Mayhem

This history of metal can not be traced back to any specific country, any one  band or any single idea. There is this romance that the modern extreme metal scene was started in Norway with Mayhem and Varg Vikernes. In reality it was a collective effort during the early 1980’s, mainly between the United States and Europe, which eventually blossomed into today’s metal scene and gave birth to countless subgeners metal fans love today.

The origins of metal exist between a slew of genre-propelling bands that span the entire globe. Heavy metal got it start in England with notable bands such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. In America, metal derived from the loud blues-rock and psychedelia of the late ’60s, resulting in bands that fused heavy guitars with blues based rock ‘n roll and began to put on outrageous live performances – propelled by Aerosmith and KISS in the late 1970s. Australia participated by unleashing AC/DC. These bands helped define a clear style of metal which the commercial success helped to spread the sound all over the globe.

In the 1980s This first wave of heavy metal blanketed the globe. From then on, bands all over the planet began to put their own specific spin on the heavy sound. Norway spearheaded the black metal movement with legendary bands such as Emperor and Mayhem. American bands like Anthrax and Metallica brought about a wave of thrash metal, while Slayer, Death and Obituary began to pave the way for death metal. Germany, with bands such as Blind Guardian and Helloween, gave the world power metal.

In the 1990s the United States dominated the metal scene (for better or worse) as bands exhausted traditional styles of metal and began to experiement with more fusion styles. Metal started to become commercially sucessfull with nu-metal bands like Limp Bizkit, Slipknot and Korn. In addition, the metalcore scene exploded with the help of bands such as Killswitch Engage, All That Remains and As I Lay Dying, all of which were commercially sucessful. Other countries experimented in different ways – Finland and help build the symphonic metal scene with acts such as Nightwish and Waltari.

As a result of the increasing popularity of metal, fans began to forge even more complex subgenres of metal. In the late 20oos The UK spearheaded the a trance metal, or electronicore, scene with bands such as Enter Shikari and Asking Alexandria. Technology also spurred a new wave of progressive metal bands – sometimes known as djent – who gained their popularity essentially online. Notable bands include Periphery, TesseracT, and Chimpspanner.

The previous paragraphs contain a brief, and incomplete, recap of the history of metal. It exists to show how metal has always been a global force. No one country, band, person, or idea has ever dominated the metal scene.  I will use this blog in the upcoming weeks to touch on metal bands from various countries and compare the United States to the international extreme metal scene. Stay tuned.

 

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