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CARMINE APPICE: Heavy Metal Started With METALLICA, Everything Else Before "Was Hard Rock"

"Even Slayer. They weren't that buzzsaw guitar back in the day. All those bands. Biohazard. I mean, all those bands — they were hard rock,”

Carmine Appice 2023

Drummer Carmine Appice  – best known for his work with Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Rod Stewart, King Kobra, and Blue Murder – recently shared his insights on The Adventures Of Pipeman on W4CY Radio regarding the birth of the heavy metal genre. When host The Pipeman mentioned that in the early 1980s, bands like Quiet Riot were not viewed as true heavy metal amidst the rise of thrash metal bands such as Metallica and Slayer, Carmine agreed, elaborating on his perspective of the genre's evolution.

"Even Slayer. They weren't that buzzsaw guitar back in the day. All those bands. Biohazard. I mean, all those bands — they were hard rock,” he said (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). "And then as the, per se, metal movement moved on and everybody started having that buzzsaw, Metallica kind of buzzsaw guitars and fast bass drums like Lars Ulrich. And I think that's where it all started. All that stuff that's going on today started with Metallica — in my eyes. I mean, I could be wrong. But for me, and all the stuff before that, including Black Sabbath, was hard rock."

Appice went on to compare early Black Sabbath to Led Zeppelin. He reflected on his experiences playing gigs with Black Sabbath when they first emerged alongside his band Cactus: "I mean, Black Sabbath was just, to me, like another Led Zeppelin coming out of Birmingham. I mean, we played gigs with Black Sabbath back in the day when they first came out with Cactus… We were rock blues and so was Black Sabbath."

Carmine described the song "Paranoid" as similar to Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown" in its early days: "I mean, 'Paranoid', to me, back in the day was like a 'Communication Breakdown' Led Zeppelin kind of thing. And then as it went along and went along, I mean, their sound got thicker, but it still didn't have that buzzsaw sound. That's my own opinion. Everybody says Sabbath is heavy — they’re heavy hard rock.”

So, next time you are playing Iron Maiden’s The Number Of The Beast, Judas Priest’s Screaming For Vengeance, Motörhead’s Iron Fist, or Venom’s Black Metal (all of them released the year before Metallica’s Kill’Em All hit the shelves), be mindful that according to Mr. Appice, you might be listening to hard rock instead of heavy metal.

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