I was blessed with a parent who gave me the freedom of listening to any kind of music I liked. The genre of music I listened to the most was rock music. There was always a diverse sound to the music. When I reached my teen years, I found a music that had a strong sound to it; I connected with it. That sound came from heavy metal music. Heavy metal has changed and opened up many new styles or sub-genres since it came out in the late 60’s and into the 70’s.
It started out in the 80’s with glam or thrash metal, then into the 90’s with alternative or nu metal, and now in the 2000’s, death or black metal was brought in. The end of the 70’s brought in bands such as Van Halen and Aerosmith, but as the 80’s began some heavy metal bands started a fashion trend called glam metal. Motley Crue and W. A. S. P. are just two of the many bands. The band members had long hair, wore makeup and tight leather or spandex pants and boots. The music was about being wild and care-free.
The other sub-genre that was introduced was called thrash metal. These bands played faster and more aggressive. Bands such as Megadeth, Anthrax and Metallica had many fans and still do today. My brother introduced me to Metallica in 1989. I fell in love with their sound. I now own all of their albums and consider myself a true, die-hard fan. As the new decade came in, I didn’t listen to a lot of heavy metal, but when I did, I could tell there were some changes. New forms of heavy metal started to develop in the 90’s.
One of the new forms was called alternative metal. The sound combined thrash and grunge rock with hip-hop and industrial music. The other form of heavy metal is called nu metal, shortened from “new metal”. This form mixed the rap/hip-hop style singing with metal music. Some of the bands included synthesizers and other electronic instruments. Bands such as Linkin Park and Slipknot became very successful, made a lot of money and are still in the music scene today. Drifting out of the 90’s and entering a new millennium, more sub-genres appear.
They are called “death metal” and “black metal”, and both are a very angry, fast music. The songs from these two styles are much faster, louder and more aggressive. The singers don’t sing, they growl or roar out the lyrics to make the song more intense, and for some people it is hard to understand. There are a couple of important styles of metal and that is power metal, a style about fiction and epics like The Lord of the Rings, and gothic metal, such as Evanescence, who have melancholy songs about abstract subjects like pain, life, death and faith.
Even though heavy metal music has changed dramatically through the years, I still find myself enjoying the music. I think the only sub-genre of heavy metal I won’t listen to is “death or black metal”. I like to know what the singers are saying. New heavy metal artists are finding their way in society and making their sound work. The one thing that will stick with me forever is that I am a Metallica fan and that is never going to change.