The genre of metal developed in the early 1970s. It grew out of the blues rock, hard rock, and the heavier psychedelic rock of the late 1960s. Early metal shared many characteristics with hard rock, but was notably different due to metal's heavier guitar tone and less blues rock influence. It also dealt with more aggressive lyrical themes than hard rock.
Culturally, it was anti-conformist, with the fashion style of metal bands a direct negative of the 1960s hippy scene; whereas hippy fashion were all about color, metal fashion was predominantly black. However, metal kept the hippy message of free-thinking and individuality.
With the decline of the original metal band, Black Sabbath, a new sound of metal was established with the NWOBHM. Although it wasn't very popular with the critics, the NWOBHM is really what allowed metal to make its way into the mainstream. Throughout the 1970s, there were less than 25 metal albums of note, and the only sub-genres of metal that really existed were doom metal, speed metal, and traditional metal (The roots of the NWOBHM were being sewn as well). But, during the course of the 1980s, there were hundreds of notable metal albums. The 1980s are also when many sub-genres came about, such as alternative metal, black metal, death metal, grindcore, power metal, progressive metal, and thrash metal.
The 1990s and 2000s again showed a rapid expansion in metal, and the genre as a whole began to incorporate more non-metal influences. This was most evident in the birth of nu metal, which included hip-hop rapping and beats and an aggression that was more akin to post-hardcore music than what previously came before in metal. The 2000s is when metal really became a critical force, yet the more prominent metal bands were more underground than in the 1980s or 1990s. Greatest Metal ArtistsGreatest Metal AlbumsGreatest Metal Debut AlbumsTop 10 Metal Albums By YearGreatest Metal SongsTop Songs By Metal ArtistsGreatest Metal VocalistsGreatest Metal GuitaristsGreatest Metal DrummersGreatest Vocal PerformancesFavorite Metal Artist DirectoryLast Metal Album You Heard (And Rate It)Metal Recommendation Central