Hendrix_NMD[Photo: Getty Images]
Led_Zeppelin_NMD[Photo: Getty Images]
black_sabbath_NMD[Artwork courtesy of Warner Brothers Records]
Kiss_NMD[Photo: Getty Images]
Bon_Scott_NMD[Photo: Getty Images]
Ozzy_NMD2[Photo: Getty Images]
Dee_Snider_NMD[Photo: Getty Images]
Nirvana_NMD[Photo: Getty Images]
Limp_NMD[Photo: Getty Images]
Some_Kind_Of_Monster[Artwork courtesy of Paramount Pictures]
West_Memphis_Three_NMD[Photo: Getty Images]
Since 2011, the eleventh day of the eleventh month every year has been designated National Metal Day. The honor arises from a classic scene in the 1984 comedy masterpiece This Is Spinal Tap wherein metal guitarist extraordinaire Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) shows off his custom Marshall amps, which are equipped with one extra notch on the volume knob. As Nigel famously puts it: “These go to eleven!”
That sublime moment perfectly encapsulates the fervor, ferocity, and, most importantly, the fun that makes heavy metal the vanguard of rock-and-roll gone “over-the-top.” In addition to its own inborn extremes, heavy metal has always devoured whatever rock music’s latest outrage may be and used it to make itself stronger—from electric blues to punk to hip-hop to grunge and beyond.
So in honor of National Metal Day today, we trace the eleven most insane, untamed, taboo shattering leaps forward in heavy music history. Lock your fingers into horn position, adjust your head for banging, and let’s tear it up!
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