For some reason, one Sunday morning I caught most of the documentary Metal:A Headbangers Journey. Not sure why this was on at 8am on a Sunday, but there I was, watching it. And Liam of course, but I think I got more out of it than he did.
They went over the map of Metal, from the old school British stuff to some Dark Metal that tends to burn down churches. There were a lot of great interviews, and these were the same guys that followed Iron Maiden on their Somewhere Back in Time tour. And they’re Canadian 🙂
So it got me to thinking that there’s an awful lot of metal that I’ve heard of, but never heard. Venom, Saxon, Diamond Head and Angel Witch being some. So, the internet being the kind of place that it is, I started to download lots and lots of stuff.
I started with Venom. And in short, I like Venom. Well, the first two records anyway, just haven’t heard the rest. I can really hear where they would have influenced other bands that came after; Metallica, Megadeth etc. There was a certain sound and riff style that was really familiar.
I then decided to grab NWOBHM ’79 Revisited and give it a listen. I think this is where the term Metal wanders off.
Metal, like all music, is subjective. What I call Metal, or think of Metal, might not be the way you think of Metal. And to make matters worse, I often change my mind when it suits me 🙂
As an example:
I would consider the original Black Sabbath Metal. But I would never consider Led Zeppelin metal.
-as a side note
I should really listen to more Zeppelin to confirm this though
-end side note
I would generally not consider Ozzy Osbourn as metal, with some exceptions. Same with Judas Priest(until Painkiller). But both are considered Metal by most accounts (Metal Gods and all that).
Hair Metal, Glam Metal(are they the same thing?) and generally popular 80’s metal. This is not metal.
I consider Metallica metal, but not Motely Crue(at least nothing past the first record) Same with Guns n Roses(hey, Appitite was awesome).
The rest; they should be eaten by GWAR.
So where was I?
Ah yes, NWOBHM. For the most part, not Metal at all. Hard Rock, sure, just not Metal.
That doesn’t mean it couldn’t have influenced Metal. I have to take things with a grain of salt and think that, in 1979, this would be really fast stuff and excite a lot of people.
The same way the Punk movement influenced more Punk bands, and probably these bands.
It’s interesting to see it as a stepping stone. There is a direct line from Punk->NWOBHM->Metal. It’s clear as day.
But what is Metal to me?
I think I can boil it down; it’s fast. Always. Fast.
I don’t know who I can blaim for the ‘power ballad’ crap that seems to be included in every metal album, but I hate who started that, and you are so not getting a Christmas card from me.
You want to show me range? Fine. Play. Faster! That is all.
Anyway, that’s my little thing on Metal.