Proto-Metal

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

The combination of blues-rock with psychedelic rock formed much of the original basis for heavy metal.One of the most influential bands in forging the merger of genres was the British power trio Cream, who derived a massive, heavy sound from unison riffing between guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce, as well as Ginger Baker's double bass drumming. Their first two LPs, Fresh Cream (1966) and Disraeli Gears (1967), are regarded as essential prototypes for the future style. The Jimi Hendrix Experience's debut album, Are You Experienced (1967), was also highly influential. Hendrix's virtuosic technique would be emulated by many metal guitarists and the album's most successful single, "Purple Haze," is identified by some as the first heavy metal hit. Vanilla Fudge, whose first album also came out in 1967, have been called "one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto_metal#Antecedents:_mid-1960s

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • voila_la_scorie

proto-metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

WISHBONE ASH Argus Album Cover Argus
WISHBONE ASH
4.56 | 26 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
QUEEN Queen II Album Cover Queen II
QUEEN
4.42 | 59 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
KING CRIMSON
4.34 | 91 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced? Album Cover Are You Experienced?
JIMI HENDRIX
4.42 | 36 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
KING CRIMSON In The Court Of The Crimson King Album Cover In The Court Of The Crimson King
KING CRIMSON
4.34 | 86 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold As Love Album Cover Axis: Bold As Love
JIMI HENDRIX
4.46 | 25 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
KING CRIMSON
4.32 | 83 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
THE WHO Who's Next Album Cover Who's Next
THE WHO
4.42 | 27 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
QUEEN A Night At The Opera Album Cover A Night At The Opera
QUEEN
4.24 | 61 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
QUEEN Sheer Heart Attack Album Cover Sheer Heart Attack
QUEEN
4.10 | 48 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JIMI HENDRIX Electric Ladyland Album Cover Electric Ladyland
JIMI HENDRIX
4.04 | 27 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
QUEEN Queen Album Cover Queen
QUEEN
3.97 | 45 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

proto-metal online videos

proto-metal New Releases

proto-metal Music Reviews

THE WHO My Generation

Album · 1965 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Following in the trendy 60s mod and art pop scenes as the Detours, the band that changed its name to THE WHO quickly wooed audiences with its slick crafty menagerie of garage rock mixed with rhythm & blues and found instant success with the single “I Can’t Explain” which was admittedly a derivative of The Kinks “You Really Got Me” which shot up the British charts and launched the band into the big leagues right out of the gate. The unexpected success of that single that hit #8 on the charts opened the doors and quickly followed by another top 10 in the form of “Daddy Rolling Stone.” Due to these two high charting singles THE WHO was rushed into the studio where they cranked out their debut album MY GENERATION which debuted in December of 1965 and while a bit fashionably late to the British rock invasion, once THE WHO had arrived they wouldn’t stop until they hit the big time which happened practically overnight.

Like many albums of the era, MY GENERATION found two slightly different releases for its British audiences and another for the US with two different album covers. While a rushed job for sure with a mixed bag of varied tracks, MY GENERATION is notable for being one of the first British rock albums to showcase a more energetic aggressive approach which by today’s standards sounds laughable but around 1965-66 was quite shocking and single-handedly signaled an arms race of heavier and faster guitar riffs that ultimately led to the unthinkable variety of extreme metal and punk that would come a few decades down the road. That means THE WHO are considered both a proto-metal as well as a proto-punk band and although the songs on MY GENERATION are fairly standard blues driven pop rock that was fairly common for the British scene of the mid-60s, the drumming prowess of Keith Moon in particular along with heavier jangle guitars upped the ante in harder rock.

While i wouldn’t call MY GENERATION the most essential release by THE WHO, the album is interesting in connecting the dots between classic 50s rock and roll with the hard rock and proto-punk bands that followed. The title track was the only single off of this one which was a huge hit peaking at #2 on the British charts but also one of the best songs THE WHO ever did in its early years. The other notable songs are the opening “Out In The Street” and the instrumental “The Ox” which prognosticated the heavier and more progressive route that the band would take. This feisty number features incessantly heavy drums, a hyperactive piano groove and a punkish guitar and bass attack unlike anything that had been released at the time although it still retained a melodic connection to the R&B driven rock and roll era that THE WHO emerged from.

The album is decent but many rushed albums in the 60s included fluff and this album is no exception. The album features not one but two covers from James Brown: “I Don’t Mind” and “Please, Please, Please” as well as “I’m A Man” from Bo Diddley. Decently done but nothing more than adequate covers that really don’t hold up well over time. While touted as a masterpiece of the ages, i really don’t find MY GENERATION to be that exciting of a listen other than tuning into the zeitgeist of the mod scene of the mid-60s. Other than the title track and “The Ox” there is really nothing memorable about this album however if you have the Deluxe remastered version (the one i have) then you will be treated by extras such as the excellent track “Circles” as well as the singles that were released before MY GENERATION. Overall, this is a decent slice of mid-60s British blues fueled pop rock but hardly the best the era had to offer and certainly not THE WHO’s magnum opus but a great place to explore the band’s music for sure.

JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold As Love

Album · 1967 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
ssmarcus
Songwriting, songwriting, and more songwriting: that is what separates Axis from its predecessor Are You Experienced. On Axis, Jimi seems to actually put thought into the music being committed to tape. And the results are simply revolutionary. Take “Spanish Castle Magic” for instance. The core of this song is still blues-based riffing. But thanks to interesting supplemental chords, syncopated drumming, and a dose of Hendrix magic, the song is a hard rock trip unlike anything heard before.

The record is further bolstered by a legendary rhythm guitar performance by Hendrix. Though usually known for his bombastic soloing, Hendrix’s rhythm guitar work on tracks like “Little Wing,” “Bold as Love, ” and “Castles Made of Sand” is nothing short of masterful.

JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced?

Album · 1967 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
ssmarcus
This record is best described with one word: overrated. This applies even to the modern-day compilation version of the record that includes tracks from both the US and UK versions as well as singles recorded during the same recording sessions. The majority of songs on this record are loosely built around a weak riff that sounds as if Jimi spat it out shortly before the producer hit the record button. The psychedelic “innovations” on this record, such as they are, don’t stack up well against similar releases from the time, specifically The Beatles. “Love Or Confusion” is basically the same song as The Beatles’ “Rain” only significantly inferior.

The record is saved by the fact that a handful of riffs, riffs that eventually formed the basis of hard rock and proto-metal going forward, made their way into the final product. These include the riffs on “Foxy Lady,” “Stone Free,” and, of course, “Purple Haze.”

ELOY Floating

Album · 1974 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
Eloy's a band that has gone through many phases, and I love a lot of their stuff. Their 80's blend of new wave, hard arena rock, and pop of Performance and Metromania have grown to become favorites of mine, but the heavy psych/space metal of Floating will always remain my absolute favorite from the band and one of my top albums of the 70's.

This album showed me how far subtle atmospheric touches can go in creating a journey in album form. Even in a loud album with roaring guitars, swinging organ, and a gargantuan rhythm section, the ways they create atmosphere are keeping with the intensity of the instruments. What sounds like palm-muted riffing is used to create strange spacey sounds with the guitars/bass, the organ is given time to play quiet melodies in the background, vocals sometimes echo, and guitar harmonies can play short otherworldly notes. Castle in the Air, which might be my all time favorite Eloy song, is a perfect example of these touches. During the bridge, the guitar is still aggressive, but quieter with that spacey effect. I haven't heard anything like it in any other album, but damn does it sound perfect.

Aside from the unique sound, both the ear for guitar melodies and the rhythm section makes this album. Castle in the Air's opening riff just instantly hooks with its fantastic melody. Bassist Luitjen Jansen and drummer Fritz Randow are playing with the energy of a thousand men, even with the whole band being incredibly energetic already. The finale of Madhouse (No relation to Anthrax's) gallops and shreds like no other and has one of the craziest drum solos I've ever heard outside of a live context. No wonder Randow would go on to play for Saxon on a couple of their heaviest albums.

Simply a classic in my book.

UFO Force It

Album · 1975 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
I don’t know how I missed getting into this band! Maybe “Miss Demeanor” just didn’t attract me? If I had heard this album in the eighties, I would have been hooked for sure. Yet somehow, in spite of loving Pete Way’s band Waysted and having a couple of Michael Schenker albums, I never picked up UFO. I bought the debut a few years back solely because it was a hard rock album of 1970 and it’s an okay album. It has it’s moments. Later I bought “No Heavy Petting” because I heard that “Lights Out” was a great album, but listening to it on YouTube, I didn’t get a rush. The previous album sounded way better to me and I rather like it. So at last I got around to getting another UFO album and my choice was this one, “Force It”. What’s with all the faucets in the album art? Imagine “faucet” and “force it” being said in a British accent.

From what I have heard, this might just be UFO’s most rock out album of the seventies. Later albums seem to lean on melody more than punch unless I've just not heard the right songs. On this album, I think we have some of the best rockers and riffs not only in the UFO catalogue but stand out tracks from the seventies hard rock scene.

“Let It Roll” is a great start. It’s remarkable how much Michael Schenker’s guitar reminds me of the Scorpions considering that he’d only played on the debut album. The melodic part is a nice touch. Perhaps it’s too soon to go pretty but the hard rocking music returns. It even gets rather heavy in parts!

“Shoot Shoot” is a fun rock song that has one awesome riff that crops up after the chorus. Again, very Scorpions in style but with a great groove to it. Damn that’s a good one, that riff!

The third track has to be the ballad. It’s almost predictable on some seventies albums. “High Flyer” is very pretty but it makes me think that this is a song a fictional band might play in a movie, the song where the girlfriend looks lovingly at her boyfriend on the stage. Then we get another kick ass rocker with “Love Lost Love”. It’s a melodic hard rock song with Schenker really exercising those lead guitar breaks. Holy tube socks but this is really good hard rock!

The album was produced by Leo Lyons of Ten Years After, and for “Out in the Street” he brings in band mate Chick Churchill to play some electric organ. I think it works great with UFO’s sound, the softer organ sound contrasting with the crunchy guitar. Phil Moog shows he’s got power and finesse in his vocals. And then we get another power house hard rocker with “Mother Mary”. I can’t get over this guitar sound! Schenker is really a key to the power behind this band.

There's more great hard rock with “Too Much of Nothing” and "Dance Your Life Away". The final track, "The Kids'", doesn't slow down and slips in some nice piano work between the power chords. But then the track curiously goes into a melodic and atmospheric instrumental called “Between the Walls”. It’s an unexpected way to end an album of kick ass rockers. Once more, I'm hearing a Scorpions guitar. It's interesting to think that so much of the Scorpions sound may have come from the younger Schenker brother who left after one album!

I think the selling point for me on this album is clearly the guitar sound and Michael Schenker’s playing. His solos and his riffs are fantastic! The rest of the band are great. Phil Moog is a stand out vocalist and perfect for that kind of hard rock with strong melodies and ballads. But if they’d had a lesser guitarist they wouldn’t have sounded so awesome on this album. You can thank Leo Lyons too for his great work.

This has become one of my new favourite old albums!

proto-metal movie reviews

BLIND FAITH London Hyde Park 1969

Movie · 2006 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
stefanbedna
Blind Faith -London Hyde Park 1969 dvd. An excellent concert.Quite simple concert.A beautiful day and a hundred thousand people in London´s central Hyde Park listens Blind Faith in their first big gig.Absolutely wonderful.For me the historic value of this concert.Rating 4,0 stars for me.Concert will be held 07/06/1969.Performers lineup eric clapton lead guitar,steve winwood phenomenal vocal and keyboards, rick grech on bass and of course phenomenal ginger baker on drums.This is an example of the unique combination of two large groups of Cream and Traffic rights in the Great introducetd in London´s Hyde Park.Really very interesting concert series watch it again on dvd.I highly recommend.

Artists with Proto-Metal release(s)

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
BLACK SABBATH
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

The Raging River Atmospheric Sludge Metal
CULT OF LUNA
Buy this album from MMA partners
Infected Deathcore
VIRULENCE OF MISCONDUCT
Buy this album from MMA partners
Leviathon Symphonic Metal
THERION
Buy this album from MMA partners
Know Your Place Metalcore
MORALSLIP
Buy this album from MMA partners
Ishmael Metalcore
HELIOCENTRIC
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us