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Portal:Heavy metal

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Slayer at the Fields of Rock, in 2007.

Heavy metal (often referred to as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are often associated with masculinity, aggression and machismo.

The first heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath attracted large audiences, though they were often derided by critics, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970s Judas Priest helped spur the genre's evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Bands in the new wave of British heavy metal such as Iron Maiden and Saxon followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal fans became known as "metalheads" or "headbangers".

During the 1980s, glam metal became a commercial force with groups like Mötley Crüe and Poison. Underground scenes produced an array of more extreme, aggressive styles: thrash metal broke into the mainstream with bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, while other styles of the most extreme subgenres of metal like death metal and black metal remain subcultural phenomena. Since the mid-1990s, popular styles such as groove metal, which blends extreme metal with hardcore punk, and nu metal, which often incorporates elements of grunge and hip hop, have further expanded the definition of the genre.

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"Eyes of the Insane" is a 2006 single by American thrash metal band Slayer, taken from their 2006 album Christ Illusion. The lyrics explore an American soldier's mental anguish following his return home from the second Gulf War, and is based on an article entitled "Casualty of War" which was featured in Texas Monthly magazine. Penned by vocalist Tom Araya during pre-production for the album, the song was generally well received by critics.

The accompanying music video by the Iranian director Tony Petrossian in the Los Angeles area during August 2006. The film is presented as a close-up of the soldier's pupil and iris, which reflect disconcerting images of war-themed horrors, flashbacks of his home, wife and children, and ultimately images of his death. "Eyes of the Insane" was featured on the soundtrack to Saw III, and won an award for Best Metal Performance at the 49th Grammy Awards.

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Acid Drinkers 00001.jpg
Credit: Tomasz "Titus" Pukacki
The Polish band Acid Drinkers in a 2006 promotional photograph.

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