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I am sort of obsessed with the VH1 Classic show Metal Evolution. It chronicles the origins of metal from the earliest Celto-Scandinavian troll worshiping proto-Druids to today’s loud and angry angry-loud dudes, and ties it all together with lineage charts, moon phases, farmer’s almanacs, bundles of sage and armor piercing cod-pieces. As Eli says above, it IS a rich and storied history.

Last week’s episode regarding the proliferation of European “Power Metal” was particularly fascinating. Power Metal is a sub-genre that involves fast soloing with classical influences, powerful high vocals, and lyrical content about dragons, destiny, glory, battle, brothers and sisters rising, challenges, more destiny, a boat, more dragons, a bigger boat, ice, THE MOUNTAIN, overcoming, an enchanted lute, a regular lyre, a sorceress’s betrayal, the last unicorn, a dwarf, crystals, and valor. Another thing worth mentioning about Power Metal is nearly all of the songs sound like they COULD be glorifying white supremacy. They aren’t. But they sound like they COULD be. I strongly recommend Metal Evolution for all fans of music and the endless permutations of musical genres.

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  1. I've always found the relationship between Tolkien (and to an extent, the content of D&D) and heavy metal to be fascinating. It's really goes to show how nerdy even the most rocking of musicians can be.

  2. Queensrÿche's legendary metal opera "Operation: Mindcrime" is, in fact, an accurate retelling of lead singer Geoff Tate's childhood, right down to the murders and insanity, his age and name were changed to avoid further criminal charges. #truemetalfacts

  3. Every single Megadeth song is based on something that happened to singer Dave Mustaine, including his visit to Area 51, his brief stint as a nuclear missile, his own suicide (he got better) and the time that he became a sleepwalking serial killer. #truemetalfacts

  4. I am all over this son of a gun. I just hope someone gets my Scar Symmetry joke (#truemetalfacts If @ScarSymmetry disappears mysteriously, it'll be because the lizard Illuminati decided they were getting too close.)

  5. Meshuggah's song Combustion is about the time a legion of psionic classical music fans hated Jens Kidman into a human fireball. #truemetalfacts

  6. The screech at the end of the spoken intro to Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden was a complete accident; Dickinson thought he saw a spider. #truemetalfacts

  7. Politicalamity by Extreme is actually the rallying song of their failed coup against the Bush Snr. administration. Names were changed to protect the innocent. #truemetalfacts

  8. the reason Ozzy Ozborn has so many crosses in and on his house is that he is secretly an immortal and Holy ground is his only refuge from the endless battle

    further more the infamous Bat was actually another immortal and taking it's head was the only way to gain it's power #truemetalacts

  9. Andrew W.K.'s blood is the world's number one supplier of second-hand cocaine. (OK this might actually be true) #true?metalfacts

  10. Bullet For My Valentine came from under Ronnie James Dio's bed. The pure awesome that he sweat every night, ran down thru the bed, filtering out any contaminants, then one day, t1000 dripped a single drop onto that, and a cloud of nuclear dust blew thru the air vent, combining much like that of TMNT. 7000 crumpets and 10 years later, they all got their first instruments, carved from the devils old horn sheddings

  11. What would happen if you cooked and then ate a Jamaroquai CD? YOU WOULD DIE.

    The ancient Egyptians built the pyramids in anticipation of the rise of David Bowie.

    It turns out that Metallica CDs were extensively used in the construction of Soviet spacecraft, as they are sufficiently durable to withstand atmospheric reentry.

    Most of the above is a complete lie.

  12. (crying due to the lack of actual metal bands appearing in these #truemetalfacts)

    Seriously, read the story of Mayhem. I can't do better than that. Or perhaps the Norwegian church burnings.
    Those are true #truemetalfacts. And true metal.

    I tried to play along, but the real true stories are still more entertaining.

    • A band doesn't have to play black metal to be a "real metal band," don't forget who inspired those guys, classic metal acts like Motörhead, but yes, those stories are quite metal. With regards to actually true metal facts, I should think the death of Dimebag Darrell should also land pretty high, dude was tragically assassinated on stage by a schizophrenic.

      • You're right, black metal is not required to be actual metal.
        I accept the Iron Maidens and the Metallicas and love the Ronnie James Dios.
        I reject the Panteras and the Mastodons and Valentines and Dreamings and Burieds and Avengeds.

  13. Rick Rolling was invented by the Tygers of Pan Tang.

    Toni Iommi struck the guitar with Ozzy Osbournes 11′ erect penis to make the sound at the start of Iron Man. That’s why Ozzys voice is a little shaky in the intro.

    Mötley Crüe plumbed an entire house to run with vodka instead of water.

  14. When Ronnie James Dio's dragon ate a bunch of Vikings and then mated with a Panzer, Sabaton sprang out of the turret.

  15. Metal started with Helter Skelter by the Beatles and was turned into a genre by Zep. Here endith the history lesson #BritainInventedRock

    • Hate to break it to you Greg but Jimi Hendrix has some work predating the White Album that sounds an awful lot like metal, the release of the single "Purple Haze" for example, predates the release of the White Album by over a year. #AmericaFuckYeah

        • What all 3 of the aforementioned actually invented/honed was Progressive Rock, bits and pieces of which led to hard rock and heavy metal, along with bits and pieces of classical and baroque music and punk.

          I'm not choosing sides between Britain and the US for who invented metal. But I think we can all agree Scandinavia is where it thrived.

  16. Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure is based on the true life activities of Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen who founded Apocalyptica by traveling through time to study under Vivaldi to learn to play cello, spending time in the court of Murad II Caliph of the Ottoman Empire absorbing their culture and folk songs, and secretly studying the members of Metallica throughout their lives [including their future works],..successfully combining Classical Cello, speed metal, alternative metal, post-grunge, hard rock, progressive metal[citation needed], thrash metal and symphonic metal with Middle eastern themes and folk music. And yes George Carlin was the actual Rufus for them. #truemetalfacts

  17. Somewhere in Sweden there is a temperature controlled lead lined room almost a mile beneath the surface,…inside are vats made from the discarded guitar picks of Jimi Hendrix, the busted drums of Buddy Rich [whose drum style Jim Henson based Animal on], and various busted instruments from people such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Pete Townshend,… inside the vats are the accumulated ejaculations of every "Rocker" since late 1950s,… also inside are the preserved eggs of Brigette Neilson, Rasputina, Janis Joplin, and Siobhan Fahey. This vault is the TRUE Doomsday Vault ensuring that rock and Metal shall continue well after mankind has destroyed this world. #truemetalfacts

  18. Way late to be commenting, but I've been catching up and no one seems to've mentioned Blind Guardian here. And Then There Was Silence is maybe one of the best Power Metal songs of all time.

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