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:
  • Time Signature
  • voila_la_scorie

proto-metal top albums

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

JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced? Album Cover Are You Experienced?
JIMI HENDRIX
4.59 | 23 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
QUEEN Queen II Album Cover Queen II
QUEEN
4.42 | 50 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
WISHBONE ASH Argus Album Cover Argus
WISHBONE ASH
4.58 | 18 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold As Love Album Cover Axis: Bold As Love
JIMI HENDRIX
4.53 | 18 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
KING CRIMSON
4.33 | 73 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
4.30 | 67 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
THE WHO Who's Next Album Cover Who's Next
THE WHO
4.47 | 17 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
KING CRIMSON
4.28 | 67 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
QUEEN A Night At The Opera Album Cover A Night At The Opera
QUEEN
4.17 | 51 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
QUEEN Sheer Heart Attack Album Cover Sheer Heart Attack
QUEEN
4.12 | 41 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
THE STOOGES Fun House Album Cover Fun House
THE STOOGES
4.24 | 8 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
QUEEN Queen Album Cover Queen
QUEEN
3.95 | 39 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

DEEP PURPLE The Book Of Taliesyn

Album · 1968 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Recorded only three months after their debut, DEEP PURPLE quickly released their sophomore followup THE BOOK OF TALIESYN which continued all the traits of “Shades Of Deep Purple” with a mix of originals and covers, however despite the basic similarities that include different styles such as psychedelic and hard rock mixed with classical music arrangements interspersed throughout, THE BOOK OF TALIESYN nurtured these ideas even further with more sophisticated compositional approaches that are now regarded as some of the earliest proto-prog archetypes of the late 60s despite the fact that the album was mainly aimed at the hippie crowds in the US where it was released in October 1968. DEEP PURPLE surprisingly was completely ignored in the UK (where it was held back until 69) with their earliest albums until they became so popular in a few short years (with “In Rock”) that they could not be ignored any longer.

The album title is a slightly alternate spelling taken from the 14th-century Book Of Taliesin which is one of the most famous of all Middle Welsh manuscripts that were attributed to the bard which was famous for setting a wide number of moods in the Medieval courts in the days of King Arthur in Camelot. Likewise the album THE BOOK OF TALIESYN is a loose concept album attempting to evoke the same sense of diverse mood shifts that a bard would propose in the context of the situation. The album contains seven tracks that range from spunky little blues rockers such as the opener “Listen, Learn, Read On,” “Exposition” and other segments in different tracks which all all tinged with a period glaze of psychedelic keyboard embellishments that deviate into fantastic classical musical expeditions which finds Jon Lord dishing out some impressive keyboard playing that was only rivaled by Keith Emerson in The Nice.

The original tracks were composed by Ritchie Blackmore, original vocalist Rod Evans, Jon Lord and Ian Paice making the early episodes of DEEP PURPLE very democratic in nature. Ironically the album cover art (which is my favorite of the DP canon) was created by John Vernon Lord (no relation to the keyboardist). There are three cover tracks as well. The most popular track of this album is the Neil Diamond cover “Kentucky Woman” and the two part track that begins with “Exposition” cedes into a woefully out of place more bluesy rendition of the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out.” The final cover and in my opinion, the best track on the album comes as the closer and is an excellent cover of Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” which introduces a new highly developed progressive rock approach to the band’s resume as it churns out over ten minutes of satisfying musical changes taken Ike & Turner’s funky soul domain into surreal psychedelic and classically tinged progressive rock territory.

At this point DEEP PURPLE was far from a household name and listening to THE BOOK OF TALIESYN these days give few clues to the world class act they would become in their Mark II days. While this album is satisfying on many levels, it feels like they were trying to pull off too many ideas that never feel resolved. The mix of psychedelic bluesy rock mixed with outbursts of classical keyboard segments display veritable exciting ideas gestating in the midst and there are even moments where the chugging of the guitar and riff sound like they are ready to break into such classics as “Highway Star” however for the most part the album soars along in psychedelic blues rock mode and while Rod Evans certainly had the perfect voice for the 60s hippie scene, he lacked the overall powerful effects that Ian Gillan added down the road. Fans of DEEP PURPLE should certainly check out these interesting origins even if all the proper elements hadn’t quite coalesced in a totally satisfying way. Not a bad way to get your groove on. The newer remastered versions are quite superior to the original as far as i’ve heard.

HIGH TIDE High Tide

Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
High Tide's second album feels like a bit of a step down from Sea Shanties. With the flowering of the progressive rock movement, the band seem to deliberately tone down the heavier side of their music in order to present a more sensitive and artsier image, and in doing so accomplish only the watering down of their material's power. Simon House's violin is still an important presence in the music and on the whole the jams here are pleasant enough, but there aren't any passages which leap out and grab me by the throat in the same way the best portions of Sea Shanties did.

SUPERNAUT Supernaut

Album · 1999 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
Today I am going to do two things for the first time. One is that I am going to review an album entirely from listening to it on YouTube and the other is that I am going to rate an album below 2 stars.

But first, a little about Supernaut. An English band formed in 1973, they were, as you can guess by the name, Black Sabbath fans and like their mentors, played music with heavy and dark-sounding riffs. Unlike Sabbath, however, they included a spacey keyboard in their compositions. The band cut a single self-titled album of seven tracks in 1974 which was later released on CD.

Searching about the Net, there is little more information, though one site includes some info from the CD booklet which states that the band recorded a demo (the album) and had Vertigo's interest. The label said they were too heavy and requested Supernaut to record some Eagles covers to which the band obliged but were "so disgusted" that they split up. There seems to be some question as to whether this was a real band and is cautiously considered fictitious on another metal site.

Listening to the album there are two things that you will notice immediately. The riffs are really doom heavy and the guitar playing sounds really amateur. Honestly, the first time I clicked the play icon, I was immediately transported to my 17-year-old self with my Anjo electric guitar, sitting in my bedroom with a Boss distortion pedal plugged into a small, inexpensive amp and cranking out a riff that I thought sounded cool but couldn't do anything with. And this is the one very huge drawback to the album: the guitar playing sounds really amateur. Unfortunately, most of the tracks are introduced by the guitarist indeterminably hammering out his riffs on his very cheap and poorly sounding equipment. Once the drums and bass are in and the keyboards (surprising they are at first) start playing, the guitar playing slips into the flow of the music a little better and the recordings are passable as early demos of a young band. The vocals, sparse as they are, don't sound any better than the guitar.

This is available as a CD still now and I listened to this on YouTube because I was at first interested in an early doom band from 1974 and had an eye on the disc. I am glad I decided to listen first though and saved my money. In comparison, the early recordings by Iron Claw, which have a pretty shoddy production and don't sound so good and don't have the ideal vocalist, at least have a better sense of composition and playing. Perhaps it's because Iron Claw used to play Black Sabbath's debut album in its entirety at their live shows. Also worthy to consider in comparison is Necromandus, who were actually taking under Toni Iommi's management and who played excellent progressive, early doom but were abandoned after recording their album as their manager went overseas to tour in America.

I think Supernaut needed to have a guitarist who could play a little more fluidly and professionally, a better recorded guitar sound, and a proper producer in the studio to help them flesh out their style more. The actual riffs are somewhat promising and the music indicates that the band had a vision and potential but in the end lacked what they needed to make their album sound good. They get points for effort and could possibly have been a great early doom metal band. Instead, we are left with an album that is almost painful to listen to at times and has attracted criticism and scorn in the YouTube comments and no praise.

Not to be confused with the 1974 release by the Perth, Australia glam rock band by the same name.

FREE Tons Of Sob

Album · 1969 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
Free's 1969 debut, "Tons of Sobs", has to be their dirtiest, hardest, sweatiest, and most aggressive record in the band's catalogue. The album comes across as a recording by a young band who studied the likes of Cream and Jeff Beck with Rod Stewart and then dropped nearly all subtlety in favour of raw energy.

After the 49 second opening track, the first part of the largely acoustic number "Over the Green Hills", a chorus of "Ahh"s fades out and heavy guitar chords backed by a hard thumping bass and a steady drum beat that could well pass for shotgun blasts comes tromping in. This is the beginning of Free's most metal song ever, "Worry". Except for the inserts of bluesy piano rolls, the song is all power, all electric and sees the band nearly totally untethered. Paul Rogers sends the needle into the red by the second chorus as he sings, "Worry / Baby, worry / There's a reason for you to". Telling her that there's a silent, deadly message in the wind, Paul's bluesy rasp gets a power overload, while Paul Kossof is going nuts on lead guitar and rhythm section Andy Fraser (bass) and Simon Kirke (drums) would be galloping if they weren't smashing holes through the studio floor.

"Walk In My Shadow" shows the Cream influence and this is a swaggering, blues number with some real good scratchy guitar chords. It's followed by "Wild Indian Woman", which has a similar feel and groove as "Walk In My Shadow" but with a slightly cleaner guitar sound. Hear Paul Rogers sing, "You don't need your horses, baby / You got me to ride." Damn!

"Goin' Down Slow" is one of those typical, slow bluesy numbers that you've probably heard a dozen times before. I'm sure I have a nearly exact version by a different title but by another band and recorded in a small bar with the sounds of people chatting and glasses tinkling. To be fair to Free, though, turn this up and it's a real monster. I guess the reason why it wasn't recorded in a small bar with people chatting and glasses tinkling is because if they had, they would have been no people chatting and glasses tinkling because everyone would have been standing stunned still by the band's full on performance.

"I'm a Mover" kicks off side two with another typical blues rocker and it's interesting to note that Iron Maiden actually covered this song as a b-side to "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter". "The Hunter" is a cover of the classic tune by Booker T. Jones and company and sticks with the raw, high power electric blues by a band that really want to show their spit and vinegar.

Things slow down a bit with "Moonshine", which is a little hard to describe, (lyrics about staying in a graveyard all night by his tombstone) except that the brief chorus reintroduces the power of the band. "Sweet Tooth" has those scratchy guitar chords and this time adds a bit of funk to the bluesy swagger. The only thing that doesn't work so well is that Rogers' voice is in the right audio channel only for some reason. The album wraps up with the rest of "Over the Green Hills", which is where the rest of the song is.

The re-issue features several bonus tracks which includes live recordings (recorded live as a band and not before any audience as there is no cheering or clapping and also no people chatting and tinkling glasses for that matter), alternate versions of songs, and studio outtakes. Of these, "Guy Stevens Blues" (dedicated to producer Guy Stevens) is yet another example of an electrified blues band featuring a guitarist who sounds like a crazy Eric Clapton and "Visions of Hell" which is mostly a slower, depressing song but which culminates in a more guitar-aggressive finale.

Free would, over the next three albums, tame their sound and give it more smoothness and polish. But they would never again show off such rawness and raunchiness coupled with some stunning punches as they did one their debut.

KING CRIMSON USA

Live album · 1975 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
FMOTP
I'm a little surprised at the lack of reviews/ratings for King Crimson's USA. I once read a statement by Maynard James Keenan calling King Crimson the biggest musical influence on Tool. By the time USA was released, centering on tracks from the 3 previous albums, metal was clearly a large part of King Crimson's musical recipe. These are great performances of great music. My favorite tracks are the two bonus songs from the 2002 reissue; it's the version to get. I haven't heard THE NIGHT WATCH or THE GREAT DECEIVER compilations for comparison, but I think the sound quality of USA is perfectly acceptable. The only consideration that reduces my rating of USA, for the MMA website, is its place on the "metal" scale.

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)

proto-metal Index

Member Zone

Username:
Password:
Stay signed in

Metal Subgenres

Artists Alpha-index

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
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II Power Metal
HELLOWEEN
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

These Demons Metalcore
DESOLIST
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Last Emperor Power Metal
JUDICATOR
Buy this album from MMA partners
II Deathcore
THE LAST KING
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Obscene EP Deathcore
THE LAST KING
Buy this album from MMA partners
Minus Mathcore
CZAR (WA)
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Skin Yard - Slow Runner
SKIN YARD
Unitron· 1 day ago
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

Buy Metal Music Online