Heavy Metal History/Evolution Chart

Whoa! When googling for more information on Blue Cheer after seeing Mudhoney the other night, I found this crazy heavy metal history/evolution chart on this Turkish? message board site. Hmm….I wonder who made this? It’s sort of like the world history timeline posters but for heavy metal! Oh, I just found out, I guess it’s a chart from a film “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey”!

Probably missing from the chart is the Godfather of Metal, at least Prog/Technical Metal, Bela Bartok...

Here’s some of the text on the site from the chart:

Early metal (1966 – 1971) – Jimi Hendrix – Blue Cheer – Deep Purple – Iron Butterfly – Led Zeppelin – MC5 – Mountain – The Stooges – Black Sabbath

Power metal (1976 – Present)
– Scorpions – Judas Priest – Rainbow – Accept – Manowar – Dio – Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Helloween – Blind Guardian – HammerFall – Primal Fear

New Wave of British Heavy Metal (1979 – 1983) – Motörhead – Saxon – Iron Maiden – Angel Witch – Girlschool – Tygers of Pan Tang – Diamond Head

Progressive metal (1970 – Present) – Uriah Heep – Rush – Queensrÿche – Savatage – Fates Warning – Voivod – Dream Theater – Meshuggah – Symphony X – Evergrey – Tool

Death metal (1985 – Present)
– Possessed – Sodom – Death – Morbid Angel – Obituary – Deicide – Cannibal Corpse – Immolation – Autopsy – Nile

This calls for some…Def Leppard!!!

Def Leppard: Foolin

I wonder what category Def Leppard is in, pop metal? Yep! How many Bud Lights total do you think people have drunk to this song since it came out?

I thought I’d throw in this picture from the movie Clash of the Titans, that’s pretty metal looking, and Def Leppard-era, right?

My favorite vote for the best early metal song is the Troggs: Come Now.


38 Responses

  1. Easily the worst piece of rock information out there. Whoever did this chart knows nothing about rock and roll. Nothing.

    Pop Rock? And Guns and Roses is pop rock? When a 5year old kid knows that all critics argue that Appetite 4 Destruction is a historical HARD ROCK album? They were Glam in their early days pre-Appetite, than hard all the way till the double illsusions album when they became 90’s rock.

    And whitesnake is pop rock when anybody knows its glam?

    Hendrix is early metal???? Nobody heard of Hendrix around here? Thats early BLUES incompoop.

    LOL . nuff said.

    the chart is worth shit.



  3. Okay Mike:

    Guns N’ Roses was hard rock, BUT also pop. C’mon…Paradise City is pop hard rock. Sure, a lot of it is heavy rock and blues metal, but pop too. I’m sure the chart doesn’t mean “pop” like Back Street Boys, just metal that is poppy at times and appeals to lots of people i.e. lots of girls as well as boys.

    Whitesnake is pop rock as much as 80’s metal hair glam…REAL glam was T.Rex and Marc Bolan and David Bowie in the 70s.

    Hendrix is early metal, DUH–lots of metal is blues-based originally like Hendrix. Hendrix is blue-based, but with all the distortion and feedback make it early metal. Wouldn’t you say early Cream is metal, lots of people do, thought it was exactly blues-based like Hendrix. No chart is going to be perfect, many things fit in/across many categories, that’s just the way it goes.

  4. great chart!!!!

    please add bang raw metal right underneath grunge/early metal

    we are the first band in that genre

  5. It’s an okay chart. Missing so many bands though.
    I mean, AC/DC easily one of the best of the original hard rock bands.
    Black flag, for Original Hardcore/Early Punk. Also, add in Devildriver, for New Wave of American Heavy Metal.

    Also, The Smashing Pumpkins is Hard Alternative? I had no idea. They shouldn’t even be on this chart, really.

    • I thought they’d be considered more general alternative…considering they’re up against hardcore bands that I used to headbang to in high school (Korn and System of a Down). I like all of them but for different times in my life…I was a little goth/metal teen and I was into softer music as a kid.

      I think some bands were cut since they only had so much time to film it. I’d love to see a continuation of it though. I’ve been watching the Metal Evolution series on MuchMoreMusic.

      I’ve started going through my old lps and cds and adding to my collection. I apparently have no Led Zep on cd or digital so I’ve got to get some.

  6. Just to add something, sorry but Hendrix is not early metal.
    Not, psychedelic metal, Psychedelic rock is more like it. So, move him out of the early metal genre. The Wind Cries Mary? Yeah, that’s metal alright.

    • I agree about Hendrix…He’s definitely psychedelic rock. I wish there was a rock chart for comparison. Plus what classifys something as being metal.

  7. Good chart but noticed a couple of obvious bands that definitely belong. How could you forget AC/DC? Also CLUTCH may be more like a rock band now but they’re earlier years were definitely metal and you do have a stoner rock column. And where’s Mudvayne? I think they’ve been one of the most relevant metal bands of the new millenium. I know that you can’t name every band that ever existed but just wanted to point these groups out as they are some of my faves.

  8. No Diamondhead?

  9. Where is TOOL!!!!!!

  10. Where is early Queen? You’ve never heard Queen 2 or Sheer Heart Attack?

  11. I love the metal chart, but its missing so much. Where is the entire genre of Melodic Death Metal or Melo-Death? Missing bands like In Flames, At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity and Children of Bodom (though they’re included in thrash for some reason). Plus Viking/Folk Metal like Ensiferum, Midnattsol, Wintersun, Amorphis and Finntroll.

  12. I just watched the “Nu Metal” episode of the Metal Evolution show and it made me sick. At least half of the show concentrated on that little faggot Fred Durst and Limp Bizkit. That was a one hit wonder band full of posers. Where is Biohazard in this? Biohazard did far more for “Nu Metal” and combining rap with metal than Limp Fag Bizkit ever could imagine doing. They had more albums with songs that meant something. Their song writing touched on topics of the world around us all, not shit lie “nookie” or “break stuff.” Biohazard sings songs about the new world disorder and how you take your life in your own hands just walking 5 blocks to the subway. These things they’ve lived (being from Brooklyn New York), experienced and sang about, not that pussy-ass shit that record company creation Limp Bizkit sang about. Biohazard sings about their real lives and the world around them. And where is Suicidal Tendencies in all of this? That’s another band with more integrity than Limp Bizkit could ever understand having. They don’t even make the list anywhere. What’s up with that? Suicidal Tendencies made much harder and more meaningful music than Limp Fag Bizkit ever could. But they don’t show up under any of the sub genres yet they are more metal than a lot of bands that do like Smashing “Butt Dart” Pumpkins. Don’t believe me?… All you have to do is listen to albums like Suicidal Tendencies (first self titled album), Join The Army, How Can I Laugh Tomorrow, Controlled By Hate/Feel Like Shit… Déjà Vu, Lights Camera Revolution and so on. When Rocky George was with S.T. he shredded on the guitar and Robert Trujillo went on from S.T. to play base for Ozzy and is now the bassist for Metallica. I mean come on, you don’t get more metal than that, yet Suicidal is nowhere to be found on any of those lists.
    I like the show and the movie from where it came but I was extremely disappointed when I saw how much emphasis was given to that little fag Fred Durst who spent more time at the Playboy Mansion than making any kind of quality meaningful music.

    • They focused on Limp Bizkit as they brought Nu-Metal to the masses not by what they achieved. they were basically the pop version of all the Nu-Metal bands at the time.

  13. This is a bad list. “Pop metal”…should be called hair metal. I don’t know how they don’t include Opeth in the prog metal! WTF. And the don’t include stuff like folk metal! Really a incomplete list.

    • and Children of Bodom is thrash!?? WTF….The little Canadian needs to get his head out of Rush’s ass. Once again a corporate institution like VH1 and little know it alls like Sam Dunn and Eddie Trunk don’t know shit about real metal.

    • dude/lady c’mon pls a whole list…i love folk metal but c’mon to make a list of complete metal subgenres would be a pain in the ass…it’s true that many of the subgenres are missing…but as i said there is gonna be a hard work to include the whole…and even if u can make the whole…metal is constantly growing-there are bands that are experimenting 24/7 and come up with new styles, so rock on and stay \m/

    • “Pop Metal” is better, because it can include non-hairbands like Def Leppard and Van Halen. “Hair” is more a subgenre of pop metal. And yeah, there’s stuff missing, but what are you going to do? Rainbow did both Power Metal and Pop Metal, sometimes on the same album. Grand Funk Railroad and Blue Oyster Cult softened to Hard Rock later in their careers, while Thin Lizzy got more metallic. What’s Motorhead? Early Metal? Speed? NWOBHM? You can’t make everybody happy with this, you have to look at this as more of a guideline to how things fit together than as a final, authoritative word.

  14. OMFG…I just noticed. Opeth under GOTH METAL!!???? Give me a fucking break. Now I know this list is illegitimate. Opeth is prog metal. Goth metal is Lacuna Coil. I refuse to EVER watch this pathetic show ever again.

  15. rush sucks, but they are an integral part of metal history. I was extremely bored by last night’s episode except for the parts on king crimson, tool and mastodon. I found it ridiculous that dillinger was included as prog metal. they are a great band but I would include them in another genre that was not included in the documentary-art metal, along with the deftones, faith no more,jane’s addiction, and probably tool. I hope sam continues this great series and would concentrate on other genres of metal, including but not limited to death and black.

    • i agree with u shane, the series are incomplete without death and black, but in the future i would really love him to concentrate on the subgenres-like folk, symphonic etc. etc.

  16. AC/DC, WASP, DANZIG,MISFITS? Maybe I missed it. Or maybe the show did

  17. where the fuck is Mudvayne??????????prog shock kickass fucking ridiculous virtuosic metal!!!!!!!!

  18. NO AC/DC ???????

  19. where’s mastadon?!!!! probably a hidden category under greatest metal band right now!!!!

  20. Dudes, all the F bombing isnt going to win your point. Facts do. But the big point missing is they did leave out some big groups and maybe had a category or two missing as well as a few bands in a wrong category. I think they could have put bands in multiple categories, this shows diversity of the bands and the flexibility of it. Not one person on this earth ONLY likes one of the subgenres without liking its roots and/or other influences from Metal/Rock genre. I think the show might have been a victim of not enough time to do it the way they wanted to or biased reporting, which is so common and is definetly not a good way to go with a group of fans that are rebellious at heart! I was upset to see Tool not on the list, but I think there may be several updates as I heard on above that Tool was on the Prog Metal genre, but not on the actual chart. This topic and project definelty isnt done and needs some more research and discussion in order to make it fairly biased and accurate. I would like to see a poll/survey released and allow music fans around the world to assist. If you saw the Iron Maiden 666 Rockdoc, it was insane the amount of following they have around the world! We could really get some good input from Metal/Rock fans across the globe! Overall just a great job compiling what they did and putting it out there for us to watch, learn and discuss! i hope they do some more!

  21. i really like the show, especially the part where he came to slovenia-metal camp…it really felt close to my country, even do i live 3 states next to slovenia…a really like what sam does…there never was a metal documentary like this, all others that i saw were monotones and would bore u to dead…we need more guys like this…global metal really makes us get to know our brothers and sisters around the world…and when u are a guy like me who lives in a country that is forgotten by the world u are happy to have underground heavy metal and punk and to watch this epic show…so greetings from macedonia and rock’n’roll all night…but most of all stay \m/

  22. you all rant like your grandmas pussy fuck you wiggers!!!!!

  23. I would like to point out that Coheed and Cambria is much more alternative metal than Smashing pumpkins wether you all like it or not. However they are also described as Progressive metal along with TOOL who was also not on this chart. Just lettin y’all know!

  24. Am happy Over Kill’s on the list…my original guitar teacher switched me over to his ‘metal’ guitar teacher and he taught me a lot of metal….mostly Thrash and a little Early Metal (Black Sabbath) and sometimes he’d randomly ‘rock out’ to Slayer…he was obsessed with that band lol.

  25. Thanks for sharing this diagram! My background is more Punk & Industrial, so I created this chart that shows the evolution of the most important genres in those areas: http://www.nulldevice.de/2012/09/the-evolution-of-modern-music/

  26. My God! What a bunch of whiny little snot-nosed twits…..

    NOWHERE did Sam Dunn claim this to be an exhaustive list. In fact, he pointed out SEVERAL times that it was NOT!

    When trying to decide which bands to focus on, is it possible that AVAILABILITY may have played a role? Perhaps a band he wanted to interview declined. Perhaps they were touring and not available. So what is he supposed to do? Interview the band that DID agree to an interview and introduce them as his 2nd or 3rd choice?

    As for those of you who lambast him for “missing” bands, send him a check to cover the costs of doing another 4 or 5 episodes. He’d probably be more than happy to. Oh, THAT’S right. He probably ALSO had a fixed budget and time to do it all in.

    Who is the “greatest guitarist” of all time? Ask a thousand people and you’ll get probably at least a couple hundred answers. So, give the guy some credit for putting together a pretty informative series and helping to advance the great art of metal. Nobody is saying you aren’t entitled to disagree with some of his choices. But good God, do it with a little class. The mighty Boa heard tell that Mr. Dunn is also VERY happy to discuss disagreements. Perhaps try contacting him and using civil discourse if it means that much to you. One prime example, someone is ripping on Hendrix being on the list. NOWHERE is Dunn making the claim that Hendrix played metal. Some songs do probably qualify as much as metal as some of the “early metal” selections, but Hendrix was obviously not the type of guitarist that can be categorized that way. Jazz, blues, rock, metal, “acid-rock” and even some pretty folky acoustic stuff. The point is, and the reason he is on the list is his INFLUENCE. Which also goes for a lot of the early blues players. Without THEM, there would have been NO Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath or countless other bands that do fall in the metal genre. And THAT is not open to dispute. It has been stated by the very players in those bands.

  27. This chart is an attempt, but admittedly has some shortcomings. It also should be updated to include the new movements like New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal (NWOTHM) with bands like White Wizzard, Cauldron, Enforcer, Steelwing, Holy Grail, Hibria, Phantom X, In Solitude, Skull Fist, Steel Horse, Savage Blade, Striker, Ram (sorta), Bullet, Portrait, Voltax, Iron Fate, Widow, Katana and Iron Savior.

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