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Turn the amp up to 11 with a heavy metal concert and get ready to rage the night away. Tracing its roots to hard rock acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, heavy metal continues to evolve with musicians continuously breaking boundaries of volume, distortion and tempo. New hard rock bands eager to assume the mantle, like Slipknot, KoRn, Steel Panther and Hatebreed , while rattling the infrastructure of concert halls and stadiums across the country. Get your tickets and throw yourself into the mosh pit at one of the most raucous concerts of the year.

Golden Age of Heavy Metal

On Led Zeppelin’s eponymous first album, you can practically see the blueprint for the sound that would eventually become heavy metal in Robert Plant’s wail and Jimmy Page’s effortless shredding. Bands like Zeppelin, Black Sabbath , Judas Priest, and Deep Purple planted the seeds for what came to be known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Inspired by their forbearers, the second generation of metal with bands such as Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon and Motorhead phased out the blues influence of earlier acts, replacing it with thrashing insurgence. They turned up the volume, picked up the pace, and introduced the harder edge that would eventually come to embody heavy metal.

Inspired by the NWOBHM, American bands began developing their own fusion of metal, punk and hardcore. Bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeath and Slayer, known as the “Big Four,” unleashed the thrash metal scene upon rabid fans in the early 80s. Upon leaving Britain and entering the American market, some NWOBHM bands refined their sound and embraced the more mainstream, glam metal, or hair metal as it’s come to be known, of West Coast acts like Motley Crue and Poison which led to heavy rotation on MTV and more sales. In the late 80s and early 90s with the rise of hip hop and grunge, metal and hardcore bands like Bio Hazard, Machine Head and Pantera refined the aggressive brutal heart of the sound, inspiring a New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Godsmack, Slipknot and System of a Down have embraced the sound and brought heavy metal back to mainstream audiences.

Another related subgenre that has experienced massive growth is nu metal, which has become the anthemic sound of disgruntled and angsty suburbanites across the land. Though many bands reject the label, it has come to describe the evolution of a sound originally attributed to bands like Tool, Faith No More, Jane’s Addiction, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine and even Nirvana. Where these 90s bands left off, producers like Ross Robinson picked up and actually incorporated genres as diverse as hip hop, electronic and industrial to create the hard rock/metal/rap-mash up now played by bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, Staind, P.O.D., Slipknot, Linkin Park, Godsmack and Papa Roach. Regardless of labels, old school, new skool, or no school, between reunion tours, festivals and co-headlining shows, we live in a golden age of metal and some of the best bands in history are on tour now.

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