Photo by D Is For Duende
Text by Cosmo Lee

What band got you into metal?

It doesn’t have to be good metal. Many people have one gateway band into metal and another into the good stuff. Few of us were down with Bathory since day one.

If you grew up in the ’80s, your gateways were probably Iron Maiden and Judas Priest (if you had a wise older brother), or hair metal (if you did not). (Did anyone actually get into metal through Black Sabbath? I’d bet that 95% of us discovered them retroactively.) In the ’90s, your gateways were probably Metallica (early ’90s), Pantera (mid ’90s), or nu-metal (late ’90s). In the ’00s, your gateways were probably metalcore (first half of decade), Mastodon (for those not otherwise inclined to like metal), or deathcore (last few years).

As for me, I discovered hair metal (through Top 40 radio) and thrash metal (through friends in school) around the same time. Both were equally foreign to me, so I didn’t discriminate between them. I liked Def Leppard as much as I liked Anthrax. My first metal electric shock came from Metallica’s $5.98 EP. (I wrote about it somewhat incompetently here.) I was lucky to find the good stuff right away.