A Brief History of Metal


– Wait, ready. On the ice-blasted expanses
of the hyperborean wastelands, heavy metal was forged
from unrelenting brutality, the blackest dark, and the purest hatred the human mind can conceive. (evil laughter) A brief history of metal. (metal music) – Metal music basically
started in the late 60s, when hippie acid rock bands began cranking their amps up, and stripped away psychedelic flourishes to make their music leaner, and more physically punchy. While initially grouped
with heavy blues bands like Cream, and Led
Zeppelin, within a few years it was apparent that groups like Blue Cheer, Vanilla Fudge, and Leaf Hound, constituted a distinctive new
movement into Rock n’ Roll. But if you want to point
to one particular album as the birthplace of heavy metal, it would be the 1970s self-titled release by Birmingham, England’s
mighty Black Sabbath, where the band’s odes to weed, the occult, and their hometown’s grim
industrial atmosphere, crystallized the emerging genre’s aims. – Sabbath fucking rules! – Still, even in it’s early years, the umbrella term Heavy Metal encompassed a remarkably diverse range
of sounds and styles. Bands like Deep Purple and Mountain stayed relatively faithful to acid rock’s blues-based formula. While Motorhead and Budgie played stripped-down high-speed
rock that predicted the punk revolution
still a few years away. The term Heavy Metal was thrown around so much that it was even applied to Kiss, a band that mostly played
glam pop and disco. – Kiss was never metal! – For it’s first decade of existence, metal existed largely
outside of the mainstream. That changed when metal emerged as the de-facto sound for rock in the 80s. Metal’s rise had two main causes. The new wave of British heavy metal bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Def Leppard, who figured
out how to make metal slicker, and more radio-friendly, and Van Halen, who pushed it
all the way over into pop. – Van Halen was never fucking metal! – Together, Van Halen and the new wave of British heavy metal
inspired one of the most profitable styles in rock history. Epitomized by Guns N’
Roses, the sunset strip glam metal sound, aimed
for maximum accessibility while maintaining at least
a surface-level veneer of occultism and sexual transgression. – [Classroom Member] Gross! – Well those posers were making records for normals, we all metal lurked in the murky depths of the underground. There, dark elder gods like Venom, Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, and Bathory forged a template for extreme genres like death metal, black
metal, and thrash metal, child of metal and hardcore, which would define the underground scene throughout the 80s. And we cannot forget the almighty Slayer, who reign in blood to
this day and forever. (metal music) Well by the early 90s,
thrash’s four big bands Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, had attained arena-filling status. – During the 90s, metal branched out into a seemingly endless
number of subgenres. From deep underground
styles like death grind and symphonic metal, to the multi-platinum hip-hop informed style termed nu metal, which would give the form it’s last bit of high rotation and TV dominance. But there is one style in this era that sticks out for it’s extreme sound and even more extreme lifestyle. Norwegian black. (black metal music) – True-called black metal! Forged in the shadowy lands
of the frost-bitten north and constructed in blood and fire. – Despite it’s severe aesthetic and often problematic political identity, black metal emerged as
one of defining sounds of the era, during which metal
retreated back underground. Along the way it cross-bred with styles along the metal spectrum and beyond, creating sub-genres like
black and death metal, black and sludge, and black and roll. It even found it’s way into indie rock, thanks to so-called post-metal
bands like Deafheaven. Along with black metal,
doom metal has become one of the defining sounds
of the new millennium. Interestingly, doom’s glacial riffage and obsession with weed and the occult bares strong resemblance to
some of metal’s earliest bands. – Like Ouroboros, the
eternally self-eating snake, metal is both creation and destruction contained in perfect unity. Time is only an illusion,
metal is everything. – (yelling) – And that’s it. – Oh my god it’s on fire! – Uh-oh. – We have to get out of here! – Uh-oh. (fire alarm ringing) (happy music)

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