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Speed metal
Stylistic origins New Wave of British Heavy Metal, hardcore punk
Cultural origins 1970s and early 1980s Britain, United States, Canada, Germany
Typical instruments Electric guitar - Bass - Drums - Vocals
Mainstream popularity Moderate in early to mid 1980s.
Derivative forms Thrash metal
Power metal
Neo-classical metal
Regional scenes
United States - Germany

Speed metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music originating in the early 1980s, rooted in the NWOBHM and hardcore punk. It is described by the Allmusic site as "extremely fast, abrasive, and technically demanding" music. Also according to Allmusic, speed metal eventually toned down its intense tempos and evolved into thrash metal.[1]

Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy" from their 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack presaged speed metal, being eventually covered by Metallica.[2] Featured on their album, Machine Head, Deep Purple's song "Highway Star" has been called early speed metal by Robb Reiner of speed metal band Anvil.[3] Two of the most influential bands to the genre were English groups Motörhead,[4] and Judas Priest.[5]


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