What is Speed Metal ?As the name Speed Metal may already reveal, this kind of Metal categorizes several bands whose main concentration in their songwriting was generally focussed on beginning to play with the speed that was usually the upper border of common Metal and Hard Rock bands. To name some examples of the first bands who started the first wave of modern Metal in the late 70's/very early 80's: Venom, Mythra, Resistencia, Jaguar, Exciter, Slayer, Riot and not to forget the almighty Metallica.
The whole Speed Metal wave found big interest amoung the powerbanging kids and more and more bands jumped onto that train and progressed that genre with every year. While the most british Speed Metal pioneers calmed down and tried to go back to the roots of classic Heavy Metal in the mid 80's, the american and european bands were growing monthly like mushrooms out of the soil whose most important and known examples are certainly Agent Steel, Helloween, Dark Angel, Overkill, Megadeth and Acid (Bel).
Besides all those classic speed mongers the difference between classic Thrash and archetypical Speed Metal bands wasn't too extreme and both terms got often mixed while bands like Sacrifice, who obviously are a Thrash band in everyones opinion, claimed to play Speed Metal. To differ classic Speed from the Thrash bands the best example are the godz Agent Steel. While having a look at Slayers "Reign in blood" as the Thrash example and "Sceptics Apocalypse" of Agent Steel or Megadeth's "Killing is my business" in the Speed Metal corner, their furious high speed riffing guitar inferno combined with their kind of drumming (in the contrary to Slayer's style) that's more based in the classic Metal style (although alot faster) shows exactly what Speed Metal is all about.
But besides the Speed Metal type that some people label as Thrash, there's also the kind of Speed Metal born out of the classic Heavy Metal whose best examples are bands like Riot or the german Helloween. Their sound was basically focussed of high speed creations with extremely fast guitar work as well, while the drumming did differ alot from the Thrash/Speed Metal because of the all devastating double bass drum attacks thundering during the whole songs. Besides these typicals signs, the Heavy Metal based Speed Metal bands offered mainly melodic creations, although on almost every Heavy Metal album you'll find a classic Speed Metal hammer, just take Accept's "Fast as a shark".
So whenever the term Speed Metal is thrown into the round, it doesn't have to be always a Thrash Metal band.
Written by Futuresynner