Monday, January 23, 2012

I've been listening to a bit of Metal lately and I've found I really don't know much about the genre. I know the mainstream bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden, and I am familiar with some of the founders of the genre such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. However it feels that compared to my knowledge of Rock and Punk, I really don't have a deep understanding of Metal and the surrounding scene. So this week is my attempt to gain a better understanding of Metal. I've read a lot of arguments about what was the first true metal song, whether it was Helter Skelter by The Beatles of Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix or if these were instead precursors to the true Metal sound, proto-Metal if you will. One thing I am aware of is the groundbreaking contribution of Black Sabbath to Metal. Guitarist Tommy Iommi suffered an accident and lost the tips of his middle and ring fingers on his right hand. Iommi learned to play guitar left handed and used thimbles to make up the damage to his hands. He also began to detune his guitar in order to reduce strain to his hands. He as one of the first guitarists to do so and helped create the darker slightly discordant darker sound that is now associated with Metal. Here is Children of the Grave by Black Sabbath from the album Master of Reality. This was the first album by Sabbath on which Iommi used a detuned guitar.

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