The Worldwide Spread of Metal Music

heavy_metalAn important contribution to metal music came thanks to the Japanese band Flower Travellin’ Band’s and their album “Satori”: undeniably influenced from Black Sabbath, this album was acknowledged as one of the greatest outcomes of heavy metal in the 1970s. After reading these lines, it is important to mention that the Japanese market is known for being open to any kind of music. Other audiences have a different mindset towards foreign arts, which is why the mainstream success of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and other bands eased the way for more intricate sounds to reach unlikely places: infact, by the late 1980s and early 1990s, metal music was somehow present in most countries’ capital cities, conquering Latin America and more difficult markets like the Middle East, Africa, and South East Asia.

Every part of the world helped building the popularity of this genre by adorning the sounds with their own instruments, composing lyrics in their own languages, and involving other features of their own music and culture. By the late 1980s, to the horror of the most conservative sector of society, metal fashion had already altered the way some young people dressed and behaved.

This type of influence strengthened mostly during the 1980s, as pioneer bands had developed success and expanded their influence across the globe. Even if it all started elsewhere, Nordic countries represent one of the most important expansion areas for metal music, and this status remains to these days. Coming from a Viking tradition, it is not so strange that the cold Scandinavian culture had particularly identified with the dark mindset of this musical trend, especially death and black metal. They have not only embraced it but also created other significant sub-genres: viking metal and folk metal contain elements from the Nordic heritage, like their mythology and folk music. It is also said that Vikings were the original inventors of the guttural vocals (“growl”) that are so prominent in death metal and doom, subgenres originating from metal itself.

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