First off, it’s important to know that metal music is not just one genre. It can be nu-metal or death metal or black metal.
Regardless of what type of metal you like, there are plenty of reasons why the name “metal” was chosen for this style. I’m going to list ten here and hope they’re enough to convince you!
Why Metal Music is Called Metal?
It’s called metal because it sounds heavy, hard, and tough with distorted guitars and drums. Heavy metal is a distinct genre of music, not just a term for loud or hard rock.
It has its own characteristics and origins can be traced to blues-rock bands like Cream and Iron Butterfly in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Black Sabbath pioneered heavy metal with their ominous sound and dark lyrics which empowered fans to rebel against mainstream society.
Here are 10 Reasons Why Metal Music is Called Metal
1. It’s aggressive
Heavy metal is called that for a reason. Since the very beginning of the genre with Black Sabbath, metal has been an angry music, and it sounds even angrier when presented at high volumes.
There’s a lot of growling and screaming and all of that is very aggressive, so it makes sense that the music would be called heavy metal.
2. It has distorted guitars
Heavy metal bands use heavily distorted guitar tones on their instruments to give their sound more weight and power than traditional guitar sounds.
Because of this distortion, the actual notes used in metal music are harder to hear – but it’s not really meant to be about the notes. Metal is about how much you can feel what’s going on and so the guitars sound huge, hence heavy metal.
When people describe a style of music as being headbanging music, that means they’re talking about something that is hard, aggressive, and loud enough to make you want to thrust your head back and forth in time with the music. Metal definitely fits that description – more than any other genre of rock or pop music.
4. Metal is direct
Both in terms of being forthright with its subject matter, and also being straight to the point in its music. You either played metal or you didn’t – there was little room for interpretation or subtlety. [continued]
5. Metal is intense
There’s a lot of energy in metal music, from the beat itself and the speed of the notes and the riffage to the sheer volume and impact of it all – metal was like catnip for teenagers who were growing up in the heyday of arena rock.
Also, this music was played by adults, who were able to make a lot more noise than their younger counterparts in the punk and new wave scenes.
6. Metal is dark
Again, that word describes both the subject matter of metal songs and their often foreboding sound. There was something about this music that made it perfect for strolling through cemeteries at night or sitting alone in your room thinking about death.
7. Metal is loud, direct, intense, and dark
Put all of those adjectives together and you have a term that’s more descriptive than any other genre label – which is probably why it was adopted by fans to describe their favorite music.
It signified that you weren’t trying to be a poseur or a trend follower – you liked this because it was the real thing.
8. Metal is further from the mainstream
In comparison to other forms of popular music, metal has always been on the fringe. There’s a certain alienation that people feel who love metal – and not just because it’s so loud or explicit or whatever. It takes you out of your comfort zone, to listen to music this aggressive and unyielding.
9. Metal is harder than other kinds of rock
This has nothing to do with the sound of metal, which is far more nuanced than the term “hard rock.” No, this refers to how hard it can be to play metal riffs – they are not only fast and loud but also require a good amount of finger strength. That’s why guitar heroes like Eddie Van Halen became so celebrated in the ’80s – because no one had ever played that way before.
10. Metal is serious
I don’t mean that it’s not fun, although when you’re in the pit at a Slayer show it might seem like there are more important things in life than smiles or laughs.
This is about an attitude that metalheads have – they are certain that their music is not only valid but also worth fighting for. This music has left an indelible mark on the culture at large, which is why it’s often attacked or ignored by mainstream media.
To conclude, Metal is called metal because that’s what works best for describing this kind of music.
Who gave heavy metal its name?
Heavy metal got its name from a Steppenwolf song, “Born To Be Wild,”
But is it true? because the term “heavy metal” was already in use decades before Steppenwolf recorded their hit song in 1968? In fact, it was 1965 when science fiction writer Jeff Wayne published his story collection War of the Worlds and referred to an alien weapon as “the Heavy Metal.” The phrase was also used in the 1967 Steppenwolf song, although listeners probably didn’t know that until decades later.
What does metal music stand for?
Metal is a distinct genre of music, not just a term for loud or hard rock. It has its own characteristics, such as the use of distorted electric guitars and drums.
Heavy metal’s origins can be traced to blues-rock bands like Cream and Iron Butterfly in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Black Sabbath pioneered the genre with their ominous sound and dark lyrics, which empowered fans to rebel against mainstream society.
Metal is a lifestyle. It’s not just music but also fashion, attitude, and anything that goes with being part of this extremely loyal community. Metal can somewhat alienate people because it takes them out of their comfort zone by listening to music this aggressive and unyielding.
Is it called metal because it’s harder than rock?
It may be one of the reasons why metal is called metal because that’s what works best for describing this kind of music. However, this has nothing to do with the sound of metal. Metal is far more nuanced than just being hard rock.