British Metal, in an odd way, is as a much a reaction to the lumbering arena heavy metal groups of the mid-'70s as punk rock. Taking their cue from the grimy riffs of Black Sabbath, British metal groups were faster, tougher, harder, and louder than their predecessors. Frequently dressed in leather and playing fast, pounding riffs, they stood apart from the AOR-oriented metal bands that dominated hard rock since the early-'70s. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Motorhead were the leaders of the movement and they gained a dedicated following in both Europe and America, even though they didn't cross over into the mainstream. Nevertheless, they set the tone for all the metal bands that followed, from thrash to death metal.
Other Styles in Heavy Metal