Portal:Heavy metal

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The Heavy Metal Portal

Slayer at the Fields of Rock, in 2007.

Heavy metal (often referred to as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are often associated with masculinity, aggression and machismo.

The first heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath attracted large audiences, though they were often derided by critics, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970s Judas Priest helped spur the genre's evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Bands in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal such as Iron Maiden and Saxon followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal fans became known as "metalheads" or "headbangers".

During the 1980s, glam metal became a commercial force with groups like Mötley Crüe and Poison. Underground scenes produced an array of more extreme, aggressive styles: thrash metal broke into the mainstream with bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, while other styles of the most extreme subgenres of metal like death metal and black metal remain subcultural phenomena. Since the mid-1990s, popular styles such as groove metal, which blends extreme metal with hardcore punk, and nu metal, which often incorporates elements of grunge and hip hop, have further expanded the definition of the genre.

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Christ Illusion is the ninth studio album by the American thrash metal band Slayer. Released on August 8, 2006, the album received generally favorable critical reviews, and it entered the Billboard 200 at number five—the band's highest U.S. chart position to date. Christ Illusion includes the Grammy Award-winning "Eyes of the Insane", and is the band's first album to feature original drummer Dave Lombardo since 1990's Seasons in the Abyss.

Depicting a mutilated Christ painted by longtime collaborator Larry Carroll, the album's graphic artwork courted controversy. An alternative cover was issued to conservative retailers who felt uncomfortable with the original. Lyrical themes, particularly in the song "Jihad" which describes the September 11th attacks from a terrorist perspective, outraged the Mumbai-based Catholic Secular Forum in India. As a result, all Indian stocks of the album were recalled and destroyed by EMI India.

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