First examples of songs in different genres


This is a list about what I think could be the first examples of songs in different genres. If you disagree with something or have any opinion of first example of any other genre, just write a comment.

Created by: Aristarchos | 19.09.2012



1. Jackie Brentson And His Delta Cats
Rocket 88 (1951): This song is often mentioned as the first rock'n'roll song ever. I don't have any personal opinion about that.
2. The Kinks - Kinks
You Really Got Me (1964): This is I think the most common suggestion of the first hard rock song.
3. Blue Cheer - Vincebus Eruptum
Summertime Blues (1967): This is what I consider the first heavy metal song ever. It is a cover of an Eddie Cochran song. You could still hear a blues element, but it is so much heavier than anything before, and I definitely think it could be considered metal. I think this song is more metal than anything released in the 60's, including anything by Led Zeppelin.
4. The 31 Flavors - Hair
Distortions of Darkness (1969): The first doom metal song ever.
5. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Paranoid (1970): This is the first song that really sounds as traditional heavy metal.
6. Deep Purple - Machine Head
Highway Star (1972): This is often considered as the first speed metal song ever. Probably the only Deep Purple song I would accept as metal.
7. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4
Wheels Of Confusion (1973): I choose this as the first prog metal song ever, although the choice is difficult to make. Perhaps you could go back to 1969 and King Crimson's song "21st Century Schizoid Man" or High Tide's album "Sea Shanties" to find the first example of prog metal, if any of these could be considered metal, which I guess they can't.
8. Queen - Sheer Heart Attack
Stone Cold Crazy (1974): This is often considered as the first thrash metal song ever. Although the vocals sounds very bluesy, the guitar riff sounds very thrashy. Black Sabbath ripped this riff off for their "Symptom Of The Universe" one year later. Metallica has mentioned this song as a big influence for their sound, and they have also covered it. This song was written and first performed live as early as in 1969, and therefore also pre-dates "Highway Star" as the first speed metal song, but I go with the release dates here, and I don't know how it sounded in 1969. I think this was the most thrashy song of the entire 70's.
9. Zane - Step Aside
Step Aside (1976): This song, only released as a single, which also was this swedish band's only release, is my suggestion as the first industrial metal song. I guess most people wouldn't exactly classify this as industrial, but the way they use the synth makes this sound quite industrial, and it is heavy enough to be called metal. Besides I don't have any good other suggestion on first industrial metal song, since I haven't listened through all the other early industrial bands to see which song is heavy enough.
10. Rainbow - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll
Kill The King (1978): This is often considered as the first power metal song ever, although some people would go back to Rainbow's "Stargazer". "Kill The King" is the fastest and most metallic song Rainbow has done.
11. Venom - Welcome To Hell
(1981) This album (I can't pick one specific song) starts what became black metal. Many people refuses to call Venom black metal, and wants to call Bathory the first pure black metal, but since Venom came up with the term, I think they have more right than anyone else to use it, and there is no other term that could describe Venom's music, since I don't think it's really thrash, it is too dark for it, and I think not aggressive enough. I don't think black metal has to be equally aggressive, only dark.
12. Golgotha (UK) - Dangerous Games
Dangerous Games (1984): Thin Lizzy's "Emerald" from 1976 was suggested among the comments as the first folk metal song ever, and it has somoe folk influences, but I choose Golgotha's "Dangerous Games" from 1984 as the first pure folk metal song. Of course other bands too like Led Zeppelin had earlier had folk influences, but they didn't really mixed it in metal, and also Black Sabbath, but only on instrumentals which didn't have a metal element.
13. Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising Force
(1984) This album started the neoclassical metal genre. A lot of bands had make use of classical influences in hard rock/heavy metal earlier, but I don't know one earlier song where the classical influences have been taken far enough to really be called neoclassical metal, and at the same time be heavy enough to be called metal, which Deep Purple's "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" isn't. Deep Purple's most metallic song "Highway Star" contains a long solo with influences from classical music, but I wouldn't say that is enough to belong to this sub-genre. Randy Rhoads also made use of classical influences when he played with Ozzy Osbourne, for example in the beautiful "Revelation (Mother Earth)" from 1980 album "Blizzard Of Ozz", but I rather call that classically influenced heavy metal than neoclassical metal.
14. Possessed - Seven Churches
(1985) This album is often considered the first example of death metal. Many people say this isn't more death metal than Venom is black metal, and states Death's "Scream Bloody Gore" album as the first example of death metal, but, just like in the case of Venom, Possessed came up with the term, and I think they have their right to use it. (I'm not sure if they ever have used the term to describe their music, or if they only named a song so; perhaps someone else here have better knowledges in that.)
15. Lone Rager - Metal Rap
Metal RAPsody (1985): This is, to my knowledge, the earliest example of rap metal. Lone Rager only released this single.
16. Melvins - Six Songs
(1986): This EP marks the start of the sludge metal genre.
17. Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
(1986): The first epic doom metal album.
18. Bathory - Under The Sign Of The Black Mark
(1987): This album is the start of the sound that would characterize the 2nd wave black metal.
19. Death - Scream Bloody Gore
(1987) I also included this album for the death metal genre, since it is often considered as the first pure death metal album, while "Seven Churches" is more death/thrash metal.
20. Dream Death - Journey Into Mystery
(1987): This is the start of the death doom genre, although sometimes also labelled as thrash doom, or death thrash. It has an element of all three genres.
21. Napalm Death - Scum
(1987): I chose this as the first grindcore album, although Repulsion already had released "Horrified" as demo in 1986, but that album wasn't officially released until 1989. Both bands had earlier released demos which I haven't heard. The discussion could go on who of them that really could be considered the true pioneers of grindcore.
22. Bathory - Blood Fire Death
Blood Fire Death (1988): This song is often considered as the first example of viking metal. Bands like Legend and Heavy Load had used viking themes long time before Bathory, but these bands were musically more heavy metal than viking metal, and I have no idea whether or not Bathory was influenced by those bands.
23. Atheist - Piece Of Time
(1989) This album is the start of the technical death metal sub-genre.
24. Believer - Sanity Obscure
Dies Irea (Day Of Wrath) (1990): I think this could be considered as the first pure symphonic metal song. Of course Celtic Frost has experimented with symphonics since 1985, and especially on their 1987 album "Into The Pandemonium" and the song "Rex Irae (Requiem)", but (to my knowledge) none had taken the symphonics so far before Believer.
25. Pantera - Cowboys From Hell
(1990): I think this album marks the start of the groove metal genre, although it is their next album "Vulgar Display Of Power" they would develope it full out. Perhaps other thrash bands had some form of groove earlier, and if you have any suggestion of a song that could be called groove metal earlier, you can suggest me in the comments.
26. Stillborn (Swe) - Necrospirituals
(1989): This album is sometimes considered as the first example of gothic metal, although some people would mention Celtic Frost's album "Into The Pandemonium" and the song "Mesmerized".
27. Earth - Extra - Capsular Extraction
(1991): This EP marks the start of drone metal as genre. This is the same year as Melvins released the album "Bullhead" with the song "Boris", which would give name to a Japanese drone metal band.
28. Suffocation - Human Waste
(1991): This EP marks the start of the brutal death metal sub-genre.
29. Dismember - Like An Ever Flowing Stream
In Death's Sleep (1991): I chose this song as the start of the melodic death metal sub-genre. Exactly where to draw the line to where something becomes melodic is of course impossible, and of course 80's death metal too had some forms of melodies.
30. Burzum - Burzum
(1992): This album marks the start of the atmospheric black metal sub-genre.
31. Master's Hammer - The Jilemnice Occultist
(1992): This album is the first example of symphonic black metal.
32. Thergothon - Stream From The Heavens
(1994): This album is often seen as the start of the funeral doom metal genre.
33. KoRn - KoRn
(1994): The first nu metal album.
34. Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve
(1995): Has been suggested as the first math metal album.
35. Meshuggah - Chaosphere
(1998): Has been suggested as the first djent album.
36. Alcest - Le Secret
(2005): I think this EP is the start of blackgaze.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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Comments: 36   Visited by: 94 users
19.01.2013 - 14:39
Aristarchos
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 14.11.2012 at 16:12

Slaughter In The Vatican sounds nothing like Pantera and is a great album.
The Law is a lot weaker and more in the Pantera vein of thrash.

I have checked out Slaughter In The Vatican now. I didn't found it too dissimilar from Pantera, only way better, but, as I said earlier, this isn't my genre. Slaughter In The Vatican was released at the same time as Cowboys From Hell, so you can't accuse Pantera for copying its sound. I don't know how Exhorder's earlier demos sounded or Pantera's early albums, but anyway Pantera created something on their own and could not be considered as a clone, irrespective of if they were influenced by Exhorder or not.
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26.02.2013 - 19:23
Aristarchos
Written by Aristarchos on 05.12.2012 at 11:02

I never really thought of Thin Lizzy as heavy metal, but I could agree with you on that song. How many songs has Thin Lizzy that could be counted as metal?

I listened a bit more to Lizzy and found the song Black Rose: A Rock Legend, which sounded quite folk metallic too and the best song I have heard by Lizzy. Still doubtful to really call any Thin Lizzy song true folk metal, though. I think Golgotha made the first true folk metal song.
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06.08.2014 - 11:49
Hex_Omega
Gem Seeker
Nice list, very interesting. However I think you should mention that 'Boris' from Melvins (Bullhead) is the first Sludge Doom song ever.
I also disagree with Emperor. Master's Hammer was first. Even Satyricon debut album was in 1993 (it is IMO also symphonic black).
You should also mention Meshuggah about 'Math Metal' and 'Djent' genres. Maybe also 'Images and Words' as first modern prog metal album or Opeth about Extreme Prog?
I also miss Candlemass (Epic Doom), At The Gates (Gothenburg Metal) or Korn (Nu Metal)
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06.08.2014 - 17:05
Aristarchos
Written by Hex_Omega on 06.08.2014 at 11:49

Nice list, very interesting.

Thanks!
Written by Hex_Omega on 06.08.2014 at 11:49

However I think you should mention that 'Boris' from Melvins (Bullhead) is the first Sludge Doom song ever.

I'm not an expert on sludge, but so you're saying that none of their earlier material could be called sludge?
Written by Hex_Omega on 06.08.2014 at 11:49

I also disagree with Emperor. Master's Hammer was first. Even Satyricon debut album was in 1993 (it is IMO also symphonic black).

OK, I will change that.
Written by Hex_Omega on 06.08.2014 at 11:49

You should also mention Meshuggah about 'Math Metal' and 'Djent' genres.

Meshuggah is the band of the more respected metal bands I have found most difficult to get into, but I haven't checked out all their albums. From which album do you think they could be called math metal? Some people say they have never been djent. Personally I don't know of the definition of that genre, so I need a suggestion from someone which song or album that could be called the first example.
Written by Hex_Omega on 06.08.2014 at 11:49

Maybe also 'Images and Words' as first modern prog metal album or Opeth about Extreme Prog?

Not sure why 'Images and Words' needs a mention since it doesn't sound that different from their debut from 1989. In 1989 also Fates Warning released the important 'Perfect Symmetry', where the prog genre started to take the shape it has had since. I don't know which of the albums that was released earliest in the year. About Opeth and extreme prog, there were bands like Atheist, Cynic and Pestilence earlier, although they had a different sound.
Written by Hex_Omega on 06.08.2014 at 11:49

I also miss Candlemass (Epic Doom), At The Gates (Gothenburg Metal) or Korn (Nu Metal)

About Candlemass and KoRn, it is pretty obvious it is their resp. debut albums that should be added. About At The Gates it is more difficult to really choose which album, since the Gothenburg genre doesn't have a clear definition. Their earlier albums were more pure death metal, although more melodic than death metal in general sounded back then, and they influenced bands like In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. MS call At The Gates Gothenburg metal only from 1995, although they started to change their sound already on TSD in 1994, but Dark Tranquillity is called Gothenburg metal already from 1989 and released their first EP in 1992, so I'm not really sure where to put the start of the genre. Any suggestion?
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06.08.2014 - 19:39
Hex_Omega
Gem Seeker
Written by Aristarchos on 06.08.2014 at 17:05

I'm not an expert on sludge, but so you're saying that none of their earlier material could be called sludge?

No, I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that Boris is IMO (and many will agree with me) first Sludge/Doom song and it was a huge inspiration for other bands that are mixing Sludge with Doom.

Written by Aristarchos on 06.08.2014 at 17:05

Meshuggah is the band of the more respected metal bands I have found most difficult to get into, but I haven't checked out all their albums. From which album do you think they could be called math metal? Some people say they have never been djent. Personally I don't know of the definition of that genre, so I need a suggestion from someone which song or album that could be called the first example.

'Destroy Erase Improve' is the first 'Math Metal' album and (this is my personal opinion) 'Chaosphere' is the first Djent album. Others might disagree with me and pick other album but I believe that Djent was born on 'Chaosphere'. Of course it is Djent mixed with Math Metal, not 'pure' Djent.

Written by Aristarchos on 06.08.2014 at 17:05

About At The Gates it is more difficult to really choose which album, since the Gothenburg genre doesn't have a clear definition. Their earlier albums were more pure death metal, although more melodic than death metal in general sounded back then, and they influenced bands like In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. MS call At The Gates Gothenburg metal only from 1995, although they started to change their sound already on TSD in 1994, but Dark Tranquillity is called Gothenburg metal already from 1989 and released their first EP in 1992, so I'm not really sure where to put the start of the genre. Any suggestion?

I believe that Gothenburg Metal (unlike Melodic Death Metal) was born from Swedish Thrash Metal. Check out Merciless - Unbound (1994). It sounds like an early Gothenburg Metal album but it is officially labelled as Thrash. I am not sure which album is first but probably 'Slaughter Of The Soul' isn't first.
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07.08.2014 - 10:53
Aristarchos
Written by Hex_Omega on 06.08.2014 at 19:39

No, I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that Boris is IMO (and many will agree with me) first Sludge/Doom song and it was a huge inspiration for other bands that are mixing Sludge with Doom.

I have never thought of sludge and sludge/doom as different things. I thought the doom element was a necessity to be called sludge, and that sludge was a mix of doom and hardcore, but I agree that early Melvins doesn't sound very doomy, although I haven't listened much to them.
Written by Hex_Omega on 06.08.2014 at 19:39

Destroy Erase Improve' is the first 'Math Metal' album and (this is my personal opinion) 'Chaosphere' is the first Djent album. Others might disagree with me and pick other album but I believe that Djent was born on 'Chaosphere'. Of course it is Djent mixed with Math Metal, not 'pure' Djent.

OK, I will add them. If someone else has a different opinion they can write that.
Written by Hex_Omega on 06.08.2014 at 19:39

I believe that Gothenburg Metal (unlike Melodic Death Metal) was born from Swedish Thrash Metal. Check out Merciless - Unbound (1994). It sounds like an early Gothenburg Metal album but it is officially labelled as Thrash. I am not sure which album is first but probably 'Slaughter Of The Soul' isn't first.

I have heard Merciless - Unbound, but I think that Gothenburg metal was born in Gothenburg earlier (Merciless isn't from Gothenburg) and from death metal. Both At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity and In Flames clearly came from the death metal scene. I just think it is difficult to choose a precise point when melodic death metal turned into Gothenburg metal.
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