When you look for the origins of heavy metal music, you will always find Led Zeppelin as part of the conversation. In spite of the sweet acoustic ballads and the experimentation that the band made over the years, the constant in each album was the music that became heavy and very strong.
Just ask Geezer Butler, the bassist of metal pioneer Black Sabbath. "Zeppelin paved the way for us," Butler said. "They were the heaviest thing, until we arrived. They started the genre a lot. "
On the first Zeppelin album, you have several different types of heavy. In "Dazed and Confused," it was the ominous type that became so popular later. Then there was a "Breakdown of communication", which was ahead of the punches of metal and punk.
Led Zeppelin II it got even heavier, and the band never moved away from the thunder in the later albums. But with Presence, the album that did not present almost any of the keyboards and acoustic styles of the other albums, Zeppelin had its most metallic moment.
"Presence" contained the metal assault of "Achilles Last Stand" and "Nobody & # 39; s Fault But Mine".
You do not find songs like "That's the way" or even "Honey, I'll leave you" in Presence. In fact, you do not find John Paul Jones on the keyboard at all. Jimmy Page, who wrote most of the album material with Robert Plant, also kept most of his acoustic guitars in their cases.
At this time in the life of the band (at the end of 1975), Led Zeppelin had already delivered masterpieces such as "Stairway to Heaven" and "Kashmir". They also closed the book on heavy blues performances with "In My Time of Dying."
With "Achilles Last Stand", you got what the title promised: an experienced warrior who does not leave the battlefield before hitting almost everyone in sight. It was a full metal attack.
Between the heavy bass of Jones, the crushing riff of Page and the thunder of the drums of John Bonham, you could not confuse "Achilles" with anything that was not metal. The voices of the plant are the only thing you could describe as moderate here, and in the end he also gets strong.
Then there was the unbridled assault of "No one is to blame, but mine." In this melody, Plant joins the party in style with full-throated groans and a sinister part of the harmonica. The vicious battery of Bonham in these melodies had a great influence on drummers like Lars Ulrich of Metallica (see: "One").
The first record of "Physical Graffiti" is also among the heaviest offers of Zeppelin.
Led Zeppelin was not all metal for a reason: they considered their music to be much bigger than that. They never wanted to think in one dimension. You can see well the philosophy of the band in Physical graffiti, the only double album of the group.
Five of the six tracks go directly to the listener, with Page and Bonham about to kill each other. The exception is "Houses of the Holy," which obviously came from the sessions of the previous album. If you had replaced that "Song of Wanton", it would be as heavy as Zep once had.
Of course, the second disc of Physical graffiti He knocked out the hit considerably with his acoustic melodies and "Boogie With Stu". That was the point. And even with monstrous rockers like "Custard Pie", the curiosity of Bonham's drummer stands out.
Put it this way: Led Zeppelin was metal on several occasions (especially in Presence), and the metal was never that good again.
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