Heavy Metal; From Birth To Distortion

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade July 2001

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There's no history book for heavy metal. There's no one who can say exactly when it began or who the sadistic creator who started the mass market of individualism. What I will reveal in this essay is how I interpret heavy metal and how the tradition originally begun. Heavy metal's one of the most misunderstood genres of music in our day. It has been brutalized by the media, society and even by the listeners themselves. I feel that all music begins with poetry, lines written down, spawned from unexpressed emotions and contained fears. One who cannot openly express must find a way to be heard and for the most part it starts with paper and a pen.

Just like rock-n-roll, heavy metal was initially rejected. It took the 1960's, when emotions and expression at the highest peaks to be understood and accepted. It was believed that the first heavy metal outburst came from the Kinks with "You Really Got Me", followed by the Who in 1964.

To no surprise, Alice Cooper's band, the Spiders, who is believed to be the first heavy metal band and who will forever be remembered as the creator.

It was until 1967 that heavy metal really flourished. The rock world still absorbed by the Summer of Love, peace and drugs. This the same time that bands emerged and revolved. They struck the world with "heavy metal thunder". Heavy Metal, a combination of both rock-n-roll and the blues, was rapidly gaining influence on the youth, of that time. A youth that was already tiring of the Summer of Love scene.

Music began to grow and change with the times. As life continued to throw curve balls at its youth, we just kept spitting out the heavily expressed lyrics and poetry. Speed metal was adopted in the later 1980's when Metallica's masterpiece, Master of Puppets, reached a high of over 500,000 albums sold. Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth followed, beginning the thrash metal in commercial circles. Recently the "German metal theme" has been making its way into the U.S. Rammstein has proven their popularity not only in Germany, but also the states.

With bands breaking new grounds, adopted by many countries, still highly respected, purchased and sung by youth world wide, we are where we want to be. What does that say about our youth? We are the youth. The youth of yesterday, today and tomorrow will adopt, adapt and conform in our own way and in our own time.

To some people heavy metal in all of its forms is great music, filled with expression. To others it's a weekend a source of entertainment and a way join their generation. To many, its simply life. What truly matters is that in one way or another, it has affected the lives of millions of people, including yourself. Right or wrong, good or bad, heavy metals here to stay.

"Dance with the dead in my dreams...Listen to their hallowed screams...The dead have taken my soul.... Temptation's lost all control..." (Tom Araya - Slayer)