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Texas King
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:41 pm 
 

This song was released in 1968.
To me it's quite heavy and it has a very aggressive rhythm (more aggressive rhythm than a song "Black Sabbath", that is widely considered to be the first true metal song). So I would definitely call it heavy metal. It could be the first heavy metal tune in general.

How about you? Is that tune metal to you or not? And if it's not metal then what is it?

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BastardHead
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:01 pm 
 

It's proto-metal for sure, but really and truly it's just heavy psychedelic rock. That was a thing back then, and it's pretty distinct from the iconic atmosphere of the first Sabbath albums.

Between this thread and your other one about not finding certain early Sabbath albums metal, I feel like you're conflating "metal" 1:1 with "heaviness" and I mean hey that's fine, you do you, but most of us here believe there's a bit more to it than that.
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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:50 pm 
 

No, there's too much of a blues presence in the song itself, and metal really began when the blues was stripped completely from rock & roll, which is what 'Summertime Blues' is (rock & roll).

This is also why some early Sabbath isn't all that metal, while other songs are. Judas Priest may've been the first to truly & consistently strip the blues from the music to arrive at heavy metal.

But none of this is to say that Blue Cheer didn't possibly influence some bands into a heavier or more ''metal' direction. But they themselves are no more metal than Led Zeppelin, AC/DC & so on. That's hard/heavy rock music, even if said bands occasionally come very close to metal or even have a few metal songs.
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BURlAL
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:39 pm 
 

"Metal" existed before Sabbath, especially when it comes to heaviness, but Sabbath are widely regarded as the first proper metal BAND.

We can go back as far as classical music as a lot of it was heavy as fuck, but Beethoven wasnt a METAL musician.

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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:55 am 
 

Gemini 7 Rising wrote:
This is also why some early Sabbath isn't all that metal, while other songs are. Judas Priest may've been the first to truly & consistently strip the blues from the music to arrive at heavy metal.

I disagree, there's a lot of blues in Judas Priest quite far up their discography. There are noticeable traces of blues all the way up to classic thrash metal, like Metallica and Slayer. The blues influence in heavy metal lead guitar still shows in post-second wave black metal, even. Admittedly, any meaningful blues influence on form and structure was largely gone after the 70s, except for a couple of throwbacks that come across as rather self-aware.
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:05 am 
 

On early Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, I think what makes 70s metal feel a bit detached to some people is that while it's very obviously metal music, there wasn't any metal subculture in the 70s yet, that only came with the 80s, there weren't any metalheads. That of course meant the bands didn't really have a clear blueprint on what their audiences wanted to hear, whereas 80s bands standing in front a hall full of metalheads knew exactly what they wanted to hear. So yeah while 70s metal is very obviously metal, there's still a lot of throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks because they didn't know yet they could just line up riff after riff and people would love it and that people didn't care much for ballads or improv sessions or whatnot.
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wednesdaysixx
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:27 am 
 

In the same week we get "How much early Sabbath is actually metal?" and "Blue Cheer were metal: yay or nay?"? *sigh*
As has been said, the music that term has been applied to has been varied and different over time. Some bands that used to be referred to as 'metal' now aren't at all. Some bands are definitely metal but sound nothing like others who are also definitely metal, hence we differentiate according to era, location, subgenre etc.
I think as has been said, a big definer was the metal culture that arose in the 80s with denim, leather, beer, motorbikes etc etc that surrounded NWOBHM and then broke off into things that lead to websites doing those "What kind of metal fan are you?" types of things. Before that, you had hippies, punks, beats, classical music students/lovers, jazz fans etc. Black Sabbath were blues/jazz guys with a Beatles obsessed singer. Blue Cheer and other Americans bands seemed to have been hippies who kept jamming and adding distortion. Deep Purple were classical music aficionados who liked distortion and volume. Led Zeppelin were blues fanatics. Motörhead always maintained they were just a rock 'n' roll band who played louder with more distortion and viewed themselves as closer to punk than any other kind of contemporary cultures or movements.
I'd say if you're saying Blue Cheer are metal, so was Hendrix at times. For me Blue Cheer are a heavier Hendrix.
But implicit in both threads is the notion that metal = heavy. Megadeth are metal, but to my ears are seldom heavy but I find heaviness in weighty, slow, lumbering riffs, pounding drums etc.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:34 am 
 

Blue Cheer is the primordial ooze that would eventually evolve into metal. Again - can't judge those early experimental bands by today's rigid genres.

Their first two albums kill though and anyone into early rock/proto-metal should try em.
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kalervon
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:42 am 
 

as if it were sacrilegious that some music had been more aggressive than metal at any point in time therefore it must be metal.. come on.
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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:20 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
On early Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, I think what makes 70s metal feel a bit detached... there wasn't any metal subculture in the 70s yet, that only came with the 80s, there weren't any metalheads. That of course meant the bands didn't really have a clear blueprint on what their audiences wanted to hear, whereas 80s bands standing in front a hall full of metalheads knew exactly what they wanted to hear. So yeah while 70s metal is very obviously metal, there's still a lot of throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks because they didn't know yet they could just line up riff after riff and people would love it...


Excellent points & I think this explains a lot. Without a core audience to reflect back at the artists precisely what they were hungry for, of course these bands were still exploring and trying things out. And their own tastes and influences still dictated blues, ballads & so on...
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Texas King
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:00 pm 
 

wednesdaysixx wrote:
I'd say if you're saying Blue Cheer are metal, so was Hendrix at times. For me Blue Cheer are a heavier Hendrix.


Yep. Jimi Hendrix was also heavy psychedelic rock sometimes.

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ZenoMarx
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:21 pm 
 

But what about Randy Holden earlier works before Blue Cheer? Or Iron Butterfly? Or The Kinks? Or The 13th Floor Elevators? The list could go on. If you're digging for "metal", you could find it all over the place in heavy and/or dissonant riffs and song segments pretty far back in psych.

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Ace_Rimmer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:32 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
On early Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, I think what makes 70s metal feel a bit detached to some people is that while it's very obviously metal music, there wasn't any metal subculture in the 70s yet, that only came with the 80s, there weren't any metalheads. That of course meant the bands didn't really have a clear blueprint on what their audiences wanted to hear, whereas 80s bands standing in front a hall full of metalheads knew exactly what they wanted to hear. So yeah while 70s metal is very obviously metal, there's still a lot of throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks because they didn't know yet they could just line up riff after riff and people would love it and that people didn't care much for ballads or improv sessions or whatnot.


That goes for regular rock I think too. These days genres tend to have rules and if you step too far outside them you are often attacked by purists. So much 70's music was freewheeling and all over the place, which is why so much of it was so amazing and creative compared to acts that are locked into one sound.

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Texas King
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:49 pm 
 

ZenoMarx wrote:
But what about Randy Holden earlier works before Blue Cheer? Or Iron Butterfly? Or The Kinks? Or The 13th Floor Elevators?


The Kinks are not even close to heavy metal. You Really Got Me could be the first hard rock song, it has nothing to do with metal.

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project23
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:59 pm 
 

It's just 50's rock'n'roll played louder. They invented hard rock but not exactly heavy metal yet - metal has darker atmosphere, subject matter and imagery.
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Ace_Rimmer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:37 pm 
 

project23 wrote:
It's just 50's rock'n'roll played louder. They invented hard rock but not exactly heavy metal yet - metal has darker atmosphere, subject matter and imagery.


Like Blind Guardian and Twilight Force?

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Twisted_Psychology
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:02 pm 
 

Blue Cheer's last album, What Doesn't Kill You, makes a solid case for stoner doom. It's a pretty chill album but there are a ton of moments that border on sounding like Pentagram or The Obsessed, which is funny considering how the influence was most definitely the other way around.

I wouldn't say their debut is a metal album though. It's loud and frenzied but doesn't have the same weight as something like Sabbath or In Rock-era Purple.
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:31 pm 
 

I disagree with this notion that real metal began when the blues influence was discarded. It wasn’t discarded! I hear a hell of a lot of bluesyness in Saint Vitus, for example. The lyrics about personal struggles, the guitar solos that are meant more to contribute to the downer atmosphere than the usual metal solo’s showy virtuosity - looking at the title song off “Born Too Late” here especially.
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BURlAL
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:40 pm 
 

severzhavnost wrote:
I disagree with this notion that real metal began when the blues influence was discarded. It wasn’t discarded! I hear a hell of a lot of bluesyness in Saint Vitus, for example. The lyrics about personal struggles, the guitar solos that are meant more to contribute to the downer atmosphere than the usual metal solo’s showy virtuosity - looking at the title song off “Born Too Late” here especially.


I agree....also, Danzig, who wouldnt agree the Danzigs first 3 classics were basically blues metal? IMO blues sounds closer to metal than hard rock does.

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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:04 pm 
 

"In a Gadda da Vida" is metal in my book, and it is pre-Sabbath.
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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:43 pm 
 

severzhavnost wrote:
I disagree with this notion that real metal began when the blues influence was discarded. It wasn’t discarded! I hear a hell of a lot of bluesyness in Saint Vitus, for example. The lyrics about personal struggles, the guitar solos that are meant more to contribute to the downer atmosphere than the usual metal solo’s showy virtuosity - looking at the title song off “Born Too Late” here especially.


Right, I don't think anyone's arguing that you can't find trace elements of the blues in some places within metal as a whole, whether within certain songs or within certain bands...

But, generally speaking, within the broad overview of its evolution, the blues was stripped out. It's difficult to find any blues elements in, say, At The Gates or Cannibal Corpse or Napalm Death, right? And we're talking riffs & rhythms here more than anything, don't point to a fraction of a bit in a guitar solo & say you hear the blues there :lol:
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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:14 pm 
 

Besides, I don't really listen to them, but isn't Saint Vitus kind of a Black Sabbath influenced band? Nothing wrong with that, but Sabbath was definitely influenced by bluesy rock music so that brings us back to the beginning of the conversation where we agree the blues influence was easy to find. So Saint Vitus may be metal with strong rock & blues vibes but it isn't where the prime examples of extreme metal wound up, if that makes sense.
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jimbies
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:29 pm 
 

I'm listening to the Vincebus album right now for the first time in at least a decade, and yeah, I don't hear too much metal in this.

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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:08 am 
 

Gemini 7 Rising wrote:
severzhavnost wrote:
I disagree with this notion that real metal began when the blues influence was discarded. It wasn’t discarded! I hear a hell of a lot of bluesyness in Saint Vitus, for example. The lyrics about personal struggles, the guitar solos that are meant more to contribute to the downer atmosphere than the usual metal solo’s showy virtuosity - looking at the title song off “Born Too Late” here especially.


Right, I don't think anyone's arguing that you can't find trace elements of the blues in some places within metal as a whole, whether within certain songs or within certain bands...

But, generally speaking, within the broad overview of its evolution, the blues was stripped out. It's difficult to find any blues elements in, say, At The Gates or Cannibal Corpse or Napalm Death, right? And we're talking riffs & rhythms here more than anything, don't point to a fraction of a bit in a guitar solo & say you hear the blues there :lol:

Still, I think it's telling that you mentioned 90s extreme metal bands, although 80s is considered the golden age of metal.
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Twisted_Psychology
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:58 am 
 

I'm not sure if "discarding the blues" is the proper phrase but I think I understand what people mean by it. Early 70s bands like Sabbath had a sense of swing that was in line with the blues/psych bands that influenced them with loose rhythms and more jam-based structures. Bands like Priest and Rainbow started tightening up their rhythms over time and this trend was exacerbated by the flamboyant techniques of Van Halen. By the 80s, all metal bands lacked that loose swing save for the extreme minorities like Saint Vitus. It has since returned mostly in the form of doom/stoner metal but it seems hard to come by in most other subgenres.
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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:41 am 
 

Twisted_Psychology wrote:
I'm not sure if "discarding the blues" is the proper phrase but I think I understand what people mean by it. Early 70s bands like Sabbath had a sense of swing that was in line with the blues/psych bands that influenced them with loose rhythms and more jam-based structures. Bands like Priest and Rainbow started tightening up their rhythms over time and this trend was exacerbated by the flamboyant techniques of Van Halen. By the 80s, all metal bands lacked that loose swing save for the extreme minorities like Saint Vitus. It has since returned mostly in the form of doom/stoner metal but it seems hard to come by in most other subgenres.


Yes, but I think it also has to do with the chords & scales used in constructing the songs.

The pure blues music of Robert Johnson, Mississippi Fred McDowell and others was the seed & basis for rock music and, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it was then guys like Muddy Waters & Chuck Berry who came along and added a more rock & roll beat to create early rock music. 'Johnny B. Goode', for instance, is a great marriage of blues to rock, but I think even before that there were rock songs like 'That's All Right, Mama' happening (and later made famous by Elvis Presley).

In bands like AC/DC, those same blues scales/bars/rhythms are present and a trained musician can spot them. With Sabbath & early Priest, they're sometimes there (and perhaps more malleable) and other times they aren't used at all. Someone (a real musician preferably:) correct me if I'm wrong on all this- it wouldn't be the first time :lol: -but hopefully I'm at least somewhat accurate.
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Oxenkiller
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:01 pm 
 

Some good answers here.

Blue Cheer are heavy psychedelic rock and they were one of the bands from which metal drew its influences from. It is ALMOST Heavy metal but yet, not really, as heavy metal didn't really exist back then.

The Blues influence implies use of a pentatonic scale with a passing note. You play a root note, a minor third, a fourth, a fifth, and (the key here...) a diminished fifth that is a half step above the fourth and a half step below the fifth. Then the minor seventh to complete the pentatonic scale. The thing is, TONS of bands, both metal and rock, construct their riffs from this scale pattern. Sabbath, of course, did it back in the day. Metallica did it. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden did it. Probably plenty of grind and death metal bands do too though I cant think of specifics. That is the blues influence in metal. Old school (60s/70s) bands included more slow jams with distinctive shuffling rhythms characteristic of classic blues, and you don't see that as much anymore. But the blues scale, you definitely do.

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TrooperEd
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:59 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
Gemini 7 Rising wrote:
This is also why some early Sabbath isn't all that metal, while other songs are. Judas Priest may've been the first to truly & consistently strip the blues from the music to arrive at heavy metal.

I disagree, there's a lot of blues in Judas Priest quite far up their discography. There are noticeable traces of blues all the way up to classic thrash metal, like Metallica and Slayer. The blues influence in heavy metal lead guitar still shows in post-second wave black metal, even. Admittedly, any meaningful blues influence on form and structure was largely gone after the 70s, except for a couple of throwbacks that come across as rather self-aware.


where do you hear blues in Slayer?
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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:06 am 
 

Oxenkiller wrote:
Some good answers here.

Blue Cheer are heavy psychedelic rock and they were one of the bands from which metal drew its influences from. It is ALMOST Heavy metal but yet, not really, as heavy metal didn't really exist back then.

The Blues influence implies use of a pentatonic scale with a passing note. You play a root note, a minor third, a fourth, a fifth, and (the key here...) a diminished fifth that is a half step above the fourth and a half step below the fifth. Then the minor seventh to complete the pentatonic scale. The thing is, TONS of bands, both metal and rock, construct their riffs from this scale pattern. Sabbath, of course, did it back in the day. Metallica did it. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden did it. Probably plenty of grind and death metal bands do too though I cant think of specifics. That is the blues influence in metal. Old school (60s/70s) bands included more slow jams with distinctive shuffling rhythms characteristic of classic blues, and you don't see that as much anymore. But the blues scale, you definitely do.


Thank you! See, I could never articulate or explain it that well but I generally know it when I'm hearing it.

As far as it being present in death or grindcore, I'm not sure it counts if they're using the scale but it's so sped up or twisted out of shape that it's way beyond any recognizable form of the blues. Not that you said it did, you simply stated that the template might still be there.
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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:09 am 
 

TrooperEd wrote:
where do you hear blues in Slayer?


:lol:

Yeah, I'd love to hear the answer to that too


Though I agree with the first part, Ilwhyan, that there's blues in Judas Priest quite far up their discography.
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Oxenkiller
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:30 am 
 

Most of Slayer's stuff is chromatically scaled, as in, riffs are constructed using all twelve tones between the octaves and are not tied to a particular scale. There might be some Slayer songs that use the traditional 1-minor3-4-(flat 5)-5-minor7 blues scale, but I cant think of them off hand.

You hear it a lot more with Metallica, a lot of those "Kill em All" riffs were based on the blues scale- listen to "Metal Militia" and "Jump in the Fire" for example.

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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:41 am 
 

Oxenkiller wrote:
Most of Slayer's stuff is chromatically scaled, as in, riffs are constructed using all twelve tones between the octaves and are not tied to a particular scale. There might be some Slayer songs that use the traditional 1-minor3-4-(flat 5)-5-minor7 blues scale, but I cant think of them off hand.

You hear it a lot more with Metallica, a lot of those "Kill em All" riffs were based on the blues scale- listen to "Metal Militia" and "Jump in the Fire" for example.


Doesn't surprise me with Metallica- I've always felt it was there on Kill 'Em All, which is probably my favorite Metallica also.
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HamburgerBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:17 am 
 

Gemini 7 Rising wrote:
TrooperEd wrote:
where do you hear blues in Slayer?


:lol:

Yeah, I'd love to hear the answer to that too


Though I agree with the first part, Ilwhyan, that there's blues in Judas Priest quite far up their discography.


The intro riff to The Antichrist sounds bluesy to me, and they revisit that scale in the occasional trill to the main (thrashier) riff. But yeah even on Show No Mercy it's a very small component, especially relative to Kill Em All.

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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:34 am 
 

TrooperEd wrote:
Ilwhyan wrote:
Gemini 7 Rising wrote:
This is also why some early Sabbath isn't all that metal, while other songs are. Judas Priest may've been the first to truly & consistently strip the blues from the music to arrive at heavy metal.

I disagree, there's a lot of blues in Judas Priest quite far up their discography. There are noticeable traces of blues all the way up to classic thrash metal, like Metallica and Slayer. The blues influence in heavy metal lead guitar still shows in post-second wave black metal, even. Admittedly, any meaningful blues influence on form and structure was largely gone after the 70s, except for a couple of throwbacks that come across as rather self-aware.


where do you hear blues in Slayer?

Spill The Blood! Also, a couple of songs on Show No Mercy have a slightly blues-esque form. The idea is that they play in the base chord for, say, eight bars, then switch chords for 2-4 bars (in blues form it's more strict which chord, but for Slayer it obviously isn't), and then either go back to the first chord, or play a cadence on another chord. That reminds me of blues form. Some of the cadences use the blues scale, giving them a bluesy vibe similar to 70s Judas Priest, and in general, Show No Mercy has the vibe of a fast, evil Judas Priest.
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Gemini 7 Rising
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:28 am 
 

Gemini 7 Rising wrote:
TrooperEd wrote:
where do you hear blues in Slayer?


:lol:

Yeah, I'd love to hear the answer to that too


Ilwhyan wrote:
Spill The Blood! Also, a couple of songs on Show No Mercy have a slightly blues-esque form. The idea is that they play in the base chord for, say, eight bars, then switch chords for 2-4 bars (in blues form it's more strict which chord, but for Slayer it obviously isn't), and then either go back to the first chord, or play a cadence on another chord. That reminds me of blues form. Some of the cadences use the blues scale, giving them a bluesy vibe similar to 70s Judas Priest, and in general, Show No Mercy has the vibe of a fast, evil Judas Priest.


Eh, maybe... but I do think all of this back-and-forth and the highly subjective & debatable nature of where 'the blues' may or may not be in metal from, say the '80s on, kind of illustrates the overall argument that metal as a whole really did thoroughly and deliberately strip the blues from itself as it continued on to where we are today.
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Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:50 am 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
Also, a couple of songs on Show No Mercy have a slightly blues-esque form. The idea is that they play in the base chord for, say, eight bars, then switch chords for 2-4 bars (in blues form it's more strict which chord, but for Slayer it obviously isn't), and then either go back to the first chord, or play a cadence on another chord. That reminds me of blues form.


What form of music besides classical does this NOT happen in? I'm not claiming to be a technical music guru, I just fail to see how Slayer resembles the blues in anyway besides having a bass, electric guitars and drums.

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kalervon
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:43 pm
Posts: 772
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:06 am 
 

I believe the departure from blues had already started happening with early Black Sabbath, though they were mainly influenced by the blues, and I'm sure many of their songs are probably straight-up blues standards when you analyse them.

However, the self-titled track - often glorified for its tritone (oooooh...the devil's interval !!!! *insert Scoobydoo sound effects**).. well the tritone is part of the minor hexatonic blues scale, so not big deal here - has an oft repeated guitar run (played during 'this is the end my friend...') not in any of the blues scales, but rather in the minor melodic scale (ascending and descending).

The intro to "Into the Void" is mostly in the minor hexatonic blues scale, but with that extra note thrown in, just one half-step below the tonic.

I believe these extra add-ons paved the way for the chromatic patterns that we associate with thrash metal today, but it took time.

Sure one could probably find a lot more complexity in some music made by that time, but music that had heaviness and some speed to it ? Probably not.

Most Deep Purple 70s iconic riffs are downright pentatonic, and though people make fun of "Smoke on the Water"'s simplicity, it has that "minor blues" note in it.

I'm not an expert so please contradict me if I'm wrong on the scale stuff.
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Texas King
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:55 am
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:39 am 
 

kalervon wrote:
I believe the departure from blues had already started happening with early Black Sabbath, though they were mainly influenced by the blues, and I'm sure many of their songs are probably straight-up blues standards when you analyse them.

However, the self-titled track - often glorified for its tritone (oooooh...the devil's interval !!!! *insert Scoobydoo sound effects**).. well the tritone is part of the minor hexatonic blues scale, so not big deal here - has an oft repeated guitar run (played during 'this is the end my friend...') not in any of the blues scales, but rather in the minor melodic scale (ascending and descending).




Tony Iommi's guitar solos on early Sabbath albums are very bluesy. Heavy metal successors Judas Priest (in the second half of the 70's) stopped to play that kind of solos.

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