The origins of heavy metal lie largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in both blues-rock and psychedelic rock, the best metal bands managed to develop a thick sound characterized by highly amplified distortion, guitar solos and general loudness. When it comes to heavy metal music, the lyrics and performance styles are widely associated with masculinity. Here is a look into the most influential metal bands of all time.
Though Tool is not the most prolific metal band, they have managed to build one of the largest cult audiences in the entire genre. With only four albums released since their formation back in 1990, there minute output and lack of hit singles has still accumulated an enormous fan base. The band blew up back in 1993 at the height of the alternative music movement.
After touring with Lollapalooza with their debut LP Undertow, the band gathered momentum. They did not sound anything like the popular bands at the time such as Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins. With an audience that grows stronger every day, Tool still seems to take their time with each album. They have reportedly been working on one for the past couple of years.
The debate about the authenticity of Led Zeppelin’s ties to heavy metal rages on. However, we will not get into that argument here. It is an undeniable fact that many generations of metal guitars have followed the lead of Jimmy Page. Albums like Led Zeppelin II which hit the shelves just months before Black Sabbath’s debut album have truly impacted the genre. Though the group broke up after the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, their immense audience expands daily awaiting to see them back on the road.
The original guitarist of Metallica, Dave Mustaine was fired back in 1983 due to alcoholism and conflicts with the band. This rejection would shape the metal genre forever. Dave Mustaine formed his own band out of vengeance and gave us the gift of Megadeth. Though the lineup is seemingly always changing, Mustaine still remains the leader. In 2010, Megadeth even teamed up for a tour with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. The finale of each show consisted of all four groups together on stage which reunited Mustaine with Metallica once again.
If there was an award for the band with the most loyal and hardcore fan base, Slayer would beat them all. No matter who they travel the road with, there always seems to be more fans in the audience rocking the Slayer t-shirts than the headliner. With their acclaimed record from the late 80’s Reign in Blood, they have definitely made their mark on the genre as a hugely influential contributor to the metal arena.
Still rocking strong, Metallica manages to fill stadiums all over the world. Though they seem to do whatever they want, their fans still remain throughout the decades. Throughout all of the controversy that followed the One video in 1989, the crossover hit Enter Sandman and the war on Napster, the band must be doing something right considering their gigantic influence on music in general.