sooo what's the difference between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal ?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Dr. Tweedbucket, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    I don't consider

    Zeppelin
    Purple
    AC/DC
    Van Halen
    Montrose

    as Heavy Metal in any way. :dunno

    I think of Heavy metal as the screechy super high gain guitars with the vocalist screaming at the top of his lungs to kill your mother and the children, but he is screaming and foaming at the mouth so bad you don't really know what he's saying.... :huh


    Is this correct or not?
     
  2. FuzzGazer

    FuzzGazer Member

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  3. eschoendorff

    eschoendorff Member

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    It depends on who you ask. I've been wondering this for the past 20 years and still cannot find a meaningful consensus anywhere.
     
  4. PUCKBOY99

    PUCKBOY99 Silver Supporting Member

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    I hate genres......it's all rock & roll to me. Some I like, some I don't :beer
     
  5. Brooks

    Brooks Member

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    it's subtle, and subjective. metal is a subgroup of hard rawk, they share many characteristics (heavy guitars, wailing vocals, aggressive vibe). early examples were pretty much interchangeable; hard rawk has more of a blues influence (early led zep), where sabbath removed the blues and added a dark sinister vibe to the lyrics, the music, and visual image (album covers, t-shirts, etc). yet both zep & sabs have similar elements. it wasn't until later metal bands (iron maiden, metallica) where the differences in hard rawk & metal were more apparent.

    IMHO, YMMV...
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  6. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    That's a pretty good description.
     
  7. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    I think lyrical content is one big difference. As shown by Sabbath, Metal can be like a horror movie. Rock is generally sex, drugs and R&R.....party music.
     
  8. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    I'm with you.
     
  9. Lightningrt

    Lightningrt Member

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    In the UK in the late 70's - when I were a lad, we had Heavy Rock, Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal to me were bands like [late 70's era] Judas Priest, Motorhead and Sabbath who pretty much had riff based songs that stayed heavy all the way though. The light and shade in this type of music was non-existant compared to bands like Zep, UFO, Rainbow et al whose use of keyboards was more integrated and, dare I say it, sophisticated. But it was a fine line between the two and it greatly depended on the British Music press.

    It also originated in Birmingham and the Black Country the industrial heartland of England - The Sabs and Priest and Diamond Head[see below] were all from that area.

    What seals the definition to me is when the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal started around 79/80. This back to basics riff-based-rock took the essentials of the Heavy Metal style and created something new. The formula of a song made up of 3 or 4 riffs joined together to make a song had started with the Sabs.

    It ultimately spawned what we know today as Metal as it further developed through the years.

    My opinion, [except the Birmingham bit which is deemed as true but started 10 years earlier according to Wiki].

    Hard Rock only appeared after the Hard Rock Cafe in the UK.
     
  10. cirpo58

    cirpo58 Member

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    this.
     
  11. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    It's odd that one of the founders of heavy metal (Sabbath) actually had Jazz influenced styling in thier early works. Maybe not Jazz as many think of it, but the elements of improvisation are apparent on Paranoid.
     
  12. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    The answer is power amp distortion vs. preamp distortion.
     
  13. dlguitar64

    dlguitar64 Member

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    I agree
     
  14. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    If you gotta generalize, I would say that heavy metal is a bit of a parody of hard rock music.
    I remember when true "Heavy Metal" first started being recognized as a style guys arguing over who owned it, and none of the rock bands that were popular at the time were considered to be "heavy metal".
    One guy might say "oh yeah man,like Zeplin is heavy metal" which would create a huge gasp by those who thought they were "in the know" about whats what. And their response was typically something like " dude, heavy metal is like this new west coast thing" and on and on.
    I think what really happened was that there likely was a style of music that the guys doing it called "heavy metal" that just wasn't catching on for a while before it suddenly blossomed.
    I think the first band that actually coined and stereotyped the sound as we know it now was Ritchie Blackmores Rainbow.
    The screaming operatic vocals and chug chug guitar sound came from there.
    Of course before Rainbow got popular there were a lot of bands doing that sound, but they weren't getting a lot of attention.


    One thing I have considered, and I may be mistaken about this, but a lot of guys were trying to copy the "hard rock" sound back then. Of course they couldn't get that sound, because guys like Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, and Jimmy Page were not using huge amounts of distortion, they relied a great deal on studio wizardry to get those sounds, and they had access to guys like Marshall.
    I am thinking that the guitar sound used for metal came out of guys who were trying to get that huge hard rock guitar sound from stomp pedals with a lot of distortion. Because that sound was the closest they could get to the sound the hard rock guys were getting in the studio.
    I think maybe the older guys here are likely to understand this, if you aren't old enough to remember the rock scene then it is probably hard to imagine not having easy access to a huge array of amps that can do about anything. Back in the 60s into the mid 70s amp choices in music stores were quite limited, and amps were not capable of doing anything near what they can do now. And stomp pedals were just coming onto the scene, as far as what was widely and easily available.
    Guys back then tried to compensate for not having Concert Lead stacks or Marshall Plexis by trying to get the same gain drive from stomp pedals, and then when amps started having master volumes with distortion circuits. Which, the early amps that had that were pretty much just regular amps with built in stomp box distortions.

    So, for the most part, the point I am trying to make is that I think what we now know of as "heavy metal" is a sound that was discovered by guys struggling to get that all illusive "hard rock" sound they were hearing on records.
     
  15. drewl

    drewl Member

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  16. Ben R

    Ben R Member

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    Here are the classic characterizations that have separated each in MY mind:

    Hard Rock:
    • Jeans, spandex, or flashy clothing
    • Heavy guitars (but, not over the top gain distorted)
    • Lyrics that are typically a little more upbeat and fun
    • Women tend to make up a fair amount of the fan base
    • Songs are more likely to be radio friendly
    • Music in blues, pentatonic, or major keys
    • The goal of the music seems to be to score chicks and make people want to have a good time
    Heavy Metal:
    • Leather clothing, spikes, chains, and dark clothing
    • Heavy guitars (more over the top with preamp gain distortion)
    • Lyrics that are typically a little more dark and “serious”
    • Men tend to make up pretty much most of the fan base
    • Songs are less likely to be radio friendly
    • Much of the music is in minor and minor pentatonic keys
    • The goal of the music seems to be to frighten people’s parents and express feelings of anger and despair

    .
     
  17. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    If it's fun, about chicks or parties, it's hard rock.

    It it's about something dark or evil, it's metal.
     
  18. dano8180

    dano8180 Member

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    I read a sig once that I think sums it up:
    "Hard Rock-Gain on 5 singing about a good time.
    Heavy Metal-Gain on 10 screaming about something"

    Sorry to whoever I saw this from if someone uses it...but it did make me laugh hard enough not to share!
     
  19. pickslide

    pickslide Supporting Member

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  20. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    If hard rock represented the counter culture, then heavy metal represented the anti-counter culture. The real danger wasn't drugs or anything like that. It was the blurring of gender and racial identities. It was the danger of becoming too introspective, too sensitive and opening oneself to self doubt. If the counter culture emphasized spirituality over religion, then the anti-counter culture must reject both. Heavy metal is rock and roll purged of femininity, multi-culturalism, spirituality or any sort of striving for self growth.
     

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