|Ronnie James Dio & his Devil’s horns|
Interestingly, the sound of heavy metal wasn’t something intentional, but the result of an accident. But the turn of 1960s, as rock was burgeoning all around Britain, a small factory accident in Aston caused a guitarist named Tony Iommi to lose the top of his left hand fingertips, forcing him to use finger caps, and his band Earth was forced to tone down it’s guitar sound, changing to a dark, ominous sound, with slower riffs. And heavy metal era was born. Earth, now known as Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin popularized the sound, but the world was yet to accept it as a new genre. Soon, plethora of British bands exploded on the scene, in what was termed as ‘The New Wave of British Heavy Metal” and heavy metal arrived on the world music scene. After that there was no going back. Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Metallica, Megadeth, Judas Priest, ruled the roost in 1980s. It’s road hasn’t smooth though. Rise of the punk movement, brutal censorship by media and government(the infamous PMRC incident), self-destructive life-styles had almost killed the genre. But heavy metal was really heavy, not to be shaken that easily. Rise of new metal forces like Pantera, Alice in Chains, along with old giants Metallica, Slayer not only resuscitated but established firmly the impact of heavy metal on music in the last decade of 20th century. From then on, heavy metal has seen new heights, active inclusion in mainstream media, acceptance by music elites etc. and now it stands firmly alongside pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B and other music genres.
|Metallica in 2008|
As the years have passed, society has been forced to accept metal as it is, and abandon the myths it fostered. Thought to be lyrically vapid, profound lyrics filled with human angst, political issues, anti-war stance, Biblical references, have changed that view. Also musically, socitye has accepted it’s depth and profundity. Metal fans, or metalheads, are among the most fiercely loyal of music fans. I am myself a heavy metal maniac, and can say with worldwide support that heavy metal is more than just headbanging, drugs and mindless noise. It’s also a part of the soul of the music. So metal fans worldwide, have three cheers with me for the heavy metal. And the quintessential Devil’s Horns \m/ \m/
Photograph courtesy: http://www.gabita.net and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Hetfield_live_in_London_2008-09-15_2.jpg
Note: The Title of the post is taken from a 4-part documentary on heavy metal of the same name.
And yeah, please vote for my post at Indivine: http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=55243 🙂