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MCobra00

Hard Rock and Heavy Metal: 1 Genre or No

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Everyone knows that Hard Rock and Heavy Metal was born roughly around the same time. There are people in the world that associates them as synonyms of the same genre, while others try to get more "technical" between the two. I know many people will have many opinions on this subject matter, so I thought what the heck?

Just to lay down the facts, I remember watching Metal  Evolution by Sam Dunn and his interviews with Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath and Jon Lord of Deep Purple, who we associate with heavy metal. However, during the interviews, both Butler and Lord called their bands hard rock. Geezer himself dismissed the Heavy Metal label. Even Led Zeppelin, whom people has credited aiding the developement of heavy metal, prefers hard rock and dismisses the metal label.

On the other hand, many hard rock bands such as AC/DC, KISS, Van Halen, Guns'n'Roses, and Alice Cooper have been associated one way or another with the heavy metal genre. Although AC/DC, KISS, and Van Halen have considered themselves Rock'N'Roll, their style alone is characteristic of heavy metal (e.g. AC/DC's Thunderstruck, and KISS's God of Thunder).

Many of the popular heavy metal bands (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Avanged Sevenfold, Rage Against the Machine, Dream Theater) draws inspiration both hard rock and heavy metal.

Musically, both genres utilize many of the same techniques. Many people have even said that the line between them is blurred, which makes it easy for bands to cross between both genres-hence why some people tend to use them synonymously.

So what's your opinion on the subject? Are they generally the same, or entirely different (technicalities)?

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For me they are slightly different. Hard Rock still has discernable elements of pop rock or rock'n'roll, while maybe boasting a stronger or grittier attitude. Heavy metal will tend to have a less danceable quality to it, focusing more on the dramatic charge of the music. That's just my interpretation of it. I imagine fans of hard rock would find heavy metal to be a little too much. 

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The line between heavy metal and hard rock can be fuzzy (as can be the line between a collection of similar genres), quite often a band can have some metal songs and some rock songs. Generally, heavy metal is faster and less blues oriented than hard rock while also containing more power chords (perfect fifth diads) and less open chords.

There are typically tonal differences but tone doesn't define genre.

 

On 11/10/2018 at 9:03 AM, MCobra00 said:

Just to lay down the facts, I remember watching Metal  Evolution by Sam Dunn and his interviews with Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath and Jon Lord of Deep Purple, who we associate with heavy metal. However, during the interviews, both Butler and Lord called their bands hard rock. Geezer himself dismissed the Heavy Metal label. Even Led Zeppelin, whom people has credited aiding the developement of heavy metal, prefers hard rock and dismisses the metal label.

Artists can't always be trusted to label their own stuff. As an example, JD from Korn has called Korn a funk band.

 

On 11/10/2018 at 9:03 AM, MCobra00 said:

On the other hand, many hard rock bands such as AC/DC, KISS, Van Halen, Guns'n'Roses, and Alice Cooper have been associated one way or another with the heavy metal genre. Although AC/DC, KISS, and Van Halen have considered themselves Rock'N'Roll, their style alone is characteristic of heavy metal (e.g. AC/DC's Thunderstruck, and KISS's God of Thunder).

I don't really see God of Thunder as a metal song but I get the idea (to me, Love Gun would be a better example). Although these hard rock and glam metal bands may have occasional metal moments or songs they're not really metal bands as they're all typically slower, less swung and bluesier than heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden or Judas Priest.

 

On 11/10/2018 at 9:03 AM, MCobra00 said:

Many of the popular heavy metal bands (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Avanged Sevenfold, Rage Against the Machine, Dream Theater) draws inspiration both hard rock and heavy metal.

One genre drawing inspiration from another genre does not make the two interchangeable. Rock n' roll was developed from blues but they are not the same genre. Certain tech death bands take inspiration from jazz but they are not the same genre.

Also, sorry to nitpick but the big 4 are thrash bands, Rage Against the Machine is a nu-metal band and Dream Theater is a Progressive Metal band. All of this is discernible as different from both hard rock and heavy metal.

 

On 11/10/2018 at 9:03 AM, MCobra00 said:

Musically, both genres utilize many of the same techniques.

The same basic techniques as used in blues and jazz. Compositionally however, they are still quite different.

 

On 11/10/2018 at 9:03 AM, MCobra00 said:

Many people have even said that the line between them is blurred, which makes it easy for bands to cross between both genres-hence why some people tend to use them synonymously.

The line can be blurred but they are still two different things.

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