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Short history of metal

Short history of metal
May 19, 2010, 04:36:04 PM
In the 1950s, rock music was mostly pleasant, slightly rebellious "race music" attributed to blacks -- although the music theory came from European popular music, the pentatonic melodies from Celtic folk, the call and response from Scotts church music, and the percussion from German waltz bands. It was basically the first "world music" made of a common section of all that was popular at the time. Most songs were relatively vapid stuff about love and sex.

As the 1960s came around, rock developed in style and technicality, and ultimately really came into its own with The Beatles. As time went on, however, rock got identified with the counterculture -- a rising, liberal, anti-establishment vision of a reality alternate to capitalism, control and rigid moral codes. Toward the late 1960s, this got dumbed-down into "love" versus "the pigs," and then a series of bands came about that shat down the throat of that conclusion which was equally vapid to 1950s rock.

These bands brought gloom, doom, and criticism of the underlying psychology of society -- headier stuff, sometimes called "heavy" because unlike peace, love and flowers, it makes the trip dark and reminds us of what's going on under the skin. These bands also tended to use unorthodox song structures, power chords and distortion (most of this is borrowed from late 1960s progressive rock bands).

    * The Beatles - Helter Skelter - This and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" were early forays into heavy music.
    * Jethro Tull - Locomotive Breath - Not many people know that Tony Iommi played in Jethro Tull for several weeks and learned his work ethic from them.
    * King Crimson - 21st Century Schizoid Man - this song unnerved people and was the heaviest thing to hit radio, although Crimson always focused on normal tuning and didn't make their guitars bass heavy. Try playing this transposed on a detuned axe.
    * The Stooges - Fun House - this particular song shows more of Doors heritage of this band, but Iggy Pop and the Stooges were making heavy dark music to piss on society's head.
    * The Doors - The Crystal Ship - dark Nietzschean and Blakean Romantic themes, apocalyptic visions, classical influences and gritty realism.
    * Ennio Morricone - Once Upon a Time in the West - where did the name Black Sabbath come from? Horror films with soundtracks by Italians, influenced by Respighi and Bruckner (coincidentally, the favorite composers of fascist and nationalist regimes in the previous war).
    * Yes - Roundabout - the longer song structures and use of melodic composition made this band a later influence on metal, most prominently for speed metal.

These all led, in turn, to the synthesis that Black Sabbath effected on their first album. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin represented the next generation to develop this style of music, although if we have to pick to an origin of heavy metal -- it's Black Sabbath.


Not as detailed as the ANUS page, but with videos!

People don't live a spiritual life, they only live for the now, the devil rules them. - Geezer Butler

I think that quote is the origin of the essence of metal. People live for the material, themselves, and the now. As a result, they are easily manipulated and deceived.

Re: Short history of metal
May 20, 2010, 02:22:55 AM
It's nice to see progressive rock has its proper place on the influences listed.
You're quite hostile.

I got a right to be hostile, man, my people been persecuted!

Re: Short history of metal
May 20, 2010, 10:30:13 AM
* Ennio Morricone - Once Upon a Time in the West - where did the name Black Sabbath come from? Horror films with soundtracks by Italians, influenced by Respighi and Bruckner (coincidentally, the favorite composers of fascist and nationalist regimes in the previous war).

Unless I'm listening to the wrong tune (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s0-wbXC3pQ) how is this a direct or even rough influence?  I agree with the notion of siphoning off and approximating the power of  Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, ect; but aside from nuance and some dynamics - which abound in plenty of shitty music - I'm not detecting any relation to the rise of dm/bm/hm.

Re: Short history of metal
May 20, 2010, 10:34:08 AM
I can not explain why "Once Upon a Time in the West" has been mentioned but Morricone's "Ecstasy of Gold" has been quoted by Metallica and others; while the soundtrack to "Conan the Barbarian", composed by Morricone's disciple Poledouris, has got to be the most overused "neo-symphonic" material in metal intros since "Carmina Burana".

Re: Short history of metal
May 20, 2010, 10:54:37 AM
As it so happens I was struggling to recall the title "Ecstasy of Gold" as a qualifier, since that effort is all that came to mind upon hearing Morricone.  It's not surprising that 'Ecstasy' came to mind upon testing out the aforementioned track.

This is a piece I'd recognize as influential given its direction.  "Once upon a Time.."?  Not so much.  Ecstasy suggests the onset of a journey, while the other merely fills the role of "soundtrack" in a film that apparently shares themes synonymous with some of the more sultry heavy metal imagery and whatnot.  It fits in a sense, but then again...

EDITED for clarity - hope it helped


Re: Short history of metal
May 20, 2010, 11:15:57 AM
I think it might be important to note that Ecstasy came from a movie which was a morality play of sorts, whereas Once Upon A Time... could more accurately be described as a "horror movie".

Re: Short history of metal
May 20, 2010, 09:44:38 PM
A lot of people don't know that Jim Morrison had a deep interest in the black arts and that he at least read Crowley.  But I think heavy metal influence can go as far back as Beethoven.  His music was pretty dark and melencholy.

Re: Short history of metal
May 21, 2010, 03:14:46 AM
Beethoven? Try something much older.

"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart."
-Ecclesiastes 7:2

Re: Short history of metal
July 12, 2010, 06:20:47 AM

This is from 1969 although a lot of people say that's a lie.

The first Antonius Rex album has several songs similar to this (1974).
powers which mankind refuses to condone or conceive
beware what curiosity and ignorance breed
for what is not believed
may turn out to be your destiny