In the shadow of Iron Maiden / Dream Theater / Nightwish / Metallica
Mar 20th 2011 Rami Rouhana What do you think?

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Almost every metalhead in this new generation knows the bands: “Iron Maiden / Metallica / Nightwish / Dream Theater”. Those are the major bands in metal music and they represent the genres they belong to. Whenever a metalhead mentions NWBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal), Iron Maiden comes to the mind; as for progressive metal it’s DT, Nightwish for symphonic metal and Metallica for thrash metal (and whenever metal music is mentioned).

What’s interesting is that most of those big bands didn’t “create” something new. Instead, they have taken what other bands created and promoted it with a bigger label in a better and perhaps catchier way. I don’t mean that the bands are not creative but the essence of their genre is not their creation.

  • Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden (1980)


For example, as much as gallop riffs are praised and recognized as the Iron Maiden signature, it is actually performed earlier by bands like Saxon (Stallions of the Highway 1979) and Accept (Lady Lou 1979).

  • Dream Theater – When Dream and Day Unite (1989)


As much as DT is praised for technical prog, odd beats and time signatures, all this was played by earlier underground bands who had not achieved “commercial” success. (Ex: Psychotic Waltz (1988), Fates Warning (1984), etc).

  • Nightwish – Angels Fall First (1997)


Nightwish is also a close case but again they shifted styles alot, jumping from sub-sub genre to another, yet Theatre of Tragedy (1995) was one of the first bands to incorporate the male/female vocal contrast. Lacrimosa (1995) was one of the first bands to shift from gothic rock to gothic metal and Lacrimas Profundere (1995) had the vocal contrast and the metal touch alongside acoustic / piano passages.

  • Metallica – Kill ‘Em All (1983)


Metallica still stands as one of the most successful and influential thrash metal bands among the Big Four (Megadeth /Anthrax / Slayer / Metallica). Still, Slayer is regarded as the most “thrash” representative band (continuity in the genre) and is influenced by Venom (1981) (who played faster Heavy Metal) and Canadian Anvil (1981). Metallica also used riffs from NWBHM like the riff from Saxon‘s”The Eagle Has Landed ” was used in “Fade to Black“.

Then comes bands walking in the path of the “BIG” bands sometimes making better/catchier, more complex or more fresh music but failing to catch the interest of the media, to reach millions of listeners that would appreciate the work even more. I will be following this article with another talking about the bands that also followed in the genre and mostly bands that are better evaluated musically or/and lyrically or/and technically than the “BIG” ones.

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  • Check this album on the music section:Iron Maiden – Live In Sydney [Bootleg] (24-02-11)

  • Nizar El Hawat

    Rami you are a celebrity πŸ˜›

  • a nonymas

    yeah i agree with you but am askin if you believe that these bands has just repackaged old song? Rami these bands has worked over 25 years and has given lot so they ve arrived here just think how many vocalist or drummer has passed over these bands! BUT still you are right for 99.99% as all arab rulers keep on

  • Isam

    First of all … please dont get mixed up between the Lebanese ignorant ppl and what these bands achieved !!
    most lebanese so called ” metalheads ” dont know metal accept through these bands … but still you cant deny what these bands gave to the metal history !!! you cant deny what they invented … sure all of them had there influences , there is no musician in the history of music that didnt have an influence that he based his music on !! but that dosnt mean that they didnt come up with smthn new ! for example DT , there music is pure MATH !!! and personaly i find them unique when it come to guitar riffs , keyboard lines ,bass line , AND DRUM BEATS !! and the coordination between the members is legendary ! also METALLICA … i knw that this band is as we say in lebanon ” n7alabo ” w kataro kamen !:P but these guys are ,in the opinion of all the old school thrash metal bands like slayer , anthrax , destruction and many more , they are the inventors of the thrash metal gener !! regarding there influences from venom to the hard core punk !! listn to DAVES riffs lars beats and cliffs lines and James pitches ( the old one πŸ˜› )common !! listn to hit the lights , whiplash , motor breath , also blackend , dyers eve , creeping death !! these tracks are historical !! you cant give them credit for what they did just because some of the lebanes metal heads are ignorant when it comes to music !! and ofcourse how can you talk about iron maiden in that way !:P didnt you ever wach a live performance for them ?!?! πŸ˜› i think u did , there is no band that give a better live perfomenc like them .. and the guitar riffs and solos … WOW

    so please dont mix up between the lebanese ppl and these bands !

  • Quoting myself “I don’t mean that the bands are not creative but the essence of their genre is not their creation.”