Music History

Published on August 12th, 2019 | by Alan Cross

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Good article: The evolution of Canadian metal

Bummed out that it’s Monday again? Avoid work by reading this article from the CBC on the evolution of the Canadian metal scene.

“Boasting bands such as Birmingham’s Black Sabbath and Brazil’s Sepultura, heavy metal has evolved over its 50-year history to include specific sub-genres that reflect local music scenes the world over. When it comes to Canadian metal, though, it’s not as easy to categorize.

“Compared to such hotbeds of metal history as San Francisco, Gothenburg, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway, Canada’s local metal scenes were largely comprised of only a handful of bands, and it wasn’t until the growth of Quebec death metal in the 1990s that Canadian metal came close to having a fertile breeding ground. With a small population density spread out across such a vast country, isolation played a key role in Canada’s contribution to metal’s development from the mid-1970s to the mid-’90s, with bands sprouting from minuscule sub-scenes — and yielding some of the most idiosyncratic music that the genre has ever encountered.

“Metal’s most famous hubs have clearly defined identities. Birmingham, England, spawned two of the art form’s most enduring avatars at the beginning of the 1970s: Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. Less than a decade later, the new wave of British heavy metal spawned groundbreaking acts from across the island, including Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Diamond Head, and Venom. Hollywood was ground zero for bacchanalian glam metal, led by Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, and eventually Guns N’ Roses. Up the coast, Bay Area thrash metal introduced a much more aggressive, blue-collar and technically intricate approach thanks to Metallica, Exodus, Testament, and many more. “

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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