The Evolution of the Metal Genre

Today, the metal genre envelops a huge swathe of music ranging from super hard death rock metal to the lighter genre of classic metal. It has taken many decades to arrive at this point in history, made many bands, albums and guitars famous, but where did it all start and where will it end up? Let us take a look at the early beginnings of the metal genre, and see how far it has come today.


Many believe that the entire genre of metal started early in the 1960s, with the heavier rock music of bands that came out of predominately the UK, the US and in some parts of Australia. Generally with roots in the early blues music of the American south, metal was derived from a heavier style of rock and roll. In the early days to get a raw sounding guitar tone from your average Gibson or Fender guitars you needed to turn up your amplifier to get it to really sing.

Dirty, dirty tonel

The majority of amplifiers back then only had a single or double clean channel, there were no distortion pedals outside of an enthusiast’s garage, so getting that heavy, raw sound was key to getting rougher sounding rock music. Many musicians slashed their amp speakers with razor blades to achieve this, whilst others created distortion pedals to add to their system to create their very own unique sounds.

Some of the first metal and heavy metal bands included Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin as well as Deep Purple. These bands were often badly reviewed by critics, even though they garnered huge audiences that kept growing. Later, bands such as AC-DC, Judas Priest and Motorhead came onto the scene to create their very own versions of this mix of rock and heavy metal to create a whole new scene for the general public to enjoy.

Heavy to thrash to death!

Metal grew harder, louder and a little more glam during the 1980s when bands such as Motley Crue joined the scene, along with Poison and bands like Dokken. Metal turned heavier still later on when the trash metal genre grew popular with bands such as Slayer, Metallica coming on to the scene with huge adoration from fans of the genre.

Other expansions on the metal scene include Death Metal and Black Metal which are thought to be at the more extreme of the genre, whilst Nu Metal has proven popular with bands such as Slipknot coming on to the scene with a huge following and name recognition with the general public at large.

In this genre, the creation of equipment to go along with the music is always playing catch up. Whilst in the early years, bands were playing Les Pauls and Fender guitars, nowadays, an entire market of guitars, FX pedals and amplifiers is targeting at the metal, heavy metal, thrash metal genre through the introduction of guitars such as the Jackson King V, Gibson SG and amplifiers such as the Bogner Uberschall 120w, Soldano SLO-100 and a range of great Carvin amps to give your music that metal tone you’ve been looking for.


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