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Aside from Sabbath, Maiden and Priest, is "heavy metal" worth a shit?

I started this thread to gauge whether there is any music of quality within this genre that's somehow eluded me.  Ostensibly, there are some good bands that fall within the bounds of heavy metal, but the overwhelming majority of this material strikes me as the sort of musclehead workout music that civil servants put on while getting tanked before a night of barhopping.  I'm speaking specifically about the Scorpions'/AC/DC's/Y&Ts/Van Halens of the world.  For the most part I've never heard anything more than louder verse-chorus-verse blues-inspired rock music from these folks and with almost exclusively nauseating results.  I played an Accept album this weekend (one of their supposed "classics") and was driven to the brink of mania by its banality.

Does any of this stuff resonate with any of you?


Why are you saying muscle head like it's a bad thing!? What about Blasphemy? They're muscle heads but they're also great musicians.

I think that old school heavy metal is pretty sick right up until you turn 16 or so. You have to look at it for what it's worth.

Helstar
Queensryche - The Warning and s/t EP
Satan - Court in the Act
Mercyful Fate
King Diamond - the 80s stuff
Candlemass - early works
Solitude Aeturnus
Fates Warning - Awaken the Guardian
Manilla Road
Angel Witch s/t

There's more but this, off the top of my head, should do for a start if you want to check them out. As for Scorpions, they were a different band in the 70s with Uli Roth... apart from the tripe they made later.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jCd9vg3BDw

Maybe you can check out Rainbow as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6W7jMURpGU

What you said is mostly true but there is a some quality stuff that could be found in NWOBHM in the early 80s like Diamond Head and Angel Witch that is fairly good.  It is essentially proto-thrash.

The quintessential's seem to be already mentioned, anyway the following bands are also what I deem as quality.

Legend
Witchfinder General
Cirith Ungol
Pagan Altar
Pentagram

Most of these listed bands fuse doomy sensibilities in vein of Black Sabbath with the more standard heavy metal structure. Proto-metal also seems to have a few of quality works, before the genre of heavy metal got bloated with second-rate NWOBHM copycats.

Blue Cheer
Jerusalem
Sir Lord Baltimore
Flower Travellin' Band
Iron Claw

Heavy metal either fails completely for me, or is unbelievably sublime. You're either complete boneheads, or you're Motorhead.

What you said is mostly true but there is a some quality stuff that could be found in NWOBHM in the early 80s like Diamond Head and Angel Witch that is fairly good.

This is a fair point.  I probably should have made mention of the NWOBHM in the original post.  Equally shabby of me was omitting Mercyful Fate/King Diamond.  I guess I've always viewed them as something of a hybrid. 

Helstar
Queensryche - The Warning and s/t EP
Satan - Court in the Act
Candlemass - early works
Solitude Aeturnus
Fates Warning - Awaken the Guardian
Manilla Road


There's more but this, off the top of my head, should do for a start if you want to check them out. As for Scorpions, they were a different band in the 70s with Uli Roth... apart from the tripe they made later.

Maybe you can check out Rainbow as well:

also, another poor omission on my part was not mentioning Rainbow and Dio along with Sabbath.  many of the bands you listed aren't really straight heavy metal, and I certainly wouldn't lump great prog-infused bands like Manila Road in with the likes of Ratt and Whitesnake.  it seems to me that one of the biggest problems with heavy metal is the nebulous nature of its boundaries.  AC/DC is little more than a pub band with a lot of money, yet many people somehow mistake what they do for metal.  there's far too much crossover between hard-rock and heavy metal, and the lack of clear and rigid distinctions is one of the reasons pabulum like Tesla and Kix is frequently mislabeled.

This excerpt from the ANUS review of the largely hideous Deeper into the Vault comp sums up my feelings about most of the worst offenders alluded to in this thread:

Quote
T.T. Quick - Victims: In very few occasions does a moronic band name not imply moon-faced retard music. Indie rock melodic hook and utterly predictable speed metal repetitive-strum riffing with a whining vocalist make this supernaturally tedious. If Sisyphus ever thought, "It can't get any worse," sadistic gods put this on the stereo.


Am I correct to assume "heavy metal" is referring in this thread to the metal sub-genre also known as "traditional heavy metal" or "classic heavy metal"?

I'm speaking specifically about the Scorpions'/AC/DC's/Y&Ts/Van Halens of the world...

Does any of this stuff resonate with any of you?
NO
But I would hardly consider that type of music heavy metal... I mean, Van Halen??? How are you able to place that in the same genre as Maiden?

The big three produced more than enough to indefinitely occupy a regular listener for a change of pace from underground. We can putz around with Saxon or Krokus or Accept or Lizzy Borden or Twisted Sister too, but for what?

I mean, Van Halen??? How are you able to place that in the same genre as Maiden?

I wouldn't - I hardly consider what Van Halen does to be music - but most of the heavy metal community that doesn't reside on this board does.  They are frequently cited (along with another fraud, Kiss) as the founding fathers of American heavy metal.  Where my interest lies is the disconnect that exists between what we term metal, and the mainstream community, wherein the belief is that any really loud rock music defaults into metal.  

The challenge is to articulate the distinction in terms an uninvolved mainstream could comprehend. We're already having a bear of a time distinguishing nu-metal from music for typical metal fans. The best approach is to keep things simple and bite sized: "Can someone explain why this radio rock band is listed in a metal music discussion?"

 Where my interest lies is the disconnect that exists between what we term metal, and the mainstream community, wherein the belief is that any really loud rock music defaults into metal.
In that case, the answer to your original is yes, there is definitely other heavy metal worth a shit. So long as we're actually talking about heavy metal, not hard rock or cock rock or glam rock or whatthefuckever - but even then it's not a large list.

In  answer to the quoted inquiry, that's due to the fact this little internet community, like most little internet communities, is made up of people who are already exiled from mainstream society to varying degrees. So we place value differently than the larger society does, and in some cases even use the same terms to mean different things. In the world of Top 40 Hits, "genre" means little more than what instruments you use to make verses & choruses. Here, it ideally means how the patterns with which a piece of music is constructed(although in practice most of us end up using it for something between those two ideas). This becomes even more apparent with genres like heavy metal, which never fully broke from rock music in the first place, meaning there would always be overlap even without that ideological disagreement - which in turn makes it more difficult to bridge the chasm between the two, since there is both overlap and separation.

I rarely listen to Sabbath, Maiden and Priest any more.

Whilst they have some excellent material scattered amongst their extensive back catalogues, most of it is either jaded by regression into rock technique, attitude and composition (both Maiden and Priest are excessively camp at the best of times). I guess it works OK as semi-background, social or whatever music with a dash of intelligence to escape the cycle of Floyd, Zeppelin and what else was popular in the 70s.

Bands such as Satan (UK), Angel Witch, Blitzkrieg (perhaps), Candlemass, Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road et. al. all had solid stuff, but the rock component of their music makes it very hard to praise them duly past their "historical importance." You can see the emergence of the "spirit" that later bands tapped into, but this is not enough sadly.

Off the top of my head Fates Warning (John Arch for best vocalist in Metal?) and Helstar (at least the first half of Nosferatu) is about the only Heavy Metal that I could safely put on a canonical Metal list and feel safe that it fits in with the highest quality Black, Death and Doom albums.

I rarely listen to Sabbath, Maiden and Priest any more.

Whilst they have some excellent material scattered amongst their extensive back catalogues, most of it is either jaded by regression into rock technique, attitude and composition

Uh... There wasn't exactly something past rock technique that they could have regressed from at that time...