Updated: Jul 27, 2021
Heavy metal gave life to various subgenres such as Speed Metal, Synchronic Speed Metal, Trash Metal, Death Metal, Groove, etc..
But everything began with the Blues. Blues originated from African Americans with African rhythms and sonorities. According to some historians, the Blues had three styles and three purposes - Mississippi, Louisiana and New Orleans. The objective of some was to show the depth of the Mississippi river, others to show a way to escape and reveal the names of people that could help them. Finally, Louisiana, from which modern blues originated, is characterised by a slow rhythm. Blues and its subgenres include country blues, Delta Bluesand Piedemont, as well the distinctive Blues from Chicago Blues street and blues from the West Coast Blues. During World War II, the electric guitar was introduced, and it progressively started to attract a larger audience, with particular focus on the Caucasian race. The growth of Blues and the introduction of a mixture of Gospel and Soul caused a certain unfamiliarity and strangeness from the audience as the junction of those three styles was unknown and indefinite. This led to a radio host to call it “Rock n’ Roll”, which is a maritime expression used by English sailors when they left the quay to the deep seas. Since the white population could then start to play “black music” without any problems, Rock n’ Roll became conflictual. Many African American musicians became unhappy as their music was being used without consent.
This was evident in “Rockabilly” by Elvis Presley, who took advantage of this war to become the self-proclaimed “King of Rock n’ Roll”. However, it is ironic that he was the king of “black people music” as a Caucasian man during a time where the USA was strongly marked by racism.
The Blues was introduced in Europe and quickly became successful. Bands with new sounds like the British ones, are an example of that. Names such as the Teddy Boys, Trad Jazz, Lonnie Donegan e Tommy Steele were the first ones in this journey that would later bring proper bands and the true kings of Rock N’ Roll.
Later on, bands with a more aggressive and progressive rock appeared, including the Cream, Huryan Heep, The Kinks, Jimmy Hendrix or Jeff Beck Group – which were given the name of Blues Rock (its initial name) or HARD ROCK. The Queen, Scorpions, Accept, Preatty Maids, Aerosmith or AC/DC started to emerge. A few years after Hard Rock was born, its expected evolution occurred, making it become what is known nowadays as the famous Heavy Metal – the father of all types of and ramifications of Metal, with its grandad of Metal, that is, Hard Rock, included in its family tree.
by MGranado Revision and translation text by Madalena Pereira 2020/06/04