Essential Heavy Metal Terms

Heavy Metal's roots began in the 1970s and early 1980s, when it began to pick up in popularity. The music scenes of the 80s and 90s quickly became centered around popular heavy metal bands and the well-known "hair bands" of the time. As heavy metal increased in its popularity, so did many metal terms, such as head banging and monster ballad. There is a glossary of popular heavy metal terms at About. This link leads to many more, including Heavy Metal 101. This particular page is full of information about the heavy metal era, along with many descriptions of the different heavy metal genres and subgenres. For additional definitions of heavy metal, what bands were popular at the time and more, go to


More heavy metal terms and descriptions can be found at the website of TV. Many of these bands, such as Poison and Warrant, were very controversial for their girlish looks, yet where highly popular and still remembered today. For the top 100 hair bands of the times, visit Digital Dreamer.

Many heavy metal terms were made popular in the 80's and 90's, such as the following:

HeavyMetal- A form of music popularized in the 70's and 80's.

Mullet- a type of hairstyle where the hair is worn short on the top and front, but long in the back.

Headbanging- A type of activity where the head is thrust violently up and down in time to heavy metal music.

Poseur- A person who tries to be what she or he is not.

Burnout- A stereotype formed to describe kids and teens that were interested solely in heavy metal music, and usually dressed the part.

Moshing-Also called slamming. An activity performed at concerts and shows where a group of people run and push violently into one another. This is described in detail at Wiki how, along with instructions on how to do it.

Crowd Surfing-Performed at concerts. An individual leaps from the stage and many people catch them above their heads- they are then "surfed" around the crowd by many others.

Hairbands/About- Hair band groups are derived from male heavy metal groups who toured with long, heavily teased hair styles

Corna-A sign made with the hand, meaning devil horns.

Glam Metal- Used to describe the visual look of heavy metal-also known as hair bands.

Metalhead-A devoted fan of heavy metal music.

For more information about the history of heavy metal music and bands, go to

Bamboo Web and Fixed Reference.