Proto-Metal

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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
4.58 | 25 ratings
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QUEEN Queen II Album Cover Queen II
QUEEN
4.42 | 59 ratings
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KING CRIMSON In The Court Of The Crimson King Album Cover In The Court Of The Crimson King
KING CRIMSON
4.34 | 85 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
KING CRIMSON
4.33 | 90 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced? Album Cover Are You Experienced?
JIMI HENDRIX
4.42 | 35 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
KING CRIMSON
4.32 | 82 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold As Love Album Cover Axis: Bold As Love
JIMI HENDRIX
4.46 | 25 ratings
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THE WHO Who's Next Album Cover Who's Next
THE WHO
4.41 | 26 ratings
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QUEEN A Night At The Opera Album Cover A Night At The Opera
QUEEN
4.24 | 61 ratings
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QUEEN Sheer Heart Attack Album Cover Sheer Heart Attack
QUEEN
4.10 | 48 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Electric Ladyland Album Cover Electric Ladyland
JIMI HENDRIX
4.04 | 27 ratings
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QUEEN Queen Album Cover Queen
QUEEN
3.97 | 45 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold As Love

Album · 1967 · Proto-Metal
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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
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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
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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
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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!

HIGH TIDE High Tide

Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The TIDE comes in, the TIDE goes out. Such is the lesson of the UK’s most promising prog rock band of 1969 with the phenomenal “Sea Shanties” where the heavy prog band HIGH TIDE that consisted of Tony Hill (electric & acoustic guitars, organ, vocals), Simon House (electric violin, organ, piano), Peter Pavli (bass) and Roger Hadden (drums, piano, pipe organ) lived up to their moniker and delivered a stunning display of musical fusion that delivered an intense interplay of early heavy metal, progressive rock and psychedelia with jazzy chords that focused on the folky of Simon House’s violin screeches that traded off with Tony Hill’s hard rock bombast and weirdly designed guitar solos. Debuting in the year 1969, HIGH TIDE was one of the premier prog rock bands that developed a unique style from the getgo that sounded utterly like no other, mostly due to the ample use of violin as a primary instrument in the context of a rock band.

However, all TIDEs must recede and that’s exactly what happened with the sophomore release which was unexcitingly simply titled HIGH TIDE. The quartet tamped down the guitar heft of the debut and instead replaced it with an artier mix that included more piano, organ and acoustic guitar however the main combo pack punch of the guitar and violin were still in firm command of the musical processions. HIGH TIDE’s second eponymous album originally consisted of a mere three tracks that was just shy of the 33 minute mark with each drifting past the 8 minute mark. While “Sea Shanties” delivered scorching proto-metal performances wrapped in progressive rock compositions, this self-titled debut takes a few cues from Tony Hill’s previous psychedelic rock band The Misunderstood and lightens things up on this one in which the organ added the proper psych atmospheres to give this second coming a much spacier feel but make no mistake about it, Tony Hill still delivers some stellar guitar workouts as does Simon Hill on the violin. Overall the album focuses less on hairpin turns and progressive time signature frenzies and engages in long sprawling jam sessions most evident on the opening “Blankman Cries Again.”

The opening track signifies an immediate stylistic shift from the debut as the compositions are more accessible. The violin has more of a folky sound and at the jazzier times evokes a sense of the future sounds of Jean-Luc Ponty in the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The album is primarily string based with the guitar, bass and violin all sharing more less equal turf as Hill’s guitar dominion of the debut had clearly waned. While it could be argued that the three string sections along with the drums and organ touches deliver a more balanced approach to HIGH TIDE’s unique sound, in the end it sounds a little lightweight in the shadow of the debut’s sheer perfection. “The Joke” while exhibiting the classic HIGH TIDE touches also presents verses that sound a lot like early King Crimson which finds the band incorporating influences from the great KC that dropped their debut bombshell on the world and not so subtly announced that progressive rock was in town and was taking over the music scene for a while. Tony Hill’s vocals are quite distinct but at times he’s a dead ringer for Greg Lake’s slower singing style.

I find the third and longest track “Saneonimous” to be the most interesting and the one closest to the debut’s decked out progressive rock freneticism. While the track engages in the jamming sessions of the previous tracks, it’s allowed a bit more freedom in changing up the dynamics as well as tempo changes and more time signature shifts and at nearly 15 minutes long manages to remain engaging helped greatly by the instantly addictive melody and Tony Hill’s vocal style that fits perfectly in between the squealing violin runs and guitar and bass. Roger Hadden also deserves plaudits for a stellar percussive performance that manages to punctuate the busy polyrhythmic counterpoints of the strings. The atmospheric contributions often take a back seat but do add an artier mood during quieter passages.

As with “Sea Shanties,” the second HIGH TIDE album also has a much better remastered release than the original album. Not only is the production sharply improved but it includes a monstrous essential bonus track in the form of the near 16 minute “The Great Universal Protection Racket” which equals anything else on this album and while the remaining three bonus tracks that include two alt versions of “The Joke” and “Blankman” along with the short “Ice Age” are of lesser value, they are not throwaway tracks either. While the TIDE was HIGH on “Sea Shanties,” the sad truth was that all TIDEs must recede and therefore the second coming of this unique band was more like a LOW TIDE in comparison to the startling brilliant debut. While this second album may not be as immediate in its presentation and initially disappointing, many subsequent listens have substantially raised my opinion of it. It delivers an excellent mix of intricately designed prog rock only with the guitar heft of the debut tamped down. Unfortunately this marked the end of HIGH TIDE as Tony Hill, Peter Pavli and Roger Hadden moved on to work with Rustic Hinge as well as other acts. The band would reform in 1990 and release more albums but would never catch the magic of the early years. While the debut is superior, this is still an excellent release.

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BLIND FAITH London Hyde Park 1969

Movie · 2006 · Proto-Metal
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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.

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