smoking, cops and the overall society.
Boy #1: Hey man, listen to this new lady gaga song!

Boy #2: I think Ill go smoke weed and listen to some heavy metal bands like KISS or Poison...

Boy #1: Weed is bad for you! And who the heck are poison and KISS?

Boy #2: -jumps off building-
by Pop and Rap is gay January 30, 2010
Metal bitch!

Demon hunter
Lamb of God
Stone Sour
Heavy metal rules all. Rap sucks.
by m0p t0p April 12, 2007
Heavy metal is a louder, way better version of rock and roll, created mainly by Black Sabbath and later revolutionized by Metallica and other bands from that era. Today, the best metal bands are 5 man bands consisting of 2 guitars, 1 bass, vocals and drums(such as Lamb of God and Devil Driver). The 2 guitars play the main tune, while the bass guitar plays a deeper, underlying tune that compliments the guitar and also the drummer's beats. Guitar in heavy metal goes from one end of the scale to the other, and good metal riffs are complex, awesome sounding and difficult to play. Therefore, metal guitarists are some of the most skilled guitarists. Drummers play fast, energizing beats usually incorperating a double bass. Metal drummers are also very skilled and adept at using double bass kickers. Vocals are usually not sung because heavy metal is loud, and you have to scream to make yourself heard over the music(also, screaming fits with the powerful and energetic sound of heavy metal - singing just doesn't sound right sometimes). So before you stereotype heavy metal into evil and satanic music, at least take a moment to appreciate the awesome music that is HEAVY METAL!!! \m/ 0_0 \m/

Awesome metal bands include Lamb of God(Burn the Priest), Metallica, Black Sabbath, Slayer, DevilDriver, As I Lay Dying, BloodShotEye, Chimaira, In Flames and Trivium.
Guy 1: You going to the Unholy Alliance Tour?
Guy 2: FUCK YEAH, Heavy Metal kicks ASS!!
Guy 1: Yeh, and fuck those emo bitches who won't go!
Guy 2: YAAHHHH!!! \m/
by Emoisforfags May 08, 2006
an awesome style of music far better than rock and rock & roll with amazing bands like metallica slayer anthrax and so on, very much like hard rock but with more ass-kicking solos
hahaha, this music is better than the shit some of these complainers listen to
by headbangin'2005 June 06, 2005

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from daily@urbandictionary.com. We'll never spam you.