Cover Art for Painkiller by Judas Priest, revitalizing itself with the very Speed Metal that the band helped to spawn a decade earlier.
Introduction & Style
Speed Metal was one of the earliest offshoots of the NWOBHM movement, and is a direct technical evolution of the music style. This subgenre faster tempo than most other types of Heavy Metal, with more expressive vocals, but the vocals are still "clean" and the instrumentation is still more melodic than Thrash Metal, itself a derivative of Speed Metal.
HistoryJudas Priest released the song Exciter in 1978, with a faster tempo than most metal bands, but the true originator of the genre was considered to be the Canadian band Exciter, who took the name of Judas Priest's song, improved upon their technique and incorporated elements of Punk-insired NWOBHM. Judas Priest incorporated Speed Metal into their famous album Painkiller. In Germany, Accept too became a major influence in 1982 with Fast As A Shark, whose double bass drumming technique set the standards for Power and Thrash Metal.
Most Speed Metal bands moved into Thrash Metal or traditional Heavy Metal, but a few bands still play Speed Metal.