Heavy metal music had to make a long way before appearing on the grand world scene. The first steps in the journey were made in the latter half of 60s. At this time, such bands and artists as Jimi Hendrix Experience (Voodoo Child), Led Zeppelin (Communication Breakdown), and Cream (Tales of Brave Ulysses) made first “heavy metal acts” by using technological advances. These acts were marked by louder sound, as well as strong social lyrics. If you download heavy metal music of different time periods, you will see how this genre was taking its shape.
Things got serious when in 1968 Black Sabbath (Paranoid, Iron Man) appeared. This band succeeded in developing a unique and truly new sound, that caused a real revolution in the musical world. This sound was marked by thundering guitar riffs of Tony Iommi, brooding bass and intelligent lyrics of Geezer Butler, crushing drums of Bill Ward and Ozzy Osborne’s, well, just being Ozzy. Black Sabbath is the first among real heavy metal bands. Meanwhile, something happened in London. Deep Purple (Smoke on the Water) happened. This band started as a hard rock band which consisted of highly skilled and professional musicians. Their style was intense as Black Sabbath’s, only more virtuosic.
Later, in mid-70s, Judas Priest continued to evolve the genre. Motörhead put the emphasis on speed and established punk rock sensibility. In the 70s, the new wave of British heavy metal brought such bands as Saxon and Iron Maiden on the scene, and they followed the same tendency.
In 80s, while commercial glam metal bands like Poison (Every Rose Has Its Thorn) and Mötley Crüe (Girls, Girls, Girls) won the hearts of wide audience, underground stage produced more aggressive sound. Later thrash metal style was divided into mainstream like Megadeth, Metallica, and Anthrax, and subcultural genres like death and black metal. The last mentioned one also included groove metal, with bands like Pantera (Cowboys from Hell), and nu metal with bands like Korn and Slipknot .