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Heavy Metal

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Passion and Aggression: A Review of Heavy Metal Music

Of the many musical genres that immerse themselves in our culture, you

would be hard pressed to find one which exacts as much emotion from its

listeners as Heavy Metal. Whether you are drawn in by the forceful barrage of

sound that envelopes the listener or the fantastical lyrics that are commonly

utilized, any avid listener will agree that this style of music stands for no

substitute. In this brief article my intent to provide the reader with a basic

understanding of the origins of Heavy Metal, and the subtle yet influential role it

plays on our culture today.

There are many varying opinions on the true origin of Heavy Metal. Over

time I have developed my own, however; it is important to note one of the

primary sources I have used for information on the subject. In his work, The

Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal, Daniel Bukszpan(2003) lays out a clear and

certifiable history of the genre. Reading this work, I was able to research various

bands for their influence on this style of music.

Heavy Metal derives its sound from a fusion of Blues, Rock, and guitar

distortion. Developed by experimental teenagers whom like every other

generation were actively seeking ways of escaping from their parent's influences,

the sound followed the principles of Rock and Roll by becoming more aggressive

and substantially louder. The first signs of life can be found in the early 70's,

where bands such as Deep Purple and Led Zepplin had established themselves as

something altogether different. The youth naturally embraced this new style, and


Heavy Metal was born.

As the generation responsible for Heavy Metal grew, so to did the genre

itself. During the 80's, Heavy Metal reached an unprecedented level of popularity.

Bands like Iron Maiden, Queensryche, and Rainbow introduced a new level of

musicianship that rooted itself as the standard. Unfortunately, with increased

popularity there was also an increase in demand. Major record labels began

pushing low quality bands in order to satisfy the masses. This resulted in a

popularity backlash towards the end of the 80s. A new generation of youth began

seeking their own musical voice, and Heavy Metal entered its dark age.

The 90s proved to be the proverbial "death" of Heavy Metal. After the air

waves became saturated with mediocre bands, there was



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