William Wright, ‘Doah Staff Writer
April 10, 2013
Few bands really have the epicness which Iron Maiden has created in their music. With a sound that is classical, smart and big, with songs that deal with war, Satanism, mythology and losing one’s self, watching an Iron Maiden show feels like being on a fantasy battlefield. They may not have been the first to do so, but they are the ones that most modern metal bands try to emulate.
Notable Songs: “Number of the Beast,” “Run for the Hills,” “The Trooper,” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name.”
An honorable mention goes to her first band, The Runaways, for being a precursor to the Riot Grrrl movement. Her solo work is fun and great straightforward rock ‘n’ roll, but is very uncompromising in how it wants to be portrayed. It often has a message, such as not being what others want and destroying those illusions.
Notable Songs: “Bad Reputation,” “Little Liar,” “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll,” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”
While Black Sabbath is called the first heavy metal band, Judas Priest is seen by most as the first band to embrace metal as its own music genre. With their fast beats, loud sounds and powerful lyrics, they give listeners the feeling that they are being hit by a fully-loaded tank.
Notable Songs: “Screaming For Vengeance,” “Electric Eye,” “Breaking the Law,” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin.’”
I think of Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister as the true king of rock ‘n’ roll. Because Motorhead combines everything great about many rock subgenres including ‘50s blues, rockabilly, punk and heavy metal to name a few. Believed to be the most famous underdog band, their lyrics range from the usual sex, drugs and kicking ass to the effects of war and various stories about people facing their own harsh realities.
Notable Songs: “Ace of Spades,” “We are the Road Crew,” “Killed by Death,” and “Eat the Rich.”
Now, Ozzy Osbourne is in the hall of fame as a member of Black Sabbath. But I believe he should be inducted for his solo career in its own right. The Prince of Darkness always had amazing instrumentation and an array of songs running the gamut from the joyfully morbid to ruckus crowd-pleasers.
Notable Songs: “Crazy Train,” “Bark at the Moon,” “No More Tears,” and “Goodbye to Romance.”
In the history of heavy metal, there is a trinity of main influences: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. The last of these was once said to be the loudest band in the land. I would describe their sound as a road trip into the greatest parts of space rock, area rock and good old-fashioned blues.
Notable Songs: “Space Truckin,” “Highway Star,” “Lazy,” and “Smoke on the Water.”
Performing since 1976, Black Flag can be seen as the most famous band of the’80s hardcore scene. With songs that were aggressive, experimental and blood-pumping, they dealt with themes like anti-authority, isolation and living in an unsound mind. Their legendary touring elevated them to the status of punk rock heroes.
Notable Songs: “Rise Above,” “Police Story,” “TV Party,” and “My War.”
Imagine a surf rock band that had songs written by Abbie Hoffman and was fronted by the Joker. Most famously fronted by social activist Jello Biafra, this band’s energetic sound, extreme personality and hard-hitting, satirical lyrics can get under almost any listener’s skin… and they are going to want it to stay there.
Notable Songs: “California Uber Alles,” “Kill the Poor,” “Holiday in Cambodia,” and “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.”
Few bands have a sound and presence recognized simply by name alone. Even if you don’t listen to Slayer, you know their music when you hear their name. The songs are intense and are referred as the sound of hell itself. Topics range from murder and the afterlife to serial killers and the effects of various kinds of trauma.
Notable songs: “Raining Blood,” “South of Heaven,” “Angel of Death,” and “Eyes of the Insane.”