Speed ​​metal

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Speed ​​Metal is the name of a subspecies of Metal that originated in Canada and Europe in the early to mid-1980s and is characterized by its high speed. In the 1980s, the related Thrash Metal was often referred to as Speed ​​Metal and no distinction was made between these genres.


The British group Deep Purple is considered to be one of the first hard rock bands to approach the genre of speed metal with their songs such as Fireball and Highway Star , which were released in the early 1970s . The band Motörhead , who released their debut album of the same name in 1977, is considered an important speed metal pioneer from the late 1970s. Although the front man, Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister , distanced his music from metal and called it rock 'n' roll , Motörhead has often performed at metal festivals until the end and their music contained many (speed) metal elements. Lemmy has been an inspiration to many metal bands from the start; However, he himself considered bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath to be the actual metal, faster bands like the New Wave of British Heavy Metal or Metallica sounded more like punk than metal to him.

The song Exciter from Judas Priest's album Stained Class (1978) is also referred to as a typical example of speed metal. After that, the Canadians are often called exciters . The song World War III (recorded in June 1981) by the sampler U.S. Metal Vol. II (1982) and their 1983 album Heavy Metal Maniac , which is considered to be one of the first speed metal albums and mainly contains pieces corresponding to this style. The Canadians Anvil also recorded speed metal tracks on their albums Metal on Metal (1982) and Forged in Fire (1983).

From an Anglophile perspective, the new wave of British heavy metal bands Raven , Jaguar , Blitzkrieg and Satan are seen as the inventors of speed metal.

In the United States was Metallica in 1982 with the Sampler Post Hit the Lights on Metal Massacre pioneer. The debut album Kill 'Em All followed in 1983, which also contained the piece and is considered the first speed or thrash metal album. Other early US representatives (around 1983–1985) were Anthrax , Megadeth , Slayer , Exodus , Agent Steel , Hallows Eve and Overkill .

In Europe, Accept's song Fast as a Shark (1982) is considered a pioneering achievement. In 1983 there were speed metal contributions by the bands Running Wild ( Adrian SOS ) and Grave Digger ( 2000 Lightyears from Home ) on the sampler Rock from Hell . This was followed in 1984 by the Running Wild album Gates to Purgatory and the Grave Digger album Heavy Metal Breakdown , each with several Speed ​​Metal pieces. Helloween set further milestones in this genre in 1984 on the split LP Death Metal (with Oernst of Life and Metal Invaders ) and in 1985 with the EP Helloween and the album Walls of Jericho . Avenger (later Rage ) published Prayers of Steel in 1985 .

Racer X and The Great Kat from the USA also belong to this genre.

In 1987 Cacophony (including Marty Friedman and Jason Becker ) released an album entitled Speed ​​Metal Symphony .

In Germany, the demos and the 1988 work Battalions of Fear by Blind Guardian should also be mentioned .

However, the direction quickly changed. Some representatives tended more towards Thrash Metal, others developed Power Metal . The flowing transitions are also demonstrated by a sampler called Speed ​​Metal , released in 1987, which contains numerous bands that are now considered to be Thrash and not Speed ​​Metal bands. The same applies to some of the license pressings of the Canadian label Banzai Records published between 1984 and 1986 , which were provided with specially designed Speed ​​Metal logo.

Stylistic features

Features are the frequent use of the double bass , two-part guitar runs which, in addition to the actual guitar solos, also repeatedly play harmonic parts, alternate picking and the distinctive, high-pitched vocals. Speed ​​Metal is differentiated from Thrash Metal, which emerged a little later, in that more catchy melodies predominate in Speed ​​Metal. Particularly melodic Speed ​​Metal is therefore also called Melodic Speed ​​Metal , which is clearly more closely related to Power Metal and sometimes even overlaps with it.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Daniel Ekeroth: Swedish Death Metal . Second Printing 2009. Brooklyn, NY: Bazillion Point Books 2009, p. 9.
  2. ^ Jeremy Wallach, Harris M. Berger, Paul D. Greene: Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music Around the World . Durham, NC: Duke University Press 2011, p. 38.
  3. ^ David Lee Joyner: American Popular Music . McGraw-Hill Higher Education 2002, p. 301.
  4. Google Book Search: Camion Blanc: Riff story du hard rock au heavy metal
  5. Google Book Search: Camion Blanc: Riff story du hard rock au heavy metal
  6. ^ Robert Walser: Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music . Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press 1993, p. 14.
  7. Ronnie: Motorhead. Interview with Lemmy 6-20-2000. Ear Candy Mag, June 20, 2000, accessed September 16, 2010 .
  8. a b Jeb Wright: Better Motorhead Than Dead: An Interview with Lemmy Kilmister. Classic Rock Revisited, archived from the original on February 2, 2008 ; accessed on September 16, 2010 (English).
  9. ^ Deena Weinstein: Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture . First Da Capo Press Edition 2000, p. 53.
  10. a b Daniel Bukszpan: The Encyclöpedia öf Heavy Metal . Barnes & Noble Publishing 2003, p. 57.
  11. ^ Matthias Mader: Satan . Who invented it? . In: Rock Hard , No. 313, June 2013, p. 46.
  12. Jan Goggans, Aaron Difranco: The Pacific Region . Greenwood Press 2004, p. 364.