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
The music that only a frustrated nerd can listen to.It's all about demonic screams,nightmares,something that any normal man wouldn't like to think about,all on a deafening electronic guitar background.There are many heavy metal bands that some people think that it's worth to listen to it,like Metallica,Deftones,Chop Suey and many more.That's what heavy metal fans think it is real music,because as I said before,they're frustrated that the most of the people listen to pop music and they obviously can't accept the situation and calls them 'losers'.
It is said that if heavy metal is not too much for your ears,you have a devil inside you.
by gabriel327 September 27, 2011
Fast, heavy guitar riffs, relatively easy bass riffs, double-pedal drumming, insane guitar solos (the good ones are in the right key), usually non-talented vocalists that put on a show to make up for it. Started with Sabbath, which was close to classic rock, then brought to life by Metallica. Since then it has broken into many types, such as thrash (speed), nu-metal, death-metal, black metal, and it pretty much gets worse as the list goes on. Overall not a bad type of music, but lets face it thrash metal died at the end of the 80s.
Steve: Heavy metal kicks ass because of insanely loud guitar riffs and headache inducing drum beats!!

Jimbo: That's why it sucks too.
by STP fuckin rules November 11, 2004
The coolest music ever! I mean, it is right on and kicks ass! No other music comes close, and if you can't understand it, then you are a preppy twat! HEAVY METAL RUULES!!
The guitar in that heavy metal song is AWESOME! YeaH!!!
by Horvis November 06, 2003
total fail at music

made by tone-deaf,teeny-bopper, pre-pubers who like to suck the farts and maggots from a dead dog's asshole
that sonic equivalent of shit that you are hearing, that my friends is heavy-metal
by i give you a poop moustache March 17, 2008
The music that everyone secretly loves, but most are too afraid to admit it.

Crazy, kickass guitars, insane drumming, and very diverse vocals, from clear singing to hellish growling.
Pure anger turned into pure extasy.
by Broody May 26, 2004
The best type a musik ever.Nuthing else is evan ne god at all.

Judas Priest,Iron Maiden,Poison,Motley Crue,Cinderella,Winger,Limp Bizkit,Mercyful Fate,Britny Fox,Pink Steel,Anal Cunt,Manowar,Gwar,Kiss,WASP,
Rob Halford.
Heavy metal is hairy butt sexy.
by 80's muizc fan August 10, 2005
A type of powerful rock music that is split into three types:

The bad. The US screaming crap that everyone judges it on. Idiot posers shouting and attacking their guitars. Sadly this rubbish is popular and gives eveyone a bad opinion of the genre. It sells itself on retarded image. eg Slipknot and System of a Down

The good stuff. Characterised by the best and most original lyrics in music, amazing guitar playing, some incredibly beautiful singing Tarja Turunen from Nightwish and some fo the most emotional songs ever Maiden's Paschendale. It is sold by the talent of all the members of the band most music is all about the singing.

The ugly. Weird stuff that isn't for everybody. Often with strange growling vocals not shouting. Eg Finntroll and the better songs of Cradle Of Filth
Person: Metal si all screaming and bad guitar playing
Me: *Plays Nightwish's Ghost Love Score*
Person: OMG that was so beautiful, my media brainwashed mind is now cleansed
by BW February 15, 2005

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