To paraphrase the great Alex Webster, bassist of Cannibal Corpse, metal wasn’t born in a vacuum.
Metal has significantly evolved over the last six or so decades to produce a vast array of genres, subgenres, and beyond.
Think about it; we’ve gone from Little Richard and Elvis, to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, Kiss and AC/DC, to Metallica and Slayer, to Death, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, to where we are now.
This is amazing!
I have always (half-way) joked that fans and musicians of metal are among the most open-minded people in music today.
Case in point: I have chatted with many metalheads over the years and have learned of their affinity for pop music, but have never met a Top 40 pop fan preach their love of metal.
Is this an absolute? Certainly not.
But, in my humble opinion, metal is one of the very few genres of music that absorbs elements of all other styles to create something unique that continues to push the envelope.
Second case in point: Pop metal, symphonic metal, avant garde metal, jazz metal, so on, and so on.
Does this mean Justin Bieber could release a metal album? Of course.
Will he? It’s possible, but unlikely.
All speculation aside, the point I seek to make is that metal is often, sometimes largely, inspired by music outside of metal.
“There are many more shades of colors to darkness than just black.”Celtic Frost’s Martin Eric Ain (RIP),
With this idea in mind, I’ve put together a playlist of non-metal songs that have served as major inspiration to heavy music. I had a lot of help putting this list together, and since I can’t cover all of the songs in one article, I’m making this a new Iron Veins series.
As with all music, headphones are strongly encouraged.